Best Movies of 2019
As the year winds down, the holidays are the best excuse to sit in front of the TV and catch up on the year’s best movies you might have missed. Whether its with a family member, friend or even caregiver, watching the best in entertainment can help you forget about the cold.
Here is a list of the best movies released in 2019.
Director: Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle)
Starring: Taron Egerton (Kingsmen series, Eddie the Eagle), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, The Bodyguard), Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four, Snowpiercer)
If you are into musicals and Elton John, Rocketman is the movie for you. Taking place during the beginning of Elton John’s life, the film takes audiences on a colorful ride as the film explores the icon that is Elton John. From exploring his impact on the music world, to his representation as a cultural icon, Rocketman’s focus on ambitious choreography, extravagant set design and pulse-pumping sound make you feel like you are at an Elton John concert (even if the songs are sung by Egerton and not Elton himself). Rocketman’s ability to showcase storytelling though production and music is masterful and will keep your toes tapping hours after the film is over.
Available on-demand to rent or buy (Apple TV, PlayStation Network, or through your TV provider), Blu-ray/DVD.
If you like the film check out: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018), Bohemian Rhapsody (Bryan Singer, 2018), Blinded by the Light (Gurinder Chadha, 2019).
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Director: Chad Stahelski (The Matrix Series [stunts], Deadpool [stunts])
Starring: Keanu Reeves (The Matrix Series, Speed, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure), Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball, X-Men, Gothika), Ian McShane (Deadwood, American Gods, Kung Fu Panda)
If you are looking for action, you will not be disappointed in John Wick. With a focus on realistic gunplay, martial arts and car chases, John Wick has been an absolute powerhouse since its start in 2014. Now the third movie in the series, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ups the ante as John Wick is now barred as excommunicado. With all the world’s assassins on his trail, John must use his cunning ability and skills to survive the kill order. With more ambitious action scenes and a focus on world building, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is the best the series has to offer.
Available on demand, Blu-ray/DVD. John Wick 1-2 are available on Amazon Prime Video.
If you like the film check out: Mission: Impossible-Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018), The Raid: Redemption/The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans, 2011, 2014), Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011).
Director: Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper)
Starring: Daniel Craig (James Bond Series, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Ana De Armas (Blade Runner 2049, No Time to Die [upcoming]), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda)
In the spirit of Clue (Jonathan Lynn, 1985) and Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh, 2017), Knives Out is classic whodunit with a modern twist. With a star-studded cast and an excellent story Knives Out will have you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll. Though Knives Out is presented as a classic murder story, under its skin lies themes of “the other”, political hypocrisy and race relations. Regardless what you take away from it, Knives Out is a blast and one of the best movies of the year.
Currently available in most theatres.
If you like the film check out: Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014), Wind River (Taylor Sheridan, 2017), Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007).
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Director: Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic, Aviator), Brad Pitt (Seven, Moneyball), Margot Robbie (Wolf of Wallstreet, I, Tonya)
From legendary director Quentin Tarantino comes his 9th film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Set in 1969 Los Angeles, the film follows a forgotten tv star (DiCaprio) and his stuntman (Pitt) as they try to achieve success at the end of the golden age of Hollywood. Tarantino does a great job of creating a classical Hollywood movie straight out of the twentieth century while giving it that Tarantino charm. Though the film is quite long and drawn out, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is deeply character focussed allowing each action sequence (or lack thereof) to feel natural and unmotivated. If you are looking for the high-octane violent action of Tarantino’s past films, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is very different in that regard. However, if you are looking for something unique, charming and rather unforced, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is excellent.
Available on demand, Blu-ray/DVD.
If you like the film check out: Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955), The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941), Hail Caesar! (The Coen Bothers, 2016).
For the Family:
Toy Story 4
Director: Josh Cooley (Inside Out [actor], Ratatouille [art department])
Starring: Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan), Tim Allen (Home Improvement, The Santa Clause), Annie Potts (Ghostbusters, Pretty in Pink), Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Veep).
If you are looking to sit down with your grandkids, Toy Story 4 is fun for the whole family. As the final film in the franchise, Toy Story 4 is an emotional ride as the film explores Woody as he struggles with what it means to be a toy. Though it helps to see the past films in the 24-year franchise, Toy Story 4 is relatively self contained and charming throughout. Hanks and Allen are once again excellent as Woody and Buzz but Pott’s Bo Peep and Hale’s Forky are clear standouts. As like other Pixar films, Toy Story 4 strikes the delicate balance between being a kid’s movie as well as an adult film through its themes and message. Regardless of your age, Toy Story 4 is an excellent film by all accounts and one that is best watched with the whole family.
P.S- After watching the film, que up Forky Asks a Question on Disney Plus for some funny shorts staring Forky and the rest of the gang.
Available on demand, Blu-ray/DVD, comes to Disney Plus in February. Toy Story 1-3 are currently available on Disney Plus.
If you like the film check out: Missing Link (Chris Butler, 2019), The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Mike Mitchell, 2019), Abominable (Jill Culton, 2019).
Directors: Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Winter Solider, Captain America: Civil War)
Starring: Chris Evans (Knives Out, Snowpiercer), Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Homes, Tropic Thunder), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit, Her), Chris Hemsworth (Snow White and the Huntsman, Rush)
If you have watched any MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) film, you know the type of high-quality action films Disney/Marvel produces. Avengers: Endgame is the best overview of the past eleven years of the MCU culminating into a TV-like finale for the franchise. In Avengers: Endgame the Avengers have lost, Thanos is nowhere to be found and life is in shambles after half of all-life evaporated into dust. To find a solution to earth’s greatest threat, the Avengers once again team up as they try to reverse the affects of the infamous Thanos Snap and restore humanity. Unlike, Avengers: Infinity War (Joe and Anthony Russo, 2018), Avengers: Endgame focuses on the relationships of the core Avengers (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Hulk) as they work together to restore order. Even though Avengers: Endgame is still ambitious in scope, scaling down the amount of characters the film focuses on allows the film to carry an incredible amount of emotional weight. As audiences have been with these characters since the beginning, Avengers: Endgame acts as a chapter closer that is incredibly rewarding.
Available on Disney Plus as with most of the MCU catalog of films. Available on demand, Blu-ray, DVD.
If you like the film check out: Spider-Man: Far From Home (Jon Watts, 2019), Shazam! (David F. Sandberg, 2019), Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, 2019).
Directors: Sergio Pablos (Despicable Me, Smallfoot [writer]) Carlos Martinez Lopez (Planet 51, Capture the Flag [animation department)
Starring: Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation, Social Network), Jason Schwartzman (Scott Pilgrim vs. World, Rushmore), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Spider-Man series)
Just in time for Christmas comes another classic. Just recently released, Klaus is a tale about a young postman Jesper (Schwartzman) as he befriends a toymaker named Klaus (Simmons). Due to poor performance, Jesper is stationed on a frozen tundra just above the Arctic Circle where the locals barely communicate to one another. When he meets up with a teacher named Alva (Jones) and eventually Klaus, the unlikely heroes team up to return laugher, fun and love to their town of Smeerenburg. Klaus is fun for the whole family and gives a great start for the Christmas season.
Available on Netflix (a Netflix original film).
If you like the film check out: Arthur Christmas (Sarah Smith, Barry Cook, 2011), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Chuck Jones, Ben Washam, 1967), The Man Who Invented Christmas (Bharat Nalluri, 2017).
