50 Films better than The Dark Knight Rises in 2012

In response to our question: Is The Dark Knight Rises the best film of 2012, Dan Grant gives us 50 reasons why it clearly isn’t. What did you think of Christopher Nolan’s film?

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2012 was supposed to be the year of The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, which in my opinion, is one of the 25 best films of all time, left an indelible mark on cinema. But, following it up with the next chapter in the series was going to be a daunting task.

Dating as far back as 2009, I feared that The Dark Knight Rises would, like many third parts to a trilogy, drop in quality. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were minor miracles. They were films that redefined the superhero film from popcorn summer fun to a more serious tone with Oscar possibilities. And, of course, we all know about Heath Ledger’s once-in-a-life-time performance as the Joker.

I did not anticipate that The Dark Knight Rises would not only drop in quality but quite frankly turn out to be a lazy, silly film that not only defies logic but essentially turns itself into a parody of The Dark Knight.

Does the plot make any sense… Batman, or Bruce Wayne, cannot only find his way back home from a hole in the middle of nowhere, but he can do it with no money, no identification and no idea where he actually is.

Then when arriving back in Gotham, he cannot only get into a city that no one can get out of, but he can find Selena in the middle of that city. He has also picked up the gift of clairvoyance and he must have spoken with Warner Brother’s head Barry Meyer and asked him to lend him Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak so that he could spend a day getting enough gas to douse an entire building in downtown Gotham. This was done so that he could light his bat symbol on the building.

You also have the American military just saying, “Oh well, we’ll let ten million people die because one man claims he has a nuclear bomb.” No rescue is attempted and these people of Gotham are just left to fight for themselves. The film also has the stupidest police force in the entire world as EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM RUNS INTO THE SEWERS TO LOOK FOR THEIR LEADER. Every single one!

I could go on with this, but instead of ranting, I’ll just give you a list of 50 films that are better than The Dark Knight Rises this year.


For the counter argument and the reason The Dark Knight Rises could be the best film of 2012 – click here.


Note: My grade for TDKR is 6/10.
Further note: I have not seen any films released from Dec 7th and on.

These films are listed in no particular order, but they are all better than The Dark Knight Rises.

1. Argo: 10/10

Suspenseful, funny and featuring lots of Canada make this one of the best films of the year. Affleck gets it so perfect he even has this brilliant line: “Where are you from?” “ToronTO” “Don’t say ToronTO, Canadians don’t pronounce the last T.” And he’s right.

2. Battleship: 9/10

Action, more action and still more action. A terrible performance from Rihanna doesn’t dampen this summer popcorn film.

3. Red Dawn: 6.5/10

Not quite as good as the original but Thor and his merry men make this a much liked film.

4. Magic Mike: 8.5/10

I was the only guy in the theatre. Oestrogen was dripping off the walls. My wife liked it, I liked it and it made me laugh. Far better than seven and half hours of TDKR that culminates with Batman surviving a nuclear blast only to end up in the middle of Inception.

5. Ted: 7/10

A teddy bear coming to life? Yep, this too makes more sense than the plot of TDKR.

6. Men in Black 3: 8.5/10

The first was okay, the second was one of the worst movies of 2002 but this one gets it right.

7. 21 Jump Street: 8/10

Thank you Korean Jesus. That’s all.

8. Taken 2: 6.5/10

Not as good as the first, but still better than TDKR. Plus it has Maggie Grace in a bikini…and she has learned how to run correctly.

9. Safehouse: 7/10

Ryan and Denzel could read the phonebook and it would be entertaining.

10. Breaking Dawn 2: 9.5/10

The best of the Twilight films. Even the worst of the Twilight films make more sense that TDKR.

11. The Vow: 7.5/10

Two beautiful people together in a sweet and syrupy love story. What’s not to like?

12. Pitch Perfect: 7.5/10

Anna Kendrick might be the most beautiful woman on the planet. Well, maybe not that hot, but when you combine her talents with a mash up of Don’t You Forget About Me and some other recent hits, add in Fat Amy, you have the feel good film of the year.

13. The Bourne Legacy: 8/10

A good film without Damon. I think the next one will be even better.

14. Think Like A Man: 9/10

The funniest film of the year, or at least tied. Kevin Hart made tears roll down my cheeks.

