12 months of movies, hundreds of releases, we’re left with two; the best and worst as voted by the staff of THN. Our best film of 2012 is…

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – dir. Christopher Nolan starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The Dark Knight Rises

Arriving with the weight of the world on its shoulders, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES surpassed expectations with its grand scale, epic scope and menacing tone. Christopher Nolan’s trilogy-ender challenged audiences with its refusal to explain what, why or how – the latter causing much chagrin amongst our team. Magnificently performed, fearlessly produced and clever, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES concluded a perfect trilogy with style.

Eight years on, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

Self-proclaimed Bat-geek Claire Huxham couldn’t hide her admiration for Christopher and Jonathan Nolan’s respect of the comics:

Multi-layered, complex and engrossing THE DARK KNIGHT RISES gains extra geek points for using bits from DC Comics’ KNIGHTFALL (1993) – my favourite Batman story-arc ever.

Dan Bullock was unapologetic in his praise:

It’s hard not to include the finale to one of the greatest trilogies of recent times. Nolan’s work continued the themes of his previous two instalments; a clever, progressive narrative, Bruce Wayne driven into the darkness, before rising emphatically like a phoenix in Batman-shaped flames, the sheer emotion that led to THE DARK KNIGHT RISES finale makes it an absolute classic.

Chris Wharfe looked past the issues – there are lots – and chose to admire Nolan’s conclusion:

It has its fair share of plot holes, but Nolan’s final instalment to his Batman trilogy explodes with bombastic, ambitious vision. Bane is the perfect villain to follow Heath Ledger’s Joker, and Tom Hardy is the perfect man to portray him – helped along the way by Nolan’s vicious interpretation of the somewhat unknown character. But this trilogy is, of course, all about Bruce Wayne: and TDKR boasts one thing few other superhero films do… closure.
We’ll leave it to Tom Fordy for the final word – although he hopes it isn’t:

A triumphant conclusion – the result of intelligent and well-structured storytelling. Nolan must have always known the direction his version of Batman was going, which like most great stories has a clear beginning, middle and end. It’s already one of Hollywood’s finest trilogies, and is guaranteed to leave you wanting more.

From hideous fawning to just plain hideous as we name THN’s worst of 2012:
THE DEVIL INSIDE – dir. William Brent Bell starring Fernando Adrade, Simon Quaterman, Evan Helmuth, Suzan Crowley

The Devil Inside

Only one way to sum this mess of an exorcism flick up; Over to you Chris:
What to say about The Devil Inside? Well, let’s ignore the fact that it boasts direction that’ll make your home movies look like they were produced by Martin Scorsese, an insultingly weak script and one of the most predictable endings since every Tom & Jerry cartoon ever, and focus on the positives. Oh. Right.
So concludes THN’s look back at 2012; we’ve had our Rundown and Top 5, but the works doesn’t stop. Starting tomorrow we’ll be looking ahead to 2013 with a week of features focusing on all the releases coming your way. So be sure to keep it THN on FacebookTwitter and The Hollywood News.com.