Whopperjaw’s Top 12: Best movies of 2012
We fully admit we have yet to see these three critics’ darlings: Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Zero Dark Thirty. But we spent countless hours in darkened theaters sitting through a slew of other movies. Some truly disappointed (Alex Cross, Dark Horse, Dark Shadows), some pleasantly surprised (Dredd 3D, Casa de mi Padre) and a few completely delighted us (Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Skyfall). Looking back, the following 12 films, while not all award-worthy, delivered great movie-going experiences:
12. Pitch Perfect We were wary of a movie that jumped on the Glee bandwagon, but this musical comedy/romance smartly dove into the absurd and hit all the right notes. It also proved Rebel Wilson is a comedienne worth watching.
11. Wreck-It Ralph Like those Bugs Bunny cartoons of our youth, Wreck-It Ralph was an inventive story that operated on several levels with humor aimed at adults, children and gamers. And. despite being set largely inside a video game called Sugar Rush, none of the characters are overly sweet.
10. Seven Psychopaths Choosing this film is entirely based on the fact that the entire cast really knows how to play the hell out of quirky. Not a killer flick, it’s still very memorable, eminently watchable and pretty doggone good.
9. Queen of Versailles What starts out as a Real Housewives portrait of how the other half lives quickly turns into a “riches to rags” story. It’s a train wreck you can’t help but watch.
8. Robot & Frank Frank Langella stole our hearts as an aging, crusty ex-con who’s losing his memory while picking up other people’s valuables.
7. Jeff, Who Lives at Home We loved this movie about faith, family and fate that made Ed Helms and Jason Segal cinematic brothers. It’s a loose dark comedy with real heart.
6. The Imposter The real-life story of Frédéric Bourdin, an adult French Algerian who impersonated a missing Texas child to get out of trouble in Spain, The Imposter would be unbelievable if it weren’t for the fact that it’s true.
5. Moonrise Kingdom Wes Anderson’s movie about a couple of young, offbeat runaways neatly balanced a variety of emotions and benefited from the casting of two unknowns (Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) as the central characters.
4. Dark Knight Rises An action hero movie more suited to the art house than the multiplex, Dark Knight Rises brought Christopher Nolan’s thrilling trilogy to a dramatic conclusion as a brutal bad guy (Tom Hardy) literally breaks Batman’s (Christian Bale) in the attempt to overthrow Gotham.
3. The Avengers Here’s another superhero movie that lived up to the hype. This star- and action-packed movie kept all superegos in check and delivered a storyline that gave each character its due.
2. Argo A larger-than-life CIA-driven extrication plan that involved the collaboration of two countries and two Hollywood moviemakers makes for one amazing big screen tale.
1. Bernie Our favorite film of the year brought in a box office of less than $10 million. The black comedy shows Jack Black as we’ve never seen him before: a soft-spoken, good-natured and “confirmed bachelor” mortician hiding a dark secret. While Black perfectly portrays Bernie Tiede, it’s a chorus of Carthage townspeople that keep the story moving and make the drama unraveling that much more real.
Have a different opinion? Fair enough. It’s not easy to cull a year’s worth of entertainment down to a short list of the best movies of 2012. Pick us apart or share your favorites in the comments section. It’s all good.