12 Great Films You Missed in 2012, Part 2

Here's Part 2 of the 12 Great Films You Missed in 2012. So far, we've looked at horror, sci-fi, history, and experimental prestige films that slipped by without notice. What will the second half of the list bring to the table? Keep reading to find out. 7: Thin Ice

How You Missed It:

PosterThat's an easy one. This was dumped to a February release on 53 screens with no marketing and only word of mouth to keep it open. The film actually stayed in theaters through May, but dropped screens every week.

Why You Should See It:

Thin Ice is a really cool dark comedy/crime caper with a great cast. The only weak link is the "you're not going to believe this story" premise that always preps the audience to distrust everything you put onscreen. The actual story is shocking in all the right ways. If the distributors or producers were actually invested in the film, there would have been a big push for Billy Crudup, Greg Kinnear, and screenwriters Jill Sprecher and Karen Sprecher to pick up some awards from the critics groups. They easily would have been shortlisted for what they put out there.

Full Review

8: The Raid: Redemption:

How You Missed It:

I have a sinking feeling that no one involved in the distribution of the film thought the summer blockbuster fans would sit through a foreign language action film. It was a mistake. When the film did well in a very limited release, they jumped straight up to hundreds of theaters with no real marketing push and the sales went stagnant. Then they didn't know what to do, so they let it linger in select markets until only $34 were brought in on the final weekend of release.

Why You Should See It:

An officer taking in the scope of the job in The Raid: Redemption The Raid: Redemption is the action/thriller you've been waiting for. It's a high stakes espionage film about a top notch team of agents called in to take down a mob boss who controls a gigantic, towering apartment complex. The action is used to develop characters because the story itself is so simple. The new score for the US release does wonders to bridge the gap between Indonesian and American cinema and culture.

Full Review

9: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

How You Missed It:

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Judi DenchThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel actually did really well at the box office considering it's a British independent ensemble comedy starring a who's who of older British performers who know how to sell a joke. However, it's still a film that did so well by targeting older film goers and slowly building an audience. This could have left your local multiplex before you even realized it existed because it was doing much better business in another town or city.

Why You Should See It:

Do you like smart comedies? Do you like great acting? Do you enjoy films that can touch on real world issues with great sensitivity and not dwell on them? The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a coming of age comedy about pensioners moving to India. There's culture shock, triumphs, failures, and the growth of great friendships. Anyone who has ever had to move--whether it's a physical move to a new home or a life changing event like graduating or switching to a new job--can relate to the fish out of water struggle and the creation of a new circle of family and friends to rely on.

Full Review

10: The Sessions

How Did You Miss It:

The Sessions is a crowd-pleaser without a crowd. The story teeters between comedy and drama and embraces sexual exploration. The distributors minimized risk by doing a very controlled release of a film that is not at all exploitative or scandalous in its content and missed the window to go wide and rake in the big bucks.

Why You Should See It:

The Sessions CherylIf we had more films like The Sessions that took such a mature and open-minded approach to sexual activity, our society would be a very different place. We wouldn't hear the nightmare stories of honest films like Blue Valentine getting NC-17 ratings because sex was portrayed as an emotional and physical event. The Sessions is the most honest film you'll see from 2012 because it's not afraid to discuss love, intimacy, and adult relationships in a realistic way. The material is handled so well right up to the point that they go for a big ending that isn't needed to button up the story.

Full Review

11: Pitch Perfect

How You Missed It:

OMG, could the marketing campaign behind Pitch Perfect be, like, anymore obnoxious? It totes tries to sell itself as a new ironic camp classic without even, like, letting the audience know the actual story of the film and junk? In all sincerity, Pitch Perfect just targeted too small an audience with its marketing campaign. With the right trailer and promotional campaign, it could have been a Bridesmaids-sized hit.

Why You Should See It:

Pitch Perfect EnsemblePitch Perfect is really funny. It's a broad ensemble comedy about the absurdity of vocal music competitions. The cast grounds the insanity of the "anything for a laugh" approach with really honest portrayals of cartoonish characters. Anna Kendrick really gets to do some cool things with a very slight romantic throughline that isn't meant to be anything beyond a college fling. This is not serious business; it's nerds singing contemporary music without bands. Laugh it up.

Full Review

12: Ruby Sparks:

How You Missed It:

I vaguely recall seeing a trailer for this at some point. It portrayed Ruby Sparks as a quirky romance between an imaginary manic pixie dream girl and that guy from Little Miss Sunshine. That's not an exaggeration. The campaign was "If you loved Little Miss Sunshine, here's more quirky nonsense from the same team." Then I never saw that trailer again. Or a poster. Or a commercial. Or anything indicating this was released in theaters. It was. No one saw it.

Why You Should See It:

Ruby Sparks CalvinRuby Sparks is one of the most inventive romantic comedies in recent memory. This story could easily have been nonstop misogyny for two hours as a young man forced his literal dream girl to do whatever he wanted. Instead, it's a sensitive look at growing up, finding your way in life, and the give and take necessary to succeed in any romantic relationship. It's also very funny with a dark edge that stops it from being as quirky and gooey as it probably would be in less capable hands.

Full Review

So what do you think? What great films were overlooked in 2012? Sound off with your thoughts and choices below.

Go Back to Part 1

Killer Joe Review (Film, 2012)

12 Great Films You Missed in 2012, Part 1