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My Favorite Films of 2012

William Wright, Contributing Doah Staff Writer
January 23, 2013

“Argo”
Directed by Ben Affleck

Just as I can’t believe that the plan in the movie worked, I can’t believe how well made this film was. There is a lot of information to get across, and Affleck does a great job of laying out exactly what is going on and how all of these various characters are involved. There is also a palpable tension and fear running throughout that drives home just how high the stakes were.

“The Avengers”
Directed by Joss Whedon

This movie was the perfect example of waiting for a payoff. With every Marvel film that came out, the anticipation and excitement for “The Avengers” kept building and building. With such high expectations this movie could have easily fallen apart, but with help of writer and director Joss Whedon, this movie turned out to be one of the best comic book movies to date. It was also one of the wittiest films I have seen in a while.

“Brave”
Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell.

I particularly enjoyed the relationship between the main character, Merida, and Queen Elinor in this film. The design of the movie is also beautifully done with sweeping landscapes and a richly, detailed world.

“Django Unchained”
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino is one of my favorite filmmakers, and when I first read his idea for this movie I thought it sounded pretty interesting. After seeing it, I will say this was an enjoyably dark, badass, action movie. Each actor gives a very memorable performance. Tarantino’s usual random references are interesting, but also don’t hurt the film for those who do not get them. However, I wouldn’t suggest this film if you’re looking for a thorough history lesson.

“Lawless”
Directed by John Hillcoat

This movie has an excellent balance of style and story-telling. This look into moon shining during the later days of Prohibition is a hardcore piece that never lets you forget the harsh world these characters are living in. It has a slightly cartoony feel to it that makes the film entertaining to watch, but does not detract from the drama of the story.

“Lincoln”
Directed by Steven Spielberg

We all know what happened at the end of the Civil War, but this film really makes you think about what might have happened if the 13th Amendment had not passed when it did. Daniel Day Lewis did an impeccable job embodying one of our nation’s most revered presidents, and showing us the struggles he faced trying to keep the country from permanently falling apart.

“Moonrise Kingdom”
Directed by Wes Anderson

I really enjoyed this film’s style. It screams early ‘60s, right down to the clothes and coloring. Each character in the film pops out and grabs your attention. There are moments of absurdity throughout, but I enjoyed how straight everyone played his or her roles. It is the kind of comedy that I wish we could see more of in the theaters.

“ParaNorman”
Directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler

This was not only a loving tribute to horror fans, but a treat for animation fans as well. From the story to the references, to even some of the adult horror, I loved every fun second of this film.

“Skyfall”
Directed by Sam Mendes

It seems strange to me to do a character study of a character that seemingly didn’t warrant it to begin with. We knew all we needed to about Bond already: he saves the world and beds the women. But, “Skyfall” won me over. The story was intriguing; we’re faced with an interesting villain, played by Javier Bardem; and Judi Dench gave us a compelling performance and a badass climax in the role of M.

“Zero Dark Thirty”
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

I was worried about this one. I was worried that this would become a feel-good heroes story. Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. It was an effectively gritty, reenactment movie. The film gave no judgment or opinion about the events shown; it just put them on the screen for us to take in and develop our own thoughts about them.

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