In terms of volume and quality, 2012 has been an absolutely stunning year for film. I cannot remember the last time there were this many films produced and distributed by some of the best directors in the business, all within one year. Ridley Scott returned to the sci-fi genre with Prometheus; Quentin Tarantino recently returned in full idiosyncratic fashion with Django Unchained; Ang Lee has blown the majority of us away with his glorious celebration of life in Life of Pi; Steven Spielberg tackled presidential history with Lincoln; Christopher Nolan bought the curtain down on the Batman series with The Dark Knight Rises and Sam Mendes breathed new life into 007 with Skyfall. Picking this list is not an easy one. The beautiful thing about a top 15 list is that it accepts films that are not exactly Oscar worthy candidates but were entertaining none the less. So, these are what I consider to be the top 15 films of 2012:
15. The Cabin In The Woods - Drew Goddard
The Cabin in the Woods was not exactly genre defining but it managed to stand tall as a very self aware comedy-horror. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard crafted it to the likes of the hack 'n' slash horrors as seen in John Carpenter and Wes Craven's films; whilst fusing elements from those in the B-movie range from the past fifty years or so. It was dark, funny and at times pretty scary.While the Scary Movie franchise set the landmark for these types of films over ten years ago, The Cabin in the Woods' approach was refreshingly different due to the fact it actually had a decent level of fan-boy respect for the horror material it was lampooning.
14. 21 Jump Street - Phil Lord, Chris Miller
21 Jump Street, a remake of the 80's hit TV show starring Johnny Depp, was a 2012 satirical gem. Who would have thought Channing Tatum could do deadpan timing this well and also outshine Jonah Hill on the comedic front? I was not expecting it and I doubt any of you were either. Another film being blessed with a self aware script, both the leads played off each other fantastically well in this satirical take on 80's high school culture mixed with that of the modern day high school. Not a ground breaking film by any means but its affection for the past material, and ability to mix it all about, made for a fun time at the cinema. Do you know the Miranda Rights?