Category Archives: Lists

10 Modern Horror Movies for People Who Hate Horror Movies

Not everyone likes horror films, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re wimpy or a film snob (y’know, unless you are), and maybe it’s just not your thing. But like any genre, there’s enough diversity that you can probably still find something you like, so long as you’re looking in the right place.

So, I’ve assembled a list of 10 films that I’d recommend to people who don’t typically like horror films. Most of these are films that really value character development, which is something that I need in order to get invested in a horror film. They’re artfully made while still being thrilling and suspenseful, and who knows? Maybe they’ll work for you as an entry point into the genre.

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The Mist (2007)

The horror genre is full of Stephen King adaptations, but if The Shining or It don’t appeal, try The Mist, an adaptation of a 1984 King novella. The film is about a small town that becomes enveloped by a thick, monster-filled mist (the worst kind!) and the group of survivors who get trapped inside a grocery store and must fight off the encroaching threat from outside. Written and directed by Frank Darabont, The Mist is as much about the interpersonal dynamics going on inside the store as it is about monsters destroying everything in their path, and the film is all the stronger for it. Darabont perfectly combines B-movie camp with more thoughtful filmmaking here, and viewers who appreciate a helping of character development alongside their gory kills (which The Mist also offers, though not in completely gratuitous quantity) will likely appreciate this eerie sci-fi gem.

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Funny Games (1997)

Sometimes the scariest thing of all doesn’t come in the form of alien invasions or werewolves, but in learning exactly what other human beings are capable of. And boy, does Michael Haneke dive headfirst into that concept with Funny Games. The film follows a family that get visited at their vacation home by two seemingly polite young men who invite themselves in and proceed to subject the family to a string of sadistic “games” just because they can. And as you can probably guess, Funny Games is pretty disturbing. However, Haneke doesn’t go overboard on the gore, keeping the worst of the violence off-screen. Instead, he offers a deconstruction of the horror film genre that’s actually extremely thoughtful and clever. Haneke also directed a shot-for-shot English remake in 2007 that stars Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Michael Pitt, which (since it’s basically the same movie) is also quite good.

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Let the Right One In (2008)

This creepy, chilly Swedish vampire flick was a surprise crossover hit among critics and arthouse crowds in the United States, and with good reason. (It also inspired the 2010 English-language remake, Let Me In. And an upcoming TV reboot on TNT. But let’s not talk about either of those things.) Director Tomas Alfredson combined coming-of-age tropes with some quietly shocking vampire violence, and the result is something that feels unique and artful within the often repetitive horror genre.

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28 Days Later (2002)

Danny Boyle’s apocalyptic zombie-outbreak thriller is just pretty much perfect from start to finish. It takes the hearty DNA of Night of the Living Dead and adapts it to the 21st century, creating a gritty sci-fi tale with a surprising emotional core. It’s career-best work for Cillian Murphy and as far as Boyle’s filmography goes, I’d put it right at the top of the list – yes, even above Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire. If you’re squeamish, know that while the film doesn’t pull its punches, it also doesn’t go overboard with the gore. Instead it puts the focus on its characters, its social allegory, and its bleakly beautiful art direction.

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Frozen (2010)

Not being a huge horror fan myself (hence the creation of this list), I find that one horror subgenre that I’m uncharacteristically drawn to is “survival horror”. A lot of films can arguably fall under heading, but one that pretty much defines the label is 2010’s Frozen. (Insert your “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” jokes here.) The film follows three friends who, through an unfortunate string of human errors, find themselves trapped on a ski lift and must use their (sometimes really questionable) brainpower to try and survive. That’s it. And it’s actually really interesting. Granted it’s not perfect – the tropes are a little too plentiful and the dialogue could use some work – but at its heart, it’s a tightly constructed little one-location movie. I’m not sure if any of its three leads are actually good actors, but they sell the material, and I’ll applaud the guts of any horror filmmaker that makes their film without supernatural elements or, hell, even an antagonist.

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Near Dark (1987)

Vampires and Tangerine Dream! Yeah! Kathryn Bigelow’s first film has aged just the right amount in the nearly 30 years since its release. Though the film plays it straight, I didn’t find it particular “scary”, but it’s moody as heck and it has a nice sense of atmosphere that feels simultaneously very ‘80s and very ephemeral. It’s a good entry point for non-Twilight vampire films, and also a nice opportunity to glimpse what Bigelow was up to before she started winning Oscars.

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The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

The Cabin in the Woods is a film that a lot of horror buffs love, but while it certainly rewards a thorough knowledge of the genre, I think it’s also quite accessible to horror neophytes. Everyone is familiar with at least some of the clichés that the film takes aim at, and its satirical nature helps to offset some of the “horror” that’s being presented on screen. It’s a bit scary and definitely a bit gory, but The Cabin in the Woods is mostly fun. It’s also so madcap that it deserves to be seen if for no other reason than to experience the wonderful, bizarre directions that Joss Whedon’s screenplay takes.

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The Awakening (2012)

A distinct, well-executed atmosphere can make a film. And The Awakening has atmosphere in spades. The film is set in the 1920s and follows a female ghost-hunter (played by Rebecca Hall) who is out to debunk rumours of a little boy who haunts an English boarding school. While The Awakening may not offer much that hasn’t already been explored in the “ghost story” genre, its story is engaging and its visual style is absolutely stunning. Hall, too, is fantastic, turning in the sort of confident, captivating performance that helps to elevate the film’s sometimes silly story. I will throw in a disclaimer that of all the films on the list, this might be the most standard “horror” film. So if you really can’t stand jump scares, maybe stay away (though for the most part here they’re executed well and don’t feel cheap, and the film also has the bonus of being light on gore).

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Dead Ringers (1988)

After his gross-out early days but before his union with Robert Pattinson, Cronenberg had the wise idea to cast Jeremy Irons in a dual role as creepy twins in this twisted psychological thriller. Being a Cronenberg film, it’s hard to really describe Dead Ringers, and it’s actually probably best to go in as blind as possible. This one might be a good option for those who maybe don’t like the classic horror tropes but like films with a creepy atmosphere. Because Dead Ringers fits the bill. Gynecology has never been scarier, and that’s saying a lot.

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The Invitation (2016)

Is this a horror film? Is it just a thriller? Doesn’t matter! The Invitation is tense and creepy, building to an inevitable finale, but making the ride to get there feel narratively rich in the process. This is a film that takes its sweet time, carefully setting up the interpersonal dynamics between a group of people who have been invited to a dinner party that gradually gets more and more unsettling. Logan Marshall-Green can finally stop just being known as “Wait, Is That Tom Hardy?”, turning in an unexpectedly nuanced performance here as the film’s severely troubled protagonist. If you’re easily frightened by traditional horror movies and don’t like jump scares, this could be a really good alternative, because while it is suspenseful, it’s not really ~scary, per se. Instead, it’s an interesting character drama that relies largely on character reveals and misdirection for its thrills, rather than a lot of outright horror elements.

Most Anticipated Films of 2014

Out with 2013, and in with 2014 (finally). There are so many great-looking movies coming out this year that I had trouble narrowing down my list (hence why you’re getting a top 15 instead of a top 10), but here are the ones I’m most excited about.

(Note: I’ve already seen Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves and David Gordon Green’s Joe, or else they would definitely be on the list.)

15. The Skeleton Twins

It feels like I’ve been hearing about this Kristen Wiig/Bill Hader family drama for a long time now, but it’ll finally make its debut this year at Sundance. I think director Craig Johnson‘s previous film, True Adolescents (starring Mark Duplass, who executive produces here with brother Jay), was an overlooked little gem, so I’m excited to see what he’ll bring with this sophomore feature.

14. 99 Homes

I thought director Ramin Bahrani‘s last venture into Hollywood territory, At Any Price, was a bit of a disaster. However, I still have hope for this family drama, which stars Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, and Laura Dern. After all of this Spider-Man fanfare, it’ll be nice to see Garfield get back to low-key dramas. (Unless this turns out like At Any Price. Then it won’t be nice.)

13. Mojave

William Monahan has written films like Kingdom of Heaven and The Departed and now he steps behind the camera for the second time with this trippy-sounding thriller about a man who meets his dangerous doppelganger in the desert. It also stars two of the most interesting young actors working (and Inside Llewyn Davis co-stars), Garrett Hedlund and Oscar Isaac, which is reason enough to pique my interest.

12. Posh

Lone Scherfig‘s An Education was a delectable study of, among other things, class divisions and the education system in England. Now, it looks like she’s back at that familiar territory with Posh, a tale of students at Oxford University who join the school’s legendary Riot Club. It also happens to star all of your favourite young, classy Brits, including Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer, and Max Irons.


