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2012 Action Movie Preview

Films for Action Fans Entering Theaters in 2012


From superheroes to super spies, from battles with Greek gods to teens risking their lives to save their families, 2012 could legitimately be called the 'Year of Action Movies'. Check out this list of action films hitting theaters throughout 2012 to see what's in store for fans of the genre.

1. '21 Jump Street'

21 Jump Street
© Columbia Pictures
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and Brie Larson

The Plot: Schmidt and Jenko sign up for the special Jump Street unit, taking advantage of how young they look to go undercover at a high school. Their task: to investigate a violent and dangerous drug ring. However, it doesn't take them long to figure high school's changed in the few years since they graduated. They have to face all the stress and anxiety of being teenagers once again as they re-enter the dreaded world of high school cliques. (Based on the TV series with Johnny Depp)

Release Date: March 16, 2012

2. 'Act of Valor'

Act of Valor
© 2011 Relativity Media, LLC
Starring: Roselyn Sanchez, Emilio Rivera, Timothy Gibbs, Nestor Serrano, and Alex Veadov

The Plot: Real Navy SEALS are featured in this dramatic film about a squad tasked with trying to free a kidnapped CIA agent and take down a terrorist cell.

Release Date: February 24, 2012

3. 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

The Amazing Spider-Man
© Columbia Pictures
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Rhys Ifans

The Plot: The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

Release Date: July 3, 2012

4. 'The Avengers'

The Avengers
© Marvel Studios
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Scarlett Johansson

The Plot: Marvel's The Avengers is the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Release Date: May 4, 2012

5. 'Battleship'

© Universal Pictures
Starring: Alexander Skarsgard, Taylor Kitsch, and Rihanna

The Plot: Very loosely based on the 'Battleship' board game, this sci-fi action film finds the US Navy having to do battle with alien invaders. I said "loosely," didn't I?

Release Date: May 18, 2012

6. 'The Bourne Legacy'

The Bourne Legacy
© Universal Pictures
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney, and Oscar Isaac

The Plot: Bourne screenwriter Tony Gilroy moves into the director's chair with The Bourne Legacy minus Matt Damon and starring Jeremy Renner. Renner isn't Bourne but instead plays another character whose "life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films."

Release Date: August 10, 2012

7. 'The Cold Light of Day'

Henry Cavill
Photo of Henry Cavill by Alfredo E Rodriguez/Getty Images
Starring: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, and Sigourney Weaver

The Plot: Henry Cavill (the new Superman) plays an American whose family is kidnapped while on vacation in Spain. While trying to rescue them, he uncovers a conspiracy.

Release Date: April 6, 2012

8. 'The Dark Knight Rises'

The Dark Knight Rises
© Warner Bros Pictures
Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine

The Plot: We'll be saying good-bye to Christopher Nolan as the director and Christian Bale as Batman with this third film of their collaborative series. Anne Hathaway joins the franchise as Catwoman and Tom Hardy is Bane.

Release Date: July 20, 2012

9. 'Dredd'

© Lionsgate Films
Starring: Karl Urban, Lena Headey and Olivia Thirlby

The Plot: Supposedly unlike any other film involving Judge Dredd, this Dredd finds Karl Urban starring as the most feared of the elite 'Street Judges.' Dredd has the power to pass judgment and have those found guilty executed - on the spot.

Release Date: September 21, 2012

10. 'The Expendables 2'

The Expendables 2
© Lionsgate Films
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, and Jason Statham

The Plot: As with the first Expendables, this sequel features just about every action star/celeb still working in feature films. But unlike the first film, this sequel isn't directed by Sly Stallone.

Release Date: August 17, 2012

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