As 2019 wraps up, we tend to reflect on the year that gave us so many wonderful films. So here are my Top 10 films of 2019. It was very hard to only choose 10, so I decided to break down the genres.
- The Irishman
dir. Martin Scorsese
starring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Anna Paquin and Sebastian Maniscalco.
The Irishman Review Excerpt: This felt like Scorsese’s magnum opus because there was such a finality to this piece. It was a love letter to all of the mob films that came before and in a way an introduction to the new generation.
dir. Todd Phillips
starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, and Marc Maron.
Joker Review Excerpt: The reason why this performance was so incredibly stunning, was because his movements and facial expressions became more crisp and rigid. He went from timid poverty stricken every day working man, to confident, stand up comedian, who has A LOT to say about how society has treated him. His growth in this film is beautiful to watch but also incredibly unnerving to know that it leads him down this violent path.
- Once Upon A Time in… Hollywood
dir. Quentin Tarantino
starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Kurt Russell, Emile Hirsh and Margaret Qualley.Once Upon A Time in… Hollywood Review Excerpt: The reason it’s called “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is because it’s a story about filmmakers and their everyday lives. Whether they’re old agents, washed up actors or newcomers, everyone had a story and everyone wanted to see their name in lights.
- Honey Boy
dir. Alma Har’el
screenplay. Shia LaBeouf
starring: Shia LaBeouf, Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges, Martin Starr, FKA Twigs, Natasha Lyonne and Byron Bowers.
Honey Boy Review Excerpt: The direction from Alma Har’el was so masterful, she took the time to let these characters grow. The dialogue shared between them filled the screen because there was always heavy tension that was resting beneath the surface.
- Knives Out
dir. Rian Johnson
Starring: Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Christopher Plummer, Chris Evans, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Katherine Langford and LaKeith Stanfield.
Knives Out Review Excerpt: It had a very intricate story and if you don’t pay attention you’ll definitely get lost in the madness. It also helps to watch this in a theatre filled with people because the reactions, throughout the film, make it a much richer experience.
dir. Bong Joon Ho
Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyu, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam.
Parasite Review Excerpt: The one line that stood out to me and brought me to tears was, Kang Ho Song’s delivery of “You know what plan never fails? No plan.” he then proceeds to say that life cannot be planned. This was the moment that struck me the most because after everything that the family had gone through together, life happens and it cannot be controlled, it can change in a second.
- Uncut Gems
dir. Josh and Benny Safdie
starring: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox and Kevin Garnett
Uncut Gems Review Excerpt: The execution of this story was beautiful. The film was visually appealing and incorporated experimental elements followed by flawless editing. The film had me at peak anxiety level the entire runtime but in a good way.
- The Peanut Butter Falcon
dir. Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz
Starring: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson
The Peanut Butter Falcon Review Excerpt: LaBeouf and Gottsagen’s natural chemistry was beautiful to watch unfold because of how heartfelt both performances were. LaBeouf’s carefree nature came through and the genuine love he had for Zack was so evident on screen.
- Portrait of a Lady on Fire
dir. Céline Sciamma
starring: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami
Portrait of a Lady on Fire Review Excerpt: As the story travels back into the memory of Marianne, the tones in the frame become softer, warmer and almost dreamlike. The entire film felt like we were entering this alternate timeline of another place entirely, with these characters, as if it were a fragment that was repressed.
dir. Olivia Wilde
Starring: Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie FeldsteinBooksmart Review Excerpt: Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is effortless. The integration of character’s and their connection with one another was not forced and it was refreshing to see it all come together in a cohesive narrative. Most of the time coming of age films force the character’s into a situation but in this case it just flowed and it was all believable.
– Ford v Ferrari
Best Animated Feature:
dir. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
starring: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Sterling K. Brown
Best Franchise Film:
dir. David Sandberg
Starring: Zachary Levi, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel, Mark Strong, Grace Fulton, Djimon Hounsou, Marta Milans, Adam Brody, Jovan Armand, Michelle Borth, Megan Goode, Cooper Andrews, Ross Butler, D.J. Cotrona and Faithe Herman.
– Alita: Battle Angel
– Spider-Man: Far From Home
dir. Jonathan Levine
starring: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel and Andy Serkis
Best Horror Film
Ready Or Not
dir. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny and Andie MacDowell.
It Chapter 2