So ends another year of film. A year of ups-and-downs, but the comforts of the cinema have remained frequent. To note this year: there have been less 4.5 and 5 star films for me – truly great ones – but a consistent stream of very good films. I can’t remember a year of such incredible depth. International films were certainly weaker this year. Perhaps it was the fact that not so many were available to me, but many of my favourite films last year (Two Days, One Night, Force Majeure and Ida for example) were international films. But, American cinema has been stronger than usual year, with some terrific mid-budget productions. Selecting this 25 (a number I have liked using for some years now) was a challenge that took many hours of deliberation and jostling, so I hope you appreciate the consideration and respect the high esteem of quality I place in these films.