The Top Ten Best Films of 2012

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Movie Analysis written by: Born Movie Reviews

Born Movie Reviews' "THE TOP TEN BEST FILMS OF 2012"

It is the end of the year, 2012, the year that fortunately did not see the end of the world. As 2013 approaches, we look back at the best films of 2012. Critics like Roger Ebert see over a hundred movies a year. Critics like me see only around forty. What I mean to say is there is a guarantee that there are movies that I have not seen yet. Therefore, here is a short list of movies that are not included in the top ten due to the fact that I have not seen them….. yet.
  • Django Unchained
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Seven Psychopaths
  • The Master
  • Looper
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Amour
  Note that if any of these movies do make the top ten in the future, I will mention it in my reviews. Now, without further ado, here are the Top Ten Best Films of 2012 as of December 31st.


Anyone who scoffs at the idea that a little horror film called Cabin in the Woods made my list clearly has not seen the movie before. Believe me, anything that you think will happen in the movie does NOT happen. It is a parody. It is a self-aware film, and most of all, it is a game changer. It comes forth as a deconstruction of the horror genre, while at the same time it reminds us why we love the horror genre in the first place. Furthermore, if one takes the time to analyze the ending of this bizarre masterpiece, it is nothing short of a metaphor representing the movie industry today. Written by the genius Joss Whedon, The Cabin in the Woods is a marvelous and hilarious surprise that quietly slid into theaters and loudly woke up anyone who was fortunate enough to see it. You think you know the story? Think again.


Finally breaking $1 billion worldwide, Skyfall is a dream come true for Bond fans. Only as Daniel Craig's third movie, he has already fully possessed his character, a character who in my opinion is superior over Sean Connery. Disagree? Then Skyfall still nods to the classic years with corny jokes, a new wave of sexiness, and several homages to the time of Goldfinger and From Russia With Love. Swiftly directed by Sam Mendes, Skyfall is the best-looking Bond film of them all, with terrific cinematography, lighting, and location use. It emphasizes on a simplistic plot that flirts at strong characterization. The stakes are raised and the conflicts are as personal as ever. Combine that with stylish action sequences, chase scenes, a package of entertainment and you get not only the best Bond film, but one of the best films of the year.


For a film that has been promoted ever since the release of the first Iron ManThe Avengers is probably the best dream come true for superhero fans. Skillfully directed by Joss Whedon, The Avengers soars in the sky like a hero without forgetting the humanity of its characters. Move the mind-blowing action sequences aside, and the most compelling scenes are the moments where Tony Stark and Bruce Banner have a conversation, where Thor laughs at the quarrel between Stark and Rogers. With a great cast, set pieces, and visual effects, The Avengers is everything it needed to be and more. Surprisingly, it is also one of the funniest movies of the year, with an atmosphere that is entertaining at its most golden. With a box office gross of $1.5 billion, The Avengers is the biggest blockbuster of 2012, and respectably holds a spot on this list.


One of the most underrated films of the year, End of Watch is a film that is labeled as "a simple film with solid performances." Move the buddy cop genre aside. This is a true policeman movie, and leave it up to Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena to set things right. The narrative is straightforward, grabs hold of you, takes you to comedic moments, intense peaks, emotional spans, and never lets go. It is a little independent film that came and went in the theaters, but it is one that deserves a much larger audience. For a movie about two young officers, End of Watch is the cop genre at its most compelling.


Welcome to an ideal setting, where society lives in a perfect world. Everyone wakes up at a specific time at a specific place. All the scout boys go on roll call and sit in their specific seats for lunch. Soon, they find one seat empty, a runaway boy. As the neighbors come together, they find that a family's daughter is missing as well. Here comes Moonrise Kingdom, where the story is about a pair of young lovers who flee their town, causing a search party to fan out. The most intriguing thing is that despite the fact that everyone is living a routine life, no one has truly "lived," not until these two little kids run away and change everyone's lives. Weird and mischievous but innocent and sincere, Moonrise Kingdom flourishes with rhythm, crafty cinematography, and storytelling.


It is the time of Jimmy Carter's presidency, the time of revolutionary Iran. In the middle of this heated country, six fugitive American ambassadors are in hiding. Argo tells the true story of the CIA-Canadian rescue mission where a fake movie goes under production -- a fake movie that takes place in Iran. Though it does not deserve the Best Director Award, it is an easy contender for Best Picture for its attention to historical detail, its narrative, and the downright intense moments in the third act. With Ben Affleck as the star, and memorable supporting performances from John Goodman and Alan Arkin, Argo is undoubtedly Affleck's best film to date, and one of the best films of 2012.


This is a story of a pilot who miraculously saves a flight from crashing. However, this is also a story of an alcoholic struggling to live a normal life. It would surprise you that these two individuals are the same person, fantastically played by Denzel Washington. Flight explores the idea that you may be a hero, but once everyone finds out who you really are, everything can suddenly turn upside down. It is a story of tragedy and inner demons, a story brilliantly directed by Robert Zemeckis, who has not touched the live-action genre for so many years. Worthy of an Oscar nomination, Denzel Washington has broke his chains of cliche characters and came forth as one of the most original characters of 2012. For a film that will never be shown on a plane, Flight begins with the most intense first act ever, and finishes with a compelling final act of performance-driven galore.


This is not a film about Lincoln, the president. This is a film about Lincoln, the man, as he fights the political war to pass the Thirteenth Amendment. In fighting his cabinet members, he is warned with the dilemma that he can either have the Confederacy or have the Amendment, but not both. Lincoln is Spielberg going back to the roots of classic filmmaking, with transformed actors, set pieces, and pure cinematic storytelling. This is a film that is all about the acting department. Daniel Day-Lewis will win his third Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. As for Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones, they both deserve their awards as well. If you ever wondered what it would have been like to be in Abraham Lincoln's presence, Daniel Day-Lewis has truly brought him to life on screen. As the third best film of the year, Lincoln is a cinematic masterpiece.


This is the story of a young man at sea, stranded with a tiger. Based on a book that several critics call "unfilmmable," Life of Pi achieves the impossible, being a marvelous stepping stone at 3D technology as well as being a sensation at storytelling. With incredible imagination, lyricism, and poetry in its directing, Life of Pi is the most beautiful film of 2012, visually pleasing and touching. Demanding of a win on Best Director and possibly even Best Picture, Life of Pi is an experience that will sparkle the minds and touch the hearts, an amazing spectacle to behold.


Words cannot describe the miraculous power of Cloud Atlas. It is the same idea as why a painting can be a masterpiece. It is not the technical makeup of it, but the overall thematic presence it brings to your heart. Wonderfully directed by the Wachowski Brothers and Tom Tykwer, Cloud Atlas explores how the actions of an individual can impact another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. For a film that revolves around six different stories at six different eras, Cloud Atlas triumphs each story like a puzzle piece joining together to form a single picture, and like a painting, the picture is indescribable. This is a piece where one must not think logically and literally, because this is what I did the first time I sat through Cloud Atlas. The second time I sat through the film, I let my mind go and set my soul free, and I was blown away by where the film took me. It is not just a film, it is an experience. It is an experience that everyone needs to go through, and for me, I shall go through many times. At first, it seems completely unrelated between an American lawyer from 1849 and a genetically engineered clone from 2144, but as Cloud Atlas keeps going, its theme keeps growing. With memorable performances from a cast participating in six different stories, Cloud Atlas is a grand scale piece de resistance where it can only touch you if you are visionary and forgiving enough to put everything aside and let its magical narrative and themes take you. Therefore, Cloud Atlas is undoubtedly the best film of 2012.

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