The 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2012 - Indie Gems to Watch

March 12, 2013

19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2012

The best of the best - that you didn't see. It's back again and we're a bit late, but all of these are still worth watching anyway. Back by popular demand is our sixth annual list of the 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2012 (you can find our past lists here: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007). Featured below is a hand-picked selection of the best independent and/or mainstream films that were either quietly dumped, ignored by audiences, or just not marketed well enough. So to give them some extra time in the spotlight, and to support some of the best filmmakers out there, we've put together a 2012 recap. Read on for the list!

Each year I put together this list of 19 films, it takes longer and longer to put together, and is harder and harder to figure out what should make the cut. I feel as if I'm being challenged by cinephiles to find more and more movies they haven't seen, because more and more great films are being seen/recognized each and every year. I remember the comments that say "I've seen 18 of these 19 already!" That's actually great! But there's always more. This year there's a few extra documentaries, reflecting how my own tastes have evolved and how I've discovered some of the best work in all different types of cinema. I continue to search for the kind of films that move me, entertain and excite me, make me feel emotions, and share them with you. -Alex

I would like to encourage everyone to watch at least one of these that they haven't heard of (or didn't see) beforehand. If you spend the two hours or so that it will take to watch even one of these movies mentioned below, it would mean that much more to the filmmakers who put so much time and effort into making each of these movies. This isn't about getting kudos for mentioning certain films, this article is about pointing out movies that don't deserve to be forgotten and are begging to be watched. So pick one and watch it tonight.

5 Broken Cameras5 Broken Cameras
Opened on May 30, 2012
Directed by Emad Burnat & Guy Davidi
A documentary on a Palestinian farmer's chronicle of his nonviolent resistance to the actions of the Israeli army.
Why it's on here: "I have to believe that capturing these images will have some meaning." That quote, spoken by director Emad Burnat in the documentary, is the perfect way to capture not only the importance of this film, but all the excellent films on this list. Why do these filmmakers keep on filming? Why do they make these movies? 5 Broken Cameras is a phenomenal doc about a simple Palestinian farmer who chronicles the lives of the five video cameras that he's used to record his family and what's happening to the land and people around him. The way he presents everything in such a raw, but extraordinarily affecting way, is what makes this a very powerful documentary. It's one of those films that demands—needs—to be seen, because as Emad says, this story must "have some meaning."

Opened on April 27, 2012
Directed by Richard Linklater

In small-town Texas, the local mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when he kills her, he goes to great lengths to create the illusion that she's alive.
Why it's on here: After a series of weak films, Jack Black came back with a vengeance and delivered an Oscar worthy turn as the title character in this hilarious dark comedy from director Richard Linklater. Sadly, the film didn't get a whole lot of publicity due to a limited release and lack of serious marketing support. In the film, inspired by a true story, Black plays the kind and jovial Texas mortician Bernie who befriends the small town's wealthiest and cold widow (Shirley MacLaine). Their friendship blossoms, but turns into more of a hellish faux marriage made all the more complicated when Bernie accidentally kills her. But despite the suspicious nature of her death, the town doesn't suspect Bernie until the lies just don't hold up anymore. It's a lighter dark comedy made all the more genuine by the use of real townspeople as talking heads, making the story feel like a dramatized documentary. It also contains another great turn from Matthew McConaughey and is available on Netflix Instant right now. (Written by Ethan)

Casa de mi PadreCasa de mi Padre
Opened on March 16, 2012
Directed by Matt Piedmont
Scheming on a way to save their father's ranch, the Alvarez brothers find themselves in a war with Mexico's most feared drug lord.
Why it's on here: Will Ferrell speaking Spanish. That's pretty much all you need to know as this debut film from "Funny or Die" director Matt Piedmont. Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions, the film is basically a straight-up parody in the vein of Black Dynamite that takes aim at Mexican westerns. Complete with some trademark Airplane-style, meta humor, and hilariously deadpan serious performances from actors Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Genesis Rodriguez, this gem likely got swept under the radar because general audiences don't like subtitles, and this move is presented completely in Spanish, with the exception of the appearance of Nick Offerman which is jut awesome. Ferrell also delivers one of his trademark singing scenes, and you can watch it on Netflix Instant right now. (Written by Ethan)

Cloud AtlasCloud Atlas
Opened on October 26, 2012
Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy & Lana Wachowski

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.
Why it's on here: "You ever think the universe was against ya?" The little film that tried, but couldn't make it up the mountain. I still believe in it. I still love it. I love everything about it. I still consider Cloud Atlas to be a "massive cinematic accomplishment", as I'm quoted calling it, and one that got overlooked in the awards season in many ways, from best make-up to best score (the "Cloud Atlas Sextet" by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek & Reinhold Heil) as well as the performances, costumes, and everything else. Tom Hanks is great in six roles, along with Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Keith David and Ben Whishaw. I think this is the Wachowskis big "coming out" film, where they went all out experimentally in a narrative way, and it's a big one to grasp, but an extraordinary journey if you're along for the ride. "I feel like something important has happened to me. Is this possible?" Now is the time to finally see this movie.

Opened on August 17, 2012
Directed by Craig Zobel
When a prank caller convinces a fast food restaurant manager to interrogate an innocent young employee, no-one is left unharmed. Based on true events.
Why it's on here: For the way it affects audiences. This is a film some hate, some despise, while others believe is brilliant, awards-worthy. The subversive nature of the story along with a couple of impressive performances and the way it makes you feel strong emotions of frustration and anger and everything inbetween are exactly why this is such a great film, one worth seeing. It's simple but effective filmmaking that tells an almost unbelievable story so believably, that you want to walk right through the screen and beat the crap out of the guy on the phone. Actors Dreama Walker, Ann Dowd and Pat Healy are exceptional, but it's also director Craig Zobel we need to keep an eye on after this.

The Deep Blue SeaThe Deep Blue Sea
Opened on March 23, 2012
Directed by Terence Davies

The wife of a British Judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.
Why it's on here: One hell of a heartbreaking performance by Rachel Weisz, and also because it's an impressive film that shows how much can be achieved with little dialogue. The best reasons to see this are summed up by my friend Dan Mecca of The Film Stage, who put this as his #1 film of 2012 and convinced me to give it a look. He eloquently explains: "Romance at it's most simple and most tragic. Davies has been making elegant, brutal films his whole life, and this might be the best of them all. Rachel Weisz so perfectly captures the feel of unrequited love it hurts to watch. You're afraid she might break at any moment. The great Tom Hiddleston, the object of her affection, plays the other side perfectly; he watches what he's doing to this woman, but doesn't know how to stop the pain."

Holy MotorsHoly Motors
Opened on October 17, 2012
Directed by Leos Carax
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of Monsieur Oscar…
Why it's on here: There's no debating that this is the weirdest, wackiest film of 2012, but it's also one of the most uniquely extraordinary cinematic creations featuring one of the best solo performances you will ever see. Denis Lavant as "Oscar" travels around the city of Paris in a white limo playing various characters, from the wacky sewer guy seen in Tokyo meeting up with Eva Mendes, to a father, a criminal, and even some kind of motion capture action model. My take is that we're always performing in our lives, and this is just an exaggerated cinematic take on the idea of performance, as envisioned through the mind of Leos Carax. If you're into filmmaking, acting or the creative arts, this is a must see, one of my favorite films and Denis Lavant is beyond awesome.

How to Survive a PlagueHow to Survive a Plague
Opened on September 21, 2012
Directed by David France

The story of two coalitions -- ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group) -- whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition.
Why it's on here: One of many incredibly moving, extremely fascinating, exceptionally inspiring documentaries that made the list this year. I first heard about this from a filmmaker friend and decided to watch it, discovering an astonishing story of hope against all odds. It may not seem like the kind of subject matter that makes for good "entertainment", but watching the archival footage of activists coming together to fight AIDS was riveting, I was transfixed right up to the end. It is an inspiring documentary, not only telling an amazing story about overcoming odds and fighting against death and disease, but by showing that hope and happiness can and will always prevail. If you want to see a documentary that will make you want to get up, get out and help change the world, start with this one.

The ImposterThe Imposter
Opened on July 13, 2012
Directed by Bart Layton
A documentary centered on a young Frenchman who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.
Why it's on here: Although there are a few unbelievable stories this year (e.g. Compliance), this documentary takes the cake for being the epitome of truth being stranger than fiction. Featuring the mastermind behind it himself, this doc explores the story of how French conman Frédéric Bourdin, nicknamed the "Chameleon", tricked a Texas family into thinking he was their long-lost son, gone for years in Europe. I first saw this at Sundance and was blown away, it's a must-see-to-believe kind of story, and even when you see it you still won't believe half of it. We gave this film as much love and support as we could, it just never got enough traction, but it's a worthy watch if you want to be wowed.

