Club offer, as a rejoinder, the number of worthy shows that aren’t on the list below. Transit3. The 25 best films of 2019. The ending falls a little flat and some of the improv can be hit or miss, but Sword Of Trust proves to mostly be a funny and surprisingly deep ride, and a return to form for Shelton, getting back into her Humpday groove. It’s also an ambitious piece of horror filmmaking, and maybe even funnier in its evocations of social unease than his excellent previous film. Marriage Story. Best Movies of 2019. But unlike the Jessica Pressler article it’s based on, Hustlers is too vague and simplistic when it comes to the details of the heroines’ fleece-the-rich caper. Yes, J-Lo’s great. Which it is. Like a flat piece of paper folded upon itself and cut along the seams, the film unfurls to reveal a beautiful design; the uniformly excellent performances are the candle that sits behind it, sending lovely shadows dancing on the wall. Marriage Story11. But the second, a bittersweet wish that the good times could go on forever, reveals a wistful new side to the writer-director. 1. [Lawrence Garcia], “We’re all we’ve got,” Brad Pitt’s sadsack astronaut declares at the end of his journey and the edge of space. Her Smell15. Great Margot Robbie performance though. HBO Max really wants to take the lead as the best streaming service—and, honestly, it’s going to be tough to beat it this spring. Long Day’s Journey Into Night. How big of Us. Dolemite Is My Name. Portrait Of S Lady On Fire9. But you will find passion, and lots of it. Asako I & II11. And I’ve seen Gotti. Club. This slickly glib, frustratingly simplistic look at sexual harassment at Fox News is pretty much everything I feared we’d get from the all-but-inevitable wave of movies about the #MeToo movement. Long Day’s Journey Into Night8. Roberto Minervini’s documentaries are immersive experiences, and with What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? Director Ulrich Köhler crafts a cosmic joke about how their relationship would play out the same way, with or without an apocalypse. My initial review of this Robert Rodriguez/James Cameron collaboration reflects both its high entertainment value and unwieldy, exposition-packed story. Granted, hardly anyone was able to see Gemini Man as director Ang Lee intended, in the full glory of discomfitingly vivid 120fps projection—and even the sickest tech demo doesn’t bypass the clunky dialogue or sci-fi clichés. Rate. Knives Out2. Below, you can see how each of our 13 writers voted, along with their choices in a handful of superlative categories, including stump speeches for the “outlier” that appeared on one writer’s ballot and no one else’s. As young filmmaker Julie, Honor Swinton Byrne remains our constant in the story that keeps ruthlessly, elegantly cutting ahead in time; her endless empathy anchors us from the moment we arrive in a new present tense. Portrait Of A Lady On Fire2. Uncut Gems6. It is so damn funny, so damn charming, so damn heartbreaking, so damn encouraging, and of course so damn awesome. Of course not, which is why A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood finds a savvier solution, using the comparable wholesomeness and decency and warmth of Tom Hanks as a proxy. Knives Out15. Knives Out9. It’s been 15 years since the word “podcast” was first attached to downloadable audio files, but don’t worry; this is not any sort of retrospective on the medium. From the distinction “the first and final film from Hu Bo” on down, a bone-deep sadness permeates every aspect of this unsparing look at quotidian life in desolate, post-industrial China. I Lost My Body13. Sure, it’s got some funny parts, but so do most of the entries in the MCU corporate loyalty rewards program—some of which are even actual movies. So I was delighted that Todd Strauss-Schulson’s Isn’t It Romantic strikes just the right balance between poking fun at rom-com tropes and wholeheartedly embracing the power of the genre, all while creating a zany comedic voice all its own. Among my favorites is One Child Nation, which examines the one-child policy that lasted in China from 1979 to 2015. Parasite5. The big-screen version is plenty entertaining; but it’s also too much of an uncomplicated celebration of empowerment. In My Room9. It’s also beautiful—give me Fast Color’s spare special effects over the bombastic blockbusters any day. Yet while it comes clothed as a pop melodrama, this latest film from the Japanese writer-director Ryūsuke Hamaguchi brings remarkable depth to the trope of the cinematic double by probing the nature of fantasy and the slippery expectations often appended to our understanding of love and desire. Like air, it simply is. As a made-for-TV follow-up, it’d make for perfectly fine afternoon viewing. Marriage Story3. Also