Co-host Taylor Swift poses for a photo at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live! at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Photo: Donn Jones/Invision/AP

Anna Karenina: Style triumphs over substance in the Joe Wright-directed period drama featuring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen and a host of stars. *** TS

Chasing Mavericks: A surfing movie inspired by the life of northern California teen Jay Moriarity, who in 1994 became an overnight celebrity in the surfing world after riding the notorious swells off Half Moon Bay known as Mavericks. *** WP

Lincoln: Talk-heavy biopic by Steven Spielberg about the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life. Daniel Day-Lewis disappears into the role for an uncanny, Oscar-nominated performance alongside a stellar cast. *** TS

Klein Karoo: Rom-com set in Oudtshoorn, which may follow a clichéd formula, but does give some idiosyncratic characters who will amuse greatly. *** TS

The Inbetweeners: Film based on the MTV series of the same name, which was cancelled after one series. (Not Reviewed)

Adventures in Zambezia 3D: Locally made animated feature using birds to tell a story about community and friendship. Animation is so so and the story kind of hangs together. ** TS

Bel Ami: Laden with seduction and deception on a bed of politics, sadly, Bel Ami is not the most sweeping of period dramas. HH DT

Aida: Ukrainian soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska makes her Met debut with astounding acuity of voice, supported by refined orchestration and exemplary musicality from all. ***** PB

Argo: Understated, well-characterised thriller set in 1979 Iran. Director Ben Affleck keeps the tension high and the action engrossing without beating you over the head with a message. **** TS

Django Unchained: Quentin Tarantino’s beautifully shot but controversial film about a slaveturned-bounty hunter who is in search of his wife. Starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L Jackson. *** HH

Flight: Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle star in this film about a pilot who gets a rude awakening about sobriety and accountability. **** HH

Jack Reacher: Based on the Lee Child book, One Shot, this action movie has good pacing and sets up Tom Cruise’s unflinching, morally upright character against a by-the-book lawyer played by Rosamund Pike. *** TS

Lawless: Director John Hillcoat’s ultra-violent drama plays like a hot, sweaty, delusional fever dream and is similarly fitful. *** AP

Les Miserables: Tom Hooper directs a stellar cast in the West End musical, except this looks like the real deal with gorgeous outdoor sets, lavish costumes and extreme detail. **** TS

Life of Pi: Ang Lee creates a gorgeously rendered 3D world on the high seas as a young boy struggles to survive in the company of only a Bengal tiger. **** TS

Parental Guidance: Dull, overacted comedy about grandparents left to babysit bratty crumb-snatchers. Don’t risk watching this even with a parent or

guardian present. * WP

Pitch Perfect: Better than Glee, more grown up than High School Musical, this musical comedy about a varsity girl who joins an a cappella group packs a pretty good punch. **** HH

Playing for Keeps: Despite the star-studded line-up, this tale about a jobless former soccer star trying to win back his ex, is nothing more than an incoherent, cringeworthy attempt at a sweeping romance. * DT

Rise of the Guardians: Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost, the Sandman and the Easter Bunny join forces to defeat the Bogeyman. Great for small ones, but problematic when you start analysing the weak storyline. *** TS

A Separation: This 2012 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film is set in Iran and looks at the trials and tribulations of a married couple and those around them. *** HH

Silver Linings Playbook: Director David Russell’s sensitive direction of a talented cast keeps the film on a tricky thematic tightrope which straddles romance and mental illness. **** AP

Searching for Sugarman: Narratively satisfying, Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul’s canny documentary tells the tale of the search for Detroit-born Mexican musician Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. **** WP

Skyfall: Action thriller that continues the Bond character development from the previous two Daniel Craig movies. Great cinematography, exotic locations and all the Bond extras. **** TS

The Gangster Squad: Great ensemble cast in a 1940s gangster movie. ** HR

The Master: Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix are compelling in two different ways in a finely drawn portrait of cult leaders and followers. **** TS

The Oranges: It’s not about the fruit, it’s about dysfunctional families living on a street called Orange Drive, but even a fantastic cast led by Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt could not save a script seemingly as random as the title. ** DdB

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Return to Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth where Bilbo steals the ring and helps the dwarves reclaim their homeland. *** TS

The Intouchables: a feel-good movie about a distinctly feel-bad subject, quadriplegia. *** WP

The Players: Jean Dujardin strays as far away from his The Artist role as possible in this French risque adult comedy. ** HR

The Perks of being a Wallflower: Heartfelt adaptation of a best-selling novel with strong lead performances. *** WP

The Possession: Relying on hoary ghost story clichés makes for unintentional laughs. ** HR

Wreck-It Ralph: Stepping into the world of video arcade games, Disney manages to create a sophisticated story about humanity, using cgi characters. **** TS