With only a few weeks left until the end of 2019, the crippling realization that time is trickling through our fingers starts to sink in. Just like that, within the blink of an eye, our 2019 resolutions get moved into 2020 and we are in dire need of a recap on the past year. Returning to our
Compiled below are films in various categories that have captivated cinephiles from all over the world. This year’s list includes a few auteur-driven films and directorial debuts such as
These are the 10 movies of 2019, in no particular order.
Foreign Language Film: Parasite
The film, which went on to
Comic Book Film: Avengers: Endgame
Marvel knows how to save the best for last. After weaving over a decade’s worth of storylines over multiple films, Phase 3 concluded spectacularly with Avengers: Endgame. Although the film wasn’t perfect, it exceeded the expectations of fans, many of whom had become deeply invested in the long-running saga and certainly had high expectations for this final installment.
Helmed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Endgame follows the events of last summer’s
Aster is consistently able to get under the viewer’s skin due to his ability to transform his own personal trauma and pain into a visceral cinematic experience. Here is no different. On the surface, the film follows Florence Pugh, who gives a stunning performance as Dani, as she follows her boyfriend and his pals to rural Sweden for a festival that only takes place every 90 years. The result is macabre and cultish violence.
Period Piece: Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is a love letter to the long-gone Hollywood of the 1960s. Although it falls short compared to his previous projects, such as Pulp Fiction and his debut Reservoir Dogs, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood is still chock full of Tarantino’s signature storytelling, edits, corny commercials and humor.
The finale alone makes the film’s nearly three-hour runtime well worth the watch, as it ends on a note of euphoria and heartbreak.
Comedy: Jojo Rabbit
Jojo soon finds himself questioning his Nazi indoctrination when he discovers his mother (played by Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their house. Unfolding during the last year of World War II, the film is able to poke fun at the Reich without neglecting the violent consequences of their hateful agenda. Jojo Rabbit is full of vibrant colors and laced with jokes that you’re not even sure you should be laughing at. Oh yeah, there’s even a German cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes.”
Limited Release: The Irishman
Adapted from the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses, the mob tale about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa is beautifully executed for cinephiles, due largely to performances from Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Although the film comes in at a lengthy three hours and 20 minutes, it’s one of Scorsese’s best works yet.
Action: John Wick 3 — Parabellum
While most franchises start to fizzle out following a sequel, the third outing in the cult action series
Packed full of pure fun, sheer spectacle and ridiculousness, Parabellum takes viewers on an exhilarating ride and embraces what the genre is all about, while solidifying Wick as one of the best action heroes in Hollywood. Reeves is joined by Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane,
Psychological Thriller: Joker
As it’s one of the most-talked about films of the year, we had to include Todd Phillips’ divisive Joker on the list. Although the movie acts as an origin story for one of the most famous villains in
Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of a mentally challenged Arthur Fleck transforming into the titular character is spine tingling and warrants him as one of the best actors of our time. Phoenix’s mesmerizing performance is then elevated by Hildur Guðnadóttir’s score, adding to the sheer visceral uneasiness of watching a psychopath take shape.
Sci-Fi: Ad Astra
The Brad Pitt-led Ad Astra has pulled in many comparisons to Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, which also starred Pitt — however, we assure you the former is far less pretentious if anyone is put off by the association. Helmed by James Gray, the space opera explores timeless existential and balances more on humanity’s failings than its triumphs, which is excellently executed by Pitt’s poetic and agonizingly physical journey of self-discovery.
As Pitt’s character, Major Roy McBride, journeys through the vast abyss that surrounds our planet to search for his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones), viewers are gifted with an intimate and captivating sci-fi epic that’s both visually and emotionally stunning. In short, it was a good year for the movie star.
Drama: The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Talbot and Fails penned the screenplay together, which is loosely based on the latter’s life. Additionally the auteur began raising money for the project through Kickstarter back in 2015. This was not in vain as The Last Black Man in San Francisco went on to win the Best Director and Special Jury Awards at this year’s