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Best Movies of 2012

Editor: Piero Scaruffi
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Best movies of all times | Movie reviews | Back to the Cinema page
Best of the decade | Best of 2013 | Best of 2011
The following list averages the opinions of my favorite critics plus mine.

Foreign movies show sometimes a year later, so if you can't find a title, check last year's ratings.


Special section: The 2012 Film Festivals

Sundance (jan):
Benh Zeitlin: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Leslye Headland: Bachelorette
Josh Radnor: Liberal Arts


Film Comment Selects (feb):
Aleksandr Sokurov: Faust
Alexander Zeldovich: Target
Hirokazu Kore-eda: I Wish
Justin Kurzel: Snowtown
Morten Tyldum: Headhunters
Nanni Moretti: We Have a Pope
Yorgos Lanthimos: Alps
Kenneth Lonergan: Margaret


Berlin (feb):
Christian Petzold: Barbara
Wang Quan'an: White Deer Plain
Paolo & Vittorio Taviani: Cesare Deve Morire
Srdjan Dragojevic: Parada
Cao Hamburger: Xingu
Cannes (may):
Michael Haneke: Amour
Benh Zeitlin: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Carlos Reygadas: Post Tenebras Lux
Cristian Mungiu: Beyond the Hills
Matteo Garrone: Reality
Ken Loach: The Angel's Share
Wes Anderson: Moonrise Kingdom
Venezia (aug):
Paul Thomas Anderson: The Master
Kim Ki-duk: Pieta
Brillante Mendoza: Thy Womb
Leonardo Di Costanzo: L'intervallo
New York (oct):
Leos Carax: Holy Motors
Michael Haneke: Amour
Abbas Kiarostami: Like Someone in Love
Alain Resnais: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
Raul Ruiz: Night Across the Street
Yesim Ustaoglu: Araf
Rama Burshtein: Fill the Void

Toronto (sep):
David Russell: Silver Linings Playbook
Anand Gandhi: Ship of Theseus (2013)
Martin McDonagh: Seven Psychopaths
Francois Ozon: Dans la Maison/ In the House

Ratings for the 2012 season

MUST SEE...:

7.7 Carlos Reygadas: Post Tenebras Lux
7.6 Leos Carax: Holy Motors


7.5 Christian Petzold: Barbara
7.4 Johnnie To: Drug War
7.3 Miguel Gomes: Tabu
7.2 Matteo Garrone: Reality
7.2 Cristian Mungiu: Beyond the Hills
7.2 Jem Cohen: Museum Hours
7.1 Benh Zeitlin: Beasts of the Southern Wild
7.1 Ken Loach: The Angel's Share
7.1 Benjamin Dickinson: First Winter
7.1 Richard Foreman: Once Every Day
7.1 Alain Resnais: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
7.1 Wes Anderson: Moonrise Kingdom
7.1 Javier Ideami: El Cuadro
7.1 Kleber Mendonca Filho: Neighboring Sounds
7.0 Harmony Korine: Spring Breakers
7.0 Don Herzfeldt: It's Such A Beautiful Day
7.0 Joshua Oppenheimer: The Act of Killing (2012)
7.0 Yorgos Lanthimos: Alps
7.0 Christian Schwochow: The Tower
7.0 Gyorgy Palfi: Final Cut - Holgyeim es Uraim / Final Cut - Ladies and Gentlemen
7.0 Abbas Kiarostami: Like Someone in Love
7.0 Xavier Dolan: Laurence Anyways
7.0 Jen and Sylvia Soska: American Mary
7.0 Jeff Nichols: Mud
7.0 Amy Seimetz: Sun Don't Shine
7.0 Ulrich Seidl: Paradise - Love
7.0 Joss Whedon: Much Ado About Nothing
7.0 Leland Orser: Morning
7.0 Terence Nance: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
7.0 Alice Winocour: Augustine
7.0 Sergei Loznitsa: In the Fog
7.0 Tobias Lindholm: A Hijacking
7.0 Ziad Doueiri: The Attack
7.0 Thomas Vinterberg: The Hunt
7.0 Matias Pineiro: Viola
7.0 Eduardo Nunes: Southwest
7.0 Cate Shortland: Lore
7.0 Nabil Ayouch: Horses of God
7.0 Joachim Lafosse: Our Children
7.0 Wladyslaw Pasikowski: Aftermath
7.0 Raul Ruiz: Night Across the Street
7.0 Keith Miller: Welcome to Pine Hill
7.0 Kim Nguyen: War Witch
7.0 Tim Sutton: Pavilion
7.0 Sally Potter: Ginger & Rosa
7.0 Sally El Hosaini: My Brother the Devil
7.0 David Russell: Silver Linings Playbook
7.0 Anand Gandhi: Ship of Theseus
7.0 Im Sang-soo: The Taste of Money
7.0 Moussa Toure: The Pirogue
7.0 Ben Lewin: The Sessions
7.0 Sacha Baron Cohen: The Dictator
7.0 Steve Collins: You Hurt My Feelings
7.0 Ava DuVernay: Middle of Nowhere
7.0 Paul Thomas Anderson: The Master
SO SO...:

