Favorite Five Films of 2012 (January–June)

I’ve been seeing some of these posts pop up on friends’ sites, so I decided to add my own. I actually have found the first half of 2012 to be relatively uneventful and dull at the movies. There have been just a few hits that I’ve seen, and even fewer films that have resonated with me. I really see the 2012 movie year starting in July as not only big films like The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises arrive on the scene, but also films like the next slice of the Bourne series hits theaters; the Total Recall reboot; the end of the Twilight mess series; the next movie featuring Viola Davis (Won’t Back Down); Tom Hooper’s sophomore Oscar attempt/highly anticipated musical, Les Miserables; Quentin Taratino’s next big looks-to-be-a-hit Django Unchained; Leo DiCaprio’s latest attempt at getting recognized by the Academy/major book-to-film adaptation (The Great Gatsby), and many, many more films I have left out.

Unfortunately, I have missed out on a few films that I think could have made this list, namely The GreySalmon Fishing in the YemenMy Sister’s Sister (geez, big year for Emily Blunt, eh?), Being Flynn, and Moonrise Kingdom (this is killing me as I’m typing this–wish I would have seen this while it was in theaters).

Honorable Mentions

The Woman in Black — You can see my post on play and film comparisons/contrasts.

This Means War — While the film was silly and thoughtless in parts, it was entertaining to watch throughout.

Five Year Engagement — The Sesame Street impersonations were worth the admission price.

5) The Hunger Games

This movie makes it on the list for a lack of better options. From a film perspective, it had its issues, but was very moving and done well in enough parts that I was able to get sucked into the story. The supporting cast performances really held the film together, and Jennifer Lawrence owned the lead role.

4) 21 Jump Street

Some of the best movies tend to be unexpected, and with leading dudes Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, expectations were flying especially low in my mind. However, the film exceeded many film critics’ opinions as well, landing a high score on Rotten Tomatoes. It was hilarious, it was well-acted, it was entertaining, and it had one great cameo in it. I look forward to watching this again.

3) The Avengers

I won’t admit to the number of times I saw The Avengers in theaters, but it’s safe to say that I loved the film. Great direction and writing from Joss Whedon lended itself nicely to the collaboration of multiple superheros sharing the screen in a project that clearly took years to fully develop. Hilarious and action-packed, The Avengers fed comic book and movie geeks alike the pure geekdom on screen that we crave.

2) Friends with Kids

loved this movie. It was so unexpected and underrated for how hilarious and touching it was. Jennifer Westfeldt wrote, directed, and starred in this film, and she deserves some serious recognition for accomplishing those feats. Westfeldt and Adam Scott shared a natural chemistry on screen, and the duo provided a fresh perspective to an idea that, while appearing impulsive and clumsy on the surface, really works well for a film.

1) Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Perhaps I’m still on a high from seeing this film a little over a week ago, but I have yet to get the film out of my head. I’m already wanting to see it again. I’ve already downloaded half the songs from the soundtrack. This movie is a fun, thought-provoking treat from the hands of rookie director Lorene Scafaria. It’s heartfelt, it’s sweet, it’s funny, and it’s entirely worth watching in my humble opinion.

OK, what has been your favorite film of the year so far? What do you think of my favorites? Any hidden gems from the first half of the year that you’d recommend I see?

23 thoughts on “Favorite Five Films of 2012 (January–June)

  1. Hi Kris! We have some similar movies on our list. Though I enjoyed Jump Street, it’s not gonna make my top 5, way too vulgar for my taste. I’d put Moonrise Kingdom though, hope you get to see it soon.


    • Hey there! Yes. Ha, I actually just rewatched the film and thought, wow, I didn’t realize how many gross jokes there were in it. I feel ya there. However, I did very much enjoy the buddy/buddy comedy between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. It was pretty hilarious.

      I’m still kicking myself for not catching that one in theaters! I will be sure to see it when it comes out on Blu-ray. Thanks for the recommendation!


