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Honorable Mention: Dwayne Johnson in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
This list would be invalid if I failed to honor The Rock for his continuing achievement in physical perfection.
10. Taylor Kitsch in John Carter
While the movie was widely (and unfairly) panned by critics, there’s one thing we all can agree on: Taylor Kitsch looked pretty darn good in that loincloth. If I were Princess Dejah, I’d be swooning too.
9. Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages
Tom Cruise may be 50 years old, but man, his abs tell a different story. Channeling his inner rock god, Cruise stars as musician Stacee Jaxx, spending 90% of the rock musical shirtless, but I’m not complaining.
8. Daniel Craig in Skyfall
We are all in agreement that Daniel Craig is most sculpted Bond, right? Sorry Sean. From taking a dip in a rooftop pool to digging bullet fragments out of his shoulder to steamy shower scenes, this secret agent gets plenty of opportunities to show off the goods.
7. Gina Carano in Haywire
Since she was formerly a professional MMA, it’s no surprise that Gina Carano can take care of herself on screen as well as on the mat. With just a few powerful blows, she damages the pretty faces of co-stars ranging from Ewan McGregor to Michael Fassbender, proving that she has beauty and brawn.
6. Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises
Oh Bane. No one really cares that you’re so difficult to understand when you’re nearly 200 pounds of solid muscle. Following his impressive physical turn in Warrior, Tom Hardy dominates the screen in The Dark Knight Rises showing why we believe he will be a powerful on-screen force for years to come.
5. Kim Kold in Teddy Bear
Danish bodybuilder Kim Kold amazed art house audiences with his poignant and layered performance in Teddy Bear. Kold plays Dennis, a man who, given his size, finds it difficult to fit in anywhere. Nevertheless, he is determined to find true love. Awww.
4. David Bautista in The Man with the Iron Fists
Professional wrestler turned actor David Bautista showed off his hard-earned assets as “Brass body” in The Man with the Iron Fists. Facing a nearly undefeatable physical opponent who could turn his already massive body into metal, RZA certainly had his work cut out for him.
3. The Cast of The Avengers
Earth’s mightiest heroes assembled to form one of the most muscle-bound casts of the year. For a team consisting of an Asgardian God, a couple of jacked-up science experiments, two trained assassins, and an “iron man,” taking out a few thousand Chitauri is child’s play.
2. The Cast of The Expendables 2
Who doesn’t love a set of aging but still bulging biceps? Well, the cast of Expendables 2 has them to spare! Offering old veterans of the genre (Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, Norris, Lundgren, Willis) and their new recruits (Statham, Crews, Couture, Hemsworth), The Expendables 2 delivers muscle-packed excitement.
1. The Cast of Magic Mike
You may think I’m exaggerating when I say that Magic Mike is a celebration of the male form, but check out the boys down at the Xquisite Strip Club as they groove and grind their way through playlists featuring tracks like Ginuwine’s Pony and you’ll see what I mean. Matthew McConaughey’s final number to Calling Dr. Love by Kiss will leave you positively giddy. Channing who?
Previously: The 10 Best Documentaries of 2012