Flixist’s best reviewed movies of 2019


Hello boys and girls! 2019 is slowly drawing to a close and as sad as it may be to see it go for some, it’s probably my favorite time of the year. Why? Because I get to look back at the past year of films that we reviewed and determine which movies were the creme de la creme, the kings of cinema, the movies that lesser directors wish they could make, all accurately and correctly scored by the staff at Flixist. If you see other scores, they’re from dirty heathens who probably also think that the original Sonic design was inspired. 

In all seriousness, we had a gargantuan amount of movies that we talked about this year with a surprisingly large amount of them making our best list, but not for the reason you may think. To make a long story short, this year Flixist underwent a much stricter enforcement of our ratings policy. Last year we had over a dozen movies earn 9’s and above with two movies even getting perfect 10’s. Not to deny the success of those movies, but we wanted to make it matter when a movie scored an 8 or above, letting you all know that those movies truly are the best of the best. Because of that, only three movies this year scored a 9 or above, with the highest movie scored being a 9.5.

So we came to a crossroads; should we do a list like last year where we only talked about the movies that got a 9 or above and only discuss three movies, or do we talk about more movies that got an 8.5 and above? At the end of the day, we decided that having a chance to talk about more movies is probably for the best, so all of the movies below scored an 8.5 or above in the past year. For the record, we define an 8.5 as “This film is an exceptional representation of its own genre, and anyone and everyone should love it. Expect to see it on year-end lists.” Well, here it is on a year-end list.

So in chronological order, as well as in ascending score order, here at Flixist’s best reviewed movies of 2019!

Dragon Ball Super: Broly8.5

“If you’re a DBZ fan, Dragon Ball Super: Broly is a must see action spectacular that will make you cheer and leave you slackjawed at how much fun you’re having. Action fans will be over 9000% satisfied by Broly and you may also feel something for the character for the first time in two decades.” — Jesse

Boyz in the Wood – 8.5

“Writer-Director Ninian Doff creates a genre (and expectation) subsuming trip that is magnificently constructed from open to close. Maybe I should have known from the moment the tightly engineered opening credits shook the room (and my bones loose), both visually and audibly, that’s what I was in for, but who could have imagined a film about psychotropic rabbit shites would be a masterpiece?” — Rick

Community First, A Home For the Homeless8.5

“With a spread of representation from residents to mission workers, police department representatives to the founder of the project, this is a powerful, touching documentary that moved many of the audience members, who were themselves part of the project, to tears.” — Sian

The River and the Wall8.5

I’m so pleased to hear that The River and the Wall was awarded the Lone Star Award at SXSW’s ceremony this year and received standing ovations at its screenings — a documentary among some of the highest caliber that I’ve seen.” — Sian

Relaxer – 8.5

“I can’t be manipulated. I can’t be toyed with. I can’t sit down in front of a screen and be struck dumb as I see my own childhood unspool before my very eyes. I’m impervious. This is something that I thought right up until the point where I saw a dude puke milk for like thirty solid seconds straight.” — Kyle

A Day in the Life of America8.5

“I don’t know what A Day in the Life of America did to me, but it made me rethink my own thoughts on what it truly means to be an American… It’s a beautiful, thought provoking documentary about a country that’s as divisive as it is vast.” — Jesse

Toy Story 48.5

“Maybe 3 is the “better” movie from all of its spectacle—that and 2 would be the ones I rewatch the most. 4 proves that you can make someone feel even without that spectacle, and for that, the film is special in its own little way.” — Chris


This single-handedly reinvigorated my interest in the horror genre while also disappointing me that nothing is probably going to be as good, as unsettling, or as sensational as this.” — Jesse

The Farewell8.5

The Farewell might be one of the most honest movies of 2019, which is ironic since the entire movie is about the lies people tell and why they’re told… If the family in The Farewell can convince their nai nai that she doesn’t have cancer and that everything’s fine, maybe they can make her final weeks of life joyful and peaceful. Maybe.” — Hubert

