I share my favorite films from last year.
By Riley McMahon, Staff Writer
2019 was a great year for movies, one of the best years of all time, in my opinion! It was an all-around great year with amazing movies ranging from nearly every genre. With unforgettable viewing experiences to truly heartfelt stories put to screen, I will forever be thankful that I had the opportunity to experience this year of movies, and I will never forget it. So, without further ado, let’s get on to my top ten movies of this past year!
Honorable mentions: Uncut Gems, Joker, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, 1917, The Peanut Butter Falcon
10. Jojo Rabbit
Another masterpiece from one of my favorite directors, Taika Waititi. I had very high hopes for this one going into it, and it certainly did not disappoint. This satirical comedy/drama set in Nazi Germany is such a fun ride filled with tons of laughs throughout its entirety, and it even has some great dramatic aspects as well. Not to mention it is beautifully shot and contains many great performances too, especially from Scarlett Johannsson.
This is definitely one I will never forget. I went into Midsommar knowing literally nothing about it, and oh man, was I surprised. This daytime horror is one of, if not the most, insane movies I have ever seen. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and there were a few absolutely jaw-dropping scenes, not like anything I have ever seen before. This is one of the most unique, crazy movies I have ever seen, and I absolutely loved it. The cinematography in this movie is also on a whole different level, and Florence Pugh gives one of the best female performances of recent years. Ari Aster continues to impress me with his unique vision and directing ability, and I will go see anything with his name on it from this point on.
8. Ford v Ferrari
What an all-around great movie. Based on a true story and set in 1966, Ford v Ferrari is an inspiring, triumphant, and fun movie that just might be the best racing movie of all time. It is a movie that not only everyone should see, but also a movie that I think everyone will like. I seriously have not heard of a single person saying they did not like this movie. It is amazingly shot, and the editing is unreal. The racing scenes in this movie are seriously not like anything ever done before, and they are jaw-dropping to watch. Nominated for four Oscars, including best picture and winning two of them (film editing and sound editing), Ford V Ferrari will be historically remembered and thought about among the greatest sports movies of all time.
7. Marriage Story
This expertly directed movie from acclaimed director Noah Baumbach draws you in from the very first second and keeps you locked in for its entirety! This is one of the most heartfelt, realistic movies I have ever seen, and I completely adored it. Driven by stunning performances from its two leads Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, this movie was an emotional rollercoaster. Baumbach is known for his great scripts and realistic dialogue, and this was certainly no outlier. This story of a couple going through a divorce may seem vague at first thought, but it definitely is not. Baumbach used personal experience from his own divorce to develop this script and made it feel so realistic; it seriously draws you in and makes you feel as if you are a part of the story. I cannot get over how good Driver and Johannsson were in this movie, one of the best acting duos I have ever seen, and their chemistry is perfect. Marriage Story has everything you look for in a good movie, and I think this is one that everyone needs to see.
6. Knives Out
This is one of the most complex, intricate stories I have ever seen portrayed on screen, and it was such a fun ride the whole movie. Director Rian Johnson gives his spin on the classic “whodunnit?” genre with a powerhouse of a cast, and it was anything and everything I could have ever hoped for. This movie had a lot of hype leading up to it, and it certainly lived up to it. It keeps you locked in from the opening frame, mainly due to its amazing script, but every performance turned in from its cast was great as well! I was very pleasantly surprised by this one and had so much fun watching it. It kept me guessing the whole time leading up to its shocking finale, and it was just an all-around great time at the movies!
This was no doubt the biggest surprise of the year. This South Korean subtitled movie from acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho is just so great in literally every aspect! I did not expect to like this movie this much, and quite frankly, the idea of seeing a subtitled foreign movie did not sound like a good time to me. But now, I can confidently say that feeling of skepticism was completely wrong. Parasite is expertly written and is one of the most entertaining stories I have ever seen put to screen. Joon-ho delivered a very smart, well-crafted masterpiece with this one, and it is one of those movies that you can re-watch over and over again. It also recently won four Oscars, including best picture, and I cannot argue with that one bit! This is a great movie in every category, and it stands to show that foreign movies can be great too!
4. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino delivers another cinematic masterpiece with this one! Tarantino continues to be my favorite director of all time with his unique style and vision that he applies to all of his movies. This love letter to Hollywood, set in 1969 Los Angeles and starring two of my favorite actors, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, is just so awesome. From beginning to end, this movie had me locked in containing a few of my favorite movie scenes I’ve ever seen! From the excellent dialogue, written by Tarantino, to the great performances from DiCaprio and Pitt, this movie was so good in every aspect. I just absolutely loved the feel of it that Tarantino managed to portray, and it is a movie that I can watch at any time no matter what mood I am in.
This was one of my most anticipated movies of the year, and it more than surpassed my expectations. After seeing his first movie Get Out in 2017, I knew that Jordan Peele had something special with his directing abilities, and I was more than excited to see Us because of this. This is one of the more complex and intricate storylines I’ve ever seen, and it is just so unique. Peele keeps you locked into his movie the whole time, and I just love psychological thriller type movies like this. It also looks incredible with its amazing cinematography, and the score of the movie was one of the best of the year, in my opinion. The cast turned in amazing performances as well, especially Lupita Nyong’o, who was absolutely stunning. It also contains a jaw-dropping twist that had me completely shocked. Peele continues to impress me with his work, and I will no doubt be all in for anything he puts out in the future.
2. The Lighthouse
Another cinematic masterpiece delivered from director Robert Eggers and production company A24 right here! I cannot get over how good this psychological thriller starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe was. This was definitely one of the most unique, crazy movies I have ever seen, and I loved it. Shot in black and white with a very unorthodox aspect ratio, it is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Driven by absolutely amazing performances from Pattinson and Dafoe, this movie had me completely invested from the very start. The story of two lighthouse keepers being stranded on an island set in New England in the 1890s seems so simple, but Eggers applies his unique vision to it and makes it so much deeper than that. It also contains some of my favorite cinematography I’ve ever seen, a great score, great dialogue and a few jaw-dropping moments that had me on the edge of my seat. I was so shocked by how much I loved this movie and will never forget how emotionally invested I was into it, making it my second favorite movie of the year!
1. Avengers: Endgame
How can I not put Avengers: Endgame as my favorite of the year! I would be lying if I said this is not the most fun I’ve ever had watching a movie. I have never been more excited for a movie, and this was probably my most anticipated movie of all time. It certainly exceeded my expectations as well because I loved every minute of it. I have been a huge Marvel fan ever since the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2008 with Iron Man, and over the years, I have grown so emotionally invested in all of these characters. Avengers: Endgame was the accumulation of 21 movies before it, and its job was to wrap up the storyline that was built up over the entirety of them. It was such a satisfying ending to the so-called “Infinity saga,” and it delivered everything I was hoping out of it. It was hilarious, triumphant, had moments that brought me to tears and had moments that made me want to stand up and cheer. There could not have been a more satisfying ending to this storyline, and Marvel did a perfect job with this movie in my opinion. Due to all of this, and it seriously being the happiest I’ve ever been watching a movie, Avengers: Endgame is my favorite movie of 2019!