I have dedicated this post to movies that I watched in 2012 (these had to be fairly current movies from 2012 year or 2011 to make the list). My goal in 2012 was 50 movies and I ended up watching 56. Not to bad. Same goal for 2013 except that I’m going to try and see half of them in the theater.
Rise of the Guardians, 7/10 – This was a fun movie with a nice twist on iconic holiday and childhood fantasy characters (Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, Sand Man, Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost). It’s fun to watch, but somehow it’s missing some heart. And it’s not really a Christmas movie, in case you were wondering.
Jack Reacher, 8/10 – I love a good old fashioned action mystery thriller. This is similar is some ways to the Mission Impossible movies, but the believability level is higher. Despite his quirks as a person, Cruise is still exceptional on screen.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 7.5/10 – As with Red Dawn, reviews for the Hobbit almost had me dreading the movie. However, I thought it was excellent. Sure, certain parts of the movie drag on a little bit, but the visuals are breathtaking, the acting is first rate and the story is timeless.
Arthur Christmas, 7/10 – I thought this was a really original take on Santa’s Christmas Eve delivery escapades. I noticed that this mostly bombed in theaters, which is too bad. It’s fast paced, entertaining and is an excellent Christmas movie.
Lawless, 6.6/10 – Sort of like a western, but it’s actually an eastern with moonshine cowboys. Strong cast, good action but the story was a little empty for me.
Ted, 6.75/10 – Almost heart warming and not as crude as it could have been. Very entertaining, but not everything hit home for me.
Red Dawn, 7/10 – After reading reviews of this movie I my expectations were pretty low. But I really enjoyed Red Dawn. There are some questionable plot elements, but I didn’t have any strong issues with them. The bad acting I was expecting didn’t really show up. And I thought the action scenes were intensely enjoyable. Good flick.
Skyfall, 8/10 – This is good action right here. The first ten minutes of this movie will get your adrenaline pumping like nothing else I’ve seen this year (with the possible exception of Dark Knight). This movie is, more so that previous bond films, a thriller. It almost makes some previous Bond efforts seem silly and Craig is, without question, my favorite Bond.
Breaking Dawn, 7/10 – I thought this was a good ending movie to an interesting series. I actually enjoyed it. I don’t know what else to say.
Wreck-It Ralph, 8/10 – Sweet Nostalgia. This movie was a blast. Fun to watch, great plot (with a satisfying twist) with plenty to offer for kids and adults.
The Amazing Spiderman, 7/10 – This one surprised me by being better than I anticipated. Nice action good pacing. I’m still not sold on Garfield (not the cat) as Peter/Spider Man, but he was okay.
Mirror Mirror, 6/10 – Not too bad. Cute and fun, even. There’s sort of a “made for TV” feel to the movie that’s hard to shake. To her credit Julia Roberts is a pretty good villain.
Taken 2, 6.7/10 – I really liked the first one, but the second was definitely not as good. Liam is showing his age (I’m pretty sure they used a body double when he ran down some stairs… for crying out loud). I felt like there were some bad plot issues, but the story was fun and the action was acceptable.
Madagascar 3, 6.5/10 – Ridiculous non-stop in your face animated comedy, with an emphasis on ridiculous. A good watch, some great moments, but unmemorable.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green, 6/10 – I think this was supposed to heartwarming. Sadly, it came off as a little, well… odd (weird odd). All the acting was good, but the story was hard to relate to. Ah well.
Dredd, 7.5/10 – This was just good old fashioned entertainment. I didn’t have any expectations going in, but I felt great coming out. Gritty non-stop action makes my day.
21 Jumpstreet, 7/10 – Lots of funny stuff here. The movie seems to almost take itself seriously at times, and it doesn’t quite work.
The Pirates, 6/10 – Cute and visually appealing, but I didn’t feel like the movie connected with me.
The Bourne Legacy, 7/10 – Renner is a suitable replacement for Damon in the latest installment. I liked the pacing in this movie and I thought that the performances were strong all around. I’m going to need to rewatch Ultimatum now (Legacy and Ultimatum take place concurrently). The ending on this movie was a little disappointing for me and left me with the “huh?” stuck in my mind.
