Critically acclaimed post-war drama The Master has beaten Skyfall – the highest grossing film in UK box office history – to be named 2012’s Film of the Year.

A panel of experts at LOVEFiLM put Paul Thomas Anderson’s challenging cult favourite in the top spot, despite a year packed with big budget offerings including the 23rd Bond film.

The annual Top Ten includes two foreign language films, two from independent studios and a powerful documentary.

Proving that love is an all-conquering force, French film Amour is in second place. Audiences found it impossible not to be moved by this tragic and hugely believable story of an elderly man coping with his wife’s physical degeneration as death approaches. A tough film which won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

In third place is independent American fantasy drama Beasts of the Southern Wild whose protagonist is a little girl called Hushpuppy, fighting for survival on the brink of becoming an orphan. Experts at LOVEFiLM praised the movie for embracing magical realism so successfully and rooting the story in the devastating environmental impact of Hurricane Katrina.

At four is Cosmopolis, which saw a predatory Robert Pattinson play a billionaire financier in David Cronenberg’s film noir. Pattinson later credited the film with pulling him from a spiral of depression which threatened to stall his post-Twilight career.

Shooting its way into fifth place is tough, violent and unbeatably stylish crime-flick Killing Them Softly, with Brad Pitt playing murderous hitman Jackie Cogan. The film was Pitt’s only big-screen outing but 2013 will be key for the Hollywood legend with the impending World War Z.

From fiction to startling fact, documentary Nostalgia for the Light is profound in sixth place. The film reflects on the beginning of a golden age of Chilean astronomy just as the country became a closed society under the dictatorship of General Pinochet.

In seventh is another foreign language offering, Turkish movie Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. Based on a true story, the film’s director Nuri Bilge Ceylan is one of the country’s most celebrated photographers and film directors.

All at sea in eighth place is Ang Lee’s adaptation of Booker prize winning fiction Life of Pi. With state of the art CGI and 3D, it’s a feast for the eyes and a huge accomplishment.

Its shock and laughs at number nine with black comedy Sightseers, Ben Wheatley’s surprising left-field film about a murderous couple on a camping holiday.

No review of the year would be complete without acknowledging MI6’s most famous son, and box office record breaker Skyfall came in at number ten. One of the year’s most eagerly anticipated films and released to mark Bond’s 50th Anniversary Year, the film delivered on action and emotion with its patriotic flavor and sting in the tail.

Top Ten Films of the Year

1. The Master (September)
2. Amour (November)
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild (October)
4. Cosmopolis (November)
5. Killing Them Softly (Septmber)
6. Nostalgia for the Light (July)
7. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (July)
8. Life of Pi (December)
9. Sightseers (November)
10. Skyfall (November)