To paraphrase one of the best small-screen achievements of 2019: Movies, what a concept! I had a weird year at the theater, folks, where more often than not the films I had high hopes for turned out to be a letdown. IT: Chapter Two left me cold, Spider-Man: Far From Home was topped by its own after-credits scenes, and even my dear beloved Godzilla got stomped by King of the Monsters‘ sloppy ambitions. But that also meant it was a year chock full of surprises. So many stories snuck up on me in 2019, and delivering an emotional wallop I wasn’t expecting is the fastest way to my movie-loving heart. While I definitely had a less-crowded field to narrow down than last year, the films I fell in love with in 2019 are films I’ll love forever.
A few caveats before we get going. Top ten lists are, at their core, a dumb idea, and I’d like to stress how much this is my top 10 that in no way invalidates your top 10. The beauty of film is in the conversation, not the conclusion. I also need to point out that life is short and free time is precious, so there’s a number of highly intriguing movies I still haven’t seen, most notably: 1917, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Pain and Glory, Jojo Rabbit, and Uncut Gems. I’m mostly mad about Uncut Gems, a movie that looks 110% my jam. (There’s a distinct chance I update this list in like two days to include Uncut Gems.) I also reserve the right to change every entry on this list to Cats on December 20th.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about zombies, whodunits, strippers, and the formidable power of Willem Dafoe‘s farts, among many other things. Here are my top 10 films of 2019: