(WOIO) - In a year like 2012, which was filled with a lot of great films and performances, it was hard to narrow it down to just ten. This year I did something a little bit different, I listed my top ten picks and then the honorable mentions. The good news is that a lot of these are still playing in theaters so you will have a chance to see them before the Oscar nominations are announced on January 10th.
10. Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty gives us a raw look at what went into killing Osama bin Laden. It's incredibly realistic and makes you feel like you're there... Especially in some of the gritty scenes that are hard to watch.
9. The Avengers
Not only did The Avengers make a ton of money at the box office... It's just downright awesome. It's one of the best superhero films in years.
8. Life of Pi
Life of Pi is a visually stunning film with a feel good message. I'm not a huge fan of 3D, but the 3D technology implemented here by Oscar winning director Ang Lee is revolutionary.
7. Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook is hard to define, it's part drama and part comedy with a whole lot of heart. It's anchored by amazing performances by Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Based on the bestselling novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming of age film set in the 80's filled with a great soundtrack and characters you can't help but root for.
Arbitrage is a great dramatic thriller that keeps you guessing at every turn --and in it, Richard Gere gives the best performance of his career.
4. Les Miserables
The biggest thing they did right with Les Mis was having the cast sing the songs live on set instead of recording them beforehand. It adds that much more emotion to the performances --and I'm sure Anne Hathaway is writing her Oscar acceptance speech as we speak.
3. Django Unchained
Django Unchained is a very smart yet very violent film told in typical Quentin Tarantino fashion. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say this is his best film ever.
Skyfall isn't just a great bond film; it's a great film period. And Javier Bardem's portrayal of the villain, Silva is scary good.
Argo has everything: Great writing, incredible storytelling and it creates moments with unbelievable suspense. With this, Ben Affleck proves that he keeps getting better as a director with every film he makes.
Honorable Mentions: The Dark Knight Rises, Safety Not Guaranteed, The Grey, Wreck-it Ralph, The Imposter, Lincoln, The Sessions, The Impossible, Looper.