The IntouchablesThe Intouchables
Opened on May 25, 2012
Directed by Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker.
Why it's on here: When a film moves me to tears and has my smiling at the end, that usually means it's something special. It admittedly took me forever to finally see this film, even though I had been told to see it for a while. My goodness is it wonderful! So moving, so inspiring, captivating from start to finish, funny even when sad, it's a grand slam as a French drama. Even the score by Ludovico Einaudi is exceptional, though it wasn't all written specifically for the film. This will be Omar Sy's legacy, playing the lovable, rambunctious caretaker of a quadriplegic, French actor François Cluzet. I guarantee that as sad as it may make you, you'll be just as happy by the end.

Indie Game: The MovieIndie Game: The Movie
Opened on May 18, 2012
Directed by Lisanne Pajot & James Swirsky
A documentary that follows the journeys of indie game developers as they create games and release those works, and themselves, to the world.
Why it's on here: Though video game adaptations that have gone to the big screen haven't been embraced very well by players, this documentary should tickle their funny bone pretty efficiently. After premiering appropriately as an indie at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the film received a quiet release, but deserves much more attention. Newcomer directing duo Lisanne Pajot & James Swirsky take the camera and point it at independent game designers Edmund McMillen, Tommy Refenes, Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow, each at various stages of success in their career and development in their projects. For gamers, this will be an eye-opening look behind the scenes of great indie games, and for everyone else, you'll never look at video games the same way. It's full of passion for video games and paints an honest and sometimes heartbreaking picture of this artistic community. Read my full review here and check out the film on Netflix Instant. (Written by Ethan)

Liberal ArtsLiberal Arts
Opened on September 14, 2012
Directed by Josh Radnor

When 30-something Jesse returns to his alma mater for a professor's retirement party, he falls for Zibby, a college student, and is faced with a powerful attraction that springs up between them.
Why it's on here: Quietly released alongside Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master last fall, Josh Radnor's sophomore effort was a major step up for the actor-turned-filmmaker, yet it sadly didn't result in any sort of increased attention. Featuring some of the finest character actors Hollywood has to offer, with both Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney, the drama certainly came across as a crowdpleaser during its Sundance premiere, but managed to only slightly outpace Radnor's debut. Seek it out now to see a hilarious cameo role from Zac Efron and another charming performance from Elizabeth Olsen. With How I Met Your Mother (maybe) coming to a close, hopefully Radnor's third effort will give him the spotlight he deserves in the filmmaking world. (Written by The Film Stage's Jordan Raup)

Opened on October 12, 2012
Directed by Pablo Larraín
An ad executive comes up with a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile's 1988 referendum.
Why it's on here: I thought I wouldn't see Gael García Bernal give a better performance than he has in many films before, but this tops it all. I expect No to be studied in film schools years from now, not only as a perfect historical archive of the events of Chile's 1988 referendum, but also as a look at how technique and performance can come together to create what might just be a masterpiece. Bernal stars as a young ad executive, skateboarding around Chile, who crafts a catchy vote "No" television commercial political campaign to defeat dictator Augusto Pinochet in the late 80's. The film is even shot with U-matic cameras, which makes it refreshingly unique visually even though it's not the best quality, but that's what I love about it. This is a classic, and I can't recommend watching it enough.

Robot & FrankRobot & Frank
Opened on August 17, 2012
Directed by Jake Schreier

Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.
Why it's on here: "I'm glad to see you so enthusiastic." This charming indie sci-fi drama tells a heartfelt story of an old-time thief, played by Frank Langella, given a human-size robot helper. At first Frank refuses his help, then comes to like him, then comes to involve him in some local thieving. That's kind of a spoiler, but there's a bigger one that I think is much more important and best saved for the full experience. This film was a highlight of Sundance 2012 when it first premiered, but never got the proper marketing support it should have. It's a film that appeals to all ages, and shows just how much can be achieved on a small budget. The supporting cast is made up of James Marsden, Liv Tyler and Susan Sarandon, with Peter Sarsgaard as the voice of the robot. Another gem just waiting to be found.

Rust and BoneRust and Bone
Opened on November 23, 2012
Directed by Jacques Audiard
Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Why it's on here: For the two lead performances alone. Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts play two troubled souls who cross paths and fall in love in the south of France, later overcoming a devastating physical injury. I saw this film twice at two different film festivals, it is that good, and I love the director too - Jacques Audiard, who last made one of my all-time favorites, Un Prophète. Once you find out what happens to Cotillard, yet see the exceptionally deep, powerful performance she gives, you'll be moved to tears just as I was, which is odd when there's a Katy Perry song playing, but it works. It is at times hard to like the two main characters in this, but their pain and love makes this such a fascinating story to see told in a beautiful way. I've loved Cotillard for a while, but this instantly solidified Matthias Schoenaerts as one of my favorite up-and-coming European actors.

Save the DateSave the Date
Opened on December 14, 2012
Directed by Michael Mohan

Sarah begins to confront her shortcomings after she rejects her boyfriend's hasty proposal and soon finds herself in a rebound romance. Meanwhile, her sister Beth is immersed in the details of her wedding.
Why it's on here: Good romantic comedies are fairly hard to come by, and there's usually a lot of garbage to sift through thanks to the likes of Katherine Heigl and Sarah Jessica Parker. However, director Michael Mohan has made a film that can certainly be classified as a romantic comedy, but is also so much more than that subgenre label implies. The indie film follows sisters Beth and Sarah (Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie) who are both involved with men who happen to be in the same rock band. But a marriage proposal gone wrong puts them at different stages in the dating game, and the film becomes an examination of the non-fairytale side of love, and how people mature and come to terms with commitment and their significant others. Mark Webber, Martin Starr and Geoffrey Arend also star in the film, and you can read my glowing review of the film from Sundance 2012 right here. (Written by Ethan)

Sleepwalk with MeSleepwalk with Me
Opened on August 24, 2012
Directed by Mike Birbiglia & Seth Barrish
A burgeoning stand-up comedian struggles with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore.
Why it's on here: This is a film that made my list of the Top 20 Films of 2012 at #20, so it holds a special place in my heart. Comedian Mike Birbiglia makes his directorial debut and proves he can be quite the funny and charming leading man with this adaptation of his stand-up act, book and radio segment of the same name. Produced by "This American Life" personality Ira Glass, the film is inspired by Birbiglia's real-life family and sleepwalking disorder as it follows a struggling stand-up comedian and his trials and tribulations in love and this strange nighttime affliction. Birbiglia makes quite a splash with his first film, and it's the kind of indie you love to see get noticed by general audiences. You can read my full review from Sundance 2012 right here and also check out the film on Netflix Instant. (Written by Ethan)

Opened on October 12, 2012
Directed by James Ponsoldt

A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober.
Why it's on here: You've seen her as the alluring Ramona Flowers, but now Mary Elizabeth Winstead is an alcoholic. Well, at least she plays one in what should have been an Oscar nominated performance from James Ponsoldt's Sundance film. With a turn that rivals charming alcoholics like Dudley Moore in Arthur, Winstead puts in an amusing but also harrowing performance as a teacher coming to terms with her alcoholism and trying to break away from the poisonous relationship with her boyfriend (Aaron Paul) that only seems to be bolstered by liquor. Octavia Spencher, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally offer some great comedic moments in a film that is funny but also has beautiful moments of drama, mostly thanks to Paul and Winstead giving it their all. (Written by Ethan)

West of MemphisWest of Memphis
Opened on December 25, 2012
Directed by Amy Berg
A documentary examining of a failure of justice in the case against the West Memphis Three.
Why it's on here: While sitting through a nearly three hour documentary might seem like a daunting task, this film from Deliver Us from Evil director Amy Berg and producer Peter Jackson is an infuriating look at injustice and a flawed justice system. Three young boys were accused of murder, and ended up arrested and imprisoned on faulty evidence. This documentary looks at how the situation was mishandled, poorly tried and how these three boys had their childhood and more years of their lives taken away. Thankfully, it's a bit inspiring as plenty of people, including celebrities like Johnny Depp, who had no idea who these boys were, worked as hard as they could to keep the case open and bring the real killers to justice. This is the definitive account of the West Memphis Three, and it's a fascinating and maddening documentary to behold. (Written by Ethan)

I hope we've been able to introduce everyone to a few more great must-see films that you have never seen. Not everyone will love all of them, that's certainly expected, but I guarantee there is something unique to discover in every last one of these. Support an indie filmmaker today, watch one of these 19, it will make a difference! Let us know what you think of it after, too.

Honorable Mentions (want more?) other excellent films: Jon Kasdan's The First Time, Zoe Kazan's Ruby Sparks, Paronnaud & Satrapi's Chicken with Plums, David Mackenzie's Perfect Sense, Daniel Nettheim's The Hunter, Panos Cosmatos' Beyond the Black Rainbow, Chris Kenneally's doc Side by Side, Dardenne Brothers' The Kid With a Bike, Jon Shenk's doc The Island President, Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse, Michael Dowse's Goon, Jason Moore's Pitch Perfect, Cate Shortland's Lore and Julie Delpy's 2 Days in New York.

For previous years of the 19 Best Movies You Didn't See click here: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 or 2007.

