The 10 best movies of 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - In terms of filmmaking, 2012 is a giant leap from last year -- when the Oscar race for Best Picture should have been slimmed down to just four films -- T he Descendants, The Help, Hugo and Moneyball.

We witnessed a completely different tone over the past 12 months. The amount of Oscar worthy films doubled -- and the amount of thrills tripled.

Memorable filmmaking is back and in full-force!

Steven Spielberg delivered another historic tale, while Christopher Nolan ended his classic Batman franchise gracefully. Not to mention -- Ben Affleck affirmed his spot as one of the great directors of the last decade.

It's been quite an extraordinary and monumental year -- one moviegoers will soon never forget.

Here is the list of the best movies of 2012:

BONUS: Lawless

Directed by: John Hillcoat

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman.

Plot: A bootlegging gang is threatened by a new deputy and other authorities who want a cut of their profits.

10. The Avengers

Directed by: Joss Whedon

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot: A team of super humans help save the Earth from Loki and his army.

9. The Master

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams.

Plot: A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.

8. Lincoln

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Strathairn and Hal Holbrook.

Plot: The president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield -- and fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

7. Perks of Being a Wallflower

Directed by: Stephen Chbosky

Starring: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Paul Rudd and Dylan McDermott.

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

6. The Dark Knight Rises

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.

Plot: A new villain overwhelms Gotham's finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.

5. Django Unchained

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson.

Plot: A slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

4. Looper

Directed by: Rain Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels.

Plot: In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun awaits. Someone like Joe, who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by transporting back Joe's future self.

3. Skyfall

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes.

Plot: Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her, bringing MI6 under attack.

2. Silver Linings Playbook

Directed by: David O. Russell

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker.

Plot: 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.

1. Argo

Directed by: Ben Affleck

Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Clea DuVall and Tate Donovan.

Plot: A dramatization of the 1980 joint CIA-Canadian secret operation to extract six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran.

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