L.A. Film Critics 2012: Handicapping
Period drama about a teenage boy who starts a rock band in 1960s New Jersey. The feature writing and directing debut of David Chase.
Bernie" tells the tragicomic true story of Bernie Tiede (Jack Black), who befriended an elderly widow but was later convicted of her murder. Directed by Richard Linklater.
The film tells the story of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins), focusing on the production of his film "Psycho." Directed by Sacha Gervasi ("Anvil! The Story of Anvil").
Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, "Silver Linings" is about a former teacher (Bradley Cooper) who moves in with his mother and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife after a stint in a mental institution. Directed by David O. Russell ("Three Kings," "The Fighter").
The story of the relationship between a young father (Matthias Schoenaerts) and a killer whale trainer (Marion Cotillard) who suffers a horrible accident. Directed by Jacques Audiard ("A Prophet").
Daniel Craig's third outing as James Bond, in which 007 must seek out an eliminate the threat after MI6 is attacked. Judi Dench returns as M. Javier Bardem and Ralph Fiennes also star. Directed by Sam Mendes ("American Beauty").
Based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens, it tells the story of an orphan who becomes a gentleman with the help of a benefactor. Jeremy Irvine stars as Pip. Ralph Fiennes plays Magwitch, Helena Bonham Carter is Miss Havisham, and Holliday Grainger plays Estella. Directed by Mike Newell ("Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire").
Its official synopsis describes it as "an epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution." Its cast includes Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, and Susan Sarandon. Directed by Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run") and the Wachowskis ("The Matrix").
Director Robert Zemeckis's first live-action film since 2000 follows an airline pilot (Denzel Washington) who saves a flight from crashing.
Director Joss Whedon's blockbuster about a team of Marvel Comics superheroes -- Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scalrett Johansson) -- who join forces to defeat Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
A spin-off from "Knocked Up," it stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as married couple Pete and Debbie. Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy, and Albert Brooks also star. Directed by Judd Apatow.
A science fiction thriller set in the year 2042, when a man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) must assassinate targets who come from the future, until he is enlisted to kill his future self (Bruce Willis). Emily Blunt also stars. Directed by Rian Johnson ("Brick").
Filmed in 3D, this fantasy adventure film follows Pi (Suraj Sharma), who survives the sinking of a frieghter and finds himself on a lifeboat with various animals. Directed by Ang Lee ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Brokeback Mountain").
When a pair of young lovers runs away from their New England town, a search party sets out to find them. Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, and Edward Norton star. Directed by Wes Anderson ("The Royal Tenenbaums," "Fantastic Mr. Fox").
In her followup to "The Hurt Locker," director Kathryn Bigelow directs a thriller about Seal Team Six and its hunt for and execution of terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.
Set in the 1950s, a drama about a charismatic intellectual (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who begins a faith-based organization and takes on a drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) as his right-hand man. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson ("There Will Be Blood").
The story of the love affair between Franklyn D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and his cousin Margaret Stuckley (Laura Linney), set during the 1939 weekend visit of the King and Queen of England. Directed by Roger Michell ("Notting Hill," "Venus").
A thriller about the rescue of six US diplomats from Tehran, Iran, during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Ben Affleck directs and stars.
Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackson) is imprisoned for stealing bread and is on the run from Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe), a pursuit that consumes both men's lives until the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris. Directed by Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech").
A skilled female archer (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) defies age-old tradition and is cursed. She must break the spell before it's too late. This Disney/Pixar film is directed by Brenda Chapman ("The Prince of Egypt") and Mark Andrews.
The two-part prequel to "The Lord of the Rings" follows Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), the father of Frodo (Elijah Wood), in an effort to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch), aided by Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a team of dwarves. Directed by Peter Jackson.
Director Christopher Nolan's third installment in his "Batman" franchise, "Dark Knight Rises" takes place eight years after the events of "The Dark Knight" and follows Batman (Christian Bale) in his attempt to thwart Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and Bane (Tom Hardy).
A spaghetti western set in the Old South, in which Django (Jamie Foxx), a freed slave, sets out across the country to rescue his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) from a sadistic plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
A period biopic based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's biography "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," which will focus on the last few months of Lincoln's life. The president is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln is played by Sally Field. Directed by Steven Spielberg.
A six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) lives with her father Wink (Dwight Henry) in a southern Delta community in this drama, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Benh Zeitlin.
Based on the true story of a paralyzed man in an iron lung (John Hawkes) who hires a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to take his virginity. Directed by Ben Lewin.
Based on the novel "These Foolish Things" by Deborah Moggach, the film follows a group of well-off British senior citizens who decide to live out the rest of their retirement years in Bangalore, India. The cast includes two-time Oscar winner Maggie Smith, Oscar-winner Judi Dench, two-time nominee Tom Wilkinson, as well as Dev Patel and Bill Nighy. Directed by John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love").
A woman in a loveless marriage (Keira Knightley) has an affair with Count Vronsky (Aaron Johnson). Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy. Directed by Joe Wright ("Atonement," "Hanna").
Based on the popular young-adult novels, "The Hunger Games" is a science-fiction drama set in a dystopian future in which Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) must fight for her life in the title competition. Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, and Elizabeth Banks also star. Directed by Gary Ross ("Pleasantville," "Seabiscuit").
The story of a married couple, both in their eighties, who are challenged when she suffers an attack. Directed by Michael Haneke. Won the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Matt Damon and John Krasinski co-wrote and co-star in this drama about natural gas fracking in a small town. It is directed by Gus Van Sant, who has directed previous Best Picture nominees "Milk" and "Good Will Hunting."
This drama is the true story of a family spending Christmas in Thailand in 2004 when the tsunami strikes. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona ("The Orphanage").