YEAR IN REVIEW: Top Movies We Saw In Theaters in 2019

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It’s been a long year, which included surprising blockbusters, sophomore horror film follow-ups to ground-breaking firsts, the ending of two main franchise storylines, and even a few new IPs. We polled our contributors on their top movies of 2019, and this is what came from it. With 10 contributors submitting their top lists, here is what our community thinks are the best films they saw in theaters in 2019.

Now, notably absent are some killer streaming titles, but we only included films that got releases beyond obligatory Oscar runs and those that received official and not just festival releases. Also, the only metric used was our writer’s opinion and where they ranked each title on their individual lists.  Without further ado, here are 15 of But Why Tho?’s top movies of 2019.

15. Ready or Not

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Writers: Guy Busick, Ryan Murphy
Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien

A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game

14. Spider-Man: Far From Home

Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Stars: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

13. Midsommar

Director: Ari Aster
Writer: Ari Aster
Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Vilhelm Blomgren

A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

12. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Chris Terrio (screenplay by), J.J. Abrams (screenplay by)
Stars: Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver

The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga.

11. Alita: Battle Angel

Director: Robert Rodriguez
Writers: James Cameron (screenplay by), Laeta Kalogridis (screenplay by), Yukito Kishiro (based on manga)
Stars: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly

A deactivated cyborg is revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life and goes on a quest to find out who she is.

10. Toy Story 4

Director: Josh Cooley
Writers: John Lasseter (original story by), Andrew Stanton (original story by)
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.

9. Godzilla King of Monsters

top movies of 2019

Director: Michael Dougherty
Writers: Michael Dougherty (screenplay by), Zach Shields (screenplay by)
Stars: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe

The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.

8. Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Director: Rob Letterman
Writers: Dan Hernandez (screenplay by), Benji Samit (screenplay by)
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton

In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective.

7. Abominable

top movies of 2019

Directors: Jill Culton, Todd Wilderman (co-director)
Writer: Jill Culton
Stars: Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor

Three teenagers must help a Yeti return to his family while avoiding a wealthy man and a zoologist who want it for their own needs.

6. Parasite

top movies of 2019

Director: Bong Joon Ho
Writers: Bong Joon Ho
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo

All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take a peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.

5. Shazam!

Director: David F. Sandberg
Writers: Henry Gayden (screenplay by), Henry Gayden (story by)
Stars: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel

A newly fostered young boy in search of his mother instead finds unexpected superpowers and soon gains a powerful enemy.

4. Us

top movies of 2019

Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Stars: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss

A family’s serene beach vacation turns to chaos when their doppelgängers appear and begin to terrorize them.

3. Avengers: Endgame

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writers: Christopher Markus (screenplay by), Stephen McFeely (screenplay by)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to reverse Thanos’ actions and restore balance to the universe.

2. John Wick 3

top movies of 2019

Director: Chad Stahelski
Writers: Derek Kolstad (screenplay by), Shay Hatten (screenplay by)
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane

John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head, he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.

1. Knives Out

top movies of 2019

Director: Rian Johnson
Writer: Rian Johnson
Stars: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas

A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.


This rounds out our list of top movies of 2019. What do you think? Did this list that pulled across genres this year leave you in agreement? Or do you have some of your own that we missed?

All synopsis for the top movies of 2019 were pulled from IMDb.