Superman's secret identity may come as a bit of a shock. Watch Now »
Jessica Chastain sure pulled out the big guns in her riveting performance in last year's Oscar-nominated thriller, "Zero Dark Thirty." As tough-as-nails CIA agent Maya, on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, this terrorist-hunting genius stops at nothing to smoke America's most hated terrorist out of his hole, and a damn good job she does. Get More »
When it was announced that "Family Guy" genius (in our eyes, anyway) Seth MacFarlane would host the daddy of all awards shows this year, more than a few expertly waxed brows were raised. And now, perhaps, they're being raised even higher. For
nearly a billion years over eight decades, the black-tie ceremony has ended with the penultimate award for Best Picture… but not anymore — at least, not this year.
"Ending the Oscars with the Best Picture is so 2011," MacFarlane explained. OK, he didn't really say that, but we're pretty sure that's what he's thinking. Because this funny man has some big plans to shake up this show which tends to be steeped in tradition. Get More »
40. Kristen Stewart in Marcus Foster's "I Was Broken"
K.Stew's really is a beauty made for music videos. We can't get over the simple black and white cutaways to her and the sad, yet gorgeous, look on her face just kinda breaks our hearts. You know, kinda like Foster's song.
39. Jake Gyllenhaal in The Shoes' "Time to Dance"
No matter what role Gyllenhaal takes on, one thing remains the same: He's just a little bit off-kilter. He's got a little bit of the crazy eyes, you know? That works to his benefit in this clip, where he's having a mesmerizing yet creep murder fantasy. If it doesn't get your spine tingling, we're not sure what will.
38. Helena Bonham Carter in Rufus Wainwright's "Out of the Game"
The "Harry Potter" villainess pins up her hair and aches with romantic longing amongst the halls of the Dewey Decimal System. Helena lip-synchs along to Wainwright's vocals (so it obviously sounds a bit better than "Sweeney Todd") whilst the actual singer takes on not one but three library-dweller supporting roles. We can't remember the stacks being quite so entertaining.
37. Shia LaBeouf in Sigur Ros' "Fjogur Piano"
The Beef gives us the full sausage as he goes full frontal for the Icelandic band in this very NSFW video. In other words, it's seven minutes of LaBeouf in la buff. You're welcome.
36. Scarlett Johansson in Bob Dylan's "When the Deal Goes Down"
Like the song itself, ScarJo is transported back to the 1950s to recreate a time when the Internet never existed and Super 8 cameras were revolutionary technology. The combination of heartfelt and nostalgic makes this one of Bobby D's simplest, yet memorable, late-career entries.
35. Mickey Rourke and Jennifer Love Hewitt in Enrique Iglesias' "Hero"
If the corporate brass allowed it, we would somehow find a way to insert a video of Mickey Rourke beating a singer to death in every single listicle we do. Keep in mind, this was years before Rourke's big comeback when he was still wondering what exactly happened to his career and life. We'd like to think he exorcised some demons on Iglesias' head.
34. Angelina Jolie in The Rolling Stones' "Anybody Seen My Baby?"
It's not so much the running down the street in lingerie part that we find a little perplexing. It's that Sir Mick does what anyone looking for their object of affection would do: randomly sing a question to the nearest subway attendant. There is also an old guy grabbing his boobs for some reason.
33. Natalie Portman in Devandra Banhart's "Carmensita"
We don't really get too involved in the celebrity dating scene, but it's impossible not to mention that Natalie Portman started going out with Devandra Banhart after meeting him on the set of this bizarre, Bollywood-inspired video. We've seen this video 20 times and We're still trying to find the moment when Portman said, "Yep. I want that." It was one of the few times Brooklyn Vegan and US Weekly readers had something in common. Of course, she's since moved on to a ballerino, so there's that.
32. Jack Black in Beck's "Sexx Laws"
We feel like any joke we write won't be as funny as the video itself, in which a refrigerator has sex with an oven and a pink-pantsed zebra does a 360 with his human torso. And then it gets weird. Few people can turn Jack Black into an ensemble player, but Beck scores here.
31. Mischa Barton in James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover"
Judging by this video, the UK singer-songwriter changed the title of this 2004 single from "I Know We're Breaking Up, But Can We Have Sex One Last Time?" to the slightly more elegiac current title. It's cool, man. Every guy's been there. Just usually not with Mischa Barton.
30. Kirsten Dunst in Savage Garden's "I Knew I Loved You"
In New York, the "subway glance" is an art form that takes years to master. Too blasé and the other person doesn't notice; too blunt and your picture ends up on PervertsontheSubway.com. The key is to go subtle until one of you is about to exit the train, then lock eyes like you're about to draw on Clint Eastwood in some old western. They're out of your life forever anyway; might as well make it count.
29. Courteney Cox in Counting Crows' "A Long December"
You can only have so much sexual tension with clean-cut, short-haired preppies like Matthew Perry before wanting to go the dreadlocked musician hippie route. Unfortunately, as both the video and real life shows, Cox and head Crow Adam Duritz didn't work out and Cox returned to her WASPy television life. At least you tried, Courteney. It was the dreads, wasn't it? Should've stuck with Springsteen.
28. Sarah Michelle Geller in Stone Temple Pilots' "Sour Girl"
So many questions on this one: Is Weiland double-jointed or does he only dance by undulating? Is that Owen Wilson hugging the fake Teletubbies? Was it in the "Buffy" contract that Sarah Michelle Geller had to go goth in every other role she played to subtly promote her vampire-slaying meal ticket? At what point do the terms "avant garde" and "postmodern" become synonyms for "nonsense"? This is like something you would see on a remake of "This is Spinal Tap."
27. Robert Downey Jr. in Elton John's "I Want Love"
Note to all you aspiring music video directors: It's not hard. Just get an empty, lavish house, one camera and Robert Downey Jr. and you're done. Stop overthinking it.
26. Juliette Lewis in HIM's "Buried Alive By Love"
We're not shy about our love for Juliette Lewis, who vacillates between scene-stealing actress, hedonistic rock star and overall weirdo (in a good way). So hanging out with a heavily tattooed Finnish rock band in an empty, ornate theater is probably a pretty normal day by her standards.
25. Bill Paxton and Judge Reinhold in Pat Benatar's "Shadows of the Night"
It's WWII pilots Judge Reinhold and Pat Benatar versus Nazi radio operator Bill Paxton in this 1982 video (though Paxton will always be Chet in "Weird Science" to us). Benatar always had that bad-ass streak in her, but bum-rushing Nazi headquarters and blowing the base up is on some next-level, "Where did you pull that one out of?" tip.
24. Evan Rachel Wood in Marylin Manson's "Heart-Shaped Glasses"
With wink-wink allegations of actual sex in the video, Marylin Manson goes from grave to cradle by featuring then-girlfriend Evan Rachel Wood. The couple have sex while being doused with blood, which is basically Manson's version of the missionary position. Not to be confused with Nelly's probable new single "Heart-Shaped Asses."
23. Jennifer Love Hewitt in LFO's "Girl on TV"
"The only problem is she's a movie star" says LFO about the "girl on TV." Doesn't lead roles in "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties" and "The Tuxedo," the latter called "silly beyond comprehension" by Roger Ebert, stretch the word "star" a bit thin, though?
22. Gary Oldman in Guns N' Roses "Since I Don't Have You"
How do you salvage a marginal covers album recorded for the sole purpose of fulfilling a contractual obligation? Put penciled-in eyebrows and white makeup on Gary Oldman and have him tie you up, roast you on a spit and throw your car -- with you in it -- into the ocean. This is actually one of Oldman's normal roles.
21. Charlize Theron in Brandon Flowers' "Crossfire"
Some guys have some weird, macho bullshit complex about being rescued out of a precarious situation by a girl. But when you're about to get into a fight and your girlfriend kicks the guy's ass, you better go ring shopping the next day. Here, ninjas do to Killers frontman Brandon Flowers what most people who hear his band's music dream of doing.
20. Robin Williams in Bobby McFerrin's "Don’t Worry, Be Happy"
The video's fine, but we really just wanted to get this earworm stuck in your head again. You're welcome.
19. Liv Tyler and Alicia Silverstone in Aerosmith's "Crazy"
With "Amazing" and "Livin' on the Edge," Alicia Silverstone was already Aerosmith's go-to actress for wild child, "Screw you, Dad" roles. When she was partnered with frontman Steven Tyler's daughter Liv (in her on-screen debut), MTV couldn't play this video enough. The video features what teenage girls normally do for fun middle-aged men assume teenage girls do for fun e.g., engaging in pillow fights, participating in amateur stripper nights and seducing farmboys.
18. Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell in Gnarls Barkley's "Smiley Faces"
Playing off the "Who is Gnarls Barkley?" marketing campaign, Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell play a music historian and A&R man, respectively, delving mockumentary-style into the origins of the mythical Gnarls figure. Turns out they were swinging with Duke Ellington, jamming at Woodstock and hanging with Warhol and Lou Reed. This video is basically a hipster's "Forrest Gump."
17. Eddie Murphy in Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time"
Four years after playing Prince Akeem in "Coming to America," Eddie Murphy takes on the role of another African ruler in this John Singleton-directed video centered around ancient Egypt. With cameos by Iman, Magic Johnson and The Pharcyde (briefly seen as a dancing group), the video's special effects were groundbreaking for its time and is closer in style and length to a short film than a conventional music video. Best line: Magic after seeing someone beheaded for not entertaining the Queen: "That's cold."
16. Kim Basinger in Tom Petty's "Last Dance With Mary Jane"
It may not be the apex of human civilization, but every guy has had the "Would you have sex with [famous actress or model]? What if she was dead?" conversation with his peers. This kind of talk usually ends around the age of 13, but some guys keep it going well past the appropriate time. This video's the PG-rated visual representation of that conversation.
15. Christina Hendricks in Broken Bells' "The Ghost Inside"
Is there anything more soul-crushing than giving both legs and a hand for a shot at fame, only to discover that your best place for success is actually a desolate, barren wasteland? Broken Bells likes metaphors.
14. Danny Aiello in Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach"
Danny Aiello has always been the go-to actor when you need a working-class, exasperated middle-aged man? In fact, we're pretty sure he was born 40 years old, but that's a different article. Yes, it was the 1980s, but you still have to question Madonna's choice of baby daddy; we know mullets and sleeveless tees were the look back then, but you know that guy is still rocking that outfit 30 years later.
