Best Films of 2012

by James McNally on December 31, 2012 · 2 comments

in Lists

It’s almost impossible for me to make lists, and yet I com­puls­ively am drawn to making them, or reading other people’s. This is espe­cially true with film, where for me the pleas­ures of dis­covery out­weigh any sense of sat­is­fac­tion of “keeping up” with all the new releases. I might have seen about 50 films that were the­at­ric­ally released this year, which is a tiny frac­tion of the total, so my list is far from bul­let­proof. I tend to see a lot of my films at fest­ivals, too, which can skew the exper­i­ence one way or the other. With all that as pro­logue, here are my top ten films of the year:

1. The Master — Paul Thomas Anderson
1. The Master — Paul Thomas Anderson
2. Only The Young — Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet
2. Only The Young — Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet
3. The Imposter — Bart Layton
3. The Imposter — Bart Layton
4. Moonrise Kingdom — Wes Anderson
4. Moonrise Kingdom — Wes Anderson
5. Looper — Rian Johnson
5. Looper — Rian Johnson
6. Bernie — Richard Linklater
6. Bernie — Richard Linklater
7. Indie Game: The Movie — Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky
7. Indie Game: The Movie — Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky
8. Tchoupitoulas — Bill Ross and Turner Ross
8. Tchoupitoulas — Bill Ross and Turner Ross
9. Sound of My Voice — Zal Batmanglij
9. Sound of My Voice — Zal Batmanglij
10. Beasts of the Southern Wild — Benh Zeitlin
10. Beasts of the Southern Wild — Benh Zeitlin

 

  1. The Master (Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson)
  2. Only The Young (Dirs: Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet)
  3. The Imposter (Dir: Bart Layton)
  4. Moonrise Kingdom (Dir: Wes Anderson)
  5. Looper (Dir: Rian Johnson)
  6. Bernie (Dir: Richard Linklater)
  7. Indie Game: The Movie (Dirs: Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky)
  8. Tchoupitoulas (Dirs: Bill Ross and Turner Ross)
  9. Sound of My Voice (Dir: Zal Batmanglij)
  10. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dir: Benh Zeitlin)

And because I’m such a huge fan of doc­u­mentary film, here is the list of top ten docs:

  1. Only The Young (Dirs: Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet)
  2. The Imposter (Dir: Bart Layton)
  3. Indie Game: The Movie (Dirs: Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky)
  4. Tchoupitoulas (Dirs: Bill Ross and Turner Ross)
  5. The House I Live In (Dir: Eugene Jarecki)
  6. ¡Vivan las Antipodas! (Dir: Victor Kossakovsky)
  7. Room 237 (Dir: Rodney Ascher)
  8. Off Label (Dirs: Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher)
  9. The Ambassador (Dir: Mads Brügger)
  10. The World Before Her (Dir: Nisha Pahuja)

Stay tuned for the third annual CAST Awards list which gathers the opin­ions of Toronto’s “non-professional” critics and cinephiles. That should be ready by next week sometime.

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