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2019 offered up an array of great films in every category this year. From classic period pieces to dark comedies and gripping dramas, it seems there was a little something for everyone.

If you didn’t quite have time to see everything you wanted to this year, it’s not too late. Here’s a list of the 15 best films from 2019 that make us remember all the reasons we can’t get enough of the movies.

Us (Beating Yourself Up, Like for Real)

The suspense was high waiting for Jordan Peele’s followup to his first horror-comedy hit, Get Out. And Us does not disappoint. 

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyongo’ has been nominated once again for her role as the mother of a likable American family that heads off on what was supposed to be a fun-filled family vacation.   

But things take a turn for the freaky when the family’s doppelgängers show up on the driveway with more than just axes to grind. Will the family be able to outwit themselves and survive? Or will all the self-torture come to a bad end? Guess you’ll have to hold your breath and see. 

Watch on Amazon Prime Video 

Ford v Ferrari (Muscle Cars in a Muscle Movie)

Yes, this slick, big-budget Hollywood movie is yet another ode to the inventive American spirit. Original? No. But dang if it isn’t two tons of fun. 

With all the riveting action (plus Oscar-nominated performances from Matt Damon and Christian Bale), this is one thrill ride you just can’t resist.

Based on a true story, car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) teams up with race car driver Ken Miles (Bale) to assemble a car that can beat auto racing giant Ferrari at Le Mans. And the blistering, wheel-screeching race is on! 

Watch on Amazon Prime Video 

Apollo 11 (Whoa, Awesome)

This gripping documentary features never before seen footage of Apollo 11’s mission to the moon. 

Taut and suspenseful even though we know the outcome, director Todd Douglas Miller does a masterful job of crafting scientific advancements into thrilling drama. And in an age when technology is taken for granted, he manages to both inspire and awe us with the events that lead up to the moon landing.  

Watch on Amazon Prime Video 

Jojo Rabbit (When Your Imaginary Friend is a Fascist)

Blinded by his own fervent nationalism, Hitler youth JoJo has a mind-blowing wakeup call when he discovers his mother is harboring a young, Jewish girl in their attic.

And did we mention he has an imaginary friend named Adolf Hitler? This irreverent, World War II satire may be darkly funny, but its message against hate and intolerance is serious.  

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (There was a has-been….)

Has-been actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo Dicaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) struggle to come to grips with the radically changing Hollywood of 1969. Rick also has some interesting neighbors: Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. 

Irreverently funny and outrageous, this movie drips with nostalgia for the golden age of Hollywood. And because Tarantino directs it, it also drips some blood. 

When the credits roll, you know this isn’t nearly the end of Quentin Tarantino’s career.

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Uncut Gems (A High Stakes Thriller)

This crime thriller features a stellar (though Oscar snubbed) performance from Adam Sandler. In it he plays Howard Ratner, a New York City jeweler and hustler who’s ready to risk everything he has for the elusive big payoff. 

An action-packed nail biter, it’s a safe bet you’ll be on the edge of your seat to the very end. 

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

1917 ( A Ticket To The Frontlines) 

Gut wrenching and technically impressive, 1917 immerses you in the horrifying trench warfare of World War I in what looks like one long tracking shot.

The action unfolds as two British soldiers race across enemy lines to deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack. The tension is unrelenting in this hard-hitting and beautifully cinematic film. 

You may feel like you’ve been to hell and back. But it’s worth it.

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Joker (Mental Health Is No Laughing Matter)

Violent, disturbing and most definitely controversial, Joker is like a train wreck you can’t take your eyes off. 

Yes, it’s dark and nihilistic. But Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is so shockingly believable that the movie is still a must see. 

In this origin story of the arch-villain, we watch on horrified as a clown by day, would be comic by night suffers the cruel knocks of society until he’s transformed into a monster. 

It’s an anti-feel good movie. But it’s still riveting. 