13. Kristen Bell in Yeasayer's "Madder Red"
Who would have thought some weird, veiny one-armed bulbous creature would inspire such pathos? What could have been simply a weird love affair between Kristen Bell and her ball-shaped lover turns into a sad tale of lost love and remorse. Though we're still wondering if that thing went to a regular hospital or animal clinic.
12. Michael Cera in Islands' "No You Don't"
"Don't buy dope from the man you don't know," sings Islands frontman Nicholas Thorburn in this "High School Academic Anti-Drug Supplementary" video. So begins Michael Cera's drug trip into psychedelic worlds and purposefully cheesy 1980s graphics. We're still not sure if doing acid with the actor would be the most or least pleasurable drug experience ever. Discuss.
11. Keanu Reeves in Paula Abdul's "Rush Rush"
Taking its cue from Nicolas Ray's "Rebel Without a Cause," this really needs to be remade today with James Franco and, just for fun, an aging Paula Abdul still portraying a high school student. Among a myriad of bizarre shots, we're most enthralled by the incongruous opening shot of Keanu imitating a cymbal-clapping toy. Avant-garde cinema of the highest order.
10. Zach Galifianakis in Fiona Apple's "Not About Love"
We still have hope that these two will find love if only to see how eccentric and outlandish their offspring could possibly be. Apparently they met while performing repeatedly at the same club in Los Angeles, which means that the opportunity for the great reality show "Zach and Fiona Act Brilliantly Weird Together" goes fulfilled only in our heads.
9. Macaulay Culkin in Michael Jackson's "Black or White"
We could have gone with George Wendt for this one, but in 1991, no one could touch Macaulay Culkin after "Home Alone." After the stereotypical "turn the music down" parental yell, Culkin does what every 12-year-old kid wanted to do at the time. He will later show up as a hip-hopper and look tougher than Michael Jackson. Too bad the song is kind of lame, though. Eh. There's always the morph scene.
8. Chevy Chase in Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al"
The normally high-minded singer/songwriter Paul Simon goes the low-concept goofball route by throwing himself and Chevy Chase in a white room and engaging in awkward, white-guy-at-wedding dance moves. It doesn't hurt the comic effect that Chase has about three feet on the diminutive singer.
7. Scarlett Johansson in Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around…Comes Around"
See, that's the thing with hooking up with a person who's already dating someone else. If they cheated on that person with you, don't be surprised if you're the next victim. Then, if this video is any indication of real life, they will die in a horrible, fiery car accident. The end.
6. Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood in Green Day's "Wake Me Up When September Ends"
This single from 2004's "American Idiot" deftly speaks on the emotional consequences of having a loved one away at war. In stark contrast to "Heart-Shaped Glasses," Wood displays the same level of gravitas that made her role in "Thirteen" so memorable.
5. Johnny Depp in Petty's "Into the Great Wide Open"
You can go to roundtable discussions. You can read Passman's book. But really, all you'll ever want to know about how the music industry operates -- its perpetual elevating and dismissing of anyone who's ever written a hit song -- is contained in these six-plus minutes. Petty had 15 years of recording locked in before penning this cautionary tale. Trust him on this one. Look for appearances by Gabrielle Anwar as the girlfriend, Faye Dunaway as the manager and a pre-"Friends" Matt LeBlanc as the guy getting a tattoo in the video's closing seconds.
4. Justin Timberlake in Elton John's "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore"
This uncomfortably honest 2001 song sees Sir Elton waxing on getting older and what happens when your perceived best years are behind you. As 1970s John, Justin Timberlake transcends role-playing into embodiment, nailing not only the visual aesthetic of the flamboyant singer, but the emotional heft of the lyrics. Look for Pee-Wee Herman as John's longtime manager John Reid.
3. Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox in Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie"
Everyone knows that one couple that is constantly breaking up, getting into fights, punching walls, throwing sharp or heavy objects and then eventually getting back together. After a while, it gets kind of annoying. But somehow, Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox make it seem interesting, stealing bottles of vodka, fighting in bars and eventually becoming engulfed in flames. We're guessing she went Method and visualized Michael Bay's face during the fight scenes for added realism.
2. Zach Galifianakis in Kanye West's "Can't Tell Me Nothin'"
Does anyone even remember the "official" video for this directed by Hype Williams? This is proof that creativity will always trump budget; just put Galifianakis and singer Will Oldham on the comedian's North Carolina farm and see what happens. The incongruity between Kanye's urban, urbane demeanor and Galifianakis' lovable hick facade made this an instant classic.
1. Christopher Walken in Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice"
It's debatable who has the most fun in this: director Spike Jonze and Fatboy Slim for getting Christopher Walken to dance throughout the whole song, Walken, a trained musical theater dancer who rarely gets to show off this particular talent, or the viewer, who once again can revel in Jonze's surrealistic, absurdist tendencies. This wasn't Walken's first video -- he appeared in Madonna's 1993 song "Bad Girl" and Skid Row's 1995 power ballad "Breakin' Down" -- but this is his video magnum opus. A simple concept executed to perfection.