15. Skyfall: 7/10

Sam Mendes directed American Beauty. Why is it he can direct action better than Christopher Nolan? Seriously.

16. The Expenables 2: 7/10

I’m one of the few who loved the first and feels that this is a step backwards. I hope they make the third even better.

17. John Carter: 8/10

Disney did not need to spend 250 million on this, but it is a very good film and a lot of fun. If the budget wasn’t such a well publicised issue I think more people would have liked it.

18. Contraband: 7.5/10

Wahlberg and a sexy Kate Beckinsale, good action, fun story and a slimy Giovanni Ribisi.

19. Looper: 7.5/10

Over-hyped but not disappointing. Great story and a fun mind screw to see Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt face off against each other….as the same character.

20. The Avengers: 9.5/10

The definitive superhero film. It has everything that TDKR doesn’t, especially a villain you can understand and heroes that can make you chuckle once in a while.

21. Hope Springs: 7/10

A funny film but more importantly one of the bravest performances from both Streep and Jones. Lots of very honest discussion about sex. And, a terrific but subdued performance from Carell.

22. Lincoln: 9/10

Brilliant script, a Heath Ledger like brilliant performance from Daniel Day Lewis and a terrific supporting cast make this one of the year’s best.

23. The Dictator: 8/10

Not nearly as good as Borat, but some very biting sarcasm directed towards the US.

24. American Reunion: 9/10

Stifler, Jim and the boys are back, and funnier than ever. And Finch’s mom is super hot.

25. This Means War: 6.5/10

A likable cast that features Bane, Captain Kirk and Elle Woods, its funny and brisk. Not a great film by any means but still more to like than TDKR.

26. The Woman in Black: 7/10

One of the decent horror films of the year but seeing Danielle Radcliffe in a setting like this makes you ask yourself when is Snape showing up?

27. Paranormal Activity 4: 8/10

As much as the story is frustrating me now (just get to the conclusion and tell us what it all means) Katie still scares the hell out of me.

28. The Grey: 8/10

Brian Mills crashes in the middle of the Arctic (or so it seems) and he has to wrestle wolves instead of Albanians.

29. Red Tails: 7/10

George Lucas’ ambitious film about an all black air force unit in World War II. Lots of action but the story needed to be a bit tighter.

30. Savages: 8.5/10

Oliver Stone doing something other than conspiracies is a win for us, the paying customer. A terrific cast and a mind blowing story with a Breaking Dawn-esque finale.

31. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: 9/10

One of my favourites of the year. Old English people in India is a lot of fun. A superb cast.

32. The Raid: Redemption: 9/10

I was breathless when I left the theatre. The best or close to it, martial arts film I have ever seen. The final fight between the three main characters must have taken months to choreograph. Nolan should take notes from this director.

33. Moonrise Kingdom: 6.5/10

Not a bad film but not great. TDKR is not terrible, but not enough to be not bad.

34. Cabin in the Woods: 8/10

A nice tongue in cheek horror film that nods and winks to the audience.

35. Chronicle: 9/10

One of the most entertaining films of the year. Truly mind blowing trying to figure out how they did some of what they did.

36. Here Comes the Boom: 8/10

An inspirational film about doing the right thing. Kevin James lost about 50 pounds for the movie….then put it all back on a year later. I lost 40 pounds in the summer and have kept it off….and I don’t have celebrity chefs to cook my food for me.

37. Lawless: 8/10

Bane gives another good performance, even though he grunts and croaks like a frog half the time. LaBoeuf is annoying in real life, but fantastic in here. And Jessica Chastain is hot, like too hot…seriously.

38. House at the End of the Street: 7/10

Should be a 6.5, but gets an extra half point because Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Shue don’t own anything but tank tops in this.

39. Five Year Engagement: 8/10

Funny, a bit too long, but a fantastic ending.

40. Rock of Ages: 9/10

Might be the most fun I’ve had at the theatre all year. Wanted to get up and sing all the tunes. And Julianne Hough is hot, like too hot…seriously.

41. Big Miracle: 8.5/10

Based on a true story, one of the more emotional and uplifting films about how all kinds of different people of all nationalities come together and put their differences aside to help out three stranded whales.

42. Man on a Ledge: 7/10

A good and fun “innocent man” thriller.

43. Chernobyl Diaries: 8.5/10

A downright creepy setting, a fantastic performance from Jonathan Sodowski and an ending that’s a shot to the gut. This is one of the best horror films of the year.

44. Safe: 8.5/10

One of Statham’s best films outside of The Expendables.

45. The Perks of Being a Wallflower: 10/10

Tied for my favourite film of the year. Emma Watson radiates in here and the film brings you back to the John Hughes style of film making where the writer understands how young adults think and feel. One of the best films I have ever seen.

46. People Like Us: 8.5/10

Elizabeth Banks should get an Oscar nomination for her performance. She is incredible. A story about getting knocked down and coming back with a smile….

47. Friends with Kids: 8.5/10

Very funny film with astute observations about marriage and dating. Great cast.

48. Goon: 9.5/10

This is the funniest film of the year, or at least tied with Think Like A Man. I admit if you don’t like hockey, you won’t get all the humour. I love hockey, so I do.

49. Flight: 6.5/10

A good film up until the last 15 minutes. It was a cop out and a very disappointing ending to a very decent film up until that point. Still marginally better than TDKR and its zero logic plot.

50. Silver Linings Playbook: 10/10

Tied with Wallflower as my favourite film of the year. Funny, inspirational and three performances that will make you want to stand up and cheer. You might even fall in love with Jennifer Lawrence….even though she ditched her tank tops from House on the End of the Street.

And there you have it. 50 films better than TDKR. Let’s hope Nolan’s next big budget film is more “The Dark Knight” than it is “Rises”.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Do you agree? What did you think of The Dark Knight Rises. What was your favourite film of the 2012?

Written and compiled by Dan Grant.
Follow Dan on Twitter @baumer72. Dan Grant is a writer and horror film fan from Canada.

For the counter argument click here.

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About the Author
Dan Grant is an author and horror film fan from Canada. His first novel Terrified and Defenseless is now available for e-download from Amazon. Follow Dan on Twitter @baumer72.

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  1. Avatar
    Bucklesworth Reply

    While I can’t agree with every film in your list being better than TDKR, I definitely agree that it was NOT the masterpiece most people make it out to be. It had so many issues that I found it hard to believe anyone couldn’t see past them. Not the least of which a movie about Batman had only two scenes in a 2+ hour flick with Wayne dressed as Batman.

    My blogging cohort Boonsweet did enjoy the film way more than I did, but he and I both agreed that it would have been much better if it wasn’t a Batman based story. For his perspective, you can see the review here: http://boonsweetnbucklesworth.blogspot.ca/2012/08/whos-afraid-of-big-black-bat.html

    Anyway, a solid article, sir. Hat’s off to you for not being afraid of the fanboys and giving an honest opinion of TDKN, with a few good facts to back it up.

  2. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    I’m sorry, but ranking Breaking Dawn 2 a 9.5? Did you even watch that s***** thing?

    This list is a fail. Sorry Dan, but I can’t take this seriously.

  3. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    Breaking Dawn 2 is faithful to the book. its a fantastic adaptation. That makes it better.

  4. Avatar
    Al K Hall Reply

    Breaking Dawn 2 better than The Dark Knight Rises? Gutsy. i beg to differ. While some of your other calls are close (The Expendables 2, Taken 2, This Means War), Breaking Dawn 2 and Rock of Ages are The Dinner for Schmucks of 2012.

    Breaking Dawn 2 is faithful to the book. its a fantastic adaptation. That makes it better. Wow, you read the book? lol

    Stay brave, brother!

  5. Avatar
    Pete Reply

    A 9 for Battleship and you have a problem with TDKR’s plot not making sense?! Oh wow!
    I was actually expect to see a meaningful list of good movies I may of missed.. Again oh wow!

  6. Avatar
    Robert William Graham Reply

    My personal best film is the avengers but the dark knight rises comes a very close second

  7. Avatar
    Hel Jones Reply

    1/50 not in the English language – I take it the writer doesn’t like subtitles, then.

  8. Avatar
    keith7198 Reply

    lol! Strange topic but I have to answer “none”. At least not yet.

  9. Avatar
    Mike P Williams Reply

    Battleship, Taken 2, Twilight, Savages, Here Comes the Boom and Chernobyl Diaries are all better than TDKR?! I have to strongly disagree there I’m afraid.

