The Best Movies Of 2019 You Might Have Missed

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Box office records have been smashed, blockbusters have thrilled audiences, and now awards season is in motion. 2019 has been a fantastic year for movies, but beyond the biggest hits of the last 12 months, there have been some really excellent films that have gone under the radar. So, here are the best movies of 2019 that you might have missed.


Judy And Punch 

A dark take on the origins of the classic puppet show, Judy And Punch is undoubtedly one of the surprise hits of 2019.

Utterly hilarious from beginning to end, the film has all the comedic energy of the show at the centre of its story, but it combines that great humour with an exhilarating revenge story that builds and builds throughout in spectacular fashion.

Couple that with gorgeous period visuals, a great lead performance from Mia Wasikowska and a brilliantly anarchic sense of humour and subversive storytelling, and you’ve got one of the most engrossing and undeniably entertaining movies of the year.

Read a full review here.


Wild Rose

A Star Is Born was a big hitter in last year’s awards season, but it’s fair to say that Wild Rose tells the same rising star story in even better fashion.

While it might not have the A-list cast nor the same chart-topping soundtrack, Wild Rose is one of the most passionate and enthralling musical dramas you’ll ever see.

Featuring an electrifying lead turn from Jessie Buckley (a real rising star in Hollywood now), the film powers along with a punchy, angry energy that sees a woman who has never managed to achieve her dreams get closer than ever before. 

Wild Rose is a brilliant blend of heartfelt, intimate and honest emotional drama and inspiring, exciting dreams, and as a result absolutely one of the most best movies of 2019, and one that you might have just missed.

Read a full review here.


The Two Popes

Two hours following two old men discussing life, politics and religion, and a hell of a lot of subtitles. When you put it like that, The Two Popes might not be your cup of tea.

But the reality is that, despite its slow, unassuming appearance, the film is actually one of the most intimate and insightful dramas of the year, with a riveting account of the real events surrounding the transfer of power between Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

The Two Popes is a film with two gorgeous performances from Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, stunningly engrossing dialogue, and a screenplay that blends intimate and reflective emotional drama with fascinating political intrigue throughout. It is slow, it is quiet, but there’s so much depth and so much insight to The Two Popes, that it’s a film you really mustn’t miss out on.

Read a full review here.


Crawl

Stay with me on this one, but Crawl, as ridiculous as it may seem, is a really great film.

Okay, perhaps not ‘great’ in the sense of a classic like Citizen Kane, but as far as exciting, entertaining creature features go, it’s difficult to look past Crawl, a fast-paced, deliciously claustrophobic thriller with a great sense of humour.

A simple premise that pits one woman against a group of man-eating alligators in the midst of a devastating Florida hurricane, Crawl is one of those rare gems that you can turn your brain off and enjoy, but still with enough excitement to be fully engaged right the way through.

It knows it’s a silly film, and has fun with just that through a good sense of humour, but it also impresses with an intelligent, likable main character (rare in the horror genre), and even some rather good CGI and visuals. It’s not a masterpiece, but there are few films from this year as purely enjoyable as Crawl.

Read a full review here.


The Nightingale

From Jennifer Kent, acclaimed director of The Babadook, comes something far more impressive, an epic, exhilarating period thriller in the form of The Nightingale.

A breathless revenge thriller following a young woman who sets out across the harsh landscape of Australia to hunt down the soldiers who killed her family, there’s barely a moment of respite in this brutal, intense and frankly exhausting epic.

Brilliantly combining fast-paced thrills and gory action with quiet, moving drama, The Nightingale has everything to keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end, with a powerhouse lead turn from Aisling Franciosi playing in contrast to a brilliantly villainous performance from Sam Claflin.

Couple all that with a fascinating and impassioned look at the actions and atrocities committed by colonial soldiers during the conquest of Australia, and their impact on indigenous communities, The Nightingale is just as much of a brilliantly cerebral drama as a genuinely exhilarating thriller.

Read a full review here.


I Lost My Body

Visually gorgeous and emotionally enthralling, I Lost My Body is a stunning drama, and a brilliant testament to the powerful potential of animation in the modern day.

The film is a spectacular blend of a number of animated styles, ranging from storybook visuals to photo-realistic animation, from a gritty urban look to strikingly intimate, human visuals. In that, despite its short length and small-scale story, I Lost My Body is a marvel to witness, and packs a real punch in an incredibly short time.

On top of that, its stunning emotional drama is second to none, with down-to-earth, genuine and relatable depth that mixes with striking magical realism to hit home in spectacular fashion. It’s a gorgeous coming-of-age story that sees a young man battle against everything to find his place in the world, and with those stunning visuals, it’s an unforgettable watch, and probably the best adult animation of the year.

Read a full review here.


Ready Or Not

For what at first seems like just another throwaway horror-thriller, Ready Or Not is one of the biggest surprises I’ve had all year, and one that hasn’t got the love it absolutely deserves.

A stunning example of how to make a great horror-comedy, the film is as exciting as it is gut-bustingly hilarious, with a deliciously ironic take on the haunted house genre combined with a brilliantly ridiculous yet genuinely scary game of hide and seek.

Bring in a bizarre but surprisingly engaging look at the class divide, and you have a film that’s far more captivating than it ever had the right to be. A non-stop thriller that will have you biting your nails in between laugh-out-loud gags, Ready Or Not is a spectacularly enjoyable watch, and far more than the simple horror blockbuster it looks like at first.

Read a full review here.


Doctor Sleep

There is a sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. It’s called Doctor Sleep, and it came out this year. Not only that, but it’s everything you could want from a Shining sequel, and still a great film in its own right.

Given the legendary stature of Kubrick’s original, you’d have thought a well-received sequel would have made some big waves in multiplexes. But, much like the unfortunate fate of the astonishing Blade Runner 2049, Doctor Sleep is an overachieveing sequel that’s entirely underappreciated.

It might not be quite on the level of its predecessor, but the great thing about Doctor Sleep is that it honours the original while taking a bold approach that makes it a brilliant standalone watch. Its references to The Shining are satisfying and enjoyable, but its first two-thirds are something completely different, and genuinely brilliant.

More of a dark emotional drama than the psychological mind-destruction of The Shining, Doctor Sleep impresses hugely with riveting depth, striking performances and engrossing, high-stakes twists. It may run for over two and a half hours, but with a style that emulates The Shining as well as develops its own identity, this is a hugely impressive sequel, and one you should absolutely seek out.

Read a full review here.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com