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)
Man of Tai Chi (2013)
Keanu Reeves returns ruthlessly with a vengeance. Not only is he a star in this film, but he also made his directorial debut.
The fact that this is a martial arts movie was intriguing to me because after watching Keanu’s fighting skills in The Matrix (1999), I was thirsty for a little bit more of his flying jump kicks and karate chops. It’s just a bit of a shame that he waited so long after The Matrix Trilogy to showcase his combat expertise. He is probably a little more known for his slow-motion bullet dodge than his actual fighting skills, but he has proved that either one can be sufficiently entertaining. The bottom line is, Man of Tai Chi is Reeves in a fighting movie.
The film is about wealthy businessman Donaka Mark (Keanu Reeves), who discovers uniquely talented fighters who he then convinces to fight for him in underground and illegal fighting matches in China. His most recent fighter, Tiger Chen (Chen Lin-Hu), has a special and virtually one-of-a-kind style of hand-to-hand combat with a Tai Chi base. Tiger Chen needs the money, and the fights pay, but once he is in the game, Donaka Mark makes it difficult to stop.
The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Iko Uwais, Simon Yam, Karen Mok, Silvio Simac, and Jeremy Marinas.
The movie goes back and forth between spoken English and Chinese with subtitles. It’s a foreign film with American and Chinese actors. I believe that the joining of the two cultures in the film works to successfully portray the mix of each cultures’ fighting style.
The martial arts in Man of Tai Chi is depicted gracefully and eloquently. The choreography is amazing. The movie has some of the best fighting scenes that I have seen since The Raid: Redemption (2011). Each move seemed so intentional that it almost felt like the fighters were dancing, but the dance was a work of art.
The film’s soundtrack helped to give what was happening on screen a deeper, more intense feel.
The movie started off impressively and this continued until probably the last quarter of the film. It certainly had potential to be better, but I felt like the ending fell short. This was pretty disappointing because it was so good up until that point.
Iko Uwais, who became famous for his role in The Raid: Redemption, was way underused in the movie. If his character was given the chance to show what he was made of, the film could have reached the same caliber as The Raid: Redemption. Instead, his part was cut far too short.
Man of Tai Chi was certainly crammed with action-packed goodness. If it weren’t for the ending, I would give the movie a higher rating. Even though the film was a bit of a letdown towards the end, it was still fun to watch. Keanu did his job well, but his martial arts skill unfortunately didn’t add up to the rest of the fighters in the movie.
I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
“Silent Night” Movie Titles Lyrics Remix
Silent Hill (2006), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
All is Lost (2013), All is Bright (2013)
Rounders (1998) Young Guns (1988) The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) Mother’s Boys (1994) Child’s Play (1988)
Holy Man (1998) Love Me Tender (1956) Mild Afternoon (2011)
Sleepless in Seattle (1993) War and Peace (1956)
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (2003) Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Son of No One (2011) Friday Night Lights (2004)
Radiant City (2006) Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam (1986)
Dawn of the Dead (2004) The Raid: Redemption (2011) Maria Full of Grace (2004)
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), Lord of War (2005) Birth (2004)
Jesus of Montreal (1989), Lord of the Flies (1990) Birth of the Living Dead (2013)
Silence of the Lambs (1991), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The Good Shepherd (2006) Out of Sight (1998)
Glory (1989) Love Streams (1984) Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Oh Heavenly Dog (1980) The Host (2013) The Hallelujah Trail (1965)
The Passion of the Christ (2004) Savior (1998) Natural Born Killers (1994)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) Six Gun Savior (2014) Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
My wife and I started changing the lyrics to “Silent Night” to different movie titles and it started off as a joke. I decided to see how far I could take it and this was the result. I will never think of “Silent Night” the same way again. Which version will you sing this Christmas?