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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Top 10 Hollywood movies of 2012

2012 saw hordes of movies releasing and experimenting with different genres; only a few were appreciated by critics and cherished by audiences alike. This list below comprises of top Hollywood movies which are orchestrated on the basis of merit. These movies are hand-picked by me and are my eminent contenders for bagging utmost honors at the 85th Academy Awards and various other award fetes.

10) The Dark Knight Rises

Last of Nolan’s Batman trilogy was the most anticipated release of the year.  It was certain that it will be compared with ‘The Dark Knight’ which gave a new meaning to Super-hero -Genus movies and it was; TDKR did prove to be an apt end for this brilliant-franchise. Bane a new villain emerges in Gotham taking the whole city under his dictatorship. Our mask-crusader has to settle some old scores and control the growing menace o f this new terror.

Plusses : Plot, Direction and Performance of lead actors
Minuses : Introduction of new characters and Running time  
Genre : Superhero

Director : Christopher Nolan
Cast : Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard and Morgan Freeman
Screenplay : Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Cinematography : Wally Pfister
Editor : Lee Smith
Music  Director : Hans Zimmer
Producer : Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Charles Roven
Studio : Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films and DC Comics
Distributor : Warner Bros. Pictures
Countries : United States and United Kingdom
Release Date : July 16, 2012 (world premiere) and July 20, 2012 (United States)
Run time : 165 minutes
Box-Office : 2nd  highest grossing movie of 2012 and 7th  highest grossing movie of all time
Based on : Batman by Bob Kane

9) The Hunger Games

Finally a series which is not babyish like ‘Harry Potter’ or lame like ‘Twilight’ but a refreshing one with thrills and frills. One of the earlier films to get noticed this year was ‘Hunger Games’. A competition in which a boy and girl from 12 districts are selected and are required to slaughter each other with the winner gaining fame and much-required wealth.  The movie details about participants as their fight for survival and emotions forming the crux.

Plusses : Detailed Characterization, Direction and Performance of lead actors
Minuses : Violence and Running Time
Genre : Science Fiction

Director : Gary Ross
Cast : Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Bob Balaban
Screenplay : Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray
Cinematography : Tom Stern
Editors :Stephen Mirrione and Juliette Welfling
Music  Director : James Newton Howard
Producers : Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik
Studios : Lionsgate and Color Force
Distributor : Lionsgate
Country : United States
Release Date : March 23, 2012 (United States)
Run time : 143 minutes
Box-Office : 9th highest grossing movie of 2012 as it earned Ten times its budget
Based on : The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

8) Wreck-It Ralph

This was undoubtedly the best animation that Hollywood produced this year. An anti-hero tries to gain much needed respect from other characters in a game but things turn upside down. Different task is completed by him affecting other characters and helping this movie culminate with a decent climax.

Plusses : Brilliant Animation and Running time
Minuses : Infantile plot
Genre : Animation

Director : Rich Moore
Cast : John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch
Screenplay : Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee
Editor : Tim Mertins
Music  Director : Henry Jackman
Producer : Clark Spencer
Studio : Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributor : Walt Disney Pictures
Country : United States
Release Date : October 29, 2012 (world premiere) and November 2, 2012 (United States)
Run time : 93 minutes
Box-Office : Recovered production cost from domestic Box-Office .
                      Rest of the world collection is a bonus to its account.

7) The Raid: Redemption


Truly one of the best action movies to be released in this decade with a passable plot. A Special Police Squad try to wipe-out criminals and their mob boss who are lodging in a building and are watched by close circuit cameras. Members of the squad are killed and now it comes to one man to take the responsibility of mission and guide remaining cops out. Superbly orchestrated fight sequence will keep you glue to this one.

