My Top 100 First Time Viewings in 2012

by sol- | created - 16 Jan 2012 | updated - 30 Dec 2012 | Public

Of the 400+ films that I have seen for the first time in 2012 (so far) these are the ones that I liked the most.

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1. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

NC-17 | 124 min | Crime, Drama

62 Metascore

The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.

Director: Peter Greenaway | Stars: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard

Votes: 32,407 | Gross: $7.72M

2. White Dog (1982)

PG | 90 min | Drama, Horror

A trainer attempts to retrain a vicious dog that's been raised to attack black people.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Kristy McNichol, Christa Lang, Vernon Weddle, Jameson Parker

Votes: 7,999

3. The Plague Dogs (1982)

PG-13 | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

Two dogs escape from a laboratory and are hunted as possible carriers of the bubonic plague.

Director: Martin Rosen | Stars: John Hurt, Christopher Benjamin, James Bolam, Nigel Hawthorne

Votes: 6,315

4. Man Facing Southeast (1986)

R | 105 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A patient in a mental hospital claims to be an extraterrestial. Could he be right?

Director: Eliseo Subiela | Stars: Lorenzo Quinteros, Hugo Soto, Inés Vernengo, Cristina Scaramuzza

Votes: 3,406 | Gross: $0.73M

5. Pennies from Heaven (1981)

R | 108 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

During the Great Depression, a sheet music salesman seeks to escape his dreary life through popular music and a love affair with an innocent school teacher.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jessica Harper, Vernel Bagneris

Votes: 4,909 | Gross: $9.18M

6. The Curse of the Cat People (1944)

Approved | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

The young, friendless daughter of Oliver and Alice Reed befriends her father's dead first wife and an aging, reclusive actress.

Directors: Gunther von Fritsch, Robert Wise | Stars: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter

Votes: 5,334

7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

PG | 115 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

When seeds drift to earth from space, mysterious pods begin to grow and invade a small town, replicating the residents one body at a time.

Director: Philip Kaufman | Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright

Votes: 47,961 | Gross: $24.95M

8. Savages (1972)

R | 106 min | Fantasy, Comedy

An allegory about humankind progresses from a savage state to a civilized form, that is only a cover for its innate barbarism.

Director: James Ivory | Stars: Susan Blakely, Margaret Brewster, Thayer David, Neil Fitzgerald

Votes: 327

9. Carnage (2011)

R | 80 min | Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly

Votes: 113,406 | Gross: $2.55M

10. Hugo (2011)

PG | 126 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

83 Metascore

In 1931 Paris, an orphan living in the walls of a train station gets wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 289,139 | Gross: $73.86M

11. The Artist (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

An egomaniacal film star develops a relationship with a young dancer against the backdrop of Hollywood's silent era.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius | Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell

Votes: 219,862 | Gross: $44.67M

12. King of the Hill (1993)

PG-13 | 103 min | Drama, History

86 Metascore

A young boy struggles on his own in a run-down motel after his parents and younger brother are separated from him in 1930s Depression-era Midwest.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Jesse Bradford, Jeroen Krabbé, Lisa Eichhorn, Karen Allen

Votes: 7,009 | Gross: $1.30M

13. Badlands (1973)

PG | 94 min | Crime, Drama

93 Metascore

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri

Votes: 60,125

14. Thelma & Louise (1991)

R | 130 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Two best friends set out on an adventure, but it soon turns around to a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two girls escape for the crimes they committed.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen

Votes: 125,282 | Gross: $45.36M

15. Prometheus (I) (2012)

R | 124 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi

64 Metascore

Following clues to the origin of mankind, a team finds a structure on a distant moon, but they soon realize they are not alone.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron

Votes: 546,399 | Gross: $126.48M

16. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)

Not Rated | 79 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A doctor uses special eye drops to give himself x-ray vision, but the new power has disastrous consequences.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt

Votes: 5,635

17. Life Is Sweet (1990)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama

88 Metascore

A shop assistant, her cook husband, & their twin daughters ponder their lives over a few weeks in a working-class suburb north of London.

