25 Must-See Movies in 2012

No. 5. Skyfall

November 9, 2012

Sam Mendes (American Beauty) directs this latest entry in the James Bond franchise, which brings Daniel Craig back as 007 and introduces Javier Bardem as the villain.

Why see it?

Though it’s possible Mendes, known best for directing dramas, could misfire when it comes to the action, I suspect the Oscar-winning director, whose worst movie is the misunderstood Jarhead, is more than up to the task.

No. 4. Lincoln

TBD 2012 | Drama

Daniel Day-Lewis stars in this Steven Spielberg-directed drama about the life of the sixteenth President of the United States.

Why see it?

Did we mention Daniel Day-Lewis? And Steven Spielberg? And Abraham Lincoln? Give them the Oscar today!

No. 3. Prometheus

June 8, 2012 | Action, Sci-fi

In this quasi-prequel to Alien, Ridley Scott returns to his roots to direct this tale of space exploration. Little is known about this movie other than that it’s about a team of scientists that are stranded on a distant world.

Why see it?

Alien. Blade Runner. Two of the best sci-fi films ever made. Both were made by Ridley Scott. It’s been 30 years since he’s made a sci-fi film. He’s way overdue.

No. 2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

December 14, 2011 | Action, Drama, Fantasy

In this prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, director Peter Jackson returns to the franchise that made him a household name to tell the story of Bilbo Baggins and his journey through Middle Earth.

Why see it?

While splitting the J.R.R. Tolkien story into two parts is questionable, it’s hard to complain about more Middle Earth action. The Hobbit does have a “smaller” plot than the epic The Lord of the Rings, but again, it’s more Middle Earth.

No. 1. The Dark Knight Rises

July 20, 2012

Set eight years after The Dark Knight, Batman (Christian Bale) comes face-to-face with his most dangerous foe yet: Bane (Tom Hardy), a villain who is just as smart and physically stronger than Gotham’s vigilante. The conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed trilogy, the movie also features Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.

Why see it?

In the comic books, Bane literally breaks Batman’s back. With Nolan’s insistence that this is the “end of the story” and his persistent theme that “Batman” is more important than the man beneath the mask, all bets are off; could Bruce Wayne end up dead? Crippled? It’s these lingering questions, as well as some simply epic trailers, that make The Dark Knight Rises the one must-see movie of 2012.

See our full list of 2012 movie release dates.

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By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Top 10 Movie Lists