Entertainment

The Best Movies of 2012 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
17.3k 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
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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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

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#15 of 165 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #69 of 101 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Madefeaturing 'The Dark Knight Rises' Is Anti-Revolutionary Corporate Propaganda

3
Skyfall is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
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

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#368 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #338 of 625 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies

4
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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

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#63 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #524 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

5
Argo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
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

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#47 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picture #40 of 80 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Timelisted on Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes

6
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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

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#12 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books #155 of 382 The Best War Movies Ever

7
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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

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#621 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #539 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #104 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books

8
Looper is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 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

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#389 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #58 of 153 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #46 of 160 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

9
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Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu
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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#329 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #30 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made

10
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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.

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#112 of 113 The Absolute Worst Animated Movies #68 of 107 The Greatest Directorial Debuts Of All Time

11
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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

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#167 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #79 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

12
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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

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#58 of 165 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #305 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

13
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Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman
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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#8 of 217 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #10 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

14
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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

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#80 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #85 of 1,198 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

15
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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

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#316 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #335 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

16
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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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#1,165 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #420 of 1,007 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

17
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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

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#752 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #52 of 796 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

18
Zero Dark Thirty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
Jessica Chastain, Chris Pratt, Mark Strong
Untitled International Thriller is a 2012 thriller film written by Mark Boal and directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

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#95 of 382 The Best War Movies Ever #69 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Sucklisted on The Best Movies About 9/11

19
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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

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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
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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#5 of 20 Great Movies About Drifters Who Are Lost in Life #14 of 34 Great Movies About Sad Loner Characters

21
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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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#65 of 589 The Best Animated Films Ever #390 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #89 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck

22
Flight is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies of 2012
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 crashes, ...more

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#80 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #233 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

23
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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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#106 of 192 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #260 of 348 The Best Movies Based On Books #419 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

24
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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

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#1,622 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #9 of 14 14 Superhero Movies You Need To Watch If You're Bored Of Marvel And DC

25
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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

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