This year caps an unforgettable decade and the films that are on this list will be placed together with a small group of films that are truly revered. Nearly a thousand movies are produced every year and many never grace the silver screen. The hundreds that do are typically forgotten buy the hands of time, but a select few live on in the memories of those that bare witness to them. Here are the movies I predict will stand the test of time and be remembered as the ones that defined 2019.
12. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Tom Hanks brought the magic of Mr. Rogers back into our hearts one last time and it was truly a thing worthy of praise.
11. Ad Astra
Brad Pitt took us deep into the heart of darkness in this introspective space feature that divided audiences, but left me utterly invigorated.
The highest grossing R rated movie in history is also one of the ballsiest studio pictures in years. This film truly delves deep into what my lead a lost mind down the path to great violence and dared to make him someone we might sympathize with.
9. Ford V Ferrari
This was the feel good movie of the year for me until it broke my heart in the end. There is no denying the exquisite craft on display here.
8. The Report
Quite possibly the most important piece of lost modern history is unveiled in a film that celebrates the hard work it takes to bring the truth to light. In an age where the truth is being dragged through the mud, this film could not be more important.
7. Avengers: Endgame
The Russo brothers managed to close out the biggest film franchise of all time with one of the most rousing finale’s in film history, but the true achievement of this film is its ability slow down and let its characters breath. It takes nearly two hours for this film to become an action movie. This rest is all about its characters. Bravo!
A scathing critique of class structure, wrapped in a beautifully photographed piece of entertainment. This film will keep you riveted for its entire running time, while also making you think about the complicated nature of right, wrong, and the unfair balance of those who have too much and those who live in the gutter.
5. Little Women
An absolute delight, Greta Gerwig delivers the best adaptation of this classic novel to date. I hope the Academy doesn’t overlook this as just another remake, because it is truly something special.
4. Marriage Story
Divorce is painful and the system often leads good people to do things that hurt the ones they love. This can be especially true when children are involved. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson give career best performances in the best film about divorce since ‘Kramer Vs. Kramer’.
3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino’s Hollywood hangout of the golden era is the most fun I had at the movies this year. The dialogue is his typical best and the way he connects the film to the Manson family gives the whole thing a surprisingly emotional close. But it’s the team of DiCaprio and Pitt that makes this movie such a blast!
2. The Irishman
Martin Scorsese not only delivers one of his best gangster pictures to date, but he also illuminates a piece of history that should not be forgotten. Much has been talked about the films running time, but it’s the smoothest three and a half hours you will have watching anything this year.
Not only the best film of the year, ‘1917’ is also the best war movie since ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Now, you can argue that we don’t need another war movie right now, but there is never a wrong time to illuminate our history. This film tracks two soldiers through one continuous shot and leaves the audience breathless in the process. I thought I could never feel something new from a war movie, but director Sam Mendes changes the very notion of what a war movie can be. This film is a masterpiece!
Best of the Rest
Toy Story 4
Dolemite is my Name
How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The Great Hack
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker