The Big Picture: The Best Movies of 2012

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Oh, Bob. You couldn't have waited a week to do this so you could have seen Les Mis? Granted, I don't see a whole lot of movies, but that one was ah-mazing. Definitely would have made my top ten.

hentropy:
I guess I just don't 'get' Tarantino. Don't get me wrong, his movies are entertaining, I liked Pulp Fiction but it didn't change my life. It was fun, irreverent, and entertaining. I'll admit to not seeing Inglorious Basterds, because it looked like his other movies, just another good action movie, so maybe I'm missing something. They're certainly not mindless but they're not mindful either, they really have nothing to say or really interesting stories to weave. To me Django just seems like Tarantino trolling the country. "Oh, you liked my story about Jews slaughtering Nazis? Well let's see how the south likes this one!" But is it a good STORY? Or is it just another fun, well-made and entertaining killing spree movie?

Those kinds of movies just don't seem worthy of the kind of widespread critical acclaim and Oscar nods that they always seem to get, it seems like people are paying for and praising the brand (Tarantino) and not the product which might have a hard time getting a Fresh rating on the tomatometer if the same movies were made by another director.

He is a master bro. Jackie fucking Brown. Pulp Fiction is perhaps the greatest film of the 90's as well. Although I for one hated Inglorious Bastards, but you haven't seed it, and still bitched about it. odd.

There's a couple I have not seen (ted/various cowboy hats), and a couple not in the order I would have placed them; however, I enjoyed many of these.

Not a bad list :) I look forward to seeing if any of the worst ones are ones I've seen.

Nice list except for the lat one, I didn't care for the Avengers.

Thomas Guy:

Daria.Morgendorffer:
I'll put my eye-rolling about The Avengers aside (okay, one gripe: Awesome fight scenes? Oh, please: the opening sequence of TDKR was more imaginative and suspenseful than ANYTHING in The Avengers)

Really? TDKR was so boring I barely remember anything from the movie. The only part of that movie that was enjoyable was Bane choking Batman while he was using his "scary" voice and just for a second, Batman sounded like Cartman from South Park. Literally the only good part of that movie was the unintentional humor of the moment.

In all fairness, I wasn't talking about the whole movie (TKDR), which I liked, but was really disappointing, particularly after the opening sequence. What I said was the ONE action scene from that movie beats ANY from the other movie. The Avengers was imaginative? My ass.

Daria.Morgendorffer:

Thomas Guy:

Daria.Morgendorffer:
I'll put my eye-rolling about The Avengers aside (okay, one gripe: Awesome fight scenes? Oh, please: the opening sequence of TDKR was more imaginative and suspenseful than ANYTHING in The Avengers)

Really? TDKR was so boring I barely remember anything from the movie. The only part of that movie that was enjoyable was Bane choking Batman while he was using his "scary" voice and just for a second, Batman sounded like Cartman from South Park. Literally the only good part of that movie was the unintentional humor of the moment.

In all fairness, I wasn't talking about the whole movie (TKDR), which I liked, but was really disappointing, particularly after the opening sequence. What I said was the ONE action scene from that movie beats ANY from the other movie. The Avengers was imaginative? My ass.

What one action scene are you referring to? Nothing from that movie stands out except Hathaways performance and Bane's god awful voice. And I won't argue with you on the Avengers fight scenes, not because I agree, but because it's the internet and you're entitled to your opinion.

MovieBob:
The Best Movies of 2012

MovieBob gives us a Christmas present with the best movies of 2012.

Watch Video

I'm finding it increasingly harder to put forth any sort of in depth rebuttal, so my apologies in advance. I think 2012 can be summed up in one word: mediocre. Looking at your list, many came out in Nov/Dec shortly before this list was made. By merely stating what was good this year, you are saying more about the year as a whole than the list does to say what was good. Its noticeable because of whats NOT on the list. Many big name movies and only two are on the list. The rest are minor almost indie movies with mostly niche appeal. In a way, that's really freaking awesome, and on the other, it is telling that the big name movies were blarg at best. Spiderman, Batman, Expendables 2, Prometheus, The Grey, Total Recall, Men in Black 3, Res Evil number whatever, Brave, Judge Dredd, John Carter of Mars, Battleship, Wrath of the Titans, Madagascar 3. Ice Age: why can't we stop making these, The Bourne Legacy, whatever that James Bond movie was Skyfall?, Hunger Games, Hotel Transylvania, and so on.

