the 25 best movies of 2012

Yes, I’m aware that the Oscars have come and gone, and 2013 is all the rage now that Argo has collected its prize, but I got back into the blogging game on the tail end of Oscar mania, so my best of 2012 lists are coming a tad late. To kick things off, let’s start with the 25 best movies of the year that turned out to be modest in terms of “classics.” Unlike the great 2007s and 2009s that came before it, 2012 was home to some nice flicks, but few gargantuan moments. Nevertheless, here is a handful of my favorites, starting, of course, with my five Best Picture nominees in ranked order…


1. Beasts of the Southern Wild
dir. Benh Zeitlin
Fox Searchlight Pictures

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
dir. Stephen Chbosky
Summit Entertainment

3. The Master
dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
The Weinstein Company

4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
dir. Peter Jackson
Warner Bros. Pictures

5. Zero Dark Thirty
dir. Kathryn Bigelow
Columbia / Sony Pictures

6. Life of Pi
dir. Ang Lee
Fox 2000 Pictures

7. Compliance
dir. Craig Zobel
Magnolia Pictures

8. Looper
dir. Rian Johnson
TriStar Pictures

9. Argo
dir. Ben Affleck
Warner Bros. Pictures

10. Silver Linings Playbook
dir. David O. Russell
The Weinstein Company

11. Lincoln
dir. Steven Spielberg
Touchstone Pictures

12. The Cabin in the Woods
dir. Drew Goddard
Lionsgate

13. Pitch Perfect
dir. Jason Moore
Universal Pictures

14. Bachelorette
dir. Leslye Headland
The Weinstein Company

15. Natural Selection
dir. Robbie Pickering
The Cinema Guild

16. Django Unchained
dir. Quentin Tarantino
The Weinstein Company

17. The Avengers
dir. Joss Whedon
Walt Disney / Paramount Pictures

18. Wreck-It Ralph
dir. Rich Moore
Walt Disney

19. Brave
dir. Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman & Steve Purcell
Walt Disney / Pixar

20. ParaNorman
dir. Chris Butler & Sam Fell
Focus Features

21. Moonrise Kingdom
dir. Wes Anderson
Focus Features

22. Cloud Atlas
dir. Tom Tykwer & Andy and Lana Wachowski
Warner Bros. Pictures

23. Celeste and Jesse Forever
dir. Lee Toland Krieger
Sony Pictures Classics

24. Prometheus
dir. Ridley Scott
20th Century Fox

25. Liberal Arts
dir. Josh Radnor
IFC Films
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