Daniel Green Features

Special Feature: The Best Films of 2012

Yes, it’s that time of year again when critics and regular cinemagoers alike frantically put together their lists of the best cinematic produce of the previous twelve months. Whilst a number of high profile US blockbusters and comedies have failed to deliver the goods (we’re looking at you Prometheus), arthouse, documentary and experimental filmmaking has managed time and time again to capture the imagination of mainstream audiences thanks to good old-fashioned originality and innovation. To celebrate the end of 2012 (and the start of 2013), several of our most esteemed writers have put together their top picks from the last year in film. Take a look at the lists below and do let us know what you think by using the comment box provided.

Daniel Green, Editor

Top 10 of 2012
1. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey)
2. Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax, France)
3. The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, US)
4. Amour (dir. Michael Haneke, Austria)
5. Life of Pi (dir. Ang Lee, US)
6. Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zietlin, US)
7. Killing Them Softly (dir. Andrew Dominik, US)
8. Berberian Sound Studio (dir. Peter Strickland, UK)
9. Chasing Ice (dir. Jeff Orlowski, US)
10. Avengers Assemble (dir. Joss Whedon, US)

Best Director
Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Best Performance
Denis Levant (Holy Motors)

Worst Film
The Knot (dir. Jesse Lawrence, UK)

Joe Walsh

Top 10 of 2012
1. Berberian Sound Studio (dir. Peter Strickland, UK)
2. Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax, France)
3. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey)
4. Amour (dir. Michael Haneke, Austria)
5. The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, US)
6. The Turin Horse (dir. Bela Tarr, Hungary)
7. Tabu (dir. Miguel Gomez, Portugal)
8. Life of Pi (dir. Ang Lee, US)
9. Killer Joe (dir. William Friedkin, US)
10. The Hunter (dir. Daniel Nettheim, New Zealand)

Best Director
Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio)

Best Performance
Denis Levant (Holy Motors)

Worst Film
Bel Ami (dir. Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod, UK)

Patrick Gamble

Top 10 of 2012
1. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey)
2. Tabu (dir. Miguel Gomes, Portugal)
3. Turin Horse (dir. Bela Tarr, Hungary)
4. Berberian Sound Studio (dir. Peter Strickland, UK)
5. Amour (dir. Michael Haneke, Austria)
6. Elena (dir. Andrey Zvyaginstev, Russia)
7. Life of Pi (dir. Ang Lee, US)
8. The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, US)
9. Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax, France)
10. The Kid With a Bike (dir. Jean Pierre, Luc Dardenne, Belgium)

Best Director
Miguel Gomes (Tabu)

Best Performance
Denis Levant (Holy Motors)

Worst Film
Project X (dir. Nima Nourizadeh, US)

John Bleasdale

Top 10 of 2012
1. Amour (dir. Michael Haneke, Austria)
2. The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, US)
3. Holy Motors (dir. Leo Carax, France)
4. Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zietlin, US)
5. The Imposter (dir. Bart Layton, UK)
6. Killing Them Softly (dir. Andrew Dominik, US)
7. Skyfall (dir. Sam Mendes, UK)
8. The Dark Knight Rises (dir. Christopher Nolan, US)
9. The Grey (dir. Joe Carnahan, US)
10. Marley (dir. Kevin MacDonald, UK)

Best Director
Michael Haneke

Best Performance
Denis Levant (Holy Motors)

Worst Film
Prometheus (dir. Ridley Scott, US)

Ben Nicholson

Top 10 of 2012
1. Amour (dir. Michael Haneke, Austria)
2. The Turin Horse (dir. Bela Tarr, Hungary)
3. The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, US)
4. The Imposter (dir. Bart Layton, UK)
5. Shame (dir. Steve McQueen, UK)
6. Cosmopolis (dir. David Cronenberg, US)
7. Holy Motors (dir. Leos Carax, France)
8. Tabu (dir. Miguel Gomes, Portugal)
9. Martha Marcy May Marlene (dir. Sean Durkin, US)
10. Even The Rain (dir. Icíar Bollaín, Spain)

Best Director
Michael Haneke

Best Performance
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)

Worst Film
John Carter (dir. Andrew Stanton, US)

Cleaver Patterson

Top 10 of 2012
1. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Must Travel (dir. Lisa Immordino Vreeland, US)
2. Skyfall (dir. Sam Mendes, UK)
3. The Cabin in the Woods (dir. Drew Goddard, US)
4. The Queen of Versailles (dir. Lauren Greenfield, US)
5. Iron Sky (dir. Timo Vuorensola, Finland)
6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (dir. John Madden, UK)
7. The Iron Lady (dir. Phyllida Lloyd, UK)
8. King of Devil’s Island (dir. Marius Holst, Norway)
9. Ted (dir. Seth MacFarlane, US)
10. The Monk (dir. Dominik Moll, Spain)

Best Director
Phyllida Lloyd

Best Performance
Meryl Streep

Worst Film
Inbred (dir. Alex Chandon, 2011)

What are your favourite films of the year? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

We wish you all a Happy New Year, and make sure you check out the fantastic 2013 preview post on Tuesday 1 January.

Daniel Green