I should probably make it clear that I’m NOT an adamant cinephile. I do love a good movie, but I probably haven’t seen as many new films as you have. 2019 was also the year where I sat some important exams, so there wasn’t much time to sit down and enjoy a good flick. Still, 38 films isn’t a bad tally.
I’m only including films that I saw for the first time in 2019, so no rewatches of movies allowed (sorry to all my favourite films). For an explanation on the ranking system I use, check out this list:
This is going to be a long list to make, so we might as well crack on with it. Starting off the proceedings is …
38 – Fantasic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
This was a complete misfire. The first Fantastic Beasts movie wasn’t anywhere near as good as the original Harry Potter movies, but I have to admit it was a decent movie. This, on the other hand, is not.
This doesn’t have to same fun or charm as any of its predecessors, and that twist at the end was absolutely terrible. Easily the worst thing I saw in 2019, and I never plan on watching this again.
37 – Bowie: The Man Who Changed The World
I’m a huge Bowie fan, so when I saw that Netflix had a documentary about him in their catalogued I was immediately on board. There were some interesting things here, but goodness me this is a boring watch.
Maybe I wasn’t in the right mindset when watching this, but I have no desire to go back and watch it again.
36 – Hannibal
After I saw the masterpiece that was “The Silence Of The Lambs”, I knew I had to get some more Hannibal Lecter action.
Lucky me, I thought, when I stumbled across the two sequels. How bad could it be? I mean, you can’t mess up Hannibal Lecter, surely?
Well somehow this just has none of the things that made the original such a classic.
35 – The Incredible Hulk
With “Endgame” on the horizon, I tried watching as many of the Marvel films as I could (I may do a list about them soon). This meant watching The Incredible Hulk.
I knew this wasn’t peak MCU – it was well documented that this film was a black sheep of sorts – but I gave it a go anyway.
Not only was the film a bit boring on the whole, it doesn’t really contribute anything towards the MCU. At least that final fight was cool.
34 – Captain Marvel
I was lucky enough to catch this one in cinemas, and at the time I thought it was a fun, enjoyable experience.
In retrospect, I definitely have to say this is one of the weaker MCU films. Not bad by any means, but I expect more from one of the most exciting film franchises ever.
33 – Red Dragon
After watching “Hannibal” I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this one, but I gave it a go anyway. This is definitely an improvement from the first sequel, but nowhere near as good as the first in the series.
Credit where its due, both Anthony Hopkins and Ralph Fiennes are extraordinary in their roles. Having seen the Hannibal TV show, I don’t think Edward Norton played Will Graham to the best of his abilities, but he certainly didn’t do a bad job.
32 – Derren Brown: Miracle
I was on a bit of a Derren Brown Netflix binge by the end of 2019, and this entry is disappointing compared to the other two I watched.
This is just Derren doing a stage show, and in my opinion not a particularly dazzling one at that. Still, if you like Derren Brown I’d probably recommend this one – it still has that freaky mind bending that he’s known for.
31 – Thor
Thor suffers from not knowing what it wants to be – the MCU was still in its early stages, and this film doesn’t do enough to sell the title character.
There’s enough Shakespearean drama here to keep even a casual viewer engaged, so I have to give the film credit for that, but this just wasn’t really my cup of tea.
30 – Between Two Ferns: The Movie
I love the web series of the same name, so I was expecting great things from this movie.
In the end, this movie was just a whole load of “meh”. The interviews were decent, it was the plot around it that was a bit weak.
29 – Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the finale to the Skywalker saga. “The Last Jedi” was cool at points, but felt a bit disappointing overall.
“The Rise Of Skywalker” definitely has some great moments, but it spends too much of its time retconning the previous film and doesn’t focus enough on its own plot. This could have been so much more, and it’s a sad way to see the Skywalker saga go.
28 – The Prestige
I’m a big fan of Christopher Nolan’s works (Dark Knight Trilogy is amazing, and Inception has a good shout at being my favourite film ever) so I knew I had to give this a go.
