While I have seen most of the following movies, I imposed on a very secretive group of entertainment industry friends on a conference call. With the promise of anonymity , they assisted me in picking the final ten. Here are my picks (and the committee's) top ten films of 2012.
Who can't be in love with the comeback story of Ben Affleck? This thriller takes the unbelievable and has you gripping the edge of your seats. This film has it all: great director, great acting, great story and entertains the filmgoer. Deserves the Oscar for "Best Film".
2. Les Miserables:
Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Director Tom Hooper and the best music ever on Broadway. They would take away my 'gay card' if this wasn't high up on the list. We can even forgive Russell Crowe for singing in this old time Hollywood blockbuster.
Director Steven Speilberg has given us an inside look at the last months of President Lincoln's administration as he tackles some of the most difficult issues of the time. Hollywood needs to be giving this nation and our young more movies about our magnificent history.
4. How To Survive A Plague:
David France's movie is one of the most important released this year. Sharing with the world our struggle in the 1980's in fighting the epidemic of HIV/AIDS is one of the great gifts of this year. The documentary is powerful, moving and unforgettable.
5. Any Day Now
One of the tragedies of so many films being released at the end of the year is that some real gems get overlooked by critics. Any Day Now is a magnificent film of love, caring and embracing differences that has been released this year. Alan Cumming should without question be on the short list for an Oscar for his stunning performance.
The best James Bond movie of all times, major stars, fantastic action and thoroughly entertaining. Need I say anything more?
The story of survival among the ruins. One families special holiday becomes a nightmare as the Southeast Asia tsunami slams into the coast. Riveting and intense you are right there with the family as they attempt to find solid ground not only physically but also emotionally and mentally.
8. Life of Pi
Anything made by Ang Lee should be in any top ten list. Embracing the idea of 3-D and making it work is an achievement by itself. This spiritual and powerful story between man and beast is a work of art. Ang Lee has become the Stanley Kubrick for this generation
9. Zero Dark Thirty
Powerful story that is intense to watch and the screenplay might assume we know more about the situation than we really do. Nevertheless, Kathleen Bigalow does it again with a spectacular follow-up to Hurt Locker.
10. Silver Lining Playbook
This is the film where America realizes that Bradley Cooper is not only a star but has real acting chops. Add a good dose of one of America's great actresses, Jennifer Lawrence, and a dab of eccentric director David O. Russell and you have a winner in this film.
HONORABLE MENTION: Pitch Perfect
This film was filled with joy, music and a great tight script. We need to see more movies from first time director Jason Moore!