The controversial, impeccably made “Zero Dark Thirty” chronicling the hunt for Osama Bin Laden begins with a dark screen. As we hear alarmed voices crying out we realize it’s 9-11. Cut to scenes of a terrorist suspect subjected to various tortures—waterboarding, sleep deprivation, confinement in a small box—all in disturbing close-ups. CIA agent Maya observes, reacts, and comments.
As 2012 ends, the best films deserve acknowledgement, a tip of the hat. Here are the films I most admired in 2012, those that entertained as well as inspired, that offered insight as well as consummate cinematic experiences.