20 Great Movie Moments From 2012

The Revolutionary Guards are Enchanted by Movies

from Argo

Ben Affleck’s Iranian hostage crisis drama speaks in many ways to the universal power of movies, but never more clearly than in this crucial moment, when CIA operative Tony Mendez and the six hostages he is trying to get out of the country are detained by the Revolutionary Guard at the airport. Mendez sticks to the cover story – that they are filmmakers on a location scout – and shares the storyboards, script, and Variety ads he had made up for the fake motion picture. The Guards are transfixed by this behind the scenes peek, and happy when Mendez offers to let them keep the storyboards. It a beautiful little exchange between enemies, one wherein espionage alone does not save the day, but the two sides’ mutual love for film creates a common ground.

Avengers Assemble

from The Avengers

Is it cheating to label the entire third act of a film as a single ‘moment?’ Probably, but then again, it would be doing The Avengers a major disservice to pick apart its epic action climax and discuss only bits and pieces, for this film features one of the most intense and satisfying third acts in blockbuster history. Joss Whedon’s direction is simply marvelous, finding clever and creative ways to put the entire superpowered team to good use while establishing space and time as well as Akira Kurosawa did in the final act of Seven Samurai. Action simply does not get any better than this.

The Monster Assault

from The Cabin in the Woods


The first two acts of The Cabin in the Woods are clever, insightful, and subversive enough to make the movie great, but once the third act arrives and a horde of horror movie monsters is let loose, one can really sense Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon going for broke. The amount of creativity on display in the film’s climactic gore-fest is simply staggering; the rampaging Unicorn and delightfully disgusting Mer-Man may be the most memorable highlights, but there are plenty of other classic movie moments embedded against all the blood-soaked mayhem. The sequence is so surreal, awesome, and utterly crazy that, even after watching the movie several times, I can scarcely believe I actually saw it. 

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