Movie Reviews & Interviews from Washington

DC Film Girl’s Year in Review: The Best & Worst of 2012

I can’t believe its been exactly one year since I launched This year has truly been a fun and exciting time as a film critic, as 2012 has given us many amazing movies and memorable performances. Of course, there are the bad movies that we question how they ever got made in the first place, but thankfully there have only been a few of those this year. After seeing over 180 movies and compiling over 80 written reviews, it’s time for the Year In Review…DC Film Girl style.
As always, thank you so much for taking the time to visit my site and I will see you in 2013! Lots of films to look forward to next year!

The Best Performances of 2012

Best Actor
Hugh Jackman – “Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
John Hawkes – “The Sessions”
Anthony Hopkins – “Hitchcock”
Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – “Looper”
Logan Lerman – “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
Daniel Craig – “Skyfall”
Denzel Washington – “Flight”
Tommy Lee Jones – “Hope Springs”
Channing Tatum – “21 Jump Street”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
Paul Dano – “Ruby Sparks”
Andrew Garfield – “The Amazing Spider-Man”
Bill Murray – “Hyde Park on Hudson”
Tom Holland – “The Impossible”
Best Actress
Mary Elizabeth Winstead – “Smashed”
Helen Mirren – “Hitchcock”
Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Jennifer Lawrence – “The Hunger Games”
Michelle Williams – “Take This Waltz”
Anna Kendrick – “Pitch Perfect”
Meryl Streep – “Hope Springs”
Keira Knightley – “Anna Karenina”
Aubrey Plaza – “Safety Not Guaranteed”
Marion Cotillard – “Rust and Bone”
Noomi Rapace – “Prometheus”
Melanie Lynskey – “Hello I Must Be Going”
Eva Green- “Perfect Sense”
Keira Knightley- “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”
Kristen Stewart- “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II”
Best Supporting Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio – “Django Unchained”
Guy Pearce – “Lawless”
Javier Barden – “Skyfall”
Andy Serkis – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
Michael Fassbender – “Prometheus”
Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”
Eddie Redmayne- “Les Misérables”
Tom Hardy – “Lawless”
Michael Caine – “The Dark Knight Rises”
Robert DeNiro- “Silver Linings Playbook”
Ezra Miller – “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
Scoot McNairy- “Killing Them Softly”
Sam Rockwell- “Seven Pyschopaths”
Tom Cruise- “Rock of Ages”
Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway – “Les Misérables”
Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
Emma Watson – “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
Emily Blunt – “Looper”
Sarah Silverman – “Wreck-It Ralph”
Sally Field – “Lincoln”
Elizabeth Olsen – “Liberal Arts”
Ari Graynor – “For A Good Time, Call…”
Zoe Kazan – “Ruby Sparks”
Anne Hathaway – “The Dark Knight Rises”
Charlize Theron – “Snow White and the Huntsman”
Charlize Theron- “Prometheus”
Rebel Wilson – “Pitch Perfect”
Judi Dench – “Skyfall”
Brit Marling – “Sound of My Voice”
Kerry Washington – “Django Unchained”

The Most Overrated Film of 2012

“The Dark Knight Rises”– It’s not that I didn’t like this movie, I gave it a 3.5/5; it’s that I don’t understand why it’s making everyone’s Top 10 list and people are saying it’s “The Best Christopher Nolan movie ever!!!” In his Batman Trilogy, it easily ranks as the lowest one of the three. Very underwhelming.
Overrated Runner-Ups: “Lincoln”; “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”; “Argo”“The Master”

The Most Underrated Film of 2012

“The Raid: Redemption”: The best foreign language film that kicked a lot of ass and that no one saw! It not only has incredible action sequences, but a surprising emotional core. It’s one of the best action films I’ve ever seen. Really.
Underrated Runner-Ups: “The Cabin in the Woods”;“Smashed”; “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”; “A Royal Affair”