Director: Mike Leigh | Stars: Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Claire Skinner, Jane Horrocks

Votes: 8,177 | Gross: $1.52M

18. Take Shelter (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

85 Metascore

Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Tova Stewart

Votes: 85,091 | Gross: $1.73M

19. Child's Play (1972)

PG | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

At an exclusive boys' school, a new gym teacher is drawn into a feud between two older instructors, and he discovers that everything at the school is not quite as staid, tranquil and harmless as it seems.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: James Mason, Robert Preston, Beau Bridges, Ron Weyand

Votes: 865

20. The Sender (1982)

R | 91 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A disturbed telepathic man is unable to fully control his ability to transmit his dreams and visions into the minds of the people around him, or even influence reality. A female therapist tries to help him, but his mother gets in the way.

Director: Roger Christian | Stars: Kathryn Harrold, Zeljko Ivanek, Shirley Knight, Paul Freeman

Votes: 1,329 | Gross: $1.05M

21. Split Image (1982)

R | 110 min | Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

A rootless young man's drawn into an unnamed religious cult by a beautiful girl. Every moment with the group causes him to become increasingly under the control of the cult's leader. After ... See full summary »

Director: Ted Kotcheff | Stars: Michael O'Keefe, Karen Allen, Peter Fonda, James Woods

Votes: 619 | Gross: $0.26M

22. Trial (1955)

Passed | 105 min | Drama

Courtroom drama set in 1947 and underlying post-WW2 acute problems facing the USA such as stormy race relations and the growing threat of local communism.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Glenn Ford, Dorothy McGuire, Arthur Kennedy, John Hodiak

Votes: 865

23. Reach for Glory (1962)

86 min | Drama, War

During World War II, in a small English coastal town, teenage boys eager to join the army but unable to do so participate in their own homemade private brutal war games with tragic results.

Director: Philip Leacock | Stars: Michael Anderson Jr., Oliver Grimm, Martin Tomlinson, Alexis Kanner

Votes: 136

24. The Glass Menagerie (1987)

PG | 134 min | Drama

A son longs to escape from his stifling home, where his genteel mother worries about the future prospects of his lame, shy sister.

Director: Paul Newman | Stars: Joanne Woodward, John Malkovich, Karen Allen, James Naughton

Votes: 1,820 | Gross: $0.90M

25. Passion (1982)

R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama

A film director has an inspirational crisis while working on the production, Passion, and struggles with the nature of work and art.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Hanna Schygulla, Michel Piccoli, Jerzy Radziwilowicz

Votes: 2,161

26. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

PG | 87 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

An urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman

Votes: 181,339 | Gross: $21.00M

27. Noises Off... (1992)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy

A travelling theater group find so much action going on behind-the-scenes, they almost ruin the performances.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich | Stars: Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Denholm Elliott, Julie Hagerty

Votes: 9,623 | Gross: $2.28M

28. Femme Fatale (2002)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

59 Metascore

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote, Eriq Ebouaney

Votes: 32,169 | Gross: $6.59M

29. Ticket to Heaven (1981)

PG | 108 min | Drama

David is a young man seduced by a religious cult that uses starvation, exhaustion, and brainwashing to mold recruits into money hustling disciples of a messiah-like leader. Chronicles ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph L. Thomas | Stars: Nick Mancuso, Saul Rubinek, Meg Foster, Kim Cattrall

Votes: 686

30. Citizens Band (1977)

PG | 98 min | Comedy, Drama

68 Metascore

This movie interlaces the stories of several characters in a small town united by their use of CB (citizen's band) radio. Paul LeMat is the local CB coordinator who has time for little else... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Paul Le Mat, Candy Clark, Bruce McGill, Roberts Blossom

Votes: 620 | Gross: $0.82M

31. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

84 Metascore

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray

Votes: 297,677 | Gross: $45.51M

32. Phase IV (1974)

PG | 84 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Desert ants suddenly form a collective intelligence and begin to wage war on the inhabitants. It is up to two scientists and a stray girl they rescue from the ants to destroy them.

Director: Saul Bass | Stars: Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy, Lynne Frederick, Alan Gifford

Votes: 6,546

33. Kafka (1991)

PG-13 | 98 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

46 Metascore

Kafka works during the day at an insurance company, where events lead him to discover a mysterious underground society with strange suppressive goals.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Jeremy Irons, Theresa Russell, Joel Grey, Ian Holm

Votes: 9,059 | Gross: $1.06M

34. Coma (1978)

PG | 113 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

60 Metascore

When a young female doctor notices an unnatural amount of comas occurring in her hospital she uncovers a horrible conspiracy.

