The Dark Knight Rises Among The Films On AFI’s Top Ten Films Of 2012
by Travis Leamons on December 10, 2012

Out of all the top ten lists that are released by critics and critics groups one of my favorites is the ten films the American Film Institute acknowledges. Since 2000, the AFI has released an annual list of the films that it has deemed being culturally significant. Over the years they have recognized films that may not have gone on to collect Golden Globes or Oscars but are worth remembering regardless. This is an institute that celebrated the likes of High Fidelity, Memento, Moulin Rouge!, Antoine Fisher, About a Boy, Friday Night Lights, In America, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Borat, Half Nelson, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Messenger, and Sugar to name more than a few.

These past few years, however, their top ten has been fairly predictable, but this year I was holding out hope that it would acknowledge at least one of two gems that may not get a lot of attention. Unfortunately, it looks like this year is more of the same. The exceptions being Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and The Dark Knight Rises. The reason I included QT’s film is because the AFI failed to acknowledge Inglourious Basterds a few years ago. As far as Christoper Nolan’s final installment in his Batman trilogy, I figured the AFI would have gone with Marvel’s The Avengers. It was the biggest event film of the year and was a culmination of an ambitious project that began when Iron Man made a splash in cinemas back in 2008.

While I did have both Rises and Unchained as alternate picks (along with The Hunger Games, Life of Pi, Les Miserables and Ted), my list looked like this (the titles in bold made AFI’s list):

Argo
The Avengers
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Flight
Lincoln
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Alternates
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained

The Hunger Games
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Ted

As you can see, I got six right on the money and the other four were found as my alternates.

It’s a shame that they couldn’t recognize either Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master or The Perks of Being a Wallflower. For The Master it was again another masterful work by PTA, but its subject could be a turn off for some. As for Wallflower, I’ll keep championing that film until I’m blue in the face. Upon seeing the film I acknowledged that the film “bridges the gap of the John Hughes’ ’80s with the Clueless ’90s.” Just a great coming-of-age film.

So what do think of the AFI’s Top 10 films of 2012?



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