Of course, there’s something even nicer about returning to the world of regular viewing once it’s all done, with the Oscar season ahead and all sorts of future prospects to get you excited.
But let’s not be too hasty. Before we get hyped for 2016, let’s look back at 2015 and give it the credit it’s due. It’s been a good one. Here are our pick of top films from the past 12 months...
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The much-anticipated seventh chapter in the intergalactically popular sci-fi franchise makes my list because considering the immensity of rebooting one of the most popular sagas in film history, Abrams pulls it off with a heady balance of excitement and sheer nostalgic joy.
Shakespeare adaptations often forgo stylish credibility, choosing instead to use the bard’s poetry as a creative crutch. Rather than just being a vehicle for the play, Justin Kurzel’s scorched, bloody miasma of madness and gore succeeds in manifesting texture and atmosphere.
3. The Lobster
Director Yorgos Lanthimos’ black-comedy has inverted the ‘twisted-film-that-happens-to-be-funny’ formula of Dogtooth and created a sublime comedy with veins of violence, cruelty and true despair throughout. Equal parts repulsive yet utterly irresistible, this absurdist balance made The Lobster my comedy of the year.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
The latest installment in George Miller’s post-apocalyptic ‘ozploitation’ franchise revs up action movie conventions and smashes them through the wall of expectation in a gasoline-soaked juggernaut of tongue-in-cheek, tribal chaos. Miller’s stylish execution of controlled lunacy made this my favourite action film of the year.
Restrained yet emotionally rocking performances by both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, as well as gorgeously-grainy cinematography inspired by the photography of Vivian Maier, combine to make Todd Hayne’s romance Carol one of the most beautifully moving films of the year and beyond.
5. Inside Out
Inside Out is Pixar’s best film since WALL-E. Emotionally intelligent, smart, funny and a whole lot of heart, Inside Out is an animated film that can stand up against this years biggest live action films.
4. The Lobster
Absurd, disturbing and the funniest film of the year, Yorgos Lanthimos finds the perfect balance of these elements in his dystopian sci-fi to make one of the most original and intriguing films of 2015.
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
J.J. Abrams and Co did it, and they pulled it off. Awakens is a massively enjoyable new foray in the Star Wars universe with stunning visual effects, captivating characters and an overall feel that captures everything to love about the franchise.
2. Slow West
John Maclean’s directorial debut is a unique entry into the western genre. It's story is fairytale-esque and feels like a lilting folk song full with dark humour, bloodshed and naive sweetness. The beautifully directed and shot ending set piece is enough to make Slow West a 2015 stand out.
1. Ex Machina
Since I first watched Alex Garland’s directorial debut back in January I had a hunch that it would be my favourite film of the year, and nothing over the year has managed to top it for me. Ex Machina is a dark sci-fi that explores humanity and artificial intelligence. Stylish and intriguing, I can’t stop thinking about Ex Machina or watching it either.
Honourable Mentions: Carol, Bridge of Spies, The Martian, Me Earl and The Dying Girl, Macbeth
Judd Apatow's films were so self involved that he was writing, directing and producing films about his family, starring his family. By stepping back and assisting Amy Schumer in creating her first movie, he's made his best film since Knocked Up, possibly ever. Trainwreck stars a brilliant and diverse cast all completely hilarious.
4) Steve Jobs
After hearing its bizarre structure, I went into Steve Jobs with scepticism. However, its repetitive and contained nature makes it almost playlike, and with Aaron Sorkin on board, has unsurprisingly sharp writing. Fassbender is fantastic as the unabashedly-arsey Jobs, and seeing how the relationships change in between segments is a real treat.
3) Kingsman: The Secret Service
There have been so many spy movies this year, including Spectre and Mission Impossible 5. My favourite though, was Matthew Vaughan's Kingsman. Vaughan's second Mark Millar adaptation takes the classic Bond formula and takes it completely off the chain. The hyperviolent yet cartoonish action scenes are fantastically choreographed, and Colin Firth is brilliant as the year's least likely action star.
2) The Martian
I've always found Ridley Scott's films a little joyless. However, with the Martian, he and screenwriter Drew Goddard have created the funnest film of the year. Matt Damon is incredibly likeable as NASA botanist Mark Watney and the writing, adapted from the Andy Weir novel, is both uproariously funny and completely gripping.
1) Ex Machina
Ex Machina utilises its very small cast and contained environment to terrific effect in telling this thrilling and creepy story. It's intense, scary, sexy and even funny at bits with fantastic performances from Alicia Vikander as robot girl Ava and Oscar Isaac as her megalomaniac but oddly likeable creator Nathan.
Honourable Mentions: Me, Earl and the Dying Girl, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spectre and Legend
5. The Martian
Matt Damon sciences the shit out of everything. It was smart, exciting and actually really funny. My inner optimist and nerd had a wonderful time and Ridley Scott has managed to make another brilliant sci-fi with a completely different tone.
Whilst it was definitely a step down from Skyfall I’m a complete sucker for a Sam Mendes film. If the current Bond films feel formulaic that’s probably because they are, but I’m enjoying it and I hope they keep the grittiness for at least another film.
Johnny Depp back to his best. I think this had one of the best trailers of the year and the film was just as dark and twisted as expected. The fact-based drama will grip you and leave you cold, so it’s not going to be one for everyone.
2. Ex Machina
Originally this was a little lower down the list but after watching it again (twice) I’m not sure many other films have managed to stimulate so much discussion and still be thoroughly entertaining. It almost felt like Black Mirror film, and a really good one at that.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Unless it was truly awful, this was always going to be my top pick. A brilliant blend of nostalgia and new faces, it left me with a few bits that bugged me... but it’s Star Wars, and Star Wars done right. How could you not love it?
Honourable mentions: Mad Max, Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation