2012 already has a slate of films that have fans from many different genres salivating. For no other reason than everyone else seems to be looking back on the past year’s films every December, let’s look forward and get even more excited about the best that 2012 has to offer us.

Your list may vary.

Haywire- January 20

Steven Soderbergh has never really blown my hair back the way other directors do, but he’s consistently "solid." And while it’s a testament to the genre that I am looking for an action film that clears that admittedly low bar, I am. Gina Carano brings the muscle while Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, and Michael Douglas bring the acting in this story about a CIA agent gone rogue.

The Hunger Games – March 23

After a lengthy stretch of “tribute” casting announcements, The Hunger Games was able to capture my attention. I just recently read the book, and though it didn’t fall in my sweet spot because I’m not a 13 year-old girl, I am eager to see what kind of world the producers create for the dystopian future. The book is sparse with many details, so there’s a ton of room for the designers and director to flex their creative muscle. Plus, Jennifer Lawrence has put a spell on me since Winter’s Bone.

The Dictator – May 11

For me, this one starts and ends with the stars. Perhaps the script is great, perhaps it isn’t, but Sacha Baron Cohen and Anna Faris can find a way to transcend bad writing and play comedy like almost no one else can. The logline is “The heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.” Interesting. Until you see an image of Sacha Baron Cohen’s dictator. Then it very quickly becomes mesmerizing.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – June 22

While Pride and Prejudice and Zombies spent all year being passed around like a hot potato among directors, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter knowingly assembled a cast of solid, lesser-known actors, rather than allowing itself to be relegated to them. The “mashup” genre of literature popularized by Seth Graeme-Smith may have quickly worn out its welcome, but the movie’s weird, goofy premise could still captivate audiences if it's done correctly and with enough style.

Just no sequels, please.

Savages – September 28

Oliver Stone won the sweepstakes to adapt this popular, and prize-winning book, and he didn’t take the gig for granted once he got it. He’s gotten Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson to play two pot-growing surfers, and Blake Lively to play O, their shared girlfriend who gets kidnapped by a Mexican cartel. Uma Thurman plays the girl’s mom, and John Travolta plays a DEA agent. It will be great to see Stone ratchet up the tension, and I’m actually excited to see Travolta in a promising role.

Three Mississippi – TBA (November)

I’m sure there will be more (and perhaps better) comedies coming out in 2012, but they generally don’t generate much anticipation until their trailers come out. The scripts are largely original, so there are few loyalists to the writing, but some stars can generate a fair amount of buzz early on. Three Mississippi, which chronicles a "friendly" neighborhood Thanksgiving football game, stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Sure, Will Ferrell has driven sports films into the ground, but seeing him play an overwhelmed dad pushed to his breaking point should be great.

And it has to be better than his turn in Kicking and Screaming. Please God, let it be better than that.

Lincoln – TBA (December)

In this film, Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis tell the story of America’s most lauded president along with what is quite possibly the largest, strongest supporting cast of the year. What genuinely excites me is the fact that this story hasn’t been tainted by a million other takes on the subject. Spielberg and Lewis are breaking new ground. Lewis, as he does in every other project, will absolutely own this role and perhaps make it his for decades to come. And I want to see him do that as soon as I can.

World War Z – December 12

Sure, the news that it will focus on the efforts of U.N. scientist/doctor Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) wasn’t exactly welcome by fans (myself included). The book consisted of a couple dozen or so fictitious interviews that told an epic story with both breadth and depth. The film sounds as though it’s more concerned with the actions of one man, which kills much of the charm. However, the source material is so good (this book predated the zombie fad by a few years) that I’m eager to take what I can get, even if it’s not what I hoped.

Django Unchained – December 25

After Inglorious Basterds managed to exceed its expectations, people were able to put Grindhouse out of mind and realize that there’s just no filmmaker with more innate style than Quentin Tarantino. No director can put his stamp on films in the same way, and consequently, no director has garnered more of a mainstream following for his (eclectic) work. Django Unchained is the tale of a freed slave seeking revenge on his former master. With a deep south setting and a cast that includes Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Sam Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen, and RZA, I’m comfortable saying that this is the most anticipated film of the next year.

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