Plenty of actors left their mark on the big screen in 2012, but there were a handful who were consistently popping up in new movies, like
Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. These are the all-stars, the MVPs, the people whose names were constantly up on the marquee and whose faces we just couldn't escape in the theater. Browse through and let us know which roles you loved the most!
Emily Blunt stepped up her game this year, starting with the romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement. In fact, she had quite a bit of romance in 2012, being courted by Ewan McGregor in the Golden Globe-nominated Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Mark Duplass in Your Sister's Sister. She even got to make out with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper. Best year ever?
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Hemsworth became a household name in 2012 thanks to Chris and his brother Liam. It was Chris, however, who enchanted us in
Snow White and the Huntsman, defended us in The Avengers and Red Dawn, and fought gnarly monsters in meta-horror The Cabin in the Woods. If we could choose any guy to save us from anything, it would be this guy.
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Paul Rudd is one of my favorite actors, so I didn't mind that he showed up in three major films this year. First, he and Jennifer Aniston turned to nature in Wanderlust, then he played mentor in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and he closed out 2012 by reprising the role of a comically distressed dad in This Is 40.
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This year put
Channing Tatum on the map. He wooed audiences in The Vow, kicked butt in Haywire, made us laugh our butts off in 21 Jump Street, and showed off his dance moves in Magic Mike. My favorite performance of his, however, was in the under-the-radar 10 Years. Oh, and if you missed him at the theater, he was also People's Sexiest Man Alive.
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I don't know if there's ever a point at which you can have too much
Robert Pattinson, but we sure did see a lot of him in 2012. Of course, there was the Twilight finale Breaking Dawn Part 2, but he also showed a different side as a social climber in Bel Ami and a rich playboy in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis.
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Kristen Stewart also took this year to explore some non-Twilight territory, in addition to appearing in Breaking Dawn Part 2. She bucked up as a fiery princess in Snow White and the Huntsman and got a little scandalous with Garrett Hedlund in the adaptation of On the Road. Goodbye Bella, hello serious starlet.
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Versatility was the name of the game for Tom Hardy this year. He competed for
Reese Witherspoon's affections — and ended up winning ours — in This Means War, then transformed into Batman's nightmarish foe in The Dark Knight Rises before starring as Shia LaBeouf's bootlegging brother in Lawless. Color us impressed, Mr. Hardy.
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With roles in
The Hunger Games, What to Expect When You're Expecting, Man on a Ledge, People Like Us, and a cameo in Pitch Perfect, I'm not sure when Elizabeth Banks sleeps. She ran the gamut from action to rom-com to thriller and back again, not to mention her stint as Avery on 30 Rock.
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Jennifer Lawrence's name was on the tips of everyone's tongues this year. The actress delivered in a big way as Katniss in
The Hunger Games and in an even bigger way with her performance in Silver Linings Playbook, for which she's already scored a Golden Globe nod and a SAG nomination. Lawrence also starred in House at the End of the Street, proving that in addition to an action star and Oscar bait, she's also a certified scream queen.
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Friday Night Lights now behind him, Taylor Kitsch was looking to get some cred as a film actor in 2012. Regardless of his films' reviews (most of which were less than stellar), you've gotta give him a hand for landing multiple leading roles. First up was John Carter, followed by Summer blockbuster Battleship, then Oliver Stone's drug drama Savages.
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Matthew McConaughey may have caught most people's attention in Magic Mike, but he also partook in some roles off the beaten path. He headed to Texas to play a suspicious lawyer in Bernie, then further south for violent drama Killer Joe and The Paperboy.
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Not only did Joseph Gordon-Levitt have a full roster of films this year, but they're all pretty awesome. He had a pivotal role in
The Dark Knight Rises, then headed up his own action flicks: the bike messenger chase movie Premium Rush and the mind-bender Looper. I guess he figured he wasn't busy enough, so he also appeared as the president's son in Lincoln. Somebody get this man a medal.
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We also wanted to toss a little credit to those who didn't score a lot of lead roles, but definitely deserve MVP awards.
Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister's Sister, Darling Companion, People Like Us, The League Rebel Wilson:
Pitch Perfect, Bachelorette, What to Expect When You're Expecting
Lee Pace: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Lincoln, The Hobbit Chris Messina:
The Watch, Nobody Walks, The Newsroom, Damages, Ruby Sparks, The Mindy Project Bryan Cranston:
Rock of Ages, Total Recall, Breaking Bad, Argo Rosemarie DeWitt:
Your Sister's Sister, Nobody Walks, The Watch, Promised Land
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