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Michael’s Top 10 Movies of 2012


(Click to hear Michael’s review)

Comments (37)

  1. From: Randall Bowman   On: January 4, 2013

    1) The Avengers should be on this list. Where else have we ever seen a superhero all-star team come together so spectacularly? I know you thought the movie was too slow to unfold (which I don’t get at all), but I thought the Marvel heroes all meshed beautifully. I could have done without some of Black Widow’s lame one-liners but other than that the movie was awesome.

    2) I think the one mild flaw in your movie reviews is the lack of recognition for the “repeatability” factor. In other words, some movies are done very well and are very powerful but you wouldn’t necessarily want to watch them ever again because it’s just too emotionally draining. Fun movies that are done well (like The Avengers) can be watched over and over again. I think that adds a lot of value to a movie. That’s why it always baffles me that Oscar-nominated movies are almost always dark, pathetic, miserable and obscure.

    3) I went with my wife to see Les Miserables (having no idea what I was getting into). While the performances and cinematography were phenomenal it was very difficult for me to adjust to the constant signing. Every brief moment they stopped and attempted spoken dialogue I felt like a swimmer coming up for air. Overall I thought the movie was great and I am glad that I saw it but I don’t think I could ever sit through that again.

    • From: the truth   On: January 5, 2013

      PC garbage like the Avengers with no plot and predictable ending dont get to the top 10. This is the REAL top 10 movies this year!!! Excision, Hotel Transylvania, the dark knight returns, Prometheus, The Loved Ones, Bedevilled , The Cabin in the Woods, John Dies at the End, Chronicle, How to Train Your Dragon… The above list is to bland and conservative. Not a memorable film on that list!

      • From: Randall Bowman   On: January 7, 2013

        Hello there “the truth”,

        Before submitting such odd rebuttals you should probably start by listing movies that are applicable:

        1) How to Train Your Dragon came out in 2010.

        2) The Cabin in the Woods came out in 2011.

        3) The Dark Knight Returns was released only on Blu-ray/DVD.

        4) I am sure that all 20 people who saw Chronicle or John Dies at the End probably agree with you.

        Take care sir.

      • From: Margaret Speer   On: January 25, 2013

        to, too and two – please look it up

      • From: WessOA   On: April 24, 2013

        Prometheus? The one one where the high tech mappers get lost? Haaa haa. Bwaahhaa hahahaha. *you’re no siskel or ebert*

    • From: doglover   On: January 15, 2013

      You need to get used to or be used to that type of musical where most of the dialogue is sung. If you cannot hear or understand the song lyrics it is a big bummer. We first saw Phantom of the Opera on a nose-bleed section and my husband hated it. We gave it another try with good seats and loved it. We loved the theater presentation so much we took our older kids who loved it and then my youngest got a trip to London for her birthday, partly so she could see it. The message of the songs and story are truely worth trying to see it with good seats and I have to say the big stage productions are better, but the history and mood of the French in that period of time is right on and our family find that the best show on.

      • From: Chuck   On: March 8, 2013

        I love musicals. I had such a hard time sitting through this movie. My wife loved it, I hated it. I asked my wife if I could go sit in the car and play with my phone. She said no. It was so bad I couldn’t even fall asleep with all the wailing.

    • From: Craig   On: January 21, 2013

      I like your comments, but reviewing Medved’s reviews I think he balances all those out. I like reading Medved’s individual reviews, and agree with most of them, but it is clear that the best of reflects more his own personal tastes.

      What you are looking for though are movies to be judged bases on their purpose, like best musical, or summer blockbuster. I think by reading Medved’s individual reviews you get that.

      Looking at the list though I will add my own comments:
      Silver Linings Playbook, Perks, and Late Quartet and Salmon fishing are all small character driven movies and I would agree are all universally excellent. I would be 3 out of those 4 on a top ten list, though I probably would have enjoyed as much on TV.

      Lincoln is a great movie with both redeeming value and wonderful performances. I also agree with you that once is enough.

      Like you I thought Les Mis was well done, but a bit too instense for entertainment.

      The Hobbit, Impossible, Act of Valor are good movies but not great, but whatever floats the critic boat.

      I wish Moonrise Kingdom, Batman, Argo, and Beasts of the Southern Wild were on the list. I think Chronicle would be close.

      Skyfall and Avengers both had great scenes, but as was mentioned elsewhere, got a little long and tedious at times.

      Lets face it though. We should be happy. Small movies, big movies, and medium movies. There was alot of great stuff in 2012.

  2. From: Mike   On: January 4, 2013

    Was the character played by Tommy Lee Jones actually married to black women or was that poetic license?