cabin in the woods - you still aren't spoiling this why? No seriously, just tell us what you really think and why already. This mediocre movie with a M Knight Shamalongiling ending isn't that special or awesome. Ooo, monsters in closets in the deep earth. wooo.

cloud atlas - wait wat? when did this thing come out? pardon me for missing this, but did it not get any press? "shhh, if we don't tell anyone about the movie, then no one will go see it and say how bad it was."

django unchained - NO. Let me phrase that again. NO. two letters, one word. Easy to say, and hard to grasp apparently. Oh look, its a movie about a black guy murdering white people. Count me in! Oh and ps, the white people are all evil. All of them. Cause white men are evil. Can we talk about how white men are evil some more? Killing white men is not evil.

paranorman - mediocre movie, made okay by the ending. more of a wish fulfilment movie than a story. Acceptable, but not great. Wreck it Ralph was much better.

ted - didn't see it, never want to see it.

the avengers - omg a AAA movie on a list filled with mediocre niche movies. It was good. But not because it was going to be good, but because it HAD to be good. If it didn't do not just good, but Amazingly Awesome Wonderful Perfect, then superhero movies would have died on the spot.

the hobbit - Going to see it, haven't yet, heard it was too long. Not really worried about this movie's length, as I'm expecting an epic tale to take a while to pace itself. About time long form movies came back.

wreck it ralph - freaking amazing. this is a gold standard of how to tell a story in an American animation. All of the other animated movies that came out this year must be compared to this one.

9. TED. it was an average run of the mill comedy, except that the goofy friend was changed into a teddy bear. they barely even exploited that angle.
i watched it just because you said it was good and was disappointing. your a good critic when it comes to movies overall. anything but comedy. that one you seem to fail every time.

longboardfan:

MovieBob:
The Best Movies of 2012

MovieBob gives us a Christmas present with the best movies of 2012.

Watch Video

django unchained - NO. Let me phrase that again. NO. two letters, one word. Easy to say, and hard to grasp apparently. Oh look, its a movie about a black guy murdering white people. Count me in! Oh and ps, the white people are all evil. All of them. Cause white men are evil. Can we talk about how white men are evil some more? Killing white men is not evil.

I can tell by your comment that you have only watched the trailers. Just so you know Django's greatest ally is a white man and the biggest villain turns out to be a slave. Yes, it is a lot of black guy killing white people, but that's describing it in the most basic terms. Django isn't killing white men because they're evil. He's killing them because it's the only way to save his wife. Django actually does some questionable things in order to save his wife casting him in an unfavorable light at times. This movie isn't as clear cut as you make it out to be.

I remember Bob once saying that the movies he feels are best are ones that will improve the medium the most. In that light his choices are mostly very good. I thought that Cloud Atlas, despite its scope and goals had far too many flaws that were inherent in adapting the material. They were issues of breadth that could not be overcome because of the differences in how film and literature tell stories. However, if Cloud Atlas gets more recognition for what it tried to achieve and hopefully becomes more successful, it might lead the way for other risky, potentially great films.

The Avengers was the best example of broad, mainstream studio film-making in modern day. It's not that far removed from the classic blockbusters of the 80s, like Raiders or Back to the Future. These are films that have a myriad of flaws that you never notice until you watch them for the hundredth time, because they're terrific examples of the fantasy and escapism of film. Individual aspects of The Avengers and other Marvel films are weak (example: despite any jokes to the contrary, Bane is a better villain than Red Skull or Loki) but as a whole Avengers is a great film. It was also the best effort to date that tried to recreate the craziest aspects of comics (inter-character continuity, heroes fighting with interdimensional aliens, etc.) in a film. I adore all three of the Nolan Batman films and I personally I prefer The Dark Knight Rises over The Avengers (TDKR affected me more personally, although it seems that liking it more than Avengers puts me in the minority). However, not every comic book film needs to, or should, try to emulate the Nolan films.

