#1 This is my favourite film of the year and one which is so easy to love. It has everything: starting from a compelling script by Nicole Taylor which keeps you fully invested and engaged with the characters and their decisions; a standout performance from its lead, Jessie Buckley, again proving she has a remarkable acting range (and a voice with which to accompany it) especially after her radically different role in Beast (2017); great support from the rest of the cast, including UK national treasure, Julie Walters; an excellent soundtrack; and assured direction from Tom Harper. I have been able to see this film twice already, ahead of its general release in 2019 -- once at The Toronto Film Festival and a few week's later at The BFI London Film Festival. A near-perfect special film which should reach a wide audience. As Rose says in the movie, "Three chords and the truth."
#2 It is difficult to imagine anyone but Steven Spielberg directing this wonderful science fiction adventure -- it feels like he was born to make this film. Superb casting in Olivia Cooke and Tye Sheridan, along with a deliciously villainous performance from Ben Mendelsohn add to the fun. I am the perfect age for the 1980s pop culture references, and (no spoilers) as a fan of a certain director and horror movie, the deviation from the source material was the icing-on-the-cake. We were fortunate to see the world premiere at South by Southwest in March and then I have seen it twice more in cinemas and once more on 4K UHD at home, discovering more in each viewing. "Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story...".
#3 Almost every shot in this film is like a perfectly composed black and white photograph (with due credit to cinematographer Lukasz Zal). Pawel Pawlikowski has directed and co-written a remarkable and beautiful love story which will shred your soul in two. A truly magical film. I saw this with my wife at the Cannes Film Festival.
#4 Dan Fogelman has crafted an adventurous screenplay and delivered an excellent film taking you through the ups and downs of a set of characters from multiple generations. The film grabbed me from the first scene and later on contains one of the most moving sequences I have seen in many years. An ensemble cast, again including the talented Olivia Cooke, delivers consistently. I also saw this at the Toronto and London Film Festivals.
#5 This a fascinating biopic of Colette by Wash Westmoreland and includes a career best performance by Keira Knightley in the title role. The fascinating story provides an insight into issues of gender which are relevant through to today. I first saw this film at its world premiere at The Sundance Film Festival and then also at the London and Toronto Film Festivals.
#6 I loved the inventive premise of this tense thriller which leads to the silence throughout. We were also at the world premiere in South by Southwest in March and the audience was gripped throughout. Director and co-star John Krasinski makes the most of the constraints imposed by the universe of the film. Also re-watched as both a Bristol and Seattle IMDb team movie.
#7 A refreshing and thrilling entry in the 10th year of the MCU thanks to the excellent script from director Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole which takes the audience to (and beyond) the mythical country of Wakanda via interesting characters, top-notch performances and outright movie magic in spectacular action sequences. Originally seen as an IMDb Bristol team movie and then again on 4K UHD at home.
#8 The story of Queen from their early days in 1970 to their beloved performance at Live Aid 1985. Screenwriter Anthony McCarten has much to pack into 134 minutes and there are some narrative shortcuts along the way, but the required essence is there and the real payoff is the form of an almost identical re-creation of 15 minutes of the band's 20 minute Live Aid set on stage at Wembley Stadium on 13 July 1985. I watched the whole event live on TV back in 1985 and the film more than captures the emotion of the day after 30+ years. The soundtrack is fabulously nostalgic and all four of the band members are exceptionally well cast, starting with Rami Malek but who would have thought that Jurassic Park (1993)'s Joseph Mazzello would grow up to be able to transform into the spitting image of John Deacon? Special mention for Lucy Boynton who is exceptional in the role of Mary Austin and looks like another talent to watch. Another IMDb Bristol team movie which I went back to see again in the cinema just two days later.
#9 This film achieved the most buzz around The Toronto International Film Festival in September and it was a worthy winner of the audience award at the festival. Based upon an inspiring true story, the script is co-written by Nick Vallelonga who is the son of the character played by Viggo Mortensen. Mortensen and Mahershala Ali have superb on-screen chemistry. Seen at Toronto.
#10 This is a hugely entertaining heist movie from within the universe of Ocean's Eleven (2001) with a whole new cast (and a connecting cameo) lead by Sandra Bullock. Watch closely and enjoy. Seen three times in the cinema in less than 10 days: once with the IMDb LA team, then with the IMDb Seattle team and then with my wife back home in Bristol.