Top 10 Best Movies Of 2019

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Yet another twelve months have passed us by, and 2019 has provided a whole year’s worth of brilliant entertainment at the movies.

From international gems to spectacular biopics, moving dramas and all-time cinematic classics, it’s been a vintage year for film, but now it’s time look back at the very best the last 12 months have had to offer.

So, here are my picks for the top 10 best movies of 2019.


Honourable Mentions

Booksmart Hilarious, charming and full of brilliant coming-of-age drama: the brainy cousin of Superbad.

Judy A powerfully intimate portrait of a fading star with a mesmerising turn from Renée Zellweger.

The Nightingale A ruthless revenge thriller with thought-provoking thematic depth and gruesome violence.

Jojo Rabbit A delightful and witty coming-of-age comedy set against the backdrop of World War Two.

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker A glorious love letter to cinema’s greatest franchise, and a spectacular finale.

Murder Mystery Fast-paced, surprising and hilarious with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston on top form.

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire Intimate, sensual and visually gorgeous, and one of the year’s most beautiful films.

I Lost My Body A transcendent animated drama with astonishing visual beauty and breathtaking emotion.

Le Mans ’66 Historically fascinating and an entertaining character study featuring brilliant racing action.

Judy And Punch A smart, funny and unique reimagining of the classic puppet show’s dark origins.

The Farewell Genuine, heartfelt and moving, a gorgeously bittersweet family drama with relatable emotion.

Captain Marvel A blissfully simple return to traditional superhero origin stories, and a great addition to the MCU.

Crawl Undeniably entertaining throughout, and turns a so-bad-it’s-good premise into a memorable watch.


10. Toy Story 4

Having wrapped up the trilogy in unforgettable and heartbreaking fashion all the way back in 2010, it didn’t feel like we needed a return to Pixar’s Toy Story, but Toy Story 4 proved more than worth the watch.

Recapturing the adventurous spirit of the very first film in the franchise, it’s a fun-filled and enormously entertaining watch, and with yet more characteristically moving emotional depth, it often outdoes all of its predecessors as the best Toy Story film of them all.

Glowing with gorgeous, detailed animation and vibrant energy throughout, it’s a joyful watch, giving the franchise’s beloved characters one last adventure and a delightful send off that will make you laugh and shed a tear.

Read a full review here.


9. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Retaining the blissful simplicity of its genre-breaking predecessors, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is yet another deliriously entertaining edition in one of the decade’s boldest action franchises.

A stunning showcase of thrilling martial arts and mesmerising fight choreography, John Wick rips his way through bad guys in more spectacular fashion than ever before, with another immensely enjoyable performance from Keanu Reeves in the lead role.

Committing once again to thrills and spills over narrative complexity, Parabellum unites dazzling visuals with fun-loving and hilariously exaggerated action, all the while subtly introducing the franchise’s highest stakes yet, meaning the film is just as surprising as it is satisfyingly familiar.

Read a full review here.


8. The Lego Movie 2

It doesn’t hold a candle to the masterpiece that came before it, but that shouldn’t overshadow what a great film The Lego Movie 2 is.

A joyously frantic animated adventure throughout, the film recaptures the irresistible charm of its predecessor through rapid-fire humour and energetic voice performances. Couple that with delightfully childlike imagination and action, and there’s very little about this sequel to dislike.

While it doesn’t quite pack the staggering emotional punch of the first film, The Lego Movie 2 still impresses with immensely entertaining adventure and action, as well as yet another genre-breaking screenplay, provoking thought and introspection in a way you’d never expect from a bright and upbeat kids’ movie.

Read a full review here.


7. Ad Astra

One of the most transcendent experiences in science fiction since 2001: A Space Odyssey, the awe-inspiring space drama Ad Astra is spectacular on a cosmic scale, and even more enthralling on a small scale.

More of a personal psychodrama set in space, the film follows Brad Pitt as an astronaut sent out into the solar system to search for his long-lost father, and along with its majestic, breathtaking visuals and setting, the film provides deeply riveting and thought-provoking character drama from beginning to end.

Patient, cerebral and elegant, Ad Astra is the sort of film you thought Hollywood would never come up with again, and along with inventive sci-fi that bolsters its blockbuster appeal, it thrills as we’re brought deep into the psyche of a veteran astronaut wrestling with inner turmoil as he ventures further into the great unknown than ever before.

