Around this time of year I read a lot of Top 10 Lists and compile a couple of my own, but rarely do you ever see a list featuring movies that people didn’t quite love and therefore get left off any end of year lists- that is unless they ended up on a bottom of list somehow. So briefly, I just wanted to take a few moments and highlight five films from 2012 that I really enjoyed, but they just couldn’t quite win me over by the end. Also, even though these are films I consider “so-so” by no means am I saying you should skip them as I believe they all deserve a fair shake. Some you may love more than me and you may indeed hate- either way let me know what you think!
(5) Red Lights - I was extremely excited to see Rodrigo Cortes’ follow-up to BURIED (a film that made my Top 10 the year it came out), which is why I was pretty disappointed once I finally saw it. The one thing that did kind of carryover was the sense of dread and tension throughout, but the emotional connection was completely missing and the logistics of the twist just did not hit home for me. The performances are good, not great and a lot of the film can seem pretty goofy. In spite of the flaws though, I still think this is a film worth at least a rental.
(4) Safe House - I’m not sure what to expect about this choice, but I kind of really enjoyed a lot of this film. Denzel Washington is rarely ever not fun in the movies he’s in and he soars with Ryan Reynolds is a pretty entertaining fashion here. In terms of an action movie with an incredibly dumb twist it leaves a little to be desired, but I would recommend watching for Washington alone and a few select action scenes that I enjoyed.
(3) Lawless - I have somewhat of a dude crush on Tom Hardy, although in a completely non creepy way- mostly because I thought he was phenomenal in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. It was a little tough to not look at him as Bane during LAWLESS and I felt that while he was good here, there’s just something that was missing for me. I also HATE the way this film ends, which is only its second crime against my personal tastes as the first is casting and using Shia LeBouf entirely too much. Guy Pearce is awesome and had the ending been tweaked and someone else cast in LeBouf’s role this could have had Top 10 potential for me.
(2) Headhunters - This is my fancy pants choice for the list as it’s the only foreign film to crack any list for this year. The funny thing being that as most foreign films go, this is probably the least elegant and hard hitting as most I’ve seen and loved. There are quite a few clever plot points weaved throughout, but also some pretty dumb and goofy things that drug it down for me. The performances are fun, the cat and mouse nature of the middle section is also a lot of fun- but ultimately there was just something about it I didn’t love.
(1) Chronicle - There are parts of this movie that I absolutely love- which is why I was a little disappointed with some really weak aspects of this film. It does a great job at justifying the found footage angle minus the incredibly stupid tacked on footage of a girl shooting footage for her online blog and the main character’s struggle is extremely effective especially going into the final act of the film. The special effects in a few spots are laughably bad, while others are pretty incredible which only made the bad effects detract from my enjoyment more. I may come to appreciate this more over time, but make no mistake, I don’t hate it by any means, since my point is to just point out films that fell just short of getting a bit more praise than I originally may have given them- you should definitely check this one out.
What are some of your disappointments from this year or some films that walked the line of being great, but fell just short?
Written By: Luke (@CrummyLuke on Twitter)