  3. From: Also Mike   On: January 4, 2013

    Love your show but c’mon no Avengers?

    • From: Randall Bowman   On: January 7, 2013

      Exactly. The Avengers deserves more recognition than some of those sleepers on his list.

  4. From: T. Doyle   On: January 4, 2013

    While I respect your educated opinion, Lincoln was more of a docu-drama. It took a lot of effort to keep characters straight, understand early American English and fill in the leaps from scene to scene all while trying to comprehend the reason for huge slow-downs in the story. Lincoln came across as wise while surrounded by nincompoops. Wouldn’t he try harder to educate them as well? Even with outstanding performances, I found it tiring and much like cramming for an exam.

    • From: CortlandWriter   On: January 4, 2013

      I would recommend you read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book on which the movie was based, and maybe history itself for that period.

  5. From: bigcow   On: January 4, 2013

    I’ve tried TWICE to watch “The Avengers” and have fallen to sleep both times! Granted, it was after a long shift at work, but most movies I watch are after a long shift at work…

    • From: filmklassik   On: January 10, 2013

      You’re not alone. THE AVENGERS was the most overrated genre offering of last year… until SKYFALL knocked it out of the box.

      It’s almost like filmmakers have forgotten what a well-made adventure movie is SUPPOSED to look like. A pity.

  6. From: Jim Knutsen   On: January 4, 2013

    Proof that I am getting old, is the fact that I have not yet seen even (1) of the Top 10 movies on Michaels list. I have seen the Avenger’s and enjoyed it very much being a action movie fan. Will probably wait for Lincoln on Blu-ray and add it to the home collection. Not sure what to do about Hobbitt…. any suggestions from others?

  7. From: Dan   On: January 5, 2013

    Mr. Medved,

    Did you see “Trouble with the Curve”? If so, what would you rate this film?

  8. From: Kathleen Everitt   On: January 5, 2013

    Thank you, Michael. You save me money and time with your movie reviews.

  9. From: Paula   On: January 7, 2013

    I saw numbers 1,2,3 & 6. They were XLNT.

  10. From: Dave Waller   On: January 7, 2013

    Michael…Michael…Michael! The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Prometheus, Obama’s America, Act of Valor, Paul, Skyfall, John Carter of Mars, The Hunger Games, sorry I just ran out. How about that list?

    • From: Dandy Andy   On: January 10, 2013

      Paul came out in 2011. /:

      • From: CONELRAD   On: March 5, 2013

        And it wasn’t very good.

  11. From: JGUY   On: January 8, 2013

    I saw “Lincoln” and loved it. Some scenes were contrived composites…..but that is just a
    tool used to compact history. The person of Lincoln showcased in this movie was amazing.,,
    I miss him and want to go back and see it again to visit the “person” who has always been
    one of my heros….than you Spielberg…

  12. From: DaveGinOly   On: January 10, 2013

    Have to agree with the folks who included “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises.” “Avengers” was simply great in its genre, along with “TDKR,” which was terrific story-telling. Where “Avengers” was a fun, wild ride, “TDKR” was a brooding, epic tale of good vs. evil.
    I also disagree with your inclusion of “The Hobbit,” which, like “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King,” was a huge disappointment because of the violence done to Tolkien’s story by Peter Jackson. Azog was killed at the Battle of Azanulbizar (the big battle depicted at the beginning of the movie) by Dain II Ironfoot, after Azog killed Dain’s father, Nain. This story line (from LOTR’s appendices) was transferred to Thorin’s line, which is simply inaccurate according to Tolkien’s “history” of Middle-Earth. The inclusion of Radagast, and the ridiculous, rabbit-drawn sleigh, was, like several elements introduced into Jackson’s “Ring” movies, most unwelcome, taking valuable screen time that would have been better used telling parts of Tolkien’s story what was left out. (Yes, I know movie makers always leave out parts of books. But Jackson, in both “The Hobbit” and “LOTR,” used valuable time to include characters and story lines don’t exist in the books – time that could have been spent on characters and story lines that did appear in them. While watching this movie, I was sitting in the theater thinking, “This is terrible, just awful.” I will not be seeing the other movies in the series. (Jackson’s “Fellowship” portrayed in film that part of LOTR about as well as anyone could. The next two installments were both very disappointing. No discs of these movies reside in my collection and “The Hobbit” will not find a home here either.)
    I also disagree with your inclusion here of the ho-hum action movie “Act of Valor.” Interesting to see what SEALs do and how they do it, acted out by real SEALs? Yes. But the story was simple and made it look like SEALs run around the world putting out fires. Where were the briefings? The sand-table mock-ups? The rehearsals? The mission planning? In this regard, very unrealistic. Fun to watch, but ultimately forgettable. Give me “Blackhawk Down” any day. (Looking forward to “Zero Dark Thirty.”)
    I’m glad “Prometheus” didn’t make this list, but surprised it didn’t make the “10 Worst List.” The story was terrible, the movie was BAD science fiction, and it was a HUGE disappointment because so much was expected from Ridley Scott and he completely failed to deliver.

