The last glints of December's fading sunshine on 2013's rooftops....time again for a Top Ten Films Of The Year. As usual, this is for films that had a UK premier theatrical release in the calendar year, according to Launching Films' schedules, thus movies that played festivals only and/or went straight to disc aren't eligible (sadly this invalidates two of my favourite FrightFest screenings, Last Days and Odd Thomas, which are headed for DVD next year). It's also worth pointing out that this differs slightly from the Top 10 I submitted to the Hey U Guys poll, as I hadn't seen one of the films at that point and I'd completely forgotten about another.
10. DJANGO UNCHAINED
It's terrific stuff: admittedly slightly disappointing in that its not quite in the Inglourious Basterds league, but it's brilliantly made and written, and great fun if you're a film nerd. Even Tarantino's what-the-hell stab at an accent couldn't derail it.
9. SAVING MR BANKS
The late entry in this year's cinemagoing, and an absolutely lovely little film concerning the genesis of Disney's film of Mary Poppins. Even though I care naught for Poppins and don't ever want to see it again, this is charming, well played, and sentimental without being icky.
8. BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR
Phwoooar! Frankly, if you went to this superb French relationship drama just to see the raincoat-worthy explicit sex scenes between two comely young lesbians, then  you were robbed because they only add up to about ten minutes of the three-hour running time, and  you're an idiot.
Beautifully photographed in black and white (albeit digitally), a serious character drama that's very funny in places, while not being any kind of comedy. Liked it a lot, and it's great to see Bruce Dern in anything, especially a meaty lead. Marvellous.
How could I have forgotten this one? Thrilling stuff, even if you don't give a hoot about Formula 1, with dazzling race sequences and great 1970s period detailing.
5. PACIFIC RIM
The best of the summer blockbusters, trumping the initially similar Transformers bores by (literally) putting human beings into the giant smashy robots, and having a sense of fun and a sense of humour amidst the mass destruction.
4. CLOUD ATLAS
A gathering of the world's most recognisable movie stars go batshit crazy in the dressing up box and put on dozens of funny voices in this bonkers, multi-stranded Everything Is Connected baffler. Never mind the dreary awards bait, let's have more of this sort of rampant craziness.
3. SIDE EFFECTS
Are we really losing Steven Soderbergh? I do hope not because this gloriously twisty thriller is the sort of solid, mid-range, mid-budget gem that's been squeezed out of the industry in recent years and frankly we could do with more of them.
Dizzying, dazzling two-hander with pixel-perfect CGI, 3D that isn't a gimmicky distraction, and an incredible 17-minute single opening shot, all supporting but not overwhelming the simplest story of all: Sandra Bullock tries to get home. Best seen on the biggest screen you can find, as it's going to look rubbish on even a 60-inch HDTV.
Absolutely adored this: even Gravity was never going to unseat it from the #1 slot. A triumph, and a revelation for Gemma Arterton, of whom I've never been a fan.
Honourable mentions to a perfectly decent set of runners-up: Zero Dark Thirty, World War Z, Hummingbird (the best Jason Statham film of the year), Fast & Furious 6, Thor: The Dark World, Much Ado About Nothing, Escape Plan (yes, I liked it), Mud, Behind The Candelabra and The Conjuring. Now bring on 2014.