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Various perspectives of the top 10 films of 2012

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The Master

With the film industry award season under way — the 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced Jan. 10, and the ceremony is Feb. 24 — comes The S.F. Examiner’s annual, unscientific compilation of critics’ top picks for 2012.

Three films came to the fore in our informal survey: “Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s historical re-enactment of the president’s attempt to get the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed; “The Master,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s examination of mid-20th-century America, friendship, manipulation and power; and “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow’s action-thriller chronicling American efforts to capture Osama bin Laden, which opens Friday in The City.

Jeffrey M. Anderson: The S.F. Examiner

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “The Turin Horse”
3. “Cosmopolis”
4. “The Deep Blue Sea”
5. “Killer Joe”
6. “The Avengers”
7. “This Is Not a Film”
8. “The Innkeepers”
9. “Take This Waltz”
10. “Bernie”

Janos Gereben: The S.F. Examiner

1. “Anna Karenina”
2. “Farewell, My Queen”
3. “Amour”
4. “Lincoln”
5. “Life of Pi”
6. “Rust and Bone”
7. “The Master”
8.  “In Another Country”
9. “Rent a Cat”
10. “Take This Waltz”

Anita Katz: The S.F. Examiner

1. “Zero Dark Thirty”
2. “The Master”
3. “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”
4. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
5. “This Is Not a Film”
6. “Oslo, August 31st”
7. “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry”
8. “Headhunters”
9. “The Imposter”
10. “Lincoln”

Jake Coyle: The Associated Press

1. “Amour”
2. “The Master”
3. “Margaret”
4. “Moonrise Kingdom”
5. “Not Fade Away”
6. “Lincoln”
7. “Jeff, Who Lives at Home”
8. “The Dust Bowl”
9. “Holy Motors”
10. “Premium Rush”

David Germain: The Associated Press

1. “Moonrise Kingdom”
2. “Life of Pi”
3. “Zero Dark Thirty”
4. “Argo”
5. “Searching for Sugar Man”
6. “Rust and Bone”
7. “The Master”
8. “Lincoln”
9. “West of Memphis”
10. “Looper”

Christy Lemire: The Associated Press

1. “Argo”
2. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
3. “Skyfall”
4. “Holy Motors”
5. “Zero Dark Thirty”
6. “The Master”
7. “The Imposter”
8. “Moonrise Kingdom”
9. “Oslo, August 31st”
10. “This Is Not a Film”

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