2012 was certainly a huge year for movies. Romantic film beau Channing Tatum tried his hand at comedy (and greatly succeeded) in the spring hit 21 Jump Street; Kristen Stewart took some time away from her Twilight role as Bella Swan to play Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman; Liam Neeson proved to the world that he could once again protect the ones he loves in the most obnoxious way in Taken 2; Alec Baldwin switched teams in the 80s parody Rock of Ages.
Like every year, there were a lot of flops, but 2012 also produced a few films that were beyond exceptional. Superheroes really shined this year, with three of the films on this list revolving around Marvel and DC Comics. With the Harry Potter series ending last year, another fantasy movie needed to take its place at the top of the charts. And with Seth MacFarlane taking his famous Peter Griffin voice to the big screen, there needed to be some recognition.
1. The Dark Knight Rises: Although second in the box office ratings, the third and final film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series deserves the top spot on this list. The film takes place eight years after the death of “The White Knight,” Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), and Bruce Wayne’s (Christian Bale) love interest Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) died due to events caused by the Joker (Heath Ledger). The film introduces cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), known to the comic world as Catwoman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, or Robin, as viewers learn at the end of the film.
2. The Avengers: In this Marvel film, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) of S.H.I.E.L.D brings together the members of the Avengers to take on the Asgardian Loki and his army. The Avengers consist of Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) the Hulk/Dr. Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). This ensemble cast put together a performance well worthy of recognition.
3. The Hunger Games: This film has earned itself the same spot on this list as it did for the yearly box office results. Based on the 2008 young adult novels, this film follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as she is sent into the Hunger Games, a battle in which children ages 12 to 18 fight for the death on television for their entire world to see. This was a breakthrough performance for Lawrence, as she has already appeared in two chart-topping films since; House at the End of the Street and Silver Linings Playbook.
4. The Amazing Spiderman: Opening on a pre-holiday Tuesday, The Amazing Spiderman became the highest grossing film on a Tuesday since Transformers was released. It remained at the top spot for 10 days, until the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift. The film is a reboot of 2002’s Spiderman, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spiderman and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. The first sequel to the film is set to premiere on May 2, 2014.
5. Ted: In Seth MacFarlane’s feature-length directorial debut, we meet John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg), a grown man who still plays with his toy teddy bear. But Ted is no ordinary teddy bear: as a child, John wished his bear would come to life, and that wish came true. So now the pair drink, smoke and swear together, all while Bennett has to go to work and try to maintain a normal relationship with his girlfriend, Lori Collins (Mila Kunis.) This hysterical film is the highest grossing R-rated film of the year, and the highest-grossing original R-rated comedy of all time.
Of course, there are still plenty of films yet to premiere this year, such as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, This is 40 and Les Miserables. Maybe they’ll be able to catch the list next semester.
By Taylor Zimmerman