50 Best New-to-Me Viewings of 2012

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Below, in alphabetical order, are 50 of the most pleasurable moviegoing experiences I had this year. (Roughly 1/10 of my total viewing made visible—like an iceberg.) They include three 2011 masterpieces I finally caught up with; some fantastic silents and documentaries; and plenty of canon classics I’ve enthusiastically crossed off my “must-see” list. More than a few of these movies will turn up on future “best ever” lists I might construct. So will the performances in them, by the likes of Vivien Leigh and Gary Cooper, David Thewlis and Samantha Morton (x2!), Tilda Swinton and Klaus Kinski and Mark Ruffalo. These are the movies that really worked for me this year.

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974) · Antichrist (2009) · An Autumn Afternoon (1962) · Blue (1993) · Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1938) · Cemetery Man (1994) · La ciénaga (2001) · Daisies (1966) · Days of Being Wild (1990) · Demon Seed (1977) · Desperate Living (1977) · The Devil, Probably (1977) · Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922) · The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) · Fitzcarraldo (1982) · Heroes for Sale (1933) · Hour of the Wolf (1968) · House of Pleasures (2011) · Hud (1963) · In Bruges (2008) · Isle of the Dead (1945) · Julia (2008) · Kes (1969) · Man of the West (1957) · Margaret (2011) · Morvern Callar (2002) · My Son John (1952) · Naked (1993) · Nothing Sacred (1937) · Observe and Report (2009) · Pennies from Heaven (1981) · The Phantom Carriage (1921) · The Reckless Moment (1949) · The Red and the White (1967) · Rocco and His Brothers (1960) · A Separation (2011) · Shortbus (2006) · The Spanish Prisoner (1997) · Starship Troopers (1997) · Stop Making Sense (1985) · Suicide Club (2002) · The Sweatbox (2002) · Sweet and Lowdown (1999) · Tales from the Crypt (1972) · They Live by Night (1949) · The Thin Blue Line (1988) · Twitch of the Death Nerve (1972) · The Warriors (1979) · Waterloo Bridge (1940) · You Can Count on Me (2000)

[NB: This list consists exclusively of pre-2012 films; I’ll have a list of my favorites from this year up next week.]

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