The Art of Self-Defense8.5

What is so great about The Art of Self-Defense is that it tackles such serious issues in a way that makes them incredibly easy to understand. By taking everything to the nth degree and then delivering the story in flat, obvious dialog the movie shows how ludicrous many of our societal standards are.” — Matt

The Irishman8.5

The Irishman is a movie made by an old man, and that is by design. It’s a movie about time, both funnier and more melancholy than you might expect. We watch as a man reckons with his guilt, looking back at a life full of regrets yet only recognizing them too late.” — Hubert

Waves – 8.5

Waves must undoubtedly be seen on the big screen. The film, and the senses it evokes, are wild. It’s an entire spectrum of heat, colours, vision, emotions — grief, forgiveness, compassion. Nothing is off limits, the entire spectrum of humanity on display.” — Sian

Jojo Rabbit8.5

Taking one boy’s experience of the Second World War, Waititi subverts troubling subtexts of indoctrination to hilarious effect. It’s not necessarily a children’s film and whether or not you choose to read it as a commentary on current politics and media is up to you, But regardless of the backdrop, during the screening there were laughs, there were tears, and at the end there were huge smiles and plenty of chatter.” — Sian

Bad Education8.5

“Cory Finley’s second feature Bad Education could be compared to high-octane political thrillers such as The Post… But in depicting this very real scandal, Finley shows a sensibility, exposes a preoccupation with performance and keeping up appearances, and deals with the consequences.” — Sian

Knives Out8.5

“Moulded unmistakably on Agatha Christie’s work, it’s a loving homage to the whodunit genre and Rian Johnson has proven himself to be a master of motifs, whipping back to hit you when you’re least expecting it. He has crafted a spectacular thriller with donut metaphors galore that is bound to go down as an espionage classic.” — Sian

Portrait of a Lady on Fire8.5

As my heart broke, not only did I feel like I was looking at something wonderful but that the film was looking back at me, acknowledging my own obsessions. What a feeling it is to see and to feel seen by a work of art.” — Hubert

The Lighthouse 8.5

“I’m the furthest thing from a horror fan. Knowing that the fact that I loved The Lighthouse as much as I did should speak to how great of a film it is… I’ll be hard-pressed to find a movie I enjoy more this year than The Lighthouse.” — Anthony

Ford v Ferrari8.5

When you hear someone, who knows their stuff, talk cars and you hear the passion in their voice, it puts cars and the sports surrounding them on a whole other level.This is what Ford v Ferrari did for me.” — John 

Uncut Gems8.5

“The ways in which a viewer can appreciate Uncut Gems are multitude. Come for a sleek and purely-entertaining crime film and you’ll get a vibrant, 21st century homage to ’70s classics like Straight Time and the work of William Friedkin, all with a dash of New York chutzpah. Come at Uncut Gems as an intellectual, and the Safdies and Sandler’s cross-section of a man caught up in his own tragedy, trying to play it as a comedy, should satisfy essayists and long-winded reviewers the world round. However you approach Uncut Gems, come prepared. It’s the sort of rollercoaster ride that gives movies a good name.” — Sam

An Elephant Sitting Still9

“While the movie is 234 minutes long, An Elephant Sitting Still only felt like 150 minutes, and it cast a shadow on my spirits for about two days afterwards. What is it about a great film’s all-enveloping melancholy that alters the perception of time? And what does it say when a movie stays with you like a wound that doesn’t heal?” — Hubert

Made in Abyss: Wandering Twilight9

Made in Abyss: Wandering Twilight is goddamn art. It is a masterpiece of world building that is the single best example of how amazing anime can be.” — Jesse

For Sama9.5

“How could we reconcile having so much freedom and joy when there are such terrible things happening to fellow human beings across the world? I hope that its elevation in the festival circuit will encourage people to become more aware of what’s going on in the world and to pay attention to their humanity beneath all the cultural differences.” — Sian

Jesse Lab
The strange one. The one born and raised in New Jersey. The one who raves about anime. The one who will go to bat for DC Comics, animation, and every kind of dog. The one who is more than a tad bit odd. The Features Editor.