From dream invading blockbusters to suicide bomber comedies, the last year of cinema has unleashed a surprisingly diverse range of captivating movies. The presence of a Mariah Carey drama on the list below attests to that! Here are the nominees for the 'Best Movie' prize at the Digital Spy Movie Awards
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(500) Days Of Summer
"[Joseph] Gordon-Levitt emerges as the real star though building on that rare Everyman quality previously showcased in high-school noir Brick
and small-town drama Mysterious Skin
. He played depressive loners in those films, but despite the cautionary voiceover, there is light at the end of 500 Days. It may be a pat conclusion, but a few flaws are easily forgiven when there's so much else to love." [SP]> Review: '(500) Days Of Summer'
"Apparently [Ricky] Gervais and [Stephen] Merchant are trying to make a virtue out of ordinariness, but with less of the subversive humour which characterised The Office
. They still have the knack when it comes to balancing the tragedy and comedy of a situation and because they aren't always aiming at a punch-line, this is more heartfelt in some ways." [SP]> Review: 'Cemetery Junction'
"Like many top-level comics, [Chris] Morris is keen to push the boundaries of taste to get a laugh or reaction. It's perhaps why the word "genius" has often been thrown around when his name is mentioned, and on the evidence of Four Lions
it's a label he can sit comfortably with. Though the film never quite goes for the jugular like that infamous Brass Eye
special did, beneath its slapstick is an emotional core which is tricky to find in the rapid-fire format of a comedy TV show." [SR]> Review: 'Four Lions'
"It's a spellbindingly intricate story that has been playing on the mind of filmmaker Christopher Nolan for years - preceding Batman Begins
and The Dark Night
- feeling like a more logical progression from his early films Memento
(2000) and Insomnia
(2002). This is much grander in scale but equally riveting in its detail." [SP]> Review: 'Inception'
"A love letter to superhero stories, it's similar to last year's Watchmen
in its satirical outlook on the genre, taking a step back to acknowledge the inherent silliness in donning a multi-coloured costume to battle crime. Whereas Zack Snyder's epic was cynical and bleak, Kick-Ass
comes from a place of love and reverence. It's essentially the Spider-Man
story pushed that little bit further, cranking up the violence, sex and language for a pandemoniac two hours with a high school loser-turned-crimefighter." [SR]> Review: 'Kick-Ass'
"Relying on simple 'bump in the night' style thrills rather than the usual procession of CGI beasties, it's one of the most intense and spine-chilling cinematic experiences ever... but only if you suspend your disbelief and actively tap into what you see and hear unfold." [BRJ]> Review: 'Paranormal Activity'
"Stylishly told and earnestly acted, Precious
is a far from pleasant cinemagoing experience but a worthwhile one. Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey and director Lee Daniels all deserve huge praise for painting such a rich and rewarding portrayal of a world that seems alien to those with a more fortunate upbringing than the poor young lady this demoralising yet heartening story is about." [BRJ]> Review: 'Precious'
Toy Story 3
"It's [the] richness of character, along with Pixar's sharp instinct for heart and humour, that has been the foundation for the Toy Story
series' success. The animation studio has continued Walt Disney's mantra of "for every laugh, there should be a tear" with warmth and storytelling innovation. Toy Story 3
feels more dynamic and gag-loaded than its predecessors, but still has sight of Pixar's patented emotional core." [SR]> Review: 'Toy Story 3'
Review excerpts by Stella Papamichael, Ben Rawson-Jones and Simon Reynolds