2012 is over and I have finally gotten around to completing my list of favorite movies from the past twelve months. These are not necessarily the movies that are going to win any awards, but they were the ones that entertained me the most:
If you are at all surprised that this is on my list, then you clearly do not know me that well or read my blog at all. I adore Joss Whedon and everything he does and this movie just proved that, if you let him do his thing, magic happens. Expectations were very high for this movie and I definitely think the cast and the story exceeded those expectations, at least for me. I just hope that the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot actually gets turned into a full series, mostly because it brings Agent Coulson back to life, but also because it will be awesome.
Ben Affleck showed us he was a great writer/director with The Town and Argo proved once again that he continues to be a triple-threat. I enjoyed this movie not only because it was well-written, directed and acted, but also because I learned about a piece of U.S. history that was not well-known. I was not actually alive during the Iran Hostage Crisis, but even my mother does not remember the story of these six fugitives coming home. (And if you know my mother, that is a rarity because she remembers EVERYTHING.) However, even if you do not care for the historical aspects, it is still a great, high energy story. I particularly enjoyed the characters played by Alan Arkin and John Goodman and their tagline: Argo fuck yourself!
I was really excited to see this movie before it was released. I am a pretty big a capella nerd and the cast is also filled with actors that I love: Brittany Snow, Anna Kendrick, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson and Elizabeth Banks, to name a few. It is hilariously funny and smart and it is definitely a must-see. I saw it twice in theaters, bought the blu ray for myself for Christmas and have already watched it two more times.
End of Watch
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play two Los Angeles police officers who stumble upon drugs and money belonging to a local cartel during a routine traffic stop. It is shot mostly on hand-held cameras and, at times, can be a little intense. Gyllenhaal and Pena are terrific, as are their supporting cast which includes Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera, Natalie Martinez, David Harbour and Frank Grillo. I was not sure going into this what to expect, but I thought it was realistic, very well done and completely underrated.
Silver Linings Playbook
This movie was filmed in Philadelphia and starred Bradley Cooper, so I was a little biased going into it, but I really enjoyed it a lot. I think it is one of Cooper's best performances and he has already been nominated for a Golden Globe, alongside co-star Jennifer Lawrence. If you have not already seen this movie, then I highly suggest you check it out. I just wonder how the Solitano family would react to the news that Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid has been fired. :)
Honorable Mentions: The Perks of Being A Wallflower, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Safety Not Guaranteed, Cabin in the Woods, Bernie, Les Miserables
I have not seen Lincoln, Life of Pi, Skyfall or Django Unchained and while the first two I would like to see eventually, I have no real interest in seeing the others in the theater. I have never been a huge Quentin Tarantino or James Bond fan and am fine watching both films when they come out on blu ray.
What are your favorite movies from this year?
I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's Eve and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013!