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Michael Douglas, Rip Torn, Geneviève Bujold, Elizabeth Ashley

Votes: 16,143

35. Argo (2012)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Votes: 543,998 | Gross: $136.03M

36. Cape Fear (1991)

R | 128 min | Crime, Thriller

73 Metascore

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliette Lewis

Votes: 158,109 | Gross: $79.10M

37. Snake Eyes (1998)

R | 98 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

52 Metascore

A shady police detective finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy at an important boxing match in an Atlantic City casino.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise, John Heard, Carla Gugino

Votes: 72,559 | Gross: $55.59M

38. The Brotherhood (1968)

PG-13 | 96 min | Crime, Drama

The son of a powerful Mafia don comes home from his army service in Vietnam and wants to lead his own life, but family tradition, intrigues and powerplays involving his older brother ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Alex Cord, Irene Papas, Luther Adler

Votes: 711

39. Wolfen (1981)

R | 115 min | Horror, Thriller

64 Metascore

A New York cop investigates a series of brutal deaths that resemble animal attacks.

Director: Michael Wadleigh | Stars: Albert Finney, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos, Gregory Hines

Votes: 8,401 | Gross: $10.63M

40. Europa (1991)

R | 112 min | Drama, Thriller

Just after W.W.II, an American takes a railway job in Germany, but finds his position politically sensitive with various people trying to use him.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Barbara Sukowa, Jean-Marc Barr, Udo Kier, Ernst-Hugo Järegård

Votes: 18,610 | Gross: $1.01M

41. Frenzy (1972)

R | 116 min | Thriller

91 Metascore

A serial murderer is strangling women with a necktie. The London police have a suspect, but he is the wrong man.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Jon Finch, Barry Foster, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, Anna Massey

Votes: 38,049

42. Fedora (1978)

PG | 114 min | Drama, Romance

Down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler attempts to lure Fedora, a famous but reclusive film actress, out of retirement.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Marthe Keller, Hildegard Knef, José Ferrer

Votes: 3,192 | Gross: $2.20M

43. Butterflies Are Free (1972)

PG | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

A blind man moves into his own apartment against the wishes of his overprotective mother and befriends the freethinking young woman next door.

Director: Milton Katselas | Stars: Goldie Hawn, Edward Albert, Eileen Heckart, Paul Michael Glaser

Votes: 4,296

44. The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968)

M | 93 min | Comedy

Harriet Blossom, the lonely wife of a workaholic brassiere manufacturer, breaks her sewing machine and ends up in bed with the repairman, a mechanic from one of her husband's factories. The... See full summary »

Director: Joseph McGrath | Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Richard Attenborough, James Booth, Freddie Jones

Votes: 467

45. Why Shoot the Teacher? (1977)

PG | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

In the 1930's, Max Brown is an urban young man from an Eastern province, fresh from college, whose only job offer is in a one-room school house in the Canadian prairie. At first he's ... See full summary »

Director: Silvio Narizzano | Stars: Bud Cort, Samantha Eggar, Chris Wiggins, Gary Reineke

Votes: 369

46. Alice or The Last Escapade (1977)

93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Alice Carol leaves her husband one rainy night, telling him that she does not love him anymore. She travels alone but when her windscreen breaks on a lonely road, she has to stop and seek ... See full summary »

Director: Claude Chabrol | Stars: Sylvia Kristel, Charles Vanel, Fernand Ledoux, François Perrot

Votes: 830

47. The Girl and the Echo (1964)

59 min | Drama, Family, Romance

Movie about a friendship of two children - a girl and a boy during the last day of summer holiday

Director: Arunas Zebriunas | Stars: Lina Braknyte, Valeriy Zubarev, Bronius Babkauskas, Hugo Laur

Votes: 234

48. The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)

Approved | 88 min | Horror, Mystery

In a turn-of-the-century Renaissance Italian mansion, its tyrannical owner, a one-handed, wheelchair-bound pianist, with a strong belief in the occult, is murdered.

Director: Robert Florey | Stars: Robert Alda, Andrea King, Peter Lorre, Victor Francen

Votes: 2,126

49. A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Western

7.3