Top 20 Must See Movies of 2012

This is gonna be a great year....

Written by ronin
Published about 5 months ago. Filed Under: Movies

We are now well into the new year and many of us have already given up on our new year's resolutions and are now stuck in a year long gym membership....okay maybe just me. Damn you!

But it's not all bad news as this year promises a barrage of f**ktastic movies! And so what started out as a top 10 list quickly became a list of 20 must see movies.

Undoubtedly, I have missed alot of great films but I have made this list based on current promotional material and accordingly, the interest garnered. It can be argued that it is unfair to judge movies on such a basis as they are at different stages of production but, one can also argue that.....er... F**k you, that's why!

So, without further delay, here are my TOP 20 MOVIES TO WATCH for 2012!!!

20. American Reunion

Director: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg

Cast: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan and Seann William Scott

Release Date: April 2012

Synopsis: Jim, Michelle, Stifler, and their friends reunite in East Great Falls, Michigan for their high school reunion.

Porky's was the original classic and a pioneer in raunchy teen comedies. But it was way ahead of its time. American Pie however, was right on cue!

For better or worse, it was a generational movie that set off a new wave of comedies. But as the franchise lost it's appeal, so did the genre. So why is a sequel on the list?

Well, just just check out the teaser below:

19. Dredd

Director: Pete Travis

Cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby and Lena Headey

Release Date: September 2012

Synopsis: In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, "SLO-MO"

I am the law!!

I know, this is an odd pick. The only reason this movie is on my radar is because of Karl Urban. This guy has really won me over. He was Good in LOTR, but forgetable in Bourne Supremacy and downright terrible in Pathfinder. But he was amazing as Bones in Star Trek and even better in Red as the antagonist. I have long said that current male stars do not have the same presence and charisma as the old guard - but he did not seem out of place next to Bruce Willis.

18. Battleship

Director: Peter Berg

Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Brooklyn Decker and Liam Neeson

Release Date: April 2012

Synopsis: A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.

When Hasbro decided to make a movie out of some of their toys, people thought, "yeah, alright. That could work. Transformers, GI Joe. Could be good!"

But who in their right mind ever thought they would make a movie based on Battleships!

Anyway, they have managed to bring in some big names like Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard and...Rihanna. Alexander Skarsgard is known for his role on True Blood, but I first came across him in HBO’s Generation Kill and instantly became a fan. This and the trailer really won me over.

17. Django unchained

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, James Remar

Release Date: December 2012

Synopsis: Django is a freed slave, who, under the tutelage of a German bounty hunter, becomes a bad-ass bounty hunter himself. After taking down some bad guys for profit, they track down Django's slave wife and liberate her from an evil plantation owner.

I was recently watching Cowboys and Aliens and realised how much I missed westerns - Man with no name, small towns at the mercy of gangs - Awesome stuff! No need for Aliens!

I used to watch western's all the time when I was young and although they may seem like a genre of a bygone era, they really are timeless. Few years back we were shown that with 3:10 to Yuma, starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, although it wasn't necessarily a commercial hit

Quentin Tarantino however, can attract the mainstream but more importantly, he is a master at making genre movies. No doubt he deliver a true western full of nods and references to all the classics.

16. Taken 2

Director: Olivier Megaton

Cast: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen and Maggie Grace

Release Date: October 2012

Synopsis: In Istanbul, retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are taken hostage by the father of a kidnapper Mills killed while rescuing his daughter.

This was a hard as nails fast paced action movie with Liam Neeson convincingly playing a highly trained CIA agent that can take on 5 guys at once. It was as if Ra's al Ghul from Batman Begins really did resurrect himself!

These type of action movies have become a rare commodity. These days it's CGI with baby faced "boys" acting bad ass and a lil bit of shaky cam for good measure. Taken avoids this (to an extent) and with an oscar winning actor with no background in action movies to pull it off. Bravo sir!

Lets see if they can do it again!

15. Lincoln

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jared Harris, Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy lee Jones

Release Date: December 2012

Synopsis: The sixteenth President of the United States guides the North to victory during the Civil War.

This movie has almost been in production for the entire length of the civil war. Liam Neeson was original attached to play the titular character but due to the delays and scheduling conflicts, he had to move on. But before we could mourn his departure, Daniel Day Lewis singed to star as Lincoln himself!

You don't have to be from the USA to appreciate what a historical figure Lincoln really is. With Spielberg behind the helm and an excellent cast at his disposal, there is no doubt that this movie will be insightful, thoughtful and inspiring.

Had it not been for another "iteration" of Abraham Lincoln (see below) this movie would have ranked higher.

14. Hunger Games

Director: Gary Ross

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth

Release Date: February 2012

Synopsis: Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television.

Based on best selling novels, this is at its core, a story that has been told many times - Running Man with Arnie, Gamer with Gerard Butler and of course the infamous Battle Royale are just a few.

