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Going into the process of compiling this list, we were excited because we didn’t know what it was going to look like. While we talk about movies regularly on What Do You Wanna Watch?, each of us has our own tastes and this year has provided a wide variety of films that affected us all differently. All of us loved different things so, in short, it’s been a pretty great year for film!

The following Top 10 list was compiled by Dylan Blight, Ashley Hobley and Nicholas Prior.


10.) Midsommar

Director: Ari Aster Writer: Ari Aster

The latest outing by Writer/Director Ari Aster. It is another horror film, however, it is a far cry from what Hereditary was.

The central character is Dani (Florence Pugh) who, after some personal, tragedy leans more and more on her shit-heel boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor), who reluctantly invites her to a trip to Sweeden with his friends Josh (William Jackson), Mark (Will Poulter) and the Swedish Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). The reasoning for the trip is two-fold, first for Pelle to bring his friends back for his communities Midsommar Festival and second for Josh, an anthropology student to do his thesis on the community and culture.

It is shot beautifully, with bright colours that are contrasted well with the intense violence that happens. At its core, Midsommar is about a codependent person breaking up with their horrible partner and being catfished into a more toxic relationship. It is also a critique on people trying to press their own cultural and societal beliefs on other cultures. It’s a slow burn and a left turn from what was Hereditary, but as masterfully crafted. Ari Aster is becoming one of my favourite filmmakers and can’t wait to see what he pivots to next. 

Nicholas Prior


9.) Doctor Sleep

Director: Mike Flanagan Writer: Mike Flanagan (based on the novel by Stephen King)

Doctor Sleep was always going to be a tough nut to crack, especially when it set out to be a sequel to both the novel and Kubrick’s version of the film. The job was trusted to master Stephen King adapter and fantastic filmmaker in his own right Mike Flannagan.

Set many years after The Shining, Danny Torrance is a damaged man, struggling to cope with the traumatizing events that took place in the Overlook Hotel. He learns to find a place in the world helping the terminally ill with his “Shine”, while also making a connection to a young girl that also has the gift of the “Shine”. But these events set into motion a game of cat and mouse with some ancient group of energy feeding entities called the True Knot.

While the premise sounds ridiculous, it works quite well. It is billed as a Horror movie, but in reality, it is kind of a Supernatural-Thriller. It is elevated by terrific performances by, but not limited to, Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Furguson and Kyleigh Curran. It generally kept me enraptured the whole run time and invested in the outcome. 

Nicholas Prior


8.) The Irishman

Director: Martin Scorsese Writer: Steven Zaillian (based on the book by Charles Brandt)

Although many may remember The Irishman as the movie that caused director Marin Scorsese to say that Marvel comment that caused an endless amount of news stories, it was also a fantastic film. A fantastic film that went for over three hours and caused endless amount of news stories.

The film is based on the life of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro). Do we trust what he told Charles Brandt who wrote the book? It doesn’t matter. It’s his story either way. And it’s a hugely interesting one that Martin Scorses and screenwriter Steven Zaillian along with the amazing superhero reunion of actors between Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and for the first time under Scorsese’s eye, Al Pacino turn into a Shakespearean mob story.

The film feels like Martin Scorsese’s swan song, as I wrote in my review giving the film a 9/10:

The Irishman feels like Martin Scorsese’s last performance as he returns to what he knows so well and conducts some of the greatest actors of our time in one last act. I hope it’s not his last, he’s a fantastic filmmaker – The Irishman will, however, be considered one of his greatest hits when that curtain closes. 

Dylan Blight

7.) Avengers: Endgame

Directors: Anthony & Joe Russo Writers: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (based upon Marvel Comics)

If we learned anything from 2019, it’s that endings are difficult. In a year where Game of Thrones and The Rise of Skywalker divided their fan bases with how they concluded their respective stories, Endgame is considered a satisfying and fitting end to the Infinity Saga almost universally.

With wonderful performance across the board, a fun story that revisited moments from the past as well as having time for quieter moments, not just action scenes, Endgame is one of the best Marvel movies to date. And it is chock full of some of the most memorable film moments of the year, so it also has that going for it.

In my review I said:

Avengers: Endgame is truly something special and a mind-boggling achievement. If nothing else, it will make you feel like the hours spent watching these films were time well spent. With moments that are sure to surprise, break and delight fans, the Russo Brothers have pulled off the herculean task of providing a fitting end to this era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ashley Hobley


6.) John Wick 3

Director: Chad Stahelski Writers: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins & Marc Abrams

Damn action films feel good these days with John Wick poppin’ around. For a project that seemed like a fun get-together for old friends originally, the third film quickly proves it’s around to stay and ain’t slowing down anytime soon.

By far the best entry in the franchise — and the others are great — John Wick 3 steps the ante up to about an 11 and expands on the secret underground of assassin’s in weird and wonderfully comic book ways in this instalment that also see’s Halle Berry show up in the fims’s most memorable action scene.

