best movies The Best Movies of 2012  

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List Rules Only films released in theaters between January and December 2012

This is a list of the best movies of 2012, as ranked by experts and fans alike. The best movies of 2012 include gut-wrenching dramas, mind-bending sci-fi movies and wonderful, romantic comedies that remind movie-goers why they fell in love with movies in the first place. This is a list of some of the best films of the year. Obviously any 'best of' list is going to be subjective, so not everyone will agree. That's the great thing about lists on Ranker: You can change the order with your votes and, in this case, by creating your very own list of the top movies of 2012.

Think "Looper" is the best movie of 2012, hands down? Vote it up, and rank it high on your own list! Did 'Ted' leave you in stitches, laughing days after? Certainly it's one of the best comedy movies to come along in quite a while, but does it deserve to rank #1 on this list? It's up to you to make these sorts of decisions. Whether it's a first-rate foreign film like 'Holy Motors' or a stunning action-adventure flick like 'Skyfall,' or a solid, lighthearted animated family movie like 'Wreck-It-Ralph,' rank away! I can't wait to see which movies come out on top (and which movies get slammed, in the form of down votes, because really, not everyone liked 'Cloud Atlas,' and I'm still hearing people argue about it).

Each and every one of us who've spent a ton of cash to be entertained for a few hours in a darkened theater deserve to be heard. While 2012 certainly brought with it some stinkers (hello, 'That's My Boy'!), there were some real gems, too. And yes, as new 2012 movies come out, add them to your 'best of' list. Several films believed to be Oscar contenders will hit theaters before year's end ('Lincoln' 'The Hobbit,' and 'Anna Karenina' among them).

What are the best movies of 2012? Take a look here and see for yourself.

Please rank your favorite films of 2012. And if you don't see the movie or movies you've been raving about, feel free to add them to this list so everyone can vote for them! For an updated list, check out Ranker's list of the best movies of 2013.
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The Avengers 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

2
543 153
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The Dark Knight Rises Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan, and the story with David S. Goyer. Featuring the DC ...more

3
270 103
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Django Unchained 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

4
322 151
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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom The Hobbit is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, with large portions of ...more

5
321 146
Skyfall is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Skyfall 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

6
193 113
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Lincoln Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The ...more

7
231 132
Argo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Argo Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston Argo is a 2012 American political thriller film directed by Ben Affleck. The film is adapted from U.S. Central Intelligence Agency operative Tony Mendez's book The Master of Disguise and Joshuah ...more

8
310 187
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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore The Hunger Games is a 2012 action, adventure film written by Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins and Billy Ray and directed by Gary Ross.

9
189 101
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Wreck-It Ralph Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Mindy Kaling Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 comedy animation family film written by Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee and directed by Rich Moore.

10
201 115
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Life of Pi Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu Life of Pi is a 2012 adventure film written by David Magee and directed by Ang Lee.

11
151 82
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Silver Linings Playbook Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook is a 2012 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by David O. Russell, adapted from the novel The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. The film ...more

12
218 133
Looper is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Looper 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

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13
241 143
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21 Jump Street 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

14
218 140
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Ted Mila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg, Ryan Reynolds Ted is a 2012 American comedy film directed by Seth MacFarlane. The screenplay by MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild is from MacFarlane's story. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, ...more

15
202 164
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The Amazing Spider-Man Emma Stone, Sally Field, Martin Sheen Production on Spiderman 4 was halted in January 2010 and will be revamped as a new project. It is rumored to be a 3D film - and it is also rumored to not be called Spiderman 4. Marc Webb is the ...more

16
88 76
Flight is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Flight Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly Flight is a 2012 American drama film directed by Robert Zemeckis. An airline pilot (Denzel Washington) saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, ...more

17
169 122
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Brave Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson, Billy Connolly Brave is a 2012 American computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and ...more

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18
164 143
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Prometheus 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

19
114 84
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film, and an adaptation of the 1999 epistolary novel of the same name; it was written and directed by the novel's ...more

20
163 151
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The Cabin in the Woods Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver, Amy Acker The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut, produced by Joss Whedon, and written by Whedon and Goddard. The film stars Kristen ...more

21
156 111
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Les Misérables Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman Les Misérables is the motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe and still ...more

22
145 125
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Moonrise Kingdom Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola. Described as an "eccentric pubescent love story", it features newcomers Jared ...more

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60 38
Zero Dark Thirty is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Zero Dark Thirty Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong Untitled International Thriller is a 2012 thriller film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

