Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first Blog Complainer post of 2020. We’re going to celebrate this monumental occasion by praising the previous year as 2019 was a great year for movies. Well at least the best year since I have been the BC.
Very similar to last year’s list this list is made up of movies that I personally enjoyed as all of these films I would happily put on my shelf. I know there are plenty of other great films that I have missed, which I do intend to see at some stage, and when I do I’ll add them to my Letterboxd 2019 ranking list. Most of these movies I have already reviewed so there will be a link if you want more of my thoughts on that particular movie. Lastly, I hope you enjoy the list. Feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts of my list or perhaps share with me your own list.
If this year is as good as last year then I might need to make a top 15 list as all of these movies I’m about to mention are great. In no particular order:
- Judy: A solid movie that was elevated by Renee Zellweger’s excellent performance.
- Ad Astra: The most stunning space movie since First Man with one of the most interesting main characters of the year.
- Booksmart: A well executed comedy held together by the great friendship of the two main leads.
- Hustlers: A colourful movie with an engaging story accompanied by a surprisingly good performance from Jennifer Lopez.
- Ready or Not: I have only seen this movie recently and it’s easily my favourite horror movie of the year while also being pretty damn funny.
- Ford v Ferrari: Besides being a well-made movie, it’s the easiest movie to immediately get behind. A very easy recommendation.
- Avengers: Endgame: Yeah it’s flawed but so what, it’s a fun crowd pleaser and was the movie I had the most fun watching at the cinemas in 2019.
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff, starting with…
I always feel obligated to include at least one animated movie on my best of the year list as I’m a huge fan of animation. Though this year I’ve struggled as, from what I have seen, this wasn’t a great year for animated movies. But when Enter the Florpus popped up on Netflix I got a real kick out of it. Sure you might enjoy it better if you’re a fan of the old show, but I always saw myself as an outsider of the Invader Zim franchise and I still found it one of the most hilarious movies of the year.
I think I’m one of the few people who thoroughly enjoyed Good Boys. It’s a cute coming of age story of three young boys and the misadventures they get involved in. The movie is surprisingly emotional at points and the kid actors all give great performances. The humour is reminiscent of South Park with the ignorant kids not catching the full story of their surroundings. Good Boys had one of the best endings I saw all year and Seth Rogan gave his best performance of the year in the film’s red band trailer.
At the very end of May we got Rocketman which as I said in my review I was very much surprised by how good it was. This movie does a good job at handling Elton John’s tragic life while giving it a fun musical flare. The cast was really good alongside Taron Egerton’s Oscar worthy performance. It’s an exceptionally well made movie and was my favourite movie of the year for a very long time until it wasn’t.
I mentioned I have a animated movie quota, well it also sort of applies for comic book movies too and I doubt I’m surprising anyone when I say that Joker is the best comic book movie of the year. There just hasn’t been a superhero movie like Joker since The Dark Knight probably. It’s an excellent retelling of the iconic character’s fall into madness thanks to Todd Phillips direction and Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar worthy performance which I feel bold enough to say might even rival Ledger’s Joker. In a year of disappointing movies I’m grateful Joker didn’t let me down.
Dolemite is My Name
Wow! This was a surprise! Just as I was about to write off Netflix as a platform with mediocre originals, this movie came along and gave me the most fun I had on the couch. Dolemite is My Name is a movie that lives and breaths in the 1970’s and is elevated by the sharp witty writing and the most catchy score I heard all year. This movie also reminded me of how incredibly charismatic Eddie Murphy is as he was born to play Rudy Ray Moore and along with a very hilarious Wesley Snipes performance.
I wish I reviewed it as I would have easily given it a 9/10 and given it The Blog Complainer Approved Seal, which should give you an idea of what we have in store for the next five movies.
A Scorsese mobster nostalgia film sounds like a cash grab, but trust me it isn’t. It’s amazing that after all these years Martin Scorsese hasn’t lost his edge as the movie could have been released around the time of Goodfellas and it would have fit in perfectly. Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci all give great performances. I know the run time might intimidate some people but trust me when I say that I never really felt the length as most of the movie is great build-up to the most devastating final 40 minutes I have seen in a film. I can’t recommend this film enough.
Quentin Tarantino, another well known great director, also still has it! Another fun movie about the entertainment industry, but this time we’re at the end of the golden age of Hollywood. As I said in my review the movie feels like it’s made by a fan of old Hollywood as there are many entertaining scenes of characters talking about movies and TV shows or they’re on a film set paying homage to old movies and shows. Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth are probably my favourite characters out of this whole list as they’re such a fun duo. This was the start of 2019’s winning streak and this was the movie to knock off Rocketman as number one until I saw the following films.
Knives Out had one of the best screenplays of the whole year as I have seen it twice now and on my second viewing it made me appreciate even more how much of an exceptional writer Rian Johnson is. The all-star cast, the tight writing and the witty humour carry this movie. I heard somewhere that Rian Johnson might do a sequel to Knives Out where Daniel Craig’s character is investigating another family. If it happens I would be happy to relive my experience of watching Knives Out for the first time.
If you have seen this movie then you know it’s one of the best of 2019. It’s masterfully crafted by director/writer Bong Joon-ho and would be my pick for best director of the year. It might have the feel of an arthouse movie, but it would fit right in with your typical big budget Hollywood movie, whilst standing out on it’s own as something very remarkable. It’s full of realistic and great characters, the movie can be very funny while also being extremely tense near the end. I watched this on the plane and when I can I will definitely watch it again. If you have the opportunity to see this it’s definitely worth it.
We’re finally here but before you scroll on ahead could you please do a bit of a drum-roll to make this feel more dramatic.
If you read the title of my review of this movie then it should not be a surprise. Kind of like Parasite, Marriage Story just felt like the most real movie I saw all year. It’s an emotional tale of two very normal people at the lowest of their life. It’s a captivating drama where there is no real right side in this custody battle. Noah Baumbach really understands the unnecessary misery of how people go through divorce. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson give the best performances of their entire careers. Similar to my number one pick of 2018 you have a really good feeling when you have just seen the best movie of the year and Marriage Story was the one that did it for me.
Thanks for checking out my list. I’m curious to hear if you have any favourites of the year. The worst of the year and my ranking of every movie I saw lists are coming very soon, so until then I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.