The best movies of 2012

Team Film chooses its best movies of 2012, as well as the next ten that would have made their personal lists—plus, the worst films of the year.



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Almayer's Folly

Almayer's Folly

Keith Uhlich's ten best movies of 2012

Almayer's Folly

Almayer’s Folly

Chantal Akerman’s adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s first novel is a mesmerizing parable about the ravages of colonialism, scored to a Dean Martin ditty and directed like an opium-enhanced head trip.

New York Film Festival 2012: Not Fade Away

Not Fade Away

Proving his work on The Sopranos was no fluke, David Chase makes an estimable leap to feature films with an elliptical tale of a New Jersey youth inspired to start a rock band during the British Invasion.

Batrice Dalle and Isae Sultan in Domaine


The glorious Béatrice Dalle lends her inimitable presence to Patric Chiha’s devastating debut feature, about a gay adolescent and the clinging, alcoholic aunt who mentors him, for better and for worse.

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Jrmie Renier, left, and Thomas Doret in The Kid with a Bike

The Kid with a Bike

Those brilliant Belgian brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, wrote and directed this gripping story of a criminal orphan boy’s hard life and possible redemption. It’s another remarkable, unsentimental stunner.

Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe

Killer Joe

A trailer-park clan unravels with the assistance of a devilish interloper (played by a career-best Matthew McConaughey) in William Friedkin’s thrilling black comedy. You’ll never view a K-Fried-C drumstick quite the same way.

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This Is Not a Film

This Is Not a Film

Making the best of a truly bad situation, beleaguered Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi created this extraordinarily egoless self-profile while under house arrest. It’s protest art at its peak.

Girl Walk//All Day

Girl Walk//All Day

The year’s best DIY feature is an exhilarating musical from newcomer Jacob Krupnick, in which an effusive young woman infectiously dances her way across the Big Apple.

From left, Carrie MacLemore, Greta Gerwig and Megalyn Echikunwoke in Damsels in Distress

Damsels in Distress

Defiantly idiosyncratic Whit Stillman—sadly absent from cinemas since 1998’s The Last Days of Disco—makes a welcome return with this offbeat college comedy about the battle of the sexes.

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Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow tackles post-9/11 anxiety with this sobering look at the United States’ ten-year, morally muddled search for Osama bin Laden. There are no easy answers at the end of this gauntlet.

Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis


The daylong exploits of a soulless Manhattan businessman (an even more vampiric than usual Robert Pattinson) give David Cronenberg, adapting Don DeLillo’s Occupy-prescient novel, the chance to go wild as only he can.

See ten more of Keith Uhlich's best movies of 2012

Keith Uhlich's worst movie of 2012


The Master of Suspense is more ill-treated than Mrs. Bates’s corpse in Sacha Gervasi’s reductive, ridiculous biopic. We need a long, hot shower after this one…or maybe not.

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