I’ll be honest. I hate top ten lists. Possibly because I’m not very good at them. And quite indecisive. And they are always very subjective, especially as I haven’t seen every movie that was released this year.
However, here are my ten – ranked as best as I can, but the ranking is based on enjoyability, did it deliver, did I care, and will I re-watch it. Oh, and fan service. That was important this year too.
10. Shazam – a big, slick fun movie which ultimately had a strange mixture in tone, but I’m keen to see more.
9. Avengers: Endgame – Watching the culmination of the Marvel films was a necessity. The story was spectacular, but the “time-travel” concept made it odd and convoluted. The finale fight didn’t get me in the feels. Yeah. That’s just me. I’ll re-watch it though.
8. Captain Marvel – I really enjoyed the film, warming to Brie Larson’s performance, and loving Samuel L Jackson. I like the mix of intergalactic and earthbound action and the switch in the plot. Yet, it feels a little thin in places, and the cat and Fury’s eye are frustratingly revealed – I wish I liked it better.
7. Triple Frontier – a great Netflix movie with a gang headed by Ben Affleck heading to South America for a heist. The twists in the tale were genuinely surprising and I cared for these characters a lot. Sequel please?
6. Destroyer – a long, slow-burn crime thriller which draws you in with it’s gruelling depiction of crime, regret and the search for purpose starring the unrecognisable Nicole Kidman. A film that deserved better.
5. X-Men Dark Phoenix – the last in the Fox series of X-Men movies does seem a little compromised in places but I personally loved this take on the story, with some fan-serving moments and a powerhouse score by Hans Zimmer.
4. Hotel Mumbai – a shocking recreation of the terror attacks in Mumbai a decade ago – a nerve-shredding film which combines acts of heroism with a incredible sense of dread. I don’t think I blinked for an hour.
3. Joker – the intense character study of Arthur Fleck which manages to serve as a backstory for the DC villain while simultaneously skewering the most unfair aspects of our society. I’ll re-watch it. On special occasions.
2. Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker – a fitting end to the saga. As a fan, the film provided lots of fan service. Sure, I can find things to complain about, but it thrilled me, had me in tears, and will get many re-watches. It looks great and the soundtrack is one of the best.
1. Alita: Battle Angel – fantastic effects and motion capture performances in a truly engaging sci-fi following Alita, a robot who gradually learns she has a history and a purpose.
And there you have it. Alita was a complete surprise, a top quality movie with wonderful performances (especially Rosa Salazar), fantastic design and effects, a story that really gets you involved and a strong soundtrack. Robert Rodriquez, James Cameron and the team produced a top movie. And it is surely appropriate for a sequel to happen. If you like to hashtag, you should support #AlitaSequel.
Those that narrowly missed my top ten were:
11. Little Monsters – a little gem that while not as funny as it wants to be has a great premise – junior school teacher on a trip has to protect them from zombies. Lupita Nyong’o is brilliant in the film, as is Josh Gad.
12. The Front Runner – the story of Gary Hart featuring a great performance by Hugh Jackman and an ensemble cast showing the downfall of the politician who could have been president.
13. The Irishman – a Netflix movie I enjoyed for it’s sheer professionalism, storytelling ability and the wonderful cast. Doubt I’ll re-watch it, as it’s not my thing, but glad I saw it.
WHATS COMING IN 2020
There are lots of films slated for 2020, but the ones I’m particularly looking forward to are NO TIME TO DIE, WONDER WOMAN 1984, BIRDS OF PREY, BLACK WIDOW, MULAN, TENET, IN THE HEIGHTS, WEST SIDE STORY, DEATH ON THE NILE and DUNE.
2020 TOP TRAILERS
Here’s hoping they deliver on the drama, thrills and awe that they promise!
No trailers yet, but some publicity photos from West Side Story and Death on the Nile.