Plusses : Action with an awesomely choreographed  hand-to-hand combat
Minuses : Lack of profundity in character
Genre :  Action

Director : Gareth Evans
Cast : Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Donny Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno, Tegar Setrya and Ray Sahetapy
Screenplay : Gareth Evans
Cinematography : Matt Flannery
EditorGareth Evans
Music  Directors : Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal (Indonesian version)
                               Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese (U.S)
Producer : Ario Sagantoro
Studios : PT. Merantau Films and XYZ Films
Distributors : Celluloid Nightmares (Worldwide) and Sony Pictures Classics & Stage 6 Films (North America)
Country : Indonesia
Release Date : 23 March 2012 (United States & Indonesia)
Run time : 101 minutes
Box-Office :  Grossed Four times its production value from United States and Canada.
                       Blockbuster in Indonesia.   
Final fight scene 

6) Silver Linings Playbook

A strong contender in Oscar race for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy is this David O. Russell masterpiece. David O. Russell made characters by giving them blood and flesh only to be gleamed by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence providing soul in their portrayal. The movie revolves around a high-school educator moving back to his father from a spell in mental organization and trying to square things with his wife. He meets a widow with whom a chord strikes only to realize that she herself is in a tricky situation.

Plusses  : Direction and Performance from lead
Minuses : Clichés, Plot-(wherein everyone has problems and has a mask of smile above dermis) and Predictable Climax
Genre :  Romance and Drama

Director : David O. Russell
Cast : Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker
Screenplay : David O. Russell
Cinematography : Masanobu Takayanagi
EditorJay Cassidy
Music  Director : Danny Elfman
Producers : Bruce Cohen and Donna Gigliotti
Studios : The Weinstein Company and Mirage Enterprises
Distributor : The Weinstein Company
Country : United States
Release Date :  October 18, 2012 (Mumbai Film Festival) and November 16, 2012 (United States)
Run time : 122 minutes
Box-Office : Earned Twice its budget
Based on : The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

5) Skyfall


Sam Mendes did a fine job as the man-in-charge for this Bond movie and was acclaimed by all. Cyber-terrorism is used by antagonist (Raoul Silva) to attack MI6 and kill ‘M’ which Bond has to stop. Furthermore Bond’s allegiance towards ‘M’ and MI6 are put to test.

Plusses : Javier Bardem, Direction and Cinematography
Minuses : Running time and some clichés 
Genre : Action-Thriller


Director : Sam Mendes
Cast : Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney and Judi Dench
Screenplay : Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan
Cinematography : Roger Deakins
EditorsStuart Baird and Kate Baird
Music  Director : Thomas Newman
Producers : Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Studios : Eon Productions and Danjaq LLC
Distributor : Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Columbia Pictures
Countries : United States and United Kingdom
Release Date : 26 October 2012 (United Kingdom) and 9 November 2012 (United States)
Run time : 143 minutes
Box-Office : Highest grossing movie of all time in U.K and 3rd highest grossing movie of 2012
Based on : James Bond by Ian Fleming

4) End of Watch

This is one movie which deserves a mention because the manner in which the director and actors have treated and crafted this flick. It’s a tale about two LAPD officers as partners doing their job but is marked by a lobby for confiscating their stuff; friendship and loss is the message embedded over here.

Plusses : Direction and Performance of lead actors
Minuses : Some clichés relating to cop stories
Genre : Thriller-Drama

Director : David Ayer
Cast : Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Natalie Martinez, Anna Kendrick, David Harbour, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera and Cle Sloan
Screenplay : David Ayer
Cinematography : Roman Vasyanov
Editor : Dody Dorn
Music  Director : David Sardy
Producers : David Ayer, Matt Jackson, John Lesher, Jillian Longnecker, Alex Ott and Ian Watermeier
Studios : StudioCanal Exclusive Media (an Openroad Films company), Crave Films and CECTV Films
Distributor : Open Road Films
Country : United States
Release Date : September 21, 2012 (United States)
Run time : 109 minutes
Box-Office : Earned Seven times its budget

3) Argo

Ben Affleck proved his worth as director in movies like ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and ‘The Town’. ‘Argo’ cements his position as one of the best narrators of 2012 cine-world. This movie is about a mission carried by CIA to rescue hostages of US Embassy from Iran. It provides a detailed view of the situation back then and is successful in keeping viewers engage in anticipation of characters next move.

