It’s that time of year. As the year comes to a close it’s time to pick my favourite movies of the year. These may not be the “best” movies of the year, but these are the movies I enjoyed the most and the ones I came out saying, “wow now that was a great movie.” It wasn’t one of the best years for movies in recent memory. I think I only gave a 5/5 to three movies this year. Mostly everything was either just “okay,” or “pretty good.”Now I did see a lot of movies this year, but I didn’t get to see everything, there are movies that are getting a lot of praise that I just didn’t get around to seeing. So let’s kick off the list.
Aquaman, The Favourite and BlacKkKlansman
This movie gets under your skin. By the end I wanted to just go home and take a cold shower. It’s haunting, disturbing, an frightening. The jump scares are minimal and instead the director uses images and sound to frighten us. It’s well made with an incredible performance by Toni Collette. It does exactly what a horror movie should do and leaves you disturbed.
9. Isle of Dogs
Wes Anderson’s beautiful stop motion animation is another entry into his already incredible library of movies. It’s funny, touching and surprisingly moving. It is filled with Anderson’s signature camera pans, symmetrical shot set ups, and musical score style. It’s definitely a unique movie, but then again, his movies are all unique in their own way. Definitely check this one out.
8. Bad Times at the El Royale
I did not know much about this movie going in, but I had a great time watching it. It was my Quentin Tarantino fix in a year without him. It very much felt like a Tarantino movie. It had sharp, crisp dialogue, bloodshed, and great performances especially from Chris Hemsworth, Jeff Bridges and John Hamm. I would definitely check this movie out if you missed it.
7. Black Panther
Ryan Coogler proves once again he is one of the best young filmmakers out there with Black Panther. After his incredible second feature Creed, he once again teamed up with Michael B. Jordan and they hit jackpot again. This is a rich, beautiful movie with deep and well developed characters, Killmonger is one of the best villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the musical score is magical. Save for a few jokes that fall flat, this is one of Marvel’s best.
6. Creed 2
Michael B. Jordan’s second time on this list, Creed 2 was everything I wanted it to be. Creed was my number one movie of 2015 and so I was hyped for this one. The son of Apollo Creed taking on the son of Ivan Drago? Yes please! What I loved about this one is how much they explored the Drago’s. They explored what happened to Ivan Drago after Rocky 4 and it actually makes you feel something for the family. Yes, they’re still the “villains,” but you actually root for them in that hopefully they can also find peace. Michael B Jordan does a terrific job in the movie, and by the end of it, I just wanted to stand up and cheer.
5. A Star is Born
This might be the “best” movie on my list, but it’s not my favourite. The performances are all fantastic. When Lady Gaga walks on stage for the first time and belts out her music it’s just incredible and is one of the best scenes of the year. She is still my pick for Best Actress this year. Bradley Cooper is also very good in the movie and as a directorial debut, it’s a very strong one.
4. A Quiet Place
While this may not be a directorial for John Krasinski, it’s the one that put him on the map as a director. This is how you do horror, the few jump scares in the movie are earned. There are no fake scares. There are no fake outs. Krasinski scares us simply with sounds and images. It’s wonderfully acted by everyone, it’s thrilling, exciting and might have my favourite cut to credits scene of the year.
3. Avengers: Infinity War
A movie 10 years in the making has a lot to live up to and boy did Avengers: Infinity War live up to it. This was everything fans wanted. It has maybe the most talked about ending of the year, Thanos is one of the best, maybe the best Marvel villain we’ve gotten he is so well developed, and his motivations are all understood, there are real stakes that are felt throughout. This is such an incredible achievement in universe building, comic book movies and so much more.
2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Well this movie came out of nowhere. I’m a huge Spider-Man fan, in fact, he’s my favourite superhero. When I heard there was an animated Spider-Man movie coming out, I wasn’t that excited, then I heard it was about Miles Morales and became less interested, simply because for me, Spider-Man is great because of the character of Peter Parker. So I still decided to go, just to check it out, it’s still Spider-Man. Wow. I was blown away. I absolutely loved everything about this movie. The animation style felt like it came straight out of a comic book, the movie has a great pace to it, I never felt bored, and the voice acting is all superb. Nicolas Cage as Spider Noire was amazing. This is such a great movie for comic book lovers, Spider-Man fans, and movie fans in general.
This is the movie that has been on my mind since I first saw it. This is the movie I have recommended the most throughout the year, this is the movie I tell everyone to check out. The premise is so simple and one we’ve all seen before. A father searches for his missing daughter. Not very original. The execution however is so unique that it comes off as being very original. The entire movie is told through computer screens and technology. The father searches through his daughters laptop, social media accounts, anything to just get clues as to where she went and what happened to her. It’s a great commentary on how we use technology in our lives. John Cho gives an incredible performance. Most of his performance is close up and there is nowhere to hide when the camera is in your face, he owns this role. The movie is fast paced, thrilling, exciting and has one of the most satisfying, emotionally moving, and poetic endings of any movie this year. I can’t express how much I love this movie. It doesn’t sound like much, it may not be the “best” movie of the year. but for me it was my favourite movie this year and the one that I’ll be rewatching the most.