2012 Year-End: Time of the Hollywood Blockbusters

For awhile I thought that 2012 was likely to be a dud for the big Hollywood blockbusters. Throughout the bulk of the year, Hollywood has only released a scattering of great films, and the big hitters seemed to be few and far between. However, some of the best films of 2012, so far, include The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises, and Avengers. Snow White and the Huntsman promised to be one of the great films of 2012, but turned out to be be a disappointment in the story department despite being a showcase for gorgeous cinematography on screen. John Carter was even more disappointing. Then comes November and December and you can almost hear Hollywood commanding, “Let loose the krakens!” as we close in on 2012.

In the final two months of the year, Hollywood is releasing the kind of movies that compel people to leave their Pay-Per-View Palaces and plunk down cold hard cash to view films the way they were meant to be seen–on the BIG screen–in theaters.

Here’s a list of year-end films that are likely to be 2012 blockbusters. Some of these titles are already in theaters while others are “coming soon.” Argo is a fantastic film that brilliantly builds suspense and drama despite the audience knowing the ending. It’s a great film that is built upon a solid script, terrific actors and smart directing. Twilight: Breaking Dawn is a solid end to the Twilight series. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and the script has some surprising twists, twists that feel so natural that (while you will be utterly surprised by some of the action) you won’t begrudge the director the deviation from the story.

As for the rest of the remaining films of 2012, I’m on a week-by-week quest to see each one on the big screen. Now, all I need is a bucket of buttered popcorn, a diet Coke, and half a dozen move tickets.


On Nov. 4, 1979, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, taking 66 American hostages. Amid the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge with the Canadian ambassador. Knowing that it’s just a matter of time before the refugees are found and likely executed, the U.S. government calls on extractor Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) to rescue them. Mendez’s plan is to pose as a Hollywood producer scouting locations in Iran and train the refugees to act as his “film” crew. (description from Fandango.com)

Twilight: Breaking Dawn
Bella (Kristen Stewart) awakes — as a vampire — from her life-threatening labor, and her newborn daughter, Renesmee, proves to be very special indeed. While Bella adjusts to her new state of being, Renesmee experiences accelerated growth. When the Volturi learn of the baby’s existence, they declare her to be an abomination and sentence the Cullens to death. Bella, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and the rest of the clan seek help from allies around the world to protect their family. (description from Fandango.com)

Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come. (description from Fandango.com)

When James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) latest assignment goes terribly wrong, it leads to a calamitous turn of events: Undercover agents around the world are exposed, and MI6 is attacked, forcing M (Judi Dench) to relocate the agency. With MI6 now compromised inside and out, M turns to the one man she can trust: Bond. Aided only by a field agent (Naomie Harris), Bond takes to the shadows and follows a trail to Silva (Javier Bardem), a man from M’s past who wants to settle an old score. (description from Fandango.com)

Life of Pi
After deciding to sell their zoo in India and move to Canada, Santosh and Gita Patel board a freighter with their sons and a few remaining animals. Tragedy strikes when a terrible storm sinks the ship, leaving the Patels’ teenage son, Pi (Suraj Sharma), as the only human survivor. However, Pi is not alone; a fearsome Bengal tiger has also found refuge aboard the lifeboat. As days turn into weeks and weeks drag into months, Pi and the tiger must learn to trust each other if both are to survive. (description from Fandango.com)


Following his great success with “North by Northwest,” director Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) makes a daring choice for his next project: an adaptation of Robert Bloch’s novel “Psycho.” When the studio refuses to back the picture, Hitchcock decides to pay for it himself in exchange for a percentage of the profits. His wife, Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), has serious reservations about the film but supports him nonetheless. Still, the production strains the couple’s marriage. (description from Fandango.com)


The Hobbit
Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit, journeys to the Lonely Mountain accompanied by a group of dwarves to reclaim a treasure taken from them by the dragon Smaug. (description from Fandango.com)




The Impossible
Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her. Based on a true story, THE IMPOSSIBLE is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives. Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, THE IMPOSSIBLE is a journey to the core of the human heart. (description from Fandango.com)


Les Miserables (2012)
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jackman plays ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Crowe) after he breaks parole. When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette, their lives change forever. (description from Fandango.com)

About Erin Underwood

BIO: Erin Underwood is the senior event content producer for MIT Technology Review’s emerging technology events. On the side, she reads, writes, and edits SF.
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