Black Swan.
Black Swan.

10 great reasons to go to the cinema

IT WAS a year of sequels, prequels, re-boots and remakes. Harry Potter gave a final wave of his wand, Bella married her vampiric pin-up boy and Ryan Gosling made woman swoon. Here are the 10 best films of the year.

>>Check your local movie guide for Boxing Day releases

10. Suckerpunch

Add one part video-game, two dashes music video, a side of adolescent wet dreams with a smattering of Girl Interrupted and pinch of manga and you get an idea of Suckerpunch. Inception with less clothes, Alice in Wonderland with machine guns. It's visually impressive, ambitious and just a little crazy.

9. Friends With Benefits

It's funny, it's sexy, it's grown-up and it's far more realistic than many of its counterparts. The characters are multi-faceted and the supporting cast is dynamic and diverse. The frank attitude to sex, the fun and sass and the natural chemistry between the leads makes this more than just your typical chick flick.

8. Super 8

ET meets Alien. The Goonies meets Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Sci-fi told through innocent eyes, Super 8 harks back to the Steven Spielberg spectacles of the late '70s/early '80s where the action largely took place in small towns and kids had crazy, magical and often scary adventures. J.J. Abrams teams up with the master of sci-fi Steven Spielberg to create a hybrid of old-school style and modern blockbuster bang.

7. Red Dog

A stirring film that captures the beauty of the outback and tells the touching tale of the spirit and soul of a relationship with man's best friend. It is a beautifully crafted ride of laughs, love and heartbreak and encapsulates the Australian spirit in a heartfelt way. Told against a backdrop of beautiful cinematography and accompanied by a great soundtrack and solid emotive performances of the main cast.

6. Crazy Stupid Love

With a dynamic script that both tugs at the heart strings and tickles the funny bone and performances of pure perfection, Crazy Stupid Love is more than just a typical rom-com. Just the right amount of funny and cute, humorous and romantic, Crazy Stupid Love is exactly what you would look for in a partner. It's stylish, easy-going, funny, wildly romantic and casually sexy and yes just a little bit silly. It's a keeper.

5. True Grit

The Coen brothers have done it again. True Grit is a honest-to-goodness Western and not just a contemporary one but a real rootin' tootin romp with guns, outlaws and vigilantes. It's a majestic beast of a film with an epic quest at its core and Biblical and mythical tones woven into the classic Western tale. The leads are bewitching, their chemistry electric and the cinematography is beautifully enchanting.

4. Midnight in Paris

A fantastical journey though time, Midnight in Paris is wistfully romantic, deliciously funny and beautifully witty. One of Woody Allen's best films in years, it is a cleverly layered exploration of the trap of nostalgia and having to deal with the noise of the present. Filled with archetypal characters, classic figures from the art and literary worlds, and grand declarations, Midnight in Paris is like an enchanting and elegant dream you never want to wake up from.

3. 127 Hours

Two hours of watching a guy with his arm stuck in a rock may not sound like a riveting film. But under the direction of Danny Boyle the story of Aron Ralston, a hiker who spent 127 hours trapped in a canyon in Utah in 2003, is more than riveting.

It is quietly captivating, beautifully bold and heart-wrenchingly inspiring. It's a powerful and painful exploration of the true grit of man and of the power of the human spirit.

And it's true.

2. Bridesmaids

There may be six chicks dressed in pink on the poster, but Bridesmaids is not your average chick flick. In fact to call it that would almost be an insult to the feisty, witty and hysterically funny comedy. Not afraid to be crude, Bridesmaids shows the girls can give it as good as the guys. It's mischievous, it's raunchy, it's straight-up side-splittingly funny. Not just another wedding flick - more like a wild-hens-night on steroids.

1. Black Swan

How to describe Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan? Tutus and torture. The film moves at a frantic pace and the tone is dark and sombre with a number of explicit and graphic moments - you can't help but winch as skin is torn off, bones crack and flesh is stabbed. But there is also much beauty in the film from the graceful ballet moves, to the sweeping camera work and haunting soundtrack. It is an intense and intoxicating journey.

And the worst:

5. Zookeeper

4. The Mechanic

3. Jack and Jill

2. Source Code

1. The Thing

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