6.9 Joe Carnahan: The Grey
6.9 Christophe Honore: Beloved
6.9 Richard Linklater: Bernie
6.9 Craig Zobel: Compliance
6.9 Ole Bornedal: The Possession
6.9 Dong-hoon Choi: The Thieves
6.9 Eric Lartigau: The Big Picture
6.9 Joe Wright: Anna Karenina
6.8 Mariette Monpierre: Elza
6.8 Kim Ki-duk: Pieta
6.8 Scott Derrickson: Sinister
6.8 Sam Fell and Chris Butler: ParaNorman
6.8 Jenny Deller: Future Weather
6.8 Pablo Larrain: No
6.8 Steven Soderbergh: Magic Mike
6.8 Ann Emond: Nuit #1
6.8 Aurora Guerrero: Mosquita y Mari
6.8 Ya-Che Yang: Girlfriend Boyfriend
6.8 Spike Lee: Red Hook Summer
6.8 Ira Sachs: Keep the Lights On
6.8 Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky: Francine
6.8 Pen-ek Ratanaruang: Headshot
6.8 Lav Diaz: Florentina Hubaldo
6.7 Yam Laranas: The Road
6.7 Adam Leon: Gimme the Loot
6.7 Matt Ross: 28 Hotel Rooms
6.7 Jake Schreier: Robot & Frank
6.6 Eric Canuel: Barrymore
6.6 Michael Haneke: Amour
6.6 Jay Chandrasekhar: The Babymakers
6.6 Hirokazu Kore-eda: I Wish
6.6 Colin Trevorrow: Safety Not Guaranteed
6.6 Prashant Bhargava: Patang/ The Kite
6.6 Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud: Chicken With Plums,
6.6 Mia Hansen-Love: Goodbye First Love
6.6 Sheldon Candis: Luv
6.6 Martin McDonagh: Seven Psychopaths
6.6 Francois Ozon: Dans la Maison/ In the House
6.5 Paolo and Vittorio Taviani: Caesar Must Die
6.5 Lee Daniels: The Paperboy
6.5 Juan Solanas: Upside Down
6.5 Peter Hedges: The Odd Life of Timothy Green
6.5 Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer: Cloud Atlas
6.5 Michael Winterbottom: Trishna
6.5 Nancy Savoca: Union Square
6.5 Nima Nourizadeh: Project X
6.5 Baltasar Kormakur: Contraband
6.5 Cristian Jimenez: Bonsai
6.5 David Mackenzie: Tonight You're Mine
6.5 Nicholas Stoller: The Five-Year Engagement
6.5 Patricia Riggen: Girl in Progress
6.5 Chris Eyre: Hide Away
6.5 Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman: Brave
6.5 Tom Shu-Yu Lin: Starry Starry Night
6.5 Rob Reiner: The Magic of Belle Isle
6.5 Nicholas McCarthy: The Pact
6.5 Martin Donovan: Collaborator
6.5 Oliver Stone: Savages
6.5 Christopher Nolan: Dark Knight Rises
6.5 Jonathan Dayton: Ruby Sparks
6.5 Pascal Laugier: The Tall Man
6.5 Pablo Giorgelli: Las Acacias
6.5 So Yong Kim: For Ellen
6.5 Josh Radnor: Liberal Arts
6.5 Ursula Meier: Sister
6.5 Rian Johnson: Looper
6.5 Sean Baker: Starlet
6.5 Andrew Neel: King Kelly
6.5 Feng Xiaogang: Back to 1942
6.5 John Henry Summerour: Sahkanaga
6.5 Caveh Zahedi: the Sheik and I
6.5 Victoria Mahoney: Yelling to the Sky
6.5 Zhang Yuan: Beijing Flickers
Passable...:

