This year has had its fair share of great blockbusters, comedies, Oscar-baiters and what feels like a ton of politically-minded efforts dealing with a whole host of controversial subjects, including slavery, terrorism and economic meltdown. Some of these pictures will be remembered as some of the best films of the year – a result of their fine direction and expertly-written screenplays.
But sometimes it’s a single quote that sticks with you long after the movie’s over – many of which can be used to define a film in a single line of dialogue. Be they romantic, downright hilarious, a sign of the times, or just plain cool, here’s our pick – in no particular order – for the 15 best movie quotes of 2012.
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1. “America’s not a country – it’s a business. Now fucking pay me.” - Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) - Killing Them Softly (Dir. Andrew Dominik) (Screenwriter: Andrew Dominik)
Pitt’s slick hitman Jackie Cogan ends the politically-minded Killing Them Softly with a punch, demanding he gets what he’s owed for services rendered because, hey, that’s capitalism.
2. “Big things have small beginnings.” - David (Michael Fassbender) - Prometheus (Dir. Ridley Scott) (Screenwriter: Jon Spaihts/Damon Lindelof)
Michael Fassbender’s morally ambiguous android ponders the origins of life – and knowingly reminds audiences that the tiny speck on the end of his finger might one day grow up to be something terrifying. Like, say, a Xenomorph.
3. “What a lovely, lovely voice!” – Bane (Tom Hardy) - The Dark Knight Rises (Dir. Christopher Nolan) (Screenwriter: Christopher Nolan/Jonathan Nolan)
Summing up the invariably mixed impression that Bane made upon audiences this year, this bizarre off-the-cuff comment from The Dark Knight Rises‘ idiosyncratic menace perfectly encapsulates what made the villain so equally unique and ripe for mockery.
4. ”I’ve been surrounded my entire life by black faces. I only have one question: Why don’t they just rise up and kill the whites?” - Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) - Django Unchained (Dir. Quentin Tarantino) (Screenwriter: Quentin Tarantino)
Quentin Tarantino’s candid approach to making a spaghetti western set in America’s slavery times is perfectly outlined here by Calvin Candie, who exemplifies the no-holds-barred attitude of the movie’s writer/director – and soon enough, Django himself.
5. “We’re in love. We just want to be together. What’s wrong with that?” - Suzy (Kara Hayward) - Moonrise Kingdom (Dir. Wes Anderson) (Screenwriter: Wes Anderson/Roman Coppola)
12-year-old Suzy breaks down her feelings with heart-aching simplicity, making a case for young love that no adult could easily rebute.
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6. “Slavery, sir? It’s done.” - Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) – Lincoln (Dir. Steven Spielberg) (Screenwriter: Tony Kushner)
President Lincoln’s agenda is nicely compressed into a single quote, one which highlights his respectful nature and relentless gusto – and an unrivalled dedication to see the cause through to the very end.
7. “Argo fuck yourself.” - Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) – Argo (Dir. Ben Affleck) (Screenwriter: Chris Terrio)
Catchy and profane, this jazzy line finds itself used by a whole host of characters needing to remind themselves just how dangerous a situation they’ve gotten themselves into – not to mention the implausibility of the entire operation. It just rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it?
8. “I’m the motherfucker that found this place” - Maya (Jessica Chastain) - Zero Dark Thirty (Dir. Kathryn Bigelow) (Screenwriter: Mark Boal)
Jessica Chastain unleashes full-on bad-assery in one of the coolest lines of the year, asserting her role with the best kind of succinctness, and making James Gandolfini look meek by comparison.
9. “Why are they so excited about a five?” - Dance Competition Announcer (Rick Foster) – Silver Linings Playbook (Dir. David O. Russell) (Screenwriter: David O. Russell)
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence’s explosive joy at receiving a measly score of five in a professional dance contest shocks the announcer into this humorous quip – though we know that a lot more has been at stake.
10. “He said he wanted to shit in my hand and make me use it as a brown lipstick!” - Tina (Alice Lowe) Sightseers (Dir. Ben Wheatley) (Screenwriter: Alice Lowe/Steve Oram)
Just one of many fantastically crude quotes to pepper this darkly comic road movie, Tina’s jealous attempts to have her husband murder an intruder emerge in the form of this creative fib.
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11. “Oh, we like goblinses, batses, and fishes, but we hasn’t tried Hobbitses before.” - Gollum (Andy Serkis) - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dir. Peter Jackson) (Screenwriter: Peter Jackson/Fran Walsh/Philippa Boyens/Guillermo del Toro)
Gollum steals the movie with his relatively short appearance in Peter Jackson’s latest, and here’s a quote that offers everything we love about the character – his way of speaking, his passive/aggressive nature – in one line of “precious” dialogue.
12. “You know how to get rid of crabs? You got to shave one testicle, then all the crabs go over to the other testicle. You got to light the hair on fire on that one, and when they all go scurrying out, you take an icepick and you fucking stab every single last one of them.” - Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) - The Master (Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) (Screenwriter: Paul Thomas Anderson)
Joaquin Phoenix gives a brilliantly delirious and tic-addled performance as drifter Freddie Quell; his recommendations for getting rid of crabs are appropriately humorous and insane at once.
13. “It’s good to meet you, Dr. Banner. Your work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled. And I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.” - Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) – The Avengers (Dir. Joss Whedon) (Screenwriter: Joss Whedon)
The Avengers is jam-packed with memorable quotes thanks to writer/director Joss Whedon’s trademark wit, but Tony Stark’s introduction to Bruce Banner showcases the character’s uncompromising sarcasm at its very best.
14. ”Is anyone asking how my hand feels after punching that iron-like jaw of that baby? – Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) – The Campaign (Dir. Jay Roach) (Screenwriter: Chris Henchy/Shawn Harwell)
Congressman Cam Brady attempts to take the attention off of the fact that he’s just punched a baby in the face by feigning a hand injury in truly ridiculous Ferrell style.
15. “Fact is, the law says you cannot touch… but I see a lot of lawbreakers up in this house.” - Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) – Magic Mike (Dir. Steven Soderbergh) (Screenwriter: Reid Carolin)
Matthew McConaughey has succeeded in seriously revitalizing his career over the course of the past year, none so much as in Magic Mike, where he gets to relish in a whole host of hilariously seductive lines.
What do you make of our picks for best movie quotes of 2012? Which quotes should we have included on the list instead? Let us know in the comments section below.Previous