Joseph J. Airdo’s Favorite Flicks of 2012

As has been the case every other year, few films on my top ten list for 2012 would be considered “best” by most critics’ qualifications. Instead, it is filled with flicks that affected me in some way, shape or form – be it moving me on an exceptionally emotional level, touching me in an intensely spiritual fashion or simply succeeding in spreading a smile across my face. Granted, you are unlikely to find many of these movies nominated for Academy Awards. But each one of them achieved something even more spectacular – they had a memorable and lasting impact on my year.

10. “The Impossible”
Rewards those who brave the uncomfortable waters with a heightened hope that tides can turn even in the seemingly grimmest of circumstances.

9. “Robot and Frank”
One of the year’s most human movies, using visionary ideas about technology to not only stimulate your brain but also touch your heart.

8. “Frankenweenie”
An unconventional, creative and cordial celebration of cinema that is as rare as lightning striking twice in precisely the same place.

7. “Mother’s Day”
Seriously shocking, spectacularly suspenseful and utterly unsettling from its creative vision of violence to its constant sense of danger.

6. “Detention”
With a pace that could outrun a cheetah and an attention span the size of a fairyfly, makes Mars look like your next door neighbor’s house.

5. “Killer Joe”
Dark, demented, distressing and guaranteed to turn you off fried chicken for the foreseeable future with a menacing Matthew McConaughey.

4. “Compliance”
Deeply disturbing, leaving you both emotionally and intellectually shaken. If this is not the stuff of nightmares, then nothing is.

3. “Safety Not Guaranteed”
The epitome of a small movie with a big idea and an even bigger heart, giving viewers a very valid reason to believe in fairy tales.

2. “Life of Pi”
Takes viewers on a majestic journey that is breathtakingly beautiful, extremely exotic and incredibly immersive. It may forever change you.

1. “Jeff, Who Lives at Home”
Goofy, hopeful, honest, intimate, whimsical, funny, poignant, sweet, smart and spiritual. This movie makes you feel fantastic to be alive.

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at

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