My Top 20 Films of 2012


As much as I love me some lists, especially as they relate to all things film, I also kind of despise lists—well, making lists that is. It may sound strange, but the process can be pretty frustrating and stressful. Plus, by the end of the year, there are usually 15-20 films that I have to catch up on within like a two-week window.

So, yeah, I’ve only been ranking my top films of the year for three years now, but 2012 proved a challenge. While I was sure about a few picks, particularly 1-4 (like The Tree of Life last year, Moonrise Kingdom stood highly above everything else), the rest were a nightmare to rank, and I thus probably changed my picks 20 times before settling on something.

I didn’t write reviews for all these films, and I don’t have time now to write capsules for the several I missed. So for the few I don’t have personal takes on, I’ve linked to reviews, by trusted critics, with which I most agree.

Here is the list:

  1. Moonrise Kingdom
  2. Holy Motors
  3. Lincoln
  4. The Kid With a Bike
  5. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
  6. Zero Dark Thirty
  7. Anna Karenina
  8. The Deep Blue Sea
  9. Damsels in Distress
  10. Jeff Who Lives at Home
  11. Bernie
  12. Looper
  13. This Is 40
  14. The Loneliest Planet
  15. The Imposter
  16. Silver Linings Playbook
  17. Safety Not Guaranteed
  18. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  19. Les Miserables
  20. Cabin in the Woods

Honorable mentions: End of Watch, The Grey, The Do-Deca Pentathlon, Skyfall, Argo, AlpsSinisterThe Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Hunter

Most overrated films of the year: The Master, Compliance and Django Unchained

Important films I still haven’t seen: This Is Not a Film, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Tabu, The Hobbit, Flight and The Turin Horse.

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