Although each film has varied in success, they were all fun pop corn movies - although Battle Royal was just off the scales in terms of violence - in a good way! These films also often overlooked the human element or the circumstances that led to such "games". Hunger Games however, does both - and with plenty of action. See trailer below:

13. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Cast: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Anthony Mackie

Release Date: June 2012

Synopsis: Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, secretly battles with the undead as an ax-throwing, highly trained vampire assassin. Vampires are presented as the real conflict behind the Civil War

Spielberg's adaptation on Lincoln's life may be emotional and inspirational, but how authentic could it be if it overlooks the fact that Lincoln was a vampire assassin! Come on!

This interesting take is being directed by Timur Bekmambetov, a Russian director that has a penchant with supernatural action movies (Night Watch, Day Watch, Wanted) and he has managed to attract young up and comer's including Dominic Cooper (Devil's Double, Captain America) and Anthony Mackie (Hurt Locker).

12. Coriolanus

Director: Ralph Fiennes

Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox and Vanessa Redgrave

Release Date: January 2012

Synopsis: Coriolanus, the hero of Rome, is manipulated and out-maneuvered by politicians and even his own mother Volumnia, resulting in his banishment. He subsequently offers himself to his sworn enemy, and together they march on Rome intending to destroy the city.

This is a classic Shakespearian play told in modern times in contemporary Rome. Instead of swords we have RPG's and assault rifles...

Forget Die Hard, this is Die Bard!

This is not the first time that a Shakespearian play has been set in modern times, so the "gimmick" isn't anything new. What does stand out however is the pedigree of the actors and their performances.

11. Argo

Director: Ben Affleck

Cast: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman

Release Date:

Synopsis: As the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point, a CIA 'exfiltration' specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador

The "risky plan" referred to above is a plan to pretend the "hostages" were shooting a scifi movie. Yes you read that right. The CIA tricked the Iranians by pretending they were shooting a sci fi movie called "Argo" ...and guess what it's a true story!

Ben Affleck, the star and director of the film, has seen his stardom rise again thanks to directorial efforts such as Gone Baby Gone and The Town. It should be noted that this guy has made one of the most remarkable comebacks in Hollywood unlike any other. I mean this guy was hated. Hated like Palestinians at the UN. He dated Jennifer Lopez. Made crappy movies like Daredevil - He...was...hated.

Now look at him. A respected director and a quality actor with a beautiful wife, jennifer Garner. I wish I WAS "f**king Ben Affleck". Damn you Jimmy Kimmel!

10. The Dictator

Director: Larry Charles

Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Jason Mantzoukas, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley and John C. Reilly

Release Date: May 2012

Synopsis: The heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.

"From the team that brought Borat"...Do I need to say more? Larry Charles and Sacha Baron Cohen are geniuses when it comes to comical and outlandish characters that manage to shine a light on western society.

This time they are back to bring us a caricature so appropriate for our times, given the fall of multiple dictators over the last year. No doubt this will highlight just how these crazy buffon's manage a lavish lifestyle at the expense of their own country men, while maintaining the view that they are some sort of patriarch.

Comedy gold.

9. Prometheus

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba and Patrick Wilson

Release Date: June 2012

Synopsis: A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

It's been a while since we had a genuine original sci fi movie. And so, we are forced to reminisce about the classics or see sequel after sequel until the entire franchise has been completely diluted.

Promotheus is in fact a prequel to Alien, one of the most iconic scifi movies ever, but this time the original director is retuning...Ridley Scott Mutha F*@ka! Could this break the trend?

Admittedly I am fan of Aliens, the sequel by James Cameron, but having one of the original visionaries return to the franchise is great for all sci fi fans. Plus, any Alien sequel that doesn't involve Predators is a bloody good start!

8. Kill Bin Laden

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Cast: Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain and Mark Strong

Release Date: 19 December 2012

Synopsis: An account on the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the battled on his compound that resulted in his death.

As soon as news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been shot dead, we all knew that we could expect a movie about the black ops raid on his "mansion" by US special forces - The poitical circumstances surrounding his rise, the fact that he was on the run for the last 10 years, failed foreign policies and ultimatley the attack itself.

However, the speed of which this movie entered production did catch many by surprise! None more so than the director, Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker), who had to quickly change the plot of her already in production Bin Laden movie!

It is unclear how political this film will be but no doubt it will be as intense as her [Bigelow] other films. Either way, she has an impressive cast at her disposal, especially Joel Edgerton. Edgerton was last seen in Warrior, my favourite movie of 2011. Edgerton was simply amazing and is exactly what we need in Hollywood right now.

7. Gangster Squad

Director: Ruben Fleischer

Cast: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi

Release Date: October 2012

Synopsis: Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and—if he has his way—every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop…except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.

Yah, see. I am gonna fix him see, yah.

