Top 5 and Bottom 5 Films of 2012

Well, another year has gone by, so it’s time to look back and see how the 62 movies I saw in theaters stack up against one another. This year’s best and worst movies were easy to choose but numbers 2 through 5 were hard, especially when I thought about them in retrospect – some big ticket movies were great in the theaters but didn’t hold up when I thought about them later. Others weren’t that great to begin with. In the end there were a lot of pretty good movies and a lot of pretty bad movies, but pretty doesn’t make the cut with me. Here’s what did.



A loose cannon naval officer and the crew of an old battleship must save the earth from an invading alien fleet.

I know what you’re thinking. “But Kat, surely Battleship is not just the worst movie of the year, but also the worst movie of all time! The plot was ridiculous, the characters were boneheads, and the entire thing was filled with convenient coincidences! It was the most laughably bad movie that came out this year!” If you are thinking that, you are correct. But BECAUSE it was so laughable (and therefore fun to watch) it can’t be the #1 worst movie. Check out my review to find out why bad never did so good.

Buy Battleship on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because you want to see more board games made into stupid movies.


A captured operative and a deaf girl must escape from an underground zombie virus testing facility.

If a Resident Evil movie comes out in a given year, it’s pretty much inevitable that it will end up on my worst list. I like horror movies and I like action movies, but Resident Evil Retribution can’t seem to decide which it wants to be and ends up failing to be either. Its writers also can’t seem to understand that people who go to movies are more intelligent than bonobo chimps and therefore none of the things they think are revelations are actually surprising at all. What IS surprising is that I keep going to these movies. Read my review to find out more about why I wish I didn’t.

Buy Resident Evil Retribution on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because you can’t wait for the next Resident Evil gong show.


A group of tourists stranded in the irradiated town of Chernobyl are attacked by mutants.

This movie had a promising premise – the prospect of unsuspecting tourists being irradiated in an abandoned post-nuclear-meltdown Ukrainian town is very scary. Unfortunately, they took that idea and threw it right out the window in favor of putting the same group of morons who populate every horror movie though the standard ringer of being stalked by monsters – in this case, the murderous, mutated inhabitants of the town. To read more about why this movie offends both the audience and all victims of radiation poisoning, read my review.

Buy Chernobyl Diaries on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because it’s easier than spitting in a leukemia patient’s face.


A young couple living in a new house are haunted by a presence that may be connected to a botched paranormal experiment.

As offensively bad as Chernobyl Diaries was, it at least had some tense and scary moments. The Apparition, on the other hand, both failed to deliver on a promising premise AND bored me into a coma. The promotional material sported the tagline “You Believe, You Die,” which at least sounded a little different, but apart from two pointless prologues showing failed paranormal experiments, this movie is your standard haunted house scenario featuring two morons with no pants and no common sense. Read my review to find out why I was glad when they died.

Buy The Apparition on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because you want to see Ashley Greene in her underpants.


A vegetarian vampire couple gather their friends together to protect their immortal child from the vampire ruling class.

If you’re one of the people who have rated the Twilight films as the best movies EVAAR, you’re no doubt screeching in anger and running off to send me a letter bomb right now. Well, I’m sorry (that you are delusional), but Breaking Dawn Part 2 is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. The characters are blank, the baby is creepy, and despite it being two and a half hours long, nothing even happens! The one token splash of action they’re able to shoehorn into this insipid finale is also one of the most laughable “surprises” I’ve ever not been surprised by. To find out more about why I’m eternally grateful that this is the last film in the series, read my review.

Buy Breaking Dawn Part 1 on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because you didn’t hear a word I just said.


# 5. ARGO

A CIA operative creates a fake science fiction movie as a cover to rescue a group of embassy employees from the Iranian hostage crisis.

Say what you want about Ben Affleck as an actor (I think he’s good) but you can’t arge that he’s a terrific director. The first half of Argo, where they’re in Hollywood creating their fake movie project, is hilarious, and the second half, where they’re trying to sneak out from under the noses of Iranian revolutionaries, is breathtakingly tense. It plays a little loose with the facts, but what they do change only improves Argo as a film. Read my review to find out more about why I’m definitely not one of the Canadians who is down on Argo.

Buy Argo on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because you’re ready to be over the whole hating Ben Affleck thing.


A video game villain shunned by his peers decides to leave his game and become a hero, throwing the whole arcade into turmoil.

Anyone who played video games in the 80s and 90s will love this movie. It’s one of the few animated films that’s really geared toward adults despite being accessible to children who like shiny cute things. Wreck it Ralph is sweet and exciting and has a meaningful message about friendship but it’s also filled with subtle (and not so subtle) references to and jabs at the games we all know and love, like Halo, Donkey Kong Jr. and Mario Kart. Read my review to find out more about why Wreck It Ralph has a lot of replay value.

Buy Wreck It Ralph on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because you miss your old Nintendo.


A bullied boy who can talk to the dead is the only one who can save his town from the revenge curse of an angry witch.

This is the first time two cartoons have ended up on my best-of list (and neither of them were by Pixar) but what can I say? It was a great year for animation. Paranorman seems, on the surface, like something you’ve seen before, but it really breaks new ground in a lot of ways. The 3D printer stop motion animation is incredibly detailed and engaging, Norman and his family are hilarious and dysfunctional, his powers have an original tweak, and the plot definitely does not go where you think it’s going to go. Read my review to find out more about why Paranorman is scary good.

Buy Paranorman on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because you wish you could talk to zombies too.


A group of scientists visit an alien planet looking for humanity’s creators and discover instead its possible destruction.

Everyone seemed to like Prometheus when it came out, but later it became trendy to crap all over it, like it was somehow inferior to the Alien movies it’s a prequel to. But even after almost a whole year of reflection, Prometheus still stands out as one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. It was tense and scary as hell, Michael Fassbender was awesome, and the story really delved into the origins of the alien mythology, connecting it to human history and to the later Alien films. Read my review to find out more about why I can’t wait for an Alien prequel sequel.

Buy Prometheus on DVD or on Blu-Ray
… because you would totally travel to an alien world
on the advice of a cave painting.


A convict earns his redemption by raising a factory worker’s orphaned daughter during the French student revolution of the 1800s.

Obviously I don’t have the benefit of much retrospection here, give that I only saw this movie last week, but since I’ve been reflecting on how much I love the Les Mis concert, books, soundtrack etc. for months, I think it’s safe to say my love for this film will not fade. The story and characters are as enthralling as always, and performances and the sound are incredible – largely because it was all recorded live, which has never been done before. Read my review to find out more about why anyone you drag to see this movie will thank you for it.

Buy the Les Miserables soundtrack
… because you dreamed a dream of owning a DVD that cannot be (until April).

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