Top 10 for 2012

I know, I know, I know! This list is way past-due, but it took me so long to rile-up every movie that I watched in 2012, count-down the top 10, and see exactly which ones did it the most for me. I’ve finally been able to get them altogether now, and needless to say: what a freakin’ year, man! 2012 was one of the finer-years of movie-going that I have ever had the pleasure of being apart of and definitely re-affirmed my love for the art of film and the joy of going out to theaters, getting some popcorn, a nice soda, plopping my rotund-butt in the seat, and just allowing the film to take me by surprise. Some movies were greater than others, but nonetheless, it goes without saying that 2012 was a great year for movie-lovers out there and let’s just hope that 2013, kicks as much ass.

Now, on with the list:

 10. Killing Them Softly


A movie that totally bombed-out at the box-office, but didn’t deserve to. It’s like an old-school thriller where the director was more concerned with building-up tension through classy-conversations about life, crime, drugs, guns, money, and most importantly: politics. The political-message was a tad overbearing at times and did take away from the final-product, but when you have a cast chock full of stars like Pitt, Gandolfini (who I think deserved an Oscar nomination), Liotta, Jenkins, McNairy, and Mendelsohn, then you can never, ever go wrong, no matter what type of ideas you may be throwing my way.

9. The Master


 Not as masterful (see what I did there?) as PT Anderson’s past flicks, but still pretty mind-boggling and enticing in it’s own right. Anderson always knows how to make any shot a work of beauty; Johnny Greenwood always knows how to make any type of object sound like a piece of music with tense and methodical rhythm  and Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, always know how to give-off great performances, no matter what the material may be. Whether or not it’s about Scientology and all of it’s crazy, mumbo-jumbo, is entirely up to you. Just be ready to be totally and completely surprised by what you see Anderson swing at you.

 8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower 


Maybe the fact that I just got out of high-school is why I was so taken-away by this movie, but nonetheless: I still loved the hell out of this one. It reminded me of my old days where I would just slum around in the hall-ways, go to class and hope I got a good grade on that test I probably cheated on, walk with my friends to class, gossip about the new couples, see what’s going to happen on-weekends, and just get absolutely trashed in somebody’s basement. Yeah, you know, the finer things in life and if that sounds like a bore to you, then trust me: get ready to be surprised by this movie’s charm. It had me crying by the end, and I’m sure it will have you doing the same, as well.

7. Silver Linings Playbook


Being from Philadelphia and currently residing in the Delaware County area; this movie totally resonated with me for many reasons that may seem obvious by that last statement, but still hit me harder than I expected. It’s funny, witty, and very, very quick at-times, but in the center of all the craziness and madness that ensues and surrounds it, is a relatively sweet, and understandable romance between two nut-balls that you cheer for from beginning-to-end. If this doesn’t have you smile at least once, then I think you might just have to trade in your old soul, for a new one.

6. The Avengers 


Although I merely forgot about once the Dark Knight Rises came around town, the Avengers was still the movie that promised everything from about 4-years of build-up, and I still craved more. It’s fun, hilarious, action-packed, beautiful to look-at, well-acted, and filled with all of your favorite superheros that you have spent countless movies just watching, hoping that one day they would all get together for one, glorious cream-fest of nerdiness. Thankfully, that time came and it was freakin’ awesome.

5. Les Miserables 

Don't lie, you'd still tap that.

Musicals usually aren’t my flavor-savors, unless they are done right. However: this is what it looks like when a musical is done right. The performances are beautiful and the style in which Tom Hooper allowed his stars to sing, naturally and live, gave the movie a more realistic, if theatrical feeling. I teared-up many-a-times, and already have the soundtrack on my Ipod. But if anybody asks you about that, please: do not tell them the truth. I’m still trying my hardest to hold onto to some sort of my macho-man exterior.

4. Zero Dark Thirty 

1134604 - Zero Dark Thirty

One of the more controversial flicks of the year, but all of that hubbabaloo aside: this movie is freakin’ awesome! Bigelow’s direction takes it’s time with it’s story, where it wants to go, it’s characters, and it’s history, and always allows there to be tension in even the slightest-bit of scenes. Everybody complains about it being too talky, too long, and too much about a bunch of people without any, actual character development, but in all honesty: who gives a shit? It’s a powerful flick that encapsulates an entire decade into a near-3-hours, and leaves you with a sequence where we all know the outcome to, but yet, still takes you for a ride regardless.

3. The Invisible War


One of those documentaries that does everything right in it’s precision, it’s ideas, and it’s delivery, but still left me wanting more. That’s not a bad thing, either, as this flick goes through all of the motions of presenting it’s subject, and giving us a total hammering of why it’s so messed-up and how freakin’ stupid the legal system can be, especially when it comes to the Army. The review I posted was more of a rant, with some critiquing here and there, but regardless of what you may take away from my words, know this: what this movie speaks about and approaches, is still happening and it’s an absolute nightmare to think about. Will there ever be an end? Who the hell knows! But what I do know is that this documentary was a total eye-opener and really had me angry, upset, sad, pissed-off, and determined to do something about what’s wrong with the world we live in.

