Best Pictures of 2012

Best Pictures of 2012

By: Tyler Garling
1. Django UnchainedQuentin Tarantino’s western epic stars Jamie Foxx as the film’s title character Django, a freed slave who, along with German dentist Dr. King Shultz (Christoph Waltz), becomes a bounty hunter. The two undergo a mission to rescue Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from the delightfully evil and charismatic plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson as Candie’s very loyal house slave Stephen. Django Unchained is one of Tarantino’s best films, probably his second best behind Pulp Fiction. The soundtrack is incredible and features artists from Rick Ross, a combination of James Brown and 2Pac, and Ennio Morricone. I normally don’t listen to hip hop, but the timing of the songs is perfect and just adds to the Tarantino experience. As always in Tarantino films, the writing is quick, witty, and hilariously funny. Django Unchained is an extremely violent film, which led to backlash upon the film’s release, but the violence helps push a very powerful message. Tarantino wanted to deal with the horrible past of slavery, but not make an issue-film. While DiCaprio gives easily one of his best ever performances as Candie, his actions towards his slaves are downright evil. There were a few scenes that had me, but Tarantino wanted his audience to experience that sensation- perfect film-making if you ask me. Django Unchained is an extremely enjoyable film, and though it may not be a big winner at this year’s Oscars, it is definitely my favorite picture of 2012 and well worth the wait.
2. Argo – Director Ben Affleck’s film about the US operation to rescue six diplomats from Iran during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis is one of 2012’s best films. Argo was an intense, edge-of-your-seat, nail-biter and would enthrall any moviegoer. John Goodman and Alan Arkin both shine in the film, the latter gaining an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Though Affleck got snubbed by the Academy, he won big at the Golden Globes, and Argo is still a major contender for Best Picture at the Oscars.
3. Seven Psychopaths – Seven Psychopaths was the best movie of 2012 you never heard of. Directed by Martin McDonagh, the film has an all-star cast including the likes of Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Christopher Walken. Seven Psychopaths is zany, sometimes violent, and just plain fun. I believe some may find the film a little out there, but they should definitely give it a try.  The film is filled with some great laughs, but also has some fantastic scenes that hold a much more serious tone. I was always looking forward to Seven Psychopaths, but it ended up being even better than I expected.
4. Life of Pi – I had to read Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi for my Literature class, and it ended up becoming one of my all-time favorites. Reading the book made me anxious over the film’s release, and I hoped it would stay true to the source material. Thankfully, director Ang Lee created a beautiful film. Life of Pi is visually stunning, and it raised the bar for visual effects that was set by Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. The film was also very true to the book, which was just another positive for me. Life of Pi is a stunning movie and is one of 2012’s best.
5. Looper – As I stated in my film review for Looper, time travel is tough to pull off, for it usually results in many loopholes. Fortunately, Looper doesn’t contain any, and it is one of the most original films of the past 10 years. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave a unique performance, given his past roles. Looper is directed by Rian Johnson and, prior to viewing this movie, I had never seen any of his films. After watching his newest picture, I need to correct my mistake, as he is a very promising director. I was sad to not see Looper nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars (or Best Picture for that matter), but I still consider it one of the most original concepts in a long time. Looper stands amongst 2012’s best.