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TheFocusedFilmographer’s Best & Worst Movie Picks of 2012

January 2, 2013

Today is the second day of 2013! Wow! Seems like just yesterday I was posting my “Best&Worst Movie Picks of 2011!”

It is time to present my Best & Worst picks of 2012!:


*(As a reminder, any words in gold serve as clickable links to the referenced article.)

Hey, just in case you didn’t know…2012 is over! and if you are reading this, then that means you survived the Mayan Apocalypse and the ten days that followed! Congratulations. 🙂fig,baby_blue,mens,ffffff

Happy New Year! (I already wished you that a couple times before, but I wanted to do it again so I could use this cool gif of good ol’ Leo from The Great Gatsby [which was SUPPOSED to release in 2012.] hahaha.)

With the new year comes tons of posts around the web about the best and worst of 2012 and the expectations for 2013. Before deciding to list mine, I went back and looked at my expectations for 2012 movies in the post entitled My Cinematic Expectations of 2012. They weren’t TOO far off, however, looking back sure does show the stark differences between expectations and reality.500

2012 in movies came with a lot of surprises and disappointments! Some films were great, while some were great letdowns (I’m pointing at you, The Grey). Some actors had an amazing breakthrough year (Nice work, Jennifer Lawrence!), while others didn’t even make their presence known (Anybody hear from Jeff Bridges this year? I expected to see more of him after his recent successes in Iron Man, Crazyheart, Tron: Legacy and True Grit. Just sayin’.)


2012 gave us the conclusion of some tales (The Dark Knight Rises), while others were only beginning (The Hunger Games)!darkhunger

2012 also gave us some tales we can only WISH would end, like Paranormal Activity 4, Ice Age 4  and the continual re-release of Disney movies in 3D.

Interestingly enough, the 2012 box office passed the $10 Billion mark with 655 movies theatrically released! Over $10.8 BILLION was given to the movies from eager theater-going fans this past year (the record)!

Top 10 WORLDWIDE Box Office Results of 2012:

  1. The Avengers -$1.5 BILLION
  2. The Dark Knight Rises -$1.1 BILLION
  3. Skyfall -$1 BILLION
  4. Ice Age: Continental Drift -$875M
  5. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn pt 2 -$799M
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man -$752M
  7. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted -$742M
  8. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey -$693M (and it was released with only 17 days left in the year!)
  9. The Hunger Games -$687M
  10. Men in Black 3 -$624M

How many new releases did you watch this past year? I watched over 90 new releases (which is good for only about 14% of all the new releases), and over 100 movies overall. Wow!

You can always visit my list of films/reviews (called “The Archive“) HERE!

Just for you, I have compiled a list of 100 movies that released in 2012 split into 4 categories (25 each). My own personal lists of:

  • (1) Movies I’m Glad I Saw
  • (2) Movies I Missed…but wanted to see
  • (3) Movies I wish I could “Un-see”
  • (4) Movies I’m glad I missed

The movies are not listed in any order of preference, the fact that they are on the lists speaks to my desire or distaste for the film…if I’m GLAD I saw it, or not, etc. These are my choices, hence the title: The Focused Filmographer Choice Awards!

Here we go:

(1) Top 25 Movies I’m Glad I Saw in 2012Life of Pi, Cloud Atlas, Wreck-It Ralph, The Lorax, John Carter, The Hunger Games, 21 Jump Street, Frankenweenie, The Cabin in the Woods, Think Like a Man, The Avengers, Moonrise Kingdom, Prometheus, Safety Not Guaranteed, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Ruby Sparks, Hope Springs, Lincoln, Les Misérables, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Lawless, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Looper  and Argo.

(2) Top 25 Movies I Missed…but wanted to see…in 2012: Hitchcock, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, Promised Land, The Impossible, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, Deadfall, Headhunters, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Casa de mi Padre, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Rust and Bone, Beasts of the Southern Wild, ParaNorman, The Cold Light of Day, Anna Karenina, Arbitrage, End of Watch, Hotel Transylvania, Pitch Perfect, The Raid: Redemption (started but didn’t finish it yet), Here Comes the Boom, Robot and Frank and Seven Psychopaths.

