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Popgap Diary: 2019 in Review

Popgap Diary: 2019 in Review

Written by dorrk
01 February 2020

134 releases from 2019……Ranked from best to worst

Up until last month, I had a rather dour sense of 2019 as a movie year. While it presented plenty of movies that I liked quite a bit, it seemed short on those special movies that transcend formula and genre to deliver a uniquely memorable and emotionally gratifying keepsake that will linger with me for years afterward; or, rather, that the movies which came closest to filling that need for me also disappointed me in some substantial way. However, if I compare 2019 to the three previous years, there's very little variation in quality among my favorites of each year.

Looking at my Top 25 movies from each year in the span of 2016-2019, my #1 movies have charted between 90%-96% on my Flickchart and #25 somewhere in the more narrow range of 73%-76%. The average rankings of my top 25 for each year huddle close together between 80%-84%. The year 2019 did only offer two movies that beat that 90% threshold, whereas 2018 put three new movies in my top 10%, 2017 four, and 2016 had an incredible five movies that made it into that upper echelon, so maybe the distribution of 2019 was weighted more toward the solidly good rather than the uniquely exceptional. And yet, toward the end of the year I found myself re-watching some of my favorites of 2019, and I rarely re-watch movies in such a short time span. Partly, this was an effort to see if I had missed something on the first viewing; and four out of my five re-watches did move up after their second viewing.

What follows is a list of the 130+ movies I watched that gained wide or digital release in the U.S. during 2019, with mini-reviews, comments and screenshots for the Top 25, and after that, wherever I feel like it.

The best movies of 2019