So here are my top 10 films of the year, you can read my full reviews underneath the Films 2012 tag along with the flicks that didn’t make the list.
Seth MacFarlane’s first movie uses tricks borrowed from his TV work in being filled with pop culture references and close-to-the-knuckle gags. The central conceit of a teddy bear brought to life by a child’s wish is handled well, and it’s a fun examination of what happens when the boy and the bear grow up. MacFarlane voices the bear himself and does a good job as the foulmouthed toy, but the real stars are Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis who have great chemistry as the couple having to deal with his immaturity and it’s rather sweet at times.
9. The Raid
Welshman Gareth Edwards’ Indonesian action movie keeps things simple and tight with it’s tale of a squad of cops storming a tower block riddled with criminals to create a gripping action movies which is loaded with some of the most impressive, bone-crunching martial arts fights I’ve seen in years. Intense and entertaining it’s a real joy to watch and marks Edwards as one to watch in the future.
Tim Burton’s latest is a callback to one of his early short films and the passion he has for the project is evident as he crafts one of his most enjoyable and emotionally resonant films in years. A return to form which reminds audiences of how good Burton can be.
7. The Hunger Games
A gripping youth movie that in Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss boasted a brilliantly strong, resourceful female hero. The premise is simple, but its executed well and the violence is handled in a way that manages to be restrained yet still tough to watch. Lawrence is superb and I’m eagerly awaiting part 2.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man
Sam Raimi’s Spidey flicks stumbled after an impressive opening but the reboot (despite the mercenary reasons for it’s production) nails the tone superbly, capturing the character’s odd mix of joy and strife. Unlike most costumed heroes, Peter Parker was always a character who seemed to get massive enjoyment from his exploits. Andrew Garfield does well as the nerdy, wisecracking webslinger and shares real chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy. It’s highly enjoyable, despite the villainous Lizard being a bit weak in places. But great fun and I look forward to more of Garfield in the role.
5. The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan wraps up his Bat-movies in great style, with a dark epic which sees Bale’s caped crusader having to return to action to face a terrifying threat in the form of Bane, played with intense menace by Tom Hardy. There’s a real sense of danger and it manages to wrap up the series in a satisfying way that doesn’t let down the great work that Nolan and co. did on the first two films. It also boasts an incredibly impressive cast, all of whom do their jobs with great skill.
Daniel Craig’s third outing as Bond is probably his best, with a movie that manages to balance dramatic integrity while returning a sense of fun to the franchise. The action sequences are superb and the plot has more heft than usual, exploring Bond’s past and the nature of his relationship with his bosses, in particular M played by Judi Dench, who is superb as she’s finally given more to do with the role. A real treat and among the best of the Bond series.
3. The Artist
Arriving on a wave of hype and critical hyperbole this flick was burdened by the weight of expectation but shouldered it well, delivering a film which is a heartwarming tribute to the early years of Hollywood while also being a wonderfully endearing romance loaded with funny moments and a few clever gags. The silence is more than a gimmick and it nails it’s tone perfectly throughout.
2. Marvel’s Avengers Assemble
Joss Whedon brings Earth’s mightiest heroes to the big screen and succeeds in uniting all of Marvel’s good work into one hugely entertaining blockbuster loaded with great lines and brilliant performances, the ensemble cast all work well together and it manages to build on the previous movies while also standing on it’s own as one of the best superhero movies ever made.
A mind blowing sci-fi action film based on the concept of hitmen being used to take care of targets sent back in time from the future. It manages to deal with themes like destiny, choice and identity while still also being extremely fun. Benefits from Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis both being at the top of their game as the older and younger versions of the protagonist. Chock full of great moments and interesting ideas, and packs a powerful emotional punch, stayed with me for days.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.