2019 has been quite a rollercoaster but we’ve had a plethora of creative, strong and innovative films to steer the way.
Here are my top films of the year…
10. The Irishman: Martin Scorsese is an expert in creating unforgettable stories but he outdoes himself with The Irishman. Although running at a whopping three and a half hours (which is still ridiculous in my opinion), Netflix’s crime drama is one of the most meticulously crafted character studies and compelling gangster films of all time. With a powerful star-studded cast including stand out performances from Al Pachino and Joe Pesci, it has become a force in this awards season and deserves the recognition.
9. Us: From the moment I heard the remixed score of Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It” in the first theatrical trailer, I knew we were in for a wild and unforgettable ride. Jordan Peele’s Us establishes himself as a modern master of horror. The ambitious and pulse-pounding journey is full of classic jump scares, bold class commentary, and genuine moments of laugh out loud comedy. However, the cherry on this twisted tethered cake is Lupita Nyong’o. Out of all the performances I have seen this year, none compare to Lupita Nyong’o who plays Adelaide and her haunting counterpart, Red. She will leave speechless and in fear
8. Booksmart: Back in May, I declared Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, Booksmart, as one of the funniest movies of the year. In December, Booksmart still reigns as the funniest movie of the year. Daring, hilarious and effortlessly progressive, Booksmart is a fresh and fiercely female coming of age story that bursts with diversity and enjoyable shenanigans that will make you smile from ear to ear. I found myself in love with the charismatic duo of Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein. The pure definition of friendship goals.
7. Little Women: The story of the four March sisters growing up in America after the Civil War has been told and retold many times. Yet, none compare to Gerwig’s fresh retelling of Little Women. She brings new life into the timeless classic thanks to a brilliant ensemble of strong sensational women. It is nostalgic, joyful, visually stunning and a film adaptation that pays its source material justice.
6. Avengers: Endgame: There is no scene in the history of cinema that gives me goosebumps as much as when the Avengers rise from the ashes to take on Thanos alongside Captain America. The conclusion of the Infinity Saga, Avengers: Endgame, is nothing short of epic. It is emotionally charged, action-packed technically stunning and satisfying fan service in the best way. It is a beautiful closure to this chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that united filmgoers and comic book fans in ways you cannot even imagine.
5. Midsommar: No film was as big of a 2019 mood for me as Ari Aster’s horror masterpiece, Midsommar. With intoxicating cinematography, impeccable acting by Florence Pugh and folktale inspired storytelling, the beautiful pastoral countryside of Sweden has never been so terrifying or fascinating. There are few films that can gravitate between being so mesmerizing and so horrifying, yet Midsommar does that. It is shocking. It is gorgeous. It is hypnotic. It is grotesque. It is the breakup anthem we needed. All hail the May Queen.
4. A Marriage Story: What happens when you put Adam Driver against Scarlett Johansson in an emotional and gut-wrenching tale of a marriage falling apart? A masterclass in acting. There are a plethora of films dealing with divorce but none have been as raw as A Marriage Story. Hell, I feel like I got a divorce once the credits started rolling. Its simplicity and realness matched with top-notch performances from a star-studded cast make Noah Baumbach’s compassionate story one of the bests of the year. Make sure to have some tissues on hand.
3. Jojo Rabbit: If you told me the movie about a little boy and his imaginary friend, Hilter, would become one of my favorite movies of 2019, I would think you’re out of your mind. However, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit is a dynamic and heartwarming coming of age story set in the midst of a chaotic time in history. It’s a perfect balance between being fragile and sweet while also being shockingly funny and inappropriate. Sure, it may not be for everyone but Jojo Rabbit sure touched my heart.
2. Knives Out: The whodunnit mysteries had grown stale and overdone until Rian Johnson decided to shake things up. Not only by making Captain America a bad boy dressed in a now-iconic white cable knit sweater or by having James Bond sport a thick southern drawl, but by writing and directing the entertaining Knives Out. This clever and razor-sharp murder mystery is devilishly delightful and by far the most fun you will have in theaters in 2019.
1. Parasite: In a world full of sequels, prequels, and remakes, it’s important to see those films that keep the cinema alive. Bong Joon-ho’s, Parasite, is that film. A completely unique and original experience that examines class in both a compelling, satirical and devastating manner. Acclaimed by both critics and audiences alike, Parasite is nothing short of a well-crafted and visually astounding masterpiece. Although Parasite is a sure thing in the foreign film categories this year, I will be rooting for it to sweep major categories including best picture and best director. The story will latch itself onto you and never let go…just like a parasite. If you have not seen Parasite, make it your 2020 resolution.