A range of intelligent blockbusters, inventive foreign films and beautifully crafted storytelling made 2012 a good year at the cinema...

Life Of Pi Poster1. Life Of Pi
Ang Lee's clever, thoughtful adaptation of Yann Martel's acclaimed novel is an unexpected work of art. It's also one of the richest, most challenging, most visually spectacular movies we've ever seen.
Starring: Suraj Sharma & Irrfan Khan
Read the review of Life Of Pi Here!

Rust And Bone film still
2. Rust & Bone
French filmmaker Jacques Audiard follows up his amazing prison drama A Prophet with this startlingly edgy, tough-minded romance about two deeply wounded people who find each other.
Starring: Marion Cotillard & Matthias Schoenaerts.
Read the review of Rust And Bone Here!

Chronicle film still3. Chronicle
This may look like an annoyingly trendy found-footage thriller about teen superheroes. But there's nothing annoying about it: clever, involving, exhilarating and ultimately provocative.
Starring: Dane DeHaan & Alex Russell.
Read the review of Chronicle Here!

Amour film still

4. Amour
A near masterpiece, this drama about an elderly Parisian couple coping with age, illness and death should be profoundly sad. Instead, it's a stunningly unsentimental portrayal of love.
Starring: Jean-Louis Trintignant & Emmanuelle Riva.
Read the review of Amour Here!

Sightseers film still

5. Sightseers
British filmmaker Ben Wheatley continues to mash-up genres, this time with a fiercely well written and played road comedy about a new romance that takes an unexpectedly killer turn.
Starring: Alice Lowe & Steve Oram.
Read the review of Sightseers Here!

The Imposter film still

6. The Imposter
This may be a documentary, but it's also one of the most unnerving mystery thrillers of the year, as it explores a man who worms his way into a Texan family's life. Or did they let him in?
Starring: Adam O'Brian & Frédéric Bourdin.
Read the review of The Imposter Here!

Argo film still

7. Argo
Ben Affleck continues to develop as one of our best directors with this true story combining American hostages in Iran with a fake movie production in Hollywood. Plus a nerve-shredding climax.
Starring: Ben Affleck & Bryan Cranston.
Read the review of Argo Here!

Safety Not Guaranteed film still

8. Safety Not Guaranteed
Impeccably written and directed, this scruffy time-travel comedy has some of the most wonderfully complex characters on screen this year. They're both hilariously silly and hugely endearing.
Starring: Aubrey Plaza & Mark Duplass.
Read the review of Safety Not Guaranteed Here!

Silver Linings Playbook film still

9. Silver Linings Playbook
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence show new depth to their acting talents in this off-handed rom-com about mental instability. And David O Russell's out-of-control direction makes it unmissable.
Starring: Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence.
Read the review of Silver Linings Playbook Here!

Holy Motors Film still

10. Holy Motors
Quite simply, you've never seen anything like this feverish odyssey from French bad boy Leos Carax: a funny, creepy, thoroughly entertaining romp. Costarring Kylie Minogue.
Starring: Denis Lavant & Edith Scob.
Read the review of Holy Motors Here!

Here are five runner-up festival films worth looking out for in art-house cinemas or on DVD: Tabu (Portugal), The House I Live In (US), No (Chile), The Adopted (France) and Berberian Sound Studio (UK).
And also keep an eye out for five 2012 films turning up in UK cinemas in January, all featuring awards-worthy performances: Les Miserables (Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway), Zero Dark Thirty (Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Ehle), Django Unchained (Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz), The Sessions (Helen Hunt and John Hawkes), and Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field).

Rich Cline