The best DVDs of 2019

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 DVDs of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order.

(You can find all our best picks for books, music & DVDs of 2019 here.)


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Chernobyl by Craig Mazin

HBO’s chilling dramatisation of the April 1986 Ukraine nuclear power plant disaster is both an historical time capsule and a warning for the future. Jared Harris is brilliant as Valery Legasov, the chief scientist leading the clean up. Chernobyl is a haunting reminder that the price of silence is the sacrifice of human life.


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Killing Eve: Season 2 by Emerald Fennell

The cat-and-mouse game between MI5 agent Eve Polastri and deadly assassin Villanelle continues, in ever more glamorous locations, in this second season of the addictive, subversive spy drama. Eve and Villanelle become further entwined; their escapades producing dark twists aplenty. Performing shrewd acts of genre subversion, this is breathlessly compulsive viewing.


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Cold War directed by Paweł Pawlikowski

History is the biggest heartbreaker of all. Beginning in Poland at the end of Word War II and spanning fifteen years, this exquisite love story follows the tumultuous relationship between Wiktor and Zula – who can’t live together and can’t endure being apart. Pawel Pawlikowski uses black-and-white images to stunning effect.


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Succession: Season 1 by Jesse Armstrong

This razor sharp look at the machinations of power through the dysfunctional, mega-rich Roy family deserves all its critical plaudits. Ageing, ailing patriarch Logan (Brian Cox), heads a media empire he’s not willing to loosen his grip on just yet. Satirical and tragic, Succession illuminates the horrors of privilege and the poisoned chalice of a toxic legacy.


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Top End Wedding directed by Wayne Blair

Top End Wedding is a romantic comedy set in the magnificent landscapes of Australia’s north that’s also a road-trip movie about belonging. Adelaide-based Lauren (Miranda Tapsell) wants to marry Ned in her hometown of Darwin, but when she arrives days before the wedding, her mum is not there. Wayne Blair has crafted an entertaining film that also creates a new visual space for Indigenous stories.


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2040 directed by Damon Gameau

Damon Gameau’s documentary looks closely at the solutions already at our fingertips to regenerate our sick planet and stem the effects of global warming. Both a practical manifesto and a moving dialogue between a father and his child, in a time when things feel mostly futile and dark, 2040 is inspiring.


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Deadwood: The Movie directed by Daniel Minahan

It’s 1899 in Deadwood and past and present residents reunite to celebrate South Dakota’s entry into the Union. Old grievances resurface. Ian McShane’s performance as Al Swearengen is as lively and profane as ever. A bloody and poetic end to this revisionist Western, thirteen years after the original series was abruptly cancelled.


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Pick of the Litter directed by Dana Nachman & Don Hardy

A dogumentary of unprecedented cuteness, Pick of the Litter follows five sibling Labrador puppies bred in California by the Guide Dogs for the Blind. Will they or won’t they be chosen to assist the visually impaired? The deep emotional bonds between the puppies and their trainers will warm your heart.


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Can You Ever Forgive Me? directed by Marielle Heller

This perfect time capsule of early ’90s New York recounts biographer Lee Israel’s fall from literary favour into infamy as a forger of personal letters from dead writers and actors. Melissa McCarthy is witty and dry as Lee; Richard E. Grant hilarious and tragic as her drinking buddy/accomplice Jack.


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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman

Winner of this year’s Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, this film introduces Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) into the franchise – a Brooklyn teen bitten by the mythic radioactive spider. But he’s just one of multiple spider heroes. A daring concept meets a visual style that truly pushes the animation envelope. Dazzling fun.

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Chernobyl (DVD)

Chernobyl (DVD)

Craig Mazin

$29.95Buy now

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