Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2019

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: 89
Movies that just missed out: 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 Klaus

December is when I try to consume as many Christmas movies as possible. I have my annual rewatches, but I love finding new movies, too, and Netflix handed me Klaus on a shiny platter. It’s a gorgeous movie. The animation style was so unique, the story was perfect for adults and children alike, the soundtrack was spot on, and it’s in the running for an Oscar next month. I doubt it’s chances of winning but I always root for the underdog.

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#8 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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#7 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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#6 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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#5 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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#4 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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#3 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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#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!

Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2017

There’s one good thing that’s come of me taking way too long to make these lists. A lot of the great 2019 movies are only just coming out now in the UK and it’s given me time to watch them before making my Top 10 of last year! In fact, if I wasn’t notoriously late for everything, you might even believe me if I told you that was my plan all along. We’re approaching the end though, and this has been a lot of fun to put together.

2017 was easier to be strict with, but I still had to cross 4 off my original list, and it took a lot of going back and forth before I could decide what 4 they were going to be. My original Best of 2017 list had 15 movies in and I’ve seen loads more since then! As always, you can find my other lists here.

2017 Movies Watched: 86
Movies that just missed out: Coco, It, Lady Bird, Logan

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#10 Dunkirk

I’ll forever be kicking myself for not watching Dunkirk in the cinema, but I’m glad I at least gave it a chance because it was the war movie that made me realise that I do in fact enjoy a good war movie! I’ve since finally watched Saving Private Ryan which was fantastic.

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#9 Beauty and the Beast

Here’s my unpopular choice thrown in for good measure. Yep, it was virtually a shot for shot remake, but the original is perhaps my all-time favourite Disney movie so that’s not a problem for me. The extra song, Evermore will forever be one of my favourite songs ever, too.

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#8 Baby Driver

Fun fact, Baby Driver was the last movie I watched at the cinema before giving birth to my little girl. I had to watch it again once it was out on DVD because I missed at least half thanks to running off to the toilets every 5 minutes!

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#7 A Ghost Story

I really want to watch A Ghost Story again. It’s not a horror, if you’ve never heard of it, but a quirky little mysterious movie with a cracking ending. Just be warned, you’ll be put off from eating pie for quite a while afterwards.

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#6 The Florida Project

Who knew that just a stone’s throw away from the most magical place on earth is…a very unmagical, sad place, where families struggle to get by and raise their children. Poor Willem Dafoe plays the manager of the Magic Castle Motel and despite the kids there making his life hell, he loves them still. It took me a while to warm to the movie but I haven’t forgotten it since.

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#5 Battle of the Sexes

I never expected to enjoy Battle of the Sexes so much. I find biographical movies can be quite dry sometimes, and I have no interest in tennis at all, but I gave it a go for Emma Stone and Steve Carell, both of which I’m a big fan of. I don’t know what to tell you, I just found the story absolutely fascinating!

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#4 I, Tonya

Speaking of biographical movies to do with sports…oh boy was I, Tonya a lot of fun! Margot Robbie was the perfect choice here. I just love how her story was told, I laughed so much but at the same time, it’s really quite emotional. Just excellent performances all round, here.

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#3 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A fantastically dark story about how a mother uses any means necessary to solve the case of her murdered daughter when the police fail to come up with an answer. Three Billboards is a must-watch.

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#2 Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Yeah, I put The Last Jedi up here. You didn’t expect anything less of me, did you? I’ll always have a soft spot for The Last Jedi, just like a have a soft spot for any Star Wars movie. We were blessed with unmasked Kylo Ren, the most beautifully shot lightsaber fight/team-up ever, and a whole host of galactic creatures and beings.

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#1 The Greatest Showman

Is the soundtrack for The Greatest Showman the most sold album of all time yet? I think it was #1 in the UK album charts for over a year! I didn’t realise until recently that it got quite mixed reviews, but for me it’s everything I want in a movie, and I honestly couldn’t fault it!

Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2015

Past the half-way point and we aren’t half-way through January yet, okay, I can do this! 2015 has been an easier year strangely enough. There were a lot of movies I really liked, but not as many that I loved so I didn’t feel as bad striking movies off my list like I did with 2014’s list. Does anyone else feel the same about 2015 or was I grumpy that year? Perhaps I’m just toughening up by making all these lists.

