There’s almost nothing movie fans love more than making lists, and honestly, maybe that’s one of the things I love so much about movies. I’ve always loved to rank things, whether it is movies, favorite baseball players, or memes. So with the decade coming to a close, it is the perfect time to do an annual retrospective on each year in the decade, continuing with 2012.
(Throughout this series, I’ll be using the Letterboxd release dates to determine which year’s list to put each film on.)
10. Django Unchained – This is in the bottom half of Tarantino movies, but a bottom half movie for him is still a great film. It has some of the best and most stylized action he’s ever put in a movie other than Kill Bill and is a classic revenge tale. And with one of Leonardo DiCaprio’s best performances, this is quite the film.
9. Les Misérables – I love this movie mainly because I love the musical. It has great songs and a timeless theme of love and redemption. It’s always best to look for the best in people, because the worst thing we’ve ever done doesn’t define who we are.
8. Wreck-It Ralph – Before the sequel came and was terrible, Wreck-It Ralph was a great entry into the illustrious catalog of Disney animation. It’s fun and funny and has a great message about friendship and choosing to be yourself.
7. The Amazing Spider-Man – It’s unpopular, but I’m a big fan of the Amazing Spider-Man movies. This is mostly because of the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. It’s obvious that this is the classic case of a comic book movie being made by committee, these two actors are determined to make it the best they can – it’s just completely charming to watch the two of them interact.
6. The Avengers – The movie that showed that expanded cinematic universes are possible when one man oversees them with a master plan. As it’s aged, it’s obvious that it isn’t quite as good as the MCU can be, but it’s still a feat and a whole lot of fun to watch.
5. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson, Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Jesse Plemons, Rami Malek, Laura Dern. This is one of the best-made movies of the decade simply because of the kind of talent behind it. But in addition, its themes about religion and power are haunting and thought provoking.
4. Argo – This proved to be the end of the “Ben Affleck the director can do no wrong” streak, but it’s a totally deserved Best Picture winner. Affleck is a master at building tension, and the scenes that are dramatized because it’s a movie are some of the tensest moments that were put to screen this year.
3. 21 Jump Street – When Phil Lord and Chris Miller were given a reboot of an 80s TV show, they delivered the best possible outcome. It’s a self-aware reboot that pokes fun at the very idea of reboots. But it’s a great movie at the same time. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are flawless and true comedy stars who carry the movie.
2. Silver Linings Playbook – I’m a sucker for a good romantic drama, and with the caliber of actors and director involved in this one, we have one of my favorites. It deals with mental illness, family, and taking your life into your own hands to create the best possible outcome. And it is pure and watchable because of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
1. Looper – Rian Johnson is such a smart filmmaker, and Looper is one of the best examples of that. He made a time travel movie about the nature of self and how it mixes with nature vs. nurture. And as with his other movies, it’s so good that you don’t have to be looking for the themes and messages in order to get something out of it.
All images retrieved from IMDb