Hello again everyone! I’m back after a brief break for the festive period, I hope you had a great time over the last few weeks. Me? I ate too much, drank a little, and watched a lot of the Blu Rays my wife got me for Christmas.

There was a debate over the best performance in Reservoir Dogs with my father-in-law, and my nephew introduced me to Peppa Pig. What a year it’s been – personally, it couldn’t have been much bigger. I got married, had an incredible honeymoon, my new wife got her dream job at one of Britain’s biggest theatres, and while it’s not all been wonderful the good has certainly outweighed the bad. But you’re not here to read about my holiday snaps, we’re here to talk movies.

In my profession, this time of year is usually devoted to making lists. The problem is, I sort of hate making lists. They only seem to generate bickering (usually on the internet) and at the end of the day are useless, because it’s opinion. I enjoyed Les Miserables, Star Trek Into Darkness, Gravity and Django Unchained enormously, which is why they’re numbers five to two on my ‘best of 2013’ list, but I also know there are people who have problems with all of those movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking movies with anyone, and if they’ve got a valid reason why they didn’t like it (even if it was, as a radio producer said to me, simply ‘hating Sandra Bullock’s face’) then that’s just fine.

What I have no time for is the person who says “well I HATED it,” then gives me a look as if I should launch into a heated debate. I just don’t know what to say to that, so I say “fair enough” and find a reason to exit. I prefer to see lists as a chance to share what made us feel something this year, rather than some sort of game of Top Trumps where whoever has the hippest choices wins. I cried like a toddler at Les Mis; gasped when The Enterprise emerged from the ocean, or Sandra spiralled through space; I adored every second of Django Unchained (as I knew I would), and my favourite movie of this year, Blue Is The Warmest Colour, stayed with me for days after the credits rolled.

However, in the vague spirit of lists, professionally it’s been a superb year. I started this column, got some lovely feedback from readers, went to between 150 and 200 screenings this year, and had the pleasure of meeting an awful lot of stars.

Top of that particular ‘list’ was interviewing Simon Pegg on the phone from his hotel in Shanghai, with Lauren quietly geeking out in the corner as we talked. My resolutions for 2014? Try and work out a bit more, worry a bit less (failing at both so far), try to get the attention of more publications and branch out in different ways. Anybody know if Esther Rantzen’s new Oxford TV station needs a film critic?