Entertainment

The Best Movies of 2012 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated September 21, 2019 17.4k votes 1.4k voters 41.2k views 182 items

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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Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2012

Directed by: Joss Whedon

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

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2
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Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman

Released: 2012

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

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

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3
Skyfall is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem

Released: 2012

Directed by: Sam Mendes

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

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4
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson

Released: 2012

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

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

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5
Argo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston

Released: 2012

Directed by: Ben Affleck

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

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6
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field

Released: 2012

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

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

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7
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Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper

Released: 2012

Directed by: David O. Russell

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

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8
Looper is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Released: 2012

Directed by: Rian Johnson

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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9
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Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu

Released: 2012

Directed by: Ang Lee

Life of Pi is a 2012 American historical drama film directed by Ang Lee, based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel. Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma), a young man who is cast away after a ...more

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10
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Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Mindy Kaling

Released: 2012

Directed by: Rich Moore

Wreck-It Ralph is a 2012 comedy animation family film written by Phil Johnston, Jennifer Lee and directed by Rich Moore.

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11
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Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube

Released: 2012

Directed by: Phil Lord, Chris Miller

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

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#79 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #158 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

12
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Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans

Released: 2012

Directed by: Marc Webb

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

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13
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Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman

Released: 2012

Directed by: Tom Hooper

Les Misérables is a 2012 musical drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 1862 French novel of the same name by Victor Hugo, which also inspired a 1980 concept album and 1985 ...more

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#10 of 376 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #8 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs

14
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Mila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg, Ryan Reynolds

Released: 2012

Directed by: Seth MacFarlane

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

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15
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Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Released: 2014

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

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

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16
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Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton

Released: 2012

Directed by: Wes Anderson

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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17
Zero Dark Thirty is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong

Released: 2012

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

Untitled International Thriller is a 2012 thriller film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

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18
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Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver, Amy Acker

Released: 2012

Directed by: Drew Goddard

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

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19
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Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba

Released: 2012

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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

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20
The Master is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Released: 2012

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

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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21
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Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson, Billy Connolly

Released: 2012

Directed by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman

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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22
Flight is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly

Released: 2012

Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

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 crashes, ...more

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23
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Willem Dafoe, Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong

Released: 2012

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

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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24
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Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan

Released: 2012

Directed by: Josh Trank

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

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25
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Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd

Released: 2012

Directed by: Stephen Chbosky

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

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