To me, this movie was incredibly disappointing. The David Bowie cameo was great (more of a supporting role but whatever), and I like the magic tricks, but the story with all it’s twists and turns seemed more convoluted then it needed to be.
27 – Yesterday
Being a huge Beatles fan this film was a must watch. Much like The Prestige, this was also a huge disappointment.
The music is obviously amazing and the actor does a great job performing the songs, but the romance plot in the background just felt a bit soppy.
26 – Captain America: The First Avenger
The next three films in “OK” are probably actually “Good”, but they just suffer from being one of the weaker efforts in the franchise.
The First Avenger isn’t bad by any means, I just know that Marvel can do better with their movies. That being said, Chris Evans is perfectly cast, and they really capture the setting of war-torn 1940’s America.
25 – Terminator
This film suffers from a far superior sequel.
The actual movie is good, even if it’s a little 80’s Action B-Movie at times, but if I had the choice to watch this or T2 then it’s hasta la vista to this one.
24 – Ant-Man
It’s a bit odd having a heist movie in the Marvel catalogue, but it definitely works.
The main problem of this one is how forgettable it is, as it doesn’t really move the plot of the Infinity Saga forward. I’m struggling to remember what happens in this film as I’m writing this.
23 – Spider-Man: Homecoming
I’m sure most people would put this way up there in the tier of Marvel films, but I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it.
Of course its a good film with a great villain, but other than that it’s a teenage high school drama that I couldn’t really connect with.
22 – Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
A stellar film in its own right, just not as good as its predecessor.
The dynamic between Holmes and Moriarty is fantastic, and that final battle between them is mesmerising. However, it doesn’t have the same wit and charm of the original.
21 – The Irishman
This film would have been higher if not for a number of reasons – you can tell the actors are aging, and the film is about an hour too long.
The de-ageing CGI is off-putting at first, but you can get over that. It’s the action / fight scenes that give away the age of the cast, and at a bum-numbing 3 hours 45 minutes long this film is just too much.
20 – Kill Bill: Volume 1
I’m a big Tarantino fan, so Kill Bill was always going to be a fun ride. That fight scene at the end with all the Japanses henchmen has to be one of the craziest scenes ever filmed.
There are some moments where it drags on, but nothing too serious.
19 – Kill Bill: Volume 2
I’m probably part of a minority that thinks Vol. 2 is better than 1, but here we are.
This feels like a more personal story than the original, and I can really get behind it. Besides that, the action scenes in this are phenomenal. Again, some moments drag but it’s not severe.
18 – Sherlock Holmes
Now THIS is what I wanted from a Sherlock movie.
Downey Jr. kills it in this role, and Jude Law is great too. It gives a fantastic insight into the mind of the titular genius, and all of the mysteries resolve in a satisfying way.
17 – Guardians Of The Galaxy: Volume 2
I know a lot of Marvel fans don’t like this entry as much, but I thought it was an extremely entertaining action romp.
The action scenes are great, and the ending tugged on my heartstrings like few films had ever done.
16 – 12 Angry Men
I never really watch films from before 1970 (unless it’s an entry from the James Bond franchise), so I wasn’t too excited about watching this.
I’m surprised this film held my attention as long as it did – being set in one room throughout – but that’s a testament to the screenplay and the action from everyone. An early masterpiece.
15 – Derren Brown: The Push
The documentary that started my Derren Brown binge, it has all the mind-bending, thought-provoking ideas that make Derren one of the great entertainers of our era.
All the psychological effects were fascinating, and that fact it ends up showing the results from 4 different experiments cemented this as a classic.
14 – Shaun of the Dead
Having seen Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, I would have been crazy not to give this flick a go.
Whilst I don’t think it tops Hot Fuzz, this is still a fantastic action comedy with enough witty dialogue and foreshadowing for multiple rewatches.
13 – Derren Brown: Sacrifice
The best Derren Brown documentary I’ve seen, this film makes you question what it is to be human.