11. A Most Wanted Man

One of my favourite movies of the past decade was the moody Joy Division biopic, Control. Now director Anton Corbijn is back with this moody thriller that stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Bruhl, Robin Wright, and Willem Dafoe. It’s based on a John le Carre novel, who also penned Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, so get ready to pay attention.

10. Unbroken

Angelina Jolie makes her directorial follow-up to In the Land of Blood and Honey with this intense-sounding drama about an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces at the height of WWII. With the Coen Brothers contributing to the script and Roger Deakins as cinematographer, it’s got a nice pedigree. However, Deakins’ camerawork won’t be the only nice thing to look at on screen, as the up-and-coming young cast includes Garrett Hedlund, Jack O’Connell, Jai Courtney, Domhnall Gleeson, Alex Russell, Luke Treadaway, John Magaro, and Finn Wittrock.

9. Sils Maria

Olivier Assayas is a director that I really respect, and my admiration only grew with last year’s Something in the Air. Now, he returns with this mysterious project that stars Chloe Moretz, Kristen
Stewart, Juliette Binoche, Brady Corbet, and British folk singer Johnny Flynn. The plot is still undisclosed and I’m not even much of a fan of Moretz, but I’m certainly interested to see how Assayas will handle his first film with such a high level of star calibre.

8. Transcendence

Wally Pfister has made a name for himself as the DP on all of Christopher Nolan’s recent films, and now he’s stepping in as director for the first time for this Inception-like movie about artificial intelligence. With a top-notch cast that includes Rebecca Hall, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, and Morgan Freeman, it looks like a moody and intelligent thriller. I’m excited to see Pfister’s directorial chops, and this will also provide the first opportunity to see Depp in a “serious” role in what feels like a very long time.

7. Suite Francaise

Based on the acclaimed WWII-era novel, this drama by Saul Dibb (The Duchess) stars Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), Sam Riley (On the Road), Ruth Wilson (Luther), and Kristen Scott Thomas. I tend to trust Williams’ role choices, and I’m intrigued by this one.

6. Godzilla

I’m surprised this is on here, too. But the trailer really impressed me, making it look as though the film will take a more serious, somewhat character-driven taken on the “monster movie” trope. Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters) and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathairn also give me hope.

5. Brooklyn

Based on the Colm Toibin novel and with a screenplay by Nick Hornby, Brooklyn tells the tale of a young Irish immigrant who comes to New York in the 1950s. It stars Saoirse Ronan, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, and Domhnall Gleeson, and if that’s not a likeable cast, I don’t know what is. Also, since seeing Beneath the Harvest Sky (and, to a lesser extent, The Place Beyond the Pines) I sang the praises of Emory Cohen and here he’ll have a chance to show his stuff once again. Also working in Brooklyn‘s favour is that it’s directed by John Crowley, the director of Boy A, a wonderful little underseen gem that helped launch Andrew Garfield.

4. Interstellar

I’ll admit that the teaser trailer didn’t fully capture my interest, but this latest space-themed project from Christopher Nolan still sounds very intriguing. Like Inception, it has a top-notch cast, including Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, Ellen Burstyn, and Michael Caine. Now, it’s possible that all that starpower could cause the whole thing to self-destruct, but Nolan has proven to be one of the few directors who can actually handle a huge, star-studded cast successfully.

3. Midnight Special

As soon as I saw “Jeff Nichols” and “Michael Shannon“, I knew this was going to fall right near the top of my list. The director and actor have teamed up several times before and their last project, Mud, was my second-favourite film of last year. This time, they explore the story of a man who goes on the run when he finds out that his son has special powers. Who knows if Nichols will be able to keep his impressive directorial streak going, but with a film that also stars Kirsten Dunst, Joel Edgerton, and Adam Driver, I’d say there’s a good chance he will.

2. Untitled Cameron Crowe Project

Cameron Crowe is one of my favourite directors, so he was guaranteed a spot on the list. However, the cast here is what really put it over the top: Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, Jay Baruchel, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, and Danny McBride. (Personally, I could take or leave Rachel McAdams and Alec Baldwin.) Not much is known about the film at this point, but apparently it’s a comedy about a military man re-connecting with a former love while also falling for an Air Force watch-dog who has been assigned to cover him.

1. Inherent Vice

In just about any other year, Cameron Crowe’s movie would take the top spot on this list, but when there’s a new Paul Thomas Anderson film on the horizon, you can’t deny it. (Especially so soon after his last project!) The movie is based on the book of the same name by the great Thomas Pynchon and it stars Joaquin Phoenix as a drugged-out 1970s detective. The supporting cast includes Owen Wilson, Benecio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Reece Witherspoon, and Maya Rudolph. If PTA’s past work has been any indication, we’re in for a pretty interesting ride.

