As the year draws to a close, it’s time for one of Empire’s favourite traditions – looking back at the movies we’ve loved the most this year. The final year of the 2010s has been another belter, filled with cinematic surprises, indelible imagery, deeply emotive dramas, thrilling new voices behind and in front of the camera, and bold returns from masters of the medium.
The final list – as voted for by Team Empire – comprises everything from period dramas, to original horrors, to superhero epics. It’s a list that reflects a stellar year for work by female filmmakers, for brilliant indie filmmaking, and blockbusters that delivered on an ever-greater scale of spectacle and emotion. Take a look through the gallery to see Empire’s full list of the best films of 2019.
1 of 20High Life
20) High Life
Space jizz, a ‘fuckbox’, multiple rape scenes and a black hole of death: when it comes to space movies, High Life is about as far away from Star Wars as you could ever manage. The first English-language film from French auteur Claire Denis presents a deep, humanistic nightmare with a clean, Kubrickian aesthetic and a Tarkovskian sense of slow, brooding despair. Robert Pattinson plays a cosmic prisoner grappling with fatherhood in the emptiness of the void, while Juliette Binoche plays the self-appointed “Shaman Of Sperm”. Traumatic and hypnotic, it burrows under the skin and forces you to confront the big questions. Questions like: ‘Would you bring a dildo on a spaceship?’