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Screen Invasion’s Best Movies of 2012

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10. Looper

Theatrical reviewStory analysis
Available now on Amazon and iTunes

Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Piper Perabo
Number of points: 25

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Looper. I loved the cast coming in, but wasn’t sure what direction the movie would go in. I was completely enthralled the entire time, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I also thought there were some great slow motion scenes, and other beautifully shot moments. On top of all that, Jeff Daniels is the main villain who has made his way to the top of the food chain. How funny is that? – Kevin Taylor

In a period where almost every film released is an adaptation, sequel, remake or reboot, Looper is refreshing and rewarding cinematic experience. I believe Looper is destined to become a cult classic. It is a film that will divide people. Coming out you don’t get what you expected going in and to some this will be a pleasant surprise, to others this will be disappointment. Suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed myself and Looper is definitely amongst the best films of the year for me and can certainly rank alongside some of the best genre films of the past few years. – Luke Burnett

DARK KNIGHT RISES

9. The Dark Knight Rises

Theatrical reviewStaff reactions
Available now on Amazon and iTunes

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman
Number of points: 27

For as fun as The Avengers was, The Dark Knight Rises took it up a notch. Nolan somehow captures the thrill of a crime drama and the timely clashing classes of society in a comic book film. – Sean Davis

If I were to look up “mind-blowing” in the dictionary, I’m quite certain that I would find pictures of Christopher Nolan and his latest cinematic masterpiece The Dark Knight Rises. In a fitting conclusion to his trilogy, Batman sacrifices everything to defeat the last vestiges of Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Shadows and save Gotham City once and for all. The cherry on top of this thrilling and action-packed awesomeness? A happy ending for Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), his new lady-love, and Alfred (Michael Caine)—and perhaps a new beginning for John Blake, née Robin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and us. – Sarah Katz

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8. The Master

Theatrical review
Available to pre-order at Amazon

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern
Number of points: 27 (1 first place vote)

The abstract, thought-provoking narrative of The Master may have raised more questions than answers, but the film’s beauty is unquestioned thanks to Paul Thomas Anderson’s articulate direction and a pair of the year’s most mesmerizing performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. – Nicholas De Lorenzo

Paul Thomas Anderson makes a long-awaited return with The Master, a tale of a disturbed World War II veteran who becomes seduced by a cult leader. This is Anderson at his most challenging and it’s a film that has divided even his most fanatic followers, but those able to bow down before this enigmatic character piece will agree he’s a filmmaker who towers above anyone else working in cinema today – a master of his craft, if you will. The sheer ambition and audacity of what’s on screen here is staggering to behold and it dazzles in almost every way. – Daniel Sarath

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7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Theatrical review
Available to pre-order at Amazon

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Cast: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Johnny Simmons
Number of points: 28

Stephen Chbosky’s adaptation of his own novel is one of the finest depictions of modern American teenage life ever committed to film, even if the amount of issues the plot deals with is a bit over-the-top. The superb cast led by Logan Lerman effortlessly charm their way in to the hearts of anyone that has ever felt like an outsider. – Brian Rudloff

Every year there is one film that I don’t have any expectation at all of ever ending up in my Top 10, and this year it’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. There’s very little about this film that, on paper, should have worked for me. I didn’t hang out with people like this in high school, I didn’t have a teacher like Paul Rudd in high school. But for some reason, this film just hit me right in the gut in the best way possible. Ezra Miller, Emma Watson and the rest of the cast are just fantastic here. – J. C. DeLeon

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6. Django Unchained

Theatrical review
Now playing in theaters

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Number of points: 29 (1 first place vote)

In a film only Quentin Tarantino could direct, Django Unchained is a bold, twisted, funny, and gripping mix of folktale, western, revenge flick, and even buddy-cop movie. Jamie Foxx’s stoic performance was one of his best, but as usual, Christoph Waltz stole the show as he continues to be Hollywood’s most charismatic deviant. – Nicholas DeLorenzo

Tarantino adds another bloody revisionist masterpiece to his résumé with the antebellum revenge fantasia Django Unchained. It’s a brilliant inversion of the chivalrous self-mythology of the Deep South, featuring an abolitionist outsider teaching a black hero the skills and courage he needs to rescue his damsel in distress. And the film truly earns its ultraviolent climax – a brilliant script provides as many opportunities for verbal sparring as it does for gunplay. Hands down the most American movie of 2012, Django is a two-fisted tour de force that destroys and creates blustery myths with infectious glee. – Eric Ambler

 

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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.