This is just a small selection of the great-looking movies on tap for 2014. I’ll give honorable mentions to Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah which looks kind of awful but could turn out to be spectacular, Maleficent for bringing a spat of interesting actors (Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Sharlto Copley, Juno Temple, and Angelina Jolie) into a dark Disney world, and Slow West for giving us these magnificent set photos (and for pairing up Michael Fassbender and Ben Mendelsohn).

There are tons of other intriguing projects slated for 2014 release, and these are just my personal selections, so feel free to sound off in the comments about which upcoming movie you’re most looking forward to!

My Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

It may be mid-March, but considering the underwhelming output of the year so far, I don’t think it’s too late to make a most anticipated movies list.

1. Her

October 17

Any time Spike Jonze releases a new movie, it’s probably going to be my number one most anticipated movie of the year. That’s just how it works. And given that Jonze hasn’t made a movie since 2009’s Where the Wild Things Are and that Her stars the equally (until just recently) absent Joaquin Phoenix, yeah, you could say I’m looking forward to it. The movie stars Phoenix as a man who falls in love with his operating system, and the movie also stars Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde, and Samantha Morton.

2. Twelve Years a Slave

September 6

Director Steve McQueen teams up with actor Michael Fassbender once again for this upcoming slavery drama. That pairing alone would be enough to catch my interest, but the movie’s extremely impressive cast also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor (who we have not seen nearly enough of recently), Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Garrett Dillahunt (Raising Hope), Taran Killam (Saturday Night Live), Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly), Adepero Oduye (Pariah), and Quevenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry (both from Beasts of the Southern Wild). Whew.

3. Prince Avalanche

Release TBA

I’ve been waiting five years for David Gordon Green to recapture the understated magic he found in movies such as Snow Angels, All the Real Girls, and George Washington. Now, after his stoner comedy detour (and for the record, I did love Pineapple Express), he seems to have found his way back with Prince Avalanche. With an appealing lead duo of Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd, this dramedy follows two friends in the ‘80s who escape their urban lifestyles for a summer. It was a hit at Sundance and Green even scooped up the prestigious Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, so this is certainly one I’ll be checking out.

4. This is the End

June 14

Shows like Community have popularized the “meta” approach to storytelling, but I can’t think of a project that takes the concept quite so far as the upcoming ensemble comedy This is the End. The film stars Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Emma Watson, Jay Baruchel, and Danny McBride…who all play themselves. After a long night of partying at James Franco’s house, they wake up to find that the world has ended while they slept and they must deal with the fallout. This whole concept could become very one-note, but the trailer was pretty hilarious, and I’m excited to see whether or not writer-directors Rogen and Evan Goldberg (who wrote Superbad together) can make it work.

5. Rush

September 13

Ron Howard is a director who seems to get a lot of criticism for his sentimentality, but I personally am a big fan of Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon. So when I heard that he was making a movie with Chris Hemworth and Daniel Bruhl (Inglourious Basterds) I was immediately hooked. The film is called Rush, and it’s based on the true story of two racecar drivers in the 19070s. Hemsworth has proven to have presence and acting chops even in the glossiest of blockbusters, and I think we’re yet to see his full potential. Meanwhile, Bruhl has had a successful career in Germany (please check out Good Bye Lenin! if you haven’t already), but is yet to truly get his big American break after appearing in Basterds. This could be the movie that puts them on the map as bonafide dramatic actors.

6. Devil’s Knot

Release TBA

The West Memphis Three have been a popular film subject recently, with several documentaries made about the case (the most recent of which was last year’s West of Memphis). Now, it gets the fictional treatment by director Adam Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) with Devil’s Knot. The film stars Colin Firth, who I’m always happy to see, but it’s perhaps one of the supporting players who I am most intrigued by. Dane DeHaan is an actor I’ve championed a lot, and since I’m assuming he’ll play one of the accused teenagers in this movie, I’m interested to see what he’ll do with the meaty subject matter.

7. Night Moves

September 20

Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy didn’t do much for me, but I did love her 2011 project, Meek’s Cutoff. Now, she teams up with Peter Sarsgaard, Jesse Eisenberg, and Dakota Fanning for a drama about extremists who plan to blow up a dam. It sounds like a more plot-driven concept than her usual fare, and I’m intrigued to see what Reichardt will do with that.