(Originally published on Nov. 4, 2010, at 6:40 p.m. ET)
'Rock of Ages'
Release Date: June 1
Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise
The Scoop: One of the most popular and acclaimed Broadway musicals in recent memory, "Rock of Ages" tells the story of a couple of small-town dreamers who get caught up in the big-city spotlight -- and it tells that story using the transformative power of '80s rock. That's enough for us, but if you're somehow not sold, the film version of "Rock of Ages" also features a Who's Who of Hollywood stars, including Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Bryan Cranston and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Rock on!
'Snow White and the Huntsman'
Release Date: June 1
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron
The Scoop: What if the classic fairy tale "Snow White" was actually a dark and moody fantasy epic? That's the premise behind "Snow White and the Hunstman," which features "Twilight" superstar Kristen Stewart as the titular heroine and Chris Hemsworth ("Thor") as the huntsman sent to kill her. Oh, and the evil queen? Well, thanks to Charlize Theron, who knows a thing or two about murdering rival chicks (see: her Oscar winning performance in "Monster"), we're pretty much going to be avoiding apples for the rest of our life. One of the most anticipated films of the year.
Release Date: June 8
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson
The Scoop: If it seems like decades since director Ridley Scott last filmed a sci-fi flick, that's because it has been. But since his previous two efforts in the genre happen to be the undisputed classics "Alien" and "Blade Runner," well, chances are the wait was worth it -- especially since "Prometheus," which stars the original "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Noomi Rapace, looks to be a prequel to the original "Alien." So will lightning strike a third time? "Prometheus" is set to prove that when you play with fire, you're going to get awesome.
'Jack the Giant Killer'
Release Date: June 15
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor
The Scoop: If you think vampires, zombies and robots have all pretty much been exhausted at this point, don't worry, because the next big thing is coming -- literally. Yes, it's giants! "Jack the Giant Killer" stars Nicholas Hoult ("X-Men: First Class") as a regular dude who leads an expedition into the land of giants in order to rescue a princess in a modern mashup of "Twilight" and Jack and the Beanstalk." Stanley Tucci, who is required to be in everything (and be awesome in everything) costars, as does Ewan McGregor and noted non-giant Warwick Davis. No spoilers here, but our money is on Jack.
'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'
Release Date: June 22
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Dominic Cooper
The Scoop: If you study history closely, you can learn all sorts of fascinating details. For instance, did you know that our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was actually a noted vampire hunter? Okay, it's not true, but imagining Honest Abe throwing down with Nosferatu is awesome enough that we're more than willing to overlook any (minor) historical inaccuracies. Benjamin Walker ("Flags of Our Fathers") plays Lincoln, who, after his mother is murdered by a vampire, decides to eradicate the creatures -- creatures which also happen to be behind the institution of slavery. Suddenly that whole Civil War thing makes a whole lot more sense.
Release Date: June 22
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson
The Scoop: Pixar has made a living -- and some undeniably great films -- by turning fish, insects, cars and robots into wonderfully animated main characters, but aside from "The Incredibles," actual humans have been few and far between. That's set to change in a big way when "Brave" hits theaters. Stepping squarely into Disney Princess territory, "Brave" tells the story of a plucky medieval Scottish lass who rebels against the traditional female role forced on her. Unfortunately, her desire for independence may unleash a hideous evil on the world, which means one thing: quest time! We'd pretty much follow Pixar into hell itself, so if they're "brave" enough to make this movie, we're "Brave" enough to watch it.
'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'
Release Date: June 29
Starring: Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson, Ray Park
The Scoop: The first "G.I. Joe" wasn't exactly an overwhelming success, but thanks to J.J. Abrams dragging his feet on "Star Trek 2," Paramount suddenly had a giant, blockbuster-sized hole in their 2012 schedule. And who better to call in an emergency than America's most trusted special agents, the folks at "G.I. Joe"? Things look a little bit different this time around -- Channing Tatum returns as lead Joe, but half the cast has been jettisoned in favor of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson -- and expectations are much higher, as "Step Up" and "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" director John M. Chu steps up behind the camera. The forces of evil have no shot.
Release Date: June 29
Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn
The Scoop: Speaking of Channing Tatum, the beefy star is doing double duty on June 29, as "Magic Mike" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" go head-to-head at the box office. But they probably don't have quite the same target demographic anyway; "Magic Mike" is the story of a veteran male stripper (that's Tatum -- try not to hyperventilate, ladies) who takes a newbie ("I Am Number Four"s' Alex Pettyfer) under his wing. This one is directed by Steven Soderbergh, who was hoping Tatum could draw on the experiences he gained working a stripper himself as a young man.
'The Amazing Spider-Man'
Release Date: July 3
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
The Scoop: Considering Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy is one of the most successful franchises in film history -- and considering it just ended five short, short years ago -- the folks behind this reboot have some pretty big expectations to fill. Luckily, they've got a not-so-secret weapon: Emma Stone, who plays Gwen Stacy opposite spideriffic love interest Peter Parker ("The Social Network" star Andrew Garfield). We're not sure how amazing this "Spider-Man" is going to be, but we're very sure just how amazing Stone is -- and our Awesome-Sense is tingling like crazy.
