Best Movies of 2019

2019 has been another great year for film releases, with some of the biggest blockbusters in history coming out, as well as some hidden gems, and surprisingly good animated sequels. Below are some honourable mentions that were released in 2019 (In the UK), and then my top 10 films of the year.

Honourable Mentions

The Day Shall Come

Written and directed by comedy legend Chris Morris, ‘The Day Shall Come’ follows the leader of a bizarre cult and how they get tangled up in FBI terrorist investigations and stars Marchánt Davis alongside Anna Kendrick.

Toy Story 4

Nobody really wanted or needed a fourth Toy Story movie; The third film felt like a real, heart-wrenching ending to a beloved series. So it was a real surprise that Toy Story 4 was incredibly funny, and the plot really brung the series to a close in a lovely way. Incredible animation and attention to detail make this one of Pixar’s best.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s latest is a real love letter to Hollywood, with a stellar cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, and has a great sense of world-building.

Rocketman

After the disappointment of the Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, I wasn’t expecting too much from Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’, but Taron Egerton’s brilliant performance paired with the great arrangements of Elton’s songs and the open, honest screenplay made for a thrilling watch.

Blinded By The Light

Blinded by the Light follows Javed, a Pakistani teen who is growing up amongst growing racial tension in late 1980s Luton, and his journey to become a writer. Along the way, he discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen and his life changes forever. Viveik Kalra shines as Javed, and the film has a great supporting cast including Hayley Atwell.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant star in this true story drama about a writer who when her career begins to falter, turns to forging letters and memorabilia from famous literary names. Both main stars really excel in their roles.

Apollo 11

Apollo 11 is a documentary about the moon landing. Lots of those have been made before. However, the use of first hand, primary footage of Armstrong and co. preparing to launch having been fully remastered and the stunning space shots make this a real stand-out documentary.

John Wick 3

John Wick 3 kicks off with a quick, intense, brilliantly choreographed fight/chase scene that is bursting with energy and charm; the whole movie keeps these traits, and with a great cast to boot.

Detective Pikachu

Video game movies are very rarely good. Detective Pikachu surprised everyone when it was released this year; the visually stunning world the movie inhabits feels like it was made by real fans of the franchise, but still manages to be accessible for all. Ryan Reynolds is perfect as Detective Pikachu and makes for a really charming double act with Justice Smith.

The Good Liar

Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen star in this tense thriller, probably the twistiest movie of the year, but it manages to keep its twists just about down to earth enough for you to follow what is going on, and it does a great job of keeping you gripped throughout.

Jumanji: The Next Level

This sequel to the reboot of Jumanji that had no right to be as good as it was manages to capture that same magic again. A great cast and genuinely funny writing make this one of the best family movies of the year.

Missing Link

Laika are consistently one of the best animation studios around, with the likes of Coraline and Kubo under their belt. I had no idea that this incredibly pretty, cleverly designed film was stop motion until after I had seen it, which just makes it all the more impressive.

Top 10

10. Frozen 2

It would have been so easy for Disney to rush out a half-arsed sequel to Frozen to cash in on its ridiculous level of success. Luckily they didn’t, because ‘Frozen 2’ is incredible. Beautiful animation that really makes the different elements, a major focus of this sequel, come to life.

9. Avengers: Endgame

The culmination of a decade’s worth of movies, Avengers: Endgame managed to pull off a genuinely spectacular, action-packed, satisfying final piece to the story; so many characters and stories are intertwined and it all comes together on an extremely grand scale with one of the best battle scenes I’ve ever seen.

8. Midsommar

Florence Pugh stars in this ambitious and unsettling latest film from Ari Aster. It’s horrifying without resorting to jump-scares or horror cliches, with the film mostly being set in the daytime in the Swedish countryside.

7. Motherless Brooklyn

A real passion project that Edward Norton has wanted to come to life for over 2 decades, ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ follows detective Lionel Essrog (Norton) as he tries to uncover the death of his mentor Frank, played by Bruce Willis. Lionel uncovers much more than he anticipated. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin and Willem Defoe make up some of the incredible supporting cast.

6. Us

Jordan Peele’s second movie, Us is a horror movie starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as the head of a family that come face to face with a group of disturbing doppelgangers. The movie is tense and dramatic throughout, and makes the most of it’s interesting premise.

5. Booksmart

Booksmart is the directorial debut for Olivia Wilde, and it subverts all expectations for what appears to be a traditional coming of age school type movie. Fresh, funny and steering away from all the usual cliches with an amazing ensemble cast.

4. The Irishman

With this cast and director, The Irishman was pretty much guaranteed to be good. Thankfully it was, with the story of Frank Sheeran throughout his life being portrayed brilliantly by Robert Deniro, with Martin Scorcese at the helm.

2. If Beale Street Could Talk

Barry Jenkins directs this moving film about 2 childhood sweethearts who have their lives torn apart when Fonny is falsely accused of rape, and Tish goes to every length to prove his innocence. The cast are all exceptional, with Regina King winning an Oscar for her role as Tish’s mother, Sharon.

2. Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon

Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon is the second Shaun The Sheep movie from stop-motion pioneers Aardman. It’s effortlessly charming, funny and jam-packed with sci-fi references to make even a casual film fan smile. It’s so obvious that this was made with real love.

1.Knives Out

Knives Out is the latest film from Rian Johnson, writer and director of Looper and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it is a brilliant ‘whodunnit’ mystery film with an amazing ensemble cast. The attention to detail in the set design is astounding, and it manages to be one of the funniest films of the year as well as being a brilliantly written mystery movie.