Favorite Movies of 2019

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dancecho

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Edited By dancecho

List is subjective, blah blah blah, no one cares about the intro, let's just get to the list.

I've been making video countdowns every year since 2015 and editing them is always a blast. Here's the 2019 edition:

Now for the write up!

20. MIDSOMMAR

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Ari Aster is quickly becoming one of the top horror directors today. How can such a bright movie be so creepy and dreadful? Also, I will now watch anything Florence Pugh is in.

2019 themes: bitches be crazy, cults, gaslighting, grief, toxic relationships

19. US

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Although I prefer GET OUT for its simplicity and execution, Jordan Peele is going for some cool and interesting stuff here even if he doesn't quite stick the landing with all his ideas. This would actually make a killer double-feature with PARASITE.

2019 themes: class conflict, doppelgangers, family pride

18. PADDLETON

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Netflix was too busy blowing the trumpets for Scorsese and Baumbach, their smaller movies like this got lost in the shuffle. Ray Romano is even better here than THE IRISHMAN!

2019 themes: dealing with death, feeling obsolete, grief, homoerotic undertones

17. LONG SHOT

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This came and went pretty quickly in the theaters. Maybe it was too romcom-y for the guys and too Seth Rogan-y for the ladies? I'm in tune with both, so this was great for me.

2019 themes: girl pride, opposites attract

16. THE LIGHTHOUSE

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aka BOOMER VS MILLENIAL

aka NOTHING GOOD CAN HAPPEN WHEN TWO MEN ARE TRAPPED IN A GIANT PHALLUS

This was a huge leap from THE WITCH (I refuse to spell it with two V's) in terms of film-making, acting, and entertainment. I hope Robert Eggers never makes a movie set in the present day.

2019 themes: gaslighting, generational conflict, homoerotic undertones

15. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM

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This felt incomplete and almost pointless. John Wick ends up pretty much in the same place he starts the movie, but slightly worse? That said, the action scenes are still amazing, despite them ripping off THE VILLAINESS' motorcycle sword fight. And the world-building is still fantastic, on par with the other films in the franchise. Bring on CHAPTER 4 - MORIOR INVICTUS OR WHATEVER COOL SOUNDING LATIN PHRASE YOU CAN THINK OF.

2019 themes: feeling obsolete, self-preservation at all costs

14. THE PERFECTION

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I loved this movie when I caught it at a film festival at Austin in 2018. Watching it with a festival crowd that had no idea what was in store is the ideal way to experience any movie, let alone a crazy and trashy thriller. I've cooled off a bit on it since then. Watching it on Netflix with my wife on a Saturday night wasn't quite the same, you know?

2019 themes: bitches be crazy, grief, homoerotic overtones

13. EXTREME JOB

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Do me a favor and try to watch this before the American remake comes out starring Kevin Hart. I wish I was kidding. It's about a group of cops doing a stakeout from a fried chicken restaurant that starts getting unexpectedly popular because of their new recipe. Only Koreans can make this premise work. (China tried and failed. Look up LOBSTER COP.)

2019 themes: bad cops, root for the underdogs

12. ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD

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I wish this was focused solely on DiCaprio's and Pitt's characters because the Sharon Tate stuff doesn't work for me, but mostly because those two just work so well together. And don't get me started on the Bruce Lee scene either. This is lesser Tarantino, but it's still better than most directors' finer work.

2019 themes: cults, feeling obsolete, film-making, homoerotic undertones, root for the underdogs

11. THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE

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Better movie about incels than JOKER.

2019 themes: root for the underdogs, toxic masculinity

10. DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE

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You're either in with S. Craig Zahler, or you're not. I'm firmly in. As a director, he's 3 for 3. I could watch Vince Vaughn eat all day, just so I could hear Mel Gibson give him shit for it.

