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Screen Invasion’s Best Movies of 2012

The_Imposter

15. The Imposter

Theatrical review
Available now on iTunes

Director: Bart Layton
Cast: Frédéric Bourdin (documentary)
Number of points: 18

The Imposter is a docudrama that tells the true story of 13 year old boy who went missing in 1993 from his home in San Antonio, Texas and then re-appeared 4 years later in rural Spain. This is a film where the less you know going in, the better. If you’re at all interested in this documentary you should try to avoid as much information as possible and simply go see it. Just know this; it is engrossing, edge of your seat thrilling and tense with fantastic production values. This is as close to a masterpiece as you’re likely to see this year. – Luke Burnett

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14. Beasts of the Southern Wild

Theatrical reviewDVD review
Available now on Amazon and iTunes

Director: Benh Zeitlin
Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry
Number of points: 18 (1 first place vote)

The bravest, most imaginative film of the year is also the most rewarding. Allowing the story to unfold through the eyes of its six-year old protagonist gives Beasts’ audience the ability to not only feel the innocence of our heroine but to see all the unadulterated beauty that she does. The bending of fantasy and reality makes this fantastical journey one of the most emotional filmgoing experiences in recent memory. – Nicholas DeLorenzo

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13. Silver Linings Playbook

Theatrical review
Now playing in theaters

Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker
Number of points: 24

On the surface, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and its main characters—enchantingly played by Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro—may seem dark, tactless, and off-putting. But to take Silver Linings Playbook or its characters only at face-value is to miss out on the loveable brilliance that shines beneath. Silver Linings Playbook becomes more riveting with each challenge that its characters overcome. And by the end, you can’t help but feel the film’s uplifting catharsis as if it were personal to you—a rare and truly special cinematic accomplishment. – Sarah Katz

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12. Goon

Theatrical review
Available now on Amazon and iTunes

Director: Michael Dowse
Cast: Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Allison Pill, Jay Baruchel, Eugene Levy
Number of points: 24 (1 first place vote)

This gets my #1 of the year, not only because it’s amazing, but because I’ve watched this movie maybe dozens of times this year. It’s easily my most quoted movie of the year. It’s much more than a simple sports comedy. Seann William Scott turns in an amazing performance, and Jay Baruchel has proved to be a talented scribe along with being a funny actor. Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express) was also a co-writer on this film. – J. C. DeLeon

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11. Moonrise Kingdom

Theatrical reviewDVD review
Available now on Amazon and iTunes

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton
Number of points: 25

A troubled adolescent couple run away from home and build their own utopia among the forests of their secluded hometown in Moonrise Kingdom. In many ways it’s a typical Wes Anderson film boasting the same offbeat devices that made Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums modern classics. But this is also something of a coming of age for the filmmaker. While comedy has always been a driving force in his films, the humor takes a supporting role here. His script is, instead, an achingly poignant and often moving ode to young love that beautifully captures two outcasts who have no place in the world except with one another. – Daniel Sarath

 

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The Author

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler is a film critic and correspondent for Screen Invasion, as well as the founder of Ambler Amblog (http://ambleramblog.blogspot.com/). His parents named him after a Welsh spy novelist they found in a reference book. Someday he will get around to watching all the VHS tapes he bought at Goodwill.