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The Ten Best Movies of 2012

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No. 5. Looper

Looper is the most complex action-thriller since Inception and one of the most engaging since The Matrix. Both are great company to keep. The movie could have gone in many directions, but Rian Johnson takes the audience down the best of rabbit holes. On a second viewing, it’s even easier to appreciate the detail that went into every aspect of the film, and just how refreshing it truly is.

No. 4. Django Unchained

Some critics may say that Django Unchained is a lesser form of entertainment than, say, Inglourious Basterds, but that doesn’t really matter. Django Unchained is explosively fun from beginning to end, and it stands unique among the year’s films. There isn’t a dull moment in the movie, a rare feat even among the best of films. It is also Quentin Tarantino’s most accessible and mainstream film yet.

No. 3. Zero Dark Thirty

The top three movies on this list could be placed in any order and I’d be happy, but I had to make a decision… Thanks to a powerful, Oscar-worthy performance by Jessica Chastain and a detailed, gripping production by Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal (whose last collaboration was the Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker), Zero Dark Thirty takes an unflinching and procedural approach to the CIA mission to find and kill Osama bin Laden. The last 30 minutes… just wow.

No. 2. Argo

Tense. Thrilling. Entertaining. Serious. Funny. Ben Affleck has a legitimate Oscar contender on his hands in the form of Argo, a movie that is not only his most accessible film but also his best suited to appeal to Oscar voters. About a so-absurd-it-has-to-be-real CIA mission to extract six American hostages from Iran, Argo is at once timely and nail-bitingly fun.

No. 1. The Intouchables

Oh no! A foreign film in the #1 spot? Why is FilmJabber so conceited? Patience… The Intouchables is a foreign film, yes, but there’s nothing artsy or sophisticated about it: funny, dramatic, powerful and entertaining, the movie is a blast, and one that American audiences would appreciate. While Argo or Zero Dark Thirty could have easily gone into this spot, The Intouchables is, as my original review describes, “one of the best movies of the 21st century.” And I stand by that.

See our full list of the best and worst movies of 2012.

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By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Action Movies, Drama Movies, Movies, Romance Movies, Top 10 Movie Lists
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  • lindsey tam

    A lot of these are really great movies, although there are a couple that I haven’t seen yet, Argo in particular. It looks like a great movie, and my DISH co-workers were raving about it when it first came out, so I’ll definitely have to see it. I didn’t see it in theaters because they’re too expensive, but I plan to rent it as soon as it’s available from DISH’s Blockbuster@Home service. They have a huge selection of over 100,000 DVDs, and they’re always adding new movies, so I can always find something great to watch and it’s only a matter of time until Argo is available.

  • Lukebaggins

    Honestly my number 1 this year is Cabin in the Woods

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