Commentary for Bernie, Casa de mi Padre, Indie Game: The Movie, Save the Date, Sleepwalk with Me, Smashed and West of Memphis written by Ethan; commentary for Liberal Arts written by The Film Stage's Jordan Raup. We hope you enjoyed this year's selection of the 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See from 2012, as we're always happy to bring you a list of films that should be added to your Netflix or Must Watch lists right away. (Even if it's already March of 2013!) Post your thoughts on any you see in the comments!

Find more posts: Discuss, Editorial, Feat, Indies



...I am ashamed.

Xerxexx on Mar 12, 2013


I saw Robot and Me at an indie theatre in Salt Lake City. It was really good. Cloud Atlas, also awesome.

Bane on Jun 26, 2013


'Bernie' and 'The Imposter' were both great. 'Sleepwalk With Me' was enjoyable, but I don't think it deserved a lot of the hype it received. It's a nice movie for the nice people.

A. Waltz on Mar 12, 2013


I love these lists! 9 times out of 10 these movies are GEMS! I keep this list on the back burner and keep a close eye out for them to come around. I am very excited for Holy Motors! thank you firstshowing! please keep them coming!

Mike on Mar 12, 2013


The 1 of 10 that is a stinker is Casa de mi Padre. Don't waste a second of your time on it.

Gino Schafer II on Jul 17, 2013


Humbly suggest adding SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED

DAVIDPD on Mar 12, 2013


Yea, it was one of my top considerations. It's a great film. But I nixed it when I saw it playing on an airplane... twice. Two different flights, it was the in-flight entertainment. Whoever distributed that film must've made a killing, because they sold it everywhere. I started seeing it pop up all over the place, even showed it to my Colorado friends in December, so I got the sense most people had seen it, no need to include it. But it is an excellent film.

Alex Billington on Mar 12, 2013


Alex, please re-evaluate your estimation of how many of your readers fly commercially.

Noel Frothingham on Mar 20, 2013


FYI: Robot & Franck, Liberal Arts, The Untouchables, and Rust & Bone, all 4 were in commercial flights to Europe.

skidoo on Mar 25, 2013


cut the guy some slack he cant be on every flight!

Rick on May 4, 2013


As Noel says, not that many people these days have the funds to fly anywhere. And when did being played on an airline flight make a movie not an indie film?

Ian Brett Cooper on Apr 21, 2013


...Yeah, better to put Cloud Atlas on there instead. No one's heard of that train wreck.

Freeman on Jun 7, 2013


I wouldn't call it excellent. I would say quaint, enjoyable, witty, but it wasn't really laugh out loud funny and it suffered from occasionally poor acting and a ridiculous ending.

Mark Hamstra on Jun 14, 2013


time travel.. good moov

Rick on May 4, 2013


yes is a great watch

indirox on May 19, 2013


Wouldn't the large amount of readers that agree with it's inclusion in the list defeat the point of it being included? Safety Not Guranteed was the biggest of all these films simply as word-of-mouth, if only because Colin Treverrow's stock went up so much after being spotted talking to George Lucas around sale time.

WSgman on May 29, 2013


Always a fan of these lists. Out of this list I've seen all except for 5 Broken Cameras, No, Robot and Frank, and Save the Date.

Andrew DiDonato on Mar 12, 2013


I believe detachment should be on this list, many people have not seen it and it had a very poor distribution, but man was it a good film. Other than that this is a great list and i have seen most of these films besides the docs which i will now definitely check out.

Zade_92 on Mar 12, 2013


Detachment came out in 2011. I agree with you tho, good movie.

AndroidBrian on May 29, 2013


I think Detachment is one of the best movies made in recent memory. Brody is just insanely good. And James Caan.

Ben Quick on Jul 25, 2013


How to Survive, 5 Broken Cameras, and Deep Blue Sea are all on Netflix Instant too. As is Oslo, August 31st which is a brilliant film and needs to be on this list. Middle of Nowhere, Killer Joe, Samsara, and Your Sister's Sister should also be here before Pitch Perfect, Casa De Mi Padre, and Robot and Frank (barf). Great list though and movies very much deserving of support!

lane on Mar 12, 2013


'Robot and Frank' is brilliant. Just my opinion.

Erin O'Riordan on Jul 25, 2013


WOW I AM A FAILURE! Haven't seen any of these, or the honorable mentions. Tho Case De Mi Padre and Robot and Frank were on my "to see" lists already.

Akirakorn on Mar 12, 2013


I couldn't watch Compliance for more than 30 minutes. That girl and the manager were so dumb!! I know it's based on a true story, but seriously, you have to be stupid to go along with the "cop" on the phone.

Johmbe on Mar 12, 2013


It's easy to say that out of context. But studies repeatedly show that people are timid sheep when the guise of authority looms.

E Robb on Mar 12, 2013


then give us a war movie, don't show us some fast-food crap.

Shawn Tiano on Mar 19, 2013


I think the mundane setting is used to great effect to show how everyday situations could be easily perverted. That and it's a true story and all.

E Robb on Mar 19, 2013


In war the authority is not a guise, it's actually real authority, and not following orders has real consequences, so your point is moot

G Kibby on May 23, 2013


If people wouldn't follow authority, there wouldn't be the war to begin with as the soldiers would rather hang out and have a beer.

prrrrt on Jul 22, 2013


I thought the The Do-Deca-Pentathlon was a great film. I wish it got more love in 2012.

Greg on Mar 12, 2013


A bit too short/not meaty enough for me, but it was fun.

Robert L. Tuva on Mar 12, 2013


Loved these, I'd include them: L’enfant d’en haut, Killing Them Softly, Laurence Anyways, Un amour de jeunesse

Robert L. Tuva on Mar 12, 2013


Laurence Anyways hasn't been released yet, has it?? If so, I completely missed that!!!!!

Greg dinskisk on Mar 14, 2013


Killing Them Softly was a huge disappointment.

deckbose on May 24, 2013


Killing them softly had a wide theatrical release in the US. Doesn't really make the cut on movies you haven't seen or herd of.

AndroidBrian on May 29, 2013


I saw 10 of these. Most were all right. I wasn't a big fan of Save the Date.

TyRawrrnosaurus on Mar 12, 2013


Gah, I've only seen 6!!!! I have 5 on my Netflix Instant queue, and the others I've been waiting to buy on DVD.. Great list Alex, I always look forward to this article every year!

Greg dinskisk on Mar 12, 2013


So stoked to read this list, I wait for it every single year....just so happened to come on your site to read it and here it came out today....lol epic...

the deity on Mar 12, 2013


the fact that compliance is on this list kind of discredits the entire thing.

tron carter on Mar 12, 2013


The fact that Casa de mi padre is on the list does the same. Obviously the author of this list didn't see it.

Gino Schafer II on Jul 17, 2013


Hugh Grant was brilliant in Cloud Atlas. His role as the cannibal was brilliantly scary. Instead of being typecast in his lovey dovey roles, I hope a producer sees him in this, and decides to cast him as some other scary villain in another film.

Rowan Charlton on Mar 12, 2013


He should be casted as a crazy sex freak or a version of Robert De Niro's Taxi Driver character in the next film Paul Thomas Anderson makes. Guy gives a menacing presence, now whenever I watch About a Boy again, I hope he doesn't eat the kid or butcher him.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


Just want to say thank you for not making me click 19 pages...

Hatorian on Mar 12, 2013


amen! 🙂

awesomedude on Apr 13, 2013


Skip Cloud Atlas, unless you want to lose 4 hours of your life watching it and another couple wondering why it was made.

Keltari on Mar 12, 2013


Boo! That movie was awesome - easily one of the best of the year. It's not nearly 4 hours long; it's not even 3 HOURS long! This movie is severely misunderstood and underrated.

Ben J. Kullerd on Mar 22, 2013


It's 2 hours and 59 minutes long -- come on...that's 1 minute shy of being 3 HOURS. To me, that means it was definitely a 3 hour movie -- way too long, in this case. And while I understood the movie's overall meaning, I don't think I'd ever spend 3 hours again just to take it all in. Sorry, but it's not worth it to me. Glad to hear others enjoyed it, but I'm also not one of them.

Meh on Jul 1, 2013


Man, Cloud Atlas was great I don't care what anyone says. I was thinking really hard and reevaluating life after I saw that. Would I watch it again? No. Doesn't mean it isn't great.

Xetios on Jul 19, 2013


This shows your inability to know the difference between a good film and a bad one.

kronos on May 15, 2013


I read the book last year and just took in the movie this past weekend. I absolutely loved the book and the movie was about as darn good as it could have been. I mean the shear scope of it is enormous and the fact that they were able to put it all together and the final product make any sense at all cinematically, in my opinion, was great. I will say, without reading the book, I can completely see why anyone would not fully understand it or even enjoy it. The movie moves in a such a weird way comparatively to any other movie and at times you do feel ( i felt ) as though you are just being told the story instead of it unfolding as films normally do. Regardless, I really enjoyed it.

bloomfromthehills on Jun 3, 2013


What's it about? Can you tell me. I don't care if you spoil it, no way I'm gonna sit three hrs to see Tom Hanks.