John Wick 3 is what I want from action films and very easily sits as one of my favourite overall action films ever, which I wrote when I gave the film a 9/10 in my review:

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is the best entry in the franchise with the most viscerally enthralling and jaw-dropping action scenes of the series thus far, Keanu Reeves has cemented himself as a true action-movie icon for the decade with this franchise and John Wick: Chapter 3 one of the best action films.

Dylan Blight


5.) Parasite

Director: Bong Joon-ho Writers: Bong Joon-ho & Han Jin-won

Watching Parasite was a hell of an experience. A film that constantly went in ways I wasn’t expecting, all the more surprising given the hype the movie had received prior to me seeing it. Films with this much hype around it can often leave you feeling like it didn’t meet your heightened sense of expectations, but this definitely lived up to the rave reviews.

Beautiful shot in a custom made houses to allow director Bong Joon-ho to constantly find the perfect shot for every moment. A sensational cast with Song Kang-ho and Park So-dam standouts in my opinion. A perfect mix of different genres that tells a story of class that is so relevant for our time.

The less you know about this film the better but this a film that is sure to please even if you know what’s coming. There is a reason that cinemas are still playing showings of it 25+ weeks after its release, it is just that good.

Ashley Hobley


4.) The Farewell

Director: Lulu Wang Writer: Lulu Wang

This film just hit me right in my sweet spot. I’m a sucker for films that strike the perfect balance between comedy and drama and heart and no film struck that balance better to me than The Farewell. Lulu Wang’s personal story about a woman struggling to keep her grandmother’s terminal illness a secret from her is told in a way that is fair to both sides of the cultural divide in it and is relatable to anyone who has had family issues.

The film is helped greatly by the charming double team of Awkwafina as Billi and Zhao Shuzhen as her Nai Nai. Every scene these two share is a delight and a joy to witness.

In my review I said:

I think you will be hard pressed to find a more moving, charming and heartfelt film this year about lying and death, or just in general. This film manages to take an element that is very specific to a culture and fuse it with a number of universal themes, making it accessible to anyone and everyone.

Ashley Hobley

3.) Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood

Director: Quentin Tarantino Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a mandatory two-watch film, especially if you know a lot about the history of Hollywood in the ’60s, The Manson group and the brutal murder of Sharon Tate. The first is to deal with what director Quentin Tarantino chooses to do with these real-life events and characters and the second is to relax a bit more and just soak in the stunning recreation of Hollywood at the time.

The film is very much ‘a day in the life’, even though it spans over half a year by the time credits roll. There’s no real plot pulling you through at any point however other than the metaphorical iceberg that is the slaying of Tate and how that will affect Hollywood in the future. It’s enjoying the characters and world that Tarantino succeeds at so well here with two original characters slotted in amongst moving and real events, which includes Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate herself.

In my review I said:

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood is either going to be Quentin Tarantino at his best or his worst for you. Where you fall on that scale will largely depend on how invested you are in 1960’s Hollywood. This is a meandering character piece that at-large, has no obvious plot direction. Love it or hate it, it’s certainly going to be one of the most discussed movies of the year.  

Dylan Blight


2.) Ad Astra

Director: James Gray Writer: James Gray & Ethan Gross

It’s taken me a long time to write this segment, simply because of the fact that movie is something special and it’s hard to quantify what makes it so in words. At its core, it is a story of legacy and learning to become your own person. Brad Pitts performance here is subtle, but extremely powerful and possibly one of his most impressive examples of subdued acting. He plays astronaut Roy McBride, who is enlisted into a dangerous mission to solve an existence threating problem likely caused by his famous pioneer of a father Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones).

The part I like most about this film, which might go unnoticed is the sound design, it’s accurate to life in that there is no sound in a vacuum. The ‘set’ design is phenomenal as it shows what a likely future space colony would look like with infrastructure which is all practical to reduce costs and increase efficiency. The world-building is believable and quite intriguing. It left me wanting to know more about the situation of humanity at that point. It is a visual feast. Some of the best space imagery, and cinematography that this year has to offer.

I’ve seen this film compared to Apocalypse Now and I think that is an apt comparison, where that is a bonus, not a detriment. I wholeheartedly recommend this movie and I think it’s one of the most criminally under the radar movie of the year.

Nicholas Prior


1.) Marriage Story

Director: Noah Baumbach Writer: Noah Baumbach

A beautiful, emotional character piece that has stellar performances across the board, led by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. A love story set at the end of a marriage, the film is about two people who still love each other but want different things than at the start of their life together. We also see the strain the divorce system in America takes on their relationship and themselves.

Amazingly directed and written by Noah Baumbach, he has crafted a really honest film filled with relatable moments for anyone who has been in a relationship. He somehow managed to create an opening to this film that introduces the audience perfectly to Nicole and Charlie without feeling like an information dump or a case of “telling not showing. Bringing that back into the ending of the film was a masterstroke that made one of the best pieces of cinema this year. 

We can only thank all those involved in creating such an amazing piece of work that affected all of us who watched it emotionally and left a sizeable impact on us.

Ashley Hobley