#5 “Argo fuck yourself!” -Alan Arkin, Argo
When searching for a way to extract six Americans trapped in Iran back in 1980, the American government looked to Hollywood for an answer. Tapping a savvy but crass producer (Alan Arkin) for help, a CIA agent (Ben Affleck) became a mover and shaker, and a rescue mission got a cover as a science-fiction movie production. Arkin's character was a total pro, so not only did he convincingly mount PR for a fake movie, but also he gave it the perfect catchphrase. Handy enough, it also serves as an excellent rallying cry for Argo's award season bid.
#4 “That’s my secret, Cap. I’m always angry.” - Mark Ruffalo, The Avengers
Whedon's second appearance on this list is well earned. The Avengers is stocked with punch lines, asides, and badass zingers, but it's Bruce Banner's transformative confession that smashed the competition. Two noteworthy film actors (Eric Bana and Edward Norton) had previously tried and failed to make the Hulk a compelling live-action character. As a result, many believed it just couldn't be done in film. Then, came Mark Ruffalo with his volatile blend of tough and tender, and the Hulk went from a liability in The Avengers ensemble to its most raved about member.
#3 "Fuck you, thunder! / You can suck my dick! / You can't get me thunder / 'Cause you're just God's farts!" - Seth MacFarlane & Mark Wahlberg, Ted
The titular teddy bear of Seth MacFarlane's debut feature took full advantage of his movie's R-rating, unfurling four-letter words, politically incorrect jokes, and some lines so shocking they'd only be repeated in hushed tones. But behind all the foul language beat a remarkably warm heart that made Ted as sweet as it was scandalous. Sure, the childish song above is hysterically lewd, but it's also a great reflection of the deep bond Ted (MacFarlane) and John (Mark Wahlberg) share. Thunder buddies for life!
#2 “The law says you cannot touch! But I think I see a lotta' lawbreakers up in this house tonight.” - Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike
Steven Soderbergh's Magic Mike was one of the year's biggest breakout hits, and won Channing Tatum a new respect from critics and audiences. But it's Matthew McConaughey who stole every scene offered as the lascivious live wire Dallas. Owner and MC of the Xquisite Strip Club, Dallas dons a trademark cowboy hat, leather vest, no shirt, and the lowest slung chaps ever to hit the silver screen to introduce the club's tantalizing acts. Though the speech above is part of his nightly routine, McConaughey says it with such fresh swagger and naughty enthusiasm it's impossible not to impulsively check your pockets for dollar bills.
#1 “I’m the motherfucker who found the place... sir.” - Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Grounded and gritty in its reality, this riveting film from Kathryn Bigelow allows for few causes for audience celebration. Then, there is the moment following CIA operative Maya's (Jessica Chastain) insubordinate outburst where her role in the room is called into question. Convinced she has found Osama bin Laden's secret hideaway, she responds to the attack with a ballsy mix of confidence and defiance. And, we the audience, break from our silent tension, cheering and laughing, grateful for the release. Don't doubt, Chastain plays the biggest badass hitting theaters this year.