Manuel Lopez on Jul 27, 2013


Cloud Atlas was a tremendous piece of crap. It shoved it's political viewpoints down the audiences throat. It's a homosexual (could care less) love story with an anti-white tone throughout. If you're going to make a movie about that, fine, but it was purposely hidden, because they knew how it would turn off audiences...and that was why the movie flopped. Deservedly so. It was offensive on so many levels.

exilio on Jul 28, 2013


Pretty sure I missed all these on purpose.

VoudeauxChild on Mar 12, 2013


Some excellent ones on there. I'd like to also recommend: Jagten, Reality, A Royal Affair and Teddy Bear! 🙂

Davide Coppola on Mar 12, 2013


Love this list! Incredible job

Geert on Mar 13, 2013


you missed dredd absolutely smashed it on iTunes, DVD, and now blue ray. Fast becoming the shawshank redemption of this year. Even knocked Dark Knight Returns off the top spot. It has definitely depicted the not to distant future judging by what is happening all over the world right now!

riter on Mar 13, 2013


See the film "LEAVE"

filmfan on Mar 14, 2013


Where is Killer Joe?

ddd on Mar 15, 2013


i agree, that was excelllent. Not for everyone, but not to be missed if u like noir.

filmbuff on Mar 17, 2013


I completely agree. Top-notch acting, very good writing, and a great cast. It's an unforgettable film from the first 5 min, and it probably made me laugh more than any comedy last year.

Mark Hamstra on Jun 14, 2013


I keep reading how amazing cloud atlas was, but for whatever reason just never got around to watching it

K. Bett on Mar 15, 2013


See it! It's so much easier to follow than the nay-sayers make it out to be, and the acting, directing, cinematography, editing, screenwriting and music are all exceptional.

Ben J. Kullerd on Mar 22, 2013


Yeah Cloud Atlas and holy motors are two pretentious pieces of garbage

Anthony Donovan Stokes on Mar 16, 2013


I can't even begin to see how Cloud Atlas is pretentious. What is pretentious about it? The plot seems daunting at first, but is actually incredibly straightforward and easy to follow, because of the combined excellence in direction, screenwriting and editing.

Ben J. Kullerd on Mar 22, 2013


yeah just like the Matrix sequels? And you know what Cloud atlas was a mess, you're right that was a harsh criticism it's no where near garbage, just a mis step

Anthony Donovan Stokes on Mar 23, 2013


Talk to a Buddhist, he'll fill you in. Is it a mainstream misstep? Probably. Is it a misstep in terms of cinema in general? Good god, hell no. It's as creative as can be.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


I think it is having good ideas and good execution are two completely different things. EX the matrix sequels

Anthony Donovan Stokes on Jul 16, 2013


Absolutely loved The Intouchables! Surprise hit of the year for me!

TheFran on Mar 16, 2013


Always look forward to this list. I'd also add: Killer Joe, Detachment, Bachelorette, Killing Them Softly, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Queen of Versailles, Wanderlust and All of the Oscar Shorts nominations,

Phil Schwarzmann on Mar 17, 2013


I was pissed that I learned Clout Atlas released months after I remembered to check it out.

Nathaniel Louis Kitt on Mar 18, 2013


All sites need to stop that shit. My computer is a damn good computer, and it still goes through them all pretty slow. Especially IGN, personally.

Nathaniel Louis Kitt on Mar 18, 2013


The only one I seem to have missed is Bernie - but I really dislike Jack Black 99% of the time so I don't mind that I missed that

Adam Cross on Mar 19, 2013


It is very unlike his typical acting though, so I'd give it a shot even if you normally don't like him.

shawnfumo on Apr 6, 2013


Great post! Clearly I have some catching up to do, as I have only seen ten of the films you have listed here. I can say Smashed was a great film, please check out my review http://cinemacho.com/movie-review/smashed-review/

David Fox on Mar 19, 2013


Killer Joe is what I would have liked to see on the list, even Hesher, although I belive the movie is from 2011.

Nathaniel Copeland on Mar 20, 2013


Cloud Atlas was god awful, guys.

Conor Andrew Hall on Mar 20, 2013


How the hell can you say that?

Ben J. Kullerd on Mar 22, 2013


your right it was awful except for a few action bits

Fernandes.F on Mar 24, 2013


The description of Bernie is so inaccurate that you totally undersell the hook of the story, namely that the old bat was such a rhymes-with-witch and Bernie so beloved by the town that no one misses her presence and when he's outed as her killer, no one would vote to convict, so the DA has to get a change of venue in order to have a prayer of conviction. Also, Bernie doesn't "accidentally" shoot her; he snaps under her hectoring and pops her. Totally different head. Totally. Regarding Compliance - the maddening aspect of the movie is that it's impossible to believe people are collectively so stupid. I'd heard about the hoax and had read about it before, but when watching it with my girlfriend she literally started yelling at me about how ludicrous it was. I paused it and went to Wikipedia and skimmed the article and said, "The real case was even worse." We continued and it got even worse. The flaw of the movie is that we never really get into the heads of people why no one called this creeps bluff. They set up the manager well, but even though it happened in real life, we can't understand why the girl doesn't simply say, "Send a patrol car over because I am not blowing the boss's boyfriend." On the plus side: Naked Dreama Walker! (Oink!)

DirkBelig on Mar 20, 2013


Loved cloud atlas, I can't believe it wasn't bigger. I think they did themselves in my listing themselves as sci-fi & fantasy in terms of Oscar buzz and probably audience range but I'll never really know.

Barbara Ruiz on Mar 20, 2013


does this site hire only gay writers? pretty terrible

eatadick on Mar 22, 2013


Your take on Compliance is 100% dead on right. It's very rare to find a movie that can illicit a response of any kind, but this movie left me with feelings of rage, disbelief and a kind of helplessness when I discovered that even though the caller was caught he was not convicted. How screwed up is that?

FlickChick on Mar 24, 2013


The 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2012? You mean 19 x 8 bucks plus popcorn we all saved by steering clear of those DOGS! Oh and Drinks too, did I forget to mention additional savings from drinks?

Rollingsworth_T_Vestibule on Mar 24, 2013


I bet you haven't seem all of them.

kronos on May 15, 2013


Sorry, "No" is absolutely NOT an accurate version of the actual history of Chile. being made and financied by left wing supporters is a clear indication of bias against the other side.

Ketin Porta on Mar 25, 2013


What do you mean, "didn't see" 'em? I saw seven of them and plan to see two more as soon as I can. Of course, I have to wait for the DVDs because my Godzillaplex --- 36 theater screens within 5 minutes of my house --- is always playing only gun-porn, superhero crap and chick flicks, so, yeah, I guess, technically, I only saw two during 2012. You got me.

Pa Kent Says Maybe on Mar 29, 2013


I did see Cloud Atlas actually, it was awful. It felt like 12 hours of sheer tedium.

Adam Grylls on Mar 29, 2013


cloud atlas only came out in feb 2013 in the UK. good job i read the book just before it came out in the rest of the world... and robot and frank is a masterpiece also

Mark Blackburn on Mar 30, 2013


The Intouchables was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Did not expect to like it, went with friends whose company I enjoy and I thought I would be able to tolerate a film about a paralysed man. I didn't expect to love it.

Dorothy Robinson on Apr 1, 2013


Seen 7 out of the 19, this is actually a great list. Also, Exit Through The Gift Shop.

Zar Al Aufy on Apr 2, 2013


I saw more than one, but I'd like to give special mention to "Intouchables" (Untouchable, The Intouchables). It wasn't what I expected at all, despite having watched the trailer several times. It was better. Touching, funny and a reasonably faithful representation of true events - it deserved all of the plaudits it received... and then some.

John on Apr 2, 2013


I actually saw four of them 😉

Richard Plum on Apr 4, 2013


Cloud Atlas is in my TOP 5 of pieces of shit movies. Don't watch it.

Dawr on Apr 4, 2013


I saw Cloud Atlas...that's the only one. It was hard to follow but it was good once you put all the pieces together. Loved it

ValNika on Apr 4, 2013


Liberal Arts is some of the biggest hipster crap I've ever seen.

Nielsen700 on Apr 5, 2013


There's a reason most people didn't see these films and it because most of them were awful. Sleepwalk with me? Casa De Mi Padre? You're on crack right? And how the fuck is Cloud Atlas an indie film? It's made 127 million. Jesus, why do they let people like you "write"? It wasn't a little movie, they marketted the hell out of it all over the world.

Garbage on Apr 11, 2013


While I agree a lot, well most of the movies on here are not good. Theres no need to be hostile about it... especially when you're not 100% right in what you're saying either. A Cloud Atlas can kind of be called an indie film, because of its funding. It had a major production company behind it but they only put up some of the money, they had to go through 'independent' sources to get the rest.

Aron on Apr 15, 2013


Casa De Mi Padre was absolutely horrendous.

timtom on Apr 11, 2013


Agreed 100%, I didn't laugh even once. Cue the hipsters who think we just didn't "get it," like there's some hidden subtext in a Will Ferrell movie.

Cam "Omake" on Apr 11, 2013


Are you freaking HIGH? Cloud Atlas?! Really?! I would have fallen asleep had I not simultaneously wanted to claw my eyes out. Holy Motors? What, you like ogling the genitalia of feral leprechauns? And to everyone else posting here, how did this joker get a posting with this nonsense?

Al Winston on Apr 12, 2013


Cloud Atlas is probably one of the most thoughtful films made to date than anything you've seen in your whole life. Your taste in creativity for films is of the lowest essence.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


Thank you for the list. I pulled 5 from your list to watch 🙂 Cheers

Ricardo Kutz on Apr 14, 2013


The Sessions?

Steve Holt on Apr 17, 2013


What's the title of the movie on the thumbnail?

Josh Elmore on Apr 17, 2013


Cloud Atlas. Don't listen to these cynical know it alls who say it sucks.

kronos on May 15, 2013


I'm cynical as fuck, but Cloud Atlas is not one of my favorite movies. It is a daring piece of pure creativity, and I'm going out on a limb, cinematic art. I loved The Master too, but if someone was to bash that film for not "entertaining" them, then that should be on this list too just to save Cloud Atlas from the tasteless fucks XD

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


Sorry, I meant to say Cloud Atlas is now one of my favorite movies.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


I humbly disagree with anything with Will Farrell being on any kind of list like this.

Melissa Hamari on Apr 18, 2013


The only good movie on here is Cloud Atlas..

Yourlistblows on Apr 18, 2013


The most interesting, daring, and inventive I would say.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


Frank and robot was drier than a popcorn fart. This list and most of the movies on this list suck

Hates You on Apr 18, 2013


hmm...not sure I agree with your list, while some are great (and I must admit I haven't seen them all), a couple really stuck out as being quite below par. Firstly, cloud atlas, while being probably the most expensive on the listing really fell short of the mark. I kept expecting some greater theme or a gelling of the story arcs to make the separate storylines relevant....but in the end it just fizzled out. Holy Motors on the other hand was just weird for weird sake, a directors masterbatory terrible dream. While the premise is interesting...this film should come with a warning "MIDDLE AGED MAN'S ERECT PENIS".

noodle on Apr 20, 2013


I understand how some people always say "But I've seen a lot of these!", but seriously, how did you think people didn't see Cloud Atlas? It's not the slightest bit indie, it has an all-star cast, and it's done by the freakin' Matrix people. Tons of people saw it, it just got mixed reviews because people had a hard time following it.

Porst on Apr 20, 2013


It was probably indie because the people who made it made it with the help from the writer of the book, it was filmed in Germany, all the 'all-star' cast were not acting their average role and the book was indie. No one has read the book? Let's make a movie out of it. Also it was a 100% independently made film.

kronos on May 15, 2013


What about 'Safety Not Guaranteed'? Not even a mention?

Ian Brett Cooper on Apr 21, 2013


I can recommend two Bollywood films to this list - KAHAANI (with an unexpected twist you don't see coming) and BARFI.

Dan on Apr 24, 2013


@Dan I saw KAHAANI----a really good suspenseful thriller about a woman whose husband disappears en route to meeting her a trip---and yeah, that twist was kind of a trip. Good reccomendation---I've been into Bollywood films for years!

Michelle Kirkwood on Jun 26, 2013


Well, I'd leave Cloud Atlas off this list. Either it was a bad movie with some really great moments or a good movie with a lot of very stupid moments. By the end I decided on the the first critique.

kacie on May 1, 2013


Wrong again. Read the book and you'll get it, or watch the movie a second or third time.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


And even if you didn't understand it, that doesn't make you or the film stupid. It just wasn't for you then. But it is a good movie none the less. it DOES have some dull moments, they highly are outweighed by the greatness and creativity if the film itself.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


You can now watch them on Netflix, where you might find out how truly tedious they may be in reality.

Michael Bradley on May 6, 2013


compliance was a dull movie.. after about 10 minutes I was like could they please do something interest.. When they didn't I clicked if off.

me on May 6, 2013


if you only saw 10 minutes, you really cannot say much about the movie

joeyj1220 on May 28, 2013


I've seen Robot and Frank twice, I watched Rust and Bone and loved it...haven't seen any of the others, I was going to watch 5 Broken Cameras at one point but never got round to it. Will have to check out some of the others on this list

Tash on May 7, 2013


No 'Seeking a friend for the end of the world' here?

Xaw on May 8, 2013


Cloud Atlas was my favorite film of the year, and when I talk to someone who saw it but didn't love it, I know that they don't respect depth unless it's handed to them in a critical review. The films you listed that I did see, I liked. There are a lot of films in this list that I almost went to see that had the unfortunate distinction of being released in a year that I went to the cinema less than any other–for at least two decades. If you were going to go all the way to twenty, you might have included the Perks of Being a Wallflower, but you posted a phenomenal list. And now you must excuse me, as I've got a lot of catching up to do. Thanks, Alex!

Matt Kennedy on May 8, 2013


I'm guessing you're living in USA? No wonder that European and/or complicated and/or ambitious and/or shit's-not-blown-up movies were overlooked there. The Untouchables was pretty big hit in Europe. And Cloud Atlas was well received in Europe and everyone expects it'll be next Blade Runner in that matter.

fasd on May 8, 2013


Cloud Atlas wasn't that overlooked, except in USA I guess. My picks not mentioned here: Lawrence Anyways (by Canadian Xavier Dolan; the best 2012 film I've seen), Pieta (Korean drama/thriller by Kim Ki-Duk), The Hunt (Danish drama starring Mads Mikkelsen).

Ivana Cvetanovic on May 15, 2013


Ahh The Hunt, now there's a masterpiece.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


I saw Cloud Atlas over 10 times. It is my most favourite movie of all time. "Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by crime, and every kindness, we birth our future." UGH O.O <3

kronos on May 15, 2013


Even if the film shows that in a science fictional matter, there is still some merit to those words that can be translated for actual reality. You become what you do over and over, and this film showed that on a scale of being epic, entertaining, science fictional, and having a star studded cast.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


I watched most of these after renting them on redbox

korichneveygigant on May 15, 2013


you artsy "fart"sy types....there is a reason simply put...they did suck and did not appeal to the mass...smart or not...i liked one or two of these...but no illusion...i also knew why not liked in general. It like cereal with orange juice instead of milk. casa de mi padre...should be burned.

Mr. Smith on May 17, 2013


Casa de mi padre was hilarious if you have Mexican (even maybe hispano) heritage or know the culture well. Just because the jokes were going over your head didnt mean it was bad

korichneveygigant on May 17, 2013


Saw more than half, and another quarter is on my to see list

Xall on May 17, 2013


I really enjoyed cloud atlas but nobody I know has seen it; I am glad to see it featured on this list.

.... on May 20, 2013


Casa de mi Padre was just below the average threshold

Zeke Teke on May 21, 2013


Forgot "End Of Watch".

J Fernando Galicia on May 22, 2013


its sorta funny because i saw all of these beside No and Liberal Arts

mememe on May 23, 2013


Rust and Bone ? Please...

Julie on May 26, 2013


I only saw Bernie, it was a twisted little film that I simply adored.

TaRaysha on May 29, 2013


I saw Bernie. Loved it. And I just got Cloud Atlas which I will be watching soon.

DJ Jarak on May 29, 2013


The Intouchables made $400 million dollars worldwide! Maybe nobody saw it in America but it was a juggernaut everywhere else.

jgolding on May 30, 2013


Cloud Atlas, The Imposter and Robot & Frank was all fantastic movies, Cloud Atlas took time to understand since it was so long and so many small stories that was weaved together at the end into one big story 🙂

roxpace on May 30, 2013


Aye, each piece of knowledge featured in each story mention a character or event from the last story, and just went on and on to a climax in the final story, featuring an end of the world setting (since it is the final story). It shows what has been done to the Earth by the evil souls, how our world was now back in the dark ages, and how all that knowledge spread by a simple act of kindness in the 1800's rippling through time to Tom Hank's character. It gave him hope, but to also realize he must trust the lives of others and not in a deity who was not really a deity, but another inspirational individual who was fighting for freedom and the truth, same thing Tom Hanks wanted. He had a bad conscience in the first story as the doctor who poisoned the rich he came across, his soul is then seen either as a bad guy again, or someone who has a weakness in taking opportunities to help others. In the final story it shows his soul again, only in the shoes of a villager with a loving family to look after, because of his courage in the 1970's story, only he still has a guilt conscience lying in wait for him to commit another atrocity, this is stopped when Halle Berry comes into his life and helps him understand the world better, the "truth". The film is about individuals achievements that ripple throughout the ages and connect at the same time when they come into each others lives, whether by shared knowledge or in person. I have seen some of the reviews by some Buddhists too, and they completely got it.

Cerone on Jul 16, 2013


So...basically Independent Films then? No shit. How about THE overlooked movie of the year: Dredd 3-D. And yes, the 3-D part is important because it's probably the best use of the technology in modern cinema outside of Hugo and though they are completely different films it's a very close second.