6.4 Jacob Aaron Estes: The Details
6.4 Julia Loktev: The Loneliest Planet
6.4 Yaron Zilberman: A Late Quartet
6.4 Daniel Espinosa: Safe House
6.4 Gianni Di Gregorio: Gianni e le Donne/ The Salt of Life
6.4 Brandon Harris: Redlegs
6.3 Michael Roskam: Rundskop/ Bullhead
6.3 Taika Waititi: Boy
6.3 Lasse Hallstrom: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
6.2 Josh Trank: Chronicle
6.2 McG: This Means War
6.2 Paula Van der Oest: Black Butterfly
6.2 Jannicke Systad Jacobsen: Turn Me On Dammit
6.2 John Madden: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
6.2 Zal Batmanglij: Sound of My Voice
6.2 David Cronenberg: Cosmopolis
6.2 Nicholas Jarecki: Arbitrage
6.2 Luis Prieto: Pusher
6.2 Matthias Schweighoefer: What a Man
6.2 Edward Burns: The Fitzgerald Family Christmas
6.2 Lynn Shelton: Your Sister's Sister
6.2 Phil Lord and Christopher Miller: 21 Jump Street
6.1 Reema Kagti: Talaash
6.0 Tarsem Singh: Mirror Mirror
6.0 Manoel de Oliveira: Gebo and the Shadow
6.0 Kathryn Bigelow: Zero Dark Thirty
6.0 Josh Trank: Chronicle
6.0 David Mackenzie: Perfect Sense
6.0 Benjamin Avila: Clandestine Childhood
6.0 Dustin Guy Defa: Bad Fever
6.0 Alan Brown: Private Romeo
6.0 David Wain: Wanderlust
6.0 Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando: Chico & Rita
6.0 Hiromasa Yonebayashi: The Secret World of Arrietty
6.0 James Watkins: The Woman in Black
6.0 Joshua Marston: The Forgiveness of Blood
6.0 Justin Kurzel: The Snowtown Murders
6.0 Paul Weitz: Being Flynn
6.0 Andrew Stanton: John Carter
6.0 Jennifer Westfeldt: Friends With Kids
6.0 Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass: Jeff Who Lives at Home
6.0 Stephen Cone: The Wise Kids
6.0 Terence Davies: The Deep Blue Sea
6.0 Gareth Huw Evans: The Raid - Redemption
6.0 Michael Knowles: The Trouble With Bliss
6.0 Guy Maddin: Keyhole
6.0 Braden King: Here
6.0 Lawrence Kasdan: Darling Companion
6.0 Bobcat Goldthwait: God Bless America
6.0 Gerald Hustache-Mathieu: Nobody Else but You
6.0 Maiwenn: Polisse
6.0 Matt D'Elia: American Animal
6.0 Barry Sonnenfeld: Men in Black 3
6.0 Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache: The Intouchables
6.0 Rupert Sanders: Snow White and the Huntsman
6.0 Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol: A Cat in Paris
6.0 Ridley Scott: Prometheus
6.0 Colin Trevorrow: Peace Love & Misunderstanding
6.0 Philippe Garrel: A Burning Hot Summer
6.0 Andre Techine: Unforgivable
6.0 Martin Sulik: Gypsy
6.0 Jay and Mark Duplass: The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
6.0 Steve Martino and Michael Thurmeier: Ice Age - Continental Drift
6.0 Benoit Jacquot: Farewell My Queen
6.0 Stephen Gyllenhaal: Grassroots
6.0 Daniel Auteuil: The Well-Digger's Daughter
6.0 Rirkrit Tiravanija: Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbors
6.0 Jay Roach: The Campaign
6.0 David Koepp: Premium Rush
6.0 Marcel Rasquin: Hermano
6.0 Karl Markovics: Breathing
6.0 Jiri Barta: Toys in the Attic
6.0 Robert Lorenz: Trouble With the Curve
6.0 Anne Fontaine: My Worst Nightmare
6.0 Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted: Chasing Mavericks
6.0 Hong Sang-soo: In Another Country
6.0 Josh Schwartz: Fun Size
6.0 Nikolaj Arcel: A Royal Affair
6.0 Rich Moore: Wreck-It Ralph
6.0 Robert Zemeckis: Flight
6.0 Sara Blecher: Otelo Burning
6.0 Michael Walker: Price Check
6.0 Peter Ramsey: Rise of the Guardians
6.0 Andrew Dominik: Killing Them Softly
6.0 Jonathan Caouette: Walk Away Renee
6.0 Marshall Lewy: California Solo
6.0 Peter Askin: Certainty
6.0 Steven Miller: Silent Night
6.0 Stefan Ruzowitzky: Deadfall
6.0 Brian Savelson: In Our Nature
6.0 Maya Kenig: Off White Lies
6.0 Fisher Stevens: Stand Up Guys
6.0 Judd Apatow: This is 40
6.0 David Chase: Not Fade Away
6.0 Juan Antonio Bayona: The Impossible
6.0 Gus Van Sant: Promised Land
6.0 Michael Connors: Allegiance
6.0 Andy Fickman: Parental Guidance
6.0 Woody Allen: To Rome With Love
YUCK!...:

