December 26, 2012 at 8:06 AM
You can talk all you want about the sheer numbers of movies being shot in Louisiana, but the ultimate judge of a good year for Hollywood South is one in which good content is produced. 2012 was just that for the local film industry -- in fact, it was the best on record. Here's my list of the 10 Best Hollywood South Films of 2012. So what do you think? Is your favorite on the list? Sound off in the comments section below. You can also find all of my 2012 year-end lists here, which are being released incrementally this week, covering everything from the best documentary films to the best performances to the best overall films of 2012.
10 best Hollywood South Films of 2012
10. "Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle." A nicely assembled dose of Louisiana film history.
8. "The Campaign." The political comedy that brought Will Ferrell to town earlier this year was also a goofy bit of timely satire, released as it was just before the 2012 presidential election.
6. "Looper." Writer-director Rian Johnson's sci-fi actioner entered the year on many peoples' most anticipated films of 2012. It didn't disappoint.
9. "Contraband." The first Hollywood South film of 2012, starring Mark Wahlberg as a reformed smuggler drawn back into the game, was also a solid and enjoyable actioner.
7. "Killing Them Softly." Brad Pitt stars as a cucumber-cool enforcer in a talky but intelligent mob picture.
5. "21 Jump Street." Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play the old TV series for laughs. The big surprise: It freaking worked.
4. "Jeff, Who Lives at Home." The Duplass brothers returned to their New Orleans hometown to shoot this sneakily affecting dramatic comedy. They're welcome back anytime.
2. "Django Unchained." It would have been nice to see Tarantino set part of his film here, as opposed to just shooting it here, but at any rate he added a memorable feather to the cap of the local film industry.
3. "Killer Joe." This NC-17-rated drama isn't for the easily offended - director William Friedkin and actor Matthew McConaughey make sure of that. But it is an unforgettable slice of cinema.
1. "Beasts of the Southern Wild." They don't get much more Hollywood South than director Benh Zeitlin's locally shot, locally cast film. It is a treasure, and one that we as Louisianians can be proud of.