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Roger Ebert Names 'Argo' As The Best Movie Of 2012

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 27, 2012 6:16 PM
  • |
Argo, Affleck

While there have been many, many 2012 lists and recaps, the year isn't over until Roger Ebert weighs in with his favorites, and today he's done so, dropping his list of the best movies he saw in 2012. And as usual, it's a mix of more popular choices, with some love shown to smaller, foreign films that might not get the shine otherwise.

Ben Affleck's "Argo" got the top shelf slot from Roger, with auteurs generally ruling the roost, with Ang Lee, Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis all getting their films onto the top ten. Indie faves "Arbitrage," "The Sessions" and "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" also ranked, but what will stand out most are the ninth and tenth slots. Joachim Trier's patient and melancholy "Oslo, August 31" gets some love from Ebert, as does "A Simple Life," the film by Ann Hui that is Hong Kong's official selection for the Oscars this year. It didn't make the shortlist, but consider its profile raised considerably. And yes, he saw "Zero Dark Thirty," but he didn't fall in with the rest of the critics who put it at the top of their list.

Here's Roger's ten movies below, but hit his blog to get this thoughts on all of them. And our best wishes to Roger for a full recovery after recently suffering a hip fracture.

Roger Ebert's Top Movies Of 2012

1. Argo
2. Life Of Pi
3. Lincoln
4. End Of Watch
5. Arbitrage
6. Flight
7. The Sessions
8. Beasts Of The Southern Wild
9. Oslo, August 31
10. A Simple Life

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  • jingmei | December 30, 2012 3:27 AMReply

    By all means, Chris Terrio is awesome. Always haven't seen The Sessions.

  • Quana | December 28, 2012 9:54 AMReply

    Argo was solid. Stop bitching

  • Mohammed | December 28, 2012 6:20 AMReply

    Argo IS the best american movie of the year. But as a norwegian I have to disagree on Oslo, Auagust 31st. It's perhaps one of the worst movies of the year. Unless you think rich and educated young men with no visible problem at all, who have had drug addiction and now wants to kill himself is of interest.

    The only american-based director who competes with Affleck in the last five years is Nolan, and since he isn't competing the only reason anyone would consider another director is 1) It's a woman , or 2) It's Spielberg. The only one who can compete with that is a movie about someone homosexual or jew surviving the Nazis.

    The BEST movie of the year is Once Upon A Time In Anatolia. But it'll not be nominated, just as A Separation wasn't nominated last year even though it WAS the best movie of the year.

  • Brad | December 28, 2012 11:08 AM

    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia can only be the best film of the year in a world where Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is the ONLY film that's been released.

  • hank | December 28, 2012 3:47 AMReply

    who's Roger Ebert? Never heard of him. If it's not Gabe Toro I don't read it.

  • Mohammed | December 28, 2012 6:08 AM

    Bigelow, is that you ?

  • Alan | December 28, 2012 5:40 AM

    And if it's not Gabe Toro telling me about Michael Fassbender's love life, then I won't read Toro, either.

  • d | December 28, 2012 1:38 AMReply

    @Bwaters, Glass, Sarah, Daschel, etc: He has his opinions, you have yours. No need to be snobs about it.

  • DG | December 28, 2012 1:25 AMReply

    Argo is by no means a bad movie but was very overrated upon release. The notion that it's some sort of super smart antithesis to franchise programming has always been a stretch. It was a highly enjoyable popcorn thriller and yes the directing was great but it's not a game-changer and definitely not best of the year material. Eberts entitled to his list though.

  • juandoe | December 28, 2012 1:23 AMReply

    Here's a comment I posted on a "directors' roundtable" piece featuring Mr. Affleck on Deadline---a comment they were peculiarly quick to delete:

    The film reflects the level of craftsmanship and competence expected of any comfortably-made production such as this. Given the phenomenal premise/ real-life case it is based on, it would've been difficult to mess up the screenplay. But, more important, speaking of the real-life case, did Mr. Affleck have to grab the leading role? Would it have been so detrimental to the production had the casting been faithful to history? Scoff if you will (the issue seems old to many, I know), but the fact that this extremely rare showcase of a Latino man--capable and initiative-taking, genuinely heroic--had to be represented by someone with the ethnic traits of a Mr. Affleck in thi day and age deserves attention. Sure, it's a juicy role one can't blame him as an actor for wanting. But, come on, it's a historical film. A film Mr. Affleck got the benefits of producing and directing. Growing a beard doesn't cover it. Not at a time of scarce work like we're facing. Not with a role that could've inspired many youngsters with a real hero they could identify with.

    By the way, I am not a Latino actor.

  • BEF | December 28, 2012 12:50 AMReply

    Wow, there's some vitriol in these comments. It's his list and it'll look close to Oscar, so get used to it. Great to see Oslo love.

  • Daschel D. | December 28, 2012 12:06 AMReply

    It's strange how he is so quickly and drastically losing touch.

  • Sarah | December 27, 2012 10:59 PMReply

    Easily the most pathetic top 10 list I've seen.

  • Sam T Man | December 27, 2012 9:42 PMReply

    End of Watch and thats it. Life of Pi is a very lovely looking but I was hardly moved. However the lead actor should nominated for some award. He was excellent. Ebert always throws a few independents in there to make himself sound credible.

  • Anonymouse | December 27, 2012 8:37 PMReply

    Oslo and Beasts are the only two I'd put on my top 10 list. oh, and the first 25 minutes of Flight, which was very tight filmmaking, before it regresses to a morality tale and not a good one at that. to each his own, i guess.

  • Caleb | December 27, 2012 6:39 PMReply

    Argo was pretty bad. Every character but Affleck's was laughably one-dimensional /underdeveloped. Affleck gets every single last good shot in the movie, and zero positive Iranian characters except the boring house-cleaner whose virtue is defined by her simple silence. It's not completely culturally insensitive, but it's an ego parade. It's insensitive to the other actors involved. Boring, by the numbers and largely unexceptional. Perfect for awards buzz. It's best line is repeated ad-nauseum. Argo-fuck-yourself indeed. Gone Baby Gone was surprisingly good because it was Affleck. The Town was a vanity piece with a flacid saccharine ending and Argo is no better. He's got the beard but stop heralding Affleck's moderate success as the second coming. His movies are ok.

  • Nonsense | December 28, 2012 12:59 AM

    Caleb & Gen Kill, I agree Ben Affleck is very overrated-even though I loved The Town. Ben is a competent director-not a great one, and Hollyweird is giving him brownie points because he his a actor that directs. It is similar to Robert Redford ( Ordinary People) winning the Best Director Oscar over Martin Scorsese ( Raging Bull) . I wouldn't be surprised if Affleck wins the Best Director Oscar, because his publicists are working overtime to promote his actor/director title the box-office success of Argo. P.S. Ben is one of the most consistently bland actors on the planet- his acting in Argo barely had a pulse.

  • Gen Kill | December 27, 2012 7:26 PM

    It's like he gets handicap points for being a person we all thought was a total moron, but turns out he makes competent movies. They're mediocre at heart, but critics and bloggers are so surprised he's able to do anything beyond get dumped by JLo that he's all of a sudden participating in directors roundtables with great filmmakers like David Fincher and the Coen brothers.

  • Glass | December 27, 2012 6:32 PMReply

    Oh my God this list is really terrible. The one I agree on is Life of Pi.

  • MalickFanBoy | December 28, 2012 1:46 PM

    Life of Pi? It was pretty to look at. But the way it was told was horrible...

  • bwaters | December 27, 2012 6:28 PMReply

    If it's manipulative garbage, Ebert's the first in line.

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