With that in mind, I disagree with the comedies on the list and with The Hobbit. I can't begrudge Bob for having different comic sensibilities than me so I can't call his choices bad, but I can't stand the Will Ferrell/Adam McKay combo films. The best jokes in Ted were the ones that were the most cartoonish simply due to the film being live action (eg. drawing Peter Griffin imagining himself riding with Flash Gordon isn't very funny; having Sam Jones recreate the scene in live action is). In retrospect a lot of the jokes fell flat. I liked The Hobbit, but I found it to be a bit of a slog until the Riddles in the Dark section, which was about two hours in. I didn't watch the film in 48 fps because that format was only available for 3D prints, and I can't watch 3D.

I haven't seen Paranorman or Wreck-It-Ralph, films that are more geared towards children of today and children of the 80s. I find it hard to believe that nostalgia didn't have an effect in their placement, especially in an overall very good year for film that included Argo, Looper, Seven Psychopaths (similar idea to Cabin in the Woods, but many people seem to have forgotten about it), Headhunters, Moonrise Kingdom, The Grey, Chronicle and Beasts of the Southern Wild. I haven't seen The Master or Zero Dark Thirty yet.

DVS BSTrD:
And as well done as the Hobbit was, it really went over the top. And I can't understand for the life of me why Peter felt the need to resurrect a past a past villan to serve as the primary antagonist. Was really unnecessary.

If you're talking about Christopher Lee (Saruman), I would hardly call him the primary antagonist. He's not even an antagonist! His appearance was a nice call-back (or call-forward) for those who've seen Lord of the Rings (all of us, let's face it) and seeing him all but ridiculed by Gandalf was rather entertaining. Remember that he's the so-called "head wizard" at this point, and not evil in the slightest. All he does is recommend against pursuing the Dwarves' quest.
The primary antagonist in this film was the white orc, and perhaps Smaug, with the Necromancer being set up as a possible antagonist in the following films. And none of those antagonists have made any appearance in LOTR.

Now, I haven't seen Cloud Atlas, but I thought The Hobbit should have been higher on the list than the Avengers. The Avengers was a very impressive and entertaining movie, but I haven't seen anything as epic as The Hobbit since Game of Thrones finished its season. But hey, I'm probably biased since fantasy is my passion in film and literature.

No Dark Night Rises? That's disappointing. As long as it doesn't show up on this coming week's list, I suppose.

Saw Avengers in cinema twice - and then 4 times more on DVD & BlueRay :D

Havenīt seen a lot of these movies, but i didnīt really care much for The Hobbit and Avengers, i thought they could have been a lot tighter edited in the Action Sequences, personally i felt that they dragged on for too long, especially the last scene in Avengers. But still mildly entertaining with a couple of laughs. But i think i enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises more, even though i donīt really like Nolans movies. I liked that he didnīt take himself so seriously in this one :D, a ridiculous but entertaining superhero movie.

Donīt know what i would pick as the movie of the year, havenīt seen that many 2012 movies yet. But maybe The Hijacking, that movie was intense! This must be the place is probably also going to end up as one of my favourites. Maybe Prometheus, though i need to rewatch it. Hoping to see more 2012 movies in 2013.

Unlike all the haters, I actually agree with the Avengers being number one. Great movie. It's my number one, too. Suck it, haters!

WanderingFool:
Okay, taking bets now:

Which position will The Expendables 2 take? Personally, I cant say completely, but atleast the top five...

Have you seen Expendables 2? IMO it was actually good, nowhere near as abysmal as the first one. If they improve as much in the third one it can be genuinely great.

Still waiting to see Django, I really hope it would live up to at least some of the hype. My relationship with Tarantino movies hasn't been exactly wonderful in the past, I'm hesitantly looking forward to it.

About that cavalcade of villains joke: For fuck's sake Bob, TDKR already came out, you reviewed it, the hype has settled. Yet you still childishly harp on about it. That gag reminded me of a bully throwing rocks at a fat kid in the schoolyard after everyone has left. Seriously, who cares?

bartholen:

WanderingFool:
Okay, taking bets now:

Which position will The Expendables 2 take? Personally, I cant say completely, but atleast the top five...

Have you seen Expendables 2? IMO it was actually good, nowhere near as abysmal as the first one. If they improve as much in the third one it can be genuinely great.

