It’s hard to judge what the absolute best film of the year is, because if you’re like me, you spend most of your free time watching movies and tend to forget exactly which ones were new releases in 2019 and which ones were rewatching Timecop for the 50th time. Also, art is subjective, and what I think is a great movie may not necessarily be the same thing as what you think is a great movie. Luckily, I have never been wrong, so if you disagree with the inclusion or exclusion of any film on my list, the problem is firmly yours.
2019 has been a pretty surprising year for me in terms of movies. There were several films I was expecting to love that left me feeling disappointed (Knives Out, Doctor Sleep, Brightburn), a few I was expecting to hate that turned out to be pretty okay (the biggest surprise here was Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin), and a bunch of other films that were mostly fine. There were also a slew of movies I watched and then immediately forgot about, including Men in Black International and, tragically, Spider-Man: Far From Home. I have also become an unexpected apologist for Neil Marshall’s Hellboy reboot. That movie is bonkers and I love it.
Now, I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to see before publishing this piece. At the time of this writing, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Uncut Gems have yet to be released. I still haven’t seen 1917, and I’m literally counting the minutes until I’m able to experience whatever mescaline-induced spasm of brain death Cats turns out to be. Also, due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to see The Lighthouse or Jojo Rabbit, and the odds are good that one or both of those movies are extremely my shit. Also, decorum prevents me from making every single entry “Mufasa’s Death Scene in the Lion King Remake”.