Top Films of 2012

Top Films of 2012

This was the year of the blockbuster. We had more big money-making epics this year than cinema is used to having. Usually there are one or maybe two huge films for the year, but this year we had The Avengers,The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Prometheus and now The Hobbit. There were plenty of other good films that weren’t huge hits such as Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln or Looper. The films themselves matter, not how much money they make or how many fans they have. With that here is my personal view on the top five films of the year.

5. The Avengers

This was the event that Marvel fans were waiting for and was expected to live up to lofty expectations. Director Joss Whedon made sure that it did. The Avengers is the teaming up of a group of Marvel superheroes  that have each had their own movie, or movies in Iron Man’s case. The acting and the characters are the highlight of the film. All the actors and actresses are at the top of their game performing their characters. It could have been easy to focus on one or two characters and gloss over the rest. Yet, The Avengers masterfully manages to give everyone their share of moments and make the film feel like each of the different moods of the character. The Avengers was a very fun film but ranks 5 due to a weak main plot,forgettable music and a lackluster villain.

4. Lincoln

This bio/ historical drama about Lincoln could have been just another sappy,disorganized melodrama about an important historical figure. Steven Spielberg breaks this mold by not focusing just on Lincoln but also on his relationship with his wife and politics at the time. Focusing on a section of LIncoln’s life allows the story and flow of the narrative to be more focused and organized. The politics portrayed here are so well written and well portrayed that it makes this film my personal bio pic and politics film. The acting is amazing all around. Daniel Day-Lewis give a performance for the ages as Lincoln and when you watch him, you forget that he is acting: the man is LIncoln. The best thing is how that manages to separate myths and fact. They portray Lincoln realistically and at a very human level. The events play out like they would have in real life and take out what people expect to see because that was shrouded in myth.

3. The Dark Knight Rises

The third and final act in Christopher Nolan’s popular Dark Knight trilogy. TDKR had a lot to live up to after the 2008 masterpiece The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight Rises lives up to the hype and pedigree of the last two Batman Films. The film introduces new characters to the Dark Knight trilogy such as the villain Bane and Catwoman. The story plays with the idea of a hero who falls from grace, thinks he is ready to come back and fails and then has to redeem himself and return to his former form of greatness to save the world or Gotham one last time. Again, the acting is amazing and Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman steals the show from Christian Bale’s Batman. The technical elements are amazing,the music is soaring and epic and the ideas and themes presented are uncharted for a superhero film. The problem is there are some moments in the plot that are too rushed out and hastily explained. There are also moments near the end that are unexpected and shock you, but when you think about them they ruin certain characters and motivations. That said, Dark Knight Rises is a must-see movie for movie fans and a worthy ending for the Dark Knight trilogy.

2. Prometheus

Ridley Scott’s return to sci-fi and horror. Prometheus is, in fact, not really a prequel but a movie set in the world of Scott’s 1979 classic Alien. Prometheus has the best technical elements of any film this year: the visual effects and art direction,sound design, cinematography, music,editing. This a technical masterpiece and deserves awards for its work. Films are about more than the superficial however, Prometheus has a very interesting story that combines elements of horror with otherworldly sci fi elements and ponders questions that all humans want questions to, such as who are we, who created us,and where do we come from? These ideas are not exactly original and have been explored before, but how Prometheus presents these ideas is what makes the story and script special. The script itself is solid and very well written. The horror elements and tension created in this film are also worth mentioning as they are consistently exciting. Prometheus is close to being number one but the acting and characters could have been more three dimensional and developed. Plus there were some obvious plot holes.

1. Skyfall

The most recent Bond film is my choice for best film of the year. The film is exceptional on all levels: the acting, the story, the script, cinematography, music, and pacing. All films have their strengths, but in Skyfall everything comes together seamlessly to create more than just another good movie, but a living experience. That’s what separates the good from the very good. That is why Skyfall is simply the best film of 2012 that I have seen.  (See the previously published Skyfall review.)