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The Best Movies of 2012 so Far

We’ve made it to the halfway point of 2012 and it’s been a good but not great year at the movies. While “Marvel’s The Avengers” dominated the year in terms of box office, it also dominated the critics who raved about the superhero adventure as much as any other movie released in the first half of the year.

Here’s a list of the 10 best movies of 2012 so far…

10. “The Cabin in the Woods”

This Joss Whedon produced horror film paced this popular genre in the first half of 2012. By deconstructing classic horror clichés and still managing to frighten audiences, “The Cabin in the Woods” was a horror delight on multiple levels.

9. “Safe House”

There are few things more fun than watching Denzel Washington in badass mode and “Safe House” is classic Denzel. Paired with Ryan Reynolds, Denzel has a perfect foil for his for anti-hero action star.

8. “Haywire”

Haywire” is a down and dirty action flick and Mixed Martial Arts star Gina Carano was the perfect choice for an action heroine. The first time actress proved a fearless performer opposite an array of Hollywood stars including Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor and Antonio Banderas.

7. “The Five Year Engagement”

Jason Segal has had a fantastic year as demonstrated by “The Five Year Engagement” being his first of two movies on this list. While many critics faulted the film for being too long I found “The Five Year Engagement” engaging throughout. Segal and co-star Emily Blunt have exceptional romantic chemistry and the film is just plain funny.

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6. “Prometheus”

A prequel to “Alien” may not have seemed like a great opportunity for original scares and new ideas but director Ridley Scott somehow pulled it off. “Prometheus” never rested on the reputation of the original “Alien” and throughout managed to find new and different ways to frighten and entertain.

5. “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”

Steve Carell and Keira Knightley may be an unlikely pair but their chemistry is undeniable in “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.” This sweet, melancholy comic romance establishes a world on the brink and two characters who represent what many will find to be the perfect stand ins for how to accept such a fate.

4. “Jeff Who Lives at Home”

As I mentioned before, it’s been a good year for Jason Segal. Teaming with the very talented Duplass Brothers Segal finds just the right mix of stunted man-child and striving adult in “Jeff Who Lives at Home.” It’s not just Segal who stars here however as Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon and Judy Greer each are given moments to deliver comedy and truth.

3. “21 Jumpstreet”

The funniest movie of 2012 is one of the most unlikely remakes ever. “21 Jumpstreet” is a remake of an 80’s TV series starring Johnny Depp that mixed action and cheap drama. The movie teamed the handsome Channing Tatum with a newly slimmed down Jonah Hill and stretched the premise well beyond the bounds of the popular, if less than memorable, TV series.

2. “Brave”

Pixar is the finest film company in the world having turned out one quality blockbuster after another. “Brave” isn’t merely the latest example of Pixar’s high quality animation, on it’s own the film is a terrifically rollicking story of a Princess like no Princess you’ve ever seen before and one truly unexpected mother-daughter bonding journey.

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1.”Marvel’s The Avengers”

Marvel’s The Avengers” was the movie of the first half of the year. Not only did it dominate the box office, rising to become the third highest grossing film of all time, but its quality and entertainment value also dazzled critics. The story of a disparate group of heroes brought together by circumstance, and Samuel L. Jackson, to save earth from alien invaders delivered great action, suspense and classic blockbuster thrills.