Release Date: July 13
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane
The Scoop: Seth MacFarlane can pretty much do anything he wants to do inside his Fox animation empire, but it turns out that what the creator of "Family Guy," The Cleveland Show" and "American Dad" really wants to do is direct. Hence "Ted," MacFarlane's directorial debut, which stars Mark Wahlberg as a mostly normal guy with one fairly major quirk: His best friend is his fully sentient childhood teddy bear (voiced by MacFarlane, naturally). That becomes an issue when Wahlberg meets the woman of his dreams (Mila Kunis, aka the woman of everyone's dreams). Sorry, Fox, but it looks like MacFarlane may have just found himself another career.
'The Dark Knight Rises'
Release Date: July 20
Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The Scoop: When "The Dark Knight" came out in 2008, it became the second highest-grossing film of all time. And the expectations are even higher this time around thanks to a little movie director Christopher Nolan did in his spare time: "Inception." With the "Dark Knight" trilogy and the Christian Bale era both set to come to an end -- and with "Inception" stars Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt cranking up the fan dial -- "The Dark Knight Rises" is poised to become the film event of the summer. We're not sure how you can go higher than the perfection of "The Dark Knight," but if anyone can find a way to rise even further, it's Nolan. We can't wait.
Release Date: July 27
Starring: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill
The Scoop: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill bring the star power and name recognition to this comedy, about a group of bros who form a neighborhood watch to get out of the house and accidentally end up having to save the world. But it's the man behind the camera that has real comedy fans buzzing: Akiva Schaffer. Schaffer, you see, is one third of the "Saturday Night Live" comedy splinter group Lonely Island, and you don't need to be on a boat to know that means major league laughs. His first film, "Hot Rod," wasn't exactly a smash, but with that under his belt, Schaffer is poised to knock "Neighborhood Watch" out of the park. Guess that island won't be lonely for much longer.
'The Bourne Legacy'
Release Date: August 3
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton
The Scoop: Matt Damon may be gone, but his film legacy lives on in the form of "The Bourne Legacy," which examines the world of the "Bourne" series without technically being a straight sequel or prequel. Instead, Jeremy Renner heads a mostly new cast as the spy community and the other castoffs from Project Treadstone wrestle with the aftermath of "The Bourne Ultimatum." Film fans looking for some continuity between films can rest easy, as Joan Allen returns in the role of upper level agent Pamela Landy -- and Tony Gilroy, who wrote the first three films, writes and directs -- but this time around it's Renner, not Damon, who will make the movie sink or swim or kill a guy with its bare hands. Or all three at the same time. Hey, it is a "Bourne" film after all.
Release Date: August 3
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, Bill Nighy
The Scoop: Philip K. Dick is dead, alas, but his legacy lives on in the unending stream of sci-fi films adapted from his novels and short stories. And just when you thought there were no more to adapt, Hollywood has started remaking the legendary sci-fi author's earlier films, such as this redo of the 199o hit "Total Recall." While the original was a classic tongue-in-cheek Arnold Schwarzenegger action romp, though, the remake -- which stars Colin Farrell in the Arnold role -- aims to be a much more serious and gritty take on the tale of a man who messes around with his own memory and ends up fighting mutants on Mars as a result.
Release Date: August 10
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
The Scoop: The summer of Nicholas Hoult continues on August 10 as the star of "Jack the Giant Killer' takes on a menace of a decidedly ... deader variety in "Warm Bodies." Hoult plays a zombie who ends up beginning a relationship with a living girl. What she doesn't know? Well, the fact that he ate her last boyfriend. That will tend to put a damper on things, assuming the whole "zombie" part didn't do that already. So can Hoult do for zombies what R.Pattz did for vampires? If anyone can make the walking dead seem sexy, it's him.
'The Expendables 2'
Release Date: August 17
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Jason Statham, Jet Li, et al.
The Scoop: If you've ever wanted to raid the local rest home, today is the day, because chances are it will be emptied out as everyone heads to the theater to see their peers in action in "The Expendables 2." Okay, we kid. We're actually stoked to see Sly Stallone and his ragtag crew of action film veterans get back on the big screen, especially since Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are expected to have much bigger roles this time around. Despite the title, this pop culture grouping is quickly becoming irreplaceable.
Release Date: August 17
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
The Scoop: "ParaNorman" writer-director Chris Butler may not be a familiar name, but fans of animation are certainly familiar with his work as the storyboard artist on films like "Coraline" and "Corpse Bride." Now he's taking that off-kilter aesthetic to new heights, as "ParaNorman" -- which features voicework from the likes of John Goodman, Caesy Affleck and Anna Kendrick -- tells the tale of a kid who uses his ability to speak with the dead to save his town from an ancient curse. Zombie movies: They aren't just for adults any more.
Release Date: September 14
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman
The Scoop: Director Ben Affleck -- yes, director is his primary credit these days, thanks to "The Town" and "Gone Baby Gone" -- also stars in this amazing true story about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. Featuring an all-star cast that includes Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kyle Chandler and more, "Argo" relates how a group of hostages managed to escape by pretending to be the crew of a fake movie invented by the CIA. "Good Night and Good Luck" writer Grant Heslov cowrote the screenplay with Affleck, so yeah, this one pretty much has awesome all over it. Is it too early for 2013 Oscar buzz yet?
