5. Knives Out
Written and directed by Rian Johnson.
Starring Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, LaKeith Stanfield, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Christopher Plummer, Michael Shannon, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome and Katherine Langford.
Heading into the top five now, we come to Knives Out, director Rian Johnson’s star-studded murder mystery, which topped two of our writers’ individual lists of favourites.
“The film’s true pièce de résistance is Rian Johnson himself. Furnishing Knives Out with all manner of innovation and whimsical homage, this is a filmmaker at his most buoyant, his most creative, his most playful. Despite the occasional sag during the film’s middle section, this is a wonderfully entertaining tale weaved together with intricacy, eccentricity and more twists than you can shake a blade at. Sharp, smart and stylish, few films this year will have you feeling quite as giddy. For Rian Johnson, the knives are well and truly out, and he is taking great pleasure in slicing up the rule book.” – Read our full review here.
4. Avengers: Endgame
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt.
Marvel Studios’ only entry in our top ten this year is Avengers: Endgame. The superhero epic topped three of our writers’ individual top tens to claim fourth place overall (its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War, was named Flickering Myth’s favourite movie of 2018).
“Audiences who have been along for the ride will find it easy to connect with the plot and character arcs of Avengers: Endgame. While it may not be quite as exciting as its predecessor, the Russo Brothers made a more than worthy follow-up and conclusion to the MCU’s Infinity Saga. None of the characters are lost in the shuffle and their emotions are given prominence over the spectacle. Downey, Evans, Johansson and Hemsworth give great performances that cap off their journeys while the rest of the cast are equally as great in their roles. Even with a couple points that slow down the story a bit too much, Endgame is a rousing success that will have fans happy.” – Read our full review here.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho.
Starring Song Kang-ho, Choi Woo-shik, Chang Hyae-jin, Park So-dam, Cho Yeo-jeong, Lee Sun-kyun, Jung Ziso and Lee Jung-eun.
South Koren filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or-winning Parasite was the personal favourite of four of our writers, leading more individual lists than any other film this year, but a one-two punch from Netflix means it has to settle for third place in our countdown of 2019’s best.
“With films like The Host and Snowpiercer, Bong has shown himself to be a master of creating art in the world of genre. Parasite is the latest example of that deft touch and it’s one made with consummate style and a series of unforgettable images. Its horror lingers in the memory, for sure, but it’s the intricately crafted and universal social commentary that truly resonates in our modern times.” – Read our full review here.
2. Marriage Story
Directed by Noah Baumbach.
Starring Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, Alan Alda, Merrit Weaver, Wallace Shawn, and Mark O’Brien.
At #2 is Netflix’s Marriage Story, writer-director Noah Baumbach’s semi-autobiographical study of a marriage breaking down, complete with career best performances from its two leads Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson.
“Some moviegoers want to escape reality, well here’s one that suffocatingly enriches reality with its perspicacious dysfunctional home analysis. It presents the question as to if true love ever really dies. I don’t have the answer, but my adoration for Marriage Story will forever be eternal. Till death stops Noah Baumbach from crafting delicate works of art, both emotionally arresting and frolicsome. Marriage Story is his most accomplished work to date.” – Read our full review here.
Directed by Martin Scorsese.
Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Jesse Plemons, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Stephen Graham, Anna Paquin, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jim Norton and Jack Huston.
And capping off an exceptional year for Netflix, our pick for the best movie of 2019 is Martin Scorsese’s mob epic The Irishman, a decades-spanning tale exploring the story of hitman Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran and his involvement with the Bufalino crime family. The most expensive (and the longest) of Scorsese’s films to date, it’s also among his very best.
“The Irishman, a film that tracks the lives of its central characters across six or seven decades and the culmination of those experiences, is far and away the most ambitious thing ever put the screen. The Irishman is a showstopper for different reasons altogether, and story beats within the movie itself hint at the iconic filmmaker genuinely afraid about losing history to time. Fortunately, The Irishman likely won’t be lost to time; hey Martin Scorsese, I heard you like Oscars.” – Read our full review here.
Click below for our writers’ individual picks, and the films that just missed out on a place in the top ten…