I didn’t see as many movies as I have in previous years, although that mostly means I saw less bad ones. Here’s the cream of the crop…

10.  “ARGO” – I didn’t love this as much as many of my friends, because I felt the “everything that could go wrong, almost did” of the final moments was overly manipulative, but I did enjoy the tense setup and the Seventies feel of the movie, thanks to evocative production design and cinematography (and mustaches… don’t forget mustaches!).

9.  “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK” – One of the most overlooked movie stories of the year was the lack of successful romantic comedies. This was the best one by far.

8.  “TED” – How could this movie be the biggest surprise of the year when Seth McFarlane has been making us laugh for years?

7.  “ZERO DARK THIRTY” – An exciting, engrossing film that shows the strike on Bin Laden was even more courageous because the government didn’t know for sure he was there.

6.  “THE DARK KNIGHT RISES” – While I prefer my Batman movies to have a little more Batman in them, this was still a fitting end to what is sure to stand as my favorite movie trilogy.

5.  “FRANKENWEENIE” – Loved the shout-outs to old monster movies, but mostly I liked it because Sparky the dog was so cute.

4.  “FLIGHT” – Even more than the tense emergency landing scene, the plight of Whip Whitaker trying (or not) to overcome his addictions has stayed with me since I saw the film.

3.  “JACK REACHER” – I’m a big fan of the Lee Child source novels, so it was a huge relief to see Tom Cruise pull off a believable portrayal of my favorite righter of wrongs. But more than that, the film was the kind of action movie laced with humor and mystery that we don’t see enough anymore.

2.  “LINCOLN” – My pick for Best Picture and needless to say Best Actor. Like “Zero Dark Thirty,” you knew how the story ended (in this case, with the passing of the 13th Amendment)  and yet it was still thrilling.

1.  “THE AVENGERS” – The most fun movie of the year. Writer/director Joss Whedon made the challenge of blending the six stars look easy. The final battle set a standard for superhero action that will be hard to top. Your move, DC!


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