Halfway Through 2012: The Best and Worst of the Year So Far

The best and worst movies of 2012 so far

I have published 72 new reviews so far in the last six months, plus capsule reviews for three films I saw at the Seattle Film Festival prior to leaving for Cannes. From that bunch, nine stand out as potential end of the year top ten films for me, in fact, looking at the list I am quite happy seeing all nine there as I think they serve as a good representation of the best 2012 has had to offer on the festival circuit, indie circuit and even a blockbuster slides on in there.

Choosing a “best of the best” among the nine below is not easy as I’ll probably do what I do every year before making my final top ten and watch each of them again. Moonrise Kingdom, Laurence Anyways and Killing them Softly certainly stand out however. Rust and Bone can likely only get better with time, I am excited to watch Bullhead again and I am still happy with how unexpectedly enjoyable Magic Mike was.

What I’m most interested in is finding out what films will actually be better than the nine I have listed below that are yet to come. But we’ll explore those possibilities soon enough. For now, let’s begin our look back…

Among the lists below I was sure to note those that I saw at film festivals next to the review link as some have not yet been released in theaters.

TOP TEN OF THE YEAR CONTENDERS (in alphabetical order)

  • Amour (read my Cannes review here)
  • Bullhead (read my review here)
  • Jeff, Who Lives at Home (read my review here)
  • Killing Them Softly (read my Cannes review here)
  • Laurence Anyways (read my Cannes review here)
  • Magic Mike (read my review here)
  • Marvel’s The Avengers (read my review here)
  • Moonrise Kingdom (read my Cannes review here)
  • Rust and Bone (read my Cannes review here)

GOOD BUT FEEL MORE LIKE 2011 FILMS (in alphabetical order)

  • Butter (read my Toronto 2011 review here)
  • Polisse (read my Cannes 2011 review here)


  • Antiviral (read my Cannes review here)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild (read my Cannes review here)
  • Haywire (read my review here)
  • Holy Motors (read my Cannes review here)
  • The Oranges (read my Toronto 2011 review here)
  • Prometheus (read my review here)
  • Room 237 (read my Cannes review here)
  • Safety Not Guaranteed (read my capsule review here)
  • Sound of My Voice (read my review here)
  • Think Like a Man (read my review here)

JUNK FOOD CINEMA I ENJOYED (in alphabetical order)

  • This Means War (read my review here)
  • Underworld Awakening (read my review here)

OUTER RIM GOOD FILMS (in alphabetical order)

  • Friends with Kids (read my review here)
  • Mirror Mirror (read my review here)
  • People Like Us (read my review here)

WEIRDLY MEMORABLE (in alphabetical order)

  • The Paperboy (read my Cannes review here)

WORST OF THE YEAR SO FAR (in alphabetical order)

I wanted to do a list of ten but I didn’t feel like Brave or The Five-Year Engagement really belonged on a list declaring films the “worst” of the year. I’m quite certain neither of those films will be among those I consider at the end of the year so there is no sense including them now. I almost removed The Raven was well since that wasn’t necessarily a movie I hated as much as it just wasn’t any good.

My girlfriend also just watched the Blu-ray for American Reunion reminding me how bad that one was, I didn’t like Ted but would give it a second chance before any of the films below and when it comes down to it, I’d probably watch The Lucky One one more time before popping the worst of these films in the Blu-ray player.

While I do list these in alphabetical order, easily the worst of the bunch is Wrath of the Titans, which is really saying something considering how downright awful Piranha 3DD was. However, had the makers of Piranha 3DD been given a budget of $150 million I’m pretty sure they would have made a movie with maybe two good lines as opposed to just one. Sometimes these decisions come down to the tiniest of details.

  • Act of Valor (read my review here)
  • Being Flynn (read my review here)
  • Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (read my review here)
  • Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (read my review here)
  • Piranha 3DD (read my review here)
  • Snow White and the Huntsman (read my review here)
  • The Raven (read my review here)
  • Wrath of the Titans (read my review here)

Now you tell me, what are your favorite and least favorite films of the year so far?

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