As far as movies go, 2012 was pretty impressive. The Avengers lived up to it’s hype. Spider-Man was successfully rebooted. The Dark Knight Rises brought Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy to a thrilling conclusion. The Expendables 2 was definitely superior to the original. And, Skyfall and The Hobbit not only won over fans, they also broke box office records.
Unfortunately, with so many high profile movies, there are bound to be a number of films that get lost in the shuffle. Regardless if the movie underperformed at the box office, was an arthouse film or wasn’t particularly liked by critics, there are plenty of underrated films out there. So, let’s narrow things down and look at the top 25 truly underrated films of 2012 that you should see before the year ends.
25. Iron Sky
Iron Sky has plenty of flaws to justify it being a bad movie. However, what else would you expect from a movie about Nazis invading Earth from space? Because of how silly it is, Iron Sky could easily become a huge cult favorite.
24. Total Recall
Before we get too far, let’s start off by saying that you can’t compare this remake to Arnold’s 1990 flick. While the basic plot is the same, both films are rather different. OK. Moving on. Total Recall is what is. It’s a film with lots of action, great visuals and two hot leading ladies. If you’re looking for some mindless entertainment, this is serviceable enough. And, we really liked seeing Kate Beckinsale in a villain role. She was perfect at it and it looked like she was having fun with it too.
23. Liberal Arts
Liberal Arts could be a bit soft-hearted for some, others may enjoy the relationship between a student and her mentor. It was written, directed and star’s How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor.
22. Wish You Were Here
This Australian thriller was well very received by critics, but a lot of people probably missed out on seeing it. Wish You Were Here has enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. This well-acted drama is definitely one that you should check out.
21. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
There was a lot of hype around the film adaptation of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. But, when the film was released, not too many people were happy with the finished product. Also, it didn’t fare well at the box office. Still, it managed to accomplish what it was intended to. Entertain us. Sometimes, that’s all we need a movie to do. And, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter did just that.
20. Celeste and Jesse Forever
This shrewd rom-rom, starring Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg, is real enough to make us actually care for the characters on screen. Also, it tackles the rare territory of when the relationship between our leads goes south.
19. Silent House
This unique horror has been described as “a psychotic episode come to life.” Yeah. That pretty much sums it up. Also, Elizabeth Olsen is a perfect scream queen. The movie probably wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without her.
Tim Burton’s tale of a boy bringing his beloved dog back to life won people over with it’s heart. However, it didn’t exactly live up to it’s potential at the box office.
If you’re looking for a brainless action flick filled with lots of camp and one-liners, then look no further.
16. Snow White and the Huntsman
While Snow White and the Huntsman had it’s flaws, this solemn re-imagining of the classic fairy tale was original enough to make this a decent and enjoyable film.
15. The Grey
The Grey may have had it’s predictable, and depressing, moments, it was still a thrilling movie with some great wolf attacks. And, let’s not forget that it starred Liam Neeson. He’s the man.
14. Your Sister’s Sister
The earthy performances from the cast, including The League’s Mark Duplass and the lovely Emily Blunt, is what makes the romantic triangle in this rom-com worth watching.
13. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Indie dramedies aren’t for everyone, but this one from Jay and Mark Duplass is charming and quirky enough to justify a rental. Also, the performances from Jason Segel and Ed Helms are beyond solid.
Don’t dismiss Lawless because it stars Shia LaBeouf. This true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers is a decent gangster film with more than enough violence to keep you entertained.
11. The Campaign
The Campaign was perfect for this year, since we had a presidential campaign going on. It’s crude, brash and Will Ferrell’s funniest movie in years.
We’re not going to lie here. Smashed is can be an uncomfortable watch. But, it’s sincere performances from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul make this a must see film.
9. Get The Gringo
Mel Gibson may have gone off the deep end within the last couple of years, but you’ll forget all about that when you watch Get The Gringo. This is exactly what Gibson does best. Takes the lead in a corny, over-the-top, action film.
8. Magic Mike
Get over the fact that Magic Mike is about male strippers and you may actually find that it’s a fun watch. And, if you’re questioning your masculinity, just know that Olivia Munn flashes the camera.
7. The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods, with a script written by Joss Whedon, is inventive and clever enough to completely innovate the horror genre.
This emotional documentary about an impoverished Memphis high school and it’s 2009 football season is inspirational, compelling and heartfelt.
5. Dredd 3D
Finally. The movie fans of the comic have been waiting for. And, trust us, it doesn’t disappoint. Sorry Sly.
4. Robot & Frank
Frank Langella’s tremendous performance as a retired cat burglar planning a heist with a robot makes this near-future sci-fi comedy that much more bittersweet.
Jack Black delivers one of his best performances in this light and innovative black comedy that was based on a true story about a local mortician who kills a wealthy widow, played by Shirley MacLaine.
Not only does Looper have a great cast (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels), it’s cleverness and originality hasn’t been seen in a sci-fi flick in years, maybe even decades. It reminds us how smart and awesome a sci-fi film can truly be when done properly.
1. The Raid: Redemption
If you’re looking for pure action ecstasy, then you need to check out The Raid: Redemption. This Indonesian film is only like the best action film of the last decade.
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