01. Amour
02. Beasts of the Southern Wild
03. Life of Pi
04. Anna Karenina
05. The Dark Knight Rises
06. Zero Dark Thirty
07. Dark Horse
08. Dragon
09. Frankenweenie
10. Invisible War

Top Ten performances after the cut.

10. Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
09. Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
08.Vanessa Paradis. Cafe de Flore
07. Denzel Washington, Flight
06. Denis Lavant, Holy Motors
05. Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe
04. Rachel Weisz, Deep Blue Sea
03. Clarke Peters, Red Hook Summer
02. Quvenzhané Wallis
01. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva as Georges and Anne in Amour


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  • moviewatcher

    Sasha, are you gonna post a top 10? Or a 10 best list with no ranking? I’d love to see it.

  • Wellington

    Jesus… Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in “Silver Linings” is the most overrated performance by an actress since Cher in Moonstruck!

  • Heath87

    Wow! He clearly hated Lincoln!!

  • LSUduck

    Yeah Heath87….so much he included TLJ’s performance as one of his top 10…

  • Rg

    Where the heck is Daniel day Lewis? Joaquin Phoenix and Hugh jackman?

  • Casey

    Super happy for Todd solondz’ DARK HORSE

  • Casey

    And happy for Dennis levant, the most dedicated performance of the year imo

  • riczhang

    This is such a classy and brilliant list, very well done.

  • Kane

    I haven’t seen a handful of those films, and not to sound snobby, but was Frankenweenie really THAT good? I do want to see it but the trailers didn’t give me that much of an impression.

  • Josh

    How does he usually stack up with best pic noms? From his list, looks like two (Life of Pi and ZDT) are the only ones likely to be up for best pic.

    No Lincoln. No Les Miz. No Argo. Interesting

  • mileshigh

    Wellington, I loved Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings, but I actually laughed out loud with that comment.

    ummm…where’s DDL for “Lincoln?”

    Yay for “Invisible War”

  • rodrigojp

    DDL snubbed =0

  • Silencio

    YES for MM in Killer Joe! So good!

  • vv

    Very happy to see Vanessa Paradis get some recognition for her work in Café de Flore.

  • Strong list of movies. Stronger list of performances. Very diverse. It’s an anti-herd set of selections. Bravo!

  • evelyn garver

    Keep in mind that Corliss has over the years dismissed both box office smashes like TITANIC, which he described as “dead in the water” [look it up] and groundbreaking cinema like THERE WILL BE BLOOD. He is, to coin a phrase, all over the place.

  • It that the Todd Solondz DARK HORSE? Ugh, I hated that. And what is this DRAGON? Never heard of it. A blah top ten.

  • mecid

    And Time’s worst movies of the year.

    1. Cloud Atlas
    2. John Carter
    3. Hyde Park on Hudson
    4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
    5. This Means War
    6. The Lorax
    7. Alex Cross
    8. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
    9. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
    10.One for the Money

  • I DO like the inclusion of FRANKENWEENIE (Burton’s very best film since ED WOOD), AMOUR, BEASTS, and especially THE INVISIBLE WAR, which I see as an incredibly important documentary. So maybe it isn’t such a blah list
    after all…I don’t mind the exclusion of LINCOLN because, though I respect it and won’t mind a bit if it’s deemed Best Picture, I found it a bit dull, and not exactly the movie I wanted. It should have retained the title TEAM OF RIVALS, because it’s really not about Lincoln the man.

  • CLOUD ATLAS being chosen the worst movie of the year is a grievous insult, and totally injust, especiallly when you consider that VHS and SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED were in the running. Even if you didn’t like the movie, surely you could see its craft and ambition. That’s just meanness, there.

  • mecid

    Yeah, Dean. It shows these lists are mostly random. It is clear there are a lot of worse films than Cloud Atlas.

  • Putting CLOUD ATLAS at the top of the list just seems like a hit job to me, quite frankly.

  • matt

    Interesting that Dragon sneaks its way into the top 10!

  • CCA

    It’s great that Rachel Weisz’s name keeps appearing after her surprising win yesterday in New York. I loved her performance and I would love to see her in the final five at the Oscars.

  • SeattleMoviegoer

    ANNA KARENINA huh? well, i saw it last night and even tho i appreciated the swirling, colorful, theatrical artifice of the design, i found it ultimately distracting from the story. i still like the Vivien Leigh/Ralph Richardson version better.

  • d2

    “Keep in mind that Corliss has over the years dismissed both box office smashes like TITANIC, which he described as “dead in the water” [look it up] and groundbreaking cinema like THERE WILL BE BLOOD. He is, to coin a phrase, all over the place”

    Just because he doesn’t appear to have liked Lincoln all that much doesn’t mean you have to try and discredit him. That’s what’s wrong with all your historical snobs.

  • Yashar

    Yay for Beasts, Invisible War and TDKR, boo for nothing and WTF at Dark Horse.

  • PigsnieLite

    I’m glad it wasn’t just me who was bored by LINCOLN. Huzzah for LIFE OF PI. I have no problem with AMOUR being Corliss’ top pick. That movie was extremely moving.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Surprisingly dark list. Like 30 percent dark.

  • Nic Cage

    This is the same guy that put Fast Five on his list last year.

    Also, I’ll just put this here. I’m ready for the TDKR fanboys and girls that dominate these comments to flip out about “nitpicking”.

  • danemychal

    Dean Treadway: Don’t go into marketing; you give people too much credit. If the name was “Team of Rivals” and not “Lincoln”, it would be boasting about $50 million less at the box office, as general public wouldn’t know what the heck the movie was about at all. I think the movie focused on “Lincoln” quite enough to justify its title. It certainly highlighted his greatest accomplishment — the reason we still celebrate him today.

  • Broadwayjayb

    I’m Confused No Anne Hathaway Or Hugh? Or Les Miz! Something Is Going On! Fishy ?

  • Reno

    I thought TIME declared Daniel Day Lewis as the world’s greatest actor. What happened here?

  • Gustavo Cruz

    Am I the only one who is starting to see a real chance for Emmanuelle Rive to actually WIN the Oscar? I see her as a huge contender for the Golden Globes – she’s foreign and loved and overdue and there isn’t a strong competition for her. IF she wins the Globe and is there to get up to the stage and deliver a speech, she will go on to win the Oscar. Anyone agree?

  • Evan

    I’ve seen five of the ten films on this list, and left four of them thinking, “meh.”

  • evelyn garver

    D2, it’s not the Lincoln snub that makes me question Corliss;it’s reading his reviews for over 25 years.

  • Filipe Mourão

    Though the acting list seems unexpected here and there, I’m very amused that someone like him thinks The Dark Knight Rises is one of the 5 best films of the year. Nice.

  • Danemychal: I would never go into the marketing game, even if I were good at it. It would be like asking me to suck my soul out of my being. Marketing and its minions–like focus groups and exit ballots–are the worst things to happen to films. Only the internet, as a whole, need apply. But I hope the latter will eventually get a grip. By the way–wouldn’t it be great if there were MORE Lincoln movies? I mean, we’ve had 8 Harry Potters and 6 Twilights and soon to be 6 Tolikens? Why not one or two more Lincolns? Even Daniel Day-Lewis has said he is sad to say goodbye to the character. Why couldn’t we see more?

  • Casey

    Hey! V/h/s was fun

  • steve50

    Well, I was enjoying this post until I saw the “worst” list.

    I agree that putting Cloud Atlas there is an insult and negates whatever good choices he made elsewhere. He could have made his editorial point by just omitting it altogether, like he did to the obviously terrific work of DDL and Phoenix.

    Wait until he sees the list of worst magazines for 2012. What a dick.

  • I’m ready for the TDKR fanboys and girls that dominate these comments to flip out about “nitpicking”.

    Aw, widdle Nic Cage forgot my name. Anyhoo, lol, I love Red Letter Media. Honest trailers are pretty funny too. I think I’ve watched all of them. They’re meant to be a joke. Humor. It’s great. I love to rip on movies that I like in the right place and time. This ain’t it though. 😛

    Speaking of TIME, putting CLOUD ATLAS as worst movie of any year is just a dick move. Is there an explanation? Oh let me guess, fake outrage over fake racism.

  • charlotte

    I agree with his performance list …I loved Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook (damn, Lawrence is getting awesome reviews for her performance…good for her!) so, yay!. The worst list is, well, yikes…poor Cloud Atlas (LOL!).

  • Weird to me that Frankenweenie keeps netting these honors; it’s far from Burton’s best work, and it seems most of the praise is based on
    1) that it’s much better than Burton’s recent stuff
    2) that it’s fucking gorgeous.

    Also, baffled by Dark Horse’s inclusion.

  • Zetto M.

    Likin the lovin for Nolan’s DKR! Best picture plz.?

  • numil

    No Daniel Day-Lewis?!!!!!!! Give! Me! A! Break! Just lost all my respect for Richard Corliss

  • Exactly, Numuil. Seems like a strange omission to me. How could you not include Daniel Day-Lewis in the mix? Could this be a Warner Brother-led assassination?

  • g

    Wow! Cloud atlas on their worst list! Terrible! It was so good and there were so many other bad films this year they could of put on that list! Wtf!

  • zazou

    Gee and I thought Corliss had retired,well too bad,he’s still around disturbing the ether.

  • Christopher

    I’m okay with someone having a difference of opinion on a film, even if it’s a film as well done and epic as Lincoln-but anyone who leaves DDL off of a best performance of the year list this year-they need to lose their job because they have perception problems.

  • Matt O’Callaghan

    Holy Motors is what happens when Luis Bunuel skull fucks David Lynch!

    Hooray, Denis Lavant.

  • Sato

    There you go Anna Karenina and Frankenweenie… Too bad Argo didn’t make it…

  • Daveylow

    There are hundreds of movie to choose from, why not have something different on the top 10 list? On mine would be The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which isn’t even in the Oscar conversation.

  • Jasper

    I like how everyone is up in arms over what he did and didn’t include. I know in my top 10 a couple of unpopular choices and in my bottom 10 is at least one beloved film. If people want a generic Best Of list, wait until the Academy announces.

  • murtaza

    Cafe de Flore deserves more recognition, that movie mesmerized me… One of the best this year, definitely on my top ten list.

  • PaulH

    Cloud Atlas…did it even have a plot? If you need a five-minute trailer to explain the plot in the first place, maybe your movie isn’t exactly starting from a position of strength.

  • rufussondheim

    Cloud Atlas has six fucking plots so you can shove that in The Avengers’ collective asses.

  • Lars

    Hey Wellington, don’t you dare link Lawrence’s performance to Cher’s in “Moonstruck” (rewatch the opera scene)!! lol

    I saw “Silver Linings” yesterday, and I was more impressed with Cooper than Lawrence. I love the lists of Corliss, but no DDL? I can understand the omission of Phoenix because a lot of people think he’s over-acting (not me), so his performance is bound to be divisive (so does the film). But I love the inclusion of Tommy Lee Jones and Denis Lavant.

  • Cloud Atlas has six fucking plots so you can shove that in The Avengers’ collective asses.

    lololololololol XD

    It’s getting to be that time of year. I was in Wendy’s telling my mom the story of TIME’s worst movie of the year and I was getting all flabbergasted using my hands like I was conducting an orchestra. Everything’s gonna be fighting words. It’s on!

  • moviewatcher

    Yes, CLoud Atlas has a plot/theme that can’t be summed up in two sentences. That’s something that should be applauded! They’ve made a complex movie with a complex premise.

  • steve50

    I’m in there with you on Cloud Atlas. If someone didn’t “get it”, that’s fine, but to put a complex and well-made film on a “worst” list shows some other psychological issue with the reviewer.

    I’m going through the worst reviews, collecting some of the worst bits (with names), then turning it into a dart board.

  • So glad to see some love for Anna Karenina, McConaughey in Killer Joe and Dennis Lavant in Holy Motors. Artistry that’s left trampled by the stampede like Mufasa in The Lion King, whereas they would be serious threats in an ideal world.

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