Killing Them Softly

Killing Them Softly

During the course of a movie year so many fantastic projects go a little under the radar; the likes of Bernie and A Late Quartet are great examples from 2013.

So we look back at 2012 and the movies that you absolutely should have seen but may possibly have missed.

- Killing Them Softly

It is not very often that a Brad Pitt movie goes under the radar but that is exactly what happened with Killing Them Softly - which just so happened to contain a fantastic central performance from the Oscar nominated actor.

Andrew Dominik is in the director's chair while the film is based on George V. Higgins novel.

The movie follows professional enforcer, Jackie Cogan (Pitt), who investigates a heist that occurs during a high stakes, mob-protected, poker game.

Pitt gives a fantastic performance in this movie as Jackie; while he is a violent enforcer there is something about him that you cannot help but like.

And while this is a gangster movie Killing The Softly does deliver a sobering message about the American dream.

The back drop of New Orleans works really well as it shows how some sections of society are struggling to survive.

- West of Memphis

If there was one documentary that stood out last year then it was the fantastic West of Memphis, which saw Amy Berg return to the director's chair.

The movie follows the story of the West Memphis Three and the failure of the justice service that put them behind bars.

West of Memphis is a film of three parts; the court case and the miscarriage of justice, a mother's anguish that she still has not got justice for her murdered child and the latter part of the film suggests that the murderer may have been a little closer to home.

This is just a riveting watch from start to finish and it is hard to believe just how big a miscarriage of justice this was.

It is a movie that will make the blood boil for several reasons; three innocent men were incarcerated, three families still haven't got justice, a killer is still at large.

West of Memphis is documentary filmmaking at its very finest and it is not to be missed.

- The Raid

If you are an action film fan the The Raid is a film that you have to check out as it was one of the best films of 2012.

The film saw Gareth Evans back in the director's chair as he reunited with new action star Iko Uwais.

The film follows a SWAT team that becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.

If you like your action movies uber violent and packed with fantastic stunts and fight scenes then this is well and truly the one for you.

The Raid is just relentless and you will be on the edge of your seat from start to finish; if you are squeamish then this is perhaps not the movie for you.

A sequel to The Raid is currently being filmed and it is one of the movies that I am already very excited about.

- A Royal Affair

We are big fans of Mad Mikkelsen here at FemaleFirst and he was back last year as he starred in A Royal Affair - which was directed by Nikolaj Arcel.

A Royal Affair follows the most dramatic love story in Danish history is the affair between King Christian VII's physician, Johan Struensee, and the English born queen of Denmark, Caroline Mathilda in the early 1770's.

This is just a wonderful movie and was one of the best foreign language films that I saw last year.

Mikkelsen delivered a terrific performance in the central role while the film introduces us to up and coming actress Alicia Vikander; she is definitely one to watch out for over the next few years.

Director Nikolaj Arcel has been clever not to make this movie just about a love triangle instead he looks at a dark period in Danish history and how a small group of people laid the foundation for change in the country.

- Rust and Bone

Another terrific foreign film last year was Rust and Bone and despite some early excitement on the festival circuit this film was all but forgotten by the time the awards season came around.

And that was a major shame as Marion Cotillard's central performance was just fantastic.

The movie follows a young woman who has to rebuild her life after an accident leaves her without her legs and the relationship that blossoms between her and a bouncer.

It is a tour de force performance from Cotillard as her character struggles after the loss of her legs.It is emotional as it is powerful as Stephanie starts to rebuild her life and accept what has happened for her.

Rust And Bone is a triumph from start to finish and director Jacques Audiard should be applauded for his work.

- Killer Joe

Released in the summer of last year Killer Joe is a movie that continued Matthew McConaughey's move away from the image of the chap that gets his shirt off in every film he is in.

More recently we have really see McConaughey the actor turn up in force with a string of varied, interesting and challenging roles.

Killer Joe sees the actor team up with director William Friedkin for the first time in a movie that was based on the play by Tracy Letts.

Matthew McConaughey is just fantastic as a sadistic cop who moonlights as a hitman and he has a real presence in every scene he is in.

We have never see McConaughey take on a role like this and there is a real menace to him that is incredibly unsettling; not to mention absolutely riveting.

Killer Joe is a movie that is dark, violent and cool as well as a little bit odd - trust me you will never quite look at fried chicken in the same way again.

- Beasts of the Southern Wild

If you wanted to see a movie that is just brimming with originality and shows off new and exciting talent then look no further than Beasts of the Southern Wild.

The movie marked the directorial debut of Benh Zeitlin while we were introduced to actress Quvenzhané Wallis of the very first time.

Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

This is just a wonderful movie from start to finish and you will find it difficult to believe that this is the first film for Zeitlin as he has made this film with such confidence and assurance.

This is a movie that is heartwarming, funny, moving and brimming with magic; not to mention it was the most unique movie that I saw last year.

I am excited to see what both Zeitlin and Wallis to in the future as they both have very bright futures ahead of them.

Other movies that you should check out include Safety Not Guaranteed, Dredd, The Deep Blue Sea and The Intouchables.

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