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!
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.
bitches be crazy, cults, gaslighting, grief, toxic relationships
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.
class conflict, doppelgangers, family pride
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!
dealing with death, feeling obsolete, grief, homoerotic undertones
17. LONG SHOT
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.
girl pride, opposites attract
16. THE LIGHTHOUSE
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.
gaslighting, generational conflict, homoerotic undertones
15. JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM
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.
feeling obsolete, self-preservation at all costs
14. THE PERFECTION
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?
bitches be crazy, grief, homoerotic overtones
13. EXTREME JOB
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.)
bad cops, root for the underdogs
12. ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD
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.
cults, feeling obsolete, film-making, homoerotic undertones, root for the underdogs
11. THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE
Better movie about incels than JOKER.
root for the underdogs, toxic masculinity
10. DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE
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.
bad cops, feeling obsolete, self-preservation at all costs
9. THE IRISHMAN
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 of scenes of De Niro driving.
dealing with death, feeling obsolete, passage of time, self-preservation at all costs
8. ONE CUT OF THE DEAD
I can't say why this movie is so good. Just watch it.
family pride, film-making
7. KNIVES OUT
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.
class conflict, family pride, self-preservation at all costs
6. AVENGERS: ENDGAME
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.
dealing with death, doppelgangers, grief, root for the underdogs
5. THE FAREWELL
Go hug your grandma if she's still around. Grandmas are great.
dealing with death, family pride
4. LITTLE WOMEN
I will now watch anything Greta Gerwig makes. *checks her IMDB page* Her next project is... BARBIE?! Goddammit!
family pride, girl pride, passage of time
This was the best comedy of the year for me. I loved SUPERBAD, but this is so much better.
girl pride, opposites attract
2. MARRIAGE STORY
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.
family pride, feeling obsolete, passage of time
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!"
class conflict, family pride