Top 10 Best Movies of 2012

1. Argo
It was difficult putting this above “Lincoln,” however I think that “Argo” really was ahead in a few ways. It’s intense, it’s funny, it’s interesting and it is very well put together by director Ben Affleck. “Argo” was a really nice follow up to “The Town” and shows that Affleck can take on different sorts of films and pull them off. I was really impressed with the acting, the portrayal of Hollywood and especially the exciting climax.

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Zero Dark Thirty review

“Zero Dark Thirty” is based on the true story of the manhunt for Osama Bin Laden, starting with the attacks on 9/11. It takes an in-depth look at the tracking of Al Qaeda during a 10-year period through the eyes of a CIA operative who is part of the task force to find its leader and the No. 1 target of the United States.

The CIA operative, Maya, is played by Jessica Chastain. Maya travels much of the Middle East in the movie, interrogating a number of different detainees and using the extent of U.S. technology to try and put the puzzle pieces together. Through the film, she sticks to the hunt and becomes obsessed with Bin Laden.

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Top 10 Worst Movies of 2012

10. Man on a Ledge
“Man on a Ledge” was one of the first movies released in 2012, back in January, and it really made me think that the year would be completely terrible for movies, thankfully I was wrong. Problems with “Man on a Ledge” were that Sam Worthington was a dull protagonist, Ed Harris was an uninspired antagonist, and the plan that Sam Worthington’s character puts together that makes up the plot is nonsensical.

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Django Unchained review

Director:
Quentin Tarantino
Cast:
Jamie Foxx
Christoph Waltz
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kerry Washington
Samuel L. Jackson
Rated: R

Leonardo DiCaprio should consider playing a villain more often; he’s quite good at it.

“Django Unchained” follows the title character played by Jamie Foxx. At the beginning of the movie Django is a slave being led to an unknown location. However the caravan that he’s in is stopped by a man named King Schultz (Waltz). Schultz, a bounty hunter, ends up freeing Django and asks him in return to help him identify a trio of criminals for their bounties. Django agrees and the two end up working together as a bounty hunting duo.

As the two work together, Django informs Schultz that he has a wife who is still a slave and aims to get her free. The duo discovers that Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Washington), is owned by a rich plantation owner named Calvin Candie (DiCaprio). The heroes then decide to try and get into the plantation and rescue Django’s wife.

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Les Miserables review

Adapted from the 1862 novel written by Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables” follows the story of an ex-convict named Jean Valjean, played by Hugh Jackman, whom upon leaving prison tries changing his life and becoming a better man than he was before. He breaks parole though and because of this, the law-obsessed inspector Javert, played by Russell Crowe, goes to no ends throughout the movie to try and capture Valjean.

After getting his life back on track and avoiding Javert, Valjean meets a woman named Fantine, played by Anne Hathaway who has had to sell her body to support her young daughter, Cosette. Upon her death, Valjean makes a promise to protect Cosette and raise her as his own. The rest of the film is about his struggles of raising Cosette and an envisionment of France in the early 1800s.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey review

Director:
Peter Jackson
Cast:
Ian McKellen
Martin Freeman
Richard Armitage
Hugo Weaving
Rated: PG-13

The return of the franchise was like re-visiting an old friend.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is a prequel story to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy that came out a few years ago, all based on the books written by J.R.R. Tolkien. In this film, the story surrounds Bilbo Baggins (Freeman), the uncle of the LOTR protagonist Frodo, who gets a visit from the wizard Gandalf the Grey (McKellen). Gandalf informs Bilbo about an adventure he and a group of dwarves are going to attempt and asks him to be a member of the company.

Bilbo is at first reluctant to join in however the call of adventure brings him out of there and he joins with the dwarves and Gandalf. The leader of the group is Thorin (Armitage), a dwarf king who is trying to retake his home and reclaim his birth right. Through the adventure, Bilbo begins to earn more trust from the group.

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Playing for Keeps review

Director:
Gabriele Muccino
Cast:
Gerard Butler
Jessica Biel
Dennis Quaid
Uma Thurman
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Rated: PG-13

Gerard Butler can’t seem to escape the romcom void.

“Playing for Keeps” is the story of a retired soccer player named George (Butler), George has fallen on hard times, struggling financially and is trying to connect with his son even through being divorced from his wife Stacie (Biel). Eventually, George is sucked into becoming the new soccer coach for his son’s soccer team and through doing so he meets a few characters who make his attempts to reconnect with his family more difficult.

One of the problems with “Playing for Keeps” is that they tried to take a bunch of different plots that seemed to come from different movies, and smash them together into a sloppy mess. Not only do they bring in a bunch of different plots, they cut them off after a certain amount of time or make them significantly underdeveloped. They have a romantic comedy subplot; a divorce drama subplot and a father son bonding subplot, and each one of them don’t really go anywhere or mean anything.

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Rise of the Guardians review

Director:
Peter Ramsey
Cast:
Chris Pine
Alec Baldwin
Jude Law
Isla Fisher
Hugh Jackman
Rated: PG

I wonder what group of characters they’ll team up next.

“Rise of the Guardians” mainly follows the story of Jack Frost (Pine), who 300 years ago was chosen by the Man in the Moon to be the one who brings cold, ice and everything in between to the world. Fast forwarding to the present, Frost has no memory of his life before becoming a force of nature and feels like he is largely ignored by most of the world. This causes him to not exactly be much of a team player.

Frost is forced to work with others though when he is called upon to be a member of “the Guardians,” a crew consisting of the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. The group is brought together because the Boogeyman, named Pitch Black (Law), is threatening them and the children of the world. Because of this, the five have to go after Pitch, however Frost still feels a bit out of place which causes some mishaps.

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Lincoln review

Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” based off the book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” is the story of the days in Abraham Lincoln’s presidency when he made efforts to pass an amendment to abolish slavery. The film follows Lincoln’s attempts to garner the necessary votes through the House of Representatives to get the amendment passed. To do so, Lincoln and members of his cabinet have to speak and try to not only unite the Republican Party, but get some Democratic Congressmen on their side.

Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance is superb as the 16th president. The biggest achievement that he pulls off in the film is humanizing the very larger- than-life man that Lincoln has become through the ages. This is in main part due to the multi-layering that Day-Lewis does with Lincoln’s character. The audience is really able to get to know who Lincoln is through the screen, instead of just learning what he did in documentaries and books.

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Wreck-It Ralph review

Director:
Rich Moore
Cast:
John C. Reilly
Sarah Silverman
Jack McBrayer
Jane Lynch
Rated: PG

This movie is worth getting some quarters together for.

“Wreck-It Ralph” follows the story of the title character (Reilly), a video game villain in an arcade game where his job is to destroy a tall building and it is up to the game’s hero, Fix it Felix (McBrayer) to repair the building and knock Ralph off the top of the building. The game, and all the inhabitants in it are now 30-years-old and Ralph is fed up with the life of the villain. Because of this, he decides to leave his game and go to another one, Hero’s Duty to get a medal which will change his life and make him a hero.

The plan goes badly in Hero’s Duty though and Ralph ends up in the racing game Sugar Rush. There he meets Vanellope (Silverman), who, after a rough first meeting, the two end up working together to achieve their goals of being better recognized by other characters in their respective games. Meanwhile though, Ralph made a huge mistake in Hero’s Duty and the main character of that game Sergeant Calhoun (Lynch) has to work with Fix it Felix to get Ralph back to his game as well as stop a threat to the whole video game world.

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