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A list of our favourite 15 films of 2012. Enjoy!

Cult director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm) returns with a deliriously surreal LSD trip of an adaptation of David Wong's John Dies at the End. We haven't seen this much deadpan humor and practical FX since the early career of Sam Raimi. Brilliant!

Benh Zeitlin's lyrical Beasts of the Southern Wild is worthy of all the accolades it received this year. Shot on on the coasts of Louisiana and starring local non-actors, this alternate earth pulls you in with uncanny realism.

A shocking entry into the found footage horror genre, The Bay surprised us with some amazing suspense and an ecological message that resonated beyond the set-up for scares.

If 2012 was full of surprises, William Friedkin's deep fried, batter dipped Texas murder movie, Killer Joe, might be the year's biggest. Mixing tones and even styles, Killer Joe might be the most relevant thing the director has done since The French Connection.

Joachim Lafosse's Our Children is an understated, gut-wrenching drama that follows the downward spiral of a vibrant young women who slowly becomes a mother and subjugated housewife. Marina likened the Belgium film to the work of Michael Haneke.

Jack Black is a murderous mortician in Richard Linklater's acclaimed pitch black comedy, Bernie. Seemingly determined to prove his cred, the film also stars Matthew McConaughey. This one's already on Netflix instant.

Looper is lean and pulpy but still full of humanity. Yes there's time travel, but not at the expense of a human tale. Rather, the film's high concept enhances a story about people and the lives they chose to live. Some people have said that Looper stands with the likes of The Terminator. Well, I think it stands alone.

Training Day, Dark Blue, Harsh Times... writer David Ayer continues to his streak of dark urban thrillers with the intense found footage actioner End of Watch starring Jake Gyllenhal and Michael Pena.

A throwback to the R-rated ultra-violent, bullet drenched action films of guys like Paul Verhoeven, Dredd fully commits to the nature of its comic book counterpart. Perhaps the biggest disappointment the year is that it's middling box office means we may not see a theatrically released sequel.

Cabin in the Woods is simultaneously a love letter to horror and a probing examination into why we seem to want to see teens murdered over and over again. Those who "get" the film, love the shit out of it, those who don't really have the vocabulary seem to scratch their heads. I consider that a sign of its genius.

This is probably the best thing to emerge from the Mumblecore scene. If you have a soul you will be cheering at the end and it will make you sort of crush Aubrey Plaza.

Ridley Scott's return to scifi will both engage and enrage viewers for years to come. Luckily, the "big idea" of it far outweighs its faults. Bring on a sequel.

Kicking, punching, bullets and blades. The Raid made a name for both Gareth Evans and fledgling production company XYZ Films in 2012. Look for a remake and a sequel shortly.

Whimsical and heartwarming as always, Wes Anderson proves to the naysayers that he's still got it after all.

Yep, The Grey was released waaay back in January 2012. They Grey will chill you to the core with existential wolf attacks. Easily Carnahan's most realized and mature film to date. Simple and ferocious.

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scifiai (9 years ago) Reply

Safety Not Guaranteed was a wonderful surprise. It rounds out an independent time travel trifecta - Primer, Timecrimes & Safety Not Guaranteed.


Michael Allen (9 years ago) Reply

I thought Dredd 3D was really good.


sonaboy (9 years ago) Reply

The Bay was my pick for best horror of the year. What a surprise. A found footage horror film that solves both the dilemma of the technique (why continue to film?), and the structure (this is an actual film that was edited to persuade people). Simple but brilliant, which also added another layer of dramatic tension for all the trouble.


Umberto (9 years ago) Reply

for me and John Carter was a big surprise, not was a great success, but I found that sense of wonder I had when I was a child and read the wonderful novels of Edgar Rice Bourroughs.
Actors in part, spectacular scenery, state of the art special effects, a great director careful not to overdo it and especially a boundless imagination!


ifdead (9 years ago) Reply

I know I'll get flak, Wes Anderson annoys me to tears, I couldn't make it through the first 20 minutes of his 2012 film. I'll be viewing everything else on this list that I haven't already. Thanks!

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