2. The Dark Knight Rises 


In the past 7 years, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has taken what we have come to know and expect with the superhero genre, and absolutely spin it on it’s side. That being said, we all knew this time would eventually come and no matter how many tears were shed (mine included), it was all time for us to say bye-bye to Master Wayne, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and all of our other favorite Batman characters we have come to know and love throughout the years. But still, what a way to go out! Even though some will say that it wasn’t as good as it’s predecessor, I think it absolutely accomplished that promise, if not more. It’s just about as epic as you’re going to get with a movie, let alone a superhero movie, and as the final scene rolled-in and the trilogy was about to be over, tears came streaming down my face as we saw Batman ride-away, one last time. One of the more memorable, movie-going experiences I had last year and was definitely numero uno for the longest time, that was until I saw….

1. Django Unchained


Quentin Tarantino has, and will forever be a favorite of mine and his latest, is probably one of his best (if that even means anything, anymore). The look, the feel, the characters, the dialogue, and the story is all original, but the real joy and delight of this movie was watching the cast just absolutely have a freakin’ ball with each, and every one of their roles. Jamie Foxx does a great job as the titular-named Django, where he turns the charm, on-and-off whenever the plot needs him to, and definitely never shines away from being the main character. Christoph Waltz is adorably witty and hilarious as the sympathetic  yet brutal bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz, and shows that there is more to him than just playing an angry Jew-hunter. Samuel L. Jackson plays Stephen and comes-off like the total and complete Uncle Tom-like character we see in all of those old comics and cartoons, but in the end: turns-out to be more of a smart and menacing character that does not deserved to be fucked with and shows Jackson at his loudest, his craziest, and also, his most sinister. And last, but sure as hell not least, is Leonardo DiCaprio as the evil, but charming-as-hell slave owner; Calvin Candie. DiCaprio gives great performances, year-after-year, yet never seems to really get the type of recognition he deserves. Hell, some could ague that maybe his performance here hasn’t gotten him that type of recognition either (mainly because he was terrible snubbed at the Oscar’s this year), but still: the guy is amazing here and is in top-form, unlike anything we have ever seen him do before. He’s funny, bad-ass, cool, slick, smart, but also very, very scary in the way he can just change his look and person in a matter of seconds and the way that DiCaprio toys with your mind, is just another way to show you that Tarantino knows the type of people he chooses for his roles and what makes them so damn fit for his writing-style. Controversy aside, this was my favorite and most enjoyable flick of 2012 and one that I ventured-out to see not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times! And yet, I still have not had enough.

Hope you all liked what you saw, and let me know what you think about the list! As always, stay cool, peeps.

P.S. That’s not a new slogan I’m trying-out, it’s just what came to me first. Unless you want it to be a new slogan of mine, then we could definitely see that happen more and more from now on. Either way, let me know!


  1. Awesome list, Dan! Check mine out if you get the chance ( Great to see Django on top. I’ve gone to see it twice, myself, but one weekend when I’ve seen everything I want to, I must just go see it again.

    And it’s great to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower on here. If you haven’t read the book, I recommend it. I’ve seen 8/10 on this list (the two I haven’t seen are The Invisible War and The Master). The Avengers isn’t even on my Top 25 list, the plot doesn’t do very much for me, unfortunately…

  2. I’ve seen six films out of your top ten. Batman deserves high praise, but Killing Them Softly was average and Django Unchained was meandering, pointless and boring. As for Les Miserables, you must be joking because it’s the most tedious experience of them all.

  3. Django, Dark Knight Rises, Perks, Silver Linings, and Zero Dark Thirty, such a great list. Only ones I haven’t seen are The Invisible War and The Master, but the latter at least I will be remedying here soon.

  4. Hey, I was wondering if you were gonna do one of these!

    There’s some nice picks there. The Master and Perks of Being a Wallflower would have both made my list if I did a top 20, but The Master especially is one where the more time passed, the more it really settled quite well with me. Meanwhile, I really wasn’t a fan of Silver Linings Playbook, and especially not The Dark Knight Rises, lol. Everything else on your list is really great stuff, though.

    Nice list, Dan, and check my own Top 10 if you can get the chance. 🙂

  5. Great list, and I think all were best of the year quality – wasn’t 2012 just so great?The Master and Killing Them Softy didn’t impress me too much, but those have been either love or hate movies. Glad to see some love for The Perks for Being a Wallflower, not everyone is including it. I’m actually interested in seeing Django Unchained directors cut. It felt long, but I wanted more.

    Here’s my list =

  6. Still need to see a couple of the films on this list like Killing Them Softly, Perks, and The Invisible War. Surprised that a documentary made your top list. If it made that much of any impact on you though I’ll definitely have to check it out. Ironically I’ve never been a big fan of PT Anderson, but The Master is the first film of his I feel like I’ve come close to “getting.” Avengers would rank higher on my list than Dark Knight Rises. Same with SLP. Les Mis and ZDT wouldn’t have even been on mine, but we know I’m one of the few who just couldn’t stand ZDT. I’ve always loved Tarantino and he remains one of my favorite directors of all time, however I didn’t love Django as much as most did. The performances blew me away (especially DiCaprio, Waltz, and Jackson) and I loved the directors take on the genre, though I thought it was way too long and there wasn’t a tight enough arc with the villain. Here was my top list from last year:

  7. A healthy list, Dan. I don’t put my top ten list at least a week before the Oscars. I’m going to see The Invisible War very soon.