(3) Top 25 Movies I wish I could “Un-see” in 2012: Silent House, One for the Money, Sinister, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn pt 2, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Grey, Killing Them Softly, Wrath of the Titans, Lockout, The Raven, Dark Shadows, The Dictator, Battleship, Chernobyl Diaries, Excision, To Rome With Love, Savages, Iron Sky, Killer Joe, Total Recall, Hit & Run, Trouble With the Curve, Taken 2, Alex Cross and Playing for Keeps.

(4) Top 25 Movies I’m glad I missed in 2012: Man with the Iron Fists, The Collection, Red Dawn, Silent Hill: Revelation, Chasing Mavericks, The Paperboy, Won’t Back Down, House At The End of the Street, The Tall Man, Cosmopolis, The Campaign, Step Up Revolution, Katy Perry: Part of Me, People Like Us, What to Expect when you’re Expecting, The Lucky One, The Three Stooges, Friends with Kids, Gone, Man on a Ledge, The Devil Inside, Wanderlust, A Thousand Words, Jeff Who Lives at Home   and Goon.

The Focused Filmographer Choice Awards

The Focused Filmographer Choice Award for WORST movie of 2012:

-This is decided by a mix of a few variables: Limited to what I have watched, Considering Expectation vs. Disappointment, Box Office Results, and my own opinion!

  • To Rome With Love– YES! Even after winning an Academy Award last year AND winning the then-named “ScarletSp1der Choice Award” from me last year for best movie with Midnight in Paris, director Woody Allen gets the award for WORST movie of the year with To Rome With Love. Such a disappointment that followed such a classy film. I was so disappointed I didn’t even write a review for it. There was only one reason that justified watching: Penelope Cruz. Such a disappointment. There were other BAD movies, but this one I expected to be far better.


The Focused Filmographer Choice Award for BEST movie of 2012:

-This is decided by a mix of a few variables: Limited to what I have watched, Considering Expectation vs. Deliverance, Box Office Results, and MY review score!

  • Marvel’s THE AVENGERS– Was there any question? Taking the #1 spot for best opening weekend ever and blowing everyone away in terms of expectations, director Joss Whedon assembles a fantastic team and brings the Marvel movies and heroes into one exciting film. Such an enjoyable delight. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
  • Please be sure to read my Review


HOWEVER! For the first time, there is a TIE for this award. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pass up giving an award to Ben Affleck’s ARGO which will share the 2-way tie for Best Movie of 2012 from me!Argo-poster-2

Well, tell me, which movies made your lists?

  • Did you actually enjoy Battleship?
  • What about The Grey?
  • Did you think The Dark Knight Rises is the best of 2012?
  • Did you get to see Silver Linings Playbook?
  • Were you a fan of The Master?
  • Did Prometheus make it on one of these lists for you?
  • What was the Biggest disappointment for you in 2012 movies?
  • Which ones in 2013 are you looking forward to?

Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Congratulations to all the winners. Thanks for a great year! And for your continued reading! Happy Watching!


T, The Focused Filmographer

up next: Trailer Time Thursday!

***IMPORTANT: BE ON THE LOOKOUT: Very soon, the 3rd Annual Red Web Awards will be presented here. The “Academy Awards” if you will of TheFocusedFilmographer. I have assembled a panel of TEN judges who are making the nominations that shall be announced shortly. You all will have the chance to vote and decide. Get Ready. The fun has only begun.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. Trevor permalink
    January 2, 2013 10:33 am

    “Un-See” Iron Sky!?


    I still haven’t seen it but the entire plot is worth the price of admission.

    As for being happy you passed up “Goon”. Good call. I watched it. It was like “Slapshot” but terrible. The only redeeming part of it was Liev Schreiber with a hockey mullet.


    • January 2, 2013 5:44 pm

      Hahaha. Yep…un-see Iron Sky. Lol. But I expected it to be silly. Can’t wait for you to see it. 😀 glad to know I was right about Goon.


