“I think with each year, we come out and stake our ground on the question of best film, and particularly with some of our out-of-the-box choices.” So says Houston Film Critics' Society president Josh Starnes, and while I admire the sentiment, I'm struggling to identify too many out-of-the-box picks in their 2012 nominations list -- led by "Lincoln," with eight nods. Save a Best Picture nomination for the contentious "Cloud Atlas," and arguably a supporting mention for Judi Dench in "Skyfall," this looks largely like a copy-paste of umpteen other groups' lists this season, with "Les Misérables" and "The Master" also doing well with six nods apiece.

More wilful is their Worst Film of 2012 category, where the critics have decided to give Joe Wright's ambitious "Anna Karenina" a kicking -- and it's not the only film on the list that I rather like. Anyway, check out the full slate after the jump, and everything else at The Circuit.

Best Picture
"Argo" 
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Cloud Atlas"
"Django Unchained"
"Lincoln"
"The Master"
"Les Miserables
"Moonrise Kingdom"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"  

Best Director
Ben Affleck, "Argo" 
Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"
Tom Hooper, "Les Miserables" 
Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty" 

Best Actor 
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
John Hawkes, "The Sessions"
Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"
Denzel Washington, "Flight"  

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, "Argo"
Javier Bardem, "Skyfall"
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Matthew McConaughey, "Magic Mike"  

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, "The Master"
Judi Dench, "Skyfall"
Sally Field, "Lincoln"
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"


Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"  

Best Screenplay
"Argo"
"Lincoln"
"Looper"
"Silver Linings Playbook" 
"Zero Dark Thirty"  

Best Cinematography
"Life of Pi"
"Lincoln"
"The Master"
"Les Miserables" 
"Skyfall"  

Best Original Score
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Cloud Atlas"
"Hitchcock"
"Life of Pi"
"Lincoln"
"The Master"
"Skyfall"          

Best Original Song
“Skyfall,” "Skyfall"
“Suddenly,” "Les Miserables"
“Song of the Lonely Mountain,” "The Hobbit"
“Learn Me Right,” "Brave"
“Touch the Sky,” "Brave"  

Best Foreign Language Film
"Amour"
"The Intouchables"
"Holy Motors"
"A Royal Affair"
"Rust and Bone"  

Best Animated Film 
"Brave"  
"Frankenweenie" 
"ParaNorman"
"Rise of the Guardians" 
"Wreck-It Ralph" 

Worst Film of 2012
"Anna Karenina" 
"Battleship" 
"Prometheus"
"That’s My Boy" 
"The Three Stooges"