Round two of my end of year round-up is my twenty favourite films of the year. Cinema is a weird one. If you are to believe certain corners of the internet then it’s a dead artform, overrun by superheroes and the flogging of shite franchises. However, there is an incredible array of films being released every year, and with just a bit of effort, you can see them all! Here’s the twenty that blew me away in 2019.
Quick note to say that this list is based off films that got a wide release (be that on streaming services or in cinemas) in the UK in 2019.
With albums done and dusted, it’s time for the films to step up. In the past, I’ve only done ten of these, but I’ve decided to go twenty across the board this year which has allowed me to talk about even more lovely pieces of cinema! Perhaps because of that, this feels like the most eclectic list I’ve ever put together. We’ve got blockbusters, musicals, animation and enough coming of age stories to bring us all safely through puberty. This list is based on UK cinematic release dates, hence the inclusion of films which came out last year in America. Let’s get to it.
A serial killer who doesn’t kill. That’s the intrigue at the heart of the Saw films. Instead, Jigsaw’s victims are placed within a game. A game in which you may face great pain or even the loss of a limb, but in which it is always possible to survive. Why? Because Jigsaw is dying of cancer, and with that knowledge weighing him down he looks at the world and sees humanity wasting their lives. He wants them to understand how incredible it is to be alive.
It’s the most listicle time of the year. The end of the year wouldn’t be the end of the year if people like me didn’t tell you about all the things that we love. Over the next few days, I’ll be running down my films, albums, matches and wrestler of the year. I think that’s it, although there’s every chance I’ll come up with something else. I love me a list.
Today we’re heading to the cinema. For what was, in my opinion, an outstanding year. It took me ages to narrow this list down to ten, and the first draft was closer to the fifty mark. There are still a few films that I wish could be on here, sadly I just ain’t got the room.
As usual, this is purely personal opinion, so don’t bother telling me I’m wrong. I’m also going by UK’s release dates, hence the inclusion of some things that came out last year in other parts of the world. Anyway, let’s get on with it.
In a world where recent surprises have tended to be a bit scary, Paddington was a shot of joy. That famous little bear was adapted for the modern world and it turned out that he was maybe what we all needed. Of course, such success could only mean one thing. A sequel. Suddenly, the worries were setting in. Could that magic be captured twice? Or would Paddington’s beauty be twisted into a corporate cash cow?
The poster makes it clear that this probably won’t be a cheery ride.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer is the cinematic equivalent of being slowly choked out. At the start it’s uncomfortable, but tinged with a degree of humour at the ridiculousness of the situation. The clipped dialogue that is becoming Yorgos Lantihmos’s trademark makes regular conversations awkward. However, it also makes them funny. The matter of fact way that Colin Farrell’s Steven Murphy tells his colleague that his daughter has started menstruating catches you off guard and the laugh escapes your lips before you can stop it.
Over the last few years, I have been establishing a tradition. Every Halloween I pick one horror franchise and watch it from start to finish. Two years ago I did Nightmare on Elm Streetand I followed that up last year with Halloween. So, to knock out the slasher hat-trick, there was only one place to go in 2017, Camp Crystal Lake for a date on Friday The 13th. It was a challenge that I quickly regretted taking up.
Thor: Ragnarok solves a problem that has been plaguing Marvel’s cinematic version of the Thunder God from the start. Even when the Avengers worked it out, the standalone Thor films lagged behind, and we were beginning to worry that it would never happen. Thankfully, Ragnarok is here, and with it, they finally realised that everything about Thor – from the concept to the world he inhabits – is slightly ridiculous.
Kicking off in the immediate aftermath of [•REC], [•REC]²sees us return to the block of flats with a zombie problem. This time we’re looking through the cameras of a SWAT team who have been tasked with accompanying Dr Owen (Jonathan Mellor) as he attempts to clear up this mess. Unfortunately for them, they haven’t been told the whole story and when they enter the building, shit quickly begins to go down.