erik lundegaard

Roger Ebert Says 2012 is the Best Movie Year ... This Decade

Rogert Ebert posted this on Facebook this morning:

Roger Ebert's 10 best movies of 2012

The best year for movies this decade? You mean in three years? Isn't that like being the best-looking of the three stooges?

But I don't even agree with that, seeing, as I did, great things in movies in 2010 (“Un Prophete,” “Restrepo,” “The Social Network,” “True Grit,” “A Film Unfinished”) and 2011 (“The Tree of Life,” “Des hommes at des dieux,” “Young Adult,” “Moneyball,” “The Descendants”), but not so much this year. I think this has been a pretty lame year for movies, actually. I keep waiting to get stunned and it hasn't happened. I guess I don't know if it's me or the movies. Maybe Roger's right and I'm wrong. It's happened before.

I love that Roger included “End of Watch” among his top 10. Everyone is forgetting that one. And I suppose it won't be too difficult to find a top 10, particularly if I include documentaries and foreign films from 2011 that didn't get a U.S. release until 2012. But I'm not getting stunned at the movies this year. There are no movies like “L'heure d'ete” or “Un Prophete” or “The Tree of Life” where I think, “Let somebody beat that.”

Some come close:

  • “Argo,” if it had focused more deeply on the characters and less on the difficult-to-believe thrill of the chase.
  • “Lincoln,” if it hadn't tried to mythologize fore and aft.
  • “The Avengers,” if it had held up on second viewing and wasn't about, you know, superstrong people and space invaders and Norse gods.
  • “Les Misérables,” if it was truly interested in les misérables rather than love love love.
  • “Life of Pi,” if its two stories could collapse into each other better.
  • “The Master,” if it had created any kind of story with any kind of resonance.

But no clear knock-out. I'm reserving judgment on “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Amour” until they fucking arrive already.

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Posted at 02:26 PM on Thu. Dec 27, 2012 in category Movies - Lists  


CWaldenNelson wrote:

2012 seemed big on hype, but not big on delivering excellence...


Comment posted on Thu. Dec 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM

Sharp Creases wrote:

His list is interesting. I hadn't heard of 4 of his top 10, (Arbitrage, The Sessions, Oslo, A Simple Life), maybe this means he was dissatisfied with the big-name offerings this year, too? Although I'm sure Arbitrage is a big film since it has Gere in it...

Have you seen any of those?

I can't help but wonder if Ebert is feeling squeezed by life, too. The illnesses he's endured in the past year or two would have an impact on anyone, philosophically speaking, and he seems to have responded mostly by finding joy in things instead of finding things to hate. Maybe he's even talked about this somewhere, but I can't keep up with his extraordinary output.

Comment posted on Thu. Dec 27, 2012 at 04:20 PM

Erik wrote:

I was thinking the same, S.C., about Roger and his illness. I think that's the way to go. It's just the opposite of how I've been feeling about the movie year.

Haven't seen any of the four mentioned, although will see ARBITRAGE soon. THE SESSIONS has John Hawkes in it, always worthwhile.

Comment posted on Thu. Dec 27, 2012 at 04:46 PM

Jordan Muschler wrote:

Eendingrik, if you are criticizing the beloved story of Les Mis, you are criticizing Les Mis in general. I guess I'm just a fanboy defending. I can state my full opinion of the movie soon enough.

Comment posted on Fri. Dec 28, 2012 at 04:58 PM

Jordan Muschler wrote:

*Eric.* I don't even know how I misspelled that bad on an iPhone.

Comment posted on Fri. Dec 28, 2012 at 05:00 PM
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