Plusses : Ben Affleck, Direction and Suspense
Minuses : More characters in script to develop
Genre : Thriller

Director : Ben Affleck
Cast : Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman
Screenplay : Chris Terrio
Cinematography : Rodrigo Prieto
Editor : William Golderberg
Music  Director : Alexandre Desplat
Producers : Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
Studios : GK Films and Smokehouse Pictures
Distributor : Warner Bros.
Country : United States
Release Date : October 12, 2012(United States)
Run time : 120 minutes
Box-Office : Earned four times its production cost
Based on : The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez & The Great Escape by Joshuah Bearma

2) Moonrise Kingdom

Nostalgia is an element that has certain risk if one experiments it in a commercial movie but Wes Anderson demonstrates an odd story that will recall your childhood only to be adored. It’s an unusual tale told with tenderness and succeeds in winning ones heart with its true virtue. Two kids in true sense elope and find a out-of-the-way inlet naming it ‘Moonrise Kingdom’.  After several incidents these youngsters are united and their reverie of staying in atoll is fruitful.

Plusses : Direction, Characterizations  and Running time
Minuses : Sometimes one feel charred
Genre : Romance and Drama

Director : Wes Anderson
Cast : Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Bob Balaban
Screenplay : Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Cinematography : Robert Yeoman
EditorAndrew Weisblum
Music  Director : Alexandre Desplat
Producers : Jeremy Dawson, Scott Rudin, Wes Anderson and Steven M. Rales
Studios : American Empirical Pictures, Indian Paintbrush and Scott Rudin Productions
Distributor : Focus Features
Country : United States
Release Date : May 25, 2012 (US))
Run time : 94 minutes
Box-Office : Earned Thrice in domestic market alone

1) The Avengers

My vote for the supreme movie this year goes to the multi-superhero-quest ‘The Avengers’. It not only wins in keeping action intact but also stitches in emotions at required doses keeping you feel for the superheroes pain.  All the Heroes are given equal time and importance which is executed superbly by the movies editors. In all sense a fine-no-actually-premium-of-all-movies which released this year; ‘The Avengers’ talks about Earths invasion.  Extraterrestrial race ‘Chitauri’ tries to invade Earth and now S.H.I.E.L.D assembles Avengers to defend humans and their planet.

Plusses : Editing,Script, Performance by lead Cast and Visual Effects
Minuses : Nothing at all
Genre : Superhero

Director : Joss Whedon
Cast :Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson
Screenplay : Joss Whedon
Cinematography : Seamus McGarvey
Editors: Jeffrey Ford and Lisa Lassek
Music  Director : Alan Silvestri
Producer : Kevin Feige
Studio : Marvel Studios
Distributor : Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Country : United States
Release Date : April 11, 2012 (world premiere)
Run time : 143 minutes
Box-Office : Highest grossing movie of 2012 and 3rd highest grossing movie of all time
Based on : The Avengers by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Other Top-movies not in list-

Life of Pi 

Ang Lee has done some wonderful work in the past receiving praise around the globe. He has not disappointed this time with this story of a 16-year old and a tiger made with help of CGI. It’s nothing but a narration of an adventurous expedition where the protagonist finds himself in middle of sea with a carnivore and has to feed the latter to be alive.

Plusses  : Visual effects  and Direction
Minuses : Climax
Genre :  Drama

Director : Ang Lee
Cast : Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Rafe Spall, Tabu, Adil Hussain and Gerard Depardieu
Screenplay : David Magee
Cinematography : Claudio Miranda
Editor : Tim Squyres
Music  Director : Mychael Danna
Producers : Ang Lee, Gil Netter and David Womark
Studios : Rhythm & Hues and Fox 2000 Pictures
Distributor : 20th Century Fox
Country : United States
Release Date :  November 21, 2012
Run time : 127minutes
Box-Office : Earned Thrice its budget
Based on : Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 

What are the chances of your movie getting accepted which has a narrative from a manuscript which you authored? Well this one was well accepted by critics and audience’s equally .This is a pubescent-coming-of-age movie which discusses story of three friends.  A reserved guy walks in a high school and has companionship of two seniors and sets off in a journey where this troika fathoms by life unraveling before them as they visit their past and succumb to life’s desires.

