Yes it’s days into 2020 and I’m just now sharing my 2019 Top 10. At this rate I’ll have my 2020 preview around Valentine’s Day. Normally my “Top 10” is 20 films so I’ve decided to alter/cheat my way out of it this year. I’m adding a few honorable mention films as well as limited release/Video on Demand films.
Also, this is my favorite films of the year list. That means there may be some exceptions where a film scored better by virtue of being an excellent film in its respective genre, but ranks below a score with a lower rating just because I enjoyed it on a personal level more. Now that you’re sufficiently confused, let’s get into the list.
Marriage Story – Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson show the ugly realistic side of the end of a marriage with a child caught in the middle. This isn’t a fun watch by any means, but the performances by the leads and co-stars including Laura Dern, Ray Liotta and Alan Alda made for one of the more compelling films of 2019.
Always Be My Maybe – Netflix continued killing the romantic comedy game with this terrific film about a successful chef reuniting with her childhood friend and the realization why they were always meant to be together. It was hard to find a better romantic pairing than Ali Wong and Randall Park with one exception (stay tuned).
Captain Marvel – Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson have impressive chemistry in this 90s throwback to the exploits of the superhero who inspired the formation of The Avengers. The rocking 90s soundtrack, funny script and surprising twists make for a film that even longtime Marvel heads didn’t see coming.
Shazam! – The other Captain Marvel film of 2019 was also pretty good too as the Zachary Levi-led film showed that DC Films can be more than dark and brooding.
Good Sam – Tiya Sircar plays a reporter trying to track down the secret identity of a mysterious Good Samaritan who’s leaving life-changing money at random people’s doorsteps. The cool thing about this Netflix film was it was more than a romantic comedy giving Sircar’s character her own agenda much greater than meeting Mr. Right.
Toy Story 4 – Toy Story 3 marked a perfect end to the series, but this fourth installment more than proved there’s still plenty of worthwhile life left in the franchise even if it’s the last ride for some of the original members of the gang.
VelociPastor – A goofball movie that’s actually in on the joke that it’s a goofball movie. How can you possibly resist a movie about a priest that transforms into a dinosaur to stop pimps, street thugs and ninjas? It’s not even a guilty pleasure as I will happily tell people I enjoyed every minute of this one.
Plus One – The best romantic comedy of 2019 that not enough people saw. Two close friends (Maya Erskine and Jack Quaid) decide to be each other’s plus one for a seemingly endless stream of weddings. I think this is going to be one of those films people discover years from now and it’s going to be this underappreciated hit.
Haunt – One of the great disservices of 2019 was the fact that Haunt didn’t make it into theaters. It was a better horror film than most of the ones that made it into theaters by far with this look at a haunted house attraction that proves deadly for all the visitors.
One Cut of the Dead – This almost needs an asterisk as it was released overseas back in 2017 before finally arriving in the US this year with a cult classic status already firmly in place.