"Let Neptune strike ye dead Winslow! HAAARK!" Another year, another Top 10. And although we're already well into 2020, it's never too late to share this list. Better late than never, as they say! It's time to present my personal list of my Top 10 Favorite Films of 2019. I really wish I had more time to revisit all of these, and so many other films, but there's never enough time. Most of these I really wanted to see again before writing about them, but, I went with my gut feeling. With every film below, as soon as I finished watching it, I knew it would be on my Top 10. There is that feeling deep down that I have seen something extraordinary and I just know it won't be topped. And my final three, same as last year, I kept switching around because they're masterpieces. With that said, I am more than happy to reveal my faves, the films that left me floored.
Over the last 12 months, I've seen more than 125 new releases — that's over ten days in total spent watching movies — and I'm happy to report that it's been another exceptional year at the multiplex. This year, we got to see vital new work from visionary filmmakers like Bong Joon-ho, Martin Scorsese, Greta Gerwig, Quentin Tarantino, Jordan Peele, Lulu Wang, and Shin'ichirô Ueda, whose zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead is one of the most unique and refreshingly original horror movies of the year. We witnessed great performances from Awkwafina, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Eddie Murphy, Florence Pugh, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, and Adam Sandler. And we were all left in awe by stunning cinematic art like 1917, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and The Lighthouse – works of impeccable craftsmanship by the cinematographers, production designers, and costume designers alike.
"We accept the love we think we deserve." Ten years of dramas. Ten years of action. Ten years of comedy. Ten years of horror. Ten years of indies. Ten years of emotions of every kind. Ten years of excitement. Ten years of cinema. SleepySkunk has put together an epic "Movie Trailer Mashup of the Decade" looking back at the 2010s. We've been posting "SleepySkunk's" movie trailer mashups for the last decade, ever since 2012 and every year since then right up to 2019 (watch his year in review video here). This extensive video recap is a thrilling look at so many movies, and I'm glad he lists the name & year for each one. In case there are any you want to catch up with and/or rewatch while we're all looking back at these past ten years. Enjoy.
"Are you ready?" It's the end of another decade! With the 2010s winding down, and the 2020s about to kick off, everyone is looking back at the last 10 years and all the films that are truly worth of being singled out and highlighted as the best of the best. Cinephile and writer Milton Lawson has edited a video called The 25 Best Films of the Decade, counting down his 25 favorites. It's similar to David Ehrlich's annual Best of the Year video countdown, with a fine selection of music playing over top of the films as it goes through each of them one-by-one. Lawson's intro: "I edited a supercut video celebrating my favorite films of the decade. Turn up the volume & enjoy." His music selection is just as lovely as the films (and footage) he's picked, and it's a great reminder there's always wonderful films & music to discover. Dive right in and have a good time.
"We've been down this road before…" It's here! One of the annual must-see best of the year lists is actually a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year in a video edited together with footage and music from each of the films. This is such an entertaining way to count down the best cinema of 2019, and it always makes me want to watch each one of these (even the ones I've seen already). His choices this year are all over the place - from Knives Out to Parasite to Ad Astra (really?) to The Beach Bum - and I'm always curious to see his picks. There are so many wonderful films this year, from all over the world, many of the very best ones to watch are in his video.
"You havin' a good time?" It's time for another rousing look back at all the movies from 2019. Our longtime friend the "Sleepy Skunk" has revealed his annual end-of-the-year recap video - the 2019 Movie Trailer Mashup - featuring footage from all the movie trailers released throughout 2019 edited together to make you cry. Or laugh, or smile, or whatever movies do to you. Louis, who makes this mashup every year, puts a lot of time and effort into making sure it's just right. Not too loud, not too wild, with a clip from every trailer to make you smile as a year of movies whizzes by in 6 minutes time. These are always so emotional to watch.
