The whole point of narrowing down a Top 10 list is making some tough cuts, but since I've gotten some feedback on my own list asking why certain movies missed the cut, I figured I should highlight which ones just missed the cut.
The 10 Next Best Movies of 2012 (in no particular order)
File this one under "just missed" ... Ben Affleck's tense and wildly entertaining thriller is probably the movie I'll be rooting for on Oscar night (since many of my picks aren't favorites).
In Joss Whedon we trusted ... and he didn't let us down. It was nice to know a blockbuster could be this much fun again.
Ang Lee brought the most sense of wonder — and made the most worthwhile 3-D film of the year.
Some are lamenting this more serious Bond, but in the hands of a great character director like Oscar-winner Sam Mendes, it made for what may be the most engaging Bond film ever.
This sweet little apocalyptic romantic comedy got lost in the summer shuffle, but I found it wholly endearing. I'm a sucker for this stuff, though.
I wrongly expected more war epic, but Steven Speilberg delivered a stirring political drama, driven by some of the best performances of the year, including presumed Oscar frontrunner Daniel Day-Lewis.
William Freidkin's grotesque "redneck noir" film will be very tough for some to stomach, but both the black comedy and the gut punches to come made this one hard to forget.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
It's rare for the author of a novel to really do a good job adapting for the screen, but Stephen Chbosky turned his great coming-of-age book into a great coming-of-age film.
The first 25 minutes will have you on the edge of your seat (literally if this were ever an in-flight movie), but the unexpected turns of Denzel Washington's alcoholic pilot made for a surprisingly engaging drama.
Not another "man in an iron lung hoping to lose his virginity with a sex surrogate" movie! Killer performances from John Hawkes and Helen Hunt, and one of the most moving (and surprisingly funny) films of the year.
Special mention for great moments in so-bad-it's-good filmmaking:
I'm not sure I had more fun in a movie theater than a late-night showing of the hidden 1987 gem "Miami Connection" at the Gateway. Here's a taste of the fine acting contained within.