If you had asked me to compile a list of the best movies of 2018 around this time last year, I would have struggled to keep the list contained to just five or 10.
This year has not been quite as bountiful. The first six months of the year have had more misses than hits. I can’t think of 10 legitimately amazing movies from 2019. Okay, Avengers Endgame deserves a mention; it easily leads the pack with its star-studded cast, compelling story, overwhelming stakes and the greatest action scenes ever put to film.
The same can be said for John Wick 3, easily the second best movie of the year, taking world building and breathtaking gun-fu and elevating them to new heights. But what else deserves a mention? Dark Phoenix…no one in their right mind would ever call it a good movie.
Godzilla: King of Monsters had so much wasted potential.
Shazam was garbage. Captain Marvel was just…okay. What else?
Okay, the first six months of 2019 also gave us Toy Story 4, a genuinely good, funny, heartwarming movie, definitely deserving of the third spot on this list. In that same vein, Us from Jordan Peele should also get some love. Most horror movies tend to play it safe. Peele went out of his comfort zone to keep things interesting, and that deserves some praise.
Beyond those four titles, the blockbuster season has largely disappointed. Of course, film buffs will argue there is more to movies than just blockbusters. True. We have had a few smaller gems this year. I enjoyed Fighting with My Family, and How to Train Your Dragon was average. As the final chapter in a beloved series of animated movies, it was great. But on its own, it was average.
If you like American politics, you probably loved Knock Down The House, the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez story. The same thing goes for fans of Aretha Franklin and Amazing Grace.
I wasn’t a fan of Suspiria, the new one. But people that loved its psychosexual insanity have nothing but good things to say about Climax, a film that chronicles a dance party’s descent into hell.
Ultimately, your opinion on this year’s movie slate will depend on your preferences. If titles like Booksmart, An Elephant Sitting Still, and Transit tickle your fancy, then the first half of 2019 has probably exceeded your expectations.