From January to December I have witnessed 64 films at the cinema and it must be said, the majority stuck in the mind as impressive features. Despite some great competition, I had to whittle it down to just ten and what a ten it is. Ranked in order, my top ten includes superheroes, a captivating musical, some high octane action and one hell of a foreign film.
Before you head below to peruse through my list, here are those titles that just missed out but are still worth searching out and deserved of your attention.
Robot and Frank
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Cabin In The Woods
The Top 10
Man-of-the-moment Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing a young Bruce Willis chased by his future self, Bruce Willis? Yes it does sounds as cool as Looper really is. Oozing personality, providing grit and brutal action, and challenging the sci-fi genre, the film is one that will be hard to erase from the memory for sure.
9. The Hunger Games
Whatever Jennifer Lawrence is involved with turns to gold and yet again her leading lady attributes come into play with the brilliant The Hunger Games. Superbly adapted from the excellent book, the film filled us with emotion, excited with a balanced level of action and set us up for what promises to be a grander sequel in Catching Fire.
8. The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan's final outing in charge of Batman's ventures is a stylish and gripping affair. The visuals are breathtaking, the story dark and tense, and its conclusion a piece of mastery. Nolan delivered to us faithful and then some in what proved to be almost three hours of pure class and no disappointment whatsoever.
I now fully forgive Ben Affleck for that piece of crap Pearl Harbor and fully respect the man. Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now Argo; Affleck is a genius director and hits it out of the park with his latest. It's a nail-biter, a thriller of epic proportions and features one of the best double acts this year in John Goodman and Alan Arkin. This is one film you will feel most comfortable with at the edge of your seat.
5. Silver Linings Playbook
The film I described as the 'ultimate Oscar-bait movie' hits my number four spot with some exceptional performances and a realistic edge like no other. Bradley Cooper hits a career peak with his bi-polar sufferer Pat and Jennifer Lawrence blows us away with yet another award-worthy star turn. Endearing, humourous and captivating, Silver Linings Playbook is my pick for the Oscars.
4. End Of Watch
Who said buddy cop movies were a thing of the past? Oozing realism and driven by a combination of a wonderful on-screen relationship and some slick camerwork, End Of Watch is a gripping watch from start to finish. Exploring the darker side of Los Angeles, the film thrusts us into an unforgiving world where danger looms around every corner and the unexpected is always a possibility.
3. The Raid
It's been far too long since an action film has provided a thoroughly exhilarating and thrilling ride but in Gareth Edwards' The Raid comes the most pulsating and brutal action movie in years. Heading straight into the action from the get-go, The Raid holds back nothing in its quest to bring the action genre back on the map and does so with great gusto.
2. Les Miserables
Tom Hooper heads for Oscar glory once again in a musical masterpiece that blends uniquely spectacular visuals and musical numbers, culminating in a masterful film outing. Hugh Jackman puts in the performance of a lifetime, Anne Hathaway captivates in a beautifully emotive and moving role, and the likes of Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter offer further weight to a modern day classic of a film.
1. Rust and Bone
Subliminal filmmaking at its finest, Jacques Audiard's follow-up to his 2009 smash hit A Prophet is an awe-inspiring ride of emotional and dramatic proportions. Backed by award-worthy performances from the ever-amazing Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts this was the film that stuck in my mind weeks after viewing it and easily ousts the competition for my favourite film of the year. You'd be crazy to miss it.