Plusses  : Screenplay and Performance from lead guys- Logan Lerman & Ezra Miller
Minuses : Background score and Emma Watson
Genre :  Drama                           

Director : Stephen Chbosky
Cast : Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller
Screenplay : Stephen Chbosky
Cinematography : Andrew Dunn
Editors: Yana Gorskaya and Mary Jo Markey
Music  Director : Michael Brook
Producers : Russell Smith, Lianne Halfon and John Malkovich
Studio : Mr. Mudd
Distributor : Summit Entertainment
Country : United States
Release Date :  September 21, 2012 (US)
Run time : 102 minutes
Box-Office : Earned Twice its budget
Based on : The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


Entry of an Adult-Comedy was an unforeseen act in this list but we need to give to Seth MacFarlane for pulling this off.  It was somewhat a risk to tell story of bromance between John and his talking Teddy bear. This movie talks about the litmus test between John and his girlfriend Lori as his comradeship with Ted takes a toll.

Plusses : Seth MacFarlane, Comedy, Screenplay and Plot
Minuses : Too much dependency on Sex and Drug related jokes –just like watching Seth’s protracted TVshows
Genre : Comedy                        

Director : Seth MacFarlane
Cast : Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale and Giovanni Ribisi
Screenplay : Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild
Cinematography : Michael Barrett
Editor : Jeff Freeman
Music  Director : Walter Murphy
Producers : Scott Stuber, Seth MacFarlane, John Jacobs and Jason Clark
Studios : Media Rights Capital, Fuzzy Door, Bluegrass Films and Smart Entertainment
Distributor : Universal Pictures
Country : United States
Release Date :  June 29, 2012 (U.S. release)
Run time : 106 minutes and 112 minutes (unrated version)
Box-Office : Earned Ten times its budget

The Woman in Black 

Daniel Radcliffe knew that he had to move from his wizard-school-boy avatar to be part of the big-cinematic-universe by experimenting with different genres. Though he was unsuccessful in breaking the mould by portraying role of an impecunious lawyer it was the thrills and frills in this horror flick that kept one absorbed. It is a fiction relating to a ghost panicking a whole rural settlement and its assignation with the lawyer.

Plusses : Horror, Direction and Running time
Minuses : Daniel Radcliffe and climax
Genre : Horror

Director : James Watkins
Cast : Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer and Liz White
Screenplay : Jane Goldman
Cinematography : Tim Maurice-Jones
Editor : Jon Harris
Music  Director : Marco Beltrami
Producers : Richard Jackson, Simon Oakes and Brian Oliver
Studios : Cross Creek Pictures, Hammer Film Productions, Alliance Films, UK Film Council, Talisman Productions, Exclusive Media Group, Film i Väst and Filmgate Films
Distributors : Momentum Pictures (United Kingdom) and CBS Films (United States)
Countries : United Kingdom, Canada and Sweden
Release Date : 3 February 2012 (United States) and 10 February 2012 (United Kingdom)
Run time : 95 minutes
Box-Office : Earned Ten times its budget
Based on : The Woman in Black by Susan Hill


Time travel is still a concept that can churn out some good movies is proven by Rian Johnson as chieftain of this show. It displays 2074 with time-travel being proscribed by authority but still being used by mob syndicates to assassinate their targets by sending ‘loopers’. The flick gives a detailed analysis about loopers and their working enveloped in good-mature-fashioned action scenes accelerating the movie to progress.

Plusses  : Action and Climax
Minuses : Plot- Telekinesis never works since one is already occupied with time travel
Genre :  Fiction and Action

Director : Rian Johnson
Cast : Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo and Jeff Daniels
Screenplay : Rian Johnson
Cinematography : Steve Yedlin
Editor : Bob Ducsay
Music  Director : Nathan Johnson
Producers : Ram Bergman and James D. Stern
Studios : FilmDistrict, Endgame Entertainment and DMG Entertainment
Distributors : TriStar Pictures and Alliance Films
Country : United States
Release Date :  September 28, 2012 (United States)
Run time : 118 minutes
Box-Office : Earned Six times its budget

These are the movies which I liked if you feel i missed any or the list is not perfect be free to comment...


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