It’s that time of year again. Can you believe it? It only feels like five minutes since I was sat writing which were the best and worst films of 2018. Fast forward twelve months and it’s been an intriguing year for cinema.
We’ve had the culmination of several different franchises. From animated powerhouses to sci-fi sagas, the film industry has had a very varied year, albeit one dominated by Disney and their conquest to take over every movie studio in the world.
My picks for the best films of 2019 will come while you’re all enjoying your Christmas leftovers on Boxing Day, but I thought we would get the dross out of the way before the merriment begins. Without further ado, here are my picks for the worst movies of 2019.
#5 Captain Marvel
It was a toss-up between Tim Burton’s Dumbo and this for the first spot on this year’s worst films list. Dumbo wasn’t great, but at least it tried to do something new. Captain Marvel on the other hand was as safe as Marvel could have possibly played it. It’s not a bad film in the traditional sense, but they had a chance to do something really exciting and fresh with the first solo film for a female member of the MCU. Instead, we got an irritating performance from Brie Larsson and more questions as to why it’s taken so long for Black Widow to get made.
M.Night Shyamalan was nicely returning to form with help from James McAvoy and his multiple personality disorder in Split. Then the post-credits sequence showed up and fans went wild for this connected universe featuring Bruce Willis. Unfortunately, the climax of this trilogy was poorly edited, took itself far too seriously and committed that cardinal sin of movie-making, it was sooooo dull. At least it had a decent turn from Sarah Paulson.
#3 X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Lifelong X-Men fan Simon Kinsberg took the directorial chair for the final part of the new X-Men trilogy. Apparently being set after the events of Apocalypse, though bafflingly ret-conning that film, Dark Phoenix is not without merit. The first 40 minutes or so is X-Men at its best, but then it all unravels with generic special effects, an underdeveloped villain and painful dialogue that features an uninterested Jennifer Lawrence spouting nonsense like “the women are always saving the men around here. You might want to think about changing the name to X-Women”. Absolute crap.
#2 Angel Has Fallen
“At least it was better than the last one” was my verdict for Angel Has Fallen, but that’s like saying having norovirus is better than suffering with flu, it’s hardly a positive statement to make. Angel Has Fallen improves on London in every conceivable area, but it’s still cheaply made with naff special effects, poor green screen and sloppy editing. Poor Morgan Freeman’s body double is so badly integrated into the film that you might as well play a drinking game for every time he’s on screen: it’s that bloody obvious.
Cats for me is one of the worst films of the decade, never mind just of 2019. An absolute misfire from start to finish, it features some of the most nightmare-inducing special effects ever put to screen. What makes it even worse however, is that a talented cast that includes Jennifer Hudson, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench is completely wasted. All of this from the Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper – how could Universal have got it so wrong?
Most overrated film of 2019
Frozen 2 – This sequel to 2013’s blockbuster hit is beautifully animated and features a couple of great songs and a much darker story, but like its predecessor, I’m baffled that an average script manages to pull in audiences as much as it did. It’s taken over $1billion worldwide and is currently the 28th highest grossing film of all time. Mind blown.
Dumbo – We’ve already touched on Tim Burton’s reimagining of Dumbo above, but this was one of the films I was most looking forward to and left feeling mightily disappointed. Sure, we’ve got flying pachyderms and an exceptional hammed up performance from Michael Keaton, but the film as a whole falls a little flat.
Hobbs & Shaw – The Fast & Furious franchise knows no limits, with film number nine well on its way. On paper, this action comedy starring The Rock and Jason Statham should’ve been a slam-dunk. Instead, it was dull, with intrusive green screen and frustrating dialogue. Is franchise fatigue finally setting in?
Godzilla: King of the Monsters – From Gareth Edwards’ stunning Godzilla reboot and Jordan Vogt Roberts’ entertaining Kong: Skull Island to this. Director Michael Dougherty (Krampus) created a beautifully shot film that lacked any memorable human characters, meaning it all fell completely flat.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – With a fanbase as loyal as that of the Star Wars series, concluding the Skywalker saga was never going to be easy, especially after the less than darling reception The Last Jedi received from moviegoers. But we all deserved better than this. The Rise of Skywalker is hollow, with a messy, convoluted script. It’s made all the worse by the fact that it’s blatantly obvious Disney had no overarching story ready before committing The Force Awakens to film. Damn you Disney!
Stick around for my picks for the best blockbusters of the year. All will be revealed on December 26th – Boxing Day.