2012 was a strong year for movies. Many people flocked to their local theater to see Hulk beat Loki to a pulp, to watch Jamie Foxx’s Django shoot up a plantation, or watch Abraham Lincoln inspire a country to rise up against slavery. Put simply, it was a damn good year to be a moviegoer.
Below is a list of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror movies released in 2012 that I enjoyed immensely. Feel free to respond with your top fives!
1. The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan, I salute you. Batman is an incredibly difficult character to write, and even more so to adapt for the big screen. But you have done it. You have successfully crafted a Batman trilogy for the ages, a timeless tale of tragedy and heroism that will join the pantheon of films that rocked Hollywood.
The Dark Knight Rises is well-written, well executed, and just plain well done. It features characters we know and love from the comics and offers slightly different takes on them. But many, like myself, might actually end up preferring Nolan’s interpretations of the characters to the source material. I sure as hell prefer Tom Hardy’s Bane to the tank-toting, Venom loving version of the character seen in the comics.
The sad part is, we may never see a Batman movie like this ever again. A filmmaker with such a deep understanding and love for the character doesn’t come around often. And it’s rare that you get a cast that is just so flawless and right for the movie.
The story has ended, but man did it go out with a bang.
2. The Avengers
In May 2012, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers made movie history as the first superhero team-up film. Prior to its release, fans were skeptical, almost fearful, hoping against hope that Whedon would deliver a film that is both satisfying and does justice to each of the characters. It had so much potential, both as a huge success or a disappointing flop. So naturally, fans who had waited years for this experience had every right to be nervous. Luckily, Whedon goes above and beyond in bringing us a memorable, entertaining, and downright hilarious superhero romp that sets the bar high for future Marvel entries.
The chemistry between the actors made this movie. The action is great, but the character interactions alone were worth the price of admission. I’d have been just as happy watching Thor and Iron Man throw insults at each other for two hours.
Jam packed with one-liners, adrenaline pumping action, and irresistable characters, The Avengers is everything we wanted it to be and so much more. Plus, who doesn’t love Robert Downey Jr.?
Rian Johnson’s time travel flick/sci-fi thriller Looper was not what anyone was expecting. It was better. Wildly inventive, highly entertaining, and perfectly casted, Looper is a must see.
It is a quieter film, lacking a booming score that many action films have. But it’s thoughtful, intelligent, and remarkably clever at the same time. A sci-fi thriller with a brain is becoming more and more scarce, so the fact that Looper ends up being thought-provoking is refreshing.
If you are a sci-fi fan and haven’t seen Looper yet or have maybe overlooked it, I highly recommend it.
Ridley Scott’s (sort of) tie in to Alien, Prometheus, is an incredible piece of cinema that looks great, works well, and serves as a satisfying first chapter in what will probably be another franchise.
When examined from a creative perspective, it was a wise move on Scott’s part that it deviated from the 1979 classic. The separate storyline expands and develops the Alien universe in unexpected and thrilling ways while loosely tying it all together.
Prometheus is definitely one of 2012’s standout sci-fi adventures, and I strongly suggest at least giving it a chance.
5. The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games, directed by Gary Ross and based on the successful book trilogy by Suzanne Collins, was one of 2012’s earliest and best blockbusters. It propelled Jennifer Lawrence to superstardom(she was already almost there before) and made Josh Hutcherson every teenage girl’s dream boyfriend.
If you want fast-paced, pulse-pounding action and nail biting chase sequences, this is your movie. There is so much to like here it’s unbelievable. Endearing characters and wonderful acting are just two of the many reasons to watch this film.
I was skeptical at first, dismissing The Hunger Games as the next Twilight(I know, stupid of me), but then a friend dragged me to the theater to see it. I was hooked. I went back two more times for repeat viewings, and each time I had more fun.
The Hunger Games was definitely a highlight of last year, and we can only hope that this fall’s Catching Fire is just as good or better.