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Top 20 Best Movies Of 2012 …So Far

New Hollywood Movies 2012 (List)We’re half way through the year so here are my picks from 2012 Hollywood movies, so far. Bear in mind that this new list was written July 12th, and I’m going by U.S. release dates. There’s a link at the end to what’s still to come. Honestly, it hasn’t been a great half year for mainstream film, but there are a few highlights.

20th. The Hunger Games
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks
Director: Gary Ross
Released: 23rd March 2012 (U.S. Dates)

Best Movies 2012
In a dystopian future, each poor district puts up a couple of their young citizens to fight to the death in a kill-or-be-killed wilderness deathmatch. How much you enjoy the movie will depend on whether you saw 2000’s ‘Battle Royale’. If you did, this is a poor cousin that dulls every edge and is not very creative with the gameplay. If you’ve never seen ‘Battle Royale’ you’ll find this intriguing – it is kids killing kids. And with that concept comes a lot of tension in the build-up to the game. The lead performance is decent. Woody and Lenny Kravitz are watchable.

19th. Safe House
Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Released: 10th February 2012

Top Movies 2012
A young CIA agent (Reynolds) is tasked with looking after a fugitive (Washington) in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge. While the movie’s South African setting makes a nice change, it’s the lead performances that make it worth watching, especially Washington who’s electric in the is-he-a-villain-or-not role (think ‘Training Day’-lite). He exudes menace and charm, and the tension comes from never being sure which way he’s going to go in a scene. Unfortunately the overall plot is far too predictable, and the action relies heavily on shaky-cam.

18th. Man On A Ledge
Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Edward Burns
Director: Asger Leth
Released: 27th January 2012

Top Movies 2012
A desperate man climbs out on a ledge in New York City and threatens to jump. But does he have an ulterior motive for being there? This is a decent enough thriller that’s on the list because there haven’t been that many great films so far this year. Sam Worthington is very good, and I wish they had spent more time with him on the ledge and less with Jamie Bell and the girl, whose antics were preposterous. The fact that many of the scenes were shot on the actual ledge with Worthington crapping himself for real lends it a fascination for me.

17th. The Woman In Black
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Janet McTeer
Director: James Watkins
Released: 3rd February 2012

Top Movies 2012
A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers a vengeful ghost, the woman in black, who is terrorising the locals. The highest-grossing British horror film in 20 years and a welcome return to old-school creepy ghost stories. It falls short of classic status because the director is workmanlike rather than inspired with his by-the-book approach to atmospherics and scares. Radcliffe is good, but has almost no dialogue and his performance doesn’t quite sell how utterly terrifying the experience would be. Still, it’s all effective enough. See the play instead if you can.

16th. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Starring: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Celia Imrie
Director: John Madden
Released: 25th May 2012

Best Movies Of 2012
British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel experience nevertheless begins to win them over in unexpected ways. The movie is owned by a great ensemble of fine British veteran talent (marred only by Dev Patel’s irritating performance). It’s humourous, sometimes moving, and a vibrant, entertaining journey into modern India. Not for adrenaline junkies but if you’re slightly older then this has a lot of charm.

15th Place >

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  • Peter said

    The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man.. *thumbs up

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  • Jasonzilla said

    I’m not sure his year in movies has been so bad we need to fill spaces with junkers like John Carter and Chronicle, do we?

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    • Sheridan Passell said
      Sheridan Passell

      I thought they were decent for the reasons mentioned in the post, but not fantastic. Question is, what would you put in their place?

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      • G said

        I think your order is wrong for starters. MIB3 plus John Carter are inferior to the all the movies in the 20-12 spots. Plus no love for Get the Gringo? We Bought a Zoo was a good family flick. Piranhaconda? (That last one was a joke.)

        The worst movie of the year. Dark Tide with Halle Berry.

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        • Sheridan Passell said
          Sheridan Passell

          It’s going by U.S. release date so We Bought a Zoo was last year. Get the Gringo is an interesting shout, slipped through the net by going straight to video-on-demand in the U.S., I’ll need to check it out.

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          • G said

            All and all its been disappointing so far. The Hobbit and Dark Knight Rises better be worth it. If not I’ll have to wait for the Fantastic Four reboot. Wait? What?

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      • Jasonzilla said

        Better than those two? I can randomly pick OK movies that were better than them: Underworld: Awakening, Mirror Mirror, Contraband, This Means War, The Vow, Haywire, American Reunion.

        Movies that should be on this list, though: Friends With Kids, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, Take This Waltz (?), Your Sister’s Sister, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, The Five Year Engagement.

        Just because a movie is unique doesn’t mean it’s good or needs any kind of recognition. Chronicle was bad because of how much they lost site of “found footage.” Helicopter or cop dashboard cams aren’t “found footage.” In that case they should have dropped it altogether and focused on a decent story.

        And how much money you throw at a movie doesn’t mean anything either. A movie like Avatar should be recognized for how it looked and how much it cost because it was a good movie. Superman Returns and those God-forsaken Transformers movies cost a lot, but I’m not going to acknowledge them except to blame Superman for destroying Brandon Routh’s career.

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  • gd smith said

    It’s been a bit ho hum.
    I like Ted, mainly because of the flash Gordon stuff and the thunder buddies song.
    The Raid is pretty good,
    Safe House was a sold thriller.
    Despite the criticism, I really liked Prometheus.
    The Grey was a lot better than I expected.
    Not really watched any of the superhero films and didn’t really like Cabin in the Woods. Please someone make a horror film without the dreaded inverted commas of “irony”.
    Man on a Ledge, did feature a man and he was on a ledge, so it won my vote for cinematic tautology if nothing else.

    John Carter, I liked the Moon maiden or what ever she was, but the film was all of the place and the CGI was like watching a cartoon. Where the budget went, I have no idea.

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  • Etienne Cain-Rojas said

    I Watched The Avengers in 3D
    I Watched The Amazing Spider-man in 3D
    If I could I would Watch The Dark Knight Rises in 3D.

    Also I can’t wait for IRON MAN 3, THOR: The dark world, The Amazing Spider-man 2 and 3 and mostly just because of the source
    matireal CAPTAIN AMERICA 2: WINTER SOLDIER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Etienne Cain-Rojas said

    I couldn’t belive Thor was fighting the Hulk! That part in the movie had my nerd side UNLEASHING!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • steve k said

    The Woman In Black…good, solid movie. A nice first step away from HP for Daniel.

    21 Jump Street had me rolling in the theater. I didn’t think I’d be wild about it but it was funny as hell. Even when they played into cliches, they played into them well.

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  • Vijay said

    u missed battle ship

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  • puppy-luv ( i love puppies) said

    any adam sandler movie rocks. deal with it! i <3 every-one.

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  • BRAVO said


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  • HellEven ( Hell Or Heaven ) said

    And Where Is Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2

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  • Chandan said

    I think 1st rank goes to The Dark Knight rises and then 2nd place for Avengers..

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  • rhea1234gu said

    twilight breaking dawn part 2 is d best

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  • eva said

    wer is twilight??u guys srsly dont hav any propr ratings!!!!twilight breakin dawn is d best n it beats avengers!!

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  • Lokesh said

    THe dark knight rises

    best ever

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