Posted December 31, 2012 by Laurel Deneen in Features

The Top Films of 2012


2012 has been a year of great movies and of course horrible really not good in any way movies. As the year ends it is time to take a look back at the movies we enjoyed and those we hope to never see again. In the next two days we’ll let you in on our list of the Top 5 Films of the Year, Top 5 Surprisingly Great Films of the Year, The Top 5 Films You Hate to Admit You Loved in 2012 and The Top 5 Worst Films of the year.

So lets get the big ones out of the way first with :


1.       The Avengers


Joss Whedon’s sweeping epic which brought together Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk did not disappoint audiences last summer and perhaps that is what made the film so significant. Bringing together these well known characters, each of who had their own successful films, could have gone wrong in so many ways and to be honest I think many of us were expecting it to flop. How could you possibly bring these big personalities together to form a unified team? The answer…you can’t, and the genius of Whedon is that he did not try to.  The Avengers do not get along, they bicker and fight and cause major damage to floating Shield base. What unites them is not patriotism or fighting for what is right, it’s revenge. The death of Agent Coulson spurs them into action and while they do eventually save the world. They are not the idealized heroes one might imagine. They are flawed and in some cases haunted by their pasts. The reality brought to such outlandish characters (Hello Norse God much?) is what made this film so accessible.  Well that and the genius dialogue. And Loki.

2.       Lincoln


Spielberg’s Lincoln is a new classic, period. Some films come out and in time reach that status, but Lincoln is a masterpiece from start to finish. Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of the president is enthralling as well as gritty and human. The direction and cinematography are meticulous whether it is a scene of a large battle or a more intimate meeting with Lincoln and his advisers. This film deserves all the awards it will no doubt garner this year.  You can see our full review here.



3.       Brave


Merida, Brave’s Scottish heroine, is a princess like many other female leads in past Disney films. However there is one stark difference between Brave and those other movies. At no point does the princess fall in love with a handsome prince who sweeps her off her feet. In fact there are no male leads in the film, (sorry boys) though they do provide comic relief in the form of the triplets Hamish, Harris and Hubert.  Merida is a strong and independent role model for young girls as she climbs mountains, fires arrows, battles a bear (Mor’du) and struggles with her mother’s expectations. The film is a breath of fresh air  in the world of animation, dealing with serious issues children and adolescents face and leaving the far fetched love stories for another time. The writing does not  speak down to its audience and though overarching themes lend themselves to teaching a lesson about life the story is still very much an action adventure that keeps the audience entertained and excited to see what will happen next.



4.       The Dark Knight Rises


The final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman saga hit theaters in 2012 and to say it was eagerly awaited is an understatement. People were talking about this film for months before it hit theaters. Everyone had a theory about what would happen to Bruce Wayne (“He’s going to live! He’s going to die!”) but no one quite knew what to expect going in. Was it worth the wait? That is still a matter of discussion; Bane’s voice has been a main source of contention. However no matter what your thoughts on the masked villain, it’s hard to argue that Nolan’s storytelling is anything short of praiseworthy. The character development of Bruce Wayne from young avenging force to weary down trodden hero comes to fruition in the final film as we watch the intricate strands Nolan has woven together over the first two films start to fray. The last chapter also introduces several new characters including the main villain Bane, John Blake and Selina Kyle aka Catwoman while not overwhelming the film’s main action. There are a number of iconic action scenes, an unforeseen plot twist and a glimpse of Robin/Nightwing. What Batman fan could ask for more?



5.       Moonrise Kingdom


Moonrise Kingdom has been described as Wes Anderson at his most relaxed and assured. The film has the mark of a director who truly knows what he’s doing and with a cast of familiar faces such as Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, whom one can usually expect great performances. In this gentle and beautiful tribute to the classic idea of children longing for escape, Anderson shows off his trademark style with confidence and yet does not draw attention from the overarching themes of the film.


That’s our list, what is on yours?

Laurel Deneen

Lover of movies, television, theater, comics and general nerdery, Laurel hails from Minneapolis Minnesota. She has a geeky husband who requires more than the average amount of attention, a dog who thinks she's a dragon and she secretly longs to be a penguin.