24
138 118
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Chronicle Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan Chronicle is a 2012 American found footage science-fiction thriller film directed by Josh Trank. After gaining telekinetic powers from an unknown object, three teenagers use their abilities for ...more

25
126 105
Men in Black 3 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Men in Black 3 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

26
72 52
Hotel Transylvania is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
asti_budiastuti added Hotel Transylvania Selena Gomez, Adam Sandler, Snoop Dogg Hotel Transylvania is a 2012 American 3D computer animated fantasy comedy film produced by Sony Pictures Animation. It was directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Samurai Jack, Dexter's ...more

27
120 140
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John Carter 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

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28
84 106
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Cloud Atlas Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon Cloud Atlas is a 2012 science fiction film written and directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski. Adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by David Mitchell, the film has ...more

29
44 45
The Intouchables is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
The Intouchables Omar Sy, François Cluzet, Anne Le Ny The Intouchables is a 2011 French comedy-drama film directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano. It stars François Cluzet and Omar Sy. Nine weeks after its release in France on 2 ...more

30
66 68
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We Need to Talk About Kevin Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller We Need to Talk About Kevin is a 2011 British-American psychological thriller film, directed by Lynne Ramsay and adapted from Lionel Shriver's novel of the same name. A long process of ...more

31
43 33
Ice Age: Continental Drift is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Ice Age: Continental Drift Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Drake Ice Age: Continental Drift is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated comedy adventure film directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier. It was written by Jason Fuchs and Michael Berg, and ...more

32
89 99
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Frankenweenie Winona Ryder, Elle Fanning, Christopher Lee Frankenweenie is a 2012 American 3D stop-motion-animated fantasy film directed by Tim Burton. It is a remake of Burton's 1984 short film of the same name and is a parody of and a homage to the ...more

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55 57
Lawless is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Lawless Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf Lawless is a 2012 American crime drama film directed by John Hillcoat. The screenplay by Nick Cave is based on the historical novel The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant. The film ...more

34
84 72
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Seven Psychopaths Colin Farrell, Olga Kurylenko, Christopher Walken Seven Psychopaths is a 2012 comedy and crime film written and directed by Martin McDonagh.

35
89 94
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Snow White and the Huntsman 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

36
41 54
Dark Shadows is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Dark Shadows Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloë Grace Moretz Dark Shadows is a 2012 American horror comedy film loosely based on the gothic television soap opera Dark Shadows that was broadcast between 1966 and 1971. The film was directed by Tim Burton ...more

37
45 55
The Master is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
The Master Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman The Master is a 2012 American drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. It tells the story of ...more

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63 84
ParaNorman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
ParaNorman Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Ariel Winter ParaNorman is a 2012 American 3D stop-motion animated horror comedy film produced by Laika, distributed by Focus Features and was released on August 17, 2012. It stars the voices of Kodi ...more

39
63 78
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Beasts of the Southern Wild Quvenzhané Wallis, Jay Oliver, Henry D. Coleman Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 American fantasy drama film directed by Benh Zeitlin and adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious. After playing at ...more

40
72 96
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The Dictator Megan Fox, Anna Faris, Edward Norton The Dictator is a 2012 American comedy film co-written by and starring Sacha Baron Cohen as his fourth feature film in a leading role. The film is directed by Larry Charles, who previously ...more

41
65 71
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Rise of the Guardians Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher Rise of the Guardians is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated fantasy film based on William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series and The Man in the Moon short film by Joyce and Reel ...more

42
69 65
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Safe House 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

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43
29 28
Dredd is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Dredd 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

44
26 26
The Impossible is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
The Impossible Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Geraldine Chaplin The Impossible is a 2012 disaster drama film directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and written by Sergio G. Sánchez. It is based on the experience of María Belón and her family in ...more

45
26 31
The Woman in Black is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
The Woman in Black Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer The Woman in Black is a 2012 British horror film directed by James Watkins and written by Jane Goldman, based on Susan Hill's novel of the same name. It was produced by Hammer Film Productions. ...more

46
22 41
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunte... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 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

47
70 74
The Expendables 2 is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
The Expendables 2 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 is murdered, the mercenary group set out for revenge against ...more

48
84 70
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Pitch Perfect Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks, Brittany Snow Pitch Perfect is a 2012 American musical comedy film directed by Jason Moore. Featuring an ensemble cast, including Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Ester ...more

49
14 27
The Words is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
The Words Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper The Words is a 2012 mystery romantic drama film, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal in their directorial debut. It stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy ...more

50
50 41
The Bourne Legacy is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
The Bourne Legacy 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