Director: Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, Okja)
Starring: Kang-ho Song (The Host, Snowpiercer), Woo-sik Choi (Okja, Train to Busan), So-dam Park (The Priests, The Silenced)
From esteemed Korean director Bong Joon Ho, comes a film about classism, social standing and the art of the con. Winner of the Palme d’Or (best film at Cannes film festival) and nominated for best foreign language film at the Golden Globes, Parasite is one of the most highly rated films of 2019. The story follows a low-class Korean family as they try to get ahead in life whatever way they can. After their son (Choi) is hired as a tutor for an upper-class family, he tries to hire the rest of his family to share in the wealth and infiltrate the “high life”-though everything may not be as it seems. Parasite is by far one of the best movies of the year and worth a watch if you are looking for something thought provoking, unique, and keep your head scratching hours after the credits roll.
Available on demand, in select theatres.
If you like the film check out: Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003), Shoplifters (Hirokazu, Koreeda, 2018), Roma (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018).
Director: Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Tell-Tale Heart [production designer])
Starring: Robert Pattinson (Twilight, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project, Spider-Man Series)
Helming from German-Expressionist films like Nosferatu (F.W Murnau, 1922) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920), The Lighthouse is a completely black and white film that is equally horrifying as it is strange. The film revolves around two lighthouse keepers in the 1890s as they try to keep the lighthouse running amid the harsh conditions of the sea. Filmed just off the coast of Nova Scotia, the film is a mind-trip as the characters Winslow (Pattinson) and Wake (Dafoe) face the grueling sea while slowly descending into insanity. Don’t let Pattinson’s Twilight credential fool you, The Lighthouse exhibits once of his best performances as an equal to Dafoe’s. To say the least, The Lighthouse is by far the weirdest movie you will see this year.
Available on demand, in select theatres.
If you like the film check out: Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019), Get Out (Jorden Peele, 2017).
Director: Yimou Zhang (Hero, House of Flying Daggers)
Starring: Chao Deng (Assembly, Devil and Angel), Li Sun (Fearless, Empresses in the Palace), Ryan Zheng (The Great Wall, EX-Files)
From acclaimed Chinese director Yimou Zhang comes one of the best Wuxia (martial heroes) films of the past ten years. Shadow is set during China’s three kingdom era (AD 220-280) when there is unrest between two kingdoms. After the king’s general (Deng) claims war against another kingdom, a war that the king (Zheng) does not want, Shadow unfolds into a high-caliber action film full of intrigue. Shadow is a gorgeous film from its choregraphed fight scenes to its black and grey color palette. If you are used to Bruce Lee or Jet Lee films, Shadow will be right up your ally.
Available on demand, Netflix.
If you like the film check out: Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000), Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954).
Fighting With My Family
Director: Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras)
Starring: Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Fast and the Furious series), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), Florence Pugh (Midsommar, Little Women)
Fighting With My Family may be one of the greatest surprises of the year. Based around the life of WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) legend Paige, the film chronicles the life of Saraya Knight (Pugh) as she tries to achieve her dream of being a WWE superstar. Fighting With My Family is a film the whole family can enjoy regardless of your affiliation to wrestling. The film is incredibly insightful as it educates the audience on the intricacies of wrestling while also being highly accessible for non-wrestling fans. Centred around themes work ethic, drive and support, Fighting With my Family is hilarious as it is equally entertaining.
Available on Crave (HBO+Movies package) Blu-ray/DVD and on demand.
If you like the film check out: Booksmart (Olivia Wilde, 2019), Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017), The Florida Project (Sean Baker, 2017).
Director: Joe Penna (AKA mysteryguitarman on YouTube)
Starring: Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Maria Thelma Smaradottir (Fangar, Black’s Game)
Filmed on location in Icelandic tundra, Arctic will make you appreciate the warmness of your home. The story revolves around a stranded man (Mikkelsen) as he must survive the harsh winter environment after his plane crashes in the arctic. Fighting against the odds, Arctic is an excellent survival film that is tense, beautiful and showcases how hard one can fight to survive. Arctic is an emotional journey that will have you on the edge of your seat for its just over hour and a half-run time. Best enjoyed under the covers with a cup of hot chocolate!
