The Best Movies of 2012

'The Master'
Weinstein Company/courtesy Everett Collection1/11

1. 'The Master'

No movie this year is more divisive. The haters want to crush me for cheering the groundbreaking, untamable spirit of The Master. Which only means that filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has touched a raw nerve by detailing the damage done by unthinking allegiance to God, country, sex and money. Joaquin Phoenix gives his all and then some as a World War II vet who falls under the spell of a 1950s cult leader, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. No one doubts their acting genius. But the neg-heads say, "I don't get this movie." Talk about it, people. See it again. Pry into it. Discuss your issues with friends. Argue. Debate. That used to be what movies were about till the multiplex turned our brains to mush.

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