1. Safe – Like I said before, it was a tough choice between this and Ex 2, but this just had a better script and no other film left me so pumped up by the end. I was on an action high for hours after watching it. It deserved to be a huge hit.
2. The Expendables 2 – Although still not reaching the full potential this franchise could reach, it’s still a kick ass ride with one of the best opening scenes of all time. JCVD vs. Sly, Scott Adkins vs. The Stath and some mighty fine ‘splosions make this a damn good time.
3. The Raid: Redemption – The craziest and most brutal martial arts movie in years; not quite as life changing as some would have you believe but it has enough brutality and amazing fight scenes to easily earn its place in the top 5.
4. The Sweeney – This was such a huge surprise for me. I had no idea what to expect from it and was utterly blown away. Although I never did this in the Action Elite Awards, this has the best shoot-out of the year, set in Trafalgar Square.
5. 6 Bullets – A real return to form for Jean-Claude Van Damme with one of his best movies in years; exciting, tense and well acted, 6 Bullets is now one of my favourite movies of his.
6. Get the Gringo – Mel Gibson makes an awesome comeback in this hard hitting black comedy. A lot of people wouldn’t give this movie a chance purely due to Gibson’s behaviour in real life, but they should as it’s darkly hilarious.
7. Act of Valor – The first movie in years to show the US Military in a positive light is beautifully shot with some great action scenes. Some of the acting is a bit ropey but I really enjoyed it. It also has a fantastic music score.
8. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning – Arguably the most brutal film 2012, it’s also the most original with amazing fight scenes and a very surreal vibe. It’s not for everyone but it’s definitely worth investigating.
9. Lawless – Tom Hardy steals this movie for me but the biggest surprise was Shia LaBeouf who is extremely likable in it. The scene with him getting beaten by Guy Pearce is one of the most disturbing of the year.
10. Dredd – Alas, this wasn’t a big box office hit and it is essentially the same story as The Raid, but Dredd still manages to be an ass-kicking movie and Karl Urban deserves to be a huge star.
(Honourable mention: Lockout – Guy Pearce was the best character of the year but the film itself was a bit of a mess. Still, I’d love to see him in more of these types of roles.
You may ask why I don’t list what the worst films are of the year and I won’t be posting that any time soon. I don’t like to focus on the negative stuff, no matter how bad I think a film is, lots of people have worked hard in creating them so there you go.