Still waiting to see Django, I really hope it would live up to at least some of the hype. My relationship with Tarantino movies hasn't been exactly wonderful in the past, I'm hesitantly looking forward to it.

About that cavalcade of villains joke: For fuck's sake Bob, TDKR already came out, you reviewed it, the hype has settled. Yet you still childishly harp on about it. That gag reminded me of a bully throwing rocks at a fat kid in the schoolyard after everyone has left. Seriously, who cares?

Oh, Ive seen The Expendables 2, Ive seen The Expendables, Ive loved both of them. I would have thrown The Expendables 2 on this list myself. But what Im saying is that MovieBob will have it on the bad movie list.

Also, I completely agree with you on Bobs joke about Bane.

I agree with some movies and disagree with others. It's obvious why, Bob just sees the movie through a different lens. I can't enjoy movies on levels of self-referencing or poking fun at the movie industry etc. When I watch a movie, all I see is the movie itself. Probably the reason I didn't enjoy Ted, Casa de mi padre, or hell, even Pulp Fiction. It's a shame though that it seems harder and harder to watch a movie like that. More and more people are watching like Bob and I end up having to scour the internet for hours (or days if the movie just came out) just to understand. That's probably why The Avengers was so good. No matter how you look at it, the movie is just plain satisfying to watch. You can have the 7 year old laughing at the Hulk's antics, the teenager pointing out the references, the 30 year old admiring the action, and the grandparents admiring the unique character interactions.

Les Miserable? Honestly I cried tears of joy and sadness and the movie adaptation moved me.

I donno where all the love for the Avengers comes from. Sure it's a very ambitious project, but the movie itself (from a non comic book fan perspective) is good at best. I've seen most of the movies on Bobs top 10 list (with the exception of the Will Farrell one, and Paranorman), and I would slot all of them above the Avengers.

Like many others said too I think Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises should get some sort of recognition.

Anyway complaining aside, 6 of the top 10 movies that Bob mentioned, I would put in my top 10 as well.

Good picks Bob!

Avengers was decent but nothing more than an above average popcorn flick...

Same with The Hobbit.

The Cabin in the Woods isn't nearly as amazing as Bob makes it out to be. Why does everyone say it has such an amazing twisting and turning plot? They give away most of the movie right off the bat, blatantly hint towards the gods very early on. It wasn't scary in the slightest either so I'd call it more of a sci-fi, fantasy movie. It was very funny though and the elevators scene was amazing but I don't think those nearly warrant it being in the top ten.

I agree with the rest though but I would have put Skyfall on the list and maybe put TDKR at number 10 although I know plenty of people will disagree with me on that.

Bob, I normally agree with you on most things but I do think you have a bit of a hard-on for Joss Whedon that kind of blinds you to any normal criticisms.

I realise I'm late to the party, but still wanna comment on this.

So, let's go one by one:
10. Casa de mi Padre - never even heard of it. Looks like a fun movie to watch with buddies and a lot of popcorn. Will give it a look, but not entirely hyped as I found Anchorman boring (don't kill me, I think it's just missed generation humour like Napoleon Dynamite)

9. Ted - watched it in the theatre and yeah it was funny, but I think you're perhaps giving it a little too much credit. It was fun, but a stupid kind of fun and that's coming from me and my friends who all appreciate both Family Guy and stupid fun.

8. Lincoln - planning to see this. Not sure if it has been or will be in our theatres, might have to watch it at home, but it's something I'm definitely planning to see, as are my friends.

7. The Cabin in the Woods - saw it, liked it, but I'm not sure if I should be the one to rate it. I hate horror movies (scardycat), so something not too frightening and more focused on being funny was amusing to me. My girlfriend, who absolutely loves horror movies, thought it was shite. If you want something scary, my friends and I would recommend Sinister. Let's just say it's a good thing I watched it the night of my exam week, cause it gave me the willpower to stay up all night and work on some programming.

6. Wreck-it Ralph - one of the movies that made me absolutely hate my country, or at least my city. All you could get here in Belgrade (Serbia) was a synchronised version and those kill a movie for me. There was a screening over in another city that was titled and I was actually willing to pay for a train ticket to go there and see it, but we never got around to it sadly. Doomed to watch this at home when the DVD comes out :'(

5. Paranorman - watched it at home, was fantastic. It started off a bit slow and I was thinking "heh, a kids movie, cute" for a good part of it. Was amazed how fast it turned around. All out funny throughout as well.

