My Top 10 Most Memorable Movie Moments of 2012

Award season is always a fun time full of enjoyment and debate as fans look back on performances and films from the previous year. We’ve already had the Golden Globes, the People’s Choice Awards, the Critic’s Choice Awards, the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, the illustrious Red Web Awards and several others. With the Academy Awards just under a month away people can’t help but have some of 2012’s best performances and movies in mind.awards

I like the awards because the season gives an opportunity to shed some light on, perhaps, some of the missed performances and portrayals over the year. Plenty of categories seem to sum up the gamut of what we look for to enjoy in film: “Best Performance by an Actor”, “Best Director”, “Best Picture”, “Best Original Screenplay”, “Best Original Song” and so on and so forth.

I spent time sitting & contemplating the nominees below!
I spent time sitting & contemplating the nominees!


I always found something to missing from the awards ceremony that I wish they would consider: “Most Memorable Movie Moments.” The 4-M award is one that would go to one of several nominated moments that either made us cringe, cry, laugh, scream, smile, or possibly even cover our eyes. That being said, this award could even go to a scene from an overall not-so-great movie, because the performance, being so moving, deserved mention.prometheus

So, I’m making this award up today because there were some moments in 2012 movies that definitely deserve some attention. For your consideration, here are my Top Ten Memorable Movie Moments of 2012. Several of the nominees below are ones that have not received any/enough attention from the likes of The Academy, so, while you may be expecting a mention of Silver Linings Playbook‘s dance competition or Argo‘s intense airport scene, you might be surprised at their exclusion as this award focuses mainly (but not entirely) on non-popular award season choices.

BE ADVISED: Spoilers may abound for you here if you haven’t seen the movies listed!

Read/watch with caution!

10. The Grey:

The scene: Final sequence (the teased fight between Ottway and the Alpha)

The reason: One of the most annoying ending scenes of 2012. A scene that led to a fight we had been waiting the entire previous 116 minutes that doesn’t deliver the “promised” final fight at all. As much as I did not enjoy that, I will always remember it and thus, The Grey ends up at number 10.

neeson vs the wolf


9. Life of Pi

The scene: “A Whale of a Jump”

The reason: So many gorgeous scenes in this amazing movie of trouble and triumph, but when I think of this film, the scene with the whale in the translucent waters amongst the glowing bioluminescent jellyfish is so vividly stuck in my mind. Such a beautiful scene and worthy of mention.



8. Lincoln

The scene: “How Dare You, Sir!”

The reason: Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis had some great moments in this film, but Tommy Lee Jones’ portrayal as Thaddeus Stevens was another fantastic performance in the Spielberg film. I very much enjoyed his discourse and demeanor. Evidence of his great work can be seen in this pivotal moment of the film…one of my favorite scenes.


7. Flight

The scene: “Mayday Mayhem”

The reason: Director Robert Zemeckis takes us on an incredibly heart-pounding trip into the skies that makes emotion and fear crash together all in one as Denzel Washington’s character attempts to land an airline passenger jet in an emergency situation. So tense. I don’t remember an airplane scene that had me on the edge of my seat like that since United 93.


6. Skyfall

The scene: “Skyfall’s Shanghai Skyscraper”

The reason: The playful and ingenious use of color, shadows and reflection mixed with the action, silence, music and secrecy makes this scene one of the best of the year. Great cinematography. A close second from this movie is when Bond, again in Shanghai, arrives at the casino.

Skyfall Shanghai 007 fight


5. Django Unchained

The scene: “Left to the Dogs”

The reason: Though I cringed during this scene depicting a group of dogs attacking a slave in the custody of Calvin Candie, it remains one of the more memorable moments of 2012 movies. Not only for myself, but for millions of people who watched Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film.



4. Killer Joe

The scene: “Killer KFC”

The reason: One of the most disturbing scenes ever involving chicken and two people. Not one I celebrate having seen, but definitely one of the most memorable movie moments of the year. Let’s just say that after seeing it you will never look at chicken the same way. This movie wasn’t rated NC-17 for no reason.



3. Les Misérables

The scene: “On My Own”

The reason: There are MANY memorable moments from this film. I could just as easily pick Anne Hathaway’s “I dreamed a dream,” or Hugh Jackman’s “Suddenly” as they are both so very moving. But I went with Samantha Barks’ “On My Own” because I wasn’t expecting it to be nearly as moving as it was. (I did expect that already from Hathaway and Jackman and am glad they delivered.) Barks’ performance as Éponine is so moving and stayed with me long after the film’s credits had ended. A powerful performance that I believe has gone grossly unnoticed. Watch.

(See an alternate clip here)


2. The Avengers

The scene: “Puny god!”

