Entertainment

The Best Action Movies of 2012  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
1.5k votes 192 voters 11.8k views 35 items

List Rules Movies must have been released in 2012.

The best action movies of 2012 kept audiences on their toes, brought impressive special effects and included some of the best action stars of this generation. These 2012 action movies rose above all others and along with the best comedy movies of 2012, made for some of the best movies of the year.

In line with the best action movies of 2011, many of the top 2012 action movies were based on superhero comics. "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Avengers" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" each received praise from critics and fans alike as they earned over a billion dollars in combined box office revenue. Those three, along with "The Hunger Games," were among the top five highest grossing movies of the year.

But not all of the best 2012 action movies involved superheroes though many others did use familiar stories. 2012 featured a number of successful sequels back for another go around. Films like "The Expendables 2," The Bourne Legacy" and "Taken 2" all reintroduced some of our favorite action stars and characters in new adventures. The same goes for remakes with films like "Total Recall," "21 Jump Street" and "Dredd" each providing updated versions of old favorite action movies.

So whether you're a fan of the time-traveling thriller "Looper" or highly anticipating the new Bond film "Skyfall," if you're a fan of action movies, chances are some of your favorites from 2012 are right here. Tell us which you enjoy best by voting for those you love, re-ranking the list your way or adding any not listed all below.
list ordered by
1
Ranker Video
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman
The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman (Christian Bale), with the ...more
2
Ranker Video
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Joss Whedon, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a ...more
3
Ranker Video
Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem
Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel Craig in his third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's villain. It ...more
4
Ranker Video
Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
The Expendables 2 is a 2012 American action film directed by Simon West, and the sequel to the 2010 film. After one of their own's life is taken, the mercenary group set out for revenge against ...more
5
Ranker Video
Rachel McAdams, Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a 2011 British-American action mystery film directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin. It is a sequel to ...more
6
Ranker Video
Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Jeremy Renner
The Bourne Legacy is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Tony Gilroy, and is the fourth installment in the series of films adapted from the novels originated by Robert Ludlum, and ...more
7
Looper is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Action Movies of 2012
Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Looper is a 2012 American science fiction action thriller film written and directed by Rian Johnson and starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt. In the film, time travel is ...more
8
Ranker Video
Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Victoria
The Raid: Redemption is a 2011 Indonesian martial arts action film written and directed by Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans and starring Iko Uwais. This is the second collaboration of Evans and ...more
9
Ranker Video
Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
Django Unchained is a 2012 American revisionist Western film directed by Quentin Tarantino. With the help of a German bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz), a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to ...more
10
Ranker Video
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a 2014 American dystopian science fiction adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence); having twice survived the ...more
11
Ranker Video
Lena Headey, Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby
Dredd is a 2012 science fiction action film directed by Pete Travis and written and produced by Alex Garland. It is based on the 2000 AD comic strip Judge Dredd and its eponymous character ...more
12
Ranker Video
Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
The Amazing Spider-Man is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Marc Webb, based on the Marvel Comics character. After Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is bitten by a genetically altered ...more
13
Men in Black 3 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Action Movies of 2012
KingDDK added Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Will Smith
Men in Black 3 is a 2012 American 3D comic science fiction-action film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin. It is the third installment in the ...more
14
Jack Reacher is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Action Movies of 2012
wiabux added Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike
Jack Reacher is a 2012 American thriller film. It is an adaptation of Lee Child's 2005 novel One Shot. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the film stars Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. ...more
15
Ranker Video
Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace
Taken 2 is a 2012 action drama thriller film written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen and directed by Olivier Megaton.
16
John Carter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Action Movies of 2012
Willem Dafoe, Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong
John Carter is a 2012 American science fiction fantasy film directed by Andrew Stanton and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is based on A Princess of Mars, the first book in the Barsoom ...more
17
Ranker Video
Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube
21 Jump Street is a 2012 American action comedy film directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, executive produced by and starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and scripted by Michael ...more
18
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Action Movies of 2012
Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Colin Farrell
Total Recall is a 2012 American science fiction action film directed by Len Wiseman. It is the second adaptation of the 1966 short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" by ...more
19
Wrath of the Titans is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Action Movies of 2012
KingDDK added Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike
Wrath of the Titans is a 2012 film directed by Jonathan Liebesman.
20
Safe House is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Action Movies of 2012
KingDDK added Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Vera Farmiga
Safe House is a 2012 American action thriller film directed by Daniel Espinosa, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. It was released on February 10, 2012, in North America by Universal ...more
21
Ranker Video
Maggie Grace, Guy Pearce, Peter Stormare
Lockout is a 2012 French science fiction action film directed by James Mather and Stephen Saint Leger, and written by Mather, Saint Leger, and Luc Besson. The film stars Guy Pearce, Maggie ...more
22
Man on a Ledge is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Action Movies of 2012
KingDDK added Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris, Kyra Sedgwick
Man on a Ledge is a 2012 American thriller action directed by Asger Leth, starring Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Edward Burns, Anthony Mackie, Génesis Rodríguez and ...more
23
Ranker Video
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Alan Tudyk, Erin Wasson
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a 2012 American dark fantasy action horror film directed by Timur Bekmambetov, based on the 2010 mashup novel of the same name. The novel's author, Seth ...more
24
Ranker Video
Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba
Prometheus is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, and starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan ...more
25
Ranker Video
Charlize Theron, Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth
Snow White and the Huntsman is a 2012 American dark fantasy action film based on the German fairy tale "Snow White" compiled by the Brothers Grimm. In the film's retelling of the tale, ...more