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The 2012 Movie Rankings: Jack Reacher, This Is 40, and Django Unchained come to play

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.

All the elite veterans come to play on one of the final release weekends of 2012. Tom Cruise, Quentin Tarantino, and Judd Apatow and friends execute what they do best. Meanwhile, the alternate Hitchcock from HBO Films, The Girl, runs well with the big boys.

***Being a voting member of one of the accredited film critic associations recognized by the studios for year-end awards, a ton of “For Your Consideration” screeners will be viewed up until Christmas time; all vying for award nods/momentum heading into the 84th Academy Awards***

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

1. Chronicle
2. Moonrise Kingdom
3. The Dark Knight Rises
4. Side by Side
5. The Cabin in the Woods
6. Lincoln
7. ParaNorman
8. Argo
9. Looper
10. Game Change
11. Skyfall
12. Django Unchained
13. Zero Dark Thirty
14. The Intouchables
15. The Imposter
16. Red Hook Summer
17. The Avengers
18. The Secret World of Arriety
19. The Grey
20. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
21. Friends with Kids
22. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
23. The Raid: Redemption
24. Hitchcock
25. Holy Motors
26. Flight
27. Arbitrage
28. Samsara
29. Marley
30. Bad 25
31. The Odd Life of Timothy Green
32. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
33. 28 Hotel Rooms
34. Red Tails
35. Big Miracle
36. Think Like a Man
37. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
38. Brake
39. This Must Be the Place
40. Robot and Frank
41. Amour
42. Hope Springs
43. Rock of Ages
44. The Sessions
45. A Late Quartet
46. Wreck-It Ralph
47. Silver Linings Playbook
48. HeadHunters
49. Hemingway and Gellhorn
50. Mirror Mirror
51. Head Games
52. People Like Us
53. The Invisible War
54. Rise of the Guardians
55. Magic Mike
56. Total Recall (2012)
57. House of Ghosts
58. Quartet
59. The Campaign
60. Ted
61. Celeste and Jesse Forever
62. V/H/S
63. Pitch Perfect
64. Snow White and the Huntsman
65. Shut Up and Play the Hits
66. The Words
67. Smashed
68. Safety Not Guaranteed
69. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
70. The Girl
71. Jack Reacher
72. 21 Jump Street
73. The Master
74. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
75. This Is 40
76. Les Miserables
77. The House I Live In
78. The Central Park Five
79. Playing for Keeps
80. Sinister
81. This Means War
82. Citadel
83. Life of Pi
84. Lay the Favorite
85. Goon
86. Beasts of the Southern Wild
87. God Bless America
88. The Three Stooges
89. Gone
90. Dino Time
91. Ginger & Rosa
92. Resident Evil: Retribution
93. The Queen of Versailles
94. The Amazing Spider-Man
95. Blue Like Jazz
96. For a Good Time, Call…
97. Frankenweenie
98. Ruby Sparks
99. American Reunion
100. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
101. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
102. Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best
103. Katy Perry: Part of Me
104. Let Fury Have the Hour
105. Butter
106. Price Check
107. The Expendables 2
108. Let the Bullets Fly
109. Ice Age: Continental Drift
110. Juan of the Dead
111. Prometheus
112. Hysteria
113. Cloud Atlas
114. The Dictator
115. Chasing Mavericks
116. Hello I Must Be Going Now
117. The Deep Blue Sea
118. Safe
119. Searching for Sonny
120. Only the Young
121. The Man with the Iron Fists
122. End of Watch
123. Brave
124. Lawless
125. The Hunger Games
126. John Carter
127. Hyde Park on Hudson
128. Wrath of the Titans
129. Dead Dad
130. Ingenious
131. Underworld: Awakening
132. The Devil Inside
133. The Possession
134. The Collection
135. Wuthering Heights
136. The Other Son
137. Dredd 3D
138. Seven Psychopaths
139. Premium Rush
140. Deadfall
141. Father’s Day
142. Livid
143. The Five-Year Engagement
144. Downtown Express
145. Dragon
146. Sparkle
147. Savages
148. Sound of My Voice
149. Project X
150. Men in Black 3
151. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D
152. Anna Karenina
153. Paranormal Activity 4
154. The Tall Man
155. Hit and Run
156. Hotel Transylvania
157. Piranha 3DD
158. Dark Shadows
159. The Raven
160. The Bourne Legacy
161. [Rec] 3 Genesis
162. Silent House
163. The Guilt Trip
164. LUV
165. Won’t Back Down
166. That’s My Boy
167. Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
168. Darling Companion
169. Bully
170. Union Square
171. Here Comes the Boom
172. The Watch
173. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
174. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
175. Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding
176. Trouble with the Curve
177. Lockout
178. Fun Size
179. The Woman in Black
180. Little Red Wagon
181. The Vow
182. Man on a Ledge
183. Step Up Revolution
184. Extraterrestrial
185. The Lucky One
186. Red Dawn (2012)
187. Contraband
188. The Samaritan
189. Act of Valor
190. 4:44 Last Day on Earth
191. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
192. Safe House
193. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
194. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2
195. To Rome with Love
196. The Apparition
197. House at the End of the Street
198. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
199. Taken 2
200. Why Stop Now
201. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
202. Kill List
203. Chernobyl Diaries
204. Haywire
205. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection
206. A Thousand Words
207. Tchoupitoulas
208. Jack & Diane
209. Alex Cross
210. Joyful Noise
211. Battleship
212. Wanderlust
213. The Innkeepers
214. Barricade

Not Screened: One for the Money, Casa De Mi Padre, Chimpanzee, High School, Nitro Circus 3D, Cosmopolis, Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure, The Cold Light of Day, Killing Them Softly, Save the Date, Bernie, Killer Joe, and a stack of Magnolia Pictures screeners

REVIEWS/NEW ARRIVALS (click on title for full write-up and/or info):


It moves in a methodical fashion and has the ability to turn-it up when necessary. Some of the “play-calling” during this extended investigation is questionable, but the thorough script and solid performance from Tom Cruise carry this to a respectable victory.


Overall, this sucker is vintage Tarantino. For those needing a cinematic comparison, it’s not as sharp and layered as Inglourious Basterds, but it beats the hell out of the True Grit remake – another cinematic western.


The chronicle is yet another glimpse into the life of famed director Alfred Hitchcock. While the theatrical release (Hitchcock) pulled back the curtain on the “Master of Suspense” as he brought 1960’s Psycho to life, this telling focuses on his two flicks after the box office juggernaut in The Birds and Marnie. At the center of it all is Hitch’s (Toby Jones) obsession with his new leading lady Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller). The audience first sees the trials and tribulations of The Birds production, which is quite stimulating and revealing, but then the script seemingly repeats itself as the Marnie production goes through the same motions, yet in a choppy manner. That said, any film buff will be more than interested in this and the performances from Jones and Miller are creepily fantastic.

Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained

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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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