Film Comment Names Fifty Best Films of 2012, Led By ‘Holy Motors,’ ‘The Master’ & ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

Film Comment Names Fifty Best Films of 2012, Led By 'Holy Motors,' 'The Master' & 'Moonrise Kingdom'
Film Comment Names Fifty Best Films of 2012, Led 'Holy Motors,' 'The Master' & 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Film Comment announces the results of its survey on the best films of the year, as determined by critics, journalists, film section editors and past and present contributors. Topping the list are “Holy Motors,” “The Master” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” The complete list is below, as well as a list of the top films that are currently without distribution, including “Our Children” at #1. Also check out our TOH! Top Tens.

Film Comment editor Gavin Smith states the lists “offer a comprehensive look at the year in film by combining the viewpoints of most of the magazine’s staff and contributors as well as many of America’s most influential film critics, writers and minds – with a specific emphasis this year on soliciting votes both in print and online.”

On December 18, “Film Society: The Conversation starts here…” will be available on their website, with Smith disucssing the lists with the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Kent Jones and Robert Koehler. The corresponding issue of Film Comment will his newsstands January 7.

Among the 120 surveyed are (in alphabetical order): Melissa Anderson (NYFF Selection Committee), David Ansen (LAFF Artistic Director), Richard Brody (The New Yorker), David Fear (Time Out New York), Scott Foundas (The Village Voice), Haden Guest (Director, Harvard Film Archive), Eugene Hernandez (Director of Digital Strategy, Film Society of Lincoln Center), J. Hoberman (Film Comment Contributing Editor), Glenn Kenny (MSN Movies), Stuart Klawans (The Nation), Eric Kohn (IndieWire), Karina Longworth, Scott Macaulay (Filmmaker Magazine), Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Tonight), Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter), Wesley Morris (Boston Globe), Mark Olsen (Los Angeles Times), Andréa Picard (Programmer, Toronto Film Festival’s “Wavelengths” Curator), Jonathan Rosenbaum, Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly), Amy Taubin (Film Comment Contributing Editor and NYFF Selection Committee), and Kenneth Turan (LA Times).


