The best of 2012: film

The Time Out film team reflect on the movies of the past 12 months

As 2012 draws to a close, Time Out’s film critics offer up their five favourite films of the year, plus their least favourite movie, a film hero, a favourite scene and a quick look ahead to 2013.

It’s been a very strong year for international cinema, and our critics’ lists reflect that, with the French-Austrian co-production ‘Amour’, Turkish cop drama ‘Once Upon a Time in Anatolia’, American indie ‘The Master’, Portuguese oddity ‘Tabu’ and homegrown Olympic tie-in documentary ‘London: The Modern Babylon’ proving the most popular overall.

Click on the thumbnails below to see each critic’s top five films – and one stinker.

Dave Calhoun,Time Out film editor Cath Clarke,Time Out deputy film editor Tom Huddleston,Time Out film writer Trevor Johnston,Time Out film critic Anna Smith,Time Out film critic Geoff Andrew,Time Out film critic Guy Lodge,Time Out film critic Anil Sinanan,Time Out film critic Ben Walters,Time Out film critic Nigel Floyd,Time Out film critic Time Out readers

Anil Sinanan's best films of 2012

  • 1

    Gangs Of Wasseypur

    This gritty, realistic and well-acted ‘Godfather’-style epic charts the rise and rise of the Indian mafia from colonialism to modern day ‘shining’ India.

  • 2


    A pregnant wife’s search for her missing husband in the underbelly of Calcutta’s streets is an engrossing, emotional exploration of the impact of home-grown terrorism on innocent lives.

  • 3


    An ‘Amelie’-meets-‘The Artist’-style almost silent gem, with a bitter-sweet punch.

  • 4


    A sombre supernatural shocker examining the searing pain caused by loss.

  • 5


    A proper three-hour ‘masala’ potboiler which delivered the required spice including a sexy ‘item’ dance number which warned of the dangers of smoking!

Anil Sinanan's worst film of 2012

  • Jab Tak Hai Jaan

    My ‘tikka-turkey’ of 2012 is the blockbuster ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, the late Yash Chopra’s bland rehash of every single corny cliché from his back catalogue.

Anil Sinanan's film hero of 2012

Anil Sinanan's favourite scene of 2012

  • The ‘twist’ in ‘Kahaani’. Alas, this being Bollywood, it resembled an obscure Angelina Jolie movie (‘Taking Lives’).

Anil Sinanan's hope for 2013

  • My Bolly-wish for 2013 is for indifferent and insular Bollywood distributors to recognise the importance of press previews and to start holding them.

More highlights from the past 12 months in London

  • What a year that was! Brilliant festivals, amazing restaurants, sensational bars, unbelievable gigs, mind-altering exhibitions, gob-smacking shows… if it happened in London, Time Out was there. So who better than our unrivalled team of critics to come up with the definitive list of the best of 2012?