You can find my other Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists here.

2015 Movies Watched: 93
Movies that just missed out: Room, Brooklyn, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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#10 Anomalisa

Not going to lie, I forgot all about this movie until I checked my Letterboxd list for 2015. There was no way I couldn’t mention it, though. I’ve always had a love and appreciation for stop-motion animated movies and Anomalisa is one of the greater ones. It’s quite a dark tale but very thought-provoking and definitely a must-watch for fans of the genre.

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#9 Mad Max: Fury Road

It’s forever a thing that the movies I watch unwillingly turn out to be some of the best ones. I remember clearly seeing Fury Road at the cinema with my guy pals, ready to roll my eyes at it. I hadn’t seen any other Mad Max movie then (and still haven’t, whoops) but it’s hard not to get swept up by the beauty of it all. This was my best-rated action movie until John Wick 3 came along.

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#8 The Martian

Never will I ever take a bottle of ketchup for granted after watching The Martian. I rarely understand space movies but this was the exception, and I never expected it to be so funny as well as nerve-wracking! I told myself 4 years ago I would read the book and still haven’t. Ah, the best-laid plans…

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#7 The Gift

If you’ve never seen The Gift, do me a solid and give it a go. Just don’t look at a poster or watch a trailer, because the marketing team behind it are idiots. I thought this was a horror and it couldn’t be further from it. Jason Bateman plays a dark and serious role which was a first for me. It’s the kind of story where you don’t know who to root for… because you don’t know who the bad guy is.

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#6 Sicario

I’ll never forget making the mistake of putting Sicario on the TV after just sitting down with my dinner. That opening scene…ergh. Anyway, the sequel wasn’t that great but Sicario is still a fantastic movie as a stand-alone. It’s gritty, it’s dark and some of the scenes made me feel almost as tense as the closing scene of Whiplash (2014).

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#5 The Dressmaker

We don’t get enough movies like The Dressmaker, seriously. What looked to be a dull drama is actually a fascinating drama, romance, black comedy and murder mystery movie all in one. It’s quirky, odd and just downright entertaining from start to finish. One of those movies I wish I could watch again for the very first time.

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#4 The Hateful Eight

I still stand by the fact that the first hour of this movie drags like a bitch but after that, I was glued to my seat. My experience was probably helped by the fact the UK was having a snowstorm of its own when I went to the cinema so I felt fully immersed, but I just love a whodunit and so The Hateful Eight ticked all the boxes for me.

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#3 Inside Out

Who would have thought a movie about emotions could be so good? This came out in the cinemas during a really tough time of my life and maybe that aided my enjoyment of it, but it’s still an absolutely stunning movie. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me want to watch it over and over, and it doesn’t get much better than this.

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#2 Spotlight

You know you’re a movie blogger when you can say one of your favourite movies is about a team of reporters uncovering the scandal of child molestation within the Catholic churches. Definitely feels weird to say. Still, Spotlight is just a downright fantastically well-made movie and fully deserved the Best Picture Oscar.

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#1 Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Not going to apologise for any Star Wars sequel movie making these lists! The Force Awakens deserves extra love because it was the movie that finally converted me into a Star Wars fan. It also kicked off my Adam Driver obsession, which I guess I should be grateful for!

Movie Reviews

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

star-wars-rise-of-skywalker-review-2019Director: J.J. Abrams

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Runtime: 141 Minutes

Main Cast: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid

Plot: The final episode in the Skywalker trilogy, following on from the events of The Last Jedi. Rey continues her Jedi training to defeat the First Order whilst Supreme Leader Kylo Ren threatens to wipe out any threat to his power.

My Thoughts: So…hey guys? It’s a loud and angry place to be, social media right now, but you can always count on me for having an unpopular opinion and loving the latest Star Wars movie. I don’t hold a grudge at all against anyone who hated Rise of Skywalker, there was never going to be an ending we all loved, but I do think it’s hilarious that there’s an uprising of Last Jedi fans now. Where were you guys 2 years ago? Anyway – this post is going to be SPOILER HEAVY, I’ll warn you now.

