Yes it's that time of the year again for me to talk about the films that defined 2012 for this reviewer. Now the only parameters are that 1. I've seen the film and reviewed it this year (despite the fact that it may not have been released in Australia this year) and 2. I'm excluding documentary features. O.K in the words of Heath Ledger's Joker "Here...We...Go"

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10. The Avengers

Just in case you didn't already worship at the altar of nerd god Joss Whedon the unfathomable task of preparing the ultimate Marvel mash-up didn't only meet it SMASHED your expectations. It's a joyous cinematic experience that unleashed my inner green rage monster ... and now that it’s the 3rd highest grossing film of all times ... probably yours too.

Full review here.

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9. Django Unchained

Tarantino uses this quintessential American genre to ‘say’ something and to entertain with all his characteristic style and flair. Superbly acted, deftly directed and infused with an amazing soundtrack.  It was impossible for Django (Jamie Foxx) and King (Christophe Waltz) not to ride into my top 10.

Full review forthcoming...

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8. The Intouchables 

This heart-warming tale of friendship between a rich paraplegic and a kid from the wrong side of the tracks is nothing short of wonderful. I had the distinct pleasure of catching with two friends totally unaware what they were in for and we all share this special film together.

Full review here.

 

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7. Rampart

This dizzying, poetic and hypnotic look at a gross character is totally engrossing thanks to a mesmerising performance by Woody Harrelson.  Full review here. 6.  Zero Dark ThirtyI think I held my breath for the entire last act of this film. The towering subject matter, daunting political/ethical questions and the obsession required to endure the time of this investigative rollercoaster.

Full review here.

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6.  Zero Dark Thirty I think I held my breathe for the entire last act of this film. The towering subject matter, daunting political/ethical questions and the obsession required to endure the time of this investigative rollercoaster is so tremendously put together.

Full review forthcoming...

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5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I don't say this lightly but The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the best non John Hughes teen film this reviewer has ever seen. It's so expertly crafted on every level that you just won't know what hit you.

Full review here.

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4. Amour

As I walked out of the State Theatre in the wake of the Sydney Film Festival screening of Michael Haneke's tale of ageing and ailing lovers I couldn't restrain my emotions. Throughout my entire cab journey home tears streamed down my face. Haneke is a profound filmmaker and Amour is meticulously constructed and hits an emotional pitch hard to match.

Full review here.

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3. Caesar Must Die

In a strange twist of Shakespeare's classic a faux documentary of production of Julius Caesar taking place in an Italian prison (acted out by the actual inmates) blurs into an amplification and enhancement of the story that transforms the drab and depressing confines into the grandiose Roman setting. It's not only evidence to the resonance of those enduring texts but of the transformative (and multifaceted) power of cinema.

Full review here.

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2. The Dark Knight Rises

The final entry in The Dark Knight Trilogy is an epic spectacle. From the amazing mid-air hijacking, the eerie frequency of Bane's amazing voice, the great performances from all the familiar and new players and literally the plethora of panels stripped from iconic Bat texts realised in this real, gritty impression of the Bat-universe - it's enough to make this Bat fan blubber.  The sheer awe and speechless satisfaction I felt after seeing this in IMAX for the first time transported me back to 1989 and a four year old @Blakeisbatman to see Burton's Batman.

Full review here

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1. The Grey

"Once more into the fray"

Sometimes a film can come along and totally surprise and disarm you. Joe Carnaghan's The Grey is a transcendent philosophical musing on masculinity in the wake of unconquerable natural obstacles. It's an exhilarating cinematic experience that terrifies and devastates in equal measure. Cinema can't resonate much more powerfully for me - than The Grey.

Full review here.

Blake Howard - follow Blake on Twitter here: @blakeisbatman and listen to the audio review on That Movie Show 2UE here.

BLAKE HOWARD IS A FILM CRITIC & THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/CO-FOUNDER OF AUSTRALIAN FILM BLOG GRAFFITI WITH PUNCTUATION . BLAKE IS THE HOST OF THE ONE HEAT MINUTE PODCAST. BLAKE IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE PRESTIGIOUS ONLINE FILM CRITIC SOCIETY (AND A MEMBER OF THE GOVERNING COMMITTEE), IS A CO-HOST OF GAGGLE OF GEEKS ON SYDNEY'S 2SER COMMUNITY RADIO, A COLUMNIST AT THE AUSTRALIAN ONLINE INSTITUTION DARK HORIZONS AND SWAYS THE TOMATO METER WITH ROTTEN TOMATOES APPROVED REVIEWS.