Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. End-of-year lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

Category: 2012 Movies

Anthony Lane: 8 Best Films of 2012

The-Turin-Horse

Anthony Lane: 8 Best Films of 2012 (as extracted from his year-end roundup in The New Yorker, with some reflection of their implied order, and omitting the films that Lane describes as “lustreless” save for a particular performance)

  • The Turin Horse – Béla Tarr
  • Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  • The Kid with a Bike – Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  • The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  • Skyfall – Sam Mendes
  • Looper – Rian Johnson
  • Argo – Ben Affleck

Les Inrocks: 20 Best Films of 2012

Holy Motors

Les Inrockuptibles: 20 Best Films of 2012

  1. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  2. Tabu – Miguel Gomes
  3. In Another Country – Hong Sang-soo
  4. Twixt – Francis Ford Coppola
  5. Damsels In Distress – Whit Stillman
  6. 4:44 Last Day on Earth – Abel Ferrara
  7. Camille Rewinds – Noémie Lvovsky
  8. Looper – Rian Johnson
  9. A World Without Women – Guillaume Brac
  10. Atomic Age – Héléna Klotz
  11. Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  12. Giacomo’s Summer – Alessandro Comodin
  13. The Day He Arrives – Hong Sang-soo
  14. Barbara – Christian Petzold
  15. Fengming: A Chinese Memoir – Wang Bing
  16. Laurence Anyways – Xavier Dolan
  17. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  18. Go Go Tales – Abel Ferrara
  19. Amour – Michael Haneke
  20. Smugglers’ Songs – Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche

Fernando F. Croce: Top 20 Films of 2012

Tabu

Fernando F. Croce: Top 20 Films of 2012 (as published by Slant Magazine)

  1. Tabu – Miguel Gomes
  2. The Turin Horse – Béla Tarr
  3. The Deep Blue Sea – Terence Davies
  4. Cosmopolis – David Cronenberg
  5. Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  6. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  7. This is Not a Film – Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  8. Almayer’s Folly – Chantal Akerman
  9. The Kid with a Bike – Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  10. Holy Motors – Leos Carax

Honorable Mention

  • Alps – Giorgos Lanthimos
  • Oslo, August 31st – Joachim Trier
  • Neighboring Sounds – Kleber Mendonça Filho
  • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • Bernie – Richard Linklater
  • Goodbye First Love – Mia Hansen-Løve
  • The Day He Arrives – Hong Sang-soo
  • 4:44 Last Day on Earth – Abel Ferrara
  • Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
  • Killer Joe – William Friedkin

Nick Schager: Top 20 Films of 2012

The Master

Nick Schager: Top 20 Films of 2012 (as published by Slant Magazine)

  1. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  2. Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
  3. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  4. The Deep Blue Sea – Terence Davies
  5. Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  6. Neighboring Sounds – Kleber Mendonça Filho
  7. Oslo, August 31st – Joachim Trier
  8. This is Not a Film – Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  9. Keep the Lights On – Ira Sachs
  10. Beyond the Black Rainbow – Panos Cosmatos

Honorable Mention

  • The Kid with a Bike – Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  • The Grey – Joe Carnahan
  • Magic Mike – Steven Soderbergh
  • Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  • Photographic Memory – Ross McElwee
  • The Loneliest Planet – Julia Loktev
  • Haywire – Steven Soderbergh
  • 21 Jump Street – Phil Lord and Chris Miller
  • Last Ride – Glendyn Ivin
  • Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning – John Hyams

Ed Gonzalez: Top 20 Films of 2012

This is Not a Film

Ed Gonzalez: Top 20 Films of 2012 (as published by Slant Magazine)

  1. This is Not a Film – Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  2. The Kid with a Bike – Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
  3. Neighboring Sounds – Kleber Mendonça Filho
  4. Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  5. Las Acacias – Pablo Giorgelli
  6. Jiro Dreams of Sushi – David Gelb
  7. Girl Walk // All Day – Jacob Krupnick
  8. Oslo, August 31st – Joachim Trier
  9. 5 Broken Cameras – Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
  10. Sleepless Night – Frédéric Jardin

Honorable Mention

  • The Comedy – Rick Alverson
  • Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
  • Killer Joe – William Friedkin
  • Keep the Lights On – Ira Sachs
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin
  • The Color Wheel – Alex Ross Perry
  • The Five-Year Engagement – Nicholas Stoller
  • The Queen of Versailles – Lauren Greenfield
  • Sister – Ursula Meier
  • This Must Be the Place – Paolo Sorrentino

