The year 2012, or, as we like to call it, the beard 2012, is drawing to a close. Awards nominations are being handed out left and right, top 10 lists being written and superlative statements being made all around. It felt only right that we here at NextMovie draw up our own list, one honoring the best examples what we feel was 2012's most ubiquitous accessory: facial hair.
So here, it is, our salute to the greatest flavor savers, 'staches, soul patches and beards that graced the screen this year, broken down by month.
Liam Neeson in "The Grey"
We're not sure whether the beard makes the eyes or vice versa, but can we just say that we shiver in awe of their combined effect? Neeson's character in the film may have a way with killing wolves, but we're only human — and we are slayed.
Denzel Washington in "Safe House"
Denzel may not be impressed, but we find his well-groomed chin warmer very impressive.
Runner-up: Daniel Radcliffe in "The Woman in Black"
It may have taken magic for Daniel Radcliffe to grow this five o' clock shadow, but we're proud of him nonetheless. We didn't know you had it in you, Harry!
The Lorax in "The Lorax"
He's essentially a mustache with arms. What 'stache can compete with that? (Oh, don't look at us like that, Lorax.)
Jason Segel in "The Five-Year Engagement"
Segel's Yosemite Sam-inspired misery 'stache was LOLarious and pathetic in all the right ways. All that's needed to complete a giant bunny sui— no, wait, never mind. Bunny suit included. Done.
Sacha Baron Cohen in "The Dictator"
Say what you like about his comedy, the man can wear a great big bushy beard like no other.
Chris Hemsworth in "Snow White and the Huntsman"
Rescuing damsels in distress? Check. Rocking the scruff? Check-plus.
Christian Bale in "The Dark Knight Rises"
Your years as a shut-in have treated your beard kindly, Mr. Wayne.
Zach Galifianakis in "The Campaign"
Galifianakis earns our vote for proudly owning his Ron Swanson-style cookie duster. The man is basically Ned Flanders come to life and turned ginger — he needs something to celebrate, don't you think?
Jeff Daniels in "Looper"
Traveling through time has many advantages. A man can learn his fate, change history and discover the secrets to growing a magnificent beard. Well played, Jeff Daniels. Well played.
Ben Affleck in "Argo"
Ben Affleck knows a thing or two about writing, directing, acting, earning awards nominations and, oh yeah, wearing a beard. Smirk: justified.
The Cast of "Lincoln"
From Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Daniel Day-Lewis and all the cast members in between, the mid-19th century really exposed us to some extraordinary facial accessories. Really, that beard is probably the most exceptional achievement of Lincoln's presidency. (Ahem.)
Christoph Waltz in "Django Unchained"
The man literally twirls his mustache at one point and delights in complimenting another man on his similarly stylish facial hair — how could we not give him the win?
Runner-up: Hugh Jackman in "Les Miserables"
Not even a convict beard and dramatic weight loss can dim Hugh Jackman's beauty. In fact, we argue that that scraggly mess hanging from his lower jaw only accentuates Mr. Jackman's fine features. And if you don't agree, then all the more for us.
(And, no, we didn't forget "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Those dwarves just go to show that there is such thing as too much of a good thing.)