I know, I know. To come up with a list of 10 best Filipino movies of 2012 isn’t such a great idea. I mean I don’t even feel like I’m qualified to make one given I’ve seen only a few pinoy movies last year. But what are the qualifications right? Also, the thought of making a list in general is tedious and that’s holding me back. But then again, despite the low-quality of entries in the recent Metro Manila Film Festival and the expired baby formulas of most mainstream flicks, there’s a bounty of good Filipino movies that makes up the year 2012.

I have to let you know that this list, my list, will include mostly Filipino mainstream films because they’re the most accessible in my province. Cinemalaya entries, Cinema One Originals, MMFF New Wave are exclusive to imperial Manila. Although opportunity came next door,  I was only able to cover pre-events of Sineng Pambansa Ikalawang Yugto and the first Sineng Pambansa which felt like it never happened. Lastly, one  rare good mainstream movie (I Do Bidoo Bidoo) was pulled out a day (or a few days) after its release together with indie films (Sta. Nina, Biktima, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay) which had commercial releases this year. And that lead me to this list Top 10 List!

Top 10 Filipino Movies of 2012

10.) Captive

This Brillante Ma Mendoza film is an elaborate and long stretch of conflicts in Mindanao. But Isabel Huppert’s realistic performance helped shape the story. The film however is a simple story told than a deep and personal account of the troubles in Mindanao. A visual triumph nevertheless. (3/5)

9.) Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang

This film obviously a case of style over substance. One may say that the story is a shallow approach on the Aswang Myth as it did not wholly shed light to any supernatural elements and they might just be right. But based on my own personal understanding, the film is a deep reflection on human nature, faith and the society. It’s all about how we could become monsters of our own – of the society – and how people and beliefs can greatly change us.  (3/5)

[Read our Review of Corazon Ang Unang Aswang]


8.) Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles

I’ve had troubles reviewing this movie because, to be honest, my expectations were too high. But there’s no point of gutting the bad stuff out of this fun aswang movie. It’s pure stylish mainstream entertainment powered by strong performances and bloody action!+1 on the stunning visual and spot on direction. A step forward for Filipino films! (3/5)

7.) The Healing

The funnest Filipino horror in recent memory. The Healing is a fun Pinoy horror which suspense (or horror) is built up by anticipation of death. It comes with frightening moments, masterful cinematography and editing. The narrative however feels middling and contrived. But then, as a horror fan, it is a solidly made horror film and I love it! (3.25/5)

6.) UnOfficially Yours

Cathy Garcia-Molina’s restraint to the rather transformed romcom formula makes the film the best Star Cinema romantic comedy I’ve seen in years. Angel Locsin delivers a stunning and realistic performance to a character that is more likely to be judged than loved. Opposite, John Lloyd Cruz, on the other hand is still at his best. (3.25/5)

5.) The Mistress

The film worked as an in-depth character study of the Mistress character in every affair. But it did more than that! It gave us a realistic four-sided love story which sides are well thought out. The true power of the film is not its emotional content but Bea Alonzo’s stupendous performance and Oliva Lamasan’s keen eye on details. (3.5/5)

4.) Of All The Things

I found myself thoroughly entertained by this good Filipino romcom that is justified by nice performances, inspired writing and clever direction. My verdict: (3.5/5)

3.) Thy Womb

Thy Womb is a poignant journey.  A pensive and unsteady boat ride paddled by emotionally raw performances.  (3.5/5)

[Read our Review of Thy Womb]

2.) Ang Nawawala

A refreshing and feel-good coming of age story that lets you (re-)experience and appreciate youth over head-bobbing music! Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There) is more than movie, it’s an experience! (4/5)

1.) Bwakaw

PH’s official selection for Oscars 2012 Best Foreign Film, Bwakaw, is nothing short of amazing. It is bolstered by Eddie Garcia’s quiet and moving performance of an old gay man whose only company is the dog named Bwakaw. In its relaxed pace, the movie is but a heartfelt masterpiece with genuinely funny moments and visuals that elicits strong emotions. Easily the best of 2012! (4.5/5)

[Read Our Review of Bwakaw]

 Honorable Mentions:

  • Every Breath U Take (3/5)
  • Pridyider (3/5)
  • One More Try (3/5)
  • The Strangers (2.5/5)
  • The Reunion (2.5/5)

Nope. I’m not all for Star Cinema movies, it’s just that they had many releases this year! :-p