2019 has been a terrific year for film and there are a few honorable mentions I want to get out first before my list. First off, Midsommar, the second film by Ari Aster is a masterfully directed horror film that disturbed to my core. Florence Pugh is terrific in the film and carries it on her shoulders. Marriage Story had powerhouse performances in its leads and Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver are amazing in the film as is Laura Dern, who won best actress well deserved. The movie is a tragic look on how marriages can spiral out of control when both parties do not love each other anymore. And my last honorable goes to Uncut Gems, which offers the best performance from Adam Sandler in the past 20 years. The movie is taught and suspensful and incredibly well directed. Adam Sandler was snubbed best actor this year and he gave a fantastic performance. Without further ado, here we go.
10. The Lighthouse
Robert Pattinson has really been impressing me with his career. He has become a fantastic actor and it’s so great to see him alongside the great William Defoe. The Lighthouse is pure originality and it keeps surprising the audience with every twist and turn as these two men are slowly driven insane. Gorgeous cinematography, incredible and taught direction make this film a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Sam Mendes is a very interesting filmmaker and while I don’t love everything he does, he has a very distinct style and has to this day made my favourite James Bond film in Skyfall. For 1917, Mendes concentrates mostly on the technical aspect and leaves the characterization and the narrative behind, but I was still gripped in the film from beginning to end. The performances are fantastic, the cinematography is gorgeous and the action extremely suspenseful. I had a great time with 1917, even if the script and the story wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen in a war movie.
8. Once Upon a time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino returns once again with a fairy tale that takes place at the end of the 60’s and he delivers powerhouse performances in the process. Brad Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio are both terrific here as always as Cliff and Rick Dalton and their chemistry is off the charts great. I don’t know if there is another movie that made me laugh harder than this one in 2019… and what a finale! Pure tarantino!
7. Avengers: End Game
Avengers: Endgame is the best finale we’ve had in 2019. Game of Thrones and Star Wars did not stick the landing in my opinion, so thank god Endgame gave us a satisfying conclusion to the 22 films saga we’ve been following for a decade. The last 40 minutes is pure fan service and action in all the best possible ways and the previous two hours is nothing but fun the film also raises the stakes—what can Marvel possibly do now to top this? Leave it to Kevin Feige.
6. Knives Out
My house, my rules… Knives out is a brilliant whodunit by Rian Johnson, who directed the best Star Wars movie since Return of the Jedi. The movie had me guessing from start to finish, and what a cast! Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curties, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Chris Evans… on and on. The script is fantastic, witty and hilarious and the finale is so, so satisfying. One of the very best mystery thrillers in a very long time.
5. Doctor Sleep
THE SHINING is my favorite horror movie and my favorite Stephen King book. Doctor Sleep was an incredible continuation to that story, and when it was announced that Mike Flannagan was attached to direct, I knew it was the right move and oh boy did he deliver. What a tough task it must have been to make a direct sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s film but to also appease Stephen King who famously hated the adaptation. The acting is top notch, especially Ewan Mcgregor and Rebecca Fergeson as Rose the Hat. It’s chilling, surprising and haunting, in all the very best ways.
The best horror movie of the entire year, US is driven by a terrific performance from Lupita Nyng’o, who plays two vastly different characters and steals every scene she is in. Jordan Peele, after Get Out proves once again why he is the master of horror and delivers us a taught, chilling twilight-zone esq. thriller that captives from the first frame and doesn’t let go until the bone chilling finale.
3. Ford V Ferrari
This movie tackles a subject I have absolutely no interest about… Nascar racing. And yet, it is one of the best movies of the year. Matt Damon and Christian Bale had fantastic chemistry with one another and their passion for racing really propelled the plot forward, which made me care about the characters. The directing by James Mangold is flawless and the script is funny, heartwarming and even deeply gloomy at times. I cannot wait to see what James Mangold does next.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Joaquin Pheonix is phenomenal as The Joker. He totally makes the character his own, and his transformation is slow and methodical. It’s almost painful to watch, to see how this guy gets beaten down by society to the point of no return. Joker spoke to so many people because of it’s themes and it’s message, but also just because it’s a damn good standalone villain origin’s movie. Think of a mixture of Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, and you’re halfway there.
The best film of 2019 to me is hands down Parasite. It’s a thriller, it’s got humor, it’s got horror and it is wonderfully directed and superbly executed. The movie changes genres every thirty minutes and Bon Joon Ho does it fabulously. The acting is top notched from everybody across the board and the movie surprises you until the very end. Excellent storytelling and filmmaking at it’s finest.