Best films of 2012

2012 was an amazing year in film and we were spoilt with superhero epics, the return of Paul Thomas Anderson and underdog documentaries managing to provide big surprises.

Before we get numerical a few house rules are necessary. Due to the backward nature of film releases in my country of residence, Australia, this list will be comprised of new release films I saw in 2012. It is based on no particular release schedule and can therefore factor in film festivals attended, screeners and media screenings. Sadly, for some films in 2012 time wasn’t on my side and ‘Amour’ slipped through the cracks despite playing every film festival on the planet. The timing for a screening never worked out but it has been named on enough lists already, plus winner a little thing called the Palme d’Or to certify that it’s worth checking out. Other films I have been unable to see yet include ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and ‘Lincoln’, and they will contend as 2013 releases due to their delayed release in Australia (FYI mainly for American readers). There will also be no “honourable mentions” as this is a definitive list, not a cautiously tentative include everyone list.

Without further delay I proudly present the best films of 2012 according to Cameron Williams.


16. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


15. Cloud Atlas


14. Searching for Sugar Man


13. Laurence Anyways


12. The Imposter


11. Looper


10. Cabin in the Woods


9. Martha Marcy May Marlene


8. Argo


7. The Avengers


6. The Raid


5. The Intouchables


4. Undefeated


3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower


2. The Master


1. Django unchained

The greatest gift to cinema in 2012 came from one its biggest fans, Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino unleashed a tale of empowerment that was a cocktail of fairytale lore, blaxpolitation films and westerns of all varieties. Tarantino and cinematographer Robert Richardson captured the crisp snowcapped mountains and warm sunsets that evoke the western magic of filmmakers such Sergio Leone, John Ford and John Sturges. The performances were outstanding with Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio all bringing to life the razor sharp scripting of Tarantino in style. Lots of film royalty made cameos as well as Tarantino’s usual brood of actors. The action was excessive and wildly entertaining while exposing an ugly side of American history that Tarantino picked at like an exposed wound. The music echoed the film’s genre mash-up style with tracks by James Brown feat. 2pac, the country twang of Jim Croce, the smooth tones of John Legend and the gangster rap of Rick Ross paired seamlessly with the work of Ennio Morricone’s score and a terrific main theme from Luis Bacalov and Rocky Roberts.

‘Django Unchained’ felt like a lifetime worth of love for cinema packed into a neat little package of pure entertainment with emotional depth and a powerful message. Thank you Mr Tarantino.

Read the full write up of my best films of 2012 at Graffiti with Punctuation