Lists

UPDATED – Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2018

When I started my little Top 100 Movies of the Decade project I said from the outset that I would update it over time. If I’m honest I wasn’t sure when that would be, but I didn’t expect it to be within a year of writing it. However, over lockdown I watched 2 movies from 2019 and 2018 that absolutely blew me away. I wasn’t blogging at the time and so there isn’t a dedicated post for them here, so instead it only seemed right that I updated my current lists for those years.

Are you actually kidding me? I’ve done 8 of these lists now, you’d think I would have become hardened to only picking the very best movies that I truly loved. I should have it down to a cold-hearted process, right? I just counted my starter list for 2018, and it has 21 movies on it. 21! That’s not including a lot of movies I really enjoyed but knew they weren’t quite Top 10 material. I have to cut this list in half, and chop another off after that.

Maybe 2018 was a fantastic year for movies, but it’s maybe more down to me re-finding my love for this little hobby of mine after losing myself at the start of the year. Either way, this is going to be tough. Here goes nothing. You can find my other lists here.

2018 Movies Watched: 89
Movies that just missed out: BlacKkKlansman, Bandersnatch, Bird Box, The Favourite, Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, A Quiet Place, Game Night, Love Simon, American Animals

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#10 Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Watching this movie was never on my agenda until Melissa McCarthy started getting nominations left, right and centre for it. I’m very love her or hate her with McCarthy but she was incredible here, and Richard E. Grant is a delight too. It’s a story that some might find a bit dry but I was enthralled.

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#9 Hereditary

Hereditary was the first movie I went to see by myself with my shiny new Odeon card. I must have been mad, but it was a great experience. I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending but there are scenes in that movie that still bug me and haunt me, and they always will!

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#8 Widows

Badass women doing badass things – count me in. Viola Davs is absolutely terrifying in Widows, I 100% would not want to be on her bad side. There are bound to be some copycat style movies following this, but Widows will remain the original and best.

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#7 Ant-Man and the Wasp

Look – I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sure this is at the bottom of everyone’s favourite MCU movies but there was something about Ant-Man and the Wasp that struck a chord with me. It’s funny, it’s got great action scenes and it’s just…wholesome.

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#6 Green Book

Green Book is another of those movies I would have skipped if I didn’t make a habit of watching all the Best Picture nominees. I know it wasn’t a popular winner but I loved it. The story was engaging, the message powerful, and it had a surprising number of funny moments. I’m still a little mad Mahershala Ali was considered a Supporting Actor rather than Lead Actor, though.

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#5 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

So the internet decided that Into the Spider-Verse was the best Spider-Man movie ever made. I thought there was no way that could be true, but there’s only one way to find out. Turns out, the internet was right! From the stylish animation, to the smart story, funny one-liners and characters that should be annoying but aren’t, I loved every minute of this.

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#4 A Simple Favor

A comedy/mystery movie directed by Paul Feig and starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively is like, right up there on my list of dream movies. There was no way I wasn’t going to love A Simple Favor. It’s stylish, sexy and mysterious, and although it gets way too over the top at the end, it’s a wild ride.

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#3 A Star Is Born

I’ve listened to the soundtrack from A Star Is Born countless times since watching the movie, but I’m yet to bring myself to actually rewatch it. It’s such a beautifully painful story, but ugh, my heart hasn’t recovered quite yet.

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#2 Blindspotting

Ironically, I don’t know how I managed to avoid Blindspotting. I don’t remember seeing a single trailer, and the only time I reacll seeing it’s name was in the outrage on Twitter and the blogs I follow that it was ignored by the Academy. Well, it took falling in love with Hamilton (2020) and wanting to see more of Daveed Diggs to get me to pull my head out of the sand. Blindspotting is a stunner of a movie that is more important now than ever in the current #BlackLivesMatter movement. I’ve seen it twice now and I can’t recommend it enough!

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#1 Searching

An odd choice, I admit, but let me explain. I love movies that bring something a little different to the table. All scenes in Searching are through a screen, be it a laptop, mobile, CCTV, FaceTime. That alone makes it great in my eyes. The cherry on the top is a simply brilliant mystery story that twists and turns constantly, with a hugely satisfying conclusion. Love it.

Lists

UPDATED – Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2019

When I started my little Top 100 Movies of the Decade project I said from the outset that I would update it over time. If I’m honest I wasn’t sure when that would be, but I didn’t expect it to be within a year of writing it. However, over lockdown I watched 2 movies from 2019 and 2018 that absolutely blew me away. I wasn’t blogging at the time and so there isn’t a dedicated post for them here, so instead it only seemed right that I updated my current lists for those years.

