I want to start by saying that in no way is this a definitive list. I’ve used this as a conversation starter for the past couple of weeks and I’ve had an insanely mixed bag response.
Now, I wanted to include a horror film on this list and this, in my opinion, was head and shoulders above the rest. It sent actual chills down my spine and I still freak out a bit at the idea of the family hanging from the tree.
9. The Hunger Games
This was a big one for all the tweens this year (putting aside Twilight). Jennifer Lawrence made us all question why she wasn’t chosen for the lead in the aforementioned teen flick Twilight when K-Stew can perform one facial expression at most. Lawrence makes a breathtaking heroine that is so true to the book, that I, amongst so many others, can’t wait for the next instalment.
8. Seven Psychopaths
You’ll be forgiven for not knowing this one, it came and went so fast. Colin Farrell was on top form in the leading comedy role, but Sam Rockwell steals the show with a wonderful performance as no less than 2 of the 7 psychopaths of the title. With cameos for the ever loveable Woody Harrelson and the iconic Christopher Walken, this was an instant classic from the pen of the man who wrote ‘In Bruges’. Insanely brilliant.
7. Silver Linings Playbook
Jennifer Lawrence makes a reappearance in my list! This year she’s proved that she can tackle anything and still be amazing. I laughed and cried at this wonderful story about Bradley Cooper and Lawrence’s unstable coupling. With a cameo from Robert De Niro, this picture was never going to fail. Wonderfully heartwarming without being sappy.
I like my violence, but I was a little reserved about seeing this one, with the primary concern of it being possibly too violent for me. But man, was I wrong. There is a lot of violence, but I loved every second. None of it was gratuitous and Tom Hardy really shines in this tale about moonshiners in the US. If you didn’t see it, it’s out soon on DVD… just saying.
5. The Five Year Engagement
This was one of the funniest films of the year. Jason Segel can always tickle my funny bone. With Emily Blunt as his leading lady, this rom-com is in line with ‘I Love You, Man’. Rhys Ifans is great in a supporting role and you genuinely feel for the characters in this realistic love story.
4. Avengers Assemble
2012 was the year of the superhero. Avengers has been a long time coming, starting with Iron Man in 2008. It set the stakes incredibly high with most people’s expectations too high for it to reach. However, it smashed through the box office in both the UK and the US. It managed to balance the film so no individual hero was focused upon, it really was a team effort. I think I can safely say, they’ve set the bar high for the second instalment, but in the mean time, we’ll eagerly await April for Iron Man 3.
3. Dark Knight Rises
So this was originally on the ‘honourable mentions’ list, and ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ was in 4th place, but on reflection, I changed my mind (and gave it a foot up to 3rd!). Nolan made Batman dark and brooding again (a mean feat after the joke that is ‘Batman & Robin’). Each of the Dark Knight films have been increasingly epic and the finale is just amazing. 2012 saw a lot of superhero films, and so many are light hearted, playful and fun, but Gotham City looks into the dark and finds a hero… and that’s why TDKR has replaced Spiderman.
2. Cabin in the Woods
This film suprised a lot of people. There was an air of expectation that it would be a generic horror film, but it’s so much more. It wraps a dark comedy around the horror sub context and has a wonderfully epic ending. Joss Whedon hit the big bucks with Avengers, but this was really his triumph of the year.
If you know me but at all, I’ve been a little obsessed with this film. I’m not a huge Bond fan… I’ve seen most of the films, know who has donned the tux and even had a favourite. But the hype for Skyfall was outrageous…. and contagious. I couldn’t explain to you why I was so excited for the end of October, I just knew it was going to be big. I wasn’t let down. Like Avengers, there was high expectations for the latest Bond. After all, it’s been 50 years. Five star reviews all around, and I was raving about it. Bardem is the most terrifying villain Bond has faced in years… possibly ever. The focus on trust within the ranks is a traditional storyline with a fantastic modern feel. If you’re doubting, it’s still in cinemas, and it’s not long till its DVD release. A must see if ever there was one. You can read my full review here.
Turns out 10 is a pretty small number, so here’s the other films that have been pretty spectacular in 2012 and if 10 could be more, they would have made the list:
The Amazing Spiderman
The Woman In Black
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey