The Avengers (The Comic Books Gods delivered)
The Grey (A film that captures emotion, visual flourishes and an ace performance from Mr. Neeson)
John Carter (It may not have made a lot of money, but Andrew Stanton created the only real fantasy story of the year)
Haywire (A genre exercise filled with capable actors)
Cabin in the Woods (Horror with a genuine surprise and comic wit. Thanks again, Whedon!)
Hunger Games (Jennifer Lawrence shines again in the woods)
Seeking A Friend for the End of the World (Is its tone a little shifty? Yes, but the world is also ending.)
The Secret World of Arriety (Beautifully hand-drawn film with a touch of humanity)
Missed the Cut: Snow White and the Hunstman, Mirror Mirror, Friends with Kids, Dark Shadows
Notable films not seen: Moonrise Kingdom, The Raid: Redemption, Brave, Bernie.
Not a bad bunch of films. The real test lies in the coming seasons when The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained, Looper, Argo, Skyfall, Lawless, Killing them Softly and The Master take the stage. 2012 is shaping up to be a year in which traditional Oscar-fare will be outshined by genre efforts and auteur-visions. Sounds perfect.