How to describe the year of 2019 in movies? To paraphrase that scholarly villain known as Thanos, it … was … inevitable.
The biggest hits at the box-office were based on tried-and-true titles that have kicking around in your pop-culture consciousness for years, if not decades. Think The Lion King, Aladdin, Frozen 2, John Wick: Chapter 3, Captain Marvel, It: Chapter 2, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Toy Story 4 and, yes, Avengers: Endgame. But wait, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is still on the way! Never mind that not all these entries were high-quality gold stars; people who craved familiarity wanted to feel the love (tonight).
But the remarkable thing about movies is that every new screening holds an opportunity for surprise. You never know when a crazy-dramatic twist can develop (Us) or the great Keanu Reeves will pop up as an ultra-vain hipster version of himself (Always Be My Maybe). You can hear Elton John’s “Your Song” a thousand times but when Taron Egerton tries it in Rocketman, it sends your heart soaring. You see Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers and can’t stop smiling and Joaquin Phoenix as Joker and can’t stop gawking. These little moments add up to awestruck greatness. And in that respect, 2019 movies did not disappoint.
I saw about 200 new films this year. I’m inclined to count The Irishman twice because of its 209-minute run time. Here are the 10 best, plus a handful of honorable mentions. If you haven’t done so already, check them out. Snap.