The most five-star movies ever?

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

Reading my review of Zero Dark Thirty (coming soon!), Managing Editor Brent DiCrescenzo remarked that I've probably given more five-star reviews in 2012 than in any other year. He's right—I issued the rating five times, the most I've ever done so, though not by much. A search of TOC's archives reveals my previous record was four.

Still, that hardly means this was the greatest movie year since I started working at the magazine in 2006. Rather, it's really a matter of the vagaries of assignments. When possible, we try to keep reviewing and interviewing duties separate for a given film. I would have given five stars to The Hurt Locker in 2009, for instance, tying that year's total with this one, but instead talked to Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal and Jeremy Renner (two of whom reteam for Zero Dark). And for whatever it's worth, I didn't see a single film in 2012 as great as last year's No. 1, Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret, which would have topped my best list had it been released this year.

I will say that 2012 has been a deep year for great movies. I had a healthy top ten, with just about every title on there a must-see. (Some years, you run out of those and end up populating the remainder of the list with very-goods.) Past the jump, you'll find all the five-star reviews TOC Film has published so far this year. You may note that A.A. Dowd has been more stingy with the rating than I've been. But again, it's mostly a matter of assignments. He wouldn't necessarily have given five stars to my favorites and vice versa.

In chronological order:

This Is Not a Film (BK)

Moonrise Kingdom (BK)

Oslo, August 31st (AAD)

The Master (BK)

The Loneliest Planet (AAD)

Lincoln (BK)

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)