Release Date: September 28
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively
The Scoop: Based on Don Winslow's bestselling thriller of the same name, "Savages" tells the story of two potheads (Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch) who are blackmailed by Mexican drug lords after their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped. Naturally, they embark on a mission to save her. And since "Savages" is directed by Oliver Stone, you can pretty much bet the house that all hell is going to break loose -- which may explain why notorious hell-breakers Uma Thurman, John Travolta and Benicio Del Toro are in the cast. It's always interesting when Stone goes to work.
Release Date: October 5
Starring: Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short
The Scoop: Way, way back in the day -- we're talking the early '80s -- an unknown artist by the name of Tim Burton developed a short film by the name of "Frankenweenie" for his bosses at Disney. And they hated it. Fast-forward over two decades and Burton, who in the interim has become an icon of cinema, finally gets his chance to realize his vision of a feature-length "Frankeweenie" film. Take one part Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and two parts "The Nightmare Before Christmas," and you'll have the formula for perhaps the most offbeat animated film of the young century. Looks like Burton gets the last laugh this time -- and best of all, we all get to laugh with him.
'The Gangster Squad'
Release Date: October 19
Starring: Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin
The Scoop: When you see the name of director Ruben Fleischer in the credits, you know it's a certain type of black comedy; after all, this is the guy who brought the world "Zombieland" and "30 Minutes or Less." But not so fast, folks, because "The Gangster Squad" has the kind of cast that serious dreams are made of, with Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte and a half dozen other big names powering the story of the cops who cleaned up L.A. in the 1940s. Now that's a gang we'd like to be part of.
'My Mother's Curse'
Release Date: November 2
Starring: Seth Rogen, Barbra Streisand, Adam Scott
The Scoop: Buddy comedies are a dime a dozen, and road movies are just about as cheap. You know what costs a little bit more, though? A buddy road comedy starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. That's right: Rogen and Streisand -- THE Barbra Streisand, mind you -- play a mother and her inventor son who embark on a road trip in a quest to get backing for his latest crazy idea. An idea crazier than Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand costarring in a buddy road trip? Good luck getting funding for that, pal!
Release Date: November 9
Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem
The Scoop: For a while there it looked as though we might never get another James Bond movie, or at least not one while Daniel Craig was still young enough to shake his martini. Luckily all the legal woes that had the franchise stuck in limbo have been cleared up, meaning "Skyfall," Craig's third mission for her Majesty's Secret Service, is a go. And this time around there's a new wrinkle -- or several of them -- as the story focuses on the secret past of Dame Judi Dench's unflappable M. Can Bond save the day again? Unless you're Chicken Little, we're guessing this is one "Skyfall" you can rest easy about.
'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2'
Release Date: November 16
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
The Scoop: Yes, you read that date right: Even though filming on "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" has long since been completed, New Line has decided to sock away some savings for a rainy day by waiting an entire year to release the final installment of "The Twilight Saga." That's basically a form of cruel and unusual punishment for the franchise's billions of fans, but we're guessing that any resentment over the long wait will be erased with one final look into Robert Pattinson's smoldering eyes. And hey, look at the bright side: The delay means you have another whole year to revel in "Twilight" mania. Oh, yeah.
Release Date: October 19
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
The Scoop: Director Alfonso Cuarón has made some pretty sweet movies -- think "Children of Men," "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" and "Y Tu Mamá También" -- so you'd think he wouldn't have much trouble finding stars to appear in his upcoming sci-fi drama about an astronaut who is trapped in space after an accident. But one star after another came and went through "Gravity's" long development process. Luckily, though, Cuarón's own personal gravity finally captured two bona fide A-listers: George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, who's in the lead role. With that kind of star power, chances are you'll have a hard time staying out of this film's orbit.
'The Silver Linings Playbook'
Release Date: November 21
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Julia Stiles, Robert De Niro, Jennifer Lawrence
The Scoop: Bradley Cooper does the rom-com thing in this adaptation of a novel by Matthew Quick. He and his abs star as Pat Peoples, an ex-teacher who is committed to a mental institution for four years. When he finally emerges, he decides to try and get back together with his former wife, with "The Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence acting as a go-between. And you thought your ex was crazy! David O. Russell ("The Fighter") handles directing duties.
Release Date: December 7
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter
The Scoop: This high-powered adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel of the French Revolution has a lot to live up to, considering the "Les Miserables" musical is one of the most popular and successful shows in history. Director Tom Hooper knows a thing or two about period pieces, though -- you might know his last film, "The King's Speech," or his Emmy-winning miniseries "John Adams" -- and with a cast that includes Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, he certainly has the talent to pull it off.
'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
Release Date: December 14
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage
The Scoop: The most unexpected part of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is the fact that we're getting to see the film at all. Hard to believe, but by the time this thing comes out, it will have been nine long years since Peter Jackson finished off "The Lord of the Rings" by winning 11 Oscars and earning enough money to buy a whole herd of miniature giraffes. Legal matters, though, sent "The Hobbit" into limbo for the last decade, which will make it all the sweeter when Martin Freeman finally gets to don his hairy prosthetic feet and embark on J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary quest as Bilbo, the hobbit who had the courage to leave home to find a dragon. About effing time.
