(10) The Hunger Games - I thought this was faithful enough to the book, while understanding that you can't put everything on the page on the screen. The best thing about the movie is the main character, wonderfully played by Jennifer Lawrence. Woody Harrelson is also very good.
(9) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey- Not as good a movie as any of the LOTR movies, but it is of admittedly lighter material. Martin Freeman is well-cast as Bilbo and I think Peter Jackson does a good job of capturing the humor and roughness of the dwarves. We saw this in the high-frame-rate 3D and it was an interesting experience ... almost hyper-real.
(8) The Dark Knight Rises - The previous film, with Heath Ledger, is probably better. But this one, has plenty of acting talent, most notably Marion Cotillard and Tom Hardy. I think it wraps up the trilogy well. The plot twist is well-done.
(7) Looper - I'm a sucker for time-travel movies because of the way they twist your noodle. Causality, timelines, the nature of existence ... all good stuff. This stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (also of Dark Knight) and Bruce Willis and the always stunning Emily Blunt.
(6) Prometheus - A flawed movie. But also beautifully shot. It succeeds when director Ridley Scott lets the scenes breathe and show off the vastness and loneliness of space. A good cast highlighted by Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and Michael Fassbender as a truly creepy robot. I will forgive more in sci-fi movies because they frequently delve into bigger themes. In this case - where do we come from and why are we here.
(5) The Avengers - Director Joss Whedon makes a movie that works because of his trademark dialogue and humor and a plot that allows each of the characters to develop. Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk is an improvement over the previous actors who have been in that role but the true standout is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Because of his wonderful British charm, you can't help but root for the villain.
(4) Skyfall - This is the best of the new Bond films. An origins movie of sorts, delving into a bit of 007's past. The cinematography by my all-time fave Roger Deakins is incredible. Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty) deftly weaves nods to the past Bond films into a new narrative that sets up well for future films.
(3) Argo - A deserving Best Picture Oscar for a an entertaining movie. Ben Affleck continues to show that he will be a director worth following in the future.
(2) Lincoln - If there is a better actor working today than Daniel Day-Lewis, I'd be amazed. He so completely immerses himself in every role that you can't imagine another person playing that role. I was most impressed with the script of this movie and how it made the minutiae of political wheeling and dealing into suspenseful (and funny) theater.
Honorable Mention: Wreck-It Ralph, Bobby Fischer Against the World, Frankenweenie, The Muppets, The Master, Room 237, Lorax
My 2013 list will be up by Wednesday.