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The 2012 Movie Rankings: Argo joins the year’s elite; Wanderlust is no longer the worst

Everyone waits until the year is over to compile their “Best of whatever” movie lists. This has become a mundane practice. Time for a bit of a change, kids.

Now telling you what flick has the distinct honor of ending Wanderlust’s long reign as the year’s low-light, would take the fun and excitement out of scrolling down the list. But before you do that, take a look at the upper echelon to see where Argo landed. And as for the three other newbies, well, check the capsule review section just after the rankings and then hunt those suckers down (hint: Here Comes the Boom isn’t much higher than Barricade).

The new releases for the respective week will have a capsule review at the end of the column. An updated list comes out every Monday. Here’s how things are shaking up so far in 2012:

1. Chronicle
2. The Dark Knight Rises
3. The Cabin in the Woods
4. Moonrise Kingdom
5. Side by Side
6. ParaNorman
7. Argo
8. Looper
9. Game Change
10. The Avengers
11. The Secret World of Arriety
12. Red Tails
13. The Grey
14. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
15. Friends with Kids
16. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
17. The Raid: Redemption
18. Arbitrage
19. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
20. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
21. Big Miracle
22. Think Like a Man
23. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
24. Brake
25. Robot and Frank
26. Hope Springs
27. Rock of Ages
28. HeadHunters
29. Hemingway and Gellhorn
30. Mirror Mirror
31. People Like Us
32. Magic Mike
33. Total Recall (2012)
34. House of Ghosts
35. The Campaign
36. Ted
37. Celeste and Jesse Forever
38. V/H/S
39. 21 Jump Street
40. Snow White and the Huntsman
41. Pitch Perfect
42. The Words
43. The Master
44. Sinister
45. This Means War
46. God Bless America
47. The Three Stooges
48. Gone
49. Resident Evil: Retribution
50. The Queen of Versailles
51. The Amazing Spider-Man
52. Blue Like Jazz
53. For a Good Time, Call…
54. Frankenweenie
55. Ruby Sparks
56. American Reunion
57. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
58. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
59. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
60. Katy Perry: Part of Me
61. Butter
62. The Expendables 2
63. Ice Age: Continental Drift
64. Juan of the Dead
65. Prometheus
66. Hysteria
67. The Dictator
68. Safe
69. Searching for Sonny
70. End of Watch
71. Brave
72. Lawless
73. The Hunger Games
74. John Carter
75. Wrath of the Titans
76. Dead Dad
77. Ingenious
78. Underworld: Awakening
79. The Devil Inside
80. The Possession
81. Dredd 3D
82. Seven Psychopaths
83. Premium Rush
84. Father’s Day
85. Livid
86. The Five-Year Engagement
87. Downtown Express
88. Sparkle
89. Savages
90. Sound of My Voice
91. Project X
92. Men in Black 3
93. The Tall Man
94. Hit and Run
95. Hotel Transylvania
96. Piranha 3DD
97. Dark Shadows
98. The Raven
99. The Bourne Legacy
100. [Rec] 3 Genesis
101. Silent House
102. Won’t Back Down
103. That’s My Boy
104. Darling Companion
105. Bully
106. Here Comes the Boom
107. The Watch
108. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
109. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
110. Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding
111. Trouble with the Curve
112. Lockout
113. The Woman in Black
114. The Vow
115. Man on a Ledge
116. Step Up Revolution
117. Extraterrestrial
118. The Lucky One
119. Contraband
120. The Samaritan
121. Act of Valor
122. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
123. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
124. Safe House
125. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
126. To Rome with Love
127. The Apparition
128. House at the End of the Street
129. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
130. Taken 2
131. Why Stop Now
132. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
133. Kill List
134. Chernobyl Diaries
135. Haywire
136. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
137. A Thousand Words
138. Joyful Noise
139. Battleship
140. Wanderlust
141. Barricade

Not Screened: One for the Money, Casa De Mi Padre, Chimpanzee, High School, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Nitro Circus 3D, Cosmopolis, Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure, The Cold Light of Day

REVIEWS (click on title for full write-up)


If Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and The Ring had a threesome – and somehow procreated – it would come (no pun) out Sinister. The 110 minutes has DNA strands of all those horror sluts woven into a tight, intelligent, and creepy mystery. And you know what, it is actually scary and suspenseful more times than not.


What mildly maintains your interest, and occasionally enables one to let out a chuckle, are the quick-hitting performances of Bas Rutten and Henry Winkler. These guys are engaged and spot-on in the goofiness they’re supposed to provide. And some of the time, James provides a decent backboard for the two to play-off of. But when the “trimmed” down star isn’t in the cage getting twisted or pounded by fists, the dialogue and sequences with just him are so basic and regurgitated from the genre’s past, that you’ll get KO’ed by boredom.


After two or three viewings of the numeric psychos, this probably becomes more enjoyable; mainly because one will be able to fixate on certain characters that entertain them (a.k.a. block out all the worthlessness and numb yourself to the jagged delivery). But upon first glance, the 109 minutes takes way too long to warm up.


Being an unbridled fan of the horror genre, you understand that at any given time, you could end up watching one of the worst movies ever made. And after 85 minutes, Barricade proved this theory oh so true.


Well, Ben Affleck, who stars and goes for the directing trifecta, has created a humble work of cinematic art with, Argo. Out of the 120 minutes, only about 5 of said minutes, do not warrant high praise. So let’s get the only troublesome moment out of the way, and then spend the next three or four paragraphs, kissing Mr. Affleck’s talent backside. Figuratively speaking, of course.


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Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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