It’s that time of the year. With 2019 coming to an end, it’s time to take a look back at the movies that have hit screens big and small this year. Stay tuned as our writers share their own picks for the best films of the year but for now, check out my picks for the top 10 movies of 2019.
The Farewell is a beautiful family dramedy that continues the trend of representation in film. While it may feature an all-Chinese cast, its themes are very universal and relatable. The film will make you laugh, cry, and cheer and was fun to watch throughout thanks to an excellent script and a great cast, featuring a career-best performance from Awkwafina and a breakout performance from Shuzhen Zhao.
With Knives Out, the director of the best film of the latest Star Wars trilogy gives us an original homage to classic whodunits done with love. This thrilling and hilarious dysfunctional family story along with an all-star cast and some great production values make this one of the most entertaining experiences of the year. Anna de Armas should get the recognition she deserves.
Fans of acting rejoice! The Two Popes is of course a film about two popes but first and foremost is a showcase for veteran actors Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins as Pope Francis and Pope Benedict respectively. At this point, it doesn’t matter what the movie was about as the two are so entertaining to watch, just walking through a series of beautiful locales and uttering the words from a great script. Sometimes it’s that simple.
Mr. Rogers is coming back into the conversation. After the exceptional Won’t You Be My Neighbor, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood sees arguably the nicest actor ever in Tom Hanks take up the red sweater and completely became Mr. Rogers, delivering one of the best performances of the year. It is simply impossible to not feel good after watching this one, a testament to the script and Marielle Heller’s direction.
The Infinity Saga has now come to an end and what and end it was! With an abnormally long running time, this epic and grandiose film certainly gives all of our favorite characters the chance to shine and plenty of emotional moments that will surely please long-time MCU fans while giving them hope for what is to come. By the end, audiences won’t feel like they’ve been there for 3+ hours.
If only Rocketman came out last year as it is a much worthier of awards than that other movie. At least Taron Egerton sings in this one. This impressionistic musical adventure is befitting of such a larger-than-life character like Elton John though at the end of the day, through all the style and substance, Egerton’s career-best performance brings it home.
Jordan Peele’s high-profile follow up, Us, is a much different movie from Get Out. In it, Peele creates another thrilling and surprisingly hilarious experience that may not feature the same kind of commentary but it still keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. A premise like this can only be sold by great acting and Lupita Nyong’o delivers another award-worthy dual performance.
Ari Aster’s follow up to his breakout hit Hereditary was definitely worth the hype. It may be a little too slow to get going for some but once it does, get ready. This incredibly beautiful film will fill audiences with an nearly overwhelming sense of dread but it will be hard to look away. Just like Toni Collette in Hereditary, Florence Pugh is sensational with a performance that will surely follow the fate of the former.
If there was ever a personification of a movie that is hard to describe, Parasite would be it. For the few who still haven’t seen it, this commentary on class warfare is best going in blind in order to fully experience the roller coaster of chaos it throws the audience’s way over its 2+ hour running time. Watch it if you can.
Not often do movies come along and just fire on cylinders. Marriage Story is one of those movies. Everything works here, from the writing, directing, score, and the career-best performances from Driver and Johansson. This gut punch will make you laugh and cry alongside its relatable characters. Catch it on Netflix now.