2019 themes: bad cops, feeling obsolete, self-preservation at all costs

9. THE IRISHMAN

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Scorsese getting the (literally) old gang back together and putting down (presumably) his final say on mobster films, with unlimited funding by Netflix and complete creative control? How can this not be great? Okay, we're probably still 5 years away from the de-aging effects looking flawless, and -- I hate to say this -- but the movie is too long. I'm just saying there are a lot of scenes of De Niro driving.

2019 themes: dealing with death, feeling obsolete, passage of time, self-preservation at all costs

8. ONE CUT OF THE DEAD

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I can't say why this movie is so good. Just watch it.

2019 themes: family pride, film-making

7. KNIVES OUT

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More adventures with Benoit Blanc, please. With Marta as his Watson, pretty please. The fact that this movie did so well at the box office and with the critics is sweet vindication for Rian Johnson after all the shit he went through with THE LAST JEDI.

2019 themes: class conflict, family pride, self-preservation at all costs

6. AVENGERS: ENDGAME

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Pretty much the perfect finale to a film franchise that one could ever ask for. JJ, please take notes. Also, I was never more hyped for anything else in 2019 than Cap wielding Mjolnir.

2019 themes: dealing with death, doppelgangers, grief, root for the underdogs

5. THE FAREWELL

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Go hug your grandma if she's still around. Grandmas are great.

2019 themes: dealing with death, family pride

4. LITTLE WOMEN

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I will now watch anything Greta Gerwig makes. *checks her IMDB page* Her next project is... BARBIE?! Goddammit!

2019 themes: family pride, girl pride, passage of time

3. BOOKSMART

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This was the best comedy of the year for me. I loved SUPERBAD, but this is so much better.

2019 themes: girl pride, opposites attract

2. MARRIAGE STORY

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The most unbelievable part about this movie is that anyone would fight for custody of that little shithead of a son. Everything else was top notch, especially the actors. That argument scene was just... too real, man.

2019 themes: family pride, feeling obsolete, passage of time

1. PARASITE

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I've had foreign films in my #1 spot in previous years, but this is the first time not feeling like a hipster about it because this movie has been rolling on the hype train since Cannes, and that was in May! And now it's been nominated for 6 Oscars! Anyone who's into movies knows about this film, and that's amazing to me. Finally, South Korean movies are getting the recognition they deserve. "Respect!"

2019 themes: class conflict, family pride

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SloppyDetective

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Nice little write up. I've got the same number one as you but other than The Irishman and Marriage Story our top tens are pretty different - I tried hard to justify Dragged Across Concrete as a number 10 but couldn't in the end. Definitely check out Pain and Glory if you missed it (seems to be the most slept on movie of last year) as I felt a little hipsterish that my top two were both foreign language films.

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nutter

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No shame in giving foreign films the top spot. You get so accustomed to the same old shit in US cinema, that I love getting some different sensibilities in there. It stands out and makes an impact.

Variety and diversity are great!

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SloppyDetective

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@nutter: Idk about OP, but I'm mostly joking. I don't feel any shame about it as I think both are excellent films but when I tell more casual movie watchers they give you a look like you're trying way too hard to be cultured.

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dancecho

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@sloppydetective: I did watch PAIN AND GLORY but I wasn't too enamored with it. I did like Antonio Banderas' performance since I haven't seen that many of his dramatic roles, and the final shot of the film was a beauty. I may give it a rewatch down the line.

@nutter: Hear hear!

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JPPT1974

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You have good taste there. Keep up the good work. As you need to be a movie critic.

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hermes

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Pretty good list.

Also, thanks for introducing me to Booksmart and One Cut of the Dead. They were not on my radar, so discovering them was a pretty cool surprise.

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dancecho

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@hermes: Yes! It's always awesome to hear other people finding gems like these, especially for truly under-seen ones like ONE CUT OF THE DEAD. It's an important reason for these lists to exist.

Man I feel good after PARASITE won four fucking Oscars last night, including Best Picture?! There is hope, ya'll.

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tellmewhy_not

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to be honest, there are quite a few that I still haven't watched yet (my bad) but I'm truly happy that finally Korean film industry gets recognition as they have many great films