      • Trevor permalink
        January 3, 2013 9:38 pm

        Just got done watching “Iron Sky”

        It was as cheesetasticly glorious as I thought.

        Nazis on the moon! USS George W. Bush! Everyone but Finland armed their peaceful space ships!

        Man, greatest movie ever.


      • January 3, 2013 9:47 pm

        hahaha. it was ridiculous…and, to that point…I see how it is ridiculously fun. but I could go without watching it again. LOL. “cheestasticly glorious!”


  2. January 2, 2013 10:39 am

    I love your categories.

    Shouldn’t you have discounted “The Avengers” since you were in it?

    As for the questions you have above: Didn’t watch it; didn’t watch it; No, but close; Not yet; No; No; “Prometheus”, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was expecting something with a better script and less plot holes; “Star Trek”, “Man of Steel”, and “The Hobbit Part II”.


    • January 2, 2013 5:43 pm

      Thanks Victor. And, nope. Avengers belongs. Heehee! 😀


  3. January 2, 2013 11:07 am

    Un-see Killer Joe? Have to say, I loved that film but maybe it says a bit more about me than I’d like to admit. LOL 😉


    • January 2, 2013 5:42 pm

      Lol. It’s ok Mark. Everyone likes diff things. Makes it fun. I just didn’t like it short of how powerfully they performed their parts.


  4. January 2, 2013 1:26 pm

    I hated Battleship(Also its disabled vet bit was borderline offensive), LOVED the Grey, liked Prometheus, and found Iron Sky fun. Also, i found lawless was trying to say something profound but didn’t have enough depth to achieve it, and i am personally hoping to catch the Paperboy on blue-ray 😉

    As for my anticipated movies of next year,not sure yet


    • January 2, 2013 5:41 pm

      Iron Sky was fun at moments but overall…not for me. Haha. I kinda liked some of the vet tribute in Battleship admittedly. Not all of it though. Happy New Year to you, Julian.


  5. January 2, 2013 1:28 pm

    A TIE? *Cough*copout*Cough*


    Did you actually enjoy Battleship? Yeah, in a so bad its good way, I did. I’m guilty.
    What about The Grey? Meanwhile, the Grey was good, man I really liked it + 79% on RT
    Did you think The Dark Knight Rises is the best of 2012? LOL. No.
    Did you get to see Silver Linings Playbook? Yup, Awesome!
    Were you a fan of The Master? Yes, but that is one hell of an alienating film. Most people would hate it!


    • January 2, 2013 5:40 pm

      Haha. Well Argo is deserving. And you already know I was bringing the avengers to this party. Haha.


    • January 2, 2013 10:40 pm

      and one of the reasons I wish I could “un-see” The Grey is because it was so much cooler to me when all I knew was what was shown in the previews. The build up to a great fight “mano-a-wolfo” and I think we deserved that fight. so, I’d like to go on thinking about the movie as I did before I saw it…instead of the disappointment it was.


  6. January 2, 2013 2:17 pm

    Why am I not surprised with your #1, T. I think the movie was great because YOU were in it 😉

    So you did see Playing for Keeps, well you understood why I had to write that letter then. It was painful!! Ouch, to go from Oscar-nominated to having the WORST film of the year, Woody, how far you’ve fallen, ahah.

    Y’know, I’m glad I avoided Killer Joe, I don’t think I couldn’t handle such a film, I don’t care how much the critics love it. I think I’ve avoided a lot of the movies on that list. Btw Iron Sky was quite hilarious in parts, but yeah, you won’t miss much by not seeing it.


    • January 2, 2013 5:39 pm

      You are very kind. Yes. I loved it. Playing for Keeps on the other hand. I wanted to score it worse than I did. I did not enjoy Killer Joe, personally.


  7. January 2, 2013 5:41 pm

    I did see A Thousand Words, and picked it as the worst movie of the year. I agree with many of your choices. Nice list.


    • January 2, 2013 5:45 pm

      Ha. Thanks my friend. I keep hoping that Murphy will do something of merit…keep getting disappointed.


