Top 10 Movies of 2019
Last year, I made a declaration that my top 10 list would be a reflection of the movies that defined that year. I think that I was successful in achieving that purpose, but my placement of a couple of pictures would be changed if I could go back in time. So with my minor success, I will continue with that tradition here. 2019 proved to be a year filled with average movies across the board. With some big franchises nose-diving into year-long breaks and animation put on life support, it seemed like a dire situation. But like most years, the saving grace came during awards season as Oscar-bait and indies proved that films weren't dead, at least not yet. For the industry at large and most moviegoers, Disney will always be there to shovel the same stuff down your throats, which most will enjoy. And as always, click on the picture to be taken to the full review of the movie, if there is one for it.
Parasite, a foreign film from director Bong Joon-ho takes the top spot. This comes as a surprise to anyone that has either not heard of this film or not seen it since everyone who has will probably have it in the same spot. There is no denying the level of craftsmanship on display, as this piece of art is a shoo-in for a multitude of Oscar nominations. But instead of predicting award wins, I can tell you that watching this movie will take your breath away as the thrilling and tense moments didn't come close to anything else in 2019. If you haven't seen it already, I highly recommend you give it a shot.
2. Little Women
Little Women was a huge surprise for me. I knew that I wanted to see it since Greta Gerwig was directing it, but I didn't realize how masterful it was going to be. With an opening weekend audience break down of 70% women, I was definitely not the target demographic for this film. So when I say I am smitten with it, I mean it. The leap in quality from Lady Bird just a couple of years ago, to this, is awe-inspiring. Media coverage and trailers might convince you that it's some kind of ultra-progressive update on the classic story, but it's not. Instead, Little Women achieves its goal in being a modern piece about relationships, their complications, and intricacies with a splash of reality that results in a must-see.
Joker is the latest film to be misinterpreted by many, and then inversely championed by the rest. It speaks to modern-day problems that usually result from societies that don't take care of each other and the unrest that the majority of people feel in their day-to-day lives. With stellar composition, score, and acting, this comic book character pulls a Logan and becomes an actual film rather than just an adaptation of its roots. With a fantastic performance by Joaquin Phoenix and great writing/directing from Todd Phillips, this is an electrifying experience to behold.
Klaus came out of left field for me. I was not even planning on seeing this animated movie on Netflix, but I got roped into watching it at an event. It's a charming tale of a postman with a holiday theme that hits every beat you think it will. In the face of me guessing every plot point, it still managed to make me smile and laugh. This cute little picture is my favorite bit of animation in 2019 as they give Disney a run for their money. Don't ignore the power of animation as it can do wondrous things, and since most people have Netflix, you should give it a shot.
5. Uncut Gems
Uncut Gems is the directorial followup from the Safdie brothers. Their last film, Good Time, was one of my favorite movies of that year. Their streak of making great stuff continues and even revitalized Adam Sandler's career. If you want to see an in your face, unabashed, no holds barred drama about a man with a gambling addiction; this is the film for you.
6. The Peanut Butter Falcon
I finished watching The Peanut Butter Falcon hours before I published this list. I knew I missed out on some big movies from 2019, but I had to see what this largely unnoticed film had up its sleeve. It dawned on me halfway through that this was something special. You smile almost the whole time as it exudes charm and happiness in ways other movies can only try and replicate. I wanted to champion an indie film that was good and probably something that no one has seen. The Peanut Butter Falcon blew me away and I couldn't have asked for any better.
7. Avengers: Endgame
Remember when everyone was yelling about Infinity War and how it was a culmination of 10 years of movies? Even then, those comments were stupid, and in the face of Avengers: Endgame, I think it's even funnier. This CGI fest does deliver some cool moments along with a very touching one for my favorite Avenger. It might be the end of the Infinity Saga, but you know they're making more. You've probably already seen this, so I don't even have to recommend it.
8. Spider-Man: Far From Home
The funniest thing about Spider-Man: Far From Home being on this list is that the second half of this film is probably better than Endgame. The Spider-Man movies continue to be the more risk-taking Marvel pictures, and that shows with the villain. You would never see someone so interesting be the main antagonist for a Marvel-proper picture. If you like Spider-Man, give this a shot.
9. Jojo Rabbit
Jojo Rabbit was another divisive movie of 2019 since it seemed to give Nazis a pass. If you don't examine the film too carefully, then you might miss this fact, but it does seem to be the case. Hilarious that it made my top 10 list with that oversight but you will enjoy it none the less. The film is funny, colorful, beautifully shot, and a quite quaint. It doesn't mean to give Nazis a pass on purpose, but it is something to be aware of.
10. Marriage Story
Either you know what this movie is or you have never heard of it. For the uninitiated, this is probably one of the most talked-about films other than Parasite. For me, I need a second viewing of it to get a grasp on how it communicates its ideas to the audience. I liked parts of it on my first viewing, and the performances are so strong that it felt wrong to leave it off the list entirely. Marriage Story definitely has something to say while I don't, I need that extra viewing.
I actually didn't get a chance to see a lot of movies that I wanted to this year, some include: The Irishman, The Lighthouse, and Honey Boy. Don't worry though, I did get to see Cats and Spies in Disguise which totally make up for the omissions.