2019 Year in Review

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.

Top 10: 

  1. The Irishman
    dir. Martin Scorsese
    starring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano, Anna Paquin and Sebastian Maniscalco.

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    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.



  2.  Joker
    dir. Todd Phillips
    starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, and Marc Maron.joker
    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.


  3. Once Upon A Time in… Hollywood
    dir. Quentin Tarantino
    starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Kurt Russell, Emile Hirsh and Margaret Qualley.onceOnce 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.


  4. 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.hb
    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.


  5. 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
    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.


  6. Parasite
    dir. Bong Joon Ho
    Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyu, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam.

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    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.


  7. Uncut Gems
    dir. Josh and Benny Safdie
    starring: Adam Sandler, Julia Fox and Kevin Garnett
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    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.


  8. The Peanut Butter Falcon
    dir. Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz
    Starring: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnsonpbf
    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.


  9. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
    dir. Céline Sciamma
    starring: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajramip
    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. 


  10. Booksmart
    dir. Olivia Wilde
    Starring: Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie FeldsteinbsBooksmart 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.


***Honourable Mentions***
– Rocketman
– Ford v Ferrari
– Bombshell

Best Animated Feature:
Frozen 2
dir. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
starring: Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Sterling K. Brown

f2

Best Franchise Film:
Shazam
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.

shazam
***Honourable Mentions*** 

– Alita: Battle Angel
– Spider-Man: Far From Home 

Best Comedy:
Long Shot
dir. Jonathan Levine
starring: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel and Andy Serkis

long-shot-seth-rogen-charlize-theron
***Honourable Mentions*** 
Late Night 
Good Boys 

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.

Ready-or-Not

***Honourable Mentions***
Doctor Sleep 
It Chapter 2 

Decade in Review: The Best Films From 2018

The time has come to reflect on the past ten years of filmmaking. There are many notable films that changed the course of film criticism, box office and the entire moviegoing experience.

Here are my top picks from 2018….

  1. Blackkklansman
    dir. Spike Lee
    starring: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier and Topher Grace

    BlackkKlansman

  2. Roma
    dir. Alfonso Cuarón
    starring: Yalitza Aparicio and Marina De Tavira

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  3. If Beale Street Could Talk 
    dir. Barry Jenkins
    starring: Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Regina King and Colman Domingo

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Best Animated Feature: 
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
dir. Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey
starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Kathryn Hahn, Kimiko Glenn, Nicholas Cage, Chris Pine, Liev Shreiber, Brian Tyree Henry, Zoe Kravitz, John Mulaney, Hailee Steinfeld, Lily Tomlin and Mahershala Ali

spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-sequel-release-date
Best Comedy:
Game Night
dir. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein
starring: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Michael C. Hall, Chelsea Peretti, Kylie Bunby, Lamorne Morris and Jesse Plemons

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AND…

Tag
dir. Jeff Tomsic
starring: Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Lil Rel Howery, Jon Hamm, Annabelle Wallis, Isla Fisher, Hannibal Buress, Leslie Bibb and Rashida Jones.

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Best Franchise Film:
Black Panther
dir. Ryan Coogler
starring: Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Sterling K. Brown, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis

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****Honourable Mention*** 
– Mission Impossible: Fallout 

Best Horror Film:
A Quiet Place
dir. John Krasinski
starring: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Cade Woodward

A QUIET PLACE
***Honourable Mentions***
– Suspiria
– Venom

Decade in Review: The Best Films From 2017

The time has come to reflect on the past ten years of filmmaking. There are many notable films that changed the course of film criticism, box office and the entire moviegoing experience.

Here are my top picks from 2017….

  1. Call Me By Your Name
    dir. Luca Guadagnino
    starring: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg and Amira Casarcmbyn
  2. Molly’s Game
    dir. Aaron Sorkin
    starring: Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner and Idris ElbaMOLLY'S GAME
  3. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
    dir. Martin McDonagh
    starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell3bills

Best Animated Feature:
Coco
dir. Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina
starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alana Ubach and Jaime Camill

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Best Comedy:
Girls Trip
dir. Malcolm D. Lee
starring: Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish

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Best Franchise Film:
Wonder Woman
dir. Patty Jenkins
starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen and Danny Huston

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Best Horror Film:
Get Out
dir. Jordan Peele
starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, LaKeith Stanfield and Catherine Keener

get

Decade in Review: The Best Films From 2016

The time has come to reflect on the past ten years of filmmaking. There are many notable films that changed the course of film criticism, box office and the entire moviegoing experience.

Here are my top picks from 2016….

  1. Arrival
    dir. Denis Villeneuve
    starring: Amy Adams

    ARRIVAL

  2. Moonlight
    dir. Barry Jenkins
    starring: Mahershala Ali, Trevante Rhodes, Janelle Monae, Naomi Harris, Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome

    moonlight

  3. Jackie
    dir. Pablo Larrain
    starring: Natalie Portman

DAY16_-55.arw

Best Animated Feature:
Moana
dir. Ron Clements and John Musker
starring: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk 
moana

Best Comedy:
Bad Moms
dir. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
starring: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn

bad moms
***Honourable Mention*** 
The Nice Guys 

Best Franchise Film:
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
dir. Zack Snyder
starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons and Amy Adams

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AND….

Deadpool
dir. Tim Miller
starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Ed Skrein, Karan Soni and Brianna Hildebrand

DEADPOOL

Best Horror Film
Hush
dir. Mike Flanagan
starring: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Siegel and Michael Trucco

hush

Decade in Review: The Best Films From 2015

The time has come to reflect on the past ten years of filmmaking. There are many notable films that changed the course of film criticism, box office and the entire moviegoing experience.

Here are my top picks from 2015….

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
    dir. George Miller
    starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz

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  2. The Lobster
    dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
    starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Jenna Barden and Olivia Colman

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  3. Carol
    dir. Todd Haynes
    starring: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara

    carol

Best Animated Feature:
Inside Out
dir. Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen
starring: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind and Diane Lane

inside out

Best Comedy:
The Night Before
dir. Jonathan Levine
starring: Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Mindy Kaling and James Franco

Joseph Gordon Levitt;Seth Rogen;Anthony Mackie

Best Franchise Film:
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
dir. Christopher McQuarrie
starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Alec Baldwin and Ving Rhames
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***Honourable Mention*** 
Creed 

Best Horror Film:
The Invitation
dir. Karyn Kusama
starring: Logan Marshal – Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michael Huisman, Emayatzy Coriniealdi and Aiden Lovecamp

invite