Dear Steven Soderbergh: Please don't stop making movies. Your name is high on the list of filmmakers whose careers I'm thankful have coincided with my career as a movie critic. And Side Effects is further proof that you are at the height of your powers as a filmmaker.
Here, in no particular order, are my favorite films of 2012. Some are great, some are guilty pleasures -- but all of them are films that gave me a jolt in some way, or reminded me why I love watching movies.
I wrestled with even doing an 'overrated' list this year. First of all, the very idea of such a list is to merely tell other critics and/or the masses that they are dead-wrong for liking something, which I'd argue is very different from telling someone they're wrong for disliking something.
Packaged as a slick spy film, Haywire's been mildly poo-pooed by some critics but there's another way to see it: as a significant take on commerce and the tensions between men and women, and on a continuum with an earlier work, The Girlfriend Experience.
With Soderbergh's Ocean's 11 heist series over, the director is clearly looking for another genre franchise to do for fun between his more challenging and experimental pieces. Haywire fits that description.