4. The Hobbit - I'm a LOTR fan (mean the books, not the movies, though I like them as well), so you'll hear no arguments from me here, you were right on target. Not as deep or as serious as LOTR, but definitely an amazing adventure movie - as it should be, considering the book is just that as well. I also love the side stories as well, cute, brilliant and well done. Beats Aragorn's love stories from LOTR that were pulled out of someone's arse too.

3. Django Unchained - yeah, watching this as soon as it hits the theatres. Love Tarantino, so this should be a fun one :)

2. Cloud Atlas - belongs as the number 1. It's one of the most fantastic movies I've seen in a while and really gets your brain cells working. I loved my mate's comment after seeing it, when I asked him how it was - "you know when you're constantly asking for a movie that intellectually challenges you, and then you get one and you're like... what the fuck?!". I think I got most of the movie in the theatre, but still planning to watch it again on DVD when it's out, it's definitely one of those movies that deserves more than a single viewing to fully get and appreciate. The fact that they pulled off something of this magnitude alone deserves the world to take it's hat off and bow for a job amazingly done.

1. The Avengers - yes, it was a great movie. No, it most certainly doesn't belong on the first place as the best movie on 2012, especially with Cloud Atlas around. I get your bias though and won't bash you for it Bob, I get that it's amazing to see something you love put to screen well, but again, for a good number of reasons, it just doesn't belong as the number one. Number one summer blockbuster? You bet, best one since Dark Night, but not the best movie.

Avengers the best movie of the year but TDKR isn't even on the list? Yikes.

So... No Moonrise Kingdom huh... Otherwise, I will agree with a majority of this list, and the only few I didn't (Lincoln, Cloud Atlas, Paranorman) I probably would agree with had I actually seen them.

Actually, I would like to clarify that I agree with the EXISTENCE of these movies on this list, but not necessarily the order.

Katatori-kun:
Really Bob? Really? Avengers at #1?

I mean, yeah, it was a fun movie. It was a good vehicle for summertime popcorn calories. But #1? The movie had no spirit, no heart. And no amount of Whedon-esque quipping is going to make up for that. Maybe it deserves some praise for its technical writing achievements, but to say it redefined it's genre is stretching things a tad. I know the Internet atheists love to bash on Prometheus, but at least it gave me something to think about after I left the theater. Avengers was fluff- fun, but it ultimately it didn't stimulate a single brain cell after the credits rolled. And I'm not saying that mindless fun is bad, but seeing as how Bob is usually all about trying to promote the smart movies, it's a little disappointing to see him not give his #1 spot to one of those.

Oh, I don't know... Avengers is the first superhero comic book anything to work for me since I was a little kid, and the first Whedon thing to work for me ever, period (I've watched them all, I've been "meh" on them all except Dollhouse, which was execrable trash and it was appalling that it got kept when T:SCC got cancelled). Honestly? I've tried reading comics, I've a friend who's rather obsessed with the things, and I find them really, really silly. I've watched some Batman things, I don't recall which-- none were memorable. I watched Thor, I felt like I had to, since it caused so much stir among some Norse Pagans. Godawfully silly. My husband kind of likes comics, but both of us felt like that was two hours we'd never get back.

Then all the adoration among virtually everyone I knew for the Avengers happened-- and none (except that one friend) comics nerds, so I watched it. And LOVED it. (And went on to watch and like Iron Man (both) and Captain America, now that I'd already fallen in love with the characters.) Avengers sold me on the idea that superheroes could actually be something I could like, and that Whedon could make something I would actually want to watch twice. From what I can see, it sold a lot of fellow-disbelievers on comics movies. Did it "stimulate brain cells"? Maybe not, but it did make me care about the characters and want to see a lot more of them, which is all I need from a movie.

Really looking forward to seeing Cloud Atlas... bit annoyed that it isn't released here in the UK until 22 Feb 2013... Why do they do that?

Avengers!?

God, Bob, you're seriously biased.
after seeing your top 10 and bottom 10, I think I'm gonna stop watching your reviews

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