Posted December 31, 2012 by Laurel Deneen in Features

Top 5 Surprisingly Great Films of 2012


Sometimes you go to a film expecting to be somewhat disappointed by it.  Comedies are what initially come to mind as it is so simple to miss the mark. A director’s sense of humor may not neccesarly jive with audiences. Other times it’s action films that take themselves too seriously or fall for the  “big explosions = good action movie” idea and place no emphasis on the story-line.  However once in a while when we go to see these inevitably mediocre films we are pleasantly surprised. Below is a list of films we were happy to say defied our expectations.

Top 5 Surprisingly Great Films

1.       Skyfall

Admit it even if you are a big fan of the Bond franchise historically they have a tendency to get cheesy. However Daniel Craig’s incarnation of the British spook seems to only get better with age. The latest installment gives us a more intimate glimpse into the life and upbringing of the famous spy as he deals with aging in what is most definitely a young man’s game, as well as an upgrade for many from the previous Bond flick Casino Royale. The action sequences: Epic. Daniel Craig: Impeccable. Opening credits: Mind-blowing. Villain: Fantastically creepy. M: Amazing. Q: Yes please.

See our full review of the film here. 



2.       Pitch Perfect



This film could have so easily been a complete flop. A film about competitive A Capella? Yeah that has box office smash written all over it. But in comes Rebel Wilson and her amazing one-liners (“Leave it, it fuels my hate fire”) and you have to admit that this film is hilarious. The music is entertaining and dialogue well written. Even the obligatory love story is not your typical idealistic meet cute where the boy and girl live happily ever after. The female lead is closed off and has a bit of a superiority complex which causes problems and drives people away. Yet you still root for her and the friends she is making on their comical yet genuine journey to the international A Capella competition finals. This is another great example of comedies driven by female characters that has widespread appeal; a trend which we hope continues.



3.       Cabin In The Woods

The notorious spoof movie for smart people, Cabin in the Woods debuted in April of 2012. Though its release has been held back by a studio which did not seem to understand it, the wait was well worth it. It starts out like a classic B horror movie with the stereotypical group of friends heading to a country cabin for the weekend. Meanwhile below the surface a bureaucratic company is working to contain legendary monsters which they will let out to attack the youngsters one by one.  All the while taking bets on which ones will kill the teens first. Written and Produced by Joss Whedon (The Avengers) the smart flick delves into all the classic tropes and has fun with the gore and ridiculousness that is expected in the horror genre.



4.       Seven Psychopaths

There was no real build up to this Colin Farrell led film, it was just suddenly in there in theaters. However the lack of promotion may have been good for the film as the buzz built up once it was released drove audiences to the theaters in a way they may not have if they’d seen the less than stellar preview. While Colin Farrell is top billed, it was the performances from co-stars Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson that really made the film something special.  The film about a floundering writer (Farrell) and his best friend (Rockwell) who makes money stealing dogs and returning them for the reward money with an older gentleman (Walken) is a quirky comedy that engages audiences in a unique and compelling way.



5.       21 Jump Street

This remake of the 80s teen soap opera did two things right. One, it made the film into an unapologetic comedy and two, it hired Jonah Hill (Superbad) and Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) as the leads. Channing who had never stared in a comedy before was a risk but throughout the film proves that he has the ability to play the “dumb jock” while also making him sympathetic and relatable. Hill as we already knew from his other films has amazing comedic timing and in this film plays off Tatum’s character with hilarious results. Bromance level: Expert.


That’s our list, what made 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.