50's, and the 60's for that matter, make execellent period pieces. The style, the look, the music, the dialogue....the race and gender discrimination. Hell, Mad Men's success can be attributed to this.

It's been a while since we had a true crime thriller set in the 50's. The last was LA Noire, and that wasn't even a movie! LA confidential was the last great one.

Gangster Squad could very well be the next big period piece especially with a cast that includes Sean Penn, Josh brolin and Ryan Gosling - who has had a fantastic year. Judging by the lot and cast, it cleary draws inspiration from Untouchables!

6. Expendables 2

Director: Simon West

Cast: Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, JCVD, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scott Adkins

Release Date: August 2012

Synopsis: Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat

When Expendables came out in 2010, it reminded us all why we loved 80's action films. Cheesy lines and gritty action stars. The latter is something Hollywood has missed for a while.

But Expendables' greatest appeal is that it is in effect a giant fanfare of iconic action stars all in one film. It's one of the few films that has the potential to realise EVERYONE's fancast wish list! This year, JCVD is finally joining the franchise along with Scott Adkins and Chuck Norris AND bigger roles for Brice Willis and Arnie.

Madness!

5. 47 Ronin

Director: Carl Erik Rinsch

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rinko Kikuchi

Release Date: November 2012

Synopsis: Based on the group of swordsmen and their master who are revered in Japan for their revenge attack on Dec. 14, 1702

Is this ranked this high because I share the name? Probably. In any case, I have been following this movie since 2008. It's based on a true story that recounts one of the most famous instances of the samurai code Bushido. This may be a revenge story, but it's not like most. This is not about a single person but a group of individuals, a group of samurai's no less. All of this adds multitude of layers to the story, while promising kick ass battles.

Then there's the authentic Japanese cast (no racebending here - Keanu Reeves is Eurasion so he doesn't count), which includes some well known and established actors. It's great to see Hollywood buck the trend (on the rare occasions that it does) and promote such projects.

4. Avengers

Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Samuel L. Jackson

Release Date: April 2012

Synopsis: Nick Fury and the international agency S.H.I.E.L.D. bring together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki & his various membered army.

No f%@king surprise why this is on the list. The last few years have been building towards this. Marvel have manged to pull off successful adapataions of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hulk - all with a view to a big team up. Now we are finally going to see the big pay off.

So why isn't this ranked higher? Because the trailer was rubbish, the costumes look cartoonish and Scarlet Johanssen is not convincing as Black Widow. She just strikes of a series of poses. Yeah sure she is sexy in that skin tight black suit, wrapped around her curvaceous.....Wait, what was I saying?

Anyway, here is the trailer:

3. Haywire

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender

Release Date: January 2012

Synopsis: A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission

This may look a like you run of the mill action movie, but it's not.

We all know that there is still a high level of discrimination Hollywood. Especially woman as leads in action or adventure films. Sure Hollywood have made some attempts, but all most all of them have been terrible. but how many of them were genuine attempts with the right leads and how many were just an excuse for scantly dressed women. When it works, we get Aliens and Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.

Haywire looks like another example. You have a talented director and an impressive supporting cast. Most importantly you have "sex symbol" Gina Carano, a genuine martial artist who can actually kick ass and look great doing it!

2. Amazing Spider-Man

Director: Marc Webb

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen and Rhys Ifans

Release Date: July 2012

Synopsis: Teenager Peter Parker grapples with both human problems and amazing super-human crises

It's fair to say that when this movie was announced, not everyone was behind the reboot. It was after all, only few years since Spider-man 3 was released and although they made a hash of it, fans were still excited for Spider-man 4 with John Malkovich as vulture. In time, however, this project has won over many fans.

Although this is an orgin story that almost everyone is familiar with, it's clear they are going in different direction. As in the comics, Gwen Stacy is back in the fold as Spider-man's one true love. Plus, we actually get to see the Peter Parkers parents and judging by the trailer, they play a much bigger part than expected. Speaking of the trailer, this movie does not look as light hearted as the previous ones.

The cast looks fantastic and Andrew Garfield looks great as a more lean and slender Spidey. Then there is Emma Stone, who is just tasty. yum yum yum

1. The Dark Knight Rises

Director:

Cast: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Michael Cane, Anne Hathaway, Marrion Cotillard Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman

Release Date: July 2012

Synopsis: Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent's crimes

Yup. No surprises here. TDKR remains the most anticipated movie of the year, even with Bane's abysmal voice in the 6 minute preview.

This is Nolan and Bale's last batman film. The final story arc of a franchise that has transcended genres. These movies are more than comic book movies and have elevated the genre to new heights in the same Indy did for adventure movies. All the evidence suggests that it will end with a bang but we all still eagerly await to see how Nolan manages to cap off an amazing adaptation of one of the most iconic fictional characters.

Well, that brings us to end of my list and now you know what movies I will be actively following in the year. No doubt you guys may disagree so sound off below and tell us what you think are must see movies for the coming year!!


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