The reason: So funny seeing the confident Loki getting pummeled by The Hulk and tossed around like a ragdoll…finishing with a look that pretty much says “I’m Done!”


1. Looper

The scene: “Run Home Seth!”

The reason: A gripping scene that not only demonstrates and ingeniously uses the rules of time travel, but also shows the gravity of its consequences and the danger of being involved with the wrong people. It set the tone for what was in store for other Loopers such as our two anti-heroes Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.


Honorable mentions:

  1. The Dark Knight Rises -Bane/Batman Back-Breaking Brawl
  2. Prometheus -“Get This Thing OUT of Me!!”
  3. Moonrise Kingdom -Boy/Girl Dance Club
  4. The Hobbit -“Riddle Me This”
  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower -Every scene basically from the trailer! 🙂
  6. The Impossible -Ewan McGregor’s Phone call breakdown
  7. Zero Dark Thirty -The Exclusive (and Explosive) “Big Break”

Well, those are my Top Ten 4-M Award nominees. Please take a moment to vote for your favorite below!

Have a few favorite moments of your own that weren’t mentioned here? Tell me in the comment section. What were some of YOUR favorite Memorable Movie Moments of 2012?


***And, I have one final major treat for you. In case you missed Wreck-It Ralph (the best videogame movie EVER) in theaters then you missed a great experience (buy it when it comes out). BUT that also means you missed one of THE BEST animated shorts I have ever seen. An Oscar-nominated animated short entitled Paperman.Paperman_still_1

Well, guess what? I have the whole thing here and you get to watch it. This is also one of my most memorable movie moments of 2012 and I am glad to share this amazing animated feature with you here. Enjoy! (Wreck-It Ralph releases on blu-ray on March 5th.)


Share your thoughts/opinions in the comment section!

Thanks for reading. Happy watching!

T, The Focused Filmographer

up next: Trailer Time Thursday


  1. The Breaking of the Bat in Dark Knight Rises left me an emotional wreck.

    I had been waiting since 1997 to see Bane shown the proper respect he deserves in a Batman movie. I finally got it with DKR.

    The way that scene played out. Just how simple it made it seem it was to break Batman was intense. The extreme lack of any sort of real build up to it made it so jarring shocking.

    Granted, i was an emotional wreck the entire movie anyways. But that one scene was what I had been waiting to see on film for over a decade. It wasn’t like it was in the comics but it was just as good.


    • Such a big scene. and you’re right, it really works because there wasn’t the big build up to it. we were left to watch and wonder if it would happen…and when it did….silence, interrupted by gasps throughout the theater! WOW.



  2. I voted for both Django and Lincoln on your list. I’m fine with violence but I cringed when those dogs were attacking that slave in Django.

    My favorite moments would also include the confrontation between Freddy Quell and Lancaster Dodd in The Master, the kitchen scene in Amour, and the climax of Zero Dark Thirty.


    • you picked two that def stay in my mind as well.

      I wish I could say that I, personally, was moved by The Master. I wasn’t as enamoured with it as others were and therefore, the whole film remains memorable as it were, but not for one particular scene for me. However, that confrontational scene was a good one indeed.

      thanks for commenting today and voting!


  3. Great choices, T! All of those are great. I went with The Avengers and Skyfall. That scene in Skyfall had me completely mesmerized. Stinking beautiful. The climax of ZDT would also make my list. Basically perfect.


  4. Some really great choices here T. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Looper but that was a good moment you chose. Also very much agree with you on your Life of Pi and Skyfall picks, although I think I like Javier Bardem’s opening scene a little more.

    And I watched The Paperman short last night, it’s brilliant!


  5. Went for Looper and Killer Joe. That whole scene in Looper was so excellently done. Dark. Disturbing. Towards the end you could see what was happening and it was pretty horrific to watch.

    As for Killer Joe – everyone who’s seen that film talks about that scene. That alone makes it hugely memorable. I can’t get the image out of my head!


  6. There are some really good moments on there. You know, while the movie year may have been down, there were a lot of big-time moments that I can remember even in lesser films (As you alluded to).


  7. I haven’t seen some of these so I just skim your post. Agree with that whale jump though, it was like whoah! Paperman is delightful! Hope to see Disney create a full animated version in that same breath.


  8. I actually loved the way they did that scene in The Grey. Then again I didn’t go to see the film with the desire of seeing an epic CGI duel with a wolf haha. If that had been the case, then I’m sure I’d have been disappointed too. Otherwise, that was actually my favorite part of the film.


  9. Great choices. Looper as number one makes perfect sense because it was such a scary but well-realised idea. Avengers and Prometheus has so many scenes that are memorable that they could have their own top tens. Great idea though, got me thinking…


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