My Favorite Movies of 2012

By the time this post goes live, it will almost be midnight on December 31, 2012. It was a pretty great year for movies that I saw for the first time this year, with 26 movies receiving at least the coveted Stegmaier 4 Stars (out of 5) and 11 movies receiving ratings of at least 4.5 out of 5. Below are the best of the best.

9. Moonrise Kingdom: This movie gets to the heart of the child in all of us.

8. Argo: I rarely watch or enjoy historical dramas, but this movie was gripping from start to finish. And the hair was awesome.

7. Looper: A brilliant, original script. The only thing holding this movie back was the terrible makeup job on Joseph Gordon-Levitt to make him look more like Bruce Willis.

6. The Avengers: I will watch this movie for the second time in a few days. Sure, it has little glitches here and there, but overall it’s a sheer force of entertainment.

5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Somehow this movie caught me off guard with how good it was. I don’t think I realized how much I missed Middle Earth. I can’t wait to return again.

4. Warrior: This movie came out of nowhere and blew me out of the water. I was sobbing in the final scene. Sobbing. There are cliches in the movie, but somehow they work. I would say that this is the best boxing movie ever made (technically it’s mixed martial arts, but that’s a relatively small part of the movie).

3. The Cabin in the Woods: I don’t like scary movies, but this movie made me understand and appreciate them. Don’t read a word about this movie–just rent it and watch it.

2. Silver Linings Playbook: I would have loved this movie even if Jennifer Lawerence didn’t look fantastic in yoga pants. But that special bonus drove it up to #2.

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: I’m a little disappointed that my top movie of 2012 was actually a hit film in 2011, but thus is life. This is an amazing movie. It resonates on every level: emotionally, intellectually, entertainingly, etc. You might have preconceptions about what this movie is, especially if you’ve seen previous “Planet of the Apes” movies, but put those aside and watch this movie. Especially if you have kids or pets.

Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?