Okay, I admit it. I cheated.

2019 was too good a year for movies to limit my best films list to just ten titles. Instead, I picked 20 favorites — plus ten more honorable mentions. Look, it’s my list. If you want to ignore the first ten titles below, that’s your prerogative. I ultimately decided I couldn’t ignore these movies, and that’s why they are here.

Let’s be honest. Ranking a year’s worth of movies is a completely arbitrary standard of measurement. There are great films every year, so every year is to some degree a great year for film. And yet! 2019 was ... a reeeeally good year for movies? All kinds of movies, too. The blockbusters delivered on their promises, the indies brought our world into clearer focus, and streaming services afforded some of our most gifted creators a level of artistic freedom they have never enjoyed before in their careers.

Obviously, not everything is perfect in the world of cinema. Those same streaming services are reshaping the way movies are consumed and made, and not always for the better. The sheer volume of quality films sometimes works against itself; when there’s so much proverbial milk, it’s that much harder for the cream to rise to the top. But as my mother likes to say: This is a good problem to have.

Also good: These 20 movies, and many more besides. Bring on 2020!

Honorable Mention (In Alphabetical Order): Avengement, Booksmart, Brightburn, The Kid Who Would Be King, Love, Antosha, Pain & Glory, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Shazam, The Souvenir, Triple Frontier.

Gallery — The 20 Best Movies of the 2010s:

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