10. “Skyfall.” Let’s be clear, I’m not a James Bond fan at all, so to sit through a picture that clocks in over 2 hours and to be thoroughly entertained is an amazing feat. Its one of the darkest pictures in the franchise yet, with stellar turns from Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Javier Bardem, “Skyfall” is a picture that will be talked about for years to come.
8. “Prometheus.” Did it live up to the spectator’s expectations? Not really, but Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic provided visuals and a pregnancy gone wrong with star Noomi Rapace that sent stomachs in overdrive. The picture provided more questions than answers, which is always great for a sequel.
7. “Flight.” Denzel Washington delivers another knock-out performance in a picture that is absolutely stunning. His work as an alcoholic and drug-addicted flight attendant in denial will indeed garner the actor another Oscar nomination come January. The duality of a character attempting to escape his sins without acknowledging them is cinema at its best thanks to director Robert Zemeckis.
6. “Argo.” Ben Affleck’s tantalizing drama that addresses the inner workings of the film arena while tackling a touchy political situation exploded at the box-office. It was that picture with so much word of mouth buzz you had to see it. That great surprise was the buzz for the picture did not disappoint.
4. “The Dark Knight Rises.” Without a doubt, it was one of the most anticipated pictures of 2012. It was the epic conclusion and follow-up to Christopher Nolan’s iconic masterpiece “The Dark Knight.” Was it better than its predecessor? Not quite, but Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle and Tom Hardy as Bane deliver bolts of intensity to a dire tale where Gotham’s fate looks grim.
3. “Silver Linings Playbook.” How often does a comedy/drama balance story, wit and character development flawlessly? Not often, but David O. Russell’s tale which tackles mental health, family and love is a rare gem that is so moving that the performances by Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro are so gripping cinema buffs will experience that same feeling of joy each time watched.
2. “Django Unchained.” You know a Quentin Tarantino picture when you see it. The foul language, the gratuitous violence and the fantastical element that can only be depicted in “Django Unchained” are epic. With Oscar-worthy performances by Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and a wickedly evil turn by Leonardo DiCaprio, it was the best 3 hours of my life and rarely do I say that!
1. “Zero Dark Thirty.” I’m a sucker for a great suspense thriller and this hands down takes the cake. Kathryn Bigelow’s picture which chronicles the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is so titillating fantastic I couldn’t wait to watch the picture a second time. With a sensational performance by Jessica Chastain as the heroine of the picture and a juicy script from writer Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty” is easily the best picture of 2012 without a doubt. The suspense factor alone is phenomenal. I’d like to see any other picture argue for the title.
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