Movies: Best and worst of 2012

THIS year I watched 123 movies, which is down on previous years.

Maybe if I hadn't spent so much time watching The Avengers again and again I would have fit more movies in.

Anyway, here's my take on the hits and misses (in no particular order) that reached our cinemas and DVD players in 2012. And before anyone starts whining about how some of these movies came out last year (or even the year before), yes, I know that, but they didn't reach south-west Victorian audiences until this year, either through belated cinema releases or on DVD. So chillax.

The top 20 movies of the year

The Muppets

To see Jim Henson's beloved creations returned to the big screen so faithfully, with such humour, style and intelligence, made me weep tears of nostalgic joy.


A 2010 coming-of-age movie that took two years to reach DVD here. Well worth the wait for its subdued British charms and humour.


The traditional superhero movie, re-imagined with found footage and the question 'what if it was the troubled kid that got the super powers?'. Stunning and clever.


Martin Scorsese's ode to filmmaking pioneer George Méliès and the wonder of childhood was an eye-candy-filled fairytale for grown-ups.

The Descendants

George Clooney gives one of his best performances as the husband of a comatose woman in this sad yet life-affirming drama about grief, memories and family.


Just when you thought you knew where this quiet drama starring Ryan Gosling was going, it punched you in the face. Repeatedly. A disturbing masterpiece.

The Artist

Ingenious silent film, totally deserving of every award it won. They don't make films like this any more, but they really should.

The Pirates! Band Of Misfits

The Aardman crew painstakingly animated this side-splittingly funny family adventure, packing it full of gags and great lines.


Baseball and business make for a surprisingly intriguing film starring the always-good Brad Pitt and a pleasingly subdued Jonah Hill.

The Avengers

Not only the best superhero film of the year, but one of the funniest movies of the year. So much was riding on this, and Joss Whedon pulled it off.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gripping spy thriller that takes a refreshing softly-softly approach to the world of espionage. Stellar performances abound, particularly from Gary Oldman.

Attack The Block

Aliens invade a London council estate, making for a surprising twist on the traditional horror/monster movie.

The Amazing Spider-man

Unneccesary reboot but Marc Webb does a great job in trying to find a new angle. Andrew Garfield makes for a good Spidey.


Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis both play Joe in this time-travel mind-twister, which features some of the most iconic and memorable scenes of the year.


Edge-of-your-seat perfection from Ben Affleck, who balances the tension and absurdity of this based-on-a-true-story thriller. Deserves Oscars.


One of the best Bonds ever, with a look and vibe that's new to the series, yet still somehow classically 007.

Rise Of The Guardians

The Avengers for kids, with Santa, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy doing battle with a memorable villain. Intelligent and visually stunning.


You'll laugh, you'll cry. Gordon Levitt again, in another great performance, this time as a cancer sufferer dealing with the ups and downs of his disease.

The Cabin In The Woods

Inventive and subversive interpretation of the tropes of the horror genre that's as blackly funny and briefly terrifying as the classic Evil Dead 2.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Returning to Middle Earth was like catching up with an old friend... and riding off to slay orcs together. Perhaps overlong, but the magic is still there.

Honourable mentions: Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, The Guard, Super, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, My Week With Marilyn, Brave, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Lawless, Rampart, Wreck-It Ralph.

The worst movies of the year


A style-over-substance mess about samurai-fuelled revenge that wastes a great cast by being ponderous instead of profound and boring instead of bombastic.


This based-on-the-boardgame travesty left its brain in the dry dock. Bodes badly for Monopoly: The Movie, but at least that won't have the galaxy's stupidest aliens in it. Probably.

The Five Year Engagement

I like Emily Blunt and Jason Segel, but they couldn't save this frustratingly annoying and predictable rom-com, which lacked both rom and com.

Kath & Kimderella

Oh the pain. Proof of what happens when an already-tired joke is retold again and again... for 90 minutes.

That's My Boy

Another year, another Adam Sandler bomb. The surprising thing is that it's not as bad as expected. Mind you, it's still terrible.

Matt Neal found nostalgia was a powerful influence when reviewing The Muppets Movie.

Matt Neal found nostalgia was a powerful influence when reviewing The Muppets Movie.


Discuss "Movies: Best and worst of 2012"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.