TheSpiritofGrayskull on Jun 1, 2013


It made me smile just a little to see "Goon" included on the Honourable Mention list. I thought it was a cute movie, if you consider teeth flying around and bloody faces on plexiglas cute...

Saffron on Jun 1, 2013


The Hunt by Thomas Vinterberg should be on this list for sure. Great film.

C. on Jun 4, 2013


Well I saw most of these films in 2012,and quite a few of them at the cinema,but I'm a movie buff that lives in L.A. so there are many more venues to view lesser known films at (unlike my hometown of Poulsbo WA). But I get the gist of the article title....your average moviegoer doesn't really seek films out,they just accept and comply with whatever latest JJ Abrams schlock buster or Katherine Heigl paint by numbers rom-com is constantly bombarded on them via nonstop mega marketing. So I hope those folk who missed out on some of these 2012 movies gets a chance to see these via their rental/streaming run. My fave of this honorable mention list was Side By Side. Great doc for anybody who digs "film" history and it's digital present/future. Lots of cool interviews from many well known directors/producers/actors/technicians all done well by Keanu Reeves.

kenchun24 on Jun 4, 2013


You didn't include Moonrise Kingdom. And no one has mentioned it. It was on many Best of 2012 lists, and received several nominations. One of Wes Anderson's best films.

Critique on Jun 6, 2013


"Les Intouchables" is one of the best films I've seen for a long time. Full of humour it appealed to everyone I know who has seen it as it looks at the human being and not the handicap. On a par with "Mar Adentro" in its sensitivity but a fun movie.

Fran on Jun 7, 2013


Holy Motors and Atlas Cloud are AWFUL...such uncompelling garbage...It shows in your reviews...You just say they are great but offer no reasons....Actually you dont say why any of the movies on this list are great...Really dumb writing.

Myra Halfar on Jun 7, 2013


Proposed to my ex wife 8 years reconciled at the theater under the key art of Cloud Atlas. We are soul mates, from a past life, this life and the next life. I will find her again. ♥&☆

Mj on Jun 13, 2013


Like the Matrix before, Cloud Atlas is only for those who understand the esoteric. Stuck in dogma, life after life has no meaning. Understand you are a soul that has a body and not the other way around, then this movie makes perfect sense. ♥&☆

Mj on Jun 13, 2013


Another example of the pompous type

Phil K on Aug 22, 2013


nothing anyone can say will make me believe Cloud Atlas was a 'good' movie. The tone was all over the place, cinematography competent but unremarkable and the same actors in multiple roles was like a confusing bid to save money. Unintentional comedy

JJ on Jun 14, 2013


I was going to explain the significance of the same actors in multiple roles. But then remembered that nothing anyone says will make you believe it was a good movie. So I won't.

ThamiMzolo on Aug 14, 2013


Compliance was definitely an interesting concept and it worked very well.

indiemondo.com on Jun 15, 2013


i saw 7 of the movies... I feel great... and i can't agree more with your descriptions... many of my frnds don't even bother to try movies beside mainstream,,, i'm proud and glad to watch some of the great movies... you should include Upside Down... don't know if its 2-13 or 2012 movie!!

Kazi on Jun 17, 2013


Tearjerking and "exposing" societal ills does not a good movie make. But I suppose thats about all an art house film can do.

Martine on Jun 17, 2013


your statement reeks of snobbish pseudo intellectualism.

bstnfeeparty on Jun 26, 2013


That's an excellent example and wonderfully reflexive as well. Thanks.

Shaun Pearson on Aug 12, 2013


Yes, that's right. That's all art films can do. I'd write more but my eyeballs have rolled completely into my skull and I can no longer see the keyboard.

Shaun Pearson on Aug 12, 2013


My score: I've seen 6 of these (Untouchables, Cloud Atlas, Compliance, The Impostor, Bernie and The Deep Blue Sea) and all were good, except The Deep Blue sea - watching it was torture. (See it for yourself if you don't believe me.) We have a discount movie house near us that shows interesting movies like these, so we're lucky, but Compliance and The Impostor (both telling astonishing true stories) are on Netflix instant - do yourself the favor and watch them.

Penny Anne on Jun 28, 2013


I agree with you. As much as I love Tom Hiddleston, I couldn't get past the first half hour of The Deep Blue Sea. Very boring and over-dramatised, I think.

VeronicaSofia on Aug 23, 2013


Deep Blue Sea was really really bad and watching it was torture. I couldn't agree more with you there. But I would say Cloud Atlas was just okay, not good. I was very disappointed, it had much potential and was very close to being excellent. But what this author highlights... the make-up and the acting, was not anything to brag about. The make-up was horrible and while some of the acting was really really good, some of it was very very bad.

Eric East on Sep 24, 2013


Why is 'Heart String Marionette' not on this list? I saw Bernie, I loved it. Sleepwalk with Me was a little too dull for my taste. Indie Game: The Movie was pretty interesting, even though most of the people in it were a bunch of whiners.

TimTheScarecrow on Jun 30, 2013


I watched 'The Intouchables' in Basel, Switzerland, in original French with German subtitles. It immediately went onto my list of all-time favourites.

Herman Mittelholzer on Jul 2, 2013


The Intouchables is brilliant ... but its french so you have to deal with subs..... anyway really recommended

Regios on Jul 3, 2013


I only saw two of these movies--The Intouchables, which was really good, and Cloud Atlas, that was one of the worst movies I have ever seen (and I see a lot of movies). Sometimes people don't go see movies because the marketing is bad, other times, because the word of mouth is bad (which means that the movie actually is bad). Well, the marketing of Cloud Atlas was good, and gave me high hopes for it, but after seeing that mishmash, I realized why there had been NO word of mouth on it at all. And now I understand that the book it was based on was terrible, too.

thomasdosborneii on Jul 4, 2013


Every person I have ever spoken too that had read the book says it was one of the greatest novels they'd ever read. You smoking some bad crack, kemosabe.

Psychedelico on Oct 4, 2013


Psychedelico--Of course everyone has their own opinion whether they are smoking something or not (and I didn't have the assistance of mind-altering drugs when I watched this movie). Interestingly, I actually liked each individual story and was especially impressed by (or I remember the best) the futuristic Asian sex-slaves (or whatever they were) story and the African slave sailor story (not that I am hung upon on slaves, you understand, but those two stories were so effective I thought, and emotionally powerful), but having them all together to demonstrate a certain weaving together of lifetimes or lessons simply did not work me, and it was that concept that I was most interested in seeing. Maybe there was some failing on my part to understand, but I just did not think that the dots were effectively (or clearly) connected. And I am very INTO that concept, so it's not like I was "religiously" against it or something. Personally, I think that kind of thing really is truth, not a fiction and I would love to see a truly creative story of that kind of interweaving of lifetime experiences. I then hoped that the book would have that aspect clearer, but several reviews I read said that the book didn't have the intention to have that at all. So I lost interest in getting it to read. I would love for the book to be good, and especially one of the greatest novels I'd ever read. And maybe it would be if I read it. I should check the idea of it out again, maybe I missed something. But in my view, the movie was not a good "advertisement" for it.

thomasdosborneii on Oct 4, 2013


Cloud Atlas, amazing! Watched it immediately after, then again the next day. Haven't had time yet to do it justice a 3rd time, but you can count on it, I will and soon. Loved it. Will be looking out for the rest of these too.

LADY ANNE ROSEBAY on Jul 5, 2013


Indie Gamer was good

James on Jul 9, 2013


Ruby sparks

Stallion on Jul 13, 2013


I saw Casa de mi Padre, it totally stunk!

Gino Schafer II on Jul 17, 2013


I've watched Cloud Atlas only. Five or Six times, it was amazing! don't know why my friends didn't like it! and since they are majority I had to accept that I have a awful taste. Pity them, i think they failed to comprehend the depth of it. India.

h on Jul 18, 2013


You saw Cloud Atlas five or six times?! Evidently you have time on your hands to spare, can I have some?

A B Chilling on Aug 16, 2013


Yeah, but THE Deep Blue Sea lacks the awesome Sam-Jackson-Gets-Eaten-By-A-Shark moment of Deep Blue Sea, so it's not nearly as good a film.

Joe Lastowski on Jul 18, 2013


A healthy chunk of those titles made it to Bristol's Watershed, an independent cinema that champions good quality, non-blockbuster movies. If you frequent multiplex cinemas, you'll be content with shit.

Sal on Jul 21, 2013


The InTouchables was hilarious and touching. Worth the subtitles if you don't speak French.

Suzuka83 on Jul 22, 2013



kams912 on Jul 22, 2013


I've seen 12 of those included in the list. But my favorite one would have to be Rust and Bone.

Jari Grand on Jul 23, 2013


I saw Cloud Atlas and Indie Game: The Movie. While I don't think that Cloud Atlas will ever be a favorite movie of mine, I'm glad I saw it and I'm glad it exists. I wish more people had seen it so that studios would be encouraged to take bold movie making decisions. This was not a typical film and I think it's a tremendous achievement of movie making.

