Top 15 Films:
15. Barbara (Christian Petzold)
Slow burn drama with great rewards. A work of elegance & restraint.
14. The Raid: Redemption (Gareth Evans)
The year's most action-packed film. No pretense, unadulterated violence.
13. V/H/S (Various)
Found footage anthology directed by six independent horror directors. Scary shit.
12. The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard)
A horror film made by horror fans for horror fans. If you think you're getting a typical slasher flick, think again. Try not to read spoilers. It's best enjoyed if you know nothing about the plot.
11. Wreck It Ralph (Rich Moore)
Touching story. Adorable characters. Comedy gold! Numerous video game references. Multiple geekgasms guaranteed!
10. The Imposter (Bart Layton)
As they say, some real life stories are just stranger than fiction.
9. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)
Squalor with a little bit of whimsy. Tale of magical realism that hasn't been told before.
8. Sound of My Voice (Zal Batmanglij)
Indie cult-infiltration thriller that doesn't offer easy answers. Thought-provoking and mesmerizing.
7. Pitch Perfect (Jason Moore)
Glee meets Mean Girls. Pitch Perfect delivers both the laughs and the music. Rebel Wilson is the breakout star of the year.
6. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
A work of a true cinematic master. Hypnotic and unforgettable.
5. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)
We're all aware how this ends, but we still watch with bated breath & clenched jaws. This is elevated by Kathryn Bigelow's deft direction, Mark Boal's absorbing screenplay, & Jessica Chastain's quiet intensity as Maya. One of the most important films of the year.
4. Life of Pi (Ang Lee)
Best 3D film of all time. Way better than Avatar. A meditation on life and one's belief system.
3. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
Small indie film that will go down in history as one of the best coming-of-age films. Hold on to your hankies.
2. Amour (Michael Haneke)
True to its title, this film shows us what love really is - in all its tenderness and brutality.
1. Looper (Rian Johnson)
Friggin' awesome! Effectively mixes action, time travel, and superpowers with devastating results. Rian Johnson is the next Christopher Nolan.
Paperman (John Kahrs)
Best Performance by an Actor:
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Denis Levant, Holy Motors
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi
Best Performance by an Actress:
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
AnnaLynne McCord, Excision
Ann Dowd, Compliance
Helen Hunt, The Sessions