1) Shame: Powerful movie about addiction & the damage it can cause to yourself and loved ones. Michael Fassbender delivers a truthful portrayal of an sex addict, Steve McQueen doesn’t dare to shy from the explicit sex & Harry Escott’s powerful theme for Brandon is just saddening, haunting but addictive tune.
2) Raid: the Redemption: Hell yeah movie of the year! Beat ‘Em up action with a great vibe of music to get your manly thrills out there, heck yeah, i feel more the man just by thinking about this awesome film. Mad Dog is a hell of an villain and did i mention the action scenes are just wonderful? Yeah, this movie delivered.
3) Moonrise Kingdom: Fantastical romantic comedy with such an powerful orchestrated soundtrack, Kubrick-esque cinematography and a star assmbled cast from Bruce Willis to Edward Norton, you won’t be finding a movie quite like this in a long shot. The sense of adventure and fantasy blends with reality in this tale of two love birds.
4) Haywire: Steven Soderbergh delivers a smooth jazzing spy thriller with Gina Garano as the lead star, she oozes with confidence, sexual charm and most of all: style. Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas & Michael Fassbender give their talents as well but Gina keeps the spotlight all to herself. David Holmes’ soundtrack is just pure jazz goodness.
5) ParaNorman: Stop-Motion Animated movie that deals with bigotry, prejudice, death & loneliness? ParaNorman delivers emotions and serious subjects thru horror comedy, but it doesn’t forget it’s place as a family movie with fun characters, homages to slasher films and a variety of fun characters.
6) The Grey: Liam Neeson’s late action career as this hard grizled magnificent bastard is becoming a thrill. Joe Carnahan’s movie of the force of nature, the inevitable death that looms over us all was a early surprise hit of the 2012 and definitely a strong contender of the best movies of 2012.
7) Lincoln: Steven Spielberg knows cinema, giving us this historical biography of Lincoln’s struggle for egual rights movement, but he doesn’t shy away from the reality of how cunningly manipulative Lincoln was with his abuse of power, and Daniel-Day Lewis truly transforms into the 16th president of the United States. Incredibly powerful movie, nuff said!
8) J. Edgar: Clint Eastwood doesn’t shy away from the reality that the man who created the FBI was a cruel manipulative man, but also carrying the burden of being a closeted homosexual in a time when gays we’re despised. Judi Dench is fantastic as always, Leonardo Dicaprio & Armie Hammer play their love for each other as real as it must have been back then, while Eastwood waves the tale in an entertaining non-chronological order that keeps revealing more & more of itself as the story unfolds.
9) Dredd: The comic book movie of the year, not to mention the badass buddy cop movie! Karl Urban gives Judge Dredd the badass mofo portrayal he is, the gruff violent force of the law. Director Peter Travers gives an immersive 3D joy ride from beautiful drug illusions, brutal fatalities and a wide range of sceneries that some seem to be taken from your worst nightmares.
10) The Dark Knight Rises: The poor vs. The rich, a city in turmoil, fanatic cultists taking down airplanes as the fire rises and all hell is unleashed by the League of Shadows!? The mere grandscale and scope of epics in the final Christopher Nolan Batman are so vast, so fangasming that i could talk about them all day! Tom Hardy’s excellent acting, the way he utilizes his body & eyes to give such a malicious evil presence, Michael Caine’s Alfred is always excellent and for me Christian Bale is the god damn Batman. Anne Hathaway is an excellent addition to the women playing Catwoman and god damn do i love Joseph-Gordon Levitt! The script should have been revisited and i would have preferred more onlook on the city’s inner turmoil, especially regarding the poor and the rich, but otherwise this was a major summer blockbuster with a fantastic conclusion to the saga.
Honorable mentions in no particular order:
End of Watch
Rise of the Guardians
Man with the Iron Fists
We Need to Talk about Kevin
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Cabin in the Woods
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
A Dangerous Method
Ides of March
The Woman in Black
This Must be the Place
Rock of Ages
The Flowers of War
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
How I Spent my Summer Vacation
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
PS. Now this comes off as a slight rant, but i won’t see Django Unchained, Seven Psychopaths, the Master, Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook & Zero Dark Thirty untill 2013, so i will be mising those out, just like last year i missed plenty of movies, some which made to this list. I mean, i could always wait till February 2013 since some of these movies here are purely delayed due to the free marketing they gain from the Oscar awards, but i’m not gonna wait till then personally.