"Do you consider yourself a hero?" We're nearing the end of the year, and the looking back retrospectives are starting to arrive. One of the first out of the gate for this year is this magnificent "movie trailer mashup" video made by Clark Zhu called Moving Pictures 2019. He has been making these videos for the last five years, and announced this as his grand finale after a good run. He now lives & works in LA as a professional trailer editor, and it has always been delightful to watch these mashups over the last few years. This might be one of his best, really capturing the vibe and the variety of movies out there this year. Clark's focus is on the trailers, featuring footage from some movies that are not out until 2020, but it's not much. He writes: "I have been working on this project for months, and now, I am beyond excited to share it with you." Enjoy.
"So bring on the rebels, the ripples from pebbles, the painters, and poets, and plays…!" The first "Decade in Film" mashup video compilation has arrived to kick off the end-of-the-decade mania over the next few months. This one is short and sweet, running only two minutes but still packing in glimpses at a ton of films from the past ten years. We expect to see many more of these looks back at the last decade - so stay tuned. This one will get you in the mood to reminiscence about all the films that have been provided to us by the gods of cinema. This recap video has a focus on strong female characters and it's invigorating to see how many there were this past decade. Natalie Portman and Emma Stone seem to appear the most in this video.
"I keep feeling like big moments get stolen away from me." Another year, another Top 10 list. And although we're already well into 2019, it's never too late to share this list. It's time to present my personal list of my Top 10 Favorite Films of 2018. Admittedly, it's always a challenge for me to put together a Top 10 list, just because there's never enough time to watch (and rewatch) everything. Many of these I really wanted to see again before writing about. So I just have to go with what I feel in my gut. My top three this year are some of the most innovative, ambitious, and awe-inspiring films I've seen in a long time - and I love them all in equal measure. So I ranked them here anyway but could easily switch them around depending on how I feel each day. But I am more than happy to reveal my favorites, all the films I fell madly in love with in 2018.
Over the last 12 months, I've seen more than 110 new releases — that's over nine days of time in total spent watching movies — and I'm happy to report that it's been an exceptional year at the cinema. In fact, I could probably make a Top 50 Best Films of 2018 list and still leave off a few notable titles. Just think about it – we got to see vital new work from visionary filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Alex Garland, Alfonso Cuaron, Spike Lee, Lynne Ramsay, and newcomer Boots Riley, whose Sorry to Bother You is one of the most unique and refreshingly original movies of the year. We witnessed fantastic performances by Lady Gaga, Ethan Hawke, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Mahershala Ali, Richard E. Grant, as well as Christian Bale. We saw breathtakingly beautiful films like Roma, The Favourite, If Beale Street Could Talk, and First Man – works of flawless craftsmanship by cinematographers and production designers alike.
Great films need an equally great score to back them up. And 2018 has been an incredible year for both! The marriage between sound and image is a special craft that too frequently goes unrecognized or under-appreciated. Depending on your school of thought (what you were taught), original scores should either fold in seamlessly into the fabric of a film or they should stand out as a way to enhance the storytelling. A perfect film, however, knows how to balance both where we can marvel when necessary. The few I've chosen to highlight as my favorites have a shared through-line. Not only are there superficial commonalities (like former members of rock groups making the list), collectively they form a musical time capsule for the year's universally-shared emotions. I've excluded musical creations that are primarily soundtracks (sorry, A Star in Born), but it was still a challenge to narrow down the 10 that deserve to be highlighted (and purchased).
"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Little White Lies has debuted a video made by Luís Azevedo looking back at the last year in film. Azevedo's recap, titled "The Best Films of 2018", is yet another video mash-up of footage from all of his favorites. This isn't a list like David Ehrlich's year end video, it's more of a montage like the retrospectives we post every year. Some of his picks: Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here, Alex Garland's Annihilation, Paul Schrader's First Reformed, Lucrecia Martel's Zama, Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, Debra Granik's Leave No Trace, Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, Coens' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Nuri Bilge Ceylan's underrated The Wild Pear Tree.