That’s going to mean kicking Klaus from the Top 10 but man, 2019 was a cracking year for movies! You can see my additions in red, just in case it isn’t obvious.

Phew – what a wild ride this little project has been! Yes, I wimped out of ranking 100 movies across 10 years, but with the exception of 2010-2013, I feel like I’ve picked some solid choices here. It’s been such a fun exercise looking back at everything I’ve watched over the last 10 years, seeing how much my taste in movies has broadened and matured. It was probably handy that I took longer than I thought to make these lists because now I’ve arrived at 2019, there are movies in this list I only got the chance to see very recently, and they would have missed out otherwise.

2019 was a pretty incredible year for movies if my rankings are anything to go by. For my starter list, I only included anything that I rated 4.5/5 or higher, and I gave 21 movies that score! Just like with 2018’s list, I’m crossing movies out that could very well be in my Top 5 on another day.

Have a look at my other lists here if you haven’t seen them already!

2019 Movies Watched: 109
Movies that just missed out:¬†Klaus, Ready or Not, The Lion King, The Dead Don’t Die, Toy Story 4, Midsommar, Aladdin, Detective Pikachu, Shazam!, Good Boys, Booksmart

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#10 Joker

You might think for all my annoyance at Joaquin Phoenix taking Adam Driver’s awards that I hated Joker, but I really enjoyed it. I said at the time Phoenix should get an Oscar for his part. But then Marriage Story came along and changed my mind. I feel stuck in the middle! I’m being torn apart. I want to be free of this – sorry.

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#9 Marriage Story

Netflix sure had a good year last year! December also brought us Marriage Story, a painfully emotional story of a couple dealing with a messy divorce whilst trying to be the best parent they can be for their son. Even if you haven’t watched the movie you’re probably aware of ‘the scene’. I almost felt like I needed to turn away, like I’d walked into a very real and ugly situation. Such a good movie!

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#8 Avengers: Endgame

The MCU movies haven’t gotten a lot of love from me in these posts but I’ve found that as much as I enjoy them, I rarely rewatch them. I don’t know why. That said, 2019 brought the culmination of every MCU story so far, and it was a spectacle. So many great moments, and it was a lot of fun to be part of the crowd on opening weekend.

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#7 Parasite

Director Bong Joon Ho said something that really struck a chord with me at the Golden Globes this year. “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” I’ve seen so few foreign-language movies, but the ones I have I found to be incredible. Parasite is such a unique movie in how it crosses genres. I thought I knew where the story was leading, but no!

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#6 1917

See, if I wasn’t so late for everything 1917 would never have made this list, because I only watched it last week. I wonder if we’ll start to see more of this one-take style of movie and get fed up of it, but it was the perfect way of telling the story of these 2 young soldiers sent on a seemingly impossible mission. See it in the cinema if you can, it won’t be the same at home!

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#5 Jojo Rabbit

Honestly, as soon as I heard Taika Waititi was making a movie about a young boy whose imaginary friend is Hitler, I knew it would be in my Top 10 of the year list. No one can make a movie like this like Waititi can. It’s somehow hilarious, shocking, and moving all at the same time.

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#4 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

It’s not a list made by yours truly without a controversial pick, is it? Whatever your thoughts on The Rise of Skywalker, for me, Star Wars is Star Wars. Has my opinion changed with time? Yes, because I can’t help but over analyse everything. But the 5 minutes we got of Ben Solo means this movie earns it’s spot here regardless.

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#3 The Peanut Butter Falcon

If you don’t know it already, I’m a total idiot. I avoided The Peanut Butter Falcon because something in the back of my mind told me it was a war movie (!?). It wasn’t until I caught the trailer on Netflix that I was like, hold up…? It’s actually one of the most beautiful, heartwarming movies I’ve ever seen. Someone on Letterboxd described it as the movie equivalent of a hug and I couldn’t word it better myself. It belongs on my imaginary shelf of amazing movies, right in between Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016).

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#2 Knives Out

The wait for Knives Out felt so long, you guys. I was hyping myself up for so long I was terrified I was building myself up for a fall. But it delivered on everything I hoped it would. What a fantastic little mystery movie. I wondered if it would hold up on a second viewing when you already know how it’s going to end, and so on, and somehow it was even better.

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#1 John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Parabellum was my #1 movie of 2019 at its halfway point, but I thought by year-end something would knock it down at least one place. It hasn’t. I give all my ratings on a mix of whether I thought it was actually a good movie, and my enjoyment of it. I enjoyed the hell out of Parabellum, and I just can’t find fault with it. How many trilogies can say their 3rd movie was even better than their previous 2? There’s no way Chapter 4 can be this good but I have everything crossed that it is!

