December is barely upon us, but we're already seeing end-of-year lists from the likes of the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, Time and New York magazines, Sight and Sound, Cahiers du Cinema, The Guardian, Artforum and others likely by the end of the day. I get the desire to be first or early with these things, for the attention. But I do think a lot of critics and non-critics alike could use the extra time to make sure they've got their picks right. For my own choices, I like to wait at least a decade before being certain of the best and worst films of a particular year, in part because it might take me that long just to see everything. However, since we have deadines and obligations much sooner than this, I prefer to at least be given until the actual end of the year.
There are plenty of films that I think are very deserving of recognition by individuals and organizations that just aren't showing up on any of these first lists and award announcements. These include well-known titles like The Cabin in the Woods, Prometheus and Savages, each of which is smarter than people apparently realize -- even for those who like the first and especially the huge majority that hate the latter two. And there are brilliant and wonderful smaller films like Take This Waltz, Compliance and Only the Young that should be recognized over many of the predictable titles, not just because they're better but because they need more of the boost of what these lists can do.
It's not just about catching up with films that were overlooked, ignored or just missed for whatever reason. As in the case of Savages, for instance, a lot of movies this year require a second or third look. This not only goes for those that were wrongly dismissed but also those that are too fondly remembered. Rewatch Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Searching for Sugar Man, The Master, Cloud Atlas and other obvious choices on your best or worst list and be sure you're not remembering them better or worse than they truly are. Remember, after the new year and for the rest of your life, you can rethink your favorites of the year, but in many cases that list you compiled in late November is going to be around long after you're dead.
Here is your chance to offer up those underrated or underseen gems you want to see receive more light and complain about those overrated and mistakenly praised movies getting too much attention, over and over again. As you can see by the responses below, we all know at least one movie that needs to be seen or rewatched by anyone intending to provide an authoritative best of and/or worst of 2012 feature.
What one movie should everyone (re)watch before finalizing end of year lists?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
Join the next discussion on Twitter by following Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) and Movies.com (@Moviesdotcom).