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Village Voice Names 'The Master' Best Film Of 2012, 'Cloud Atlas' The Worst Film Of 2012

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 27, 2012 4:52 PM
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The Master Cloud Atlas

Well, here's some news that will make one group of fanboys really happy, and another group of fanboys really mad. The sands in the hourglass of 2012 continue to run down, and Village Voice has dropped their list of the best and worst movies. And as always, there's plenty to discuss.

While it didn't quite ride the awards circuit the way some might have expected back in August and September, Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" is still finding love in some quarters, with the movie topping the vote among critics at New York City's alt-weekly. It leads a list of movies that you would expect to find on a best of 2012 list, perhaps leaning a bit more heavily on the arthouse side of things, hence "The Turin Horse" landing above "Lincoln."

Meanwhile, Time Magazine gets a friend in Village Voice, as they too have named The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer's "Cloud Atlas" as the worst of the year. And while most lists of this nature tend to gravitate towards easy fodder, the staff at the alt-weekly spare no one, with the beloved "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" making it in the top ten, along with other prestige-y kinds of movies like "Hyde Park On Hudson," "Hitchcock" and "On The Road" also getting a thumbs down.

Give a look at the top ten selection in each category below and hit Village Voice for even more from their 2012 roundup.

Village Voice 10 Best Movies Of 2012

The Master
Zero Dark Thirty
Holy Motors
Moonrise Kingdom
This Is Not a Film
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
The Turin Horse
The Deep Blue Sea

Village Voice 10 Worst Movies Of 2012

Cloud Atlas
God Bless America
Hyde Park on Hudson
On the Road
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Beasts of the Southern Wild
That's My Boy
Alex Cross

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  • Praveen | February 9, 2014 7:05 AMReply

    I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson movies. And I did find Cloud Atlas a slight mess but at least it was ambitious and it had some good points. I just wasn't convinced by the epicness it aimed for. THe movie was a little cold in tone considering it was trying to go for emotion at the end.

    Having said that, Moonrise Kingdom is an amalgam of all of Wes Anderson's worst excesses with the only merits to it being the technical parts. I say this as someone who has loved most of his movies. If anything ambitious and overly done that failed to hit the spot deserves a worst on the list, it is Moonrise Kingdom, not Cloud atlas. And the same people put Moonrise on the top list? At least be consistent and put both in the worst list.

  • Will | November 1, 2013 10:19 PMReply

    Anyone who thinks that cloud atlas is the worst film of 2012 clearly has either a very short attention span or is completely ignorant of the narrative complexities, philosophical enquiries and the sheer enormity and diversity of the film. Never has one film stayed with me and played on my mind for days after watching it. The score that accompanies cloud atlas is melodically poetic to the extent that it lives up to the diegetic sensationalisation and mythologisation of the piece that shares it's name with the film. I saw a quote that says the person who put this film in the worst film category should be thrown from a balcony - an event that is actually seen In the film- and I do think that would seem somewhat zealous however, I do think that they're want to reconsider their opinion and question their credibility as a film critic and this is meant with all due respect and without wanting to sound rude because technically this film has it all, it is the filmic answer to whitmans leaves of grass (this would take too long to explain here).Therefore the argument that it is the "worst" film of 2012 is very definitely intrinsically flawed and seems to be a mere presentation of an opinion without a reasoned argument present to substantiate such a claim.

  • JT | October 31, 2013 8:54 PMReply

    Getting ready to watch Atlas again. Been on my mind since i watched it for first time earlier today. Kevin Jagernauth remember that name. Top worst critic if all time (and writes like a prize asshole) prob fake name because he knows he's a joke.

  • Nate Johnson | October 31, 2013 7:16 PMReply

    Clearly a gay person wrote this. Im so tired of fags in LA.

  • JT | October 31, 2013 7:14 PMReply

    I found Cloud Atlas extremely entertaining for angbody with above averrage intelligence. I would see it before listening to this article. I have no affiliation at all but thought i had to write this because i liked it so much. Villagevoice is village joke.

  • Anthony David Pirtle | July 18, 2013 12:19 AMReply

    And yet a CIA propaganda film makes the top ten. Yay?

  • Anthony David Pirtle | July 18, 2013 12:16 AMReply

    I just watched Cloud Atlas for the first time, and I'm frankly baffled as to how anyone could put it on their worst films list. The visuals were wonderful, the acting was top notch and while the overall message was a bit hokey and new-age it wasn't offensive or anything. I wouldn't say Cloud Atlas was the best film of last year, but lets be serious for a moment. This is the year that had "One for the Money" (which got exactly 1 positive review out of over 50 according to Rotten Tomatoes) and "A Thousand Words" (which got zero out of 54), yet Village Voice wants to pick on "Cloud Atlas" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild"? Its a strange world.

  • Frank | July 13, 2013 10:14 PMReply

    Each to their own. I personally loved Cloud Atlas and thought The Master was a monumental waste of my time.

  • Heath Christopher | June 23, 2013 6:37 PMReply

    The person/people that put Cloud Atlas on the "worst" list should be tossed over a balcony to splatter on the street just like Hanks did to that sh|t hipster critic in the movie. Losers.

  • SeriouslY? | April 27, 2013 6:13 AMReply

    The master was the worst film I have ever seen.

    Maybe in my entire life, so glad history will look back on it as a piece of shit with most 2013 reviews coming out and rightfully saying it's fucking garbage.

    Shit film.

  • MJ | June 18, 2013 10:34 AM

    You will be disappointed. History will look back at The Master as a groundbreaking films.

  • Philip | April 27, 2013 9:33 AM


  • IguessIam | December 31, 2012 8:27 AMReply

    Keep in mind that US movies exercise freedom of speech, just as we are all doing now. Censoring our fellow citizens will only ensure that we ourselves will one day be censored. Cloud Atlas bent many race and gender roles, but what harm was done? The point of the cast continuity, which may have been missed, is that the viewer is witnessing an entanglement of the same souls throughout several periods.

  • jingmei | December 30, 2012 3:50 AMReply

    Strangly enough, what's wrong with Beasts of the Southern Wild. Although definitely some sub context contained in the lists, not related with hatress for sure.

  • CK | December 28, 2012 12:00 PMReply

    From the reactions I've read and heard, "Beasts" was fairly polarizing. I liked it, but I can definitely see how some people wouldn't, it had some problems. The fact it was so acclaimed in some quarters probably fed into some backlash.

  • lane | December 28, 2012 5:18 AMReply

    don't really understand how Beasts and Cloud made it on the worst. Melissa Anderson gave a positive review (70 on metacritic) to Beasts in Village Voice, and Nick Pinkerton of the Voice gave Cloud a middle range review (40 on meteoritic). cest la vie

  • Jay Mckim | December 28, 2012 5:07 AMReply

    Thanks god! Cloud Atlas lists in the top spot of the 2012 worst film .

    My list is that Cloud Atlas is the worst and the most racist and sexist film of year 2012.

  • The rat in the spats | March 17, 2013 7:08 PM

    What is wrong with you? By allowing actors to shift between races and genders, cloud atlas did more to break race and gender stereotypes than any other film. That wasn't even the point of the person shift though. There was nothing racist or sexist about any of the film. The film was a beautiully accurate portrayal of where humanity has been, and where it may head. I would also like to point out that the film featured leads of men, women, white people, black people, koreans, heterosexuals and homosexuals, whereas the vast majority of the antagonists are white males.

    If you think that one of the most accepting, all-emcompassing explorations of the human conditiom is racist due to a few make-up experiments, while you've got zero dark thirty informing people of the horrors of islam, you need your head examined.

  • Una | December 27, 2012 11:46 PMReply

    Cloud Atlas was a joke. Thank god someone said it.

  • Marcus | December 27, 2012 11:10 PMReply

    I don't understand the hate for Cloud Atlas...I went into it knowing nothing but what I saw in the trailer and I left it in awe, craving to see more...I ended up going a second time and I wanted to go a third but ran of time. I thought it was a very well done film, and the acting, make up, and score were outstanding! I guess everyone has different views...

  • mike | December 28, 2012 4:33 PM

    JAY MCKIM, your argument is nonsensical. Why does everyone nowadays have to turn EVERYTHING into a race issue? Yes there is a white man in the film portrayed as an Asian man, but there is also an Asian woman portrayed as a red headed, pale skinned caucasian woman. Is there uproar about that? No, because it was merely a personal choice made by the makers of the film which has no racist link whatsoever.

  • jay mckim | December 28, 2012 5:01 AM

    yeah I agree "I don't understand the hate for Cloud Atlas". You don't have to be insulted by
    "Yellowface" cuz you are not the race to be insulted by this film whereas I was directly insulted by Yellowface makeup in white actors in ugly geeky slanty-eye makeup. This film is overtly racist film against Asian male. Again you say so what they are all in conversion make up to other race. You don't care the old Hollywood racist tradition of using Yellowface whereas they used it again. There is no way White guy can play Asian male without wearing a stupid slanty-eye crap. Again you don't care I was insulted.

  • jimmiescoffee | December 27, 2012 9:35 PMReply

    great lists. agree with 90% of worst list. many on best list.

  • James | February 26, 2013 12:18 PM

    @Jay - If you think "Cloud Atlas" was a racist movie, then you bafflingly missed the point of the movie. Either that, or you've been reading all the Yellowface articles and just assumed they were right without seeing the film.

  • Anonymouse | December 27, 2012 8:31 PMReply

    Beasts of the Southern Wild as worst of the year? I have yet to read a compelling criticism arguing thusly. I can see how Cloud Atlas can make this kind of list, yet I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

  • nightgoat72 | December 27, 2012 5:35 PMReply

    Wow, those are my picks for best and worst as well.

  • nightgoat72 | December 27, 2012 11:32 PM

    Nevermind, I just saw Les Miserables. Cloud Atlas has been usurped.

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