Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2012. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.
This excellent British detective drama is from Sally Wainwright, writer and creator of Happy Valley. It premiered back in 2011 and now has five seasons to dive into for an extended binge.
Rachel Bailey and Janet Scott are two murder-unit detectives in Manchester, England. The show is as much about their cases as it is about their friendship and lives. In the first episode, while Rachel Bailey investigates the alleged suicide of a Turkish immigrant, she’s also investigating her ex-partner, who suspiciously broke up with her and moved away.
It’s packed with the buddy-cop genre, which admittedly has been overdone in British TV. But who knew the solution to making something feel completely fresh is as easy as having the buddies be two women.
A quirky little movie about a reporter trying to get a story about a man who posted an ad looking for someone to travel in time with. The movie's main strength is the fantastic casting of talents that usually live in the series world (Jake M. Johnson from New Girl, Aubery Plaza from Parcs and Recreation, Mark Duplass), and although it might seem a little bit slow at the beginning, it is worth every second spent watching it.
This is a funny sketch comedy show set in an imaginary small town called Burnistoun. The characters include Kelly McGlade, the town’s answer to Beyoncé, and The Burnistoun Butcher, the town’s serial killer who’s always angry with the media because they keep confusing him with the actual butcher. Most of the characters are played by Robert Florence and Iain Connell (pictured above). In the first episode, they play two co-workers who get into an elevator that only works on voice-recognition. The voice-recognition software starts reflecting how many Americans feel and pretends it doesn’t understand Scottish accents. The two Scots end up getting so worked up that they hilariously recreate the “freedom” scene in Braveheart. In a way it’s saying: if you enjoyed Braveheart and understand the reference, there is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy Burnistoun.
If you like any of the following: Irish accents, Woody Harrelson, Pulp Fiction, or dark comedy; then this is the movie for you. This mix of violence, mafia, existential talk, and painfully comical situations might not be for everyone, but it has every component to make its target audience very pleased. And given how chaotic and crazy it can get, it should be enjoyed one take at a time, focusing on each delightful scene rather than the overall plot. Directed by Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths makes a perfect comeback after In Bruges, without veering very much from it (consequently if you like this movie make sure you check out In Bruges too).
Actor Chris O'Dowd had a special childhood growing up in rural Ireland. So he wrote, created, and starred in this sitcom based on his experiences. He plays his childhood imaginary friend.
Moone Boy is a funny and easy show, winner of an Emmy for Best Comedy in 2013 when it first aired. The setting in the late 80s makes everything better.
Filmmaker Petra Costa tells the story of moving to New York from Brazil to follow her dream, the same one her mother once followed, of becoming an actress.
She carries memories of a third person who made the same move, a sister called Elena. Elena left her when she was seven-years-old, and after intermittent calls and messages, disappeared.
This documentary is a tale of three women: of their feelings separation, longing, and ambition. It’s made to be a visual poem of their story.
A heart-wrenching tribute to victims of natural disasters that is one of despair, suffering, and hope. And it wouldn’t be so damning if it weren’t based off a true story surrounding the tragedy that killed more than 230,000 people. Boxing Day 2004 was one of the most memorable dates for wedded couple, Henry (Ewan McGregor) and Maria (Naomi Watts, for an Oscar nominated performance). Just two days prior, they arrived at Orchid Beach Resort in Thailand to celebrate the Christmas holidays together with their three children. After a squabble with the crew regarding their room reservations, they are granted the privilege of staying in a peaceful villa and all seems to be well. Nature had other plans in mind, though, and facing it head-on is the bittersweet reality.
Stories We Tell got on everyone’s radar when, back in 2015, it made the list of the all-time top ten list of Canadian films. That speaks to both the caliber of this movie and its relevance to North America. It’s in fact a first-person account about (and made by) actress Sarah Polley (Mr. Nobody, Exotica, Away from Her, Take This Waltz). In the film, she investigates the rumor that she was the product of an affair, and that her father might not be her biological father. Her family and suspected fathers are all storytellers, and many of them Academy Award winners. Ultimately, the movie becomes about her family’s remembrance of her now-deceased mother (the famous actress Diane Polley). It’s an examination of how the same story can be told so differently by different people and across time. Lies get added and truths are hidden, and all of that enriches Polley’s pursuit.
Boy is the highest-grossing New Zealand film of all time, and a masterpiece of compassion and good humor. Set in New Zealand's rural East Coast in 1984, the film's protagonist, Boy, imagines a world outside, dreaming of meeting Michael Jackson and having adventures. These fantasies serve to distract him from the sad circumstances of his life, living with his grandmother while his father serves out a prison sentence. However, adventure comes to Boy suddenly when his ex-convict father returns to find a long hidden bag of money. Written, directed, and starring Taika Waitit and featuring the new comer James Rolleston as Boy, it's a hilarious and heartwarming tale.
The secret weapon to this charming story of a cranky, aging father and his new robot companion is the near-total dryness of its humor. On paper, this might sound like a depressing movie, but thanks to director Jake Schreier's sensitive touch, its protagonist's fading memory and family drama takes on the spark of youth once more. It's sweet and low-stakes, with most of the tension not coming from any fear that Frank might get caught in his hijinks, but in the curiosity of seeing if he can get back to his thieving roots. A great cast including Frank Langella, James Marsden, and Jeremy Strong keep every emotion coming consistently.
Lauren Greenfield’s film follows the Siegel family’s decline from opulent abundance to gaudy ruin. Mega wealth, delusions of grandeur, and grotesquely opulent taste—the Siegel family were the perfect subjects for the film, which sets out to document their most lavish expense: their Versailles home, a mansion sprawling more than 85,000 square feet and modeled after the Palace of Versailles.
The Siegels, no doubt, are entirely out of touch with reality. David Siegel, the owner of one of the world’s largest timeshare developers, married Jackie, a former Mrs. Florida who is 30 years younger. The Versailles home is to be Jackie’s castle, an enormous home for her eight kids and numerous pets.
But the 2008 recession does not spare the Siegels, and their company is devastated. After layoffs and desperate attempts to recover financially, the family struggles to pay back the banks. Construction halts. The Versailles home remains vacant and unfinished.
While the film does not sympathize with the Siegels, Greenfield creates a space where pity is possible as well as criticism. And from there comes the universal: desperation, longing, hope for better, if not also more, more, more.
This TV show is an award-sweeper in Australia where it’s from but remains little-known elsewhere. Suburban families live in a fragile but quiet environment - marital affairs are rampant but hidden, custody battles that were once fierce have quieted down, etc. However, when the black sheep of the community returns after a ten-year absence, everything comes back to the surface - starting with the discovery of a dead body. Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline) is excellent here, and he’s supported by an amazing cast. Tangle is like a toned-down Big Little Lies, or a more cynical Parenthood.