Best Movies of 2012

by terrence-gale | created - 12 Jan 2014 | updated - 16 Feb 2015 | Public

Here are my selections for the best films of 2012.

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1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

PG-13 | 102 min | Drama, Romance

67 Metascore

An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Director: Stephen Chbosky | Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd

Votes: 400,192 | Gross: $17.74M

2. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

PG-13 | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

86 Metascore

Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

Director: Benh Zeitlin | Stars: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly, Lowell Landes

Votes: 75,283 | Gross: $12.80M

3. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

81 Metascore

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver

Votes: 591,952 | Gross: $132.09M

4. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

PG-13 | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray

Votes: 272,516 | Gross: $45.51M

5. Looper (2012)

R | 113 min | Action, Crime, Drama

84 Metascore

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano

Votes: 475,669 | Gross: $66.49M

6. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

PG-13 | 164 min | Action, Thriller

78 Metascore

Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman

Votes: 1,300,078 | Gross: $448.14M

7. Skyfall (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller

81 Metascore

Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench

Votes: 568,412 | Gross: $304.36M

8. Brave (2012)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

69 Metascore

Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

Directors: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell | Stars: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters

Votes: 313,389 | Gross: $237.28M

9. Arbitrage (2012)

R | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

A troubled hedge fund magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire makes an error that forces him to turn to an unlikely person for help.

Director: Nicholas Jarecki | Stars: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth

Votes: 45,185 | Gross: $7.92M

10. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

PG | 101 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

72 Metascore

A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.

Director: Rich Moore | Stars: John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman

Votes: 308,966 | Gross: $189.42M

11. The Hunger Games (2012)

PG-13 | 142 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

68 Metascore

Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.

Director: Gary Ross | Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci

Votes: 765,319 | Gross: $408.01M

12. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home, and the gold within it from the dragon Smaug.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Andy Serkis

Votes: 693,852 | Gross: $303.00M

13. Argo (2012)

R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

86 Metascore

Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.

Director: Ben Affleck | Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin

Votes: 507,843 | Gross: $136.03M

14. The Deep Blue Sea (2011)

R | 98 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

The wife of a British Judge is caught in a self-destructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.

Director: Terence Davies | Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston, Ann Mitchell, Jolyon Coy

Votes: 12,971 | Gross: $1.12M

15. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

PG-13 | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.

Director: John Madden | Stars: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson

Votes: 81,929 | Gross: $46.41M

16. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

PG-13 | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

58 Metascore

A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik's vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.

Director: Lasse Hallström | Stars: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Amr Waked, Kristin Scott Thomas

Votes: 56,354 | Gross: $9.03M

17. Les Misérables (2012)

PG-13 | 158 min | Drama, History, Musical

63 Metascore

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried

Votes: 270,826 | Gross: $148.81M

18. ParaNorman (2012)

PG | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

72 Metascore

A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Directors: Chris Butler, Sam Fell | Stars: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Tucker Albrizzi

Votes: 82,110 | Gross: $56.00M

19. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

R | 101 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

59 Metascore

As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.

Director: Lorene Scafaria | Stars: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Melanie Lynskey, Patton Oswalt

Votes: 97,657 | Gross: $6.62M

20. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel.

Director: Colin Trevorrow | Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni

Votes: 108,542 | Gross: $4.01M

21. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)

G | 94 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

80 Metascore

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their teenage daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi | Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias

Votes: 62,595 | Gross: $19.20M

22. Hitchcock (2012)

PG-13 | 98 min | Biography, Drama

55 Metascore

The relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho (1960) in 1959 is explored.

Director: Sacha Gervasi | Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston

Votes: 65,660 | Gross: $6.01M

23. Keep the Lights On (2012)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Romance

79 Metascore

In Manhattan, film-maker Erik bonds with closeted lawyer Paul after a fling. As their relationship becomes one fueled by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries while being true to himself.

Director: Ira Sachs | Stars: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson, Souleymane Sy Savane

Votes: 4,652 | Gross: $0.25M

24. Ookami kodomo no Ame to Yuki (2012)

PG | 117 min | Animation, Drama, Family

71 Metascore

After her werewolf lover unexpectedly dies in an accident, a woman must find a way to raise the werewolf son and daughter that she had with him. But their inheritance of their father's traits proved to be a challenge for her.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda | Stars: Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Ohsawa, Haru Kuroki, Yukito Nishii

Votes: 26,642

25. Ginger & Rosa (2012)

PG-13 | 90 min | Drama

69 Metascore

A look at the lives of two teenage girls - inseparable friends Ginger and Rosa -- growing up in 1960s London as the Cuban Missile Crisis looms, and the pivotal event that comes to redefine their relationship.

Director: Sally Potter | Stars: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Annette Bening, Oliver Platt

Votes: 9,047 | Gross: $1.01M

26. The Impossible (2012)

PG-13 | 114 min | Drama, Thriller

73 Metascore

The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Oaklee Pendergast

Votes: 166,060 | Gross: $19.02M

27. Rise of the Guardians (2012)

PG | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

57 Metascore

When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.