  2. I can’t really pick a top 5. I really liked Avengers, and Hunger Games was OK. I have to say that I am looking forward to the rest of the year–Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit (who will hopefully take it all–love you, Peter Jackson!), and Les Miserables, which I have to say I am still skeptical about. I’m not sure what I think about Great Gatsby–even though DiCaprio and Maguire seem pretty much typecast to me after rereading the book the last summer–the trailer just looks weird to me–not to mention if they do stick to the book, many will be hating the ending and quite a few of the characters. I am hoping there will be some other great dramas coming out later this year–Won’t Back Down looks pretty good, but I have really seen any other movies along those lines.


    • Haha, I see good things happening for The Hobbit, too. It’s Peter Jackson we’re talking about here!

      I’m much more excited about making a Top Ten list at the end of the year too. Les Mis is high up on my life for expectations, and I’m really looking forward to Django Unchained. And you’re right–Won’t Back Down looks really good too.

      I’m skeptical about The Great Gatsby. It looks all pretty, but will it be another disappointment? Or will DiCaprio get a nom out of it? One has to wonder . . .


  3. I’ve made my own list like this! Haven’t seen your number one yet but very excited after your recommendation! Glad to see Hunger Games and Jump Street in there!


    • I need to check out your list, Pete! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. I think I noticed that you recently got married on Facebook. Congrats, buddy!!

      Yes, I enjoyed both those films a lot!


    • If it your favorite film so far, Matt, then I clearly need to see this. I just wonder if this film is pretentious at all . . . I get the feeling after watching the trailer. Oh well! I guess I will just have to see it and decide from there! Thanks for stopping by, Matt!


  4. Great choices here. And glad there’s another fan of This Means War out there – over the top and totally fun film!

    The Hunger Games is making a lot of people’s top list so far this year, but not mine. It was a distinctly average film for me. Personally, I though Jennifer Lawrence did a better job in X-Men First Class, as Raven.

    Think my top 5 of the year so far would have to be… Avengers, The Artist, Headhunters, Cabin in the Woods aaaannndd… The Muppets I think!


    • Yes, I even thought of you, Jaina, when I included it. It was just so hilarious and entertaining. Totally agreed!

      Really? Wow — I loved her in THG! Then again, I was a big fan of the books too. She did well by the adaptation. I loved her in X-Men as well though I look forward to seeing that sequel. She’s great.

      Cabin in the Woods has been on my need-to-see list. I need to see another product of Joss Whedon’s genius. I love that you included The Artist and The Muppets. I loved BOTH those films and included them on my top ten list for 2011 films. And I’ve never even heard of Headhunters! Perhaps I should check that out.


  5. Great list, Kristen! I’ve found the first half of 2012 very uneventful as well, especially over here in Mexico. The other day, Ruth from FlixChatter asked me about my Top 5 and I honestly couldn’t think about 5 good 2012 movies. I’m counting on better releases in the fall/winter 🙂


  6. Great list. So far my list is 5.Prometheus 4.The Grey, 3. 21 Jump Street 2. The Amazing Spiderman and 1. The Avengers. Going to see Dark Knight Rises tomorrow though and I will be so angry if that doeesn’t edge into first place. Really want it to be amazing!


    • Wow, great list, Ben! I actually considered including The Amazing Spiderman, but it came out in July, and I was trying to limit myself to the first 6 months of movies this year.

      Glad to hear 21 Jump Street made your list. I also enjoyed Prometheus, and I’ve been hearing great things about The Grey all around.

      So, you have to tell me now, did TDKR edge into your top slot?


        • I definitely think that Nolan’s DK series is as close as a trilogy has come to being “perfect” except for one exception: LOTR. For me, at least 🙂 I have a hard time pitting another films series up against that one, although I’m a very loyal Nolan film fan!


    • Hey, if you think of those other films, Jaskee, let me know! I’m always open to new suggestions for good movies I haven’t seen. Yeah, 21 Jump Street was one of those surprise movies that just turned out to be hilarious and great. Glad you enjoyed it!


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