Submit Your: Top Ten Scenes of 2012


With only one month left to the year, 2012 is swiftly coming to a close. December is a notorious Oscar launchpad, but with about 92% of the year wrapped up, I thought it appropriate to begin looking back with different approaches in list form. This week is dedicated to pinpointing those moments that brought the most cinematic pleasure during the moviegoing year. A scene can have a structure and depth all its own like a beguiling short film, or else build upon what surrounds it and thus impossible to imagine out of context. Either way, great scenes act like stunning high points in our memories of watching movies in 2012. I’ll be listing ten next Tuesday, but feel free to let us know how ever many of your favorites you want and discuss what made them stand out this year.


About Author

Cinema transcends boundaries of time and space and thought and emotion; at its best it communicates the experience of being truly alive. I've been transfixed by the material ghosts of the movies since an early age, and I can't seem to shake them. Since reading and writing and talking about films are the next best things to watching them, criticism became a natural fit. Whether new or old, foreign or domestic, mainstream or cult, all movies are grist for my mill. Be forewarned, I'm an inveterate list-maker, so look out for rankings, topics, and opinions of all kinds. The AFI's got nothing on me.

  • Chris D. Misch

    I’m sure my list would comprise of mostly The Hobbit scenes, but I will try my best.

  • Chris D. Misch

    Emergency C-section from Prometheus
    Motion Capture from Holy Motors
    ‘I am the president of the United States of America, clothed in immense power’ from Lincoln

  • Jake Cole

    I’m actually working on a top 10 for my own blog. Won’t give away the full list, but safe to say HM’s Entr’acte is now my firm no. 1.

  • rtrench

    Cabin in the Woods - “Purge”
    The Master - “Don’t Blink”
    Holy Motors - ‘Let My Baby Ride’ Accordion Interlude
    Looper - ‘Old Seth Loses Part(s) of Himself’
    Skyfall - ‘Shanghai’
    Ted - ‘Flash Gordon’
    The Avengers - ‘Assembled’ (group shot)
    Hunger Games - ‘The Lottery’
    Silver Linings Playbook - ‘Meeting Tiffany’
    21 Jump Street - ‘H.F.S. Trip’

  • Tres

    Okay, here we go.

    My number 1 slot goes to the opening scene of Cabin the Woods. That movie is great enough as it is, but that scene doesn’t get the love it deserves. It’s the scene in the movie that, to me at least, pays off the most when you rewatch the movie. And the jump-scare with the titles rules.

    The rest in no particular order:

    C-Section in Prometheus

    Final battle between the protagonist and that crazy motherfucker in The Raid (the one that ends with the fluorescent light). I can’t remember their names. I was distracted by the insanity of that movie.

    Silva in his circular prison revealing his deformity - Skyfall

    Avengers - Black Widow/Loki

    The Dark Knight Rises - The closing scene

  • Tres

    Also, the scene in 21 Jump Street in which Nick Offerman gives the guys their assignment, solely for the genius of, “These guys are basically out of ideas so they’ve started to steal terrible ideas from the 80’s and hope nobody notices.”

  • Zach

    The superman sacrifice - wreck it Ralph
    Purge- cabin in the woods
    Tracking battle shot- avengers
    The end- safety not guarenteed
    Hush puppy vs the beasts- beasts of the southern wilds
    Ernst Hemingway should apologize- silver lining playbook
    Too tall tree house- moonrise kingdom
    Emergency csection- Prometheus

    Those off the top of my head. But I still have plenty to still see.

  • Adam K

    I was thinking at the time how much better the LINCOLN scene could have been had milkshakes been invented.

  • Chris D. Misch

    ‘Let My Baby Ride’ Accordion Interlude *** Just a brilliant inclusion.

  • Chris D. Misch

    And another great call on Skyfall, minus those CGI dragons!

  • Chris D. Misch


  • Chris D. Misch

    Another choice from Skyall: M’s defense of MI6/Javier Bardem’s courtroom entrance

  • Chris D. Misch

    I still need to see Cabin in the Woods!

  • Adam K

    Despite almost tipping into self-referential overload, that was a damn funny near-throwaway line.

  • Chris D. Misch

    Silver Lining had several moments to include, you definitely mentioned one of them. Love their first meet up at that diner.

  • Daniel Tucker

    No particular order, though I feel I’m missing a lot of other stuff. Here’s a good enough list for now.

    Perks of Being a Wallflower - Charlie’s Meltdown at the End -
    The Master - The first processing scene between Hoffman and Phoenix
    Looper - Cid loses control.
    21 Jump Street - H.F.S.
    Avengers - I’m always angry/group shot
    Flight - Plane Crash
    Hit and Run - Randy crashes into the cop car while Michael Rosenbaum looks on
    Ted - Flash Gordon
    Cloud Atlas - Beginning and Ending Montages
    End of Watch - The End

    On another note, I really need to see Holy Motors

  • Alex

    Take This Waltz - “Video Killed the Radio Star”
    The Deep Blue Sea - Underground flashback
    The Color Wheel - Couch scene
    Moonrise Kingdom - Beach sequence
    Haywire - Hotel fight
    Magic Mike - “Pony”
    Holy Motors - Kylie’s song (since everyone’s listing the Entr’acte)
    This Is Not a Film - Elevator ride
    Oslo, August 31st - Cafe scene
    Not Fade Away - Finale

  • Pat Mullen

    -Rust & Bone: ‘Fireworks’
    -The Paperboy: Nicole Kidman pees on Zac Efron
    -Anna Karenina: the long take dance scene
    -Take This Waltz: the scrambler scene
    -Stories We Tell: the scene in the diner with Sarah and Harry
    -Quartet: Maggie Smith and Pauline Collins backstage
    -Silver Linings Playbook: the dance contest
    -Hope Springs: Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones have a dinner date (or when Meryl Streep gives Tommy Lee Jones a hummer)
    -The Master: processing scene
    -Beasts of the Southern Wild: Q-Dubs ‘beasts it’