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Top 10 British Films Of 2012

New: Top 10 Best British Films, 2012 (List Of UK Films) Before we can delve into my top 10 British films of 2012, we really need to clarify what we mean by the term ‘British film’. A movie made in Britain, set in Britain, and/or with lots of Brits in it? That’ll do nicely. Anything to add? Just that this year started pretty dubiously, as David Cameron revealed his blueprint for restoring the UK industry’s lustre: investment should only go to movies that’ll be hits. Brilliant, Dave! As it happens, I’ve got a script I KNOW will be popular. It’s called ‘Punching David Cameron in the Nuts’. You read that and while you do, here are my picks for the year.

10. Dredd

Best British Films 2012
Sufficiently dark, gritty and faithful to the 2000AD source strip, especially compared to bad memories of Sly’s bionic codpiece and shiny body-condom?

Or a lacklustre shoot-em-up, shorn of the dystopian scale and satirical snap of British comics’ premier badass?

The judgement is not proven, as some neat sequences failed to coalesce into this millennium’s answer to Robocop. The punishment, incidentally, is to watch the Stallone version again.

9. Tower Block


Made on a shoestring, this mostly single-setting sniper thriller found a group of residents trapped on one floor of the titular tower block while a laser-guided loon gradually picks them off.

Which was all the excuse needed for first-time feature directors James Nunn and Ronnie Thompson to crank the Wannabe John Carpenter Factor all the way up to Precinct 13, and for screenwriter James Moran to get his ensemble of characters behaving as variously whiny, heroic, cowardly and easily sacrificed as in any Irwin Allen disaster extravaganza.

8. ill Manors


Plan B made repeated incursions into UK cinemas this year; The Sweeney and the self-written/self-directed ill Manors both indicating that someone somewhere had decided the pudgy-cheeked urban gremlin was the coming superstar of modestly-budgeted ‘man movies’.

Then there was his cinema computer ad, in which Planners spent several long, long minutes telling us how he puts together one of his Chip Shop Mark Ronson sing-songs together, before collecting a doubtlessly massive bag of cash.

Keeping’ it real!

7. Keith Lemon The Film

British Films List 2012
Just kidding.

7. The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists


Forget about Lemon and all the worst traits of the British film industry that his cinematic opus embodied (F-list celebrity rent-a-mugs galore, crap telly star wallowing in the manure of vanity that comes with having your ‘film’ plastered on the side of a London bus for seven days) – Aardman Animations are a native movie machine to be truly proud of.

Stylistic trends within the animation business inevitably shift and contort as time rolls on, but there’s something simultaneously reassuring and charming about Aardman dragging claymation into the second decade of the third millennium. And what a buccaneering, swashbuckling adventure to do it with, as Hugh Grant took a couple of hours off from ragging on the press to get his voiceover pipes soggy.

6. Anna Karenina

Best British Movies 2012
She’s crap! He’s loathsome! Knightley and Law, together at last! And in a movie directed by Joe Wright no less, a man who delivered one of recent movie history’s most blatant and obnoxious awards season-begs in the shape of Atonement.

Where then did it all go right? Well, Wright displaying surprising creative vigour in his stylised route to recreating Tolstoy’s Russia was a good start. And then there was Aaron Taylor-Johnson cutting a dash with his ‘tache, like the baddest Movember-fucker of ‘em all.


Top British Films 2012 – 5th to 1st >

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5 Comments »

  • gd smith said

    Dredd easily the best film of the year and a new addition to the all time shoot em’ up greats. Wipes the floor with tepid PG auctioners and will become one of the all time cult classics as well. It didn’t make money. Nor did Bladerunner.

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    • steve said

      Sorry, Dredd is a real stinker. Poor decision making from start to finish. As a reader of the progs since the early days, I was very disappointed. Give it a miss, even as a free download.

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      • Sheridan Passell said

        Whaaaat? Tough crowd. The long-time 2000AD readers I know really liked it. It didn’t capture all aspects of the comic but was a huge step in the right direction.

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  • Max said

    What about Les Miserables?

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  • Hector said

    Glad to see Aardman getting a mention. Also good to see (if only on television) hand drawn animation in the Snowman sequel.

    Yes, PIXAR are brilliant when they get it right, but is there enough scope for newcomers, wherever they newcome from?

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