Into the top-twenty-verse, as all the cool kids would say. A lot of good films here (a few I cared for less too but hey, opinions are like arseholes right?) THis is where the films I were worried wouldn’t make it, made it – the years best Hollywood comedy, the Netflix Oscar bait, a bit of European political activism and the odd idea idea that Meryl Streep looked like Lily James in the seventies (even though we know what Meryl Streep looked like in the seventies). And possibly the signature visual moment of the year (if you don’t count cleaning up dogshit in Roma).

20: Game Night
A real pleasant surprise, from a world where little is expected from Hollywood comedies, to have an intricate, clever action comedy with a comfortable stable lead couple who genuinely enjoy each other company played with quite so much gusto (there is a hint of Nick and Nora to them). There is a cast of riches here, from Sharon Horgan, via Jessie Plemmons and Chelsea Peretti but Jason Bateman hasn’t been this charming in ages (just as well last year). The film belong to Rachel McAdams however who has plenty of terrific line readings, including some priceless reaction shots. It didn’t do much cinema business in the UK, but it is well worth catching. Also worth it to see the dog from Widows again.

19: Roma
This is both a portrait of a middle class family falling apart, a maid growing up and a country at civil war with itself, and Cuaron’s black and white masterpiece perhaps ends up being a little too perfect for its own good. But in its two and a half hours he does his best to drag you into these various worlds and internal lives of his characters, the rabbly kids, the shitty boyfriends, even the car slowly getting scraped to death in the Mexico City hallway. I loved it when watching it in the cinema, though it has drifted a touch in my memory. But it feels like intimate, wonderful personal stuff.

18: Isle Of Dogs
Stop motion suits Wes Anderson, and the look and design of this one is terrific, as is on the most part, the storyline. Perhaps questions can be asked about its future Japanese setting and how much here is appropriation, how much is fetishization and how much is homage, and Anderson does seem to go through a lot of contortions to yet again include some of his stock types. But it is a pretty delightful and fun bit of work which has a few barbs behind is intricately designed art.

17: Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
Bearing in mind the critical drubbing the original got, this thoroughly disposable sequel seemed to be a bit of a mea culpa for people who just didn’t get the first one. My Mum could not accept the general Meryl Streep absence, and even she noticed that Colin Firth was a lot less gay than he was in the last one. And yet the music, dance and action is staged and shot better, Lily James is very winning as a somewhat implausible young Meryl Streep and frankly when Cher turns up to sing Fernando you do surrender to its charms. Should have put the King Kong Song in there somewhere though.

16: I, Tonya
Not being American, the problematic content of I, Tonya (ie – telling a story from the baddies point of view), didn’t bother me. It heavily leans into its unreliable narrator tropes, and Janney perhaps pushes her grotesque mother too far in a film of performances going too far. But Robbie knows exactly what she is doing in the lead, giving us film star sympathy whilst constantly asking us was she born bad made bad, or did the fixed privileged system make her that way. Its happy that the answer is probably all of the above.

15: Crazy Rich Asians
Its a well made romcom, in an unusual setting, with a remarkably attractive cast and setting. Conspicuous consumption gets the mildest of critiques, class structures are not really here to be broken down just mildly ridiculed whilst we enjoy the fruits of the money (the production design is always great to luxuriate in). And at the heart of it Michelle Yeoh plays the monsterous mother-in-law with gusto, its lots of fun.

14: Mission Impossible: Fallout
Action movies shouldn’t have three dream sequences in them. They just shouldn’t. After Ghost Protocol was a high point in the series – partially for bringing in Rebecca Ferguson, I thought Fallout was a bit of an overlong damp squib. Ferguson was wasted, the McGuffin was literally a load of balls and I don’t really care if Tom Cruise can fly a helicopter or not. There are fun bits, Henry Cavill recharging his arms is an image for cinematic history, but I thought this franchise had been better.

13: BlackKklansman
Spike Lee makes a Spike Lee Joint out of an interesting bit of true crime history. Stylish, and funny about things which are not funny at all, Lee balances the historical with the resonances it has now and tops and tails with idiosyncratic takes on how movies may be part of this whole mess. And yet in the process, and using some of that movieness, he also simplifies, elides and dodges other issues. In concentrating on race and the KKK, he seems to give the institution of the police a near free ride (one convenient racist). There is no room for any kind of gender politics and the conflicted role of Washington’s lead (why is he a cop), is ignored. I felt it wasn’t as strong as lots of other people, but its always nice to have Spike Lee poking at us.

12: A Simple Favor
Paul Feig continues his streak of terrific female led films with this blackly comic thriller which manages to employ Anna Kendrick perfectly whilst also bringing out the best in Blake Lively who gets to play her mysterious femme fatale to the hilt, in in some tremendous clothes along the way. A twisty turny thriller that judges how to employ the racing minds of its audience trying to work out what is happening. Perhaps the cool sixties French soundtrack is over egging the pudding, but this was a delicious confection and one of my favourites of last year.

11: 120 BPM
AKA Just BPM: this is a activist procedural from the early days of Parisian HIV/AIDS support groups following a group of activists as they protest, plan, and debate the best way to succeed in their goals to get better support from the government, the right drugs from trials and to stay alive. Its a brilliantly balanced piece, between the politics (and how people argue) to the inevitability of supporting people dying. It never trivialises, and never reaches for unearned for sympathy (there are lots of infuriating characters here too), but builds a picture of the community and strength that exists in activism.

OK, we are a few days away from the top ten, feel free to guess how what’s left stacks up.