  13. From: Dandy Andy   On: January 10, 2013

    I haven’t seen all of those, but a few I would include are “The Grey”, “The Hunger Games”, “The
    Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises”.

  14. From: Bobbie Sena   On: January 15, 2013

    Are any ofthe favorites profanity free, lewdness free, and free of extreme stupid vulgarity???? I would love to enjoy any such film and to promote it. It is really hard to believe that prior to 1960 all absolutely all, movies were totally decent. they were very exciting in many different genres and some such as A Tale of Two Cities or The African Queen were very inspiring and informative.Now, movie theatres and even TV sets are danger zones for young people and immature adults. Is ther any hope?? Bobbie Sena

  15. From: Bobbie Sena   On: January 15, 2013

    Did you receive my comment
    ?/ I hope so!!! Bobbie Sena

  16. From: Kim D.   On: January 18, 2013

    What happened to ARGO ? Was a greatmovie but nowhere on your list. Was it too old?

  17. From: Cristian P.   On: January 21, 2013

    I’d have to say I agree on a few of these films, especially the under appreciated films such as The Impossible, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen because those films were filled with powerhouse performances, extraordinary style, and heart-touching moments that people turn away from now a days. But, I’d have to disagree with a few too. Though The Hobbit contained some of the most dazzling visual effects ever, the story was dragged on and the pacing was terrible (not Peter Jackson’s finest at all). Act of Valor had some unique technicalities to it, but overall there was awful acting and a cliche plot/story. Won’t Back Down had such a heart warming story and good acting, but there was cheesy dialogue and some unnecessary complications to the plot (that was just fine the way it was with turning the school around). Now, where are Argo and Life of Pi? Argo was a pretty damn good film, and would be the film to be fighting with Lincoln for the Best Picture nom. And Life of Pi was so emotionally gripping and jaw dropping in the visual aspects, and was perfectly adapted to the big screens.
    I honestly don’t think The Avengers was that great. Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome how Joss Whedon elegantly mixed the heroes together, but the film was a blockbuster hit. The Dark Knight Rises is the same. Though I absolutely love Christopher Nolan, he knew that it would be very difficult to make a film following one of the greatest films ever made. He did an excellent job, but it was no where close to its predecessor (which is a bummer).

  18. From: Kenny M.   On: January 28, 2013

    I haven’t seen it myself, but, not only did Michael give “Bully” a **** rating, but he made it sound like the most important movie of the year. So I fully expected it to make the Top 10.

  19. From: Daddysergio   On: February 7, 2013

    Les mez left me miserable. Worst movie ever!

  20. From: tacomateri   On: February 20, 2013

    I thought “Flight” was one of the best from 2012 but I always wonder whether Michael saw it, as I cannot find his review anywhere on his site.

    • From: Spike   On: February 25, 2013

      I agree with you about Flight, I thought it was a great movie and Denzel Washington was excellent in it. I’m a pilot, and I thought the actual flying part was compelling and interesting. I think a lot of people (maybe because the trailer showed the crazy footage of an upside down airplane) figured Flight was a disaster movie and maybe not credible. Fact is, the flying stuff, including the reaction of the young co-pilot, was credible. Loved the moral ambiguity, exemplified by the wily attorney Don Cheadle, of a pilot who blatantly violated pilot substance use rules, but through his unique skills saved 150 or so passengers.

  21. From: Sam Small   On: February 21, 2013

    I thought Michael’s number 1 was an interesting pick. I saw Lincoln and talked about it with many friends who had seen it. Most thought it was just ok. I personally thought it was a little cumbersome and found myself thinking about half way through “Is it over yet?” Act of Valor should have been higher in his ranking, very good movie.

  22. From: Donna Solin, age 95   On: March 14, 2013

    If I believed all the negative comments, I would NEVER go to another movie!

  23. From: Michael Holasek   On: April 13, 2013

    I’d put “Red Dawn” (2012 version) near the top of the list. A gut-churning film about a Red invasion and occupation of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, it shows how vital preparedness can be in the midst of violent civil upheaval (urban riots in a coming U.S. Depression?). I liked the 1984 “Red Dawn” version better, but even liberals gave LOW ratings to the film version of leftist Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, with its supposedly “joyous” scene of the “heroes”–a leftist mob–raising the red flag of revolt in 19th century Paris,

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