5.9 Liza Johnson: Return
5.8 Peter Lord: The Pirates - Band of Misfits
5.8 Tony Gilroy: The Bourne Legacy
5.8 Todd Louiso: Hello I Must Be Going
5.7 Tim Burton: Dark Shadows
5.7 Lee Toland Krieger: Celeste and Jesse Forever
5.7 Walter Salles: On the Road
5.6 Joss Whedon: The Avengers
5.6 David Ayer: End of Watch
5.5 Stephen Chbosky: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
5.5 James Watkins: The Woman in Black
5.5 David Mackenzie: Perfect Sense
5.5 Ken Kwapis: Big Miracle
5.5 Peter and Bobby Farrelly: The Three Stooges
5.5 Tanya Wexler: Hysteria
5.5 Dean Wright: For Greater Glory
5.5 Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod: Bel Ami
5.5 Nacho Vigalondo: Extraterrestrial
5.5 Lorene Scafaria: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
5.5 Gurvinder Singh: Alms for a Blind Horse
5.5 Mike Birbiglia: Sleepwalk With Me
5.5 Andrea Arnold: Wuthering Heights
5.5 Barry Levinson: The Bay
5.5 Lorraine Levy: The Other Son
5.5 Bill Condon: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
5.5 Gabriele Muccino: Playing for Keeps
5.5 Dustin Hoffman: Quartet
5.4 Chris Kentis and Laura Lau: Silent House
5.3 Anne Renton: The Perfect Family
5.2 Matt Piedmont: Casa de Mi Padre
5.2 Quentin Tarantino: Django Unchained
5.0 Robbie Pickering: Natural Selection
5.0 Wolfgang Murnberger: My Best Enemy
5.0 Tom O'Brien: Fairhaven
5.0 Steven Soderbergh: Haywire
5.0 Michael Sucsy: The Vow
5.0 Ti West: The Innkeepers
5.0 Anthony Hemingway: Red Tails
5.0 Asger Leth: Man on a Ledge
5.0 Berndt Mader: Five Time Champion
5.0 Eric Schaeffer: After Fall Winter
5.0 Ti West: The Innkeepers
5.0 Madonna: W.E.
5.0 Gabe Torres: Brake
5.0 Gary Ross: The Hunger Games
5.0 John Stockwell: Dark Tide
5.0 Antony Cordier: Four Lovers
5.0 Whit Stillman: Damsels in Distress
5.0 Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon: The Cabin in the Woods
5.0 Scott Hicks: The Lucky One
5.0 Dennis Lee: Jesus Henry Christ
5.0 James Franco: The Broken Tower
5.0 James McTeigue: The Raven
5.0 Kirk Jones: What to Expect When You're Expecting
5.0 Alex Ross Perry: The Color Wheel
5.0 Debbie Goodstein-Rosenfeld: Mighty Fine
5.0 Daryl Wein: Lola Versus
5.0 Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath: Madagascar 2 - Europe
5.0 Adam Shankman: Rock of Ages
5.0 Timur Bekmambetov: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
5.0 Chris Pine: People Like Us
5.0 Seth MacFarlane: Ted
5.0 Adam Sherman: Crazy Eyes
5.0 Alexis Lloyd: 30 Beats
5.0 Takashi Miike: Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai,
5.0 William Friedkin: Killer Joe
5.0 Scott Speer: Step Up Revolution
5.0 Fernando Meirelles: 360
5.0 Julie Delpy: 2 Days in New York,
5.0 Christopher Neil: Goats
5.0 David Frankel: Hope Springs
5.0 Nick Murphy: The Awakening
5.0 Guillaume Canet: Little White Lies
5.0 Mads Matthiesen: Teddy Bear
5.0 Dax Shepard: Hit & Run
5.0 John Hillcoat: Lawless
5.0 Jamie Travis: For a Good Time Call
5.0 Lance Daly: The Good Doctor
5.0 Tsui Hark: Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
5.0 Leslye Headland: Bachelorette
5.0 Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal: The Words
5.0 Ben Palmer: The Inbetweeners
5.0 Fred Schepisi: The Eye of the Storm
5.0 Jamie Linden: 10 Years
5.0 Delphine and Muriel Coulin: 17 Girls
5.0 Ryan O'Nan: Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
5.0 Daniel Barnz: Won't Back Down
5.0 Tim Burton: Frankenweenie
5.0 Julian Farino: The Oranges
5.0 Don Hertzfeldt: It's Such a Beautiful Day
5.0 Jonathan Lisecki: Gayby
5.0 Ben Affleck: Argo
5.0 Ry Russo-Young: Nobody Walks
5.0 Hur Jin-ho: Dangerous Liaisons
5.0 Sam Mendes: Skyfall
5.0 Steven Spielberg: Lincoln
5.0 Ang Lee: Life of Pi
5.0 Alexander Poe: Ex-Girlfriends
5.0 Darragh Byrne: Parked
5.0 Marialy Rivas: Young and Wild
5.0 Paul Fraser: My Brothers
5.0 R. Alverson: New Jerusalem
5.0 Roger Michell: Hyde Park on Hudson
5.0 Donald Rice: Cheerful Weather for the Wedding
5.0 Peter Jackson: The Hobbit
5.0 David Riker: The Girl
5.0 Travis Fine: Any Day Now
5.0 Connie Stevens: Saving Grace B Jones
5.0 Michael Mohan: Save the Date
5.0 Tom Hooper: Les Miserables
5.0 Christopher McQuarrie: Jack Reacher
GASP!...:

4.9 Madonna: W.E.
4.8 Len Wiseman: Total Recall
4.5 Jonathan Liebesman: Wrath of the Titans
4.5 Dan Bradley: Red Dawn
4.5 Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg: American Pie
4.5 Darren Lynn Bousman: Mother's Day
4.5 John Stalberg: High School
4.5 Sean Anders: That's My Boy
4.5 Salim Akil: Sparkle
4.5 Philip Dorling and Ron Nyswaner: Why Stop Now
4.5 Michael Bassett: Solomon Kane
4.5 Matthew Lillard: Fat Kid Rules the World
4.5 RZA: The Man With the Iron Fists
4.5 Peter Ho-Sun Chan: Wu Xia/ Dragon
4.5 Stephen Frears: Lay the Favorite
4.5 Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux: The Rabbi's Cat
4.4 Nicole Kassell: A Little Bit of Heaven
4.0 Todd Graff: Joyful Noise
4.0 Mikael Buch: Let My People Go
4.0 Marc Webb: The Amazing Spider-Man
4.0 James Mather & Stephen St Leger: Lockout Directed
4.0 Brandon and Jason Trost: The FP
4.0 Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
4.0 Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh: Act of Valor
4.0 Julie Gavras: Late Bloomers
4.0 Dustin Lance Black: Virginia
4.0 Peter Berg: Battleship
4.0 Patrik-Ian Polk: The Skinny
4.0 Akiva Schaffer: The Watch
4.0 Simon West: Expendable 2
4.0 Olivier Megaton: Taken 2
4.0 Rob Cohen: Alex Cross
4.0 Rick Alverson: The Comedy
4.0 Lorrel Manning: Happy New Year
4.0 Nikhil Advani: Delhi Safari
4.0 Anne Fletcher: The Guilt Trip

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