Critics’ Choice Awards: What are the Best Action Movies of 2012?


2013 Critics Choice Awards

After yesterday’s fantastic discussion of the year’s best comedies as I begin to fill out my nomination ballot for the 2013 Critics Choice Movie Awards, which are due on Sunday, December 9, today we move to the Action category.

Like the Comedy category, I need to nominate not only the year’s Best Action Movie, but also the Best Actor and Actress in an Action Movie and this category is actually proving even harder than Comedy as there just don’t seem to be enough options.

Here are the categories we’re discussing in this post:

  • Best Action Movie
  • Best Actor in an Action Movie
  • Best Actress in an Action Movie

I have listed below 36 films I am currently considering at the bottom of this post, though after seeing Zero Dark Thirty last night (which is fantastic!) I don’t think of it as an action movie. The only real action in it takes place in the final 20 minutes or so and, like the entire film, it is far more procedural than it is all-out action. Of course, my feelings on this may change come nomination time, but for now I have left it off my “best” list.

Unlike the Comedy category, I wasn’t even able to come up with a top ten, instead only able to offer seven I would consider to be among the “best” of the year in this category. I know many of you love The Raid, but unfortunately I did not like that film at all and at this point I have still yet to see Django Unchained (that will be taken care of in less than 48 hours), Dredd 3D, The Expendables 2 (hoping to watch that in the next couple days), Men in Black III, Jack Reacher (I won’t see this before nominations are due) or Safe (I may try and watch this soon as well).

So there are at least a couple of movies I can see before nominations are due that may make the list, but for now here’s how my take on the situation breaks down at the moment:

Best Action Movie

  1. End of Watch
  2. Looper
  3. Prometheus
  4. The Dark Knight Rises
  5. Skyfall
  6. Haywire
  7. The Avengers

As for the actor and actress categories my current picks would look like this, and they include supporting actors since I have to assume that’s allowed since there is no separate category.

Best Actor in an Action Movie

My current top five and four additional contenders

  1. Michael Pena (End of Watch)
  2. Jake Gyllenhaal (End of Watch)
  3. Liam Neeson (The Grey)
  4. Tom Hardy (Lawless)
  5. Michael Caine (The Dark Knight Rises)
  6. ————

  7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
  8. Javier Bardem (Skyfall)
  9. Michael Fassbender (Prometheus)
  10. Dane DeHaan (Chronicle)

Best Actress in an Action Movie

  1. Emily Blunt (Looper)
  2. Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
  3. Gina Carano (Haywire)
  4. Judi Dench (Skyfall)
  5. Noomi Rapace (Prometheus)

Now check out the list below and if you believe I’ve missed any let me know and let me know what your favorites are.

The Action Contenders

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  • Act of Valor
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Bourne Legacy
  • Chronicle
  • Contraband
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Django Unchained**
  • Dragon
  • Dredd 3D*
  • End of Watch
  • The Expendables 2*
  • The Grey
  • Haywire
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • The Hunger Games
  • Jack Reacher*
  • John Carter
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  • Lawless
  • Lockout
  • Looper
  • Marvel’s The Avengers
  • Men in Black III*
  • Premium Rush
  • Prometheus
  • The Raid: Redemption
  • Safe*
  • Safe House
  • Savages
  • Skyfall
  • Taken 2
  • Total Recall
  • Underworld Awakening
  • Wrath of the Titans
  • Zero Dark Thirty***


* Didn’t see it yet
** Seeing it this week
*** I don’t consider it an action movie

If you missed yesterday’s Comedy discussion click here.