31 December 2019

Mark's Top 10 Films of 2019

It's almost the 2020s, but would it be New Year without me dusting off the blog for a single annual post about my favourites of the year? Well, it would be anyway, but let's do this again anyway. 2019 has been a pretty good year for the movies, at least insofar as I feel like there are hundreds of apparently great movies I didn't get around to seeing.

As usual, real life has got in the way of me catching up with various films that I suspect might be up my alley, including Aniara, Bait, Eighth Grade, Monos, Only You, Ordinary Love, and One Cut Of The Dead. On a similar note, confining myself to 10 choices rules out films like Avengers: EndgameDoctor Sleep, High Flying Bird, Hustlers, If Beale Street Could TalkThe Irishman, Marriage Story, Pain & GloryReady Or Not, Shazam!, and Thunder Road, none of which would look out of place on a longer list.

But many of those are among the best films of the year and I'll happily write about any of them another time. For now, these were my favourites of the year, based on UK release dates for films I saw. As usual, they're listed in alphabetical order because there'll be quite enough of good films competing over the next few months, but my notes should give you an idea of how I'd rank them if pushed. Here's how I'll remember 2019 at the movies...

6 January 2019

Mark's Top 10 Films Of 2018

I know, I know - 2018 is soooo last year. It's a good job I don't do these annual roundups for clicks, really, but with real life getting in the way, I've had a bit more time to collect my thoughts on the best films of the last 12 months. It's been a busy year for me and it was only around the halfway mark that I started to realise that it could rival the highs of 2017, which meant I had some catching-up to do before writing this list.

At the time of writing, I haven't yet caught up with some films that are definitely up my alley, like Unsane and The Old Man And The Gun, and confining myself to 10 films means I have to leave off 10 more films I loved, like American Animals, Anna And The ApocalypseAvengers: Infinity WarCoco, First ReformedHotel Artemis, Lady Bird, Mandy, Upgrade, and Widows. Oh, I'd have had the first hour of A Star Is Born in there too, before the bit I'm really trying hard not to call "the afterbirth".

But this list, like those cheeky bonuses, will be alphabetical rather than ranked. They're based on UK release dates, so don't go on about how some of last year's Oscar films are in here and some of this year's aren't. As we charge into the last year of the 2010s, here are my favourites of 2018.

30 December 2017

Mark's Top 10 Films Of 2017

Well, it was a good year for movies, at least. In fact, in terms of genre films, it's been absolutely exceptional, making it harder to condense this annual list down into a top 10. As I said before last year's list, this kind of thing is only ever a snapshot of where we are at the time of writing, and frankly, the choice of excellent films that I really loved this year didn't make it any easier.

For every crime movie, there's a Logan Lucky. a Good Time or a I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore that didn't quite make it. For every horror film, there's a Gerald's Game or an It, (but categorically not a Dark Tower.) There's sci-fi, but there's no Last Jedi, which may be the most invested I've ever been in Star Wars, and I didn't manage to squeeze in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2Wonder Woman, My Life As A Courgette, My Cousin RachelDunkirk or The Killing Of A Sacred Deer either.

See, I just sneakily named twelve great movies from this year that didn't even make the proper list. But here's another list, not ranked, but (mostly) ordered alphabetically, of the ones I really loved this year. Other than that, they're all based on UK release dates, so if you've already seen The Shape Of Water, do us a favour and don't go on about it until we get it, in February. They're my favourites, but who's to say they're not also the best?

31 December 2016

The Mad Prophet's Top 10 Films Of 2016

On some level, every film is a time capsule from the year in which it was released, so it's fitting that 2016 was full of disappointments when it came to the really big films. But aside from the worst summer for blockbusters since the turn of the century and the greatest number of unnecessary sequels since the 1980s heyday of Weekend At Bernie's II, last year was very good for smaller films, as detailed in my previous post.

Plus, aside from every single other way that 2016 felt like a historical turning point, we'll probably come to look back on last year as the point where Disney finally started absorbing the whole box office. After another decade of movies from Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and their own animation studio, they might as well acquire Batman, James Bond and Minions too and have done with it. More importantly though, they've had a better year than any other studio because the films they distributed in the last 12 months (with the notable exception of Alice Through The Looking Glass) have all been blindingly good.

One of their films features in my top ten list, which is ordered alphabetically again, for two reasons. It's partly because there's a film beginning with A and a film beginning with Z, but it's mostly because these are all favourites for me and in previous years, I've changed my mind about the order of a countdown about 20 minutes after hitting "Publish", and then every 20 minutes after that for about six months.

As always, this is based on UK release dates, so 2015 films that came out here in January or February are eligible, but 2016 films that are still upcoming such as La La Land or Silence are not. On top of that, all favourites are very subjective, though you understand that I'm also very right.

12 Underappreciated Movies Of 2016

At the end of a year like this, it feels futile to do the traditional worst of the year list. 2016 has been the fucking pits and mere bad movies, like Dirty Grandpa, London Has Fallen and most of the films featuring Batman, pale in comparison to the really bad things about this year, like global instability, celebrity deaths and The Great British Bake Off moving to Channel 4.

The year has given me plenty to rant about in the cinema, but after such a rubbish year, what's the point of railing against the "why did you say that name?!" scene or blasting the bit where Tom Hanks forgot what coffee was, or completing my long-gestating essay on why the Dad's Army reboot is Brexit-made-cinema?*

* Not everyone who voted Leave liked the film, but everyone who liked it voted Leave.