We must be at the end, because Harlan Jacobson could only come up with eight. Here's his and Brett Michel's.
Harlan Jacobson's Eight Best Films of 2012
D: Steven Spielberg, W: Tony Kushner based on DK Goodwin's
Team of Rivals
With: Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Fields, David Strathairn (Secretary
of State Seward), TL Jones (Thaddeus
Stevens, R of PA, Chairman of the House
balancing the politics of his day, the war, his wife, the future of democracy.
Loved by some, dismissed as civics lesson by many, pretty
great piece of work.
2.Beasts of the
D: Benh Zeitlin, W: Lucy Alibar and Azitlin,
With : Quvenzhane Wallis (Hushpuppy) and Dwight Henry (Wink,
Debut feature at Sundance, not about nature vs corrupt civilization
as often described but about parental responsibility to child,
astonishing perfs by QW and DH
3.Zero Dark Thirty
D: Kathryn Bigelow; W: Mark Boal
With: Jessica Chastain and a whole lotta ofguys
Hunt for Osama Bin Laden... restores intelligence to action
4. The Ambassador
Doc, D: Mads Brugger
Prod Lars Von Trier
(Melancholia, Antichrist, Idiots)
An "ambassador" (Brugger) obtains fake diplomatic credentials
to buy and carry blood diamonds. Borat territory, wildest ride of the year.
Sundance. Made only $27k and died.
5. The Master
W&D: Paul Thomas Anderson
With: Joaquin Phoenix (Freddie Quill), Phillip Seymour
Dodd), Amy Adams (Peggy Dodd)
Astonishing performances, Elmer Gantry territory Mormonism & Joseph Smith and Mormonism
& Joseph Smith as much as Scientology;- the seer, the embattled prophet,
wandering, getting the word in the wilderness
the "A-Roving" number at a Philly socialite's house is one of best
scenes of 2012. Continually slighted by critics, yet one of most ambitious pics
W&D: Sean Baker (TV Greg
the Bunny), 4th film (Prince
With: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson.
About: a 20-something and 85 year old in LA experience what's missing in American life. No big surprises, all small reveals,
expertly crafted. American art film and a surprise.
7. 2 Days in New York
Writer and Director: Julie Delpy
With: Albert Delpy, Chris Rock (who talks to a cardboard
cutout of Barack Obama).
8. Silver Linings
W&D: David O Russell, loosely based on the Matthew Quick
With: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, DeNiro, Jackie
Helps to be from Philly for this dark horse comedy, an
update on Italian-Americans.