Monday, January 7, 2013

Best Movies of 2012

Top movies I saw in 2012 with descriptions in 10 words or less. In no particular order. (My top books list is here.)
  1. Red River (1948) directed by Howard Hawks, stars John Wayne, Montgomery Clift
    Possibly the perfect Western. (my review here)

  2. Skyfall (2012) directed by Sam Mendes, stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench
    An exhilarating combination of new and old which remakes the Bond franchise. (my review here)

  3. Life of Pi (2012) directed by Ang Lee, stars Suraj Sharma
    One castaway boy, one raft, one Bengal tiger ... and God. (my review here)

  4. Les Miserables (2012) directed by Tom Hooper, stars Hugh Jackman, et al.
    Mercy, courage, and God's saving grace. With some fantastic singing. (my review here)

  5. The Avengers (2012) directed by Joss Whedon, stars Robert Downey Jr, et al.
    Supervillains from space threaten Earth. Superheroes save it. Spectacularly.

  6. John Carter of Mars (2012) directed by Andrew Stanton, stars Taylor Kitsch
    Derring do, a maiden to rescue, a battered but worthy hero ... on Mars. (My review here)

  7. Brave (2012) directed by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman
    Pixar's "girl" movie. A delightful fable with strong, likable women.

  8. The Mill and the Cross (2011) directed by Lech Majewski, stars Rutger Hauer, Michael York
    Luminous masterpiece based on Pieter Bruegel's The Way to Calvary. (my review here)

  9. Love in the Afternoon (1957) directed by Billy Wilder, stars Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper
    Frothy fun. Detective's daughter is fascinated by a playboy.

  10. Margin Call (2011) directed by J. C. Chandor, stars Kevin Spacey, et al.
    24-hours of decisions in a financial crisis. It works.

  11. Moneyball (2011) directed by Bennett Miller, stars Brad Pitt
    Building better baseball with computer analysis. Sounds terrible. It isn't.

  12. Bill Cunningham, New York (2011) directed by Richard Press
    Documentary about a man obsessed with fashion. Unlikely but terrific.

  13. The Mark of Zorro (1940) directed by Rouban Mamoulian, stars Tyrone Power
    Power is a subtler, funnier, better swashbuckler than Errol Flynn. Watch this.

  14. The Body Snatcher (1945) directed by Robert Wise, stars Boris Karloff, et al.
    Grave robbing and worse in 1831 Edinburgh. Karloff's a stand out.


  1. I haven't seen Life of Pi, but I would highly recommend you read the novel-I didn't see the film largely because I didn't think it could compare to the novel. But I also really loved the book until the very end upset me, so call it even? Like C.S. Lewis' Perelandra, the sensuousness of the color and landscape in the novel were incredible, and I'd hate to ruin that.

  2. I actually finally received the book from the library. Interestingly, looking through it, there are a few extra scenes. But essentially it is exactly like the book. I didn't have the stamina to go through that story again so soon so I returned it. But I was surprised at how well the movie echoed the book.

    The end upset me for the movie, but I think if you read my spoilers section in my review (since you've read the book there is nothing really new there ... although they did slightly change a conversation between the family members), you'll see how we put it in perspective.

  3. I disagreed with you on Les Mis. I still recommend seeing it, but I thought the singing, except for Ann Hathaway, was horrible. You can read my review here:

  4. I'm at that time in my life where having time to enjoy a movie is hard to come by, but I am happy to say that the only movie Tom and I saw this year (except of course a couple of children's movies) made your list, Skyfall. What a great flick that is!