'Life of Pi'
Release Date: December 21
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Suraj Sharma
The Scoop: First off, before you panic, there's not really any math in "Life of Pi." Pi happens to be the name of an Indian kid who survives a shipwreck only to find himself stranded on an island with a menagerie of weird animals. Based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel, "Life of Pi" is directed by Ang Lee, who previously won an Oscar for helming "Brokeback Mountain." "Life of Pi" was originally scheduled to debut on December 14, but wisely moved to avoid being steamrolled by "The Hobbit," so adjust your calendar accordingly.
'This Is Forty'
Release Date: December 21
Starring: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy
The Scoop: Paul Rudd and his best bro Judd Apatow are back together for another comedy from the Apatow factory, this time with a bit of a twist: Rudd and costar Leslie Mann are reprising their roles from the 2007 film "Knocked Up," with Jason Segel in support this time instead of vice versa. So what can you expect from "This Is Forty"? Well, given the cast and the pedigree, expect more of the patented Apatow humor -- and don't be surprised if a couple of years from now there's another spin-off featuring one of this film's supporting players.
'World War Z'
Release Date: December 21
Starring: Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, James Badge Dale
The Scoop: There are zombie movies, and then there are zombie movies starring Brad Pitt. Which are you going to go with? Well, if you answered Brad Pitt, then you're in luck, because "World War Z" stars Pitt as a member of the human resistance fighting back in a war against the zombie horde. He's joined in his efforts by Matthew Fox ("Lost") and the always awesome James Badge Dale ("Shame"). And it's not just the talent in front of the camera that deserves a nod; directed by acclaimed filmmaker Marc Forster ("Monster's Ball," "Finding Neverland"), this adaptation of the popular Max Brooks novel was produced by Pitt from a screenplay cowritten by "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski. Zombies, you don't stand a chance.
Release Date: December 25
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson
The Scoop: Quentin Tarantino might have killed Hitler in his last movie, but that was pretty much just a warm-up for his most audacious film yet, "Django Unchained," which stars Jamie Foxx as a runaway slave who returns to the plantation to wreak vengeance on those who mistreated him. An all-star lineup of superstars (Leonardo DiCaprio, anyone?) and Tarantino favorites (Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson) round out this revenge fantasia. A Tarantino movie about slavery? That comes out on Christmas day? We're not sure the Internet will be able to handle it.
'The Great Gatsby'
Release Date: December 25
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
The Scoop: The novel that has been described as the quintessential American story is being adapted for the big screen by a fairly unlikely figure: the unabashed ambassador of all things Australian, Baz Luhrmann. Frankly, though, it's hard to imagine the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic being in better hands, especially with Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan on board in the lead roles. Of course, audience attention may be a bit split -- DiCaprio's collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained," comes out the same day -- but that's fine, as a Luhrmann-Tarantino double feature is a real Christmas gift.
Release Date: December
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones
The Scoop: There are films with serious pedigrees, and then there's "Lincoln," which exists on a whole different level: The story of America's most beloved and revered figure is being directed by Steven Spielberg, with acting legend Daniel-Day Lewis in the lead role. He's also supported in this adaptation of the Doris Kearns Goodwin book "Team of Rivals" by the stellar Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tommy Lee Jones among many, many others, leaving us with just one question: Is Spielberg also going to adopt a third name for this production? Either way, "Lincoln" is the perfect way to cap off what is shaping up to be a great year of cinema.
Sasha Baron Cohen has come a long way since Borat, not that we didn't love the not-so-politically-correct funny man from… er… where was he from again? Wherever it was, those days are behind him, because this comedian is about to show us his drama chops as the iconic Freddie Mercury in a biopic that's now set shoot in 2012-- like, in a few months.
Though nothing is official yet, producer Graham King (the force behind "Gangs of New York" and the soon-to-release "Hugo" among others) just confirmed to Cinema Blend that cameras should (finally) be rolling sometime next year, from a script that may or may not have been penned by scribe Peter Morgan. Get More »
'Shame' (Dec. 2)
Michael Fassbender as a sex addict? When you look as good as this guy, we imagine it must be hard NOT to be a sex addict, what with all the babes and, yes, dudes likely throwing themselves at your doorstep. The film itself concerns a man whose perverted little world is disrupted when his sister Cissy (Carey Mulligan) comes to stay with him. Given the film's NC-17 rating, prepare yourselves to see Fassbender go Full Magneto.
'New Year’s Eve' (Dec. 9)
How many huge stars does it take to screw in a lightbulb? We're not sure, but this movie has at least half the amount needed, including (but not limited to) Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank and Jon Bon Jovi. Director Garry Marshall is trying to get you laid again with the season's ultimate date movie, a spiritual successor to his previous hit, "Valentine's Day."
'The Sitter' (Dec. 9)
David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express") already gave us his irreverent take on sword and sorcery with "Your Highness," but decided to double-dip this year by casting Jonah Hill in an F-bomb-laden riff on "Adventures in Babysitting." With Hill still in his pre-"21 Jump Street" chunk-style glory, he's given free rein to watch over three kids with the kindness and sensitivity you'd expect from the screen's most slovenly man-child. Car chases, explosions, and drug deals gone wrong ensue.
