Favorite films of 2012

I saw 29 first-run movies in 2012, a little more than my average. I wasn’t consistent about it; I would go weeks letting stuff pass me by, then go on a tear and see two per week for a month before again sinking into a moviegoing torpor. I say this as prelude to my annual list of my favorites of the year.

There are plenty of movies I didn’t see, “The Master” being one of the more acclaimed ones that didn’t interest me. Consider the following merely a conversation-starter. “The Artist” and “The Iron Lady” came out at the end of 2011, but like most of the public, I saw them in 2012. Biggest puzzler of the year: the acclaim for “The Avengers,” a perfectly serviceable entertainment but one that didn’t excite me, and I’m a fan of the comics. What average folks saw in it is beyond me. It and “Amazing Spider-Man” didn’t quite make my Top 20. My least favorites were “Prometheus,” “Hitchcock” and “To Rome With Love.”

1. “Take This Waltz”

2. “Searching for Sugar Man”

3. “Silver Linings Playbook”

4. “Moonrise Kingdom”

5. “Safety Not Guaranteed”

6. “Lincoln”

7. “The Sessions”

8. “Monsieur Lazhar”

9. “Bernie”

10. “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”

From there, 11 to 20 would go something like this: “Skyfall,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Les Miserables,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” “Argo,” “Looper,” “The Artist” and “The Iron Lady.”

What were your favorites and least favorites?

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  • SeeSaw

    I saw approx. 30 movies in 2012. Good thing I have the computer to help me
    recollect what I saw, that I had forgotten:

    Documentaries. All

    “First Position”–
    “Searching for Sugarman”– “Bully”–“Wild Horse—Wild Ride”’

    Good Foreign Movies:

    “The Well Diggers
    Daughter”–“The Intouchables”–“Footnote”

    Good/Entertaining, in no order of preference:

    “Argo” (true story)–
    “Arbitrage”–“Robot and Frank”–“Trouble with the Curve”–“Friends with Kids”

    “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”–“Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”–“Skyfall”–“Lincoln”
    (true story)–

    “Silver Linings Playbook”–“Bernie” (true story)–“Moonrise Kingdom

    The rest:

    “Jeff Who Lives at Home”–“Five-Year Engagement”–“Hope
    Springs”–“The Campaign”–

    “Celeste & Jesse Forever”–“Ted”–“Perks of Being a Wallflower”

    High Light:

    “Lawrence of Arabia” (refurbished)


    “To Rome with Love”

  • davidallen909

    Since it wasn’t a new release I didn’t include “Lawrence of Arabia” — which of course was a highlight of the year anyway — which means we tied at 30 movies apiece, Shirley. You saw a lot of different movies, some of them ones I had meant to see but didn’t get to.

    I see you also hated “To Rome With Love.” All the good jokes (all three of them) were in the trailer, which I saw several times. The movie itself was in the Woody Allen genre I call the laugh-free comedy, of which he has become a master, “Midnight in Paris” aside.

  • John Clifford

    I didn’t see very many films this past year, but I did really like Moonrise Kingdom from your list David, and Argo from Shirley’s list. I also quite enjoyed Skyfall, The Artist, Dark Knight Rises, and I hate to admit it, but I also got a kick out of Avengers.

    • davidallen909

      Everybody but me got a kick out of Avengers, so there’s no shame in that.