  8. yesimthatguy permalink
    January 2, 2013 6:45 pm

    From the top down…. I would argue that Cabin in the Woods should be higher, Prometheus needs to be in the “unsee” list as does John Carter, ones that should be up here are Seeking a Friend for the end of the world, and God Bless America. The Dictator was marketed as a comedy, but in reality was a commentary on the American political system as was The Campaign but I wouldn’t watch that one again, The Tall man, was surprisingly good, and Goon was just an amazing movie all around. As for Avengers, I know it has a special place in your heart as you were in it, there was a serious lack of plot and way too much on the special effects (I get it, it is a movie about super heroes, but you could have played up the dynamic between Black Widow and Hawkeye, and Cap.) Honestly I didn’t like how each hero got their moment to shine, I mean hulk smashes, does he need to slam Loki like a rag doll? Anyway there were several movies I wanted to see on your list and some I wish I hadn’t.


    • January 2, 2013 10:43 pm

      I knew you would want Cabin in the Woods higher. haha. And I’m glad that parts of my list meet your approval. I, for one, LOVED John Carter and wish that it didn’t get the bad rap that it did. I was bored entirely through The Dictator and The Avengers wasn’t just #1 in my book because of its special place in my heart. It was #1 for several reasons…about 1.5Billion of them. 🙂

      and Argo had to get in there too. Argo was impressive for several reasons, but also because it is Affleck’s first movie (since Daredevil) to exceed $100M AND it took #1 in the box office in its 3rd weekend.

      Thanks for having fun with this post with me today!


      • January 2, 2013 10:44 pm

        and, yes. Hulk DID have to smash Loki!



  9. January 2, 2013 7:04 pm

    Agreed on with The Avengers for best! I’d say for me, expectations-wise, Lawless and Looper were two of the best!


    • January 2, 2013 10:45 pm

      Great choices! Glad to have your agreement. 😉

      Lawless and Looper were both fun and I liked them myself


  10. January 3, 2013 4:42 am

    Yay for Avengers!! 😀

    Darn, I haven’t seen Life of Pi yet! I read the book and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever read, but for some reason I wasn’t able to catch the movie… Hope to watch it in time for Oscar season…

    Lockout for Worst? I liked it! 😀


    • January 3, 2013 11:12 am

      go see Life of Pi when you can, my friend. So good!

      haha, and Lockout was soo bad. 😀


  11. January 3, 2013 5:31 am

    I had the same feeling when writing my list, can still vividly remember doing it last year.

    For the movies you missed, you should definitely check out Pitch Perfect, The Raid: Redemption, Headhunters, ParaNorman and End of Watch.

    To Rome With Love was a bad movie…wouldn’t call it the worst, but I was scratching my head after seeing it.

    Not surprised that Avengers was you choice for best movie, but I’m happy to see you also added Argo which really is a flawless movie.

    I have also put up my end of year overview, so drop by to read it T!


    • January 3, 2013 11:14 am

      I have The Raid, Headhunters and Pitch Perfect at the top of my must-see list right now. And To Rome With Love was the worst because of the combo of expectations vs. reality and my opinion of it. There were def some real bad films (and prob worse), but To Rome had the greater sting because I didn’t expect it to be horrible. if that makes sense. haha.

      I will be by to check out your list soon. Had a waterline burst on my property last night. had to dig it up and have it repaired this morning…and it snowed (not a lot, but it made it fun to say the least). A little behind, but I will be there after work today! Thanks for the heads up.


  12. January 3, 2013 5:36 am

    I did not doubt your #1 choice for one second! Great choice too 😉

    You know, I don’t think I was hugely disappointed by anything last year. There were good films and some not so. But don’t think anything seriously disappointed me.


    • January 3, 2013 11:16 am

      🙂 Thanks my good friend with taste!

      Side question: If you get a chance, would you be willing to do a post on your page of your top favorite photos you took of 2012? I was thinking I would love to see something like that. You don’t gotta, but I just thought I’d throw that out there.


  13. January 3, 2013 5:51 am

    Good stuff T. I’m with you on The Avengers, I loved it from start to finish. I never got round to seeing Argo which was my biggest annoyance of the whole year! Looking forward to the awards!


