Not all of these were released in 2012, just I saw them for the first time last year.
1. 50/50 (4) – The movie is funny in all the right places and serious in the other right places. If you are a fan of JGL and haven’t seen this one yet, shame on you. I especially like the scenes b/w the lead and his mother.
2. The Artist (4) – I think the cliche goes like this: “The movie says a whole lot without uttering a word.” I was skeptical about watching a silent film, but this was good.
3. The Avengers (4) – This movie was the most fun movie of the year for me. One of the movie’s greatest strengths: there’s lots of screen-time devoted to showing the heroes being heroes.
4. Moonrise Kingdom (4) – If you like Wes Anderson, this movie is a real gem. I always appreciate movies with child actors that aren’t annoying or some king of major liability.
5. Dredd 3D (2.5) – I’m serious, this movie is one awesome action flick. And you have to give props to Karl Urban for pulling off the role, not taking off his helmet, never seeing his eyes, for the entire film.
6. Looper (4) – Original sci-fi. Also, Bruce Willis.
7. Lincoln (4) – This was my favorite movie of 2012. Daniel Day-Lewis is Abraham Lincoln.
8. Waiting For Superman (4) – I don’t see many documentaries. This one is especially well done. It’s both entertaining and informative. And it will make you ask some big questions about our systems of public education in America.
9. Jack Reacher (3) – This one snuck up on me. I’m not always on board with Tom Cruise, but this was really good.
10. Django Unchained (3.5) – This may be my favorite QT movie yet. It bounces between feel-good and hard-to-watch in such major swings that I felt like I was on a roller coaster. I’m not exactly sure what to do with how the movie deals with racism/slavery, but it’s certainly unique. Not for kids.
1. Soul Surfer (2) – Every now and then I’ll watch one of these “christian movies.” I’m not sure why. Maybe I just want to prove to myself how bad they are. Craig T. Nelson was pretty good, but he’s only in the movie for 3 min. Cringe-worthy.
2. Act of Valor (2) – A movie featuring real special forces teams instead of actors seems like a good idea until you realize that the art of acting is largely what makes a movie good in the first place.
3. Wrath of the Titans (2) – This movie was boring. And the titan? Did they run out of money when they got around to building the CGI for that?
4. Contaigion (1) – Just like the movie skips over the whole grieving of the wife who died suddenly, you can skip over watching any of it.
5. Iron Man 2 (2) – I’ve seen this movie twice now which means it shouldn’t be on this list. I wanted to include it anyway, just because I like pointing out how bad it is (especially compared to the first).
6. Dark Shadows (2) – I think it’s time to separate Burton and Depp for a bit. They’ve gotten stale. Oh and “I’m a werewolf at the end. That was a joke.
7. Nowhere Boy (1) – Sometimes you watch a movie simply because you like a girl and she wants to see it. Sometimes you fall asleep five times during that movie.
8. Ironclad (2) – It has some of the right ingredients but something bad happened when they mixed them all up.
9. Swingers (1) – The dialog is so annoying I had my thumb over the remote’s ‘stop’ button several times. Finished the movie out of principle, but it was difficult.
10. Rampart (1) – Despite the terrible reviews, I thought “no I’ll like this because I really like Woody Harrelson.” I didn’t like it. It’s what my buddy Eric would call a “godless movie.”
11. I’m Still Here (1) – This is a documentary. It’s Casey Affleck following Jaoquin Pheonix around with a camera. Unless you are doing research on how to be a loser, make terrible decisions, and alienate friends, you can safely skip. It’s painful to watch such a talented actor be so stupid.
Check out my 2012 movie lists for biggest surprises and biggest disappointments.