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

The Two Popes (Backstage at the Vatican)

There are no explosions. No gimmicks. And because it’s history, no surprise ending. What The Two Popes does have is two outstanding performances that draw you into a pivotal moment in the Catholic church.

When disillusioned Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) travels to Rome to hand in his resignation, he challenges the conservative view of Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins), who refuses to let him retire.

Though their views are radically different, the two men work to find common ground as a scandal that threatens the foundations of the Catholic church is revealed.

Whether you’re religious or not, The Two Popes is a relevant and impactful story of tradition vs. progress. Amen.

Watch on Netflix

Pain and Glory (Antonio Banderas at His Best)

Antonio Banderas has been nominated for an Oscar in this introspective and masterful film from Pedro AlmodĂłvar. The story centers around an aging movie director who reflects on his art and life as he struggles with an ailing body and a lack of inspiration.

Tender and layered, this is the work of one of cinema’s greats. 

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

The Irishman (Who Walked Into Bar and Came Out a Mobster)

This epic gangster film by Martin Scorsese recounts the real life of Frank Sheeran, a henchman of the Bufalino crime family. 

I have to confess, I was unconvinced by the CGI effects that supposedly turned Joe Pesci, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro into younger versions of themselves. But I was still drawn in by this tale of underworld corruption as it runs over into American politics.

Frank Sheeran reportedly murdered his friend and Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa. But this film isn’t about bang-bang violence. It’s a tale of corruption, betrayal and the consequences it has on the soul. 

Watch on Netflix

Little Women (In a Man’s World)

Greta Gerwig (director of Lady Bird) breathes new life into Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, Little Women. Bursting with life, humor and terrific performances this film is the antidote to stuffy period pieces.

As the March sisters set out to live life on their own terms, each one encounters her own personal challenges along the way.

Gerwig hits just the right tone in this intrinsically feminist tale that both charms and moves us. Through her artful retelling, she makes a classic novel refreshingly relevant to our own times. 

This is one sister act you don’t want to miss. 

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Parasite (We’re All Suckers)

Bong Joon Ho’s thrill ride of a movie is a mash up of dark comedy, taught drama and social satire. When a conniving family slowly weasel’s their way into a wealthy household, they prove just how ruthless the class struggle can be.

Bong Joon Ho’s talented ensemble cast keeps us captivated right up until the unpredictable ending. Nominated for an Oscar in the Best Picture and Best International Film categories, Parasite will suck you in. 

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

The Farewell  (Hello, Lulu Wang!)

Lulu Wang’s touching and funny portrait of an Asian American family stars rapper turned actress Awkwafina. Her character Billi, an unemployed writer, finds out from her parents that her grandmother has terminal cancer. The twist is that everyone but her grandmother knows.

When Billi travels to China, she experiences conflicting emotions as she is forced to keep the secret at the family reunion and final “farewell.” 

Artfully directed, Wang’s sensitive handling of cross cultural confusion is beautifully human, funny and poignant. 

Watch on Amazon Prime Video

Marriage Story (It’s No Fairytale)

Two showbiz people get divorced. I’ll admit the premise doesn’t sound all that engaging. And yet, through Noah Baumbach’s masterful direction and incredible performances across the board, you become completely engrossed as a supposedly friendly divorce devolves into an ugly battle.

Starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as the conflicted couple, we watch as they slowly unravel and then struggle to put themselves back together again. Their performances are achingly real. But watch out for Laura Dern and Ray Liotta who give scene-stealing performances as the ruthless LA divorce attorneys.

Marriage Story may not have a fairy tale ending, but it’s compassionate and human portrait of divorce goes straight to the heart.

Watch on Netflix


The Best Movies of 2019:

  • Us
  • Ford v Ferrari
  • Apollo 11
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Once Upon A Time In Hollywood 
  • Uncut Gems
  • 1917 
  • Joker
  • The Two Popes
  • Pain and Glory
  • The Irishman
  • Little Women
  • Parasite
  • The Farewell
  • Marriage Story
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Posted 
Feb 11, 2020
 in 
Lifestyle
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