'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' (Dec. 9)
Remember when spy movies didn't have to have shaky cams, car chases, or Matt Damon beating up dudes with books? We needed a flick like this to remind us of the pleasures a ripping slow-burn thriller can bring. Gary Oldman plays George Smiley, a former British intelligence spook brought out of fruitless retirement to smoke out a mole during the height of the Cold War. Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson, whose "Let the Right One In" was one of the best movies of the last decade, makes his English-language debut.
'Young Adult' (Dec. 9)
If you prefer your humor less juvenile and more caustic, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, the team that made "Juno," might have just the thing for you. A pitch-black comedy if there ever was one, this stars Charlize Theron as an insanely self-centered woman who returns to her hometown hellbent on getting her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson) back. Patton Oswalt costars as Theron's crony, and if the trailer is any indication, this will be one twisted ride through Delusionville.
'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' (Dec. 16)
The game is afoot once again as Holmes and ever-faithful Dr. Watson are pulled into another web of intrigue, woven by the sleuth's archnemesis Professor Moriarty. Jared Harris, the token Brit from TV's "Mad Men," beat out a slew of potential Moriartys (including Daniel Day-Lewis) for the part; and it's a testament to director Guy Ritchie that he cast a great actor, as opposed to a star, in the plum villain role. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law's quippy chemistry will make this a must-see.
'The Iron Lady' (Dec. 16)
Meryl Streep's inner demons clearly won't be satisfied until she becomes the first woman to receive a thousand Oscar nominations, and is also crowned first Emperor of Mars. Okay, so maybe Streep doesn't want to run a planet, but she is playing one of the most powerful political figures of the 20th century, UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The great Jim Broadbent costars as Thatcher's stalwart husband/First Gentleman Denis.
'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' (Dec. 16 IMAX only, Dec. 21 wide)
Tom Cruise wants to be young again real bad, and he's gonna rappel down the world's tallest building -- the Burj Khalifa -- to prove it. We get it, Tom, you're super intense! Chill! Brad Bird, genius animator behind "The Incredibles," makes his live-action debut with a fourquel that brings back series regulars (Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames) and positions Jeremy Renner as successor to Cruise's Ethan Hunt. If they do Part 5, Renner will have to jump a motorcycle over all four Mt. Rushmore heads to top this.
'The Adventures of Tintin' (Dec. 21)
Early word from the UK, where this computer-animated blockbuster has already been released, is that the supergroup combo of director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson has nailed the spirit of one of the globe's most enduring pop culture icons. The intrepid reporter Tintin (as motion-captured by Jamie Bell) along with pet dog Snowy are practically bigger in Europe than Jesus, but will his adventurous antics translate to Americans who, by and large, don't know a Hergé from a hole in the ground?
'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' (Dec 21)
The early trailer promised "The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas," but it feels so good. Who better than David Fincher to translate the worldwide literary phenomenon into a franchise for adults who like their mysteries dark and their heroines bisexual and/or on a motorcycle? An unrecognizable Rooney Mara toplines as the eyebrow-less Lisbeth Salander, hacker extraordinaire and Generation Y's answer to Sherlock Holmes. She teams with Daniel Craig to uncover some nasty family business, and maybe knock some boots as well.
'In the Land of Blood and Honey' (Dec. 23)
Angelina Jolie's directorial debut had been hovering somewhere between "vainglorious vanity project" and "huh?" on the buzz-o-meter until the recently dropped trailer came out and actually made the film look ... good. Set during the Bosnian war, it's about the relationship between Serbian soldier Danijel (Goran Kostic) and Bosnian captive Ajla (Zana Marjanović), and the repercussions of such a coupling.
'We Bought a Zoo' (Dec. 23)
Ahh, the "feel-good dramedy," also known as a "Cameron Crowe special." The man behind "Almost Famous" and "Jerry Maguire" has hit a few snags in recent years, but when he's on his game you can bet hearts will be melted faster than butter on toast. Matt Damon plays a recently widowed dad who dedicates his family to renovating a struggling zoo, and falls in love with Scarlett Johansson. Perhaps they'll even make a sequel, "We Bought an Aquarium," without jumping the shark.
'The Darkest Hour' (Dec. 25)
Emile Hirsch is out of the wild and ready to help us forget "Speed Racer" ever happened. In this Russian-made sci-fi pic from producer Timur Bekmambetov of "Wanted" fame, a group of young folk battles some sinister aliens with lasers or lightning bolts or something. The always cute Olivia Thirlby will bring the heat.
'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' (Dec. 25)
Too soon? Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock are betting you a box of Kleenex that you're gonna bawl your little eyes out at this drama built around the events of 9/11, and based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. Former "Teen Jeopardy" champion Thomas Horn is the actual star, playing a kid looking for a lock to match a key his father left behind when he was killed during the terrorist attacks on our country.
'War Horse' (Dec. 25)
With Steven Spielberg behind the wheel of this touching story, we know that nothing will come between Albert (newcomer Jeremy Irvine) and his beloved horse Joey, not even a frickin' World War. Already speculated to be a front-runner for Best Picture, this stunning-looking epic from a master filmmaker harkens back to uplifting films from the golden age of Hollywood. If this movie is corny, then corn us up, 'cause it looks tremendous.