The top ten films of 2012


1. Les Misérables

The Telegraph said: “Les Misérables is only Hooper’s fourth feature, and his directorial style is still bedding in: some big, comic-book camera angles feel a touch over-egged, as does the extraordinarily shallow focus he uses in close-up. But he marshals the spectacle so spectacularly that it hardly matters. Hooper’s screenwriter William Nicholson (Shadowlands) has judiciously tinkered with the song order, which makes Les Misérables feel not only definitive, but utterly cinematic. You leave with not one song in your heart, but ten.”

2. Skyfall

Rolling Stone magazine said: “This is Bond like you’ve never seen him and a dynamite Daniel Craig, never better in the role, nails Bond’s ferocity and feeling. Skyfall is smashing, just smashing.”

3. Ted

The Guardian said: “This film may well be dismissed by some with the phrase “comedy is very subjective”, a phrase traditionally used by pundits to mean: “This is absolutely and objectively unfunny but I am far too wearily mature to argue about it.” In my experience, comedy is subjective, but no more so than anything else. Ted has nothing much to offer in terms of subtlety and sensitivity, but there are plenty of laughs.”

4. The Dark Knight Rises

SFX said: “We’ve seen many superhero series begin on the big screen, but until this year we hadn’t seen one with a proper ending. The fact that we get one in The Dark Knight Rises is testament to the strength of Christopher Nolan’s serious, mythic interpretation of Batman, which built a distinct, separate version of the character rather than just carrying the DC brand.”

5. Prometheus

The Oberver said: “Prometheus is a strongly acted, superbly designed movie, an exciting and at times emetic experience. Some surprises might have been anticipated with a little thought, others not. It’s a weightier undertaking than Alien, an existential horror picture that didn’t attempt to raise the big religious, cosmological and teleological issues that are thrashed out here.”

6. Looper

Daily Mail: “What it lacks in originality is more than made up for by Johnson’s supremely confident execution. The result is a film that manages to be clever, funny, sad and shocking; sometimes all at the same time. With flourishes of Hitchcock and complete with a timeless American icono-graphy of diners, cornfields and guns – lots of guns – it’s one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable films I’ve seen all year.”

7. Paranorman

Total Film said: “There are some fiendishly funny moments that prove the art of slapstick works just as well in this form as it does in live-action, but many jokes are sadly more miss than hit. Still, children will be grossed out, freaked out and possibly given nightmares… which makes this the film to boast about having been to see in playgrounds throughout the land. What more could kids want?”

8. The Avengers said: “Trained in Buffy’s bicker ’n’ bond school of ensemble smarts and tight pacing, Whedon knows how to stir sparking character dynamics into propulsive plotting with the right ratio of heart, humour and action heat.”

9. Django Unchained

Time Out said: “But this is a film bursting with pleasures great and small: the note-perfect performances (a director cameo aside, but that’s to be expected), a brace of close-to-the-bone, borderline offensive moments (Samuel L Jackson’s character will make a few jaws drop), the soaring cine-literate soundtrack, the sheer, relentless drive. So welcome back, Quentin. All may not be forgiven just yet, but keep this up and even ‘Death Proof’ may vanish in the rearview.”

10. The Queen of Versailles

The Guardian said: “Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles was arguably the documentary of the year, zeroing in on a very contemporary fable and telling its story with sly wit and a degree of empathy. What starts out as a give-em-enough-rope reality film (of which we’ve seen so many) takes a turn into serendipitous brilliance when the 2008 financial crisis strikes; the Siegels’ luxuriant lifestyle dries up and their house remains a half-finished folly.”