Top 10 Movies of 2019

The most glamorous, albeit yearly controversial,  Academy Awards are upon us. The best part of the Oscar nominations? Brad Pitt will finally win his first Oscar. I am shaking.

What came as a total shock was director Todd Phillips’ Joker leading with 11 nominations, including best picture, best director, and best actor for Joaquin Phoenix. Look, Joker was good, but best picture? Come on. Phoenix deserves to win, but ELEVEN nominations?? Renee Zellweger is poised to win best actress for her role in Judy, a movie nobody saw, and Laura Dern will rightfully win best-supporting actress in Marriage Story.

The one thing I’m unsure of is which route Academy voters will take in regard to best picture. USA Today passionately defends all nine contenders, but I honestly can’t choose one to win. My thoughts are that it will boil down to Once Upon a Time and 1917.

Here’s my top 10 list of my personal favorite movies from 2019.

10. Little Women

Director: Greta Gerwig

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet.

Plot: Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms.

Review: Charming AF and soul candy are some of my favorite takeaways from the Internet to describe this movie, but while I prefer the 1994 version of this film (pls don’t hate me), this adaptation is still pretty solid.

9. Midsommar

Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Vilhelm Blomgren

Plot: A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

Review: I don’t know what I expected from this movie, but now I feel like I have a solid grasp on what director Ari Aster has to offer. And, honestly, you should too if you plan on seeing this.

8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie

Plot: A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Review: Filled with plenty of homages, Tarantino-isms, and countless feet shots (a little excessive…you’ve been warned), this is definitely a movie not to be missed. Is it one of his best or in my top 5 of his films? No. Don’t go into this film expecting to see a “Tarantino flick”, because, for the most part, it’s not. It’s a different piece of art, which may or may not bode well with Tarantino lovers, but I won’t spoil the plot.

7. Parasite

Director: Bong Joon Ho

Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo

Plot: All unemployed, Ki-taek and his family take peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks, as they ingratiate themselves into their lives and get entangled in an unexpected incident.

Review: An exceptionally wild and surprising ride. I went into this movie blind and with no expectations and was floored! Can’t wait to see more from Bong Joon Ho!

6. Joker

Director: Todd Phillips

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

Plot: In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.

Review: There’s a lot of mixed emotions surrounding this movie, but whatever your feelings are, Joker’s arthouse superhero movie vibe has carved a new path for the superhero genre and how these films can potentially look in the future. Does anyone know where I can find Joaquin Phoenix? I’d like to deliver his Oscar personally.

5. Marriage Story

Director: Noah Baumbach

Cast: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Julia Greer

Plot: Noah Baumbach’s incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

Review: I am truly wrecked, I am unwell, and I’m calling the 1-800-Academy-Awards hotline immediately. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship and lost themselves in their partner will truly relate to Marriage Story.

4. The Farewell

Director: Lulu Wang

Cast: Shuzhen Zhao, Awkwafina, X Mayo

Plot: A Chinese family discovers their grandmother has only a short while left to live and decide to keep her in the dark, scheduling a wedding to gather before she dies.

Review: A little indie movie that’s based on an “actual lie” surprisingly gave me more feels than I ever expected. But, its impacts isn’t so little. Grab your tissues; we’re all going to be crying with this one.

3. 1917

Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays

Plot: April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

Review: The hard-hitting, nerve-killing technical achievement that is 1917 offers a look at the trench warfare from WWI in an all too realistic ride. I personally cannot wait to see what’s next for actor George MacKay!

2. Knives Out

Director: Rian Johnson

Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas

Plot: A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

Review: This movie surprised the hell out of me. I had zero desire to see it (despite it having then arguably best cast of the year), but I’m really glad I did!!

1. Jojo Rabbit

Director: Taika Waititi

Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Scarlett Johansson

Plot: A young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

Review: If you want to see the best movie of 2019, look no further. Jojo Rabbit is officially on my Oscar watch-list. And, yes. It’s possible to make a good comedy about Hitler. I love you, Taika! You’ve done it again!

What were your favorite movies of 2019? Did the Oscars get it right or so wrong?

9 thoughts on “Top 10 Movies of 2019”

  1. We match with quite a few of these but Joker is actually on my worst list for 2019 lol.

    I love seeing Jojo at the top. It’s high on my list too, as it Knives Out. And I love that Midsommar and The Farewell got some love as well

  2. I still have to watch a couple of movies in your top 10. I made my list before I started watching some of the Oscar nominees – Little Women and Marriage Story would have made my list. Knives Out was on my list, it was such a delight.

  3. Great list! I still have to watch some of the films on your top list. I made mine early before watching some of the Oscar nominees – Little Women and Marriage Story would have made my top list. Knives Out is on my list though, the film was such a delight.

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