10. Wreck-It Ralph
I normally reserve a place on my top ten for whatever Pixar movie has been released that year but unfortunately they dropped the ball this time with Brave and Disney picked up the rebound with Wreck-It Ralph. Very funny and heartwarming as you'd expect with plenty of nerdy references to keep those of us who grew up on Sonic the Hedgehog and Street Fighter happy.
9. Nitro Circus: The Movie
I suppose this choice is very specific to myself, since Nitro Circus currently holds a whopping 6% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I don't care. These guys do things that literally make my heart leap and my jaw drop. I don't think another film this year can boast those kind of thrills.
Aside from what I thought was a weak ending, and a few attempts to tie this film in with previous Bond films which didn't make much sense, I thought Skyfall was an extremely solid entry into the franchise, matching Casino Royale's quality in almost all respects.
7. Indie Game: The Movie
My favourite documentary of the year, this film shows us the passion and heart that goes into creating a video game with just one or two people. They are artists after all, their chosen medium is just code rather than paint.
6. Cabin In The Woods
Joss Whedon spent 7 years deconstructing the horror genre on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and this film is the culmination of that process. Full of great gags and references, as well as poking fun at itself and the audience, this film is a true roller-coaster ride.
5. The Raid
It has been several years since an asian action film broke through into the mainstream (the last one I can recall being Ong Bak from 2003) but The Raid has managed it by combining traditional martial arts with modern swat weaponry and a straight-forward story line that allows the audience to focus entirely on the ass-kicking. For me it was a toss-up between this and Dredd 3D for best all-out action movie of the year and this just won out.
The first horror movie in a long time that has actually freaked me out. Amazingly well shot, with a great synth scored and central performance by Elija Wood. it feels like a horror version of Drive.
3. The Grey
Marketed as an action film about Liam Neeson punching wolves, this film was actually a fairly deep exploration of things like camaraderie, depression, the will to survive and leadership. Highly underrated in my opinion.
This film was the most fun I've had at the cinema all year (probably for several years) and is the second Joss Whedon project on the list. Whedon's ability to weave 4 or 5 different franchises together and not make any of them seem out of place or rushed, while also making the movie stand on it's own is mind boggling.
I can't say enough good things about Rian Johnson. His screenplay for this film is my favourite of the year, it's fun, engaging and thought provoking. His direction brings it to life with style and originality, and he got great performances out of his players. I'm glad he's found mainstream success with this movie. This is high-concept sci-fi done right.
Life of Pi