  10. Avatar
    Robert William Graham Reply

    @Mike P Williams: Me too!

  11. Avatar
    Ted Saydalavong Reply

    LOL, Safe House is better than TDKR? He loss any credibility right there, Safe House is the worst film of the year.

  12. Avatar
    FJ Reply

    I agree that dark knight rises is hyped, but Battleship? Interesting read thanks some good films.

  13. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    If I enjoy the film is it made me laugh if it was entertaining than that to me is a good thing. sounds like battleship are not going to be oscar contenders or films have deep meaning but they are entertaining. TDKR. is just bloated imo.

  14. Avatar
    Pete Reply

    Cabin in the Woods and Argo are in my top 10 of the year but TDKR is still my number one. The Hunt also came close but that’s not on your list. I would strongly disagree with most of these. Some are crazy controversial. Taken 2? Safe? Goon? Each to their own I guess!

  15. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    I think someone mentioned my lack of foreign films on my list. The only place I ciuld see some of them is downtown Toronto. Too hard for me to get to. Im in Mississauga which is about 25kms from downtown T.O.

  16. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    Allow me to explain a bit. First of all, horror is my favourite genre, so when a horror film is done right, it goes to the top of my list. PA4, Chernobyl and Cabin in the Woods did a lot of things right so they make my list for sure.

    I’m a very big Twilight fan. Sue me. Yes, I’m 40, straight, been married for 12 years, workout, have a flat top haircut and am basically about as much of a against the stereotype kind of person who you would think would like Twilight. BD2 was almost perfect imo. It took a few liberties with the end of the book, but that was done for the better of the film.

    Battleship was nothing but fun. There was little plot and that didn’t bother me at all. The Bay type 360 camera pans and the jingoism and the explosions all worked for me. I’m not saying its a better made film than TDKR or hat Peter Berg is in the same area code as Nolan when it comes to directing, but at least I had fun watching it.

    Here Comes the Boom was a good family film and had its heart in the right place, Goon is the funniest film of the year and even though This Means War really isn’t that good of a film, it still made more sense than TDKR.

    I’ll answer more of your posts as they come.

  17. Avatar
    Jack Deth Reply

    Hi, Dan and company:

    Cannot disagree with your critique or rating of ‘TDKR’. A major disappointment after the two preceding films. I’ve no doubt it will be one of HBO’s seasonal flagship films around summertime, 2013.

    I might have a few bones to pick with some of your other ‘better’ choices. But they are your choices. Kudos for taking the time to arrange and lay them out.

  18. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    It is comforting to see some sanity in the comments so thanks to all who have approached this article from the perspective that it was posted. These are Dan’s favourite films of the year, not anybody else’s, so does it really matter if he picked a film that the majority of people thought was poor or that his list features only English-language films (thankfully, given the point of the list, no one could role out the old chestnut: WHAT?!? Haven’t you ever seen a film before 1995!)? Whether you agree or disagree this is still Dan’s choice of 50 films that better The Dark Knight Rises.

    I for one loved Christopher Nolan’s concluding part to his trilogy. The inconsistent plot didn’t bother me one bit (I tend to allow my suspension of disbelief further leeway in the fantasy genre), and I’d rather submit myself to medical research than watch the horrendous Twilight films.

    But this was an interesting/fun list to go through. It also highlights just how disappointed so many Nolan/The Dark Knight fans were with the third film. Perhaps the mere mention of Twilight Breaking Dawn being better than Nolan’s concluding chapter examples this most severely (for some).

    It has been an interesting few days for the website. Plenty of backlash for posting: Is The Dark Knight Rises the best film of the year? When Dan Grant told me he’d seen 50 films better than The Dark Knight in 2012, I thought he was kidding. But he definitely wasn’t and it was interesting to hear his thoughts. That influenced me to post his list of 50, knowing it would be provocative.

    Thankfully, amid some unsavoury comments (I haven’t removed any that disagree only those that decided an opinion over a movie meant it was okay to spit abuse at the writer), there were some who understood the point of it all. Particularly, thanks to Jack Deth, whose thoughtful comment ended with this:

    “I might have a few bones to pick with some of your other ‘better’ choices. But they are your choices. Kudos for taking the time to arrange and lay them out.”

  19. Avatar
    Evan Crean Reply

    Agreed that The Dark Knight Rises did not necessarily live up to expectations, but I simply cannot endorse Red Dawn being on the list. It is the most god awful film that I’ve seen this year. Mediocre action, zero character or plot development, and atrocious dialogue. I can get on board with most of the others, aside from Man on a Ledge which I also found equally terrible. I thought that had worse plot holes than TDKR. Plus that actually was supposed to be a more realistic story. At least TDKR takes place in the superhero world where there’s additional room to suspend your disbelief.

  20. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    I’d like to thank Dan for letting me write this article here. I have been called a troll by a lot of people at the website I talk movies at all the time. I linked them the article and even they think I’m crazy.

    I respect everyone’s opinion and I understand why TDKR is loved by so many. I think I was just so hyped for it because I loved the others so much that when it let me down, it really peeved me off. And that’s unfortunate. I mean no harm in my article, and a lot of it is on the light side. 🙂

  21. Avatar
    mark Reply

    Haven’t seen TDKR, and I didn’t understand the second installment of the series, so there’s probably no point in me saying anything.

    However …

    I thought Savages was pretty messy; Battleship was kinda too derivative; Chronicle ran out of poke in the third act; but Cabin in the Woods was fun (a stoner is responsible for the end of the world; furthermore, he beats Ripley to do it – not bad … we almost didn’t have a theatrical release of it in my part of the world).

    And speaking of being on the edge of the empire, we haven’t had Lincoln here yet … earlier this year I read Gore Vidal’s novel about the man and thought it was most excellent. Pity Spielberg didn’t use it as the basis for his screenplay .. but then again, maybe he saw Myra Beckingridge.

  22. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    Oh dear lord.

    I cry myself to sleep at night knowing people out there “like” the Twilight books.

    Okay, I’ll step back and say that some of the films you’ve listed might be more “enjoyable” than TDKR, mainly because TDKR does have some flaws that could reduce its iconic status, it’s a hard film to watch. TDKR is dark, tense and barely heroic – it plays more like a desperate thriller, but many of the films listed here (and I admit, I haven’t seen all the ones you’ve compared) could in no way be considered “better” than TDKR. Not at all.

    Perhaps a better title for this post would be “Top 30 Films Dan Enjoyed More Than TDKR”, which would be less misleading and closer to the truth.

    Battleship – a film I really enjoyed thoroughly in the cinema, and again recently on BluRay, is a horrendously flawed, brainless film, and I can admit as such, but in no way does that reduce my enjoyment of it. That being said, as a ranking of “better” films, Battleship would be near the bottom of my list for 2012 as far as quality, intelligent, logical filmmaking goes. So you can enjoy crud, even if you know it’s a stupid film anyway.

    What I think upset many folks with TDKR is how several gaping plot holes (sending the entire police force into the sewerage, for example) ruined an otherwise dramatic finale to the Nolanbat saga, however the film remains eminently watchable and powerful as an emotional full-stop in its own right. What Nolan achieved with Batman is similar to Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy – he took a concept most people baulked at as being “fantasy” or “unrealistic” and made it popular…. How many people under the age of 30 have ever read Lord Of The Rings – I mean c’mon, seriously, not as many as haven’t, surely. Nerds and geeks asaide, nobody expected Lord Of The Rings to be the success it was, and I guess most could say the same about Batman in the post-Joel Schumacher world. That Batman Begins allowed The Dark Knight to exist, and consequently TDKR, is a wonder in itself.

    Being let down by a film doesn’t always make it a bad film. It makes it different from what you were expecting.

  23. Avatar
    Pete Reply

    Agree with Rodney 100%! the title is not only misleading but obviously used TDKR as a marketing tool to draw readers in.

  24. Avatar
    Steve Carter Reply

    Is this some kind of bad joke? I’ve seen over half those films and not one of them was better than TDKR. Some of them weren’t even good. He also only gave Moonrise Kingdom a 6.5.

    The only thing bringing any credit to the list is the fact that he liked John Carter and loved Silver Linings Playbook and Perks Of Being A Wallflower.

  25. Avatar
    Chris Reply

    I can’t say I agree with much of what you’ve put on this list, although I do agree there are better films than TDKR this year. It’s probably in my top 5 though. However, I’m fairly sure that if I’d seen everything I wanted to see this year, it would probably have been pushed further down.

  26. Avatar
    Jaina Reply

    My ability to take this list seriously when I saw Battleship, Twilight and Paranormal Activity on this list. If anyone spent the same amount of time picking through the plots of any of these films on this list as they did for TDKR it’d all be awash!

  27. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    @Mark: I hope you get a chance to see Lincoln. It is a very good film but that I had to see twice to understand it all. DDL is incredible in it.

    @Rodney: Twilight gets a lot of flack from too many people. Here’s the story with it. I read the first book on summer vacation at the cottage. I was mesmerized with it after a few pages. I didn’t expect to like it at all, but once I read the first, I finished the other three in 6 weeks. The story of vampires, werewolves and humans all co-existing in one small Washington small town is fascinating. BD2 did everything right so it gets high marks from me. I’m not ashamed of my love for Twilight. You shouldn’t go to be crying because someone has a different opinion on film than you.

    @Pete: The title is not misleading at all. There are 50 films on this list that I truly believe are better than TDKR. It’s Dan’s (me)opinion, not Dan’s (the editor). So there is no chicanery here at all. Just one other person’s opinion.

    @Steve Carter: No bad jokes here. I’m glad you liked SLP and Wallflower but see, these are the kinds of films that everyone seems to like, so you are comfortable listing them. But there are plenty of films that are not conventional enough to be mentioned because it seems to me, some people (not accusing you of this) are afraid to admit what they really like in fear of backlash. I don’t worry about this as I know what I like.

    @Chris: I hope you get around to seeing some more films. There are some very good ones out there this year. The three best imo are Argo, SLP and Wallflower.

    @Jaina: PA4 is better than 3 but not as good as 1 and 2 but it still did a lot of things right. It upped the ante in some areas. And if a movie can make me feel uneasy, like I am on edge and not knowing what is going happen( the knife disappearing in the kitchen did this beautifully) then it has done a good job. As for Battleship, I enjoyed it for the popcorn film it was, nothing more. And Twilight I have explained.

  28. Avatar
    Colin Biggs Reply

    You lost me after Battleship got 9/10.

  29. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    @Colin: Your loss then. The rest of the article is about more than Battleship. And Battleship didn’t pretend to be anything more than a fun popcorn film. TDKR tried to be the next oscar contender. 2 hours and 45 minutes if silliness as opposed to 2 hours of explosions and fun. I’ll take Battleship any day.

  30. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    @ Dan – Dude, I’m not crying that you’ve got a different opinion than me. I’m impressed with your enormous balls for saying what you have in this list, because frankly you’ve done considerably well to confound and amaze just about everyone else here at Top 10 Films. I cry that some people consider Twilight (especially Breaking Dawn, the worst epilogue ever written, IMO) to be legitimate “literature”. If you enjoy them, more power to you, but there’s so many problems with the books – regardless of popularity – that it staggered me that people would consider making actual films out of them. Yeah, I’ve read them too, and as I did I kept thinking to myself “people out there are reading this crap and taking it seriously as a work of creative fiction”…. Breaking Dawn, which spends an inordinate amount of time inside Bella and Jacob’s mind, instead of the “real word”, is nearly an unfilmable story due to inherent narrative pitfalls. The reason the books and films “get a lot of flack from too many people” is that so many people see the books and films for what they are – rubbish. Make a silk purse out of a sows ear as much as you like, but these books aren’t as great as the marketing hype would have you believe. Anyway, I’m not here to try and convert your thinking – I’m simply trying to explain mine.

    Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with enjoying all/some/most of the films you’ve got on this list, but you need to differentiate between “enjoyment” and “quality”. A list like this needs to be more than just “film x is better because it’s got sexy Kate Beckinsale” to validate itself – I too could find a few films with less plot holes than TDKR, but if lacking a sexy Kate Beckinsale (and, as a fellow nearly-40 heterosexual male as well, I’ll take Anne Hathaway’s gorgeous body over Beckinsale any day) is what prevents TDKR from being “better” than Contraband, I’d say the foundations on which you base this list are, at best, tenusously held together with ratings from Rotten Tomatoes.

    I think what we can establish from this whole exercise is that everyone has different opinions, and thank god because it would be boring if it was all the same.

  31. Avatar
    The Vern Reply

    The Nolan Batman Universe should have ended with The Dark Knight. That said I do think it’s a solid movie by itself, and I enjoyed watching it. I would not give the same respect to Taken 2, Men in Black 3, This Means War, Paranormal Activity 4, Breaking Wind..sorry Breaking Dawn Part 2 as being better then the Dark Knight Rises. Your kind of streching those titles a bit

  32. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    @Rodney: Nicely said.

    I just meant don’t cry yourself to sleep knowing that people like the Twilight books. That was one of the things you said in your previous posts.

    I find it humourous that people hate Twilight so much yet they have read all four books and seen the movies. I don’t really like all the Potter’s that much and I have seen all the films and read most of the books so I guess it’s the same thing.

  33. Avatar
    Novroz Reply

    Whuaaaa I love this quote!!

    I did not anticipate that The Dark Knight Rises would not only drop in quality but quite frankly turn out to be a lazy, silly film that not only defies logic but essentially turns itself into a parody of The Dark Knight.

    I thought I was the only one in the blogging world (of all the blogger I know) who think TDKR is mnot good at all!! the plot is just terrible and too made up!!

    I definitely agree that The Raid is much better than TDKR. But I totally disagree with twilight series being there.

    ten thumbs up for this post

  34. Avatar
    Colin Biggs Reply

    It wasn’t just Battleship, Dan, it was also Safe, Here Comes the Boom, Chernobyl Diaries and American Reunion.

    I would hate to watch that many crappy movies.

  35. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    @Novroz Nice to see someone else who feels the same way.

    @Colin Biggs: I see maybe 70-80 movies at the theater a year. I watch maybe 300-500 movies a year. Obviously some of the movies I watch are films I have seen before (I watch JAWS once a month AT LEAST and have done so since my teens). The point is I love movies. I try to give every film a chance and see it without any preconceived notions. Some of the biggest surpirses are films that I saw when I had seen everything else and I had a few hours to kill. That happened to me with over Her Dead Body. That film came out in the dead of winter in 2008 and it made a grand total of 7 million dollars. I don’t particularly like Eva Longoria as an actress or as a person, from what I have read of her. So it took me a while to see it….and I loved it. It was one of the funnier films of 2008.

    My point is, if you give films a chance and don’t pay attention to what professional film reviewers write about them, you might find some hidden gems.

    Safe was a fun imbroglio movie. The plot has been done before but it was executed well. Here Comes the Boom had a very big heart and it was very uplifting and had a great message. Cerhonbyl Diaries is the best horror film I’ve see this year. It had a fantastic setting and it told a dire story and the ending really accentuated the power of the film. If you don’t like horror maybe you won’t appreciate it. I love horror and I think it’s the hardest genre to master. And if you didn’t like American Reunion, my guess is you didn’t like the first three because the film was side-splitting funny.

    I’m all for reading your opinions and I’ll try to rebut all of your comments. Keep em coming.

  36. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    Make it 51. I saw Hitchcock yesterday.

  37. Avatar
    Lip Reply

    Although I agree there were a lot of films better than TDKR this year, I can’t comprehend not having The Hunger Games as one of them. That was a fantastic movie in every sense. Not too mention The Hobbit, which I just saw last night and absolutely loved. Not far off from Fellowship in my opinion, with far superior F/X.

  38. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    The Hobbit was horrible and it put me to sleep. The Hunger Games was nothing but a rip off Battle Royale. Neither were better than TDKR, in fact all three films rank a 6/10 imo.

  39. Avatar
    Mark Reply

    “Disney did not need to spend 250 million on this (John Carter), but it is a very good film and a lot of fun. If the budget wasn’t such a well publicised issue I think more people would have liked it.”

    Just sat through both TDKR and JC while indulging in a welcome dose of Xmas cheer.

    I disagree with most of the above-quoted analysis – plus I don’t think JC was better than TDKR, which I sat through twice in an attempt to come to grips with it all. Alas, I’m not a Batman fan; also, I’m not too sympathetic when it comes to the excesses of its director, so I came out none the better from the experience.

    Having done that, I’m not going to bother with a round two for JC … I thought it was really dull, despite the obvious expense that went into it.

    So, what’s the obvious difference between TDKR and JC? Only one will get a sequel. That is, of course, unless someone bankable like Spielberg puts their hand up to direct the second of Edgar Rice Burrough’s Mars series. Even then, they’ll probably get a better lead actor.

    Interestingly, I notice that another film which was jaundiced at the box office by its budget – Heaven’s Gate – was reissued yet again in 2012, with the promise from some critics that a number of new snips have revealed it as the masterpiece that Cimino had envisaged when he unleashed it on an unsuspecting public back in 1980.

    Personally I’m not holding my breath – a dog is, afterall, a dog, regardless of its hair cut.

  40. Avatar
    Lip Reply

    Battle Royale was fun, but The Hunger Games was a far superior film in just about every way there is to critique them (IMO of course). The Hobbit may not have been your type of movie (did you like LOTR?) but to say it’s horrible (especially while liking The Twilight dreg…yes I did watch the 1st one and it was as bad as I expected it to be) is incomprehensible to me. I’ve read plenty of reviews that didn’t like the movie but I’m not sure how you can get to horrible unless you just hate those types of movies.

  41. Avatar
    Lip Reply

    Not too mention if you rank it 6/10 then that certainly doesn’t qualify as horrible. That’s C/C+ range.

  42. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    I did like FOTR but TTT and ROTK disappointed me immensely. And you are right, 6/10 is not horrible but it is not great either. THG, imo, is not anything close to Battle Royale. It is just a cheap ersatz of BR. I’m surprised with anyone thinking its better than Battle Royale, one of the most chilling films ever made imo.

  43. Pingback: Month in Review: December | French Toast Sunday

  44. Avatar
    Adina Stroix Reply

    argo is a great movie, i really love the action and storyline.

  45. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    You can add Zero Dark Thirty, This is 40 and Django to the list too. Les Miz…not so much.

  46. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    Just have to put this out there….if anyone has not seen Amour, do so, somehow. One of the year’s best. Riva, imo should win best actress. One of the best performances not just of this year, but of all time. She is simply stunning.

  47. Avatar
    Alex Reply

    I couldn’t agree more with Perks of Being a Wallflower. An outstanding movie I think was highly overlooked. And Goon was fantastic. Greatest performance of Sean William Scott’s career.

  48. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    I just spent a few minutes reading the comments in here again. Lots of fun. Maybe there will be a film this year that I could write about. Perhaps 50 films better than Iron Man 3.

  49. Avatar
    jjames36 Reply

    I think it safe to say you do not like The Dark Knight Rises. 🙂

    I don’t particularly like it, either, and I would have no issue finding fifty films better than it. I haven’t seen everything on your list, but those I have . . . I think most better than Dark Knight. The only exception being Lawless, which I consider a total piece of garbage.

    My favorite movie from 2012? Silver Linings, Moonrise Kingdom or Safety Not Guaranteed. But I think all of them flawed in some minor way. 2012 just wasn’t a great for movies, in my opinion.

  50. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    The thing about TDKR is that there is so much potential to be a much better film. And it’s fine to ask us to suspend disbelief, films do it all the time. But to do it 8-9-10-20 times in a film is beyond suspension of disbelief. It’s just downright stupid in my opinion. It felt like every scene with Batman and Bane was beyond dumb and the back healing from the break, the main villain, Batman getting back into the city undetected and so much more. It just took me out of the film and sadly I could not like and this is coming from someone who has The Dark Knight in my top 20 films of all time.

  51. Avatar
    Chris Reply

    Haha, this post it seriously so awesome. Totally agreed with you here, TDKR was a monumental disappointment for a multitude of reasons, and of all the films you listed, I’d say only John Carter was actually worse than it in 2012 (guess what my #1 and #2 choices for worst film were that year, lol? :P)

  52. Avatar
    thy critic man Reply

    Taken 2 is quite possibly the worst action film that I’ve ever seen. It was horrible in every sense of the word. Our opinions differ greatly on that one haha. With that said,the Dark Knight Rises was from far incredible and the way Bane went down still haunts my dreams to this day. I left disappointed as well!

  53. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    Good times here.

    Bane was a God for the first half of the film, then when it was convenient, he became a pauper. It was lazy writing and lazy storytelling.

  54. Avatar
    Dan Grant Reply

    Well, here we are two years later and I recently watched TDKR. I liked it more than I did in 2012. I still think it’s a silly movie with so many dumb plot pieces, but I enjoyed it more this time. For what it’s worth. 🙂

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