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50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman
Universal

2011 is almost at an end, but while we're sorry to say goodbye to a year that brought us so many great films, we're just as excited for what the future brings us. After all, "Harry Potter" might be over, but "The Dark Knight Rises," 'The Avengers," "The Hunger Games" and the final installment of "Twilight" are all on the horizon. And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to big blockbuster events.

So today, instead of looking back, let's look forward -- to the 50 movies we can't wait to see in 2012. Because we have a feeling that this might just be the best year for movies yet.

'The Woman in Black'

Woman in Black
CBS Films

Release Date: February 3
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciaran Hinds
The Scoop: Daniel Radcliffe may have spent the last 10 years as the Boy Who Lived, but in his first post-"Harry Potter" film he may just become the Man Who Dies. That's because "The Woman in Black" is a creepy gothic horror story based on the popular novel of the same name by author Susan Hill. Getting himself out from under "Harry Potter"s' long shadow is likely to be a tough task, but if he can survive this film -- both plot-wise and in terms of fan expectations -- Radcliffe may be with us for the long haul.

'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Columbia Pictures

Release Date: February 17
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba
The Scoop: Five years ago, Nic Cage scored a surprise hit when he indulged his inner comic-book geek and made the low-budget, low-profile superhero/horror movie "Ghost Rider." Now he's back with a sequel that once again features him as stuntman Johnny Blaze, an unfortunate motorcycling guru who turns into a grim demon with a flaming skull whenever something needs avenging. Plot details are sketchy, but really, that's a bit beside the point, isn't it? Bonus: "Thor" supporting player Idris Elba pops up for another comic-book bit part. Someone get this guy a leading role already!

'Dr. Seuss' The Lorax'

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
Universal

Release Date: March 2
Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito
The Scoop: In terms of relevance, beloved Dr. Seuss story "The Lorax" is about as far from "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" as you can get, thanks to a timely ecological message about the importance of preserving the environment from man's destructive greed. Zac Efron and Taylor Swift provide the voices in this animated 3-D adaptation from the folks that brought the world "Despicable Me" last year. Now we know why they were so despicable -- they were cutting down the forest!

'Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters'

Jeremy Renner
Getty Images

Release Date: March 2
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare
The Scoop: What happens when two kids get crammed into an oven by an evil witch bent on eating them up? Well, anyone who knows their fairy tales knows Hansel and Gretel eventually escape, but with "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters," stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton show how childhood trauma can lead to a lifetime of mental issues -- and some serious, deadly retribution. Imagine "Van Helsing" with a lot more gingerbread and you've got a pretty good idea what to expect from this one.

'John Carter'

John Carter
Disney

Release Date: March 9
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds
The Scoop: A movie literally a hundred years in the making, "John Carter" adapts the series of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels about a Civil War casualty who finds himself inexplicably resurrected on the surface of Mars, where he lands in the middle of another bloody war between varying Martian factions. Played by "Friday Night Lights" star Taylor Kitsch, John Carter also learns that he possesses amazing powers of strength and endurance owing to the planet's lower gravity, allowing him to become an unlikely superhero. It will be interesting to see if this film can jumpstart a franchise, especially since it's directed by Pixar's Andrew Stanton, who previously helmed "Wall-E" and "Finding Nemo."

'21 Jump Street'

21 Jump Street
Columbia TriStar

Release Date: March 16
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube
The Scoop: Back in the '80s, "21 Jump Street" became one of Fox Television's first big hits thanks to a catchy premise -- youthful looking cops are sent undercover into high schools to fight juvenile crime -- and a certain unknown actor named Johnny Depp. Two decades after the show ended, Jonah Hill has revived the franchise for this comedic take on the concept, with Channing Tatum playing his partner and Depp dropping in for an as-yet unknown cameo. Taking old TV hits and turning them into post-modern comedies has a pretty spotty history in Hollywood, but if anyone can do it, these guys can. You say "Jump Street"; we say "how high?"

'Mirror Mirror'

Mirror Mirror
Relativity Media

Release Date: March 16
Starring: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer
The Scoop: Stars Lily Collins and Julia Roberts have their work cut out for them in this whimsical live-action take on the classic "Snow White" fairy tale. After all, "Snow White and the Huntsman" is also coming out in 2012, and it's been getting a lot of hype thanks to a certain someone named Kristen Stewart. Luckily, "Mirror Mirror" has a secret weapon, and no, we're not talking about slipping Stewart a poison apple; we're referring to director Tarsem Singh, who just wowed critics and audiences with the highly stylized action flick "Immortals." We're not sure this will be a hit, but with Singh giving "Mirror Mirror" his unique touch, we know one thing: It will be memorable, one way or another.

'The Hunger Games'

The Hunger Games
Lionsgate

Release Date: March 23
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
The Scoop: There's not a lot left to say about "The Hunger Games." Arguably the most anticipated film of the year, "The Hunger Games" has a huge and devoted fan base thanks to the wildly popular series of novels from author Suzanne Collins. So most people already know the story, which means the question is whether stars Jennifer Lawrence (as lead Katniss Everdeen), Josh Hutcherson (hunky do-gooder Peeta Mellark) and Liam Hemsworth (broody hunter Gale) can live up to those expectations. And in that game, our money is most definitely on Lawrence to win.

Also Check Out: MTV's Movie Smackdown 2012

'American Reunion'

American Reunion
Universal

Release Date: April 6
Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott
The Scoop: It's been a long time since the original cast of "American Pie" actually starred in one of the seemingly endless spin-offs from the franchise -- you could build a fort out of the straight-to-DVD releases --  but this time the whole gang is back. Does "American" still have a hankering for some good old-fashioned pie buggery, or has the world moved on to bigger, better and less sticky things? Either way, it will be good to reunite with these old movie friends one more time.

'Titanic 3D'

Titanic
Paramount

Release Date: April 6
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane
The Scoop: It might be hard to remember now, but back when James Cameron was filming "Titanic," most people in Hollywood thought it was going to be an epic disaster (no pun intended). And then his decision to spend over a decade working on the 3-D CGI technology for "Avatar"? Also expected to be a disaster. Well, if that’s the case, then maybe we should put Cameron in charge of FEMA, because those happen to be the two biggest box-office hits of all time -- and now he's taking the best of both worlds and combining them for a special "Titanic 3D" re-release. Does the world need such a thing? At this point, if Cameron says we need it, we're going to assume we need it. Get ready to swoon all over again.

'The Five-Year Engagement'

Five-Year Engagement
Universal

Release Date: April 27
Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Mindy Kaling
The Scoop: Once upon a time, people got engaged and then, you know, got married. These days, though, getting and staying engaged for years at a time is not uncommon, which makes this the perfect time for Jason Segel's newest rom-com, "The Five-Year Engagement." Segel and Emily Blunt star as a couple that intends to get married but keeps having the big day pushed back by, you know, life. Anything that gets the "Muppets" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall' star back on the big screen  is good enough for us -- and if he wants to stay for five years, we wouldn't turn that down, either.

'The Avengers'

The Avengers
Marvel

Release Date: May 4
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson
The Scoop: The boldest blockbuster experiment in the history of Hollywood arrives at last when "The Avengers" hits the big screen. For the last few years, Marvel Studios has been meticulously setting the groundwork for the first real shared universe in movie history, and this is the result, with the stars of "Iron Man" (Robert Downy Jr.), "Thor" (Chris Hemsworth) and "Captain America" (Chris Evans) being joined by a new Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) for the most astonishing superhero adventure of all time. It doesn't get any bigger than this.

'Dark Shadows'

Dark Shadows
Warner Bros.

Release Date: May 11
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green
The Scoop: Johnny Depp has a message for all you "Twilight," "Underworld' and "True Blood" fans: The granddaddy of the vampire craze is back to show you whippersnappers how it's really done. That would be one Barnabas Collins, who turned vampires into a pop craze way back in the 1960s on the cult-hit, gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows." Of course, you don't need to know anything about ancient TV history to get psyched for this one; all you need to know is that "Dark Shadows" is directed by the legendary Tim Burton and stars Depp as a vampire. Let the lesson begin.

'The Dictator'

The Dictator
Paramount

Release Date: May 11
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, John C. Reilly
The Scoop: Following the controversial madness (and comedic genius) of "Borat" and the even more over-the-top (and more controversial) "Bruno," there's pretty much nothing Sacha Baron Cohen can do anymore that will shock people, right? Well ... funny thing. "The Dictator," which Paramount describes as "the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed," is reportedly based on a novel written by Saddam Hussein. We might be watching this one from between the fingers we have covering our eyes, but we'll be watching.

'Battleship'

Battleship
Universal

Release Date: May 18
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch
The Scoop: "Clue" proved you could make a movie out of a board game, but we're still a little surprised by "Battleship," which is a big (really big) budget adaptation of the classic naval strategy game. Taylor Kitsch stars as a kid trying to make good in front of his new commanding officer (Liam Neeson) -- a guy who just happens to also be his future father-in-law. That sounds bad, but it's not as bad as aliens invading Earth's seas, which is what happens next. So will Hollywood manage to sink this "Battleship"? You'll have to wait until M-18 to find out.

'Men in Black III'

Men in Black III
Sony

Release Date: May 25
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin
The Scoop: Back in the '90s, "Men in Black" was one of the biggest franchises around. Somewhere along the way, though, the series slipped through the cracks -- until now. Yes, 10 years after the last installment, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back with their jokey take on alien invasions. This time around, there's a new twist: time travel, which gives Josh Brolin a chance to bust out the most dead-on Jones impersonation ever as the younger version of Agent K. Hey, if that's the result, we wish we'd get invaded by aliens a lot more often.

MORE: 50 Movies We Can't Wait to See in 2012 - Page 2 >>

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