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The Absolute Best I Saw In 2012

The Big Omissions (the notable films that, for whatever reason, I missed and need to see): Amour, Argo, Robot & Frank, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty

Honorable Mention:

-Your Sister’s Sister
-Killer Joe
-The Expendables 2
-Jeff, Who Lives At Home
-Bernie

10. CM Punk: Best In The World/Wreck-It Ralph

PunkBest_crop_exactBecause it was that good. It joins the very small collection of WWE home video releases that I would almost classify as “documentary” and not “E propaganda.” Almost. What Best in the World shows its viewer is how big of an egomaniacal, self-obsessed, world-is-against-me, prima donna CM Punk has become. It also shows that Punk has absolutely earned the right to be that way. Critically speaking from a “film” standpoint, this is far-and-away the best release the WWE has ever produced.

Wreck-It-Ralph-central-stationWreck-It Ralph is the best non-Pixar effort Disney has made since Bolt. With a phenomenal voice-acting cast and a deliciously original plot, this sucker exceeded all expectations. With a director who worked on The Simpsons and Futurama during their best times and a nod to Metal Gear Solid, I’m not sure how it could have gone wrong. The scene of Ralph’s final act of heroism is one of my favorites, like, ever.

9. The Divide

the-divide-milo-ventimiglia-13552923-2560-1505I suppose we can call this my guilty pleasure movie of 2012. Xavier Gens’ dark, depressing tale doesn’t explain who, why, or when, but it does show the brutal, disturbing manner of how eight survivors deal with the post-apocalyptic scenario they’re faced with. By no means the most quality film of the year, but easily one that I found most memorable.

8. Goon

goonIn 2011, Michael Dowse directed my guilty pleasure movie of that year, Take Me Home Tonight. His next film, Goon, presented one hell of a pleasant surprise. One of 2012’s most solid comedies, somehow, delivered some actual emotion and turned into quite the engaging piece (truth hurts, Julio). Notable performances from Seann William Scott and Liev Schreiber pulled the whole shabang together.

7. Rust & Bone

Marion-Cotillard-in-Rust-and-BoneDon’t let anyone ever tell you that Katy Perry’s “Firework” can’t be used in a serious context. That person clearly hasn’t seen Rust & Bone. Director Jacques Audiard got the absolute best out of Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts for this kick-in-the-dick of a movie about coping. I can’t necessarily say you’ll feel good when Rust & Bone is over, but you’ll be glad you watched it.

6. The Sessions

121018_MOV_TheSessions.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-largeThe fact that John Hawkes’ effort in this movie isn’t getting higher praise (thanks, Oscar) is a travesty. Playing the physically or mentally challenged always seems to be a risk for actors, but Hawkes was able to pull it off convincingly without ever having to route to shtick. Also, where the hell has *this* Helen Hunt been?! The film tackles a topic that seems a bit off-putting at first but its quality makes it all work. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll admire William H. Macy’s hair.

5. Looper

Joseph-Gordon-Levitt-as-Young-Joe-in-Looper1It took me two viewings to soak in how truly special and original this movie is. Looper had an amazing script, great acting across the board, great chin prosthetics across JGL’s face… Emily Blunt is hot (I still can’t believe Jim Halpert gets to tag that on the reg). One can’t really go too deep into this without spoiling something. Stop talking, Mattis.

4. The Intouchables

The-Intouchables-3I’m not sure what else can be said about this buddy-dramedy turned global juggernaut. The feel good movie of the year? No doubt. Omar Sy’s dancing made white men everywhere green with envy? No doubt. In the end, The Intouchables is a great example that the easiest road to take is sometimes the best. It’s so simple, so easy. The film is predictable but that doesn’t stop it, every second, from being special. Well done, you whacky French.

3. Natural Selection

Natural_Selection_031An exceptional road trip movie filled with standard angst and sex-fueled turmoil highlighted by a career performance from Rachael Harris. Matt O’Leary, also, brings a fantastic act and the majority of the comic relief. Do whatever it takes to get a copy of this film as it is worth the effort.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

Banes-Mask-in-The-Dark-Knight-RisesWhether you want to admit it or not, Christopher Nolan created a work of genius that put the cap on his revolutionary Batman trilogy. Tom Hardy put in a fantastic performance as Bane that, in the years to come, will be truly praised and appreciated and immortalized on dorm room walls across the world… Which I think may be a metaphor for the movie as a whole. Haters gonna hate but at the end of the day, this is my personal top ten of 2012 and I was in unconditional love with every second of The Dark Knight Rises.

1. The Master

The MasterThere was no way I wasn’t going to acknowledge PT Anderson’s master-piece (heh!?) as the best film I watched in 2012. This story of the utter abandon one finds themselves in when religion doesn’t quite work out as planned features outstanding performances from Amy Adams and PSH (who is awesome in everything). Joaquin Phoenix, whose character is dealing with alcoholism and posttraumatic stress disorder, has never been better. Ever. Gorgeously presented, originally scored, brilliantly written. I really can’t say enough about this enigma of a film. It may go down as one of my all time favorites.

Thanks for reading!

-Alex

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