Expendables 2, 7/10 – Could it be that they put too many action stars in this movie (also, where were Vin Diesel and The Rock… maybe they’re saving then for Expendables 3). Part of me feels like this was a movie they should have made 20 years ago. Still, the first fifteen minutes of this movie are so spectacular that I couldn’t help but go along for the ride (it’s almost nostalgic).
Money Ball, 6.5/10 – Maybe it’s just me, but I thought this was a bit on the dull side. Good performances all around. And everyone likes an underdog.
Gone, 6/10 – Not a bad thriller. Sort of predictable, sort of not.
Columbiana, 6/10 – A straightforward action-revenge movie. No real surprises here (as far as plot goes).
Three Stooges, 4/10 – Oh man… this is about as bad as movies get (I think on my rating system you get a “4” if I make it through the movie). Okay, to be fair there are a couple of funny parts, but this is the kind of ridiculous movie that hurts me in my soul. I appreciate the efforts of the new cast to try and act like the old cast, but eh…
Total Recall, 7/10 – The special effects in this movie are stellar. Visually the movie it a treat in every way (a lot like an updated Blade Runner). Plot wise, the movie shares elements of the original, but somehow lacks the twists and turns that made the original great. The updated movie is two hours of in your face action and, while not thought provoking, I rather liked it.
Journey 2, 6/10 – Mediocre family entertainment. Nothing great, nothing horrible and watchable with few regrets but nothing to talk about later.
The Dark Knight Rises, 9/10 – I thought the third installment was exceptional. If I had to pick a favorite director it would be Christopher Nolan. Nothing is perfect, of course, and there are some odd plot elements that I don’t really understand (watching it a second time actually helped). Great action, plot, effects, acting, etc all work together to create another great Batman movie.
Lockout, 6.5/10 – I like Guy Pearce and I thought he made a good action hero. Some bad CG here, but it’s easy enough to forgive.
The Darkest Hour, 6.5/10 – Reviews slammed this movie, but I thought it was okay. The invisible monsters (“cheap special effect”) didn’t bother me. The dialog was pretty bad and the plot of was formulaic, but this is watchable aliens-invade-earth action flick.
Abduction, 5/10 – Taylor doesn’t really come across as much of an action star. And the spies in this movie – if all spies were really this bad then… I don’t even know. Poor writing, so-so acting and kind of a pointless plot. This one must have been for the girls…
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 5.5/10 – I thought I knew what I was getting into when I watched this. Sometimes you see a movie and it’s clear why it didn’t do well at the box office. I don’t get Ghost Rider as a “hero” but I liked the ending of this movie (that’s not meant to be sarcastic).
The Grey, 7/10 – Dark and depressing. Showcasing some of mankind’s darkest emotions. Good action.
Underworld: Awakening, 6.7/10 – Call me nuts, but I’ve always enjoyed the underworld series. No exception here. Kate is a hot Vampire.
Contraband, 6.7/10 – Overall this is a good action movie. Some parts are a little hard to sallow, but if you can suspend your disbelief for a bit you’ll enjoy it.
Jack &Jill, 5/10 – Oh Adam. What have you done. Seeing Sandler play the female version of himself is exactly how you think it would be. Annnoying and gross. The movie has some sweet undertones and a few good moments of comedy but too much of it doesn’t work.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, 6.5/10 – This was a fairly entertaining movie with a fun premise. Some fairly good action w/ a few pulse pounding moments. A couple of plot elements to keep the watcher guessing too. Yes in deed, this historically accurate documentary is thrilling.
Man On a Ledge, 6/10 – The whole premise of the movie is a little silly. And when you watch the movie the whole plot is hard to swallow. Nothing impressive here with regard to visuals, script or acting, but the movie still has it moments.
Snow White and the Huntsman, 6.7/10 – I heard this was a chick flick. No. It’s actually a pretty decent adventure/fantasy movie. I was surprised that Kristen Stewart didn’t reek of Bella . This is an entertaining twist on an old classic.