The 10 Best Films of 2012

10. “21 Jump Street”– (On Blu-ray/DVD) Comedies always get pushed aside and forgotten as the year comes to an end and when looking back on my favorite films this year, this is one of the first ones that came to mind. It’s been an electric year for Channing Tatum and this film is arguably his best role of the year. Comedy is so hard to pull off and 2012’s Sexiest Man Alive is nothing short of hilarious in this movie. I must’ve watched my Blu-ray 10x already.
9. “Prometheus”– (On Blu-ray/DVD)- I’ve never seen a film quite like this one before. I loved the fact that so many people walked away with questions after this movie and it was talked about months after it left the theatres. Every movie we see shouldn’t be wrapped up in a little bow when it’s over, that’s the beauty of this movie! Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron’s performances are some of the best of the year.
8. “Frankenweenie”– (On Blu-ray/DVD Jan. 8, 2013) The best and most imaginative stop-motion animation film since Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” There have been several fantastic animated films this year, but this one moved me the most. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve had dogs all my life or maybe it’s just the splendid little story Burton created that I love so much. Burton has finally found the pathway back to his originality with this film.
7. “Looper”– (On Blu-ray/DVD Dec. 31)- Director/writer Rian Johnson gives us one of the most wildly creative films all year and maybe ever. I saw this film twice in theatres and thought about it for days after I watched it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues to prove he is one of the best actors working today. Emily Blunt is given a great role here and her performance is fantastic.
6. “The Hunger Games”– (On Blu-ray/DVD)- This is one of the best book-to-film translations I’ve ever seen. So many important things get lost when a great book is made into a film and most of the good stuff made it to screen in this instance. Jennifer Lawrence is given the role of a lifetime and leads the film perfectly from start to finish. I’d almost rather see her nominated for this film over “Silver Linings Playbook,” even though I thought she was fantastic in both. Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci and Elizabeth Banks are all perfect for their roles.
5. “Skyfall”– (In theatres) For someone who has seen practically every single Bond film growing up, “Skyfall” really impressed me. I’ve always loved Daniel Craig as Bond: he’s handsome, charming and strong, everything Bond should be. I saw this twice in theatres and loved it even more the second time around. This is the type of Bond that plays homage to the Sean Connery Bond films and attracts new viewers to the franchise. Roger Deakins deserves the Oscar for Best Cinematography.
4. “Silver Linings Playbook”– (In theatres) One of the most unconventional romances of the year. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro give some of the best performances of the year. I loved this story and the ending was strategically set up throughout the film, but still managed to surprise me at the end. I think Lawrence is the star of my generation.
3. “The Cabin in the Woods”– (On Blu-ray/DVD) If you are a fan of the horror genre, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or Joss Whedon, you will love this movie. This film is a complete game changer for the horror genre and has the most original screenplay of the year written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard. The last 20 minutes of the film will blow you away.
2. “Django Unchained”– (In theatres) I knew this movie was going to be a 5/5 within the first 10 minutes of watching it. This is director/writer Quentin Tarantino’s 7th film and he has one of the most original styles in Hollywood. The screenplay, cinematography by Robert Richardson and direction are all some of my favorites this year. Leonardo DiCaprio is wickedly fantastic as the monstrous slave owner and should go home with the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Christoph Waltz (who is billed as supporting, but could easily be a lead) as the man who frees Django and despises slavery is amazingly good with his quirky accent and funky carriage. The best reason to love “Django” is the fact that underneath all the violence, cursing and bloodshed is a beautiful love story. That’s Tarantino!
1. “Les Misérables”– (In theatres) I dreamed a dream and it was perfection. I’ve seen and heard several versions of “Les Mis” and director Tom Hooper’s vision of the most beloved musical of all time lived up to all of my expectations. Hooper decided to have the cast sing live for the camera rather than in the confines of a recording studio and the choice made all the difference. I don’t think I ever understood the full meaning of “I Dreamed A Dream” until I heard Anne Hathaway sing it. She deserves the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Hugh Jackman gives the best performance by an actor this year as our hero, Jean Valjean. “Les Mis” is the cinematic experience of the year.

les mis poster

Honorable Mentions: “Moonrise Kingdom”; “Hitchcock”; “The Raid: Redemption”; “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”; “Wreck-It Ralph”; “Haywire”; “Hope Springs”; “Chronicle”; “Safety Not Guaranteed”; “Marvel’s The Avengers”

The 10 Worst Films of 2012

10. “Resident Evil: Retribution”– Maybe it’s time for Alice to retire? This dialogue was some of the worst of the year.
9. “Playing For Keeps”– This is one romantic comedy that starts off promising, but goes downhill quickly. It’s one of those films that prove how a talented cast (Gerard Butler, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jessica Biel) isn’t the only thing necessary to make a good movie. A screenplay is also very important.
8. “John Carter”– There is no life on Mars. How could a film that cost $250 million to make be so void of compassion?
7. “The Dictator”- Ugh, just barf. Unfunny, boring and at times, plain disgusting. I really expected more from Anna Faris.
6. “The Watch” –What was this hilarious cast of actors thinking? Each actor is funny individually, but as a group it plays out horrible.
5. “The Details” – I never wrote a full review of this little indie film because I figured no one would see it anyway. I hope no one did. Any film that makes the talented Laura Linney look revolting is a disgrace.
4. “Silent Hill: Revelation 3D”– I hated the first film, but tried to go into this sequel with an open mind anyway. Nope, probably even dumber than the first! So cheesy and probably has the most random cameo of the year: Malcolm McDowell.
3. “The Five-Year Engagement”– About halfway through this film, I felt that the couple (Jason Segel and Emily Blunt) were not meant to be together. This is the exact OPPOSITE of how you should feel after a romantic comedy. It’s also way too long.
2. “One For the Money”– I’m starting to think people are rolling their eyes when they see Katharine Heigl’s name in the credits of a movie trailer. This film was one of the biggest pieces of junk in 2012.
1. “Cosmopolis”– I really really wanted this film to be good for the sake of what poor Robert Pattinson was going through at the time, but I can honestly say I did not like one single thing about this wretched movie. Even the gorgeous R Patz wasn’t that great, sadly. I’m sure the book the film was based off of was fine and spoke to a particular audience, but this film speaks to no one.


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