The Best and Worst Films of 2012

It’s that time of year where everyone and their alcoholic uncle are giving you their list of the best and worst films of 2012. So, we here at Daily Actor are jumping in, minus our drunk uncle.


The Top 10 Films of the 2012

1) Zero Dark Thirty
You’ve know doubt heard all of the hype on this film that stars Jessica Chastain and Jason Clarke, and guess what? It lives up to it and then some. The film, about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, proves once again that director Katheryn Bigelow is a true force. Definitely a must see!

2) Argo
This has been out for a while now and if you haven’t seen it yet, my question is: Why not? In a story where most of us know the ending, Director Ben Affleck manages to ramps up the suspense and forces you to sit on the edge of your seat.

3) Killing Them Softly
Starring Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini and a handful of wonderful character actors, this film tanked at the box office. I can see why: most scenes involved just 2 people in a room talking… and talking… and talking. Boredom for some, but for those us who cherish actors and their craft, you will love it. Watch this and get schooled.

4) Hello I Must Be Going
Anytime Melanie Lynskey has a starring role in a film, that’s a good thing. Director Todd Louiso‘s story of a divorced woman who is forced to move back in with her parents and then starts a relationship with the young son of her fathers business partner is funny, touching and a showcase for Lynskey.

5) Starlet
The film stars Dree Hemingway (yes, of that Hemingway family) as Jane, an up-and-coming porn star who forms an unlikely friendship with the elderly Sadie (80-year-old newcomer Besedka Johnson). Director Sean Baker knocks it out of the park with this small, intimate (very intimate) film. 

6) The Master
It hasn’t gotten a lot of love save for the work of Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, but writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s film that’s not(!) about the early beginnings of Scientology is full of beautiful images, music and yes, performances.

7) The Perks of Being a Wallflower
As a fan of early John Hughes films, Perks was right up my alley. It takes the 80’s High School format of Hughes and brings us deeper into the lives of the characters played by Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. Funny, sweet, sad and wonderful.

8) Safety Not Guaranteed
The funniest and sweetest romantic comedy of the year, hands down. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson and Mark Duplass. Directed by Colin Trevorrow. Read my review here.

9) The Avengers
The only film I saw twice in theaters, The Avengers is everything a super-hero film always could be. Thank you Joss Whedon for showing Hollywood how to do it right.

10) The Grey
Liam Neeson kills a pack of vicious wolves to stay alive after a plane crash. What more do you want? Starring Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulrooney and Dallas Roberts and directed by Joe Carnahan, this film takes what could have been a typical genre film and makes it more entertaining and suspenseful than you could imagine. And never forget, Liam Neeson is always watching you…

Honorable Mentions

Hit & Run
The absolute best comedy of the year. Dax Shepard got his friends together and put on one hilarious show. Featuring Shepard (who also wrote and directed), Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper and Tom Arnold.

End of Watch
As a hater of ‘found footage’ films, this one proved that the formula isn’t dead. With incredible performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, you gotta catch this.

Pitch Perfect
The second best comedy of the year. Rebel Wilson steals the film. Also starring Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Alexis Knapp and Elizabeth Banks.

Silver Linings Playbook
Yeah, it’s as good as you’ve heard. David O. Russell takes a story that was made for a Lifetime movie and makes it into something special. Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver.

Les Miserables
Having seen it two times now, the musical based on the beloved stage play of the same name, only got better. Where I walked away the first time lamenting the performances of Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried, their work grew on me the second time around. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway were brilliant.


…And the Bottom 5

1) Act of Valor
The. Worst. Movie. Of. The Year. “Hey, lets hire non-actors and make them the leads in our movie!” The film opens with a brief intro by the directors, Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh, talking about the shoot and the challenges they faced. They then segue into talking about the casting: how and why they hired active duty Navy Seals as the actors in the project. They mentioned a particular Seal who was “intense” while on the job but when he was with his family, he was totally different; a loving and warm family man. They needed that type of person in their film: Someone who knew what this job was. What is was like to leave their families and fight for their country. They needed people who could have actually experienced those types of emotions. “Actors can’t really replicate that,” they said. Neither can Navy Seals.

2) Cosmopolis
David Cronenberg, WTF? The movie is all over the place and makes about as much sense as a talking chick pea. Kudos to Robert Pattinson for giving it his best though.

3) Red Tails
This took George Lucas 23 years to make? One of the worst scripts of the year with horrid dialogue and even worse directing.

4) Battleship
Or as it should be titled, Liam Neeson Needs a Summer Home. Rihanna stars as a brave Navy officer. ‘Nuff said.

5) Chronicle
If End of Watch is a perfect example of how you should do a found footage film, then Chronicle is the exact opposite. Awful acting, ridiculous reasons of why the characters have a camera (Hey, let’s have one of the guys have a girlfriend and make her have a camera too!) and did I mention, the crap acting? The final battle is cool, but not cool enough to not stink.

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