Leigh Paatsch's top movies of 2019
Leigh Paatsch's top movies of 2019

The best movies of 2019 named

1. THE IRISHMAN

The Irishman is the best movie of 2019. Picture: Netflix
The Irishman is the best movie of 2019. Picture: Netflix

The best movie of 2019 marked the 25th feature of a great filmmaker many assumed had put his very best behind him. The great director Martin Scorsese put that notion aside with a magnificent organised crime epic that ranks with his classic works.

Better still, he also reactivated the brilliance once associated with names like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. A bona fide masterpiece, engaging as it enlightens with grace, precision, menace and sorrow.

2. JOKER

Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is rattling. Picture: Warner Bros
Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is rattling. Picture: Warner Bros

One of the most significant, original and divisive releases of 2019 draws its electrifying power from one of the great transformative performances of any year.

An incredible Joaquin Phoenix maps the void between the breaking of the man and the making of a menace to society. What he finds there will rattle you incessantly.

3. THE AUSTRALIAN DREAM

Adam Goodes in a scene from The Australian Dream. Picture: Madman Films
Adam Goodes in a scene from The Australian Dream. Picture: Madman Films

This confronting, enlightening and unequivocally moving documentary stands as one of the most significant Australian releases of the past decade.

For those who thought they were all across the Adam Goodes story and what it represents, the fresh perspective achieved here came as a distinct shock.

4. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

Quentin Tarantino’s penultimate film is a gem. Picture: Sony Pictures
Quentin Tarantino’s penultimate film is a gem. Picture: Sony Pictures

Maverick master Quentin Tarantino should postpone his planned retirement (his next will be his last) after this captivating gem.

A big movie packed with small delights to savour, from the catchily casual chemistry of stars Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, to the ethereal presence of Margot Robbie as the late Sharon Tate.

5. THE FAREWELL

The Farewell is the feel-good movie of 2019. Picture: Casi Moss
The Farewell is the feel-good movie of 2019. Picture: Casi Moss

The feel-good movie of the year found a delightful answer to a decidedly un-feel-good question.

What if an entire family conspired not to tell a fellow member they had contracted a terminal disease?

A touching and funny experience, walking the thinnest tightrope between heart-lifting humour and heart-sinking poignancy.

6. MARRIAGE STORY

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver will break your heart in Marriage Story. Picture: Netflix
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver will break your heart in Marriage Story. Picture: Netflix

In a manner often bordering on miraculous, this unsparing portrait of the contemporary divorce process showed us much more of a good time than anyone expected.

Powerhouse performances from Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver illustrate both sides of an argument that cannot and will not have a clear victor.

7. AVENGERS: ENDGAME

Not a minute was wasted in Avengers: Endgame.
Not a minute was wasted in Avengers: Endgame.

The 22nd and most important journey yet into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a triumph for the sprawling superhero franchise that has changed the face of filmmaking.

Clocking in a three hours, not a minute was wasted en route to a jaw-dropping date with fate for all concerned.

8. MIDSOMMAR

Midsommar is a modern horror classic.
Midsommar is a modern horror classic.

The setting seems pleasant enough: a beautiful meadow in rural Sweden at that time of the year where the sun is out 24/7.

The darkness that descends relentlessly throughout this mind-wringing, sense-zinging threat to the psyche? Not pleasant at all.

Another modern horror classic from director Ari Aster (Hereditary).

9. FREE SOLO

Alex Honnold made the first free solo ascent of El Capitan's Freerider in Yosemite National Park. Picture: National Geographic/Jimmy Chin
Alex Honnold made the first free solo ascent of El Capitan's Freerider in Yosemite National Park. Picture: National Geographic/Jimmy Chin

This year's Best Documentary Oscar winner is the story of Alex Honnold, a climber determined to ascend an unforgivably sheer rock face standing almost a kilometre high.

Not hard enough for you?

He is doing it alone. With no ropes, or any protective gear.

An action movie that never lets up getting real on you.

10. TOY STORY 4

The gang is back in Toy Story 4.
The gang is back in Toy Story 4.

Pixar might have broken their promise of no more Toy Stories, but in no way did this new adventure for Woody, Buzz and the gang (shout out to new recruit Forky!) disappoint.

Sure, you cannot improve upon perfection.

But here's proof you can hold a mirror to it, reflect it, honour it, and leave that perfection intact.

 

AND THE NEXT 10

11. Parasite

12. Amazing Grace

13. Booksmart

14. Ad Astra

15. Us

 

Ford v. Ferrari was one of the best films this year. Picture: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox
Ford v. Ferrari was one of the best films this year. Picture: Merrick Morton/20th Century Fox

 

16. Ford V Ferrari

17. Captain Marvel

18. Knives Out

19. The Two Popes

20. Green Book



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