Since we’re more than halfway through the year, here are my personal favourite movies of 2019 so far.
12. Long Shot
A charming and likeable rom-com that also has a thing or two to say about sexism and modern politics, Long Shot is a great showcase for stars Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron.
11. Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man’s second solo outing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a funny and heartfelt High School movie that also boasts plenty of entertaining superhero action – and in addition to serving as a nice epilogue to the Infinity Saga, it also sets the stage for the MCU’s future.
The DCEU is usually associated with doom and gloom, but its latest (and best) instalment continues the franchise’s recent tonal course-correction with a funny and charming Superman-meets-Big story bolstered by a perfectly-cast Zachary Levi.
9. Apollo 11
This compilation of brilliantly-remastered footage from the historic Apollo 11 mission in 1969 makes for an interesting and inspiring documentary on one of the great human achievements of the 21st century.
Elton John gets the biopic he deserves in the form of Dexter Fletcher’s rousing and colourful musical Rocketman. Star Taron Egerton gives an excellent performance as the glam-rock icon, while the subject’s music is cleverly utilised in a series of energetic and impressively mounted song-and-dance numbers.
7. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Keanu Reeves’ third outing as the badass hitman John Wick is the series’ best entry yet, a relentless and fast-paced action-thriller full of impressive fight choreography and insane set pieces. Bring on Chapter 4.
6. Toy Story 4
Sure, the Toy Story trilogy could have ended with the third instalment, but it’s really a miracle that Toy Story 4 is as good as it is – funny, heartfelt and stunningly animated, with a story that provides a satisfying new adventure for Woody and Buzz, while introducing great new characters like Tony Hale’s existential-crisis-suffering “Forky” and Keanu Reeves’ stuntman Duke Caboom.
Two years after Get Out took us all by surprise, Jordan Peele returns with a second directorial effort that solidifies his position as one of the most exciting voices in modern cinema. Following a family who find themselves terrorised by their own sinister doppelgängers, this clever and gripping horror-thriller should spark plenty of conversations after the credits roll. Lupita Nyong’o’s dual performance should be in the awards conversation.
Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever are straight-A students who decide to finally indulge in one night of rule-breaking in Olivia Wilde’s hilarious and heartwarming directorial debut, one of the biggest surprises of the cinematic year so far. A clever script and appealing leads make this one of the freshest coming-of-age comedies in a while.
3. Eighth Grade
I’m counting this one as 2019 (despite the fact that I usually go by US release dates) because it didn’t came out until late April where I live, so I wasn’t able to put it on my 2018 list. This insightful look at a young girl’s final week of middle school is, by turns, funny, heartbreaking, cringeworthy and ultimately hopeful – and at the centre of it all is a wonderful breakout performance from Elsie Fisher.
2. Once Upon A Time In…Hollywood
Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt at the top of their game (as well as Margot Robbie’s excellent portrayal of Sharon Tate), Quentin Tarantino’s vision of Hollywood in 1969 is a hugely entertaining look at a bygone era.
1. Avengers: Endgame
Paying off more than a decade’s worth of storytelling in a truly satisfying fashion is no easy task, but Avengers: Endgame accomplishes just that – amidst all the blockbuster action, it also finds the time to wrap up character arcs in ways that are clever, surprising, and often emotional. Marvel’s epic superhero blockbuster balances action and humour with genuinely compelling character work, and culminates in a truly magnificent climax that’s everything a fan could wish for.
Also deserving of mention is Captain Marvel, a highly entertaining introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s latest hero (portrayed by a charismatic Brie Larson). I wish I could have included this, partially as a middle-finger to the internet trolls who have been trying to take it down for months, but consider it the unofficial number 13.