Movie Reviews

After We Collided (2020)

after-we-collided-movie-review-posterDirector: Roger Kumble

Genre: Drama, Romance

Runtime: 105 Minutes

Main Cast: Josephine Langford, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Louise Lombard, Dylan Sprouse, Candice King, Charlie Weber, Shane Paul McGhie, Inanna Sarkis

Plot: Set just a few months after the original movie After (2019), when Tessa (Josephine Langford) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) have broken up. Tessa is getting on with her life, about to start her internship at Vance Publishing while Hardin is struggling to stay afloat without her.

My Thoughts: We’re getting a really slow trickle of new movies into cinemas in the UK and this was one of them. I’ve never heard of it before but my bestie text me the night the tickets were released was like, we NEED to go and see this, and well, who am I to say no? I had to give myself a crash course in the movie, it’s prequel, and the books the movies are based on so let me tell you what little I know. There are 5 books in the After series, written by Anna Todd. They were originally published on Wattpad as Harry Styles fanfiction. Man, where did I go wrong? I wish teenage Allie knew she could have made a career out of writing fanfiction!

I’ll admit, I caught up on the original movie on Netflix and I quite liked it. It was easy, guilty pleasure watching for me. Full of every cliche known to man in the genre but for me it was movie evuivalent to comfort food. I was quietly looking forward to the sequel and clearly a lot of people are because the screen was busier than the opening night of Tenet at our local! We um…kind of hated it. The first 20 minutes at least felt like a blatant rip off of Fifty Shades Darker (2017) but for a teenage audience. Which was, of course, also based on fanfiction…of Twilight. (Is everything leading back to Robert Pattinson for me right now?). Wild, right? I lost count of the sex scenes eventually and the whole experience was just a bit…awkward.

The whole movie is so choppy, one minute Tessa and Hardin are together again, next they fall out, then they’re together again, then they fall out again. Back and forth, over and over again. Maybe we’re just 10 years too old for this series, maybe our teenage selves would have fallen head over heels in love with Hardin but the reality is, Hardin is messed up, he’s no good for Tessa and the two of them need to stay apart. Will we be back for the 2 already confirmed sequels? Yes, we’re committed to this car crash now (sorry Steph).

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Best Bit: I can’t help but get sucked in to the drama, so when Tessa agreed to go along to the New Years party at the frat house and got her own back on that total bitch Molly? I was there for it. Yas, Tessa!

Worst Bit: You know who I haven’t mentioned yet? The adorable, geeky Trevor (Dylan Sprouse). He works at Vance Publishing, is a shy, beautiful nerd and is clearly in love with Tessa. He tries to make a move on her so many times and every single time I wanted to shake Tessa and tell her what a blind idiot she is. #TeamTrevor

Fun Trivia: Roger Kumble directed Cruel Intentions (1999), a film with a plot often compared to the one of Anna Todd’s After. Selma Blair, who plays Carol Young, also starred in Cruel Intentions as Cecile Caldwell.

My Rating: 1 pair of Victoria’s Secret undies. I’m dying to know how much that product placement deal cost, it was painfully obvious!

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Movie Reviews

The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020)

broken-hearts-gallery-review-poster-2020Director: Natalie Krinsky

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Runtime: 108 Minutes

Main Cast: Geraldine Viswanathan, Dacre Montgomery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Molly Gordon, Phillipa Soo, Suki Waterhouse, Nathan Dales, Nikki Duval, Chris Sandiford

Plot: Lucy (Geraldine Viswanathan) collects memorabilia from every relationship she’s ever been in. After a particularly bad break up, she happens to meet Nick (Dacre Montgomery) who is in the process of doing up a hotel but is struggling due to a lack of funds. Lucy offers Nick her help and in return, Nick offers up space for Lucy to build the Broken Hearts Gallery, an art display of the objects other people have held onto to remember past relationships.

My Thoughts: I’m really starting to worry about the future of cinemas. My local has never been busy unless it’s opening weekend of the latest blockbuster movie, but it feels so much emptier lately. Last night I was there with the bestie and we were the only ones in the screen for The Broken Hearts Gallery which doesn’t surprise me too much as the movie has had literally no marketing over here but the rest of the building was eerily quiet! With big movies like Wonder Woman now being pushed back to winter, unless we get a steady stream of smaller movies I’m really concerned about what will happen to our cinemas.