  8. Nice list. Sadly, there are several of these I haven’t even seen yet. Props for putting Dark Knight Rises near the top of the list. It’s a great movie. You clearly have good taste.

  9. That is a very decent list Dan, it must have been difficult to choose 10 films (that is why I didn’t do a list 🙂 ). And you are right, 2012 was indeed a very decent film year with lots of good movies.

  10. This is a solid list. The great thing about movies is that they are subjective so I am always interested to see other peoples lists. I like the love for The Dark Knight Rises, I think you are one of the few other bloggers beside me to put it in your top five. BTW I think you should keep the slogan, a little levity to end the post is nice haha

  11. I am happy, happy, happy! I love AVENGERS! I think it was awesome, and sadly those types of movies rarely get this type of recommendation- they make millions, so I guess that is good!

    Dan is the Man!

  12. Love your list! I totally agree that Django Unchained is one of the best of 2012. There’s several other movies there that are on my watchlist (I’m a bit slow to catch movies, lol) such as Perks of being a Wallflower. If it left you crying I’m a bit worried about what it’ll do to me. But will definitely check it out along with the other films in your top 10 🙂

  13. Excellent list!!!! I’m glad to see you managed to squeeze Killing Them Softly in there. That was such a quiet release, and I loved it. I guess I can see why people had beef with it but still. Good choices here. The Avengers and TDKR were seriously neck-and-neck for me!!!! Now, let’s see what this year is going to bring with the immense amount of action hero films set to be released. . . yikes

  14. mann.. your professional at this!!! perfect list! django was the only one i saw. but it was def the best movie i saw this year. your great dan! screw all dem haters sayin your list sucks.

  15. While you have a few on your list I would not have and included and vice versa, I still enjoyed checking it out. A strong year for cinema to be sure. Still need to check out The Master.

  16. TDKR + Zero Dark Thirty were both in my Top 4 (in fact, almost the same positions with TDKR my #1 and ZDT #4) so I approve!

    I definitely need to check out The Invisible War then! Liked a lot of the other picks, there was something about Killing Them Softly I really appreciated even though I didn’t like the film that much as a whole.

  17. As a monster Batman fan, TDKR was… such a letdown. Avengers was good, and I fall into the category of hating Silver Linings… but any list that has Django at #1 and includes Perks… is a list worth reading.

  18. Impressed by the diversity of this list. I saw and enjoyed most of those, but Perks of Being a Wallflower holds the most special place in my heart because of how well it captured high school worries about being different and not fitting in.

  19. I am late too!! LOL! I just posted my top of 2012–which was indeed, awesome–it was packed with wonderful films that were sometimes interchangeable in placement, making it hard to finish the list. 🙂

    Lo and behold, you’ve created a solid list! I have yet to see Killing Them Softly (as you mentioned, it has been panned–but I will check it out now) or The Invisible War (I am bad about watching documentaries)–but we agree on several. Except, I can not agree with Les Mis–it did not work for me–better acting than singing and Crowe was painful to watch. Yikes. But, I am in the minority in this one (as I am with others in 2012). 😉

    Django was back and forth on my list, yet ended #2 because I could not escape the magic spell cast on me by Moonrise Kingdom. 😀 I agree though, Django is fantastic. Perfect, in every way.


  20. If your list is past-due, then mine will be no longer relevant by the time I post it (probably by the summer). I usually have no rush to post lists and knowing I’ve missed many stellar films from last year, it would just be incomplete without them if I did it today.
    In any case, I like your choices. I still have to see a couple of these, but I can’t really complain with Django being #1.
    The only one I have a problem with is The Avengers. I think my recent review showed that and there’s no need for me to go on about it anymore. Lets agree to disagree on that one.
    PS. I had no idea you just recently graduated HS. I’m freaking old in comparison!

  21. You’re not late with the list. I always do mine after the Oscars for the same reason – so I can have an opportunity to see enough films from the prior year to have an educated opinion on my Top 10. I hadn’t heard of The Invisible War. I’ll have to check it out.

  22. Definitely a solid list. I have Dark Knight Rises at No. 3, Django Unchained at No. 2, and Zero Dark Thirty at No. 1 on my list. The Master I don’t have on my top ten, because while I do recognize it’s an incredibly well-crafted piece of cinema, and brilliantly acted, I just didn’t love the film overall. Perhaps after a couple of more viewings, I’ll come around, but for right now it’s on my Honorable Mentions list. Ditto for Killing Them Softly. Silver Linings Playbook and The Perks of Being a Wallflower I do want to see, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.

    The rest of my top ten includes 10) The Raid: Redemption, 9) Moonrise Kingdom, 8) Killer Joe, 7) Prometheus, 6) Looper, 5) End of Watch, and 4) Skyfall.

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