The Best Movies of 2012
Below is my list of the best movies that I have seen that were released in 2012 (even if some were made in 2011). I have included trailers for each movie. Click on the highlighted titles for my full reviews of each of those films. The movies that are not highlighted, I have not reviewed yet, but I still highly recommend them. I will continue to add to this list if I see any more movies from 2012 that are worthy of this list.
The Grey (2011)
21 Jump Street (2012)
Dark Shadows (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Movies that were good, but did not quite make the list are:
The Bourne Legacy (2012)
Total Recall (2012)
The Expendables 2 (2012)
Death Wish (2018)
Why do we like vigilante justice? I think that it is because someone does exactly what we are thinking should be done or we would like to do, ourselves. Also, vigilante justice in the movies is often portrayed as sticking up for ones that cannot stick up for themselves. If you are like me, then you enjoy rooting for the underdog.
Death Wish is about a doctor who decides to take matters into his own hands after an attack on his family. He decides to find the men responsible and serve up his own form of vigilante justice.
The movie was directed by Eli Roth and the noteworthy cast includes Bruce Willlis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Dean Norris, Camila Morrone, Beau Knapp, Kimberly Elise, Len Cariou, Jack Kesy, and Ronnie Gene Blevins.
I am not usually one to be into remakes. It seems like Hollywood remakes or reboots just about everything these days. Often, I say leave well enough alone, but sometimes the right remake idea comes along and the right actor is cast in the lead role.
In this case, Willis was very fitting for the role in Death Wish. It was his best performance since Looper (2012). He has been making a lot of B-rated straight to DVD movies lately, so it is nice to see him return to his former glory. I am glad to see that he has not gone the way of Nicolas Cage (spitting out one piece of trash after the next). Death Wish is a one-man-show and Bruce was clearly up for the task.
This movie is a scary concept because of how realistic it is. What I mean by that is that it shows just how worthless the police department and justice system can be sometimes. Too often, it is the people that deserve to see justice be done, that are the ones stuck without any justice at all. It also goes to show just how vulnerable we all are.
The likable Dean Norris has quickly been typecast as the police or detective type thanks to the success of the television series Breaking Bad. His part in this movie is good, but it does quickly make you think of Breaking Bad.
There are a few noticeable gruesome scenes in this movie that had Roth’s signature all over it. So far, I believe that this film is Roth’s best work as a director. He did a terrific job setting the tone of Death Wish and sticking with it throughout.
It has been a very long time since I have seen the original Death Wish (1974), but watching this version has made me want to go back and watch the original sometime soon. The new film is a quality remake done with today’s technology. The original movie is now 44 years old and it shows its age.
This movie is a murky suspense/thriller with good old fashioned popcorn-popping action. Willis as the protagonist doing bad for good reasons will keep you on the edge of your seat hoping that justice gets done.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
Death Wish (1974)
Death Sentence (2007)
The Brave One (2007)
Man on Fire (2004)
The Equalizer (2014)
The Punisher (2004)
Sin City (2005)
Harry Brown (2009)
John Wick (2014)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
Don Jon (2013)
I have always been a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I grew up watching his films and television shows. When I was a little kid, I liked him in the films Angels in the Outfield (1994), Beethoven (1992), A River Runs Through It (1992), and the television shows Family Ties, Murder, She Wrote, and Roseanne.
As I grew older, I watched Gordon-Levitt grow up and his roles slowly mature. When I was a teenager I enjoyed his part in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You(1999), and I liked him in the television shows That ‘70s Show, and 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Shortly after 3rd Rock from the Sun ended in 2001, Gordon-Levitt started accepting edgier roles. For the most part, he stuck with low-budget independent films until the blockbuster Inception (2010) boosted him to superstardom.
Ever since Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been on fire. He was excellent in the film 50/50 (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) speaks for itself, he made Premium Rush (2012) watch-able, Looper (2012) was awesome, Lincoln (2012) was a film of epic proportions, and he has returned to his roots of independent, edgy filmmaking with Don Jon.
Don Jon marks an impressive new milestone for Gordon-Levitt. It is the first film that he has written, directed, and starred in. Also, he bulked up a lot for the movie.
Don Jon is an atypical dysfunctional drama that hits on a touchy topic, porn addiction. Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a New Jersey man who seems to have all of his priorities straight except that he is a total ladies man and he is addicted to pornography. When Jon meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), the most beautiful woman that he has ever seen, she changes him. He is forced to confront his porn addiction and how he treats women.
The movie is definitely an adult drama. It tackles the subjects of pornography, masturbation, and addiction. There is a lot of nudity and language.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a very solid track record when it comes to acting and I was very excited to see Don Jon because of his writing, directing, and starring credits. He does not disappoint. The film was delightfully different from the norm. It touches on topics that people tend to shy away from and it throws them in your face. Although it will be considered a controversial movie and it proves that Gordon-Levitt likes to takes risks, Don Jon has a lot of heart.
I saw Don Jon two nights ago and I have been thinking about it ever since. It stuck with me. The more I think about it, the more that I like it. It’s a good date movie if you have an open mind.
The cast is awesome! Gordon-Levitt was a rockstar both on and off camera. The chemistry between Johansson and Gordon-Levitt was perfect. They also had their accents down wonderfully. Moore was a great addition to the movie and it was fun to see Danza and Headly acting again.
Don Jon deserves a few Oscar nods, in my opinion. Joseph Gordon-Levitt should be recognized with a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor or Best Director, or both, and the film should be nominated for Best Picture. Johansson and Moore also gave Oscar worthy performances.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proved himself to be a very capable filmmaker. I’m excited to see what he will do next.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
Note: The first movie that I remember seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt in was Angels in the Outfield (1994). That film was also the first movie that I remember seeing Tony Danza in. It’s interesting to me how almost 20 years later Gordon-Levitt has gone on to be a superstar and Danza’s career has tanked. If this movie does not revive Danza’s career, then nothing will. If Danza suddenly pops up in everything, it will be because of his comeback in Don Jon.
Top 10 (err…13) Movies that I saw in Theatres in 2012
My ratings are on a scale of 1-10.
1. Ted (2012). My rating: 9
2. The Dark Knight Rises (2012). My rating: 9
3. Jack Reacher (2012). My rating: 9
4. Skyfall (2012). My rating: 8.5
5. Contraband (2012). My rating: 8.5
6. End of Watch (2012). My rating: 8.5
7. Looper (2012). My rating: 8.5
9. Men in Black 3 (2012). My rating: 8
10. Total Recall (2012). My rating: 8
11. Lawless (2012). My rating: 8
12. 21 Jump Street (2012). My rating: 8
13. The Dictator (2012). My rating: 8
Note: Hugo (2011), and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) would have both been on this list, but I didn’t count them because they were filmed in 2011. That being said, 21 Jump Street and The Dictator would have been knocked off of the list.