1. 13 Assassins - A riotously explosive samurai movie by Takashi Miike that pulses with visceral energy and leaves you breathless right up to the end. Superb.
2. Arrietty - Studio Ghibli's take on the Borrowers story is rich in textural detail and immersive soundscapes. Another charming addition to the Ghibli canon
3. Toy Story 3 - An absolutely wonderful capstone to a wonderful trilogy, with moments that are genuinely shocking and affecting. I bawled my eyes out.
1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Alec Guinness in the TV adaptation was great, but Gary Oldman's Smiley somehow feels more grizzled, more world weary. An actors who's who of incredible performances rounds it all out.
2. Drive - the only Nicholas Winding Refn movie I think I actually like, and this may be in large part because there is actually some humanity in it. A simmering, delectable thriller.
3. The Artist - wearing its influences very much on its sleeve, this is nevertheless an immensely crowd pleasing love letter to cinema.
1. Dredd - the role Karl Urban was born to play, as the titular enforcer cuts a swathe through a single building in one of the tightest and most thrilling action films in years.
2. Searching for Sugar Man - both an informative and highly entertaining documentary about the artist Rodriguez.
3. Avengers - the only superhero film I will have on my list for the decade. And for good reason: this one brought together an entire disparate collection of films and characters and made it look like they had a plan all along. This was back when the idea of a superhero team up event move was something people thought was actually insane, and it was the first time the big screen had a movie that actually resembled the madness of super hero teams (as depicted in comic books for decades) but had never full captured on the big screen. It felt fresh, it felt cool, and it felt like something people hadn't seen before. Every other film afterwards would then have to labour under the weight of having to be part of a Cinematic Universe. But for a brief moment, it felt like this endlessly entertaining movie was actually a bit rebellious, and that anything was possible.
1. The Tale of Princess Kaguya - possibly the most beautiful Ghibli film ever made. This painstakingly realised watercolour painting come to life is as emotionally affecting as it is joyful to watch.
2. 12 Years a Slave - I sat in the front row for this in a cinema that was largely silent for the entire running time. I emerged from it like I'd been punched in the gut. Absolutely harrowing.
3. Jodorowsky's Dune - A wonderfully fascinating story of what might have been. My favourite aspect in particular is the detailed look at the incredible Giger concepts.
1. Whiplash - one of the greatest thrillers ever made. Yes, it's very much about music too. And abusive relationships. And suffering for art. It's so many things, and it's a wild ride.
2. Ex Machina - a film that has grown on me on subsequent viewings, but mostly for Oscar Isaac's quite terrifying performance. A small film with big ideas that gets in your head.
3. The Guest - a lovely little 80s action inspired gem that apes all the aspects of the genre in knowing ways while still being immense fun to watch it its own right.