A much belated Happy New Year to all, but for a moment I hope you won’t mind stepping back to last year. As I count down my best and worst (but in the opposite order) movies of the year, recall that I’ve only seen a mere 30 films this year! From January’s “Haywire” to Christmas Day and “Les Miserables,” 2012 was packed full of cinematic ups and downs. For me, these are the most noteworthy.
The Worst Movies of 2012
5. Act of Valor
The first notable post-bin Laden Navy SEALS feature, “Act of Valor” should be remembered for its innovative use of actual military heroes. It should not be remembered for how they acted. THE gimmick of 2012. Remember that picture of Osama bin Laden relaxing and watching his TV? He probably wasn’t watching these guys and gals act. Sorry.
Welcome back, movable clay figures! Directors Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt sure had their fun with these little guys. Too bad that fun didn’t translate for most of us. A movie almost as enjoyable as having the clap.
Think “The Blair Witch Project,” but less exciting, more predictable, terribly acted, and with far more teen angst.
2. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part II
If the award was for the longest, most unnecessary title, the final act of this supernatural trilogy(+1) would take home the prize. As bad as it was, seeing Carlisle’s head fly saved it from the top spot.
The predictable thriller. Seems like an oxymoron, right? It should be. But Amanda Seyfried screams and wimpers her way to a scarily anticlimactic end.
The Best Movies of 2012
The most charming movie of the year, this story about a half-dozen elderly Brits going to a retirement getaway in India is full of acting giants (Nighy, Dev, Wilkinson, Dench, and Maggie Smith), beautiful scenery, and intelligent wit.
5. Zero Dark Thirty
While not the best movie I saw all year, director Kathryn Bigelow’s dramatic thriller about the decade-long hunt for bin Laden is a powerful and enlightening piece of work.
4. The Hobbit
Haters can hate, but I fell in love with this beautiful, exciting, fun, and dramatic movie…even if no one died.
“Les Mis” had the greatest opening scene, greatest final scene, and most emotional scene (for Hathaway’s ovation-worthy “I Dreamed a Dream”) of any movie I’ve seen all year – that’s a huge accomplishment. A movie you can get up and cheer for.
Daniel Day-Lewis, hands-down the man to beat for Best Actor, gives us a genuine portrayal as a man most people have trouble seeing as more than a statue or a story. This is about a father, a friend, a colleague…not just a President.
Jamie Foxx puts himself out there for the benefit of the audience. Quentin Tarantino writes a brutally honest story about American slavery. Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz prove why they’re both Academy Award nominees. And whoever put Samuel L. Jackson in his Uncle Tom-esque old man makeup deserves mad props.