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100 Best Films of 2012

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Kam's Annual Assessment of the Cream of the Cinematic Crop

It's impossible for me to limit my favorite films of 2012 to just 10 of the year's 1,000 or so releases After all, it feels unfair even to compare most of them to each other, since they represent so many different genres, countries and cultures, and enjoyed such a range in budgets.

Therefore, as per usual, this critic's annual list features 100 entries in order to honor as many of the best offerings as possible. And despite the cloud of controversy swirling around Kathryn's Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty for its depiction of torture and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained for its violence and use of the N-word, both of these movies are nevertheless deserving of high accolades in my humble opinion.

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10 Best Big Budget Films

1. Zero Dark Thirty

2. Silver Linings Playbook

3. Django Unchained

4. Looper

5. Argo

6. Life of Pi

7. 21 Jump Street

8. Cabin in the Woods

9. Flight

10. Magic Mike

Big Budgets Honorable Mention

11. The Hunger Games

12. Skyfall

13. The Amazing Spider-Man

14. Safe House

15. The Sessions

16. Savages

17. The Avengers

18. Think Like a Man

19. Hitchcock

20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

21. Mirror Mirror

22. Anna Karenina

23. Lincoln

24. Sparkle

25. Promised Land

10 Best Foreign Films

1. Amour (France)

2. Turn Me on, Dammit! (Norway)

3. Nobody Else but You (France)

4. Let the Bullets Fly (China)

5. The Other Son (Israel)

6. Putin's Kiss (Russia)

7. Sound of Noise (Germany)

8. Attenberg (Greece)

9. I Wish (Japan)

10. The Fairy (Belgium)

Foreign Films Honorable Mention

11. The Well Digger's Daughter (France)

12. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Japan)

13. Ikland (Uganda)

14. Elles (France)

15. Simon and the Oaks (Sweden)

16. The Intouchables (France)

17. Unforgivable (Italy)

18. Dolphin Boy

19. Oslo, August 31st (Norway)

20. A Royal Affair (Denmark)

21. Busong (Philippines)

22. Gerhard Richter Painting (Germany)

23. Somewhere Between (China)

24. Crazy Horse (France)

25. 360 (Brazil)

10 Best Independent Films

1. Beasts of the Southern Wild

2. The Deep Blue Sea

3. Quartet

4. Take This Waltz

5. Middle of Nowhere

6. Safety Not Guaranteed

7. Compliance

8. Restless City

9. Goon

10. Changing the Game

Independent Films Honorable Mention

11. God Bless America

12. Ginger & Rosa

13. Yelling to the Sky

14. Nobody Walks

15. V/H/S

16. Tim & Eric's Billion-Dollar Movie

17. Model Minority

18. The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best

19. 28 Hotel Rooms

20. Velvet Elvis

21. Deadfall

22. Mosquita & Mari

23. Happy New Year

24. 96 Minutes

25. Jack & Diane

10 Best Documentaries

1. The Central Park Five

2. Head Games

3. Chasing Ice

4. Bully

5. The Loving Story

6. The Queen of Versailles

7. Hoodwinked

8. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

9. 65_RedRoses

10. Heist

Documentaries Honorable Mention

11. Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story

12. The Revisionaires

13. Six Million and One

14. Marley

15. High Ground

16. Bonsai People

17. Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story

18. Soul Food Junkies

19. Brooklyn Castle

20. Chimpanzee

21. Detropia

22. Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment

23. Never Stand Still

24. 5 Broken Cameras

25. Samsara

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

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