27 December 2012

Top 10 Films of the Year

So here it is, the last of my end of year lists, this has been a slightly disappointing year in film for me but within the disappointment there were still some excellent films which came out. Now keep in mind, I'm going on UK release schedule so you won't see films like Lincoln, Les Miserables, Cloud Atlas and Django Unchained in this list, plus I haven't seen like Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Master and Paranorman. And so, without further ado, my top 10 films of 2012.

10. Frankenweenie - Now here is the return to form that Tim Burton fans have wanted to see for a long time, a really heartfelt personal project that brings back memories of films like Edward Scissorhands. There is a real sense of respect given in this film to the classic horror films it is parodying and the great characters and writing help make the film incredibly memorable. Plus the central relationship between Victor and Sparky is handled incredibly well.

9. Sightseers - A black comedy in the truest sense of the term. This film combines moments of laugh out loud hilarity with some really dark and in some cases depressing stuff. This is made possible by a brilliant script by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram and is well directed by Ben Wheatley. I really hope that these people gain more recognition in the US in the next few years so that we can get more films as good as Sightseers again.

8. The Cabin in the Woods - Now when I started watching this film I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know all of the weird places that this film would go down. Even recent horror homages like Tucker and Dale vs Evil didn't go this far. The weirdness of the film combined with the incredible script from Joss Whedon and the uniformly excellent performances help make The Cabin in the Woods a must see film.

7. Chronicle - Now here was a film that really surprised me. At the start of the year I knew virtually nothing about the film and as I learned more I started to get more intrigued and by the time I watched it I was really looking forward to it. Thankfully the film surpassed expectations with incredibly likeable characters, a brilliant use of the hand-held camera gimmick and a great script from Max Landis make Chronicle a great film.

6. Moonrise Kingdom - It has been a few months since I watched this and I still don't fully know how to describe why I like this film so much. There is a sense of uniqueness that isn't in any other film I've seen this year. The writing is brilliant and the performances are uniformly excellent and there's this weird sort of charm to the film which I can't explain which helps make the film as good as it is.

5. Looper - Now this is how to do great sci-fi. A brilliant mix of intelligence and heart with a great use of the traditional tropes of sci-fi movies. The performances are uniformly excellent, the ideas the film presents about the nature and consequences of time travel and paradoxes are brilliant, even if they don't make sense at some points and the script and direction by Rian Johnson is great. All in all, a brilliant sci-fi film.

4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Now I didn't think I'd like this film as much as I did. Sure I was looking forward to it but I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. This is a brilliant fantasy/adventure story handled brilliantly by Peter Jackson, helped by the incredible central performance from Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins. The additions made to the film helped to expand the world of this film and provide a more solid connection to Lord of the Rings and the Riddles in the Dark scene makes the whole film even better than it was before due to the strength of Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis as actors. Really looking forward to the next two films.

3. Avengers Assemble - I am amazed that Marvel was able to pull this film off as well as they did. This film could have gone so easily wrong if it wasn't handled with care but with Joss Whedon at the helm, the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shine. The writing is incredible, a great mix of humour and drama with some great character moments for all of the characters and even got me a bit teary eyed at one scene (you know which one). The writing is complimented by the action scenes which are done so brilliantly and are filmed so well that you wonder how Michael Bay ever got a career. All this and more puts this film in the number 3 spot.

2. The Dark Knight Rises - A brilliant end to the Christopher Nolan series of Batman films. Everything set in the previous two films all fell into place here for a very satisfying end to the series. The acting from everyone involved was excellent but Anne Hathaway is easily the standout of the film commanding the screen every time she is on. The action scenes are done brilliantly, the plot was great and even the minor characters got full  character arcs throughout the film. Everything about this film makes it the perfect way to end this series of films.

1. Argo - So here it is, my favourite film of the year, Ben Affleck's Argo. I don't think I've seen a film this year that has appealed to all aspects of me so perfectly. The acting, writing and direction was excellent, I loved the little throwbacks to the films of the 1970s, the comparisons between the world of Hollywood and the world of politics are brilliantly handled and speaking of which I really enjoyed all of the political stuff in the film, especially the US/Iran relations that are constantly brought up in the film. It's funny, it's intense, what more can I say about Argo other than it's the best film I've seen this year.

Now you know my top 10 of the year, it's only right that I rank all of the other films that I've seen this year and their ratings so, here they are:

11. The Muppets - 4.5/5
12. The Raid - 4.5/5
13. The Pirates in an Adventure with Scientists - 4.5/5
14. War Horse - 4.5/5
15. Skyfall - 4/5
16. Berberian Sound Studio - 4/5
17. Dark Shadows - 4/5 (Yes I did really like this film)
18. Brave - 4/5
19. John Carter - 3.5/5
20. Men in Black 3 - 3/5
21. The Amazing Spider-Man - 3/5
22. Midnight's Children - 2/5
23. Prometheus - 2/5
24. The Hunger Games - 1.5/5

So there ends my look back at 2012 in film. Here's hoping that we'll get a great 2013 for film

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