It’s almost tragic seeing this test subject be influenced by Derren in such a way to get him to make an ultimate sacrifice, but I was hooked the entire time.
12 – Seven
An unbelievably gruesome thriller, this film would almost definitely be at least “Amazing” for me if it wasn’t for the excessive gore. I can stomach most things, but a lot of the deadly sins here made me wince.
Kevin Spacey delivers an iconic, chilling performance, at that final scene will be etched in my mind forever.
11 – Spider-Man: Far From Home
Can I just say, this has to be the worst movie poster Marvel have ever released. I mean look at it! Who put that together?
The actual film is one of the better Marvel movies, and since I’m a big fan of most of them that’s saying something.
Mysterio is an extremely compelling villain (spoilers, but it was kind of obvious), and that ending makes me desperate to see where the Spider-Man franchise ends up.
10 – John Wick
I wasn’t expecting anything too crazy when a friend recommended this to me, but my goodness this is an incredible action film.
This almost feels like the action film Keanu Reeves was born to star in, and some of these action set-pieces are absolutely mind-blowing. It can be a little slow at times, but the break-neck speed of the action makes up for it.
9 – The Godfather
What can I say that hasn’t already been said – this film is a classic.
There are way too many iconic lines and moments for this not to be “Amazing”, but I feel that that movie can be too slow. This isn’t just a few times either, the whole film is a slow-burner really. Definitely one I’m not planning on rewatching, but I’m glad I experienced it.
8 – Goodfellas
One of the reasons I watched The Irishman in the first place was that it was being compared to Goodfellas, and if that film had been half as good as this I would have been satisfied.
Sadly, The Irishmen couldn’t handle the hype, but Goodfellas definitely could. It tells a compelling story of a man engulfed in the world of crime, and every actor / actress here gives a career-defining performance. Bonus points for an awesome soundtrack.
7 – John Wick: Chapter 2
I’m probably in a minority (like with most other things), but John Wick’s sequel is better than it’s predecessor in every way.
The characters are more fleshed out, the story is gripping, and the action scenes are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a film. The third film in the franchise is great as well, and hopefully Keanu and the gang can keep supplying the thrills for many years to come.
6 – The Usual Suspects
This was a weird film to place, as it doesn’t really do anything for the first hour, but then the last 30 minutes are mind-boggling.
That final scene has to be one of the greatest final scenes in cinema history, and Kevin Spacey more than deserved his oscar for his performance.
5 – El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
I was slightly nervous going into this – Breaking Bad is my favourite TV show of all time, so I was begging them not to screw this up.
Thankfully, they passed with flying colours and delivered one of the best movies of 2019. Yes, it’s a bit of a slow-burner and yes, it maybe wasn’t a necessary addition to the lore, but I’m so glad they made this film.
4 – The Godfather: Part II
I can’t believe Al Pacino didn’t win best actor for this.
All the problems I had with The Godfather were rectified in the sequel, and the acting performances are top notch across the board. It’s strange, but I’d rather rewatch this than the original, even though this is longer.
3 – The Thing
I never did horror movies before 2019, but after watching The Silence of the Lambs I was tempted to give this a go.
This is definitely the best pure horror film I’ve ever seen – it isn’t filled with meaningless jump-scares, and there is a palpable sense of dread throughout. This is what horror should be.
2 – The Silence of the Lambs
Is Anthony Hopkin’s portrayal of Hannibal Lecter the best actor in any movie ever? Maybe.
This film deserves all the oscars it won, it truly is a phenomenal film. Shame about its two sequels, but at least the TV show was incredible as well.
1 – Avengers: Endgame
I know it seems silly to put a Marvel film above so many cinematic greats, but it was just the most incredible time at the movies I’ve ever had (maybe with the exception of Infinity War the year piror).
They hit all the right beats for a comic book film, and I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to close off the Infinity Saga.
Aaaand that’s the list. This was a long one, so thanks if you made it this far. Check out some of my other lists below:
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