In this precise order here are Hollywood Elsewhere’s 20 Finest Films of 2012 by the measurings of verve, pizazz, stylistic audacity, blood-rushing excitement and/or sheer emotional enjoyment: 1. (Tied for first place) Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty. 2. Anna Karenina, 3. Holy Motors, 4. The Master, 5. Amour, 6. The Dark Knight Rises, 7. Argo, 8. Arbitrage, 9. Beasts of the Southern Wild, 10. Les Miserables (because of the last 40 minutes), 11. Magic Mike, 12. Moonrise Kingdom, 13. The Sessions, 14. Bernie, 15. Rust and Bone, 16. On The Road, 17. Trishna, 18. Killing Them Softly, 19. Lincoln, 20. God Bless America,

Special Indie Commendation: Ava Duvernay‘s Middle of Nowhere and the lead performance of Emayatzy Corinealdi.

Runner-Uppers: Rampart, Side by Side, Haywire, Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, The Three Stooges, Michael, 21 Jump Street.

Oh, and forget the sloppy and indulgent Django Unchained. It works more or less for the first hour but then it’s pretty much downhill.

Any complaints about mistakes, omissions, duplications are welcome and in fact requested.