We get to the end and we look back, and again, regardless of what they say, it’s a strong field full of fantastic movies of all kinds from all corners.
Dir: Steve McQueen
It came out early on in 2012, but stayed with me. Steve McQueen confirms the promise of Hunger with a scathing portrait of modern masculinity and post-millennial disconnection.
Read the DN review.
9. THE MUPPETS
Dir: James Bobin
THE feel good movie of the year. No film made me smile more. Funny, good hearted and wonderfully crafted. All hail the Henson heroes.
8. HOLY MOTORS
Dir: Leos Carax
Bizarre, searching, cinematic, idiosyncratic and off the wall crazy. Leos Carax’ deconstruction of mortality, technology and cinema is that all too rare experience, a unique film.
7. MOONRISE KINGDOM
Dir: Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson again marries idea and delivery into a moving and perfectly unique piece of whimsy that appeals to fans and non-fans. Too Wes Anderson-y? No such thing.
Dir: Kenneth Lonergan
Finally it arrived, Kenneth Lonergan’s follow up to the wonderful You Can Count On Me hit screens after a long battle and it didn’t disappoint. A layered, operatic and melodramatic human drama, criminally withheld from our view for too long.
5. KILLING THEM SOFTLY
Dir: Andrew Dominik
Powerful, caustic, stylish and blackly funny, Andrew Dominik’s political pulp is angry and dark and amazing. Slick and containing amazing performances it’s one of the best genre movies of recent years.
4. SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS
Dir: Will Lovelace & Dylan Southern
Fanboy alert. I adore LCD Soundsystem and this document of their final days is a superb dissection of the creative impulse, and a moving and stunning concert film that manages to capture the energy and wonder of the band’s impact on fans and incendiary live show. I smiled, I cried, I got goosebumps. They will be missed.
3. BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO
Dir: Peter Strickland
Peter Strickland follows up the brilliant Katalin Varga with this strange and ambitious horror drama and it’s even better. Toby Jones is an odd sound recordist holed up in an Italian film studio making schlock, and losing his mind. The most impressive and unique British film of the year.
2. ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA
Dir: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
This devastating meditation on time, crime and community is sparse, visually stunning and utterly engrossing. A close contender for the best of the year and another destined for long-term greatness.
1. THE MASTER
Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
Inevitably, predictably it’s Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest at the top. It has haunted me since seeing it. Unnervingly meaningful and exquisitely beautiful it features an incredible central performance from Joaquin Phoenix. There really is nothing like it.