Anyway, let me tell you how much I adored this movie. It is SO CUTE. I’m going to try and refrain from gushing about how much I fell in love with Dacre Montgomery but you guys. I loved him enough in Stranger Things but there’s something about him here I can’t explain. His eyes! How can a man be so…pretty? I digress. One of the many things I love about this movie is its lead, Geraldine Viswanathan. What a breath of fresh air to watch a romcom with a relatable woman who isn’t a size 0 supermodel yet is still stunning and plays a character you can just see yourself in? I lost count of the number of times we elbowed each other in the cinema while laughing and saying “that’s me!”.

I think I was smiling from ear to ear most of the time. Lucy and her friends have such great chemistry and share so many funny moments. Phillipa Soo is a particular stand out – Hamilton fans are going to be so happy with her role here. The Broken Hearts Gallery might not be groundbreaking, it has a lot of the stereotypical romcom tropes in it, but it does them all so well that it doesn’t need to break any barriers. Lucy and Nick don’t fall in love straight away, it takes time, and I can’t remember the last time I got so excited to see a first kiss in a movie. I highly recommend this, and yet I worry I might have built it up to be more than it is. Romcom fans will love it, for sure.

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Best Bit: This is impossible to pick because I have so many. Nick’s grand gesture? The karaoke bar? The moment that Jeff finally speaks? There are so many memorable moments, but I guess the one that sticks out is when we realise why it is that Lucy collects all these things in the first place. It added another level to the movie and I think that’s what makes it stand out from the thousands of other romcoms out there.

Worst Bit: I guess it comes down to great writing, directing and acting but I don’t remember the last time I loathed a character as much as Lucy’s ex, Max. When he tried to get back together with her Ii was repulsed! It was a good job we were alone in the room because I was actually shouting at Lucy!

Fun Trivia: The Broken Hearts Gallery was originally scheduled for a July 2020 release, but got pushed back to August 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However it was later pulled from the schedule, eventually being scheduled for a September 11, 2020 release. The film premiered on the Sony Pictures Studios lot as part of the company’s ongoing “Drive-In Experience” event.

My Rating: 4 and a half meerkats…one of Jeff’s favourite animals which he passionately talks about!

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Movie Reviews

Mulan (2020)

mulan-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Niki Caro

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Runtime: 115 Minutes

Main Cast: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Cheng Pei-Pei

Plot: A live-action remake of the orginal Disney animated movie Mulan (1998), about a young Chinese girl who disguises herself as a male warrior in order to protect her father.

My Thoughts: As a Disney fan, no matter the controversy, I had to see the Mulan remake as soon as I could. I’m still gutted I watched it in my living room instead of on the big screen but hey, I’m just so grateful for new releases at the moment. I’ve enjoyed all of the remakes so far with the exception of Dumbo (2019) but I wasn’t sure where to set my expectations for Mulan. I’ve only seen the original once, and it wasn’t as a child. And although I loved it, I don’t have the same connection with it as I do with most other Disney movies.

Thankfully I had my Disney-superfan husband at hand to give his critiques. I’m not kidding, I’ve never been happier than when in Disneyland but for him? It’s like his home! I keep telling him he should have been a Disney character at the parks, he’s so theatrical. Anyway, I digress. There are a lot of positives here, it feels well acted, the story doesn’t stray too far from the original, and the cinematography is stunning. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. When I learned Mushu the little red dragon was omitted from the remake I was salty but honestly? I don’t see how he would have fit in here, so I’m not mad anymore.

What I did miss was the songs. This is just…unacceptable, and there’s no excuse that I will accept. Yes, the movie feels more serious now but it still has little pockets of humour. The instrumental version of Reflection is heard throughout but it only really makes sense if you know the original. I just don’t see a valid reason for taking the songs out, and the movie suffers as a result. Is it worth paying the $30, or ¬£20 to get early access? I guess that depends on how many people are in your household, but if I were you, I’d wait.

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Best Bit: I wish I could tell you about a jaw-dropping moment here but during the avalanche scene, one of Mulan’s buddies gets crushed by what I think was a trebuchet and it was unintentionally HILARIOUS. He was fine, don’t worry.

Worst Bit: We can all agree the best Mulan song is I’ll Make a Man Out Of You, right? So it hurts so much to have the training sequence without it. We could have at least been given some references to it, I think the Commander spoke a few lines, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough. I’m fairly sure everyone watching just sang it themselves though.

Fun Trivia: Yifei Liu performs 90% of all her stunts as Mulan: horse riding, sword fighting, martial arts, and battle scenes.

My Rating: 3 and a half beautiful teapots that should stay in the middle of table, unless you’re trying to protect your sister from a spider.

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