Our movie writer Paddy takes a look at ten of the best movies to own this Christmas… and there’s a few surprises along the way
Tim Burton’s latest might seem like Burton by numbers as he is once again accompanied by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, but if you can past the feeling of familiarity there is a lot of fun to be had. A reminder just how much imagination and talent that Burton possesses.
The Hunger Games
Twilight might get all the press but Gary Ross’ film was the real winner of the battle of the Young Adult novel adaptations this year. Jennifer Lawrence cemented her status as the next big thing in this terrific tale of teens fighting for survival in a future dystopia.
The much maligned big budget adaptation of the science fiction icon that’s regarded to be the granddaddy of them all. Andrew Stanton’s film didn’t get the marketing push it deserved because of internal politics at Disney, but give it a chance and you’ll find a fun romp that’s full of colour and energy.
Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe divided critics and fans alike, but it can’t be denied that Scott still packs a punch visually and, in the current climate, there’s nothing wrong with science fiction that dares to make you think.
The Adventures of Tin Tin
Steven Spielberg’s rotoscopic epic might not have set the world alight but it was a film that looked like no other. Fans of Hergé’s intrepid boy journalist will have been in seventh heaven as Hollywood heavyweights Spielberg and Jackson gave us an exhilarating romp that could have ripped straight off the page.
21 Jump Street
Ted might have been won the comedy box office this but it had nothing on this side-splitting remake of the much loved 80s TV show when it came to matching laughs with smarts. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are simply hilarious in a film that is much more than anyone had a right to expect.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
The fourth outing for agent Ethan Hunt and the gang was a soaraway success thanks to a fantastic blend of jaw dropping action and so tense you’ll want to vomit setpieces. It’s a tried and tested formula but when it’s this good to not enjoy it is impossible.
Martin Scorsese’s hymn to the golden age of cinema is wonderful in that has as much heart as it does technical brilliance. A reminder of the power of cinema to inspire and entertain at the same time.
Joss Whedon’s film is a mess. The script is little more than a series of opportunities for superheroes to look cool and make funny comments. So it really shouldn’t work. But it does, and then some. Whedon creates a film that’s so much fun that you’ll forgive the niggling problems like no real plot and be swept away in a fun and thrilling ride that’ll have you punching the air in triumph.
The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan rounds off his Batman trilogy in style. The bar was raised so high in the previous two instalments that it seemed impossible to hit those standards again. We should never have doubted him. At times it feels like we are watching a live action version of Batman: The Animated Series as Batman leaps across rooftops with Catwoman in tow to fight the forces of evil, namely Tom Hardy’s frankly terrifying Bane. Stirring stuff that really asks the question who would be crazy enough to reboot this?