8. Labor Day

Release TBA

Jason Reitman is another director whose work I am automatically going to get excited about. This one sounds to be more dramatic than his usual work, as a mother and son unknowingly befriend an escaped convict. Add in a cast of Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, James Van Der Beek (I fully support this comeback), and Tobey Maguire, and I’m on board 100%.

9. The Rover

Release TBA

After the success of 2010’s Animal Kingdom, I, like many others, have eagerly been awaiting David Michod’s second directorial effort. It turns out that project is The Rover, which re-unites him with Guy Pearce. Also joining this “near-future Western” is the always intriguing Robert Pattinson, whose acting skill I still have hopes for. Throw in Scoot McNairy (what ISN’T he in, lately?) and you’ve got a movie that sounds potentially pretty great.

10. Only God Forgives

May 23

Fanboys, this is your moment. Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling are reunited for this gritty tale of Thai boxing. And while I think all of the breathless pronouncements about how amazing Drive is get a bit silly, Drive is a solid film, and it’s extremely stylish and visually captivating. So, yeah, I’m definitely interested to see what this pair has to offer next.

Honorable Mention: Kill Your Darlings

October 17

Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg in this beat-era drama that premiered at Sundance. Dane DeHaan received standout reviews for his performance as Lucien Carr, and the cast also includes Ben Foster, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, and Michael C. Hall.

Honorable Mention: The Spectacular Now

Release TBA

This story of a youth struggling with love and a budding alcohol problem has all the makings of a cheesy teen movie on paper, but it’s the cast that is really winning me over. Leads Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are two of my favourite young actors, and after their work in Rabbit Hole and The Descendants, respectively, I’m excited to see what else they can do. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler, and Brie Larson also appear. And on top of all that, this is the second feature from director James Ponsoldt, whose sweet and touching Smashed completely won me over at TIFF last year.

Honorable Mention: A Single Shot

I’m always down for a movie where Sam Rockwell is the lead, and this swampy thriller sounds like it could be a great role for him. The strong supporting cast includes William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright, Jason Isaacs, Melissa Leo, and Joe Anderson (who I am still waiting on to have a breakthrough.)

Five Favourite Performances: Dominic Cooper

As Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter rounds out its first weekend in theatres, I thought I’d take a look at the filmography of one its stars (and a Times Like Those favourite up-and-coming actor), Dominic Cooper.

While Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter may have only pulled in a disappointing $16.5 million in its first weekend, Cooper is showing no signs of faltering with his career. He seems to be taking a slow-building approach, appearing in supporting roles in a lot of big movies. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed you’ve seen this guy, even if you don’t know him by name. And while movies like Mamma Mia!, Captain America and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter may not be the best vehicles to show his acting skills, they’re getting his face out there. And that recognition seems to be paying off, since he’s got a whole slew of acting projects on the horizon.

Cooper has played a range of characters and proven to have charisma and acting talent. But I don’t think we’ve seen the best he has to offer, yet. He’s worked with some skilled filmmakers, certainly, but not any huge names, and I’d love to see someone like Scorsese or Tarantino snap him up and make something great.Here’s a look at my five performances by the young Brit.


5. The Duchess (2008)

The Duchess came at the peak of the costume drama portion of Keira Knightley’s career (Miss it? Don’t worry – Anna Karenina‘s coming this fall!) In the film, Cooper plays Charles Grey, a politically active young man who comes between The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire (played by Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley). This isn’t the meatiest of roles (considering what an important character he is, Grey comes off more like a Jane Austen love interest here), but Cooper makes the best of it. He and Knightley have good chemistry, and you really want their characters to make it work.


4. An Education (2009)

Dominic Cooper and Rosamund Pike could have easily been throwaway players in An Education. They both had small roles, playing the high-flying friends of Peter Sarsgaard’s David. Yet both actors made big impressions here. Cooper, especially, brings world-weariness, and a sense that his character is a guy with nothing to lose, even at such a young age. Initially just seeming shallow and gluttonous, his character becomes more morally questionable as the film goes on, and Cooper deftly explores those complexities.


3. Starter for 10 (2007)

This underrated charmer of a film gave us a few good before-they-were-famous performances: James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall, Alice Eve, Benedict Cumberbatch, and, of course, Cooper. I think Cooper’s at his best while playing a roguish charmer, and that’s exactly what he does here. He plays Spencer, McAvoy’s ruffian best friend from back home. Cooper once again makes a small role memorable, bringing charisma and genuine heart to his wily character. Great little film, all around.


