|Good (Metascore ≥ 61)||43 films|
|Mixed (40-60)||70 films|
|Bad (≤ 39)||27 films|
|2012 Average Metascore||52.9|
|vs. 2011 average||50.9|
The past year was actually a good one at the cineplex. A total of eight wide release films in 2012 met or exceeded the 81 cutoff denoting "universal acclaim" from critics, up from five such films in 2011 and just four in 2010. Indeed, the average Metascore for all films screening in wide release last year was up a full two points over 2011's average. And the number of films receiving negative reviews was slashed from 37 films in 2011 to just 27 last year.
The percentage of all wide releases receiving positive reviews (a score of 61 or higher) from critics in 2012 also increased compared to previous years. Nearly 31% of films were positively reviewed last year, up from under 29% in 2011 and even lower percentages in 2010 (26%) and 2009 (25%). Interestingly, these well-reviewed films were a bit more evenly dispersed throughout the year than we are accustomed to. Only 18 of the 43 (41.9%) well-reviewed 2012 films were released after Labor Day, a period when we typically would expect to see closer to half of the year's good films.
Encouragingly, five of the past year's 10 highest-scoring wide releases (including our highest-scoring film, Zero Dark Thirty) featured original screenplays not based on prior films, books, or other written material. One of the remaining five—the James Bond film Skyfall—was a sequel, while the other four (Lincoln, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Secret World of Arrietty, an adaptation of Mary Norton's The Borrowers) were based on books or articles.
|1||Zero Dark Thirty *||Action, Drama, Thriller||+ Queue||95||6.3|
|4||The Master||Drama||+ Queue||86||6.6|
|5||Moonrise Kingdom||Drama, Comedy||+ Queue||84||7.9|
|6||Looper||Sci-Fi, Action||+ Queue||84||7.9|
|8||Silver Linings Playbook||Drama, Comedy||+ Queue||81||8.0|
|9||Django Unchained||Action, Drama, Western||+ Queue||80||8.2|
|10||The Secret World of Arrietty||Animation, Family||+ Queue||80||8.2|
|11||Life of Pi||Drama, Adventure||+ Queue||79||8.2|
|12||The Dark Knight Rises||Action||+ Queue||78||8.5|
|14||Frankenweenie||Animation, Family||+ Queue||74||7.8|
|15||The Raid: Redemption||Action||+ Queue||73||8.0|
|16||The Pirates! Band of Misfits||Animation, Family||+ Queue||73||6.9|
|17||Wreck-It Ralph||Animation, Family||+ Queue||73||8.4|
|18||Magic Mike||Drama, Comedy||+ Queue||72||5.7|
|19||The Cabin in the Woods||Horror||+ Queue||72||7.5|
|20||ParaNorman||Animation, Family||+ Queue||72||7.0|
|21||Brave||Animation, Family||+ Queue||69||7.3|
|22||The Avengers||Action||+ Queue||69||8.0|
|24||21 Jump Street||Action, Comedy||+ Queue||69||7.5|
|25||End of Watch||Drama, Thriller||+ Queue||68||7.9|
Shockingly, not a single Adam Sandler film made our worst-reviewed films list this year, though it's not for a lack of trying; his That's My Boy 31 missed the bottom 10 by a fraction of a point. Despite Sandler's absence, plenty of other usual suspects did show up on the low scores list, including low-budget horror films, a videogame adaptation (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, the year's worst wide-release film), an Eddie Murphy comedy (A Thousand Words), and a Katherine Heigl comedy (One for the Money).
|1||Silent Hill: Revelation 3D||Horror||15||5.6|
|3||The Devil Inside||Horror||18||2.5|
|4||One for the Money||Action, Comedy||22||5.0|
|5||The Cold Light of Day||Action, Thriller||22||5.1|
|6||Atlas Shrugged: Part 2||Drama||26||5.9|
|7||A Thousand Words||Comedy||26||4.3|
|8||Playing for Keeps||Rom-com||27||4.4|
|10||House at the End of the Street||Horror||31||5.0|
On the next page, we reveal the best and worst limited release films of the past year.