Matt Singer: 20 Best Films of 2012

Holy Motors

Matt Singer: 20 Best Films of 2012 (as published by Indiewire)

  1. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  2. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  3. Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  4. The Cabin in The Woods – Drew Goddard
  5. This is Not a Film – Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  6. Klown – Mikkel Nørgaard
  7. Compliance – Craig Zobel
  8. Argo – Ben Affleck
  9. Looper – Rian Johnson
  10. Girl Walk // All Day – Jacob Krupnick
  11. Cloud Atlas – Lana & Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer
  12. Jeff, Who Lives at Home – Jay and Mark Duplass
  13. Not Fade Away – David Chase
  14. Oslo, August 31st – Joachim Trier
  15. Paranorman – Chris Butler & Sam Fell
  16. Sleepless Night – Frédéric Jardin
  17. Life of Pi – Ang Lee
  18. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  19. Magic Mike – Steven Soderbergh
  20. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning – John Hyams

Peter Bradshaw: 10 Best Films of 2012

The Master

Peter Bradshaw: 10 Best Films of 2012 (as published by The Guardian)

  1. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  2. Ted – Seth MacFarlane
  3. Amour – Michael Haneke
  4. Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
  5. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  6. This is Not a Film – Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  7. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  8. Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin
  9. Alps – Giorgos Lanthimos
  10. The Queen of Versailles – Lauren Greenfield

Andrew O’Hehir: 20 Best Movies of 2012

Wuthering-Heights

Andrew O’Hehir: 20 Best Movies of 2012 (as published by Salon)

  1. Wuthering Heights – Andrea Arnold
  2. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  3. Amour – Michael Haneke
  4. Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  5. Rust and Bone – Jacques Audiard
  6. Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
  7. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  8. Whores’ Glory – Michael Glawogger
  9. Oslo, August 31st – Joachim Trier
  10. Take This Waltz – Sarah Polley

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order)

  • Bachelorette – Leslye Headland
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin
  • Chico & Rita – Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan
  • End of Watch – David Ayer
  • Keep the Lights On – Ira Sachs
  • Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present – Matthew Akers
  • Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  • Not Fade Away – David Chase
  • The Turin Horse – Béla Tarr

Ty Burr: Top 26 Movies of 2012

Beasts-of-the-Southern-Wild

Ty Burr: Top 26 Movies of 2012 (as published by The Boston Globe)

  1. Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin
  2. Amour – Michael Haneke
  3. Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  4. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  5. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  6. Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
  7. Argo – Ben Affleck
  8. Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
  9. This is Not a Film – Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  10. Oslo, August 31st – Joachim Trier

Honorable Mention

  • Bachelorette – Leslye Headland

Runners-up

  • The Sessions – Ben Lewin
  • The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
  • Safety Not Guaranteed – Colin Trevorrow
  • The Central Park Five – Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon
  • Killing Them Softly – Andrew Dominik
  • The House I Live In – Eugene Jarecki
  • Frankenweenie – Tim Burton
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
  • Searching for Sugar Man – Malik Bendjelloul

Wesley Morris: Top 25 Movies of 2012

The Master

Wesley Morris: Top 25 Movies of 2012 (as published by The Boston Globe)

  1. The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson
  2. How to Survive a Plague – David France
  3. The Paperboy – Lee Daniels
  4. Amour – Michael Haneke
  5. Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
  6. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  7. Polisse – Maïwenn
  8. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
  9. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  10. 21 Jump Street – Phil Lord and Chris Miller

15 More Excellent Moves in No Particular Order

  • Elena – Andrey Zvyagintsev
  • Barbara – Christian Petzold
  • Miss Bala – Gerardo Naranjo
  • The Gatekeepers – Dror Moreh
  • Magic Mike – Steven Soderbergh
  • Where Do We Go Now? – Nadine Labaki
  • The Turin Horse – Béla Tarr
  • Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow
  • The Loneliest Planet – Julia Loktev
  • Gayby – Jonathan Lisecki
  • Sister – Ursula Meier
  • The Color Wheel – Alex Ross Perry
  • Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell
  • Lincoln – Stephen Spielberg
  • Argo – Ben Affleck