Well… there you have it! You’ve made it (as have we) through another month of Top 10 Lists! Congratulations!
To commemorate the finality of a month of Top 10s, we here at Man I Love Films would like to bring you… a couple more Top 10 Lists! These last few days of the month will feature Top 10 lists from our founders Dylan and Kai, as well as a cumulative Top 10 where all of our votes will establish a universal Top 10.
But for today, I have the honor of presenting our Contributors’ individual Top 10 Lists as well as my own for your reading enjoyment.
As always, we thank you for reading and hope that you enjoy our lists so much that you feel inclined to comment below! (Links will take you to our initial review of the film!)
10. 21 Jump Street – Just skating in by the skin of its teeth, ahead of crowd-pleasers like The Avengers and Cabin in the Woods is the funniest movie of 2012. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum surprised many with their comedic timing and their on-screen Bromance that brought laughs aplenty.
9. Skyfall - James Bond was back and better than ever (well, not better than Casino Royale, but still pretty damn good). Javier Bardem’s villainous Silva and Judi Dench’s M highlighted a fantastic addition to the Bond series and Sam Mendes’ direction left me hoping that top-tier directors will now strive to get behind the camera for future Bond films.
8. Silver Linings Playbook - Bradley Cooper impressed me greatly in this more serious role but it was Jennifer Lawrence who blows away all competition in her incredible performance. It was funny, sweet, and charming to the last scene, which revealed the film to be no less than a glorified rom-com… but a damn good one at that.
7. The Expendables 2 - I mean, sure, there are better movies out there. But when Sly, Arnold, and Bruce all pick up giant guns and start blowing away henchmen… well that’s just movie heaven, my friends. It took the concept of the first film, removed most of the idea of a plot, and threw in a revenge story that brought forth a shitload of action and explosions. All in all, this movie rocked.
6. Argo – Ben Affleck is now officially on my short-list of favorite directors, as he made himself 3/3 in my book, following the criminally underrated Gone Baby Gone and The Town, with an entertaining, intense story based on true events. All the performances are spot-on and the last hour rivals the intensity of any movie that came out this year. He deserved that Golden Globe win and his snub at the Oscar nominations is even more head-scratching now that I’ve seen the fantastic film he put together.
5. Looper – Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the same character. Time travel. The future. Hired killers. Emily Blunt with a Southern accent. What more could you really ask for? Rian Johnson’s sci-fi flick met and exceeded all expectations in a resounding fashion, culminating in a beautifully original film that certainly impressed the hell out of me and left me saying “Wow.”
4. End of Watch - This under-seen police drama was original, real, and at-times tough to watch. But it was carried brilliantly by Michael Pena and Jake Gyllenhaal, two partners who absolutely convinced me that they had been friends for years. Their relationship made this movie what it was – a pleasant surprise and another win for writer/director David Ayer.
3. Safety Not Guaranteed – A movie that just makes you feel happy, featuring a spunky performance by Aubrey Plaza and fun turns from Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson. A film that went well under the radar, the last shot alone will leave you with a huge smile on your face and you certainly can’t fault a movie for that.
2. The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan’s final film in his Dark Knight trilogy ended it all with a very loud bang, but a bang that I loved from beginning to end. Nitpickers will undoubtedly bring up plot holes and tonal issues and the problems with Bane’s voice… that’s all well and good. I couldn’t have cared less. Batman was on-screen, lovingly presented by Nolan, and surrounded with memorable characters created by fantastic actors. Anytime that I think about how I will miss Nolan and his vision for Gotham City all I have to remember is that I now have three epic films to revisit that together form my favorite trilogy of all-time.
1. Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino’s return to film was uncomfortably funny, brutally genius, and incredibly mesmerizing. Led by strong performances by Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and my favorite of them all, Christoph Waltz, Django showed why cinephiles put QT on such a pedestal. Everything he does is worth debating and worth seeing and regardless of what Spike Lee says, this is one helluva movie and in my mind, it’s quite the masterwork of filmmaking. And that’s why it’s my number one film of 2012.
And without any further ado…. here are the lists of my wonderful fellow contributors!
10. Cabin in the Woods
9. The Hunger Games
8. The Raid: Redemption
5. Moonrise Kingdom
4. The Dark Knight Rises
3. Django Unchained
2. The Avengers
9. Sleepwalk with Me
8. The Hobbit
6. The Grey
5. Queen of Versailles
4. The Avengers
2. Cabin in the Woods
1. Django Unchained
9. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
7. Killer Joe
3. The Cabin in the Woods
2. The Grey
1. The Raid: Redemption