Staff Vote: The Best Films Of 2019

The results are in from our annual Staff Poll!

Jack Toye

20 Dec 19

The year is almost out, the days are short, and the nights are long. What better time to contemplate all that has cinematically gone before us in the previous 12 months. We asked our staff across all 26 of our cinemas, our Customer Care Team, and our Head Office Team, what their favourite films of 2019 were. The results are now in!

Last year, we voted Phantom Thread as our favourite film from 2018. Paul Thomas Anderson's immaculately-dressed, and artfully shot drama was a well-deserved winner. If you feel like taking a trip down memory lane, check out our previous lists to see some favourites from yesteryear. 

Joker takes the top spot on this year's poll. After winning the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, Todd Phillips' villainous origin story has gone on to become the box office victor across Picturehouse for the year, narrowly beating Yorgos Lathimos' The Favourite. Quentin Tarrantino made a welcome return to the big screen with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and our staff have rewarded his sterling efforts with second place in the poll. And in third place, Ari Aster's bad vibes at a Swedish pagan cult festival - the brilliantly gory and mushroom-induced Midsommar

Before we get into the list, here are a few honourable mentions for the films that didn't make the final cut. Greta Gerwig's Little Women, which opens this Boxing Day, has been seen by some staff already at our December previews, and sits just outside the Top 10. With an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, Picturehouse Entertainment's first release of the year, Capernaum, clocks in joint 15th place with Dogwoof's Apollo 11 - our highest ranking documentary in the list.

With more of our staff voting in the poll this year, and more films voted for - 118 in total - the results this year reflect the tastes of a diverse range of film lovers, that we are proud to call our colleagues across the company.  And now over to the Picturehouse staff for the top films of 2019!

10. Pain & Glory

Nostalgia, regret, aging, and the creative process - I absolutely loved Almodovar's latest feature film this year. It works really well as a companion piece to his previous film, Julieta, and showcases the ever-brilliant acting abilities of Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz.

Jack Toye - Programming & Marketing Administrator 

9. Eighth Grade

"When you mention American High School films (depending on your age), Porkys, Breakfast Club, Grease or American Pie would all be high up the list in terms of popularity. While all of them are good films, they target loud and big. Big laughs and set pieces, or loud and distinct characters or traits. And what Eighth Grade does so well is work completely opposite to that. It is small and intimate and awkward and genuine and an absolute treasure."
Codie Entwistle - Programmer

8. Booksmart

"Who allowed this movie to Take. My. Breath. Away? 
It's not often I get to sit down with my parents and catch a movie. But to see such a fun, honest and relatable tale together, despite two truely awkward moments (#1 that stuffed panda and #2 that 'Carly B' Uber playlist) was an utter joy. Safe to say we survived the 'experience' and left sans-FOMO having 100% seen one of the best films of the year!"
Matty Lane - Designer

7. The Farewell

"What a wonderful surprise this film turned out to be! I was so taken with how everyone involved managed to take such a sombre, serious subject and craft something real and moving, but most of all hilarious out of it."
Charlie Rutter - Marketing Manager, Fulham Road

6. The Favourite

"Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman and Emma Stone lock horns in Yorgos Lanthimos' witty, incisive tale of intrigue, jealousy and betrayal in 18th Century England. Colman won the Academy Award for her portrayal of the frail, mercurial Queen Anne."
Levi McAndrew-Brown - Marketing Manager, Regal Henley

5. Monos

"Alejandro Landes' hypnotically strange, propulsive Columbian-set jungle thriller centres on a group of volatile child soldiers and their American prisoner, a woman desperate to escape from their clutches at any cost. Combining breathtaking visuals, astonishingly authentic performances, and Mica Levi's haunting score, the film is an assault on the senses, taking us deep into a fully realised world for two breathtaking and disorientating hours. Absolutely essential cinema."
Paul Ridd - Acquisitions Manager

4. Avengers: Endgame

"The Russo brothers tie up 11 years of Marvel movies, combining over 30 main characters and multiple timelines into one frenetic but satisfying concluding chapter. Endgame features stand out moments for everyone in the star-studded cast and ends the 'Infinity Saga' on a high."
Levi  McAndrew-Brown - Marketing Manager, Regal Henley

3. Midsommar

"Midsommar - Ari Aster's fiendish sun-soaked horror sinks beneath your skin immediately. Led by an astonishing performance by Florence Pugh, Midsommar is a movie about the intricacies and intensity of grief and broken relationships. Framed beautifully, the unfolding terror in the bright sunlight is unnerving yet utterly compelling."
Sarah Cook - Marketing Manager, Picturehouse Central

2. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

"A grand gesture of love and admiration from Hollywood's bad boy to Hollywood itself. A proper grown up film from Tarantino without leaving the 'Tarantino' out of the film. And great fun."
Madeleine Mullett - Senior Programmer.

1. Joker

"Todd Phillip's Joker is ostensibly the back story to a graphic novel super villain but, as with all great art, it is really turning the looking glass on ourselves and asking are we ok? A bleak, thunderous, insectile Joaquim Pheonix as Joker would suggest not."

Felicity Beckett - Video Content Coordinator