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The Best Indie Movies of 2012 So Far, According to Criticwire

By Steve Greene and Eric Kohn | Indiewire June 28, 2012 at 12:26PM

With nearly six months of 2012 already gone, Criticwire takes a look back at the films with the highest averages of the year. Some are new favorites and some are holdovers from 2011 festivals, but there a number of 2012 movies that might become more well-known in the months (and years) to come.
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Note: While all grades are accurate at the time of this article's publishing, they remain subject to change as always.

Top Theatrical Releases of 2012:

1. Sleepless Night (Film Page), directed by Frederic Jardin (2011 TIFF - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (10.125 out of 12.0, 16 reviews)

2. This is Not a Film (Film Page), directed by Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmas (2011 Cannes - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (9.75 out of 12.0, 28 reviews)

3. The Turin Horse (Film Page), directed by Bela Tarr (2011 Berlin - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire rating: A- (9.714 out of 12.0, 20 reviews)

4. The Island President (Film Page), directed by Jon Shenk (2011 TIFF - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (9.5 out of 12.0, 10 reviews)

5. Under African Skies (Film Page), directed by Joe Berlinger (2012 Festival Premiere - Sundance)
Average Criticwire ratingB+ (9.375 out of 12.0, 8 reviews)

6. The Raid: Redemption (Film Page), directed by Gareth Evans (2011 TIFF - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire ratingB+ (9.349 out of 12.0, 43 reviews)

T7. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Film Page), directed by David Gelb (2011 TIFF - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire rating: B+ (9.25 out of 12.0, 11 reviews)

T7. I Wish (Film Page), directed by Hirozaku Kore-Eda (2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire ratingB+ (9.25 out of 12.0, 16 reviews)

9. The Kid with a Bike (Film Page), directed by Jean Pierre and Luc Dardenne (2011 Cannes - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire ratingB+ (9.2 out of 12.0, 54 reviews)

10. 5 Broken Cameras (Film Page), directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi (2012 Festival Premiere - Sundance)
Average Criticwire ratingB+ (9.143 out of 12.0, 14 reviews)

Runners-up: "The Secret World of Arrietty," "Oslo, August 31st," "Attenberg"

Top Documentaries of 2012:

1. Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story (Film Page), directed by Raymond De Felitta (2012 Festival Premiere - Tribeca)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (10.286 out of 12.0, 7 reviews)

2. High Tech, Low Life (Film Page), directed by Stephen Maing (2012 Festival Premiere - Tribeca)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (10.125 out of 12.0, 8 reviews)

3. Journey to Planet X (Film Page), directed by Myles Kane and Josh Koury (2012 Festival Premiere - Tribeca)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (10.0 out of 12.0, 7 reviews)

4. The Invisible War (Film Page), directed by Kirby Dick (2012 Festival Premiere - Sundance)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (9.9 out of 12.0, 10 reviews)

5. Tchoupitoulas (Film Page), directed by Bill Ross and Turner Ross (2012 Festival Premiere - SXSW)
Average Criticwire rating: A- (9.833 out of 12.0, 6 reviews)

6. This is Not a Film (Film Page), directed by Jafar Panahi and Majtaba Mirtahmas (2011 Cannes - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (9.75 out of 12.0, 28 reviews)

7. Side by Side (Film Page), directed by Chris Kenneally (2012 Festival Premiere - Berlin) 
Average Criticwire ratingA- (9.583 out of 12.0, 12 reviews)

T8. The Island President (Film Page), directed by Jon Shenk (2011 TIFF - 2012 Theatrical Release)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (9.5 out of 12.0, 10 reviews)

T8. West of Memphis (Film Page), directed by Amy Berg (2012 Festival Premiere - Sundance)
Average Criticwire ratingA- (9.5 out of 12.0, 10 reviews)

10. Under African Skies (Film Page), directed by Joe Berlinger (2012 Festival Premiere - Sundance)
Average Criticwire ratingB+ (9.375 out of 12.0, 10 reviews)

Runners-up: "Searching for Sugar Man," "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," "How to Survive a Plague"

Continue to the next page for lists for the top foreign-language films, English-language films and festival premieres.

This article is related to: Sleepless Night, This is Not a Film (In Film Nist), The Turin Horse, The Island President, Under African Skies, The Raid: Redemption, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I Wish, The Kid With a Bike, 5 Broken Cameras, Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story, High Tech, Low Life, Journey to Planet X, The Invisible War, Tchoupitoulas, Side by Side, West of Memphis, Graceland, Holy Motors , Amour, No, Yossi, Sleepwalk With Me, Sightseers, Compliance, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Sound of My Voice, The Sessions, Moonrise Kingdom, The Cabin in The Woods, Liberal Arts, Somebody Up There Likes Me