Although this year saw a glut of blockbuster films, there were a number of excellent films that flew under the radar - either with short runs at the cinema or only reaching a limited number of them.

Before the year finishes out, let's remind ourselves of some of the best films of the year that you might have missed out on in their initial run at the cinema.



Nicolas Winding Refn's ultra-slick visuals fit so naturally into the world of high fashion that it's almost a wonder why he didn't make The Neon Demon sooner. Frequently bizarre, disgustingly decadent, The Neon Demon was either a masterpiece or a violent and vacuous trip through L.A. We still don't know which it was, but we know it's been a few months and we still can't get this film out of our heads.



Films about films are a rare enough breed. For every Hearts Of Darkness, there's something like Saving Mr. Banks. There's a fine line between looking at a film or a body of work objectively and revering it so much that it's beyond introspection. DePalma's a funny little film because it literally puts the director in the chair and lets him talk for 90-odd minutes. Yet, DePalma's own nature is so frank, honest and open that any semblance of bias goes out the window. He admits his mistakes fully and completely, and even delves into some of the inner workings of his mind. For someone to give so fully of himself makes for a fascinating watch.



While The Witch may not have won every audience going to see it, The Witch was nevertheless one of the most original horrors to be released in recent years. Director Robert Eggers attempted to bring both heavily stylised dialogue - it's Olde English, apparently - and the inner workings of the mind into a folk-horror setting and, for us anyway, the results were spectacular.



It's one of those questions that's often asked in philosophy classes or the like - if you knew someone would grow up to be a tyrannical despot, what would you do? That might be simplistic, sure, but Childhood Of A Leader is anything but. Instead, it offers an insight into the world of a small child who is shaped by the world around him and his authoritarian parents - one of which includes our own Liam Cunningham. What the film does so effectively is give you a palpable sense of dread and malice. You can almost feel the blackness pour out of each frame in it.



There's often a problem with documentaries and access. While Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie may have struggled to gain access to the inner workings of the Church Of Scientology, Weiner was right in the thick of it - often uncomfortably so. The documentary followed Weiner through his failed mayoral campaign and, indeed, right in the middle of another sexting scandal. As close to a comedy as real-life politics can get.



High-Rise isn't for everyone. In fact, most of Ben Wheatley's work could be hit with the same cliche - it's not for everyone. Kill List was a deeply disturbing film, Sightseers took comedy and turned it into a psychological horror and High-Rise combines shades of Kubrickian nihilism with John Boorman's Zardoz-era weirdness. Like we said, this film isn't for everyone - but it should definitely be seen by everyone because how else do you grow if you don't try new things?



Son of Saul rightfully won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language at last year's Oscars and, whilst watching the film, you can see why. It's as close to a living nightmare as one can expect and, truly, watching the film is a bruising experience - but a completely necessary one.



High-concept horrors may not be anything new, but it's rare to see them done all that effectively anymore. Train To Busan may not exactly be subtle with its commentary on society or Korean culture, but it more than makes up for this by creating a fast-paced, action-packed narrative that barrels along before it reaches a well-earned ending that doesn't pander to the audience. One of the best Korean horrors in the past twenty years.



Calling to mind the likes of Richard Kelly and Stephen King, I Am Not A Serial Killer's quirky story about murder and teenage angst in America's fly-over states has ample amounts of charm and flair to it. It's not just the pitch-perfect soundtrack, the gorgeous cinematography from Robbie Ryan or even Max Records' nuanced performance, it also has a real sense of weight and depth to it. Christopher Lloyd reminds us what a fine actor he is and director Billy O'Brien deftly works the story between its turns through horror, comedy and drama.



Although it came and went from the cinemas, Midnight Special still lingers on. Probably one of the best sci-fi films made in the past ten, maybe twenty years, director Jeff Nichols' economic use of dialogue and emotion is brought to bear on a story that could have easily gone into the schmaltz and saccharine-filled sentimentality. Here, the characters are roughly hewn and real; with Michael Shannon continuing to remind us that he's one of the finest actors of our generation. While it may share strands of DNA with John Carpenter's Starman or Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Midnight Special is nevertheless a wonderful road movie that just happens to be about superpowered children and government agencies tracking them.