From The Washington Post

  1. “Zero Dark Thirty” Kathryn Bigelow’s taut thriller about the hunt for Osama bin Laden exemplifies the Oscar-winning director at the top of her game, working with a script by Mark Boal that not only allows viewers to make sense of the complicated intelligence, military and foreign policy issues that have animated the past decade, but also creates a brand-new cinematic genre: the reported film.
  2. “Lincoln” Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s historical drama about the 16th president leaves behind fusty, great-man portraiture, instead engaging in a lively game of political cat and mouse that bears uncanny contemporary echoes and leaves viewers feeling as if they’ve just spent two hours with the shrewd, funny, melancholy — and yes, great — man himself.
  3. “The Waiting Room” 
  4. “Monsieur Lazhar” 
  5. “Middle of Nowhere” Ava DuVernay’s finely calibrated drama about a woman navigating life while her husband is in prison featured a breakout performance by lead actress Emayatzy Corinealdi; its unforced, restrained tone was enhanced by the expressive cinematography of Howard University alumnus Bradford Young, who also shot two 2012 10-best runners-up, “Restless City” and “Pariah.”
  6. “This Is Not a Film”
  7. “Argo” 
  8. “Margaret”
  9. “Anna Karenina”
  10. “Amour”
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  • Julian Walker


  • Kane

    Alright, Lahzar! I remember being at last year’s Sundance and right after the movie ended the director got on stage and said, “I just found out that our film is being considered for a Foreign Language Filn Oscar…we’ll know by tomorrow!” And it got the nomination 🙂

  • Jack Traven II

    Speaking of Top 10’s, but somehow still off topic. Momentarily I can’t get enough of watching the announcement trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness. It looks just spectacular. And since the first film of the fresh interpretation of the Star Trek franchise received so many good reviews and was even on the radar for Oscars Top 10 (if I remember correctly) I’m so looking forward to this sequel.

  • Tory Smith

    I feel as if these Top 10 lists lose credibility when The Master is not on there. I’m sorry I just do… One of the most audacious films to come out this decade and for some reason it’s being misunderstood and ignored. It was a brilliant film, and arguably one of the shining moments that made this year one of the most interesting in a while. I find it a disservice.

  • Dylan Richards

    YAY Anna Karenina made someone’s top 10 list and also so glad to see Middle of Nowhere making some critics lists

  • g

    Yay Middle of Nowhere!

  • Chris138

    I think The Master is one of those movies that people admire more than they really like. I like the film myself, although I do think that the second half wanders a bit too much. Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman will certainly end up getting award nominations, although I think Hoffman was the better of the two.

  • DIST

    Sasha, your support for some films is quite suspicious. You should have post the plot of all the Top Ten movies, not just those that you are campaigning for. Did they pay you?

  • Mattoc

    I’m not sure when I saw Margaret, it might have been this year. And it’s definitely Top Ten material. Given the limited opportunity and some people inclination to see it – we might see it on critic top ten’s for the next 5 years.

  • Oh I know, DIST! So suspicious! Better sleep with one eye open tonight!

  • Chris138

    How ironic to see Margaret on here. I finally saw that movie last night, and I can’t understand why anyone would consider that movie to be great or even merely good. I found it to be a mess from start to finish, and a slog to get through.

  • K. Bowen

    Isn’t that two films that debuted last year (Lazhar, Margaret)? Is this a 2012 or Thereabouts list?

  • Chris138

    Margaret only had a very limited release in September of 2011, which I think was only in Los Angeles and New York. I’m from the DC area and it wasn’t released here until April of this year, so that’s why it made her 2012 list.

  • Marcelo

    Holy motors, tabu, amour!!! Really movies not war !!!!!

  • An entertaining list which doesn’t try to predict Oscar, thank the Lord.

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