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I loved it. It was a wild ride from start to finish. The pacing was nuts, there’s barely any time to breathe. I’ve seen it twice now and the second time felt even faster. I guess everyone had their image of what the ending would look like, and I got mine, and some, and even though I’m completely heartbroken, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always knew deep down Kylo Ren wouldn’t live to see the credits of the final movie, but I didn’t expect to get to see Ben Solo in action. That’s credit to Adam Driver, show-stealer-extraordinaire, who never ceases to amaze me with his performances. Do I wish Ben Solo survived? God yes, but it would never have made sense. He couldn’t exactly go back with Rey and hang out with the Resistance, could he? He’d have had to live in exile.

Speaking of the Resistance, YAAAAS to my boys Finn and Poe being back together again. Them being apart was my biggest gripe of The Last Jedi. And Rey? I don’t feel like her being a Palpatine was a retcon, to be honest. If it was revealed in the second movie, we’d know for sure Palpatine never died, because otherwise what would be the point? You need surprises in each movie, I guess. I don’t know – I don’t make movies, but I wasn’t mad at that choice. It was wild to watch Rey accidentally use force lighting though!

Leia was so, so well done. It was absolutely the right choice to make do with archive footage, and it didn’t seem out of place at all. Her death hit me hard, and then Chewie’s reaction destroyed me. The moment we thought Chewie was dead was well done, too. The first screening I was in everyone gasped out loud, and the second time there was just this uncomfortable silence. I can’t tell you the reaction to the Ben Solo moment because I was crying ugly tears into my IMAX glasses.

I could go on forever, but I’ve already babbled for longer than I usually do. The bottom line is, it worked for me, I laughed and I cried and I got an ending that felt right to me. That can’t be said for most I know, but I hope you can appreciate my reasons for loving it.

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Best Bit: It’s impossible to pick one. I mean, Ben Solo, just being Ben Solo! Running through those ruins just like his Dad, taking out bad guys with a blaster. His smirk once he was given a saber by Rey and taking down his own knights. I WISH we could have seen more of that cheeky character.

But also? HUX WAS THE SPY. Hux is like, my second favourite character in this series. Him being the spy was silly but goddamn hilarious. I’m sorry to anyone in that first screening because I actually screamed.

Worst Bit: There were scenes in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi that I could happily do without, but nothing felt unnecessary here. My only real gripe is how useless Rose was in this movie. It didn’t make sense for her to have a huge role in the previous movie but have nothing to do here.

If you’ll allow me a silly complaint – who turns down Poe Dameron? TWICE?!

Fun Trivia: During the massive crowd celebration scene, C-3PO says that this event happens once every 42 years. This was the time between the first Star Wars movie to be released in 1977, and this film, the last of the sequel trilogy, released 42 years later.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 porgs who also needed more screentime this time around.

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Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic #14 – 1,000 Movies Later

So this is quite exciting! Since I opened a Letterboxd account around 3 years ago, I’ve not only kept a movie diary to log all the movies I watch (and my ratings) but also put a good few hours into logging every movie I’ve seen previously. Whilst I can’t say for sure I managed to remember them all – I’ve spent enough time on it to be able to say I’m 99% confident that I located them all.

Why is this exciting do you ask? Well, when I watched Bohemian Rhapsody last week and logged it in my movie diary, I realised it was my 1,000th movie! I have officially seen 1,000 movies in my lifetime. I know that number means very little to a lot of movie bloggers out there but it’s a pretty cool milestone!

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It also marks the 81st movie I’ve seen this year…I’m hoping the festive period will give me the final push I need to make my target of 100 for the year!

Speaking of the end of the year on its way…I’m gearing up for the festive season! I’m off to see The Grinch tonight (an odd choice maybe for the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas) and on the weekend we’re going to get stuck into Christmas shopping and decorating the house. Last Christmas was really odd having such a small baby so I’m extra excited for this year! Santa has already started getting presents ready…

Do you know what’s weird though? I don’t feel like this year has a big Christmas release at the cinema. We had the Hobbit movies for 3 years running, then Star Wars Episode VII, Rogue One, Star Wars Episode VIII…and then what? Fantastic Beasts is out next week, that’s too early. I’m looking forward to Aquaman but I don’t feel the hype…Disney really should have let Solo have a Christmas release.

Anyway, however you’re spending it, I hope you have a fantastic weekend!