• Anna Karenina

    Style over substance as its best. Loved it. With its bold visual and musical floating style in recent memory only comparable to Tsui Hark’s “Peking Opera Blues” and Park Chan Wook’s “Oldboy” (4.5 stars)
  • Hitchcock

    “Hitchcock” misses the point for “insightful retrospection”, why Psycho
    was the final end of a decade – Janet Leigh as the last standing huge female lead of the 40ies – and dabbles at why it was the beginning of a new one, but is historical accurate and charming. (2.5 stars)
  • This Must Be The Place

    One of my favorite directors Paolo Sorrentini clearly overdid it with
    his last and by far worst film. Only sometimes his qualities of intensive
    visual cynicism shines through. You need to know at least “Un Amico d’famiglia” to appreciate this one. (2 stars)
  • Smashed

    Smashed (2012)
    Mary Elizabeth Winstead already had her breakthrough role in the unsuccessful and mismarketed “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” (2010), but this is her masterpiece as alcoholic teacher. “Flight” is the other highly successful film this month/year about alcoholism, and while both are not comparable at all, the one a small and direct portrait, the other a big drama, both achieve excellence. This remembers to me to last years outstanding psycho dramas “Taking Shelter” and “Martha Marcy Mary Marlene”. This does not happen that often. (4.5 stars)
  • Arbitrage

    Arbitrage (2012)
    I was highly sceptical about another type-casted Richard Gere as cynical hedge-fund villain. Yet another easy “bad wall street” movie. Well, it was entertaining at least. It had the rising indie star Brit Marling (Sound of my voice, Another world) in her first main stream film. (2 stars)
  • Sister

    Sister (2012)
    Ursula Maier’s second and successful film, this time a predictable story about a young crook in the alps and the beautiful Lea Sedoux as her sister. First you want to kill him, then you begin to understand him.
    Watchable for Sedoux and the french alps. (2 stars)
  • Killing Them Softly

    Dominik (Chopper, Assisination of Jesse James) certainly loves his Tarrantino/Mean Streets, but only has fun with the political undertone and musical selection. It convinces in the love for the detail. But also looses itself herein. Well, I loved it. (3.5 stars)
  • Life of Pi

    Life of Pi (2012)
    I was initially skeptical, because I love the book and I thought any film cannot do better. But apparently Ang Lee can. And he even brought Yann Martel in. The camera is just outstanding. Thanks god Shayalaman was pulled. If you don’t know the story: It talks a lot about the finding god. Don’t be too much offended. If you’re atheist you can easily ignore all the god talk. (5 stars)
  • Jab Tak Hai Jaan

    Besides the topic and the main figures, Yosh Chopra is unfortunately not a Mani Ratnam, Anushka Sharma is no Mathuri Dixit, and Katrina Kaif is by far no Manisha Koirala, not even an actress. But still one of the best Bollywood films this year. (2 stars)
  • Skyfall

    Skyfall (2012)
    Besides the radical right-wing rhetoric (which was always a problem in the original Fleming books, but still charming then), clearly the best Bond so far, a big surprise hit for Sam Mendes. But I give all the credits to the writers and the camera crew. (3 stars)
  • Lincoln

    Lincoln (2012)
    Watchable whenever Mrs Lincoln is not on the screen, but nevertheless a monstrous “War Horse”-like Kitsch opera, even with Daniel Day Lewis. The title is misleading as only portrays the finals of the Abolition movement in the US congress, with some famous war scenes interluded. “Politics is a dirty business” How fresh. But why did the southern states secede as soon as our hero became president? Not explained here. Nothing of his famous dialogues. No background for the slavery topic, not to displease US audiences. But I expected nothing from Spielberg and was warned. (1 star)
  • The Flat

    The Flat (2012)
    A real-life story as in the movies. Note that Wikipedia censored the US involvement with Mildenstein, then CIA officer working as Coca Cola press officer, until the public Eichmann trial ended that episode. (3.5 stars)
  • Flight

    Flight (2012)
    Flight had by far the best trailer of the season, and the best of all I can remember at all. The story even goes beyond the trailer catch, and I admire the dramatic bravura to picture such a dreadful experience.
    It is also the first good Denzel Washington movie since years. (4.5 stars)
  • A Late Quartet

    Stereotype artists drama with high profile actors and ridiculous plotpoints.
    If they would at least could play according to their roles. For such a difficult string quartet I would expect that at least the hired orchestra would be top notch. It hurt my ears. (0.5 star for the blonde beauty).
  • Silver Linings Playbook

    This is a winner. Two crazies against themselves and everyone else. A triumph for everybody. (5 stars)
  • Hyde Park on Hudson

    I enjoyed the Rockefeller story a bit more than the “Lincoln” story this year. Still, what a mess of a story. (2 stars)
  • The Sessions

    Hawkes and Macy are finally allowed to play against their types, which makes most of the fun in this movie. The rest, esp. Hunt, is a turndown if you unfairly compare it to “Mar a dentro” or “Le Scaphandre et le Papillon”. It’s still a Hollywood studio production. (2.5 stars)
  • Accurate portrait of the importance of music for a teenager in the 70-ies. A typical 70-ies mess of a story, but in those times it made sense. Life can be more than a good story line. I especially liked the fadening away at the end, like in a good road movie. (2.5 stars)
  • So, James Marsh can also do features. IRA movies are a bit tiring, but this one was fresher than most. Esp. the female lead. (3 stars)
  • End of Watch

    End of Watch (2012)
    A visually interesting mix of old-style cop buddy movie out there in the dangerous
    wild, with a gonzo first-person camera, which thankfully is not according to
    the dogma rules 100% consistent. (2.5 stars)
  • Seven Psychopaths

    The only real cult movie of the year. (4 stars)
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