25 January 2017

Top 10 Films 3.0: 2012-2014

As we did yesterday with years 2009-2011, it's about that time where we re-evaluate our Top Ten film rankings of yesteryear. Attitudes change and some movies hold up better or worse than others over the years. While this is certainly a pointless exercise with no real end year after year, it's definitely a nice way to be reminded of how many good flicks there are out there and an encouragement to see as many as possible. I would postulate that as my tastes have evolved, these latter years won't change that much - based both on their recency matching my current profile and the original lists being more solid and less random and pandering than when I first started this site.

Again, for our first realignment back in 2014, which also holds our first lists, click here!

2012:

The Campaign
The Grey
The Five-Year Engagement
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Life of Pi 
Skyfall
Argo
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained
The Master
When we last met I was but the student

There's only three films that I have retained through the years, four since 2014 which is actually incredible. The Grey has maintained a low spot on the list while Django and The Master have unwaveringly held the top two positions. Other than that I've moved away from the slew of great action films in 2012 like Dredd and Looper in favour of the great comedies like The Five-Year Engagement and Celeste and Jesse Forever. I never thought much of Life of Pi, but it's grown on me, and in terms of big spectacle films I traded The Dark Knight Rises for Skyfall. 2012 is an all-around pretty solid year that I can see switching around quite a bit, while I don't think much can touch those top two giants. Other films like Moonrise KingdomSeven Psychopaths, and even Pitch Perfect were tough to leave off, but they're ultimately all too gimmicky. Then again, The Campaign gets the #10 spot as a film that's held up remarkably well as its outrageousness is eclipsed by actual contemporary political campaigns.

2013:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Frozen
Prisoners
12 Years a Slave
The World's End
Pain & Gain
Spring Breakers
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Wolf of Wall Street
Stoker
omg shoes

I really love a list that includes Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Prisoners so close to each other. You may have noticed how much I've loved the Phil Lord and Chris Miller films, but I'd argue that the sequel is actually the superior film in many ways. Now, to be sure, my original 2013 list was a total cop-out that just allowed me to list all the films I liked. That's all kind of bullshit. Of the 19 films listed, six remain here. In 2014 I re-ranked and as predicted, the lists are pretty similar, with seven films still cropping up here. The major difference is Stoker, which I just watched and loved, earning it the #1 spot. In future installments I'd be curious if that film's position is tenuous. Other than that this list is crazily similar. Frozen moves from #8 to #9, 12 Years a Slave moves from #6 to #7, and the Top Five largely remain identical besides the downvote of The World's End and the inclusion of Stoker. To be sure, when making the 2017 list I didn't even glance at previous rankings; I literally re-ranked from scratch, which means 2013 is remarkably stable, at least as far as my tastes are concerned. I would like The Lone Ranger to make it someday.

2014:


Interstellar
The LEGO Movie
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Foxcatcher
Snowpiercer
The Interview
Birdman
Gone Girl
Inherent Vice
Under the Skin
Scottish Men only use 10% of their dicks

Some years are weird with titles, like how 2012 has "The" in front of a lot of films. 2014 is all about "In" - Interstellar, Interveiw, Inherent Vice...2014 retains seven from the original list, but in drastically different order, with Under the Skin moving way up and Interstellar moving way down. Birdman I unanimously named my favourite at the time, although it's #4 in 2017. What's more weird is that in 2015 I re-ranked and only five remain from that one just a little over a year ago. Those are basically the Top Four, although I had difficulty leaving John Wick and Dear White People off the list - the former because it's a well-constructed action film that isn't that great of a film, and the latter for just being something that didn't stick with me as much as it did in 2015. Instead, Foxcatcher and Snowpiercer sneak in, both of which I still actively talk and think about.

These ranks ought to be considered Norwegian Morning Wood canon for at least the next three years. I'd be curious to see how anything changes between now and 2020 or if we've somewhat stabilized. We of course JUST ranked 2016 and re-ranked 2015 here, so you may check that out as well. As for the future, we can only guess as to which films rise to prominence, which seem to flash hot then fade, and which barely miss the cut in favour of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

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