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Critics' Choice Movie Awards of 2012
Critics' Choice Movie Awards of 2012

He's arguably the greatest American president. The director is arguably America's greatest as well. And the actor in the title role is arguably the greatest on the planet.

So it's fitting—arguably, of course—that Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the great emancipator, would top the list of CT's annual Critics' Choice Awards. Lincoln, with a dozen Academy Award nominations, barely edged out Wes Anderson's sweet-but-quirky Moonrise Kingdom, which has just one Oscar nod, for the top spot on CT's list.

Such versatility—from popular (and blockbuster) Oscar bait to lesser-known indie and foreign films—usually typifies CT's year-end lists. Little-seen The Kid with a Bike, a beautiful French film by the Dardennes brothers, finishes at No. 3 on the list, while Beasts of the Southern Wild and Amour (the former an indie, the latter a foreign film), are honorable mention picks.

Les Miserables was the top pick in last week's Most Redeeming Movies of 2012, but only finished ninth in the Critics' Choice voting, indicating that while our film critics embraced its themes of grace and forgiveness, they didn't deem it the best-made film of the year. Still, seven of the 10 Most Redeeming Movies are repeats for Critics' Choice.

1. Lincoln
directed by Steven Spielberg
(Dreamworks) | Rated PG-13

2. Moonrise Kingdom
directed by Wes Anderson
(Focus Features) | Rated PG-13

3. The Kid with a Bike
directed by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
(IFC Films) | Not rated

4. Zero Dark Thirty
directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Columbia Pictures | Rated R

5. Argo
directed by Ben Affleck
(Warner Bros.) | Rated R

6. Anna Karenina
directed by Joe Wright
(Focus Features) | Rated R

7. Skyfall
directed by Sam Mendes
(MGM) | Rated PG-13

8.Life of Pi
directed by Ang Lee
(20th Century Fox) | Rated PG

9.Les Miserables
directed by Tom Hooper
(Universal) | Rated PG-13

10. The Avengers
directed by Joss Whedon
(Marvel Studios) | Rated PG-13

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order)

Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Amour, Silver Linings Playbook, The Dark Knight Rises.

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Critics' Choice Movie Awards of 2012