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

The 84th Academy Awards ended hours ago, and now we can all firmly focus on 2012’s slate. With four new wide releases entering theaters this past weekend, the majority of them went straight to the bottom. And Wanderlust could be there for a long time.

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

1. Chronicle
2. Red Tails
3. The Grey
4. The Secret World of Arrietty
5. Big Miracle
6. This Means War
7. Gone
8. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
9. Underworld: Awakening
10. The Devil Inside
11. The Woman in Black
12. The Vow
13. Man on a Ledge
14. Contraband
15. Act of Valor
16. Safe House
17. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
18. Kill List
19. Haywire
20. Joyful Noise
21. Wanderlust

Not Screened: One for the Money, Good Deeds (working up to it).


Amanda Seyfried has the uncanny ability to take the mediocre and make it interesting. Here she has to deal with a recycled plot as seen in such flicks like Shutter Island, and make us buy into the mystery. Not only does she elevate the script, the script really isn’t all that bad in the first place.

Act of Valor

I want real Navy SEALs starring in movies as much as I want Sam Worthington, Channing Tatum, and Taylor Kitsch fighting on the front lines in the Middle East. A few nice action sequences can’t mask the fact that even the addition of real-life Navy SEALs, this is simply an uninspired action product. Nothing more. Nothing less.


While the cast is trying, though in a misguided way, this flick is poorly handled in front and behind the lens. There’s nothing to laugh at in this insanely uneven product. Avoid like you would a raccoon during the day.

Releasing this Friday: Dr. Seuss’The Lorax, Project X

See 2/20/12 rankings

By Joe Belcastro – Member of the Florida Film Critics Circle

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Act of Valor

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By Joe Belcastro

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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