24 December 2012 3:38 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

It's been a vintage year for science fiction and fantasy cinema, with some real oddballs among the usual mix of comic book movies and space operas. It's a tricky job to pick five favourites from a crowded field

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We live in an era where big, bold and brash film-making is the model for Hollywood studios hoping to make megabucks by commissioning the next The Dark Knight or Avatar. For those who prefer intimate movies, this is a cause for dismay; for those who unashamedly like their cinema loud, bombastic and wedded to preposterous fantasy, mind-bending glimpses of the future and/or synapse-searing adventure, 2012 has been a vintage year.

Yes, the studio system continues to deliver expensive yet soulless brain-batterers such as Battleship and Total Recall – but in the last year alone it provided the funds for weird and wonderful big budget productions like Ang Lee's offbeat, »

- Ben Child

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