Gentileman on Jul 23, 2013


'Cloud Atlas' is either brilliant or terrible - I can't quite tell. I'm haunted by the Sixsmith-Frobisher storyline...and sick to death of the Kill Your Gays trope. Someone please write Ben Whishaw and James D'arcy a gay rom com with a happy ending!

Erin O'Riordan on Jul 25, 2013


You didn't really put Cloud Atlas on this list, did you? That movie was a train wreck. Credibility destroyed!

Paul on Jul 26, 2013


What the hell does "credibility destroyed" mean?

cinesimon on Aug 9, 2013


No offense but they all sound depressing, except for the Will Ferrel movie.

Manuel Lopez on Jul 27, 2013


If you didn't see the majority of these movies, then you're not much of a film buff. Obviously a popcorn blockbuster kinda guy. Some of these also performed very well internationally. And Cloud Atlas was FAR from a little movie.

StephenA on Aug 3, 2013


A great list, thank you - scandalously I haven't seen any of these which I will rectify immediately. Cheers 24 Frames of Film

Joseph Fountain on Aug 3, 2013


I loved Bernie, Jack Black was fantastic! It didn't hurt that I saw the true story of Bernie on ID.

FreddyFreeLoader on Aug 3, 2013


The Intouchables is one of teh best French Comedies ever came out! Love that Movie!

Cordula Von Der Hippiewiese on Aug 3, 2013


People hate Cloud Atlas because it is different. Very different. There are enough incredibly though provoking quotes in that film to make anyone ask questions about life and the universe. It wasn't all tied up and left a lot of questions, and its purpose was completely missed by most. Not to mention not that many people can grasp that many stories going on at once. If you call that film bad or "terrible" as I'm seeing some people say, than you need to open your mind a bit. The acting was fantastic, the music was absolutely beautiful and it gives a whole new perspective on re-incarnation and the human soul.

laportez on Aug 6, 2013


You're a little full of yourself aren't you?! How do you know people hate it? You said, "not many people can grasp that many stories going at once". Duuuuh, what does "many" mean? Duuh, I need to go pooies now, bye bye Mr. Einsteen, duh, I mean Eistine, I mean Eisensteen. Duh, smart science-y type genius person.

Bartholomew Bakr on Aug 12, 2013


Wrong. I love movies that have multiple story arcs and that make you think. But this movie was not nearly as good as it could have been. Like David Nathaniel said, the author says the make-up was nomination-worthy but it destroys your suspension of disbelief. The acting was not fantastic either. Given the slew of academy award winners I expected more. Some of the acting was great, but some was downright laughable. This movie no doubt was a huge undertaking, and it could have been brilliant, but it was just okay. I for one certainly wouldn't call it a must see film. For those saying "everything" about this movie are overlooking more than just a few things.

Eric East on Sep 24, 2013


I loved Cloud Atlas, but can understand why some people wouldn't. It is a movie that makes you think the entire time. If you are seeking mindless escape, it is not the film for you. Rust and Bone haunted me for a few weeks, I could not stop thinking about Marion Cotillard's performance......incredible.

sinner on Aug 8, 2013


Seen most of those, and the ones that are really in a league of their own, in my mind, are Cloud Atlas and The Intouchables in tier 1 & Rust and Bone is in tier 2. I'm in love with Cotillard. IJS

TeoTheGreek13 on Aug 8, 2013


Love my movies, just can't get enough of them (( :

skvalle on Aug 9, 2013


I am sure, that Cloud Atlas will be a film like "Psycho". Nobody today is saying, that it's good. But it will be watched in 10, 20, 50 years in the future. It's just the same way as it will go with Inception.

Jo on Aug 10, 2013


You're flucking crazy.



Nope. She isn;t crazy. You're just an asshole.

Psychedelico on Oct 4, 2013


Totally agree!

Marie Scraeyen on Nov 13, 2013


Safety Not Guaranteed should have been on your list!

Name on Aug 10, 2013


Great call on the Intouchables....outstanding movie I would watch again.

Carolyn Elizabeth Blake on Aug 11, 2013


I rented Coud Atlas. Watched it. realized that I missed some things at the end. watched again. Got up on Sunday, watched it a 3rd time. The final time I was hooked as a lifelong fan. Everything about this movie is great, not to mention the story itself being ...at a loss for words , I will say, "inspired"

David DeWalt on Aug 12, 2013


Is it really accurate to include Cloud Atlas on a list of films that were the "best independent and/or mainstream films that were either quietly dumped, ignored by audiences, or just not marketed well enough"? I remember everybody was talking about Cloud Atlas when it came out. It had plenty of press & word of mouth. On Ebert's site there was a lot of discussion of it too if I remember correctly. Anyway - thanks for this list I've enjoyed two of them in the last few days thanks to you.

Bartholomew Bakr on Aug 12, 2013


I was surprised by how good Indie Game was; the people were compelling and the story went far beyond gaming.

Shaun Pearson on Aug 12, 2013


compliance was amazing and knowing that this actually happened made the movie even more powerful

orca343 on Aug 13, 2013


A lot of great movies listed here, definitely got to follow up on a lot of them.

Fortress Geek on Aug 15, 2013


todos chupenme el cara de haba

Elber Goton Teklabo on Aug 15, 2013


Casa de mi Padre is an awful waste of time. I was intrigued because Will Ferrel teams up with, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck of Mexico. With a trite plot and terrible direction this movie threatens the credibility of this list.

relative on Aug 16, 2013


Casa de mi Padra - possibly the worst movie ever, after I watched it I wanted to rip my eyes out of the sockets and burn them. The Imposter and Compliance are watch worthy

Charles Mencer on Aug 17, 2013


What a pile of utter sh*t. The odd one or two reasonable, not good never mind great - and a lot of pompous crap that people like the feller here call great to "impress" others.

Phil K on Aug 22, 2013


Man's got issues.

MacabeNova on Aug 23, 2013


The Intouchables might have been a good movie (IMO), if I could have gotten past the fact that Phillipe was a horrible father to his daughter. Yeah, she was snotty, but hell, the girl had lost her mother and her father was so interested in finding his own thing that he didn't have any time for her whatsoever. That might have made me the most angry, but then we find out that Driss is also a horrible father. He just disappears to take this job as caretaker to a rich dude, when he should be taking care of his own family. He doesn't even send them any money, and only shows his face a couple of times, up until the very end of the movie. I admit, the two of them make a great pair, but only in the fact that they are both world class loser dads. There was a lot of hype about this movie, and I was horribly disappointed.

David Nathaniel on Sep 2, 2013


Cloud Atlas was a debacle of a movie. On top of being an atrocious adaptation of a pretty good book, one of the worst things about this film, IMO, was the make-up and costumes, which you thought was award worthy. I thought that that part really destroyed my suspension of disbelief, especially the segment where they tried to make Jim Sturgess Japanese. That was truly horrific. And to the people who keep saying that tired old line, that if someone didn't like a movie, that just means that the movie was too smart for them, that is just the most pretentious, egoist crap. I thought the movie makers missed the point of the book and degraded the original story with a contrived plot that took the imagination out of the viewers brain and spoon fed them the producers' interpretation of the book, without giving them the opportunity to decide for themselves. On top of that, while the acting wasn't horrible, none of the actors involved gave anything near the performances of their lifetime, making a poorly told, poorly executed story in to a middling movie, at best. The only thing I think about this (extremely long) movie, is meh... I'm glad I didn't go to the theater to see this disappointment.

David Nathaniel on Sep 2, 2013


Robot and Frank is easily the highlight of this list for me. It's such a fun and insightful look at the tragedy of mental illness (dementia). Frank Langella gives a really overwhelming performance. I also would have liked to have seen Safety Not Guaranteed on this list. That was a movie that flew under the radar, but that I thought was really a diamond in the rough. I think I'll have to put Rust and Bone and No on my list to check out.

David Nathaniel on Sep 2, 2013


Did they draw these out of a hat? Several of these films re the WORST I have seen all year. If they only included the film "Margaret", it would have been the cherry atop the turd. Well, now I know not to look at this site for credible opinions about movies. All the "Cloud Atlas" fans need to happily saunter over a jagged cliff like the lemmings they are. You are not intelligent because you fervently praise Cloud Atlas. Actually, it is an indication that you have wretched taste and struggle with retardation. I wish some merciful soul would have just "black-bagged" me right before I sat down in the theatre, and spared me that traumatic experience.



No one had to "blackbag" you. They just had to give you a copy of Anchorman and kicked you in the ass and sent your fat ass home.

Enzo Amore on Nov 16, 2013


Not being a credible critic of movies I do know what I like and I loved Cloud Atlas but it would have been very difficult to follow had I not read the book just prior to seeing the movie. The message left me with a belief that regardless our lot in life....it serves a purpose and means something. It is a movie I intend to watch again.....and again.

jvb1980808 on Sep 21, 2013


Well it's not Anchorman easy or 40 year old virgin easy but it's not hard to follow. You just have to pay attention and have an IQ above 50.

Enzo Amore on Nov 16, 2013


Shut up already. This is one of the harder to follow movies ever made. Reading over all your comments I can tell you are nothing more than a troll.

Eric East on Nov 17, 2013


"Harder to follow". Yep for idiots like you. Look son stick to Perks of a Wallflower and Thor 2. They are very easy to follow for special people like you.

Enzo Amore on Nov 18, 2013


I don't have to watch easy to follow films, I can follow along just fine. Inception was a cake walk for me. I have many friends that watched Cloud Atlas and didn't get it, that doesn't make them stupid for not understanding it completely and it doesn't make you smart because you think you did. I make movies, went to school for it and everything and I know a good movie when I see one. Perks of Being a Wallflower was an outstanding movie. Cloud Atlas was a mediocre movie that was almost great, but it just wasn't. I could write an entire thesis on what was wrong with it, from the makeup, to portions of the acting, and the Wachowski's use of yet another Neo-type character that makes the impossible look ridiculously easy. Then there are entire story lines that have no real place in the movie like the publishers story line that does nothing to advance the plot and its only purpose seems to be to provide comic relief. Another plot hole in the movie is the composing of Cloud Atlas sextet, it does nothing to advance the plot either and is only loosely connected by the composer knowing the lover who later attempts to reveal a conspiracy to Halle Berry the report, which is her only good performance in the film. Then they randomly have the music playing in the record shop Halle Berry goes into. Other than that it was wasted screen time, even though the actor himself delivered the best performance of them all.

Eric East on Nov 18, 2013


I think you just wrote a thesis you dumb fu&k.

Enzo Amore on Nov 18, 2013


You would think that wouldn't you. That is not even close to a thesis. I am talking at least 3 full pages, not just my condensed critical thoughts.

Eric East on Nov 18, 2013


More like just condensed thoughts. Like a dummy. Drop the critical. You are just regurgitating sh*t you read elsewhere.

Enzo Amore on Nov 18, 2013


i have to agree with Enzo here, cloud atlas was great 😛

Enzo on Nov 27, 2013


Cloud Atlas for best make-up are you high on crack? The make-up was horrible, particularly with Hugh Grant as the old brother to the author and as the Asian fast food manager. Bae's characters too as a moderately overweight Hispanic woman and as the abolitionist minded daughter Tilda. Or Halle Berry as the Jewish wife to the composer, not to mention just about every characters that were supposed to look Asian but was more offensive than it was convincing especially Bae's renegade boyfriend. The acting too was very bad in parts... Tom Hanks as the Knuckle Sandwich author was laughable and grandma Halle Berry and her line at the end to grampy Hanks and his old bones... absolutely horrid. Cloud Atlas was almost brilliant, but it missed the mark which is why it was overlooked come nomination time.

Eric East on Sep 24, 2013


You come off as something of a dick. I loved this movie, and thought the makeup was absolutely amazing. Almost anybody, upon watching the end of the movie, will find themselves surprised at all the characters each person played. And that is thanks to the brilliant makeup. Lighten up a bit.

Psychedelico on Oct 4, 2013


I don't think I sound like a dick at all. You come off as a dick for saying I come off like a dick. The make-up was horrible, plain and simple and you can read other people saying just as much. Some of the make-up was good, but the rest was pretty unforgivable. I really wanted to like this movie, I loved Tom Twyker ever since Run Lola Run, and I still think the Wachowski's are pretty awesome. For what it was I think it was a noble effort and fairly groundbreaking, but like I said it just misses the mark of brilliance.

Eric East on Oct 17, 2013


You sound like a small shriveled dick. The make up was fantastic. The whole movie was one of the best of the year but too bad Hollywood wants the 1000 Comic book remake or fart jokes. I hope you die bro

Enzo Amore on Nov 16, 2013


Bullshit, you sound like an apologist for small dicked make up artists. Overall the make up was BAD BAD BAD. Some of it looked good, but some of it looked worse than bad. Hugh Grant and his Asian and brother to the publishers characters in particular. Then there was the other characters they attempted to make look Asian, which went past bad make up territory and into offensive territory. You hope I die because I think the makeup in a movie is bad bro? Well fuck you too bro. It was a shit movie and The Perks of Being a Wallflower is twice the movie, it should have been #1 on this list but it did not even make this list. It should have been nominated for multiple awards but was completely overlooked. That is a bigger travesty than the Academy overlooking this mediocre film that was almost great but just missed the mark.

Eric East on Nov 17, 2013


Perks of a Wallflower? What are you? 9 years old? Give it a break loser. Low life loser. That is all you are. I hope you still die.

Enzo Amore on Nov 17, 2013


Have you even seen Perks? No? Then stfu because you have no idea what you are talking about. It is easily hands down a better film than all of these on this list. PS I hope your tiny dick falls off.

Eric East on Nov 17, 2013


Yes I have seen that miserable, pretentious, forced piece of gutter garbage. Perfect for a hipster goof like you.

Enzo Amore on Nov 18, 2013


Cloud Atlas is the pretentious one, and people like you love to tout it because you think it makes you look like an intellectual, even though you do not know your ass from a hole in the ground.

Eric East on Nov 18, 2013


Cloud Atlas is what it is- a smart movie that stupid people hate. Hey, look on the bright side- you have Anchor Man 2 coming soon you big old dummy.

Enzo Amore on Nov 18, 2013


It is not a smart movie. Michael Clayton is a smart movie. Inception is a smart movie. Cloud Atlas is a wannabe smart movie that just comes up short in nearly every regard. I can't wait for Anchor Man 2, thanks for the heads up! You seem to be telling every one this. I think you have a wee bit of an intellect complex. You are the film equivalent of the guy with a really big redneck truck to compensate for his tiny penis.

Eric East on Nov 18, 2013


It isn't THAT smart of a movie. It was a bit convoluted sure, but it wasn't smart. It makes me angry, not because it was over my head, but because it just missed the mark. It was almost an excellent film but they botched it. It was a tall order to turn this book into a film, and they almost succeeded achieving greatness, but it ultimately failed.

Eric East on Sep 10, 2014


LOL, using my words to make yourself sound smart are you? My complaint about your favorite movie ever... Cloud Atlas was that it was it was pretentious. What's the matter, can't you come up with your own thoughts?

Eric East on Sep 10, 2014


Cloud Atlas is there thus negating the list in its entirety. The load of shit was wholly unwatchable.

odiasura on Oct 13, 2013


Only if you're a shallow idiot.

q q on Oct 14, 2013



John Bernard on Nov 10, 2013


Idiot moron dumb fuck. etc, It didn't have robots or fart jokes but it was am amazing movie.

Enzo Amore on Nov 16, 2013


cloud atlas was way to long and way to slow, my opinon is leave it off this list

Ryan Robinson on Nov 10, 2013


I liked it, great cast, interesting, watched the hunger games 2 this weekend and I think that was slow... at least this had an interesting story that you had to follow throughout the entire movie

Enzo on Nov 27, 2013


I haven't seen hunger games yet, but yes cloud atlas was interesting I just had to do a two sitting viewing of it, it's a different kind of movie and they did it well, just very long lol

Ryan Robinson on Nov 27, 2013


Im on my 6th viewing. I like it but i cant get through it I keep getting distracted/bored but when i rewind and pay attention its quite good. Must be somethin about how it jumps around chronoligically that short circuits my attention span.

Bri M on Dec 9, 2013


Wheres the tattooed barbarian from the header pic?

coolduderino on Nov 11, 2013


He's in Cloud Atlas dude. 🙂

Tim on Nov 12, 2013


played by Hugh Grant, no less

Malibu Healer on Nov 30, 2013


I've only seen The Imposter and I agree, I enjoyed it.

Ray Butler on Nov 15, 2013


How would I have seen any of them when I never heard about any of them?

Fred on Nov 27, 2013


Don't get out much, do you?

swrider on Apr 8, 2014


i saw the Imposter. that was really interesting! i recommend it!

Christina Grybel on Nov 29, 2013


I'd like to add "John Dies at the End", very unique film

Malibu Healer on Nov 30, 2013


When's the next list?

KYUSS123 on Jan 2, 2014


Anxiously awaiting the 2013 list as well.

Matt Thompson on Jan 8, 2014


Available now! Find it here - 19 Best of 2013: https://www.firstshowing.net/2014/the-19-best-movies-that-you-didnt-see-in-2013/

Alex Billington on Apr 21, 2014


my 20 favorite films people probley didn't see in 2012 are 1-Detention 2-My Uncle Rafael 3-Killer Joe 4-Bernie 5-The First Time 6-Safety Not Guarenteed 7-High School 8-Hold Your Breath 9-Smiley 10-Piranha 3dd 11-Not Fade Away 12-The Babymakers 13-Girl in Progress 14-96 Minutes 15-10 Years 16-Butter 17-Lola Versus 18-Hick(Hick was pretty much the only film out of this list i didn't see in theaters) 19-Jeff, Who Lives At Home 20-Virginia

TomNewYorker on Feb 1, 2014


No, I don't smart ass - I am in wheelchair.

Fred on Apr 8, 2014


Holy Motors <3

Romer Gutierrez Rivero on Jan 23, 2015


seen them all. You need to change your title to "....may not have seen"

papa on Jan 30, 2015

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