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Top 10 Nollywood movies that defined the Nigerian film industry in 2019

Merry Men 2 has been rated above Elevator Baby which has grossed over N20 million...Joba was released in 2019 with Baby Steps and Living in Bondage; breaking free...Nigerian films in 2019 were exceptional.

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Living in Bondage; breaking free poster

2019 was a remarkable year for the Nigerian film industry. There is no doubt that the Nigerian movie audience and fanatics had their cravings for quality movies fulfilled in 2019.

From Ramsey Noah's 'Living in Bondage; Breaking free', to Omoni Oboli's 'Love is War', the Nigerian cinema was satiated with the riveting pleasure of exciting movies all the year-round.

Meanwhile, some of these films have stood out more than the others in terms of directing, storytelling, acting, and production quality. 

We have chronicled the top ten movies that have wowed the audience and placed the Nigerian big screen on the world map in 2019.

Check out our list of top 10 movies that made our 2019 remarkable here:

1. Living in Bondage; Breaking Free



There is no doubt that Living in Bondage will remain one of the most beautifully made films in Nigeria for a long time. 

From the opening montage that sees Obinna Omego (played by Enyinna Nwigwe) driving a young girl to a thick forest to behead her, ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’ sets an unusual pace that keeps the viewers mind racing back to the events that made the 1992 blockbuster a hit. 

The Ramsey Noah's directorial debut reeks of sheer suspense and believability. The picture quality and post-production synced with the directorial and acting credits to make it the best film out of Nollywood in 2019.

Living in Bondage is estimated to have grossed a whopping 151,654,842 naira since release in November 2019. 

2. Love is war




Another film that enjoyed good reviews from the moviegoers and buffs alike in 2019 is Omoni Oboli's ‘Love is war’.  

An interesting political drama that mirrors the violent nature of Nigeria's politicking and electioneering and its catastrophic effect on the people and the economy. 

Love is War is just as it sounds, a husband and wife (Richard Mofe Damiju and Omoni Oboli) are pitched against each other in a battle for the seat of governorship in Ondo State of Nigeria. 

Love is War is directed by Omoni Oboli and produced in conjunction with Inkblot studios.

3. The Set-Up



Niyi Akinmolayan's The Set-Up was one of the best movies of 2019. Its appearance in the cinemas almost revolutionised the art of filmmaking because of its directorial and production quality. 

The cast and crew of the film were some of the criteria that made it a sellable project in cinemas. The martial arts, action and good use of lights on the project is quite commendable. The film reunites Tina Mba, Dakore Akande, Adesua Etomi-Wellington and Joke Silva.

4. Baby Steps



When a chronic Cassanova gets served with a baby, his carefree rich bachelor lifestyle gets cut short as he delves into emergency parenting. 

Willis Ikedum’s ‘Baby Steps’ graced the cinema at a time when the audience was looking forward to such hearty laughs and he did well to deliver. 

Produced and directed by Ikedum, the movie had Enyinna Nwigwe as a Cassanova who has to combine work and flashy lifestyle with raising a baby he never expected to come his way. And with a stunning cast that includes Enyinna Nwigwe, Bimbo Akintola, Segun Arinze, and Mudiaga Ogheneovo, the movie certainly delivered on its promise. 

The movie had positive reviews from movie critics especially in the movie’s superb directing, excellent acting and rich post-production works.

5. Joba



If you are used to watching good Nigerian films, you must have gotten used to the name - Biodun Stephen. She never disappoints. 

When Joba was released in 2019, it immediately became the talk of the town. It was the rave of the cinema and everyone was rushing to see it. In fact, Joba is such a good movie it has premiered in the UK and other countries. 

For a cliche story that is already waning with overuse, a story of a childless couple struggling for the fruit of the womb was so superbly told it deserves every point it gets. 

The movie was positively received by moviegoers and critics alike, especially Biodum Stephen's directing skills. Also worthy of note is Blossom Chukwujekwu's emotional acting and Enado Odigie's performance is just so compelling. The 2019's story of movies in Nigeria would never even start without Joba.

6. Elevator Baby



Niyi Akinmolayan's Elevator Baby tells the story of Dare (Timini Egbuson), a privileged young man with a fiery temper, who got stuck in a faulty elevator with Abigail, a semi-literate pregnant woman in labour (Toyin Abraham). However, when Abigail goes into labour, it falls on Dare to save the mother and child in a most unconventional child delivery ever. 

Elevator Baby is beautifully made and I must say that one of the salvations of the movie came from Toyin Abraham's comic performance and Egbuson's fiery complements. The duo set the audience up for an evening of fitful laughter which ultimately got the cinemas cramped up for more than a month. 

The film stared hilarious characters such as Emem Ufot and our delectable Shaffy Bello. 

So far, Elevator Baby has grossed an estimated N20 Million in the cinemas. 

7. Merry Men 2



Merry Men II continues the adventures of Ayo, Naz, Amaju and Remi on another mission to save their friend Kemi. A sequel to Merry Men of 2018. These awesome casts have continued to wow the audience with their terrific performance and their unflinching ability to evoke laughter. 

Dominated by the artistic work of Ayo Mayokun, aka, AY, the comedian, Merry Men 2 has been rated one of the best movies to grace 2019. It is currently showing in the cinemas across Nigeria. 

8. Cold Feet



‘Cold Feet’ is one of the movies that made 2019 a great year for lovers of Nollywood. Aside from bringing back Joselyn Dumas and Jim Iyke to collaborate with Enyinna Nwigwe and Beverly Naya, which was great by the way, ‘Cold Feet’ as directed by Moses Inwang is an interesting film. 

It's a fascinating storyline that revolves around two ex-lovers, who met again while being married to different spouses.

‘Cold Feet’ had Enyinna and Joselyn interpreting their roles convincingly and Jim Iyke alongside Beverly Naya playing the victims. Overall, it was a well-accepted movie by viewers and critics.

9. Coming from Insanity



‘Coming from Insanity’ is one of the top movies in 2019. It's based on the true-life story. ‘Coming from Insanity’ a crime drama on the awe-inspiring true story of ‘Kossi the Bear,’ a notorious currency counterfeiter with genius-level intelligence. 

Featuring Wole Ojo, Tina Mba, Dakore Akande, Damilola Adegbite and Gabriel Afolayan, who plays the lead role, the film remains one of the best in 2019. 

Written and directed by Akinyemi Sebastian Akinropo, the film makes the list of top 10 films of 2019. The role interpretation, camera angles, post-production and quality of picture stands this film out as one of the best to be released in 2019.

10. 4th Republic



Ishaya Bako has always created a conversation whenever he writes or directs a film. And for a political thriller, ‘4th Republic’ is a brilliant attempt that paid off. 

‘4th Republic’ is a thrilling political procedural that chronicled Nigeria’s political and electoral system in the last two decades. While the writers exploited a tight screenplay that is relatable, Bako brought the words to live void of distraction, direct, and succinctly clear. 

‘4th Republic’ is sharp-witted and fiery like many political thrillers that come out distinct despite being weaved in a web of melodrama. It undoubtedly sits on the list of top 10 best movies for 2019.

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