Available on Amazon Prime Video, Blu-ray/DVD and on demand.
If you like the film check out: Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, 2013), 127 Hours (Danny Boyle, 2010), Buried (Rodrigo Cortes, 2010).
Alita: Battle Angel
Director: Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, Sin City), co-produced and written by James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic)
Starring: Rosa Salazar (Undone, Bird Box, Maze Runner series), Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds, Big Eyes), Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, Requiem for a Dream)
Alita: Battle Angel may be one of the best overlooked films of 2019. Taking nearly 20 years to make (due to technology limitations), Alita: Battle Angel is a blast from start to finish. Based on the Manga (Japanese comic) of the same name, the film follows a cyborg named Alita (Salazar) as she struggles to remember her past life. Helped by Dr. Dyson Ido (Waltz), the man who originally put her back together, Alita sets out on a journey to find out who she is in the cyberpunk world of Tiphares. From the high-octane cyborg roller derbies, to the awesome fight scenes, Alita: Battle Angel takes the best CGI (computer generated imagery) has to offer and completely delivers in every way. Alita: Battle Angel is incredibly ambitious film and is one of the most unique and entertaining films of the year.
Available on demand and on Blu-ray/DVD.
If you like the film check out: Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)/Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017), Upgrade (Leigh Whannell, 2018), Ghost in the Shell original animated film (Marmoru Oshii, 1995) or live action (Rupert Sanders, 2017).
Other 2019 Hits:
-Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach)- Netflix Original
-The Farewell (Lulu Wang)- On demand and Blu-Ray/DVD
-The Report (Scott Z. Burns)- Amazon Prime Video Original
-Dolemite is my Name (Craig Brewer)- Netflix Original
-The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)- Netflix Original
-The Peanut Butter Falcon (Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz)- On demand and on Blu-ray/DVD
-Us (Jordan Peele)- Crave (HBO+Movies), on demand and on Blu-ray/DVD
-Gloria Bell (Sebastian Lello)- Amazon Prime Video, on demand, Blu-ray/DVD
-Dora and The Lost City of Gold* (James Bobin)- On demand, Blu-ray/DVD
-The Kid Who Would be King* (joe Cornish)- Crave (HBO+Movies), on demand, Blu-ray/DVD
-Jumanji: The Next Level* (Jake Kasdan)- In theatres
Best in Theaters Right Now:
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood* (Marielle Heller)
o Tom Hanks stars as Fred Rogers as the film explores the friendship between Mr. Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. Check out the real-life Mr. Rogers documentary (available on Netflix) Won’t You Be my Neighbor (Morgan Neville, 2018) after viewing the film.
Dark Waters (Todd Haynes)
o Mark Ruffalo starts in this gripping true story about a cooperate defense attorney in pursuit of the unexplained deaths at the hands of one of the world’s largest cooperation.
o The sequel to the 2013 animated hit, Frozen II once again stars Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Olaf (Josh Gad) as they leave Arendelle to the find the source of Elsa’s powers. With brand new songs, Frozen II is fun for the whole family.
Ford v Ferrari (James Mangold)
o Based on the true story, Ford v Ferrari showcases the story of Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) as they build a revolutionary car to beat Ferrari at the 24 hour Le Mans race in 1966.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker* (J.J Abrams)
o With the last movie in the Skywalker Series, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) face off against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the first order for the last time.
Uncut Gems (Safdie Brothers)
o A New York jeweler (Adam Sandler) tries to find the next big score as he makes a series of high-stakes that can lead to a payout of a lifetime. When a life a crime follows him, he must look out for his adversaries while balancing business and family.
Little Women (Greta Gerwig)
o Based on the classic novel of the same name, Little Women involves the March Sisters (played by Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh) in a coming of age story after the aftermath of the American civil war.
1917 (Sam Mendes)
o All shot in natural light, 1917 involves two brothers (George Mackay, Dean-Charles Chapman) as they are given an impossible mission at the height of the First World War.
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