*It’s that time of the year – where every publication comes out with their year-end top-ten list of movies. Let’s join in on the crowd.
Here are the ten best films of 2012.
10. FLIGHT – Everything seems a bit sedate after the movie’s astonishing opening plane-crash sequence – seriously, it’ll make you avoid the airport for the rest of your life – but Denzel’s powerhouse performance as an alcoholic, junkie pilot picks up the slack. He’ll be right in the thick of the Oscar race.
9. THE MASTER – It doesn’t spark Paul Thomas Anderson’s other films, but this thoughtful slow-burn of a look at scientology is bolstered by a captivatingly unhinged Joaquin Phoenix and an eerily charismatic Philip Seymour Hoffman.
8. THE AVENGERS – Give a hand to Joss Whedon – he perfected the big-screen comic adventure with The Avengers, juggling a franchise’s worth of superheroes in a perfect blend of action, humor and heart.
7. LES MISERABLES – A classic story, spectacularly crafted by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech). Allowing the talented actors – Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, particularly – to sing live gives the movie awesome punch.
6. ARGO – Ben Affleck. Whodathunkit? He’s come all the way back from Hollywood purgatory, reinventing himself as an extraordinarily capable director. This taut, supremely crafted historical tale is his best film to date
5. SKYFALL –The excesses and bloated spectacle of the latter Brosnan Bond films seem to be a million miles in the past. Daniel Craig’s new Bond is sterling in this lean and awesome adventure, ably directed by Sam Mendes and featuring a great Javier Bardem as the lead baddie.
4. DJANGO UNCHAINED – Another juicy, pulpy masterpiece by Quentin Tarantino. Jamie Foxx is a powerful leading man, and Leonardo DiCaprio is all smarmy scumbag as a deranged plantation owner.
3. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD – An extraordinary, heartbreaking debut effort by the talented director Benh Zeitlin, capturing the lives of a young girl (Quvenzhané Wallis) and her father (Dwight Henry) in a storm-ravaged Louisiana community. The actors – amateurs all – are outstanding.
2. LINCOLN – Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis give Abraham Lincoln the warmth, humanity and reverence he deserves. A special tip of the hat to James Spader, hilarious as one of Lincoln’s political operatives.
1. ZERO DARK THIRTY – No doubt. Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal – the team who made The Hurt Locker – come up with another Best-Picture winner in this astonishing drama about the hunt for Bin Laden. Jessica Chastain is going to win Best Actress for her performance. Set that in stone.