For film, 2019 turned out to be a year filled with the unexpected. On one hand, most of the movies that interested me ended up leaving me disappointed. On the other hand, the films that I enjoyed the most usually came from nowhere. Predictably, some of those made my Top Ten Films of 2019. Keep reading to see all the movies that made the list.
1. Parasite – Neon
In being the most well-crafted movie of the year, Parasite takes the top spot on my list. It also happened to be one of the few movies I was interested in that actually exceeded my expectations. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you know as little as possible beforehand. And yeah I know some of us English speakers aren’t into films done in other languages, but this one is worth a try. If you listen to me (you should), you won’t be sorry you gave this a chance.
2. Uncut Gems – A24 Films
With the help of a strong supporting cast that included the likes of Kevin Garnett, Lakeith Stanfield, and newcomer Julia Fox, Adam Sandler uses Uncut Gems to turn in what could be the best performance of his career. Of course, you can’t ignore the writing and directing of the Safdie Brothers. Combined, all of these moving parts come together to make this fast-paced thriller a must-watch.
3. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – TriStar Pictures
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood keeps it simple in its approach. That’s a part of the reason why it succeeds as a film. As long as you go in knowing that it’s not a biopic centered around Mister Rogers (played by Tom Hanks) specifically, I think most will enjoy and appreciate what’s here.
4. Monos – Neon
Monos was a mystery to me going in and remained that way during my time watching it for a while. As the movie progresses, you begin to understand more and figure out that it shares a few similarities with some films from the past. However, it has its own way of doing things as it morphs into a captivating and unique motion picture.
5. Dolemite is My Name – Netflix
Eddie Murphy’s comeback begins gets off to a successful start with Dolemite Is My Name. Although it wasn’t as uproariously funny as I wanted it to be, it being a strong film overall more than makes up for that. In the end, I’d say this was a pretty good way for the legendary comedian to jump-start his move back into the limelight.
6. Shazam! – Warner Bros. Pictures
In spite of the hype, the best superhero movie of 2019 wasn’t produced by Marvel Studios. In fact, that distinction belonged to DC and Warner Bros. That’s something I didn’t think I’d be saying considering I’m talking about Shazam!. It didn’t make as much money as it should have in theaters, but I’m hoping people catch up to it eventually.
7. Shaft – Warner Bros. Pictures:
The story in Shaft is almost nonexistent, but it’s also not all that necessary. What makes this movie great is the chemistry between the actors and the comedy. I found it to be consistently hilarious as it uses the differences between father and son as its foundation. And while it’s not suitable for all audiences these days, it’s fun for those of us who don’t mind a little political incorrectness from time to time.
8. Ford v Ferrari – 20th Century Fox
Out of all of my picks, Ford v Ferrari is the one I’d consider to be the safest just by looking at what it is and analyzing all that it entails. From the acting to the directing and everything in between, it works in just about every way you’d imagine it would. Ultimately, it’s a “crowdpleaser” that most will hold in high regard even if they’re not racing fans and know very little about the true story it’s based on.
9. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum – Lionsgate Films
Although it doesn’t reach the insane heights of its direct predecessor, Parabellum does well in bringing the insane action of John Wick franchise back to life. That’s mostly the reason why anyone would be watching this. It brings the same level of violence but in new ways while trying to build on the world that many find themselves wanting to go back to as much as possible.
10. The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil – Well Go USA
The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil provides us with an uncommon take on the crime thriller. Predictably, you’re going to get some twists and turns, but it’s all built on an uneasy alliance that was made just to take down a frightening serial killer. Thanks largely to how its played, you can feel the intrigue and sometimes even laugh while following these grizzled cops and gangsters moving with a purpose.