Read a full review here.


6. Joker

A sensation upon release, Joker stormed the world as it took an unprecedented $1bn at the international box office (the first R-rated film to do so), and shocked audiences with its audacious and unrelentingly dark look at modern society.

Centred around a mesmerising and psychotic lead performance from Joaquin Phoenix, the film is an ingenious blend of well-established comic book lore and complex, thought-provoking social themes. It’s bold and brutal throughout, with staggeringly bleak drama that proves almost unbearable to stomach.

A spectacular insight into a descent into madness, the film is emotionally resonant and timely for the modern day, and despite understandable criticism regarding its depiction of violence and crime, it’s an affecting and daring piece of film that offers up far more than your average comic book blockbuster these days.

Read a full review here.


5. Rocketman

A year after the painfully mediocre Bohemian Rhapsody inexplicably found itself leading the charge in awards season, Dexter Fletcher’s dazzling Rocketman came along and showed us how a music biopic is made.

Wholeheartedly capturing the spirit of its subject matter throughout, the film is a spectacular account of the life of legendary musician Elton John, featuring riveting and bold emotional depth that takes a strikingly frank look at a lifetime, as well as an incredible performance from Taron Egerton – one of the best ever in a big-screen biopic.

But above all, the film is a glorious whirlwind of passion and energy, thrilling with its ingenious incorporation of a plethora of Elton John hits into the story, as well as an appropriately larger-than-life attitude throughout that perfectly encapsulates the renowned spirit of the man and his music.

Read a full review here.


4. Knives Out

Rian Johnson’s fiendishly intricate whodunnit Knives Out isn’t just an immensely entertaining rollercoaster, but a stunning revival for one of cinema’s most storied genres.

Filled with passion for the classic murder mystery, the film twists and turns like a dagger in an Agatha Christie novel, moving along at breathless pace as it winds through twist after twist after twist, proving one of the most thrillingly unpredictable movies in years.

Bolstered by charismatic humour, a pitch-perfect ensemble cast and a brilliantly clever twist on the whodunnit itself, the movie is an insanely enjoyable watch throughout, injecting long-missed zeal into the genre that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Read a full review here.


3. Marriage Story

Taking on the divorce drama with a wonderfully unique heart, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is the very definition of heartbreaking, but an absolutely unmissable watch all the same.

With bittersweet emotion and a frank perspective on divorce, the film shirks genre tropes of melodrama with a beautifully intimate portrait of two people who just happen to grow apart. Furthered by a gorgeous musical score and a screenplay with optimism at its core, the film proves even harder to take, demonstrating the devastating and inevitable way of things when a loving relationship breaks down.

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are incredible in the lead roles, and with Baumbach’s characteristically natural dialogue and down-to-earth emotional insight, the film is powerfully relatable and unavoidably saddening, but provides a unique and ingenious approach to a deeply affecting tale.

Read a full review here.


2. Parasite

Electrifying, breathless and totally deranged at every moment, Bong Joon-ho’s ludicrously entertaining Parasite is a crazed whirlwind of ingenious twists and striking drama.

The story of a poor family who gradually infiltrate the house of a rich family, the film touches on riveting and timely themes of the socio-economic divide and wealthy excess, and brings those ideas home in mind-blowing fashion, crafting one of the most maddeningly exciting thrillers in recent memory.

Slick and visually gorgeous, and featuring a collection of brilliantly bold performances, Parasite is the sort of film that you don’t dare take your eyes off even for a second. It’s nail-bitingly intense, and so full of surprises and genuinely thought-provoking ideas that there’s never a dull moment, not to mention its gloriously unpredictable twists upon twists upon twists throughout.

Read a full review here.


1. The Irishman

The magnum opus from one of cinema’s greatest directors, Martin Scorsese’s stunning crime epic The Irishman is an undeniable masterpiece in every sense of the word.

Approaching familiar themes from an enthralling and mature perspective, the film blends riveting and intricate crime drama with powerfully reflective emotional depth that sees Scorsese take a look back at his own storied career through a deeply moving and elegant tale of a lifetime.

Brought to life by innovative writing, brilliant editing, deeply moving emotion, groundbreaking visual effects and an enormous ensemble cast that features transfixing performances from legendary actors Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino, The Irishman is undoubtedly an all-time classic of cinema, and a film of towering, epic proportions that I dare say we won’t see again for a long time.

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