Prometheus, 7.4 /10 – While not billed as a prequel, it’s pretty prequel-ly. I thought the visuals, pacing and action was great. This is a movie you will think about. The story has some pretty big plot holes (i.e. Human like creates (creators) came to earth and seeded the water with their DNA and then – after millions of years – human life evolved. Periodically these creators visited earth and left obscure road maps to a planet where they were developing weapons (aliens) to kill humans (because now they want their creations dead?). Actually, just read this.
This Means War, 6.7/10 – The premise isn’t really anything new and the execution here is a little over the top. But overall it’s a good time.
Men in Black 3, 8/10 – I had read some negative reviews about MIB3 that had me worried a bit, but I really enjoyed myself. As far as time time travel flicks go I’d say this can hang with the best of them. Tommy Lee Jones is looking a little scary, but Will Smith looks as good as always.
TinTin, 6.5/10 – Visually this was a great looking movie. I loved the animation and the incredible detail that everything had. Even though parts of the movie were incredibly intense, somehow as a whole the film kind of dragged for me.
Battleship, 6.5/10 – Visually very impressive. So many plot holes and unanswered questions that it made my head spin though. We’ve all seen the plot before and the acting here was so-so.
The Avengers, 8.5/10 – This movie was an absolute blast. I saw it in 3D and then 2D (for both experiences). I felt like the 3D made parts of the movie silly and diminished the enjoyment, but the 2D version blew my mind. I enjoyed the way the plot allowed the Avengers to fight each other (mini versus battles). And there were moments of brilliant comedy that entertained both times. Great special effects, great characters, great movie.
The Muppets, 5.5/10 – Ah, it was a musical! Most of the humor didn’t connect with me. I love the muppets, but this movie just sort of dragged on and on.
Wrath of the Titans, 6.5/10 – Visually impressive (almost a rush), but sort of an empty movie.
Hugo – 7/10 – I really enjoyed the film visually and I thought the story arc was excellent.
John Carter 7/10 – I don’t understand why this performed so badly (in terms of generating revenue). I thought the special effects were excellent and the movie (while a little too long) was engaging. I suppose it’s probably a marketing issue more than anything- I really had no idea what to expect going into the movie.
Hunger Games 7.5/10 – This is about what I expected. Good overall cinematography (some shaky cam stuff), decent acting, fairly true to the source material and very enjoyable. Nothing mediocre but nothing spectacular.
Warrior 8.5/10 – Yeah, this is technically from 2011, but near the beginning of the year the lines blur a bit… great movie. I thought it was a great story, well acted and it had a great pace. Sure, it was full of cliches, but it was like a better version of Rocky.
We Bought a Zoo 7/10 – I thought this was a really thoughtful movie. Loved the actors (Maggie Elizabeth Jones was especially endearing) and the story.
Safe House 6/10 – I can’t put my finger on it, but something about this movie didn’t work for me. It wasn’t quite a thriller, it wasn’t quite a mystery, not quite an action flick… I don’t know. Nothing bad, but nothing good. I hope there are some really good movies this year…
Chronicle. 6.5/10 – I’m actually super impressed with what they were able to do with $12 million. I’ve never been a huge fan of the “found footage” type movies (Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, etc) but over all this was well done. In a word: disturbing.
The Debt. 7/10 – I don’t really like spy movies all that much but I enjoyed The Debt. I liked the plot, the acting and the pacing.
Drive. 6.5/10 – I thought this movie had a lot of potential. When you step back and think about it the plot borders on the verge on pointless but there’s something raw and captivating at the same time. Clearly the “drive” referred to to by the title has very little to do with driving, and everything to do with the protagonist’s (but is he a protagonist?) drive to protect. Supposedly the movie has some very graphic violence, but I was able to see a slightly edited version so I can’t comment on that one way or another. In a word: Okay.
Tinker, Taylor, Solider, Spy. 6/10 – Not a bad way to kill a couple of hours. Maybe not the best way to start off the year… It’s kind of like an old fashioned mystery. Some parts move slowly, but by the end everything comes together pretty well. Not a movie I’d own.