• SPIN's 10 Most Memorable Movie Characters of 2012

    SPIN's 10 Most Memorable Movie Characters of 2012

    Slurring supervillains, drunken sailors, singing gamines, not-so-gentle Southern men: these were the characters who, after all had been said and screened, left the biggest impact (or deepest scars) on moviegoers' psyches over the past 12 months. We salute you, the tenacious ten of 2012; you'll be remembered long after this year is long gone.Plus: Grim Weepers: The Year Film Embraced the Dark Night

  • The Dark Knight Rises

    Grim Weepers: The Year Film Embraced the Dark Night

    Decisions, decisions: A filmgoer had to make a lot of on-the-fly calls when they saddled up to the multiplex window and plopped down their stack of crisp Lincolns for a ticket this year. Did you want a superhero film that features just one DSM-diagnosable masked man, or a whole furrowed-brow gaggle of them? Should you go see Channing Tatum clothed, semi-clothed, or stripped-down altogether? Interested in bidding farewell to an old franchise (we already miss you, Batman and Bella Swan), saying hello to a brand-new one (welcome, Katniss the Ass-Kicker!) or basking in the glow of a revitalized 50-year-old warhorse (you've aged remarkably well, Mr. Bond)? Do you prefer your OCD auteurs named Anderson on the retro-whimsical or the profound-inscrutable side?

  • Nicole Kidman in <i>The Paperboy</i> / Photo courtesy Millennium Films

    Nicole Kidman's 'The Paperboy' and the Pleasures of Cheese

    It starts with a cringe, the sour-faced expression that creeps across your face after you've sniffed particularly ripe fromage. Then comes the slow, sinking feeling of dashed expectations. Suddenly, though, a giddiness sets in — oh my God! — and you realize that while you might not be in the presence of greatness, you are experiencing something rarer and, arguably, better: a monumentally awful movie, so awesomely atrocious that you'll want to wallow in it for days.These are the crème de la crap films that transcend notions of quality, coherence, and anything resembling realistic human behavior. And less than halfway through The Paperboy (in theaters October 5), Lee (Precious) Daniels' adaptation of Pete Dexter's swamp-pulp novel about racial injustice in the late-'60s rural South, bad-movie connoisseurs will realize that they're sniffing a genuinely overripe truffle.

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    End of Daze: The Return of Religious Horror

    When Linda Blair spewed pea soup and did some unmentionable things with a crucifix in The Exorcist, it was easy to place the blame: The Devil made her do it. Ever since the possessed child dropped Nixon-era audiences' jaws, a certain strain of vaguely religious horror is destined to creep into cineplexes on a regular basis, with demonic forces threatening the souls of us damned mortals. This month, however, the dread isn't due to the satanic, but springs more or less directly from delusions of the divine. It doesn't take a theologian to recognize that a storm of biblical proportions is brewing in Take Shelter (Sony Pictures Classics). Writer-director Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories) summons a nasty confluence of dark clouds and rumbling thunder that doesn't inspire buying umbrellas so much as building an ark.

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    You've Got Male: How 'Drive' Resurrects Badassery

    He sits behind the wheel of a getaway car, hands resting at three and nine o'clock. (Are those driving gloves he's wearing? The Euro-couture kind with the aerated holes over the knuckles?) A toothpick moves lazily over his lower lip. He's waiting, patiently, for someone to exit a warehouse and join his partner in the backseat. "I give you a five minute window," he'd informed them earlier. "Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. Anything happens a minute on either side of that and you're on your own." Never mind that you recognize him from swoonier fare like The Notebook. In Drive, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn's glorious adaptation of James Sallis' 2005 novel about a stunt driver who moonlights as a criminal wheelman, he's a professional -- a (Michael) Mann's man.

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