1. Holy Motors
Director: Leos Carax
2. The Master
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
3. Moonrise Kingdom
Director: Wes Anderson
4. This Is Not a Film
Directors: Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
5. Amour
Director: Michael Haneke
6. The Turin Horse
Director: Béla Tarr
7. The Kid With a Bike
Directors: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
8. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
9. Lincoln
Director: Steven Spielberg
10. Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Rankings #11 – #20
11.  Tabu, Director: Miguel Gomes
12.  The Deep Blue Sea, Director: Terence Davies
13.  Bernie, Director: Richard Linklater
14.  Beasts of the Southern Wild, Director: Benh Zeitlin
15.  Cosmopolis, Director: David Cronenberg
16.  Barbara, Director: Christian Petzold
17.  The Loneliest Planet, Director: Julia Loktev
18.  Silver Linings Playbook, Director: David O. Russell
19.  Oslo, August 31st, Director: Joachim Trier
20.  Neighboring Sounds, Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
Rankings #21 – #30
21.  Django Unchained, Director: Quentin Tarantino
22.  Almayer’s Folly, Director: Chantal Akerman
23.  Magic Mike, Director: Steven Soderbergh
24.  Argo, Director: Ben Affleck
25.  Attenberg, Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari
26.  The Color Wheel, Director: Alex Ross Perry
27.  Rust and Bone, Director: Jacques Audiard
28.  Killer Joe, Director: William Friedkin
29.  Looper, Director: Rian Johnson
30.  Life of Pi, Director: Ang Lee
Rankings #31 – #40
31.  A Man Vanishes, Director: Shohei Imamura
32.  Skyfall, Director: Sam Mendes
33.  The Gatekeepers, Director: Dror Moreh
34.  Elena, Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
35.  Haywire, Director: Steven Soderbergh
36.  Damsels in Distress, Director: Whit Stillman
37.  Abendland, Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
38.  Two Years at Sea, Director: Ben Rivers
39.  How to Survive a Plague, Director: David France
40.  Keep the Lights On, Director: Ira Sachs
Rankings #41 – #50
41.  A Burning Hot Summer, Director: Philippe Garrel
42.  Miss Bala, Director: Gerardo Naranjo
43.  Footnote, Director: Joseph Cedar
44.  Compliance, Director: Craig Zobel
45.  Alps, Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
46.  Kill List, Director: Ben Wheatley
47.  Farewell, My Queen, Director: Benoît Jacquot
48.  In Another Country, Director: Hong Sang-soo
49.  The Dark Knight Rises, Director: Christopher Nolan
50.  The Day He Arrives, Director: Hong Sang-soo
1. Our Children
Director: Joachim Lafosse
2. Memories Look at Me
Director: Song Fang
3. First Cousin Once Removed
Director: Alan Berliner
4. When Night Falls
Director: Ying Liang
5. Bwakaw
Director: Jun Robles Lana
6. Gebo and the Shadow
Director: Manoel de Oliveira
7. differently, Molussia
Director: Nicolas Rey
8. Perret in France and Algeria
Director: Heinz Emigholz
9. The Extravagant Shadows
Director: David Gatten
10. Three Sisters
Director: Wang Bing
Rankings #11 – #20
11. Dormant Beauty, Director: Marco Bellocchio
12. Far From Afghanistan, Directors: John Gianvito, Travis Wilkerson, Jon Jost, Minda Martin & Soon-Mi Yoo
13. Camille Rewinds, Director: Noémie Lvovsky
14. Wadjda, Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
15. Greatest Hits, Director: Nicolás Pereda
16. small roads, Director: James Benning
17. Everybody in Our Family, Director: Radu Jude
18. Shepard and Dark, Director: Treva Wurmfeld
19. Hannah Arendt, Director: Margarethe von Trotta
20. Araf: Somewhere in Between, Director: Yesim Ustaoglu
Rankings #21 – #30
21. Thursday Through Sunday, Director: Dominga Sotomayor
22. Goodbye, Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
23. After Lucia, Director: Michel Franco
24. Reconversão, Director: Thom Andersen
25. Kon-Tiki , Directors: Joachim Roenning & Espen Sandberg
26. Tiger Tail in Blue, Director: Frank V. Ross
and Traveling Light, Director: Gina Telaroli (TIE)
28. Sun Don’t Shine, Director: Amy Seimetz
and Postcards from the Zoo , Director: Edwin (TIE)
and 3, Director: Pablo Stoll (TIE)
Rankings #31 – #40
31. The Invisible Ones, Director: Sebastien Lifshitz
32. Everyday, Director: Michael Winterbottom
33. Twilight Portrait, Director: Angelina Nikonova
and Age Is…, Director: Stephen Dwoskin (TIE)
35. The Strawberry Tree, Director: Simone Rapisarda Casanova
36. Here and There, Director: Antonio Mendez Esparza
and Louise Wimmer, Director: Cyril Mennegun (TIE)
38. Outrage Beyond, Director: Takeshi Kitano
39. Back to Stay, Director: Milagros Mumenthaler
and The Final Member, Directors: Jonah Bekhor & Zach Math (TIE)
Rankings #41 – #50
41. Kinshasa Kids , Director: Marc-Henri Wajnberg
and The War, Director: James Benning (TIE)
and Nights with Theodore, Director: Sébastien Betbeder (TIE)
44. The Minister, Director: Pierre Schöller
45. Celluloid Man, Director: Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
and Gangs of Wasseypur, Director: Anurag Kashyap (TIE)
47. The Dead Man and Being Happy, Director: Javier Rebollo
and The Invader, Director: Nicolas Provost (TIE)
and Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, Director:Laurence Cantet (TIE)
50. Donoma, Director: Djinn Carrenard

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