Director: Peter Ramsey | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine

Votes: 137,608 | Gross: $103.41M

28. Quartet (2012)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

64 Metascore

At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean, an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.

Director: Dustin Hoffman | Stars: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay

Votes: 17,163 | Gross: $18.39M

29. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

72 Metascore

Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

Director: Drew Goddard | Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz

Votes: 315,469 | Gross: $42.07M

30. The Avengers (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

69 Metascore

Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are going to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner

Votes: 1,095,538 | Gross: $623.36M

31. Frankenweenie (2012)

PG | 87 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

74 Metascore

When a boy's beloved dog passes away suddenly, he attempts to bring the animal back to life through a powerful science experiment.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau

Votes: 83,825 | Gross: $35.29M

32. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)

PG | 91 min | Animation, Drama, Family

71 Metascore

A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Director: Gorô Miyazaki | Stars: Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin, Christina Hendricks

Votes: 23,655 | Gross: $1.00M

33. Robot & Frank (2012)

PG-13 | 89 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team.

Director: Jake Schreier | Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, Liv Tyler

Votes: 57,081 | Gross: $3.33M

34. Pitch Perfect (2012)

PG-13 | 112 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

66 Metascore

Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

Director: Jason Moore | Stars: Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp

Votes: 241,603 | Gross: $65.00M

35. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)

PG | 93 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

60 Metascore

Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent - Madagascar style.

Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon | Stars: Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer

Votes: 135,168 | Gross: $216.39M

36. The Woman in Black (2012)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

62 Metascore

A young solicitor travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

Director: James Watkins | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds, Emma Shorey

Votes: 157,952 | Gross: $54.33M

37. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)

PG | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt | Stars: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Martin Freeman

Votes: 39,907 | Gross: $31.05M

38. Sound of My Voice (2011)

R | 85 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

Two documentary filmmakers attempt to penetrate a cult who worships a woman who claims to be from the future.

Director: Zal Batmanglij | Stars: Christopher Denham, Nicole Vicius, Brit Marling, Davenia McFadden

Votes: 18,374 | Gross: $0.41M

39. Sinister (I) (2012)

R | 110 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

53 Metascore

Washed-up true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt finds a box of super 8 home movies that suggest the murder he is currently researching is the work of a serial killer whose work dates back to the 1960s.

Director: Scott Derrickson | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Juliet Rylance, James Ransone, Fred Dalton Thompson

Votes: 184,538 | Gross: $48.09M

40. The Imposter (2012)

R | 99 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

77 Metascore

A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Director: Bart Layton | Stars: Adam O'Brian, Nicholas Barclay, Carey Gibson, Bryan Gibson

Votes: 39,927 | Gross: $0.89M

41. The Lorax (2012)

PG | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

46 Metascore

A 12-year-old boy searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

Directors: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda | Stars: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms

Votes: 85,503 | Gross: $214.03M

42. Chronicle (2012)

PG-13 | 84 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

69 Metascore

Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

Director: Josh Trank | Stars: Dane DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly

Votes: 221,173 | Gross: $64.58M

43. Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

PG | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

49 Metascore

Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.

Directors: Steve Martino, Mike Thurmeier | Stars: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Aziz Ansari

Votes: 163,569 | Gross: $161.32M

44. Hotel Transylvania (2012)

PG | 91 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

47 Metascore

Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count's teenaged daughter.

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky | Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez

Votes: 187,309 | Gross: $148.31M

45. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to solve the mystery of his parent's mysterious death.

Director: Marc Webb | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Irrfan Khan

Votes: 497,616 | Gross: $262.03M

46. The First Time (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

55 Metascore

A shy senior and a down-to-earth junior fall in love over one weekend.

Director: Jonathan Kasdan | Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Britt Robertson, Victoria Justice, James Frecheville

Votes: 58,291 | Gross: $0.02M

47. The Guilt Trip (2012)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

50 Metascore

As inventor Andy Brewster is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime, a quick stop at his mom's house turns into an unexpected cross-country voyage with her along for the ride.

Director: Anne Fletcher | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Julene Renee, Zabryna Guevara

Votes: 32,635 | Gross: $37.13M

48. The Pact (II) (2012)

R | 89 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

54 Metascore

As a woman struggles to come to grips with her past in the wake of her mother's death and the disappearance of her sister, an unsettling presence emerges in her childhood home.

Director: Nicholas McCarthy | Stars: Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien, Mark Steger, Agnes Bruckner

Votes: 21,449

49. The Disappeared (2012)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Mystery

The story of six men lost at sea in the North Atlantic.

Director: Shandi Mitchell | Stars: Billy Campbell, Shawn Doyle, Brian Downey, Ryan Doucette

Votes: 279

50. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011)

Not Rated | 121 min | Documentary, Crime