The best films of 2012

From the gut-wrenching, step-by-step chronology of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad to seafaring cultists practicing Scientology-like rituals in the wake of World War II to the 16th president twisting arms over the passing of the 13th Amendment, the best films of 2012 brought history to life with…

The least essential albums of 2012

Every year, The A.V. Club mines its CD stacks, digital downloads, and inboxes looking for the least essential albums of the year. We’re not looking for bombs or duds, but rather for records whose very existence baffles us, from pointless remix projects to blatant cash-ins to celebrity vanity projects. Let us all pause…

The best music of 2012: The ballots

Our main list of the year’s best albums doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It’s tallied from ballots by a group of writers, each of whom is given 100 points to distribute over no more than 20 of their favorite records. The maximum number of points a writer can award an album is 15; the minimum is one. Below are the…

Jon Lovitz will kick your ass: 20-plus unexpectedly badass performances from established non-badasses

1. Jon Lovitz, Southland Tales (2006)
Jon Lovitz came to America’s attention as a bumbling sad-sack on Saturday Night Live, best known for running gags like the “Girl Watchers” series, where he and Tom Hanks played two atonal, self-denigrating drips who dismissed every woman they saw as “waaaaay out of our league.” He…

Happy holidays… for now: The A.V. Club’s apocalypse-ready 2012 Gift Guide

December 2012: For two, maybe three years, humanity has dreaded its approach, thanks to a highly selective interpretation of the Mayan calendar exploited by New Age types and makers of crappy blockbuster films starring John Cusack. And now it’s here. So if the world is fated to end on December 21, what’s the point of…

’Til the juice runs down my leg: 23 songs that use fruit for sexual metaphor

1-2. Led Zeppelin, “The Lemon Song”
Robert Johnson, “Traveling Riverside Blues”
For some reason, lemons are the go-to fruit for nutsack metaphors. (Seems big, doesn’t it?) It may have begun with Robert Johnson, who allegedly sold his soul in exchange for lyrics like “You can squeeze my lemon ’til the juice run down my…

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Bold type: 13 opening-credits sequences better than the movies that follow

1. Enter The Void (2009)
French provocateur Gaspar Noé is an aggressive stylist who likes to use titles to unsettle an audience, weakening their defenses before going in for the kill. His first feature, 1998’s I Stand Alone, pauses before the climatic sequence for a title-card “warning” that gives sensitive viewers 30…