10. A tie between Frankenweenie
Restoring the faith he all but destroyed with the woeful Dark Shadows, Tim Burton returned with swagger in this love letter to the monster movies that shaped him as a filmmaker and creative voice. Beautifully animated, this twisted zombie tale about a boy and his best friend is truly one of Burton’s best.
10. and This Must Be The Place
Like an almost equally great film released this year - Seven Psychopaths - This Must Be The Place has been forgotten amongst the bevy of flashier films released in 2012. The comedy was dry, the setting bizarre, and the sentiment coal black. Featuring one of Sean Penn’s finest performances – which is saying something – it’s a movie that manages to stay with you.
9. Looper Brick and The Brothers Bloom may be his better, quirker films, but with Looper came the arrival of Rian Johnson. Proving he could handle a high concept and a bigger budget just as well as an intricate story, Looper was the most original science fiction film of the year.
With the (not so) end of the world looming, the apocalypse genre flared strong in the last 24 months with Melancholia, Another Earth, and Take Shelter, to name a few. Yet none stood stronger than Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World: an astounding ensemble comedy that managed to make you laugh and cry in equal measure. Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley shouldn’t work as leads, infact, nothing about this film should work on paper. And yet, Lorene Scafaria’s directorial debut clicked into place as an unforgettable cinematic experience that didn’t provide a comfortable ending for the sake of Hollywood.
With The Avengers came the climax of millions of geek boys and girls everywhere and the crowning of Joss Whedon as the official God Of Geekdom. It was everything you wanted to see in an team comic book movie: each character had their time to shine and the battles were colossal. Effortlessly mixing humour and high stakes, seeing it go on to become the third highest grossing film of all time felt like a tiny victory for everyone who has ever salivated over a weekly comic issue in the dark corners of their bedroom.
“Into the fray, into the last good fight I’ll ever know, live and die on this day, live and die on this day.”
Contrary to what our fearless leader Blake Howard may say, The Dark Knight Rises is not without its flaws. Sure, there are some plot holes and some distinctly un-Batman like behaviour, but as a whole it was an epic, dark and fitting finale to one of the greatest cinematic trilogies.
Featuring some of the best performances of the year from a young Hollywood cast, Perks proved the spirit of John Hughes is alive and well. A movie about teenagers that wasn’t clichéd, wasn’t superficial, and wasn’t fickle: it had the power to touch everyone who saw it. Moving, momentous and magnificent. We are infinite.
3. 21 Jump Street
One of the biggest surprises of 2012, the big screen take on 21 Jump Street was not only balls-to-the-wall hilarious, but it had endless rewatch value. It’s rare a comedy could trump hard hitting dramas on a list such as this, yet thanks to Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s chemistry and the layered jokes, it became more than ‘just another’ reboot. Bring on the sequel.
Nothing Wes Anderson does is conventional; such is the nature of the Autumn-toned oddball. And thank God for that because Moonrise Kingdom was one of the most beautifully, crafted, beautifully acted and beautifully unique films of the year.
1. The Cabin in the Woods Five times. That’s the number of occasions I went to see this horror-comedy-remix in the cinemas (no easy feat given how hard Roadshow made it for fans to catch this flick). An ingenious story from Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon - and executed perfectly by Goddard in the director’s chair – Cabin managed to succeed in balancing horror and comedy. Continually surprising, occasionally terrifying and relentlessly original, Cabin In The Woods was the perfect movie.
And The Worst
1. Like Crazy
2. Take This Waltz
3. Alex Cross
4. Expendables 2
5. Step Up
4: Miami Heat
6. To Rome With Love
7. Wrath Of The Titans
8. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
9. Dark Shadows
10. The Bourne Ultimatium
Biggest disappointment: Prometheus
Maria Lewis - follow Maria on Twitter here: @moviemazz