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‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Continues Critical Stampede Topping Peter Travers, David Edelstein & Huffington Post Best Of 2012

'Zero Dark Thirty' Continues Critical Stampede Topping Peter Travers, David Edelstein & Huffington Post Best Of 2012

With each passing day, it’s looking more and more like Kathryn Bigelow‘s “Zero Dark Thirty” is going to be the one to beat this awards season. As we cautioned earlier this week, this trajectory right now reminds us of David Fincher‘s “The Social Network,” which got all kinds of critical and industry love, only to lose out to Tom Hooper‘s “The King’s Speech” in the end. Granted, “Les Miserables” is no longer looking like a slam dunk with early reviews decidedly mixed (read ours here) but all this to say, there is still a lot the game to be played.

At any rate, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, David Edelstein of New York Magazine and Huffington Post all give major boosts to “Zero Dark Thirty” with the film topping the latter two lists and coming in second on Travers’, falling just behind Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “The Master.” Now does this actually mean anything? Not much except that Bigelow’s film seems to be one that’s capturing critics of all stripes. Indeed, Travers is probably best known for his quotes than reviews but his list is repectable, if not filled with similarly populist choices like those at Huffington Post. Meanwhile, Edelstein’s is a bit more eclectic witih “Pitch Perfect” and “Friends With Kids” somehow ranking.

Check out the lists below along with a new TV spot for “Zero Dark Thirty.” The film opens in limited release December 19th before going wide on January 11th. [Awards Daily/Vulture/Huffington Post]

Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) Top 10 Films Of 2012

1. The Master
2. Zero Dark Thirty
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild
4. Lincoln
5. Argo
6. Silver Linings Playbook
7. Les Miserables
8. Life of Pi
9. Moonrise Kingdom
10. The Dark Knight Rises

David Edelstein (New York Magazine) Top 10 Films Of 2012

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Lincoln
3. Amour
4. The Gatekeepers
5. The Deep Blue Sea
6. Life Of Pi
7. How To Survive A Plague/Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
8. Pitch Perfect
9. Oslo, August 31st
10. Friends With Kids

Huffington Post Top 10 Films Of 2012

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. Lincoln
3. Beasts Of The Southern Wild
4. Argo
5. Django Unchained
6. Moonrise Kingdom
7. Silver Linings Playbook
8. Skyfall
9. Les Miserables
10. Looper

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These lists are unbelivable.


Thanks for this post. I’m really looking forward to seeing Zero Dark Thirty. A couple of my DISH co-workers are already talking about getting people together to go see it, but I’m not sure this is the kind of movie I want to see in the theater. I’m planning to add it to my Blockbuster @ Home queue instead, since I have that through my DISH account. That way it’ll just show up in my mailbox once it’s out on DVD and I won’t have to go out of my way to seek it out. Plus, when I’m done watching it, I can return it to the Blockbuster store down the street from my apartment for another movie in my queue. Everything about it is so convenient.


I'm looking forward to seeing ZDT but don't see it winning the Oscar, my feeling is Lincoln will grab it, though it's pretty cool that for the first time in a while the field is wide open, there's five films there that could grab it on the night, perfect end for what has been a divisive year at the movies.


There have gotta be a number of big releases they haven't seen yet. Like "Django Unchained." How are these lists legitimate if that's true?


"[Travers] list is respectable, if not filled with similarly populist choices like those at Huffington Post" Uhhhh…they have 7 films in common. 2-5 of Travers and 1-4 of Huff are the same fucking films, just rearranged. And Travers put TDKR, easily the most 'populist' choice of the three lists here published. Did you guys read these?


These lists are ridiculous. Just input the 20 movies that were both critically well-liked and distributed theatrically in the USA this year (aka in the past three months, save Beasts and Moonrise) into a top 10 generator and publish the results. Travers' in particular could be rearranged at random to no effect; just an arbitrary ranking of end of year big budget Hollywood prestige movies with the year's certified 'breakout' independent movie (budgeted at .5mil) thrown in for 'balance'. Huff is nearly identical. Looking at someone like Susan Oxtoby's top 10 next to these makes me sad — not that hers is 'better,' but at least it exhibits individual taste, discernment, and adventurousness. Edelstein's is slightly more palatable (in the sense that it indicates taste), but it still hews so god damn closely to mediocre studio stuff. Do these people — the USA's top cinema critics — not have access to anything that doesn't play in a multiplex or mid-range art theater? Seriously…I'm asking

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