    • January 3, 2013 11:17 am

      🙂 Thanks so much! ha. Glad to see another supporter of The Avengers!

      Oh man. Be sure not to miss The Red Web Awards! They are awesome every year! Here’s a preview from last year’s:


  14. jackdeth72 permalink
    January 3, 2013 7:53 am

    Hi, Terrence and company:

    Very creative categories!

    I’ll take you at your word regarding your choices,

    Matthew McConaghey sometimes does benign psycho creepiness a little too well. “Killer Joe” was a little too much like his earlier “Frailty” in that arena.


    • January 3, 2013 11:18 am

      Thanks my friend. Yes, some of these film def belong on my “un-see” list. haha

      I will say, though, McConaghey sometimes is so super impressive. Lincoln Lawyer for example…WOW


  15. yesimthatguy permalink
    January 3, 2013 11:56 pm

    Just because a movie makes a ton of money doesn’t mean it was a good movie, for example Fern Gull…err…Avatar, Titanic, and the Star Wars episodes 1-3, Indiana Jones 4 to name a few. Yes these movies had some redeeming qualities, like… Celine Dion, flesh eating ants, and Christian Haydenson? I don’t know but I am sure they are there. I stand by Avengers being over-hyped and lacking plot, sorry America, I prefer meat to my movies, not just eye candy that leaves you feeling empty.


    • January 4, 2013 9:16 pm

      haha. love this comment! I HAVE heard of there being people that claim The Avengers as an overhyped movie. didn’t believe the myth though…til now! 😀

      I do agree that just because a movie makes a ton of money doesn’t mean it was a good movie. True statement!

      The Avengers was so great for more than just 1.5Billion reasons though. So many. 🙂

      Thanks for the fun comment.


  16. January 4, 2013 2:56 am

    Love the awards, great post. I still need to watch Argo! I agree with you about unseeing Iron Sky, I fell asleep during that, what a pile of poo, and I turned Wrath of the Titans off after about half an hour, awful. However I disagree about Ghost Rider and Total Recall, I really enjoyed those films!!
    And yes I did get to see Silver Linings, it was fantastic, you can read my review here!


    • January 4, 2013 9:19 pm

      Thank you so much. This is always fun putting together every year.

      Dont’ miss the Red Web Awards coming up soon (my version of the GoldenGlobes/Oscars) A time where you and everyone else can vote for the award-worthy films chosen by myself and 9 other movie lovers! It’s coming soon!

      Oh, and see ARGO! 🙂

      Total Recall was totally ridiculous! haha. And I was the ONLY person seated at the showing of Ghost Rider 2 at my theater. Check out my fun review if you get a chance:

      Thanks for commenting.


      • January 5, 2013 9:36 am

        Haha I read the review, seems there is a lot of hate for it! Ah well, I thought the Ghost Rider looked awesome with all the fire and Cage is good at being a complete maniac, the story wasn’t great but I had no expectations! That’s how I like it because you usually aren’t disappointed!


  17. January 5, 2013 12:06 am

    Bravo ! Great List !

    I liked “Battleship”. It was decent science fiction, and the message that anyone can rediscover their purpose at any age (and in any situation) was rather inspiring !

    “John Carter” was fun science fiction too. Good choice ! Sci-fi does not have to be
    bleak all the time. Bring on the wide-eyed fantasy and wonder !!!

    I hate to tell you, but it looks like your hand slipped and you pushed the wrong keys.
    “To Rome with Love” is in the wrong spot ! It needs to go up a notch or two. LOL !


    • January 6, 2013 9:16 pm

      haha. Daniel. Hilarious, your comment about “To Rome With Love.” I wanted it to go higher myself, but was left scratching my head afterwards.

      I like your take on Battleship. While I think the story of ageless purpose was better told in Hope Springs than in Battleship. LOL!

      I loved John Carter and was sorry to see it receive such disdain from the public. In this we see eye to eye. 🙂

      Thanks for checking out my list of faves and non-faves!



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