2. The History Boys (2006)

Mamma Mia! may have been the first introduction most film audiences had to Cooper, but he actually had a successful theatre and British television career for years before that. He was involved with the theatrical production of The History Boys from its beginnings in 2004, and he reprised his role as Dakin for the 2006 film adaptation. (Did you know The History Boys play hit Broadway and won the 2006 Tony for Best Play? I certainly did not.) Cooper once again plays a rabble-rouser, but there’s also an emotional complexity to Dakin that is compelling to watch unfold. The generally light story takes some unexpected turns in the second half, and Cooper handles all of them brilliantly. It’s obviously a character he knows very well, and after seeing his performance, I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing it quite so well.


1. The Devil’s Double (2011)

Easily the high-water mark for Cooper’s career thus far. In the eyes of many critics, we went from charming supporting player to legitimate leading man. And not only did he finally get a leading role in the The Devil’s Double – he got two. He plays Uday Hussein (son of Sadam), and also Latif, the man who is forced into being Uday’s “double” (meaning he poses as him in dangerous situations). Cooper is terrifying as the demented Uday, and also relatable and vulnerable as Latif. He turns in two fantastic performances in this intense but ultimately undercooked thriller. More of this, please.

Yet to See: Tamara Drewe, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Sense and Sensibility, Freefall

My 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2012


1. Django Unchained

Tarantino. DiCaprio. Levitt. What more could you want?

2. Lincoln

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is poised to have a fucking fantastic year in 2012. Add to that a big role in Spielberg’s next epic, Lincoln. Playing Robert Todd to Daniel Day-Lewis’ Abraham, this could be the role that finally gets Levitt some serious Oscar attention. Oh, and the film also features John Hawkes, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Hayley, Michael Stuhlbarg, and David Strathairn, among many others? That’s cool, I guess.

3. The Master

Man, these first three movies are all very exciting to me. It’s Paul Thomas Anderson’s first movie since There Will Be Blood and it’s also Joaquin Phoenix’s first movie since his…social experiment (or whatever you want to call all that). Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, and Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights alumni alert!) also star. The subject matter maybe isn’t the most interesting to me (it’s based around a charismatic scientology-like leader), but then again, I would have said the same thing about There Will Be Blood.

4. Wettest Country

Director John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road) reteams with Guy Pearce, and also brings Shia LaBouef, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, and Mia Wasikowska along for the ride in this crime drama about a Depression-era bootlegging gang. Any movie with that cast is going to grab my attention, and with Hillcoat at the helm, you know it’ll be gritty.

5. Prometheus

I’ve been avoiding the promotional stuff for this film (and most upcoming films, actually), but the cast is enough to get me very interested. Michael Fassbender and Guy Pearce are the at the top of my favourite actors list, and Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Idris Elba, and Noomi Rapace ain’t bad, either.

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I absolutely love the book, and I love that the author (Stephen Chbosky) is also writing and directing the movie adaptation. And let’s talk about the young cast here. It’s like they took every young up-and-coming actor that I love and put them all in one movie. You’ve got Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Johnny Simmons, Reece Thompson, Nicholas Braun, and Mae Whitman. Nice. And Paul Rudd and Melanie Lynskey, too? Extra nice.

7. The Dark Knight Rises

Since it’s #7 on my list in a year full of interesting movies, obviously I’m excited (like the rest of the world). But I’m also nervous. Maybe they should have gone out on a high with The Dark Knight?

8. Liberal Arts

Josh Radnor’s college dramedy was one of the more buzzed-about films at Sundance this year, and it stars Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Zac Efron, and Richard Jenkins. Radnor’s directorial debut Happythankyoumoreplease got mixed reviews, but I was rather fond of it, so I’m excited to see what he’ll do next. I could see this film being a bit of a breakout hit this year.

9. Seven Psychopaths

I would be excited for any new film by In Bruges director Martin McDonagh, so the fact that this one features Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Abbie Cornish and revolves around dognapping is just icing on the cake.

10. Anna Karenina

Joe Wright is a bit of a hit-or-miss director for me (loved Pride & Prejudice, didn’t care for Atonement), but he has definitely proven that he knows how to make a period piece look great. Re-teaming with Keira Knightley, his adaptation of the classic Tolstoy novel also stars Jude Law, Emily Watson, Kelly Macdonald, Aaron Johnson, and Olivia Williams. Awesome.