Two times a year—at the halfway point and during list-making season in November—I send out a list of “significant” movies to the film staff so they can try to see as many as possible before our Year In Film feature. It’s just a simple checklist, presented in the order each film was released theatrically in New York City. The idea is to give our writers time to catch up and give relative obscurities like The Arbor (last year’s No. 13 on our conjoined Best Of The Year list) the same collective consideration as more widely heralded efforts like The Tree Of Life. In the interest of transparency—and recommending a bunch of movies we love—I’m making the halftime list public this year so our readers can play along at home. A few caveats:
- My staff inevitably comes back to me with omissions, and I suspect there will be many in the comments below. We’ll add the big ones to our year-end checklist.
- Normally, the list goes out without categories. The ones below, particularly “The Essentials,” are a reflection of my taste and priorities. Mileage will definitely vary.
- Within the categories, titles are still listed in order of release in NYC through the weekend of July 13th, not in order of preference.
- Overall, the momentum from last year’s embarrassment of cinematic riches has continued into 2012, so now’s the time to get those queues in order.
The Essentials: From "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" to "Django Unchained"
Hollywood: The System Works!: From "The Grey" to "Lés misérables"
Auteur Obligations: From "Crazy Horse" to "Killing Them Softly"
Notable Documentaries: From "West of Memphis" to "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"
Indie Curiosities: From "Return" to "Promised Land"
Imported Goods: From "Declaration of War" to "Sister"