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.

Now before everyone balks at the inclusion of a movie channel product, HBO creations are real movies, too! That’s why Game Change made a surprising leap into the upper-echelon of this year’s poll. And in keeping with the theme of surprises, 21 Jump Street and Jeff, Who Lives at Home also proved to be worthy editions to the cinemas thus far.

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. Game Change
5. The Secret World of Arrietty
6. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
7. Friends with Kids
8. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
9. Big Miracle
10. 21 Jump Street
11. This Means War
12. Gone
13. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
14. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
15. John Carter
16. Underworld: Awakening
17. The Devil Inside
18. Project X
19. Silent House
20. The Woman in Black
21. The Vow
22. Man on a Ledge
23. Contraband
24. Act of Valor
25. Safe House
26. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
27. Kill List
28. Haywire
29. A Thousand Words
30. Joyful Noise
31. Wanderlust

Not Screened: One for the Money, Casa De Mi Padre.

21 Jump Street

The undercover spoof on the buddy-cop genre flashes enough intelligence to get one laughing. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are a formidable comedic team and are the sole reasons (if that makes any sense) why this adaptation of the late 80s cop drama works.

Game Change

Aside from political views and whether or not the facts are exactly right, this story is interesting from the very first word. Chronicling the courtship of Sarah Palin to the Vice Presidential nomination back in 2008 under John McCain, this riveting and glamour-less telling from HBO Films is one of the better political dramas out there thanks to the brilliant performances by the entire cast.

Jeff, Who Lives at Home

A more drama than comedy, Jason Segel and Ed Helms trot through this more-or-less existential tale about paying attention to the trivial things in life, so your destiny can be realized. Some times it gets you to laugh, but the majority time it has you pondering, despite the choppy filmmaking mechanics.

Releasing this Friday: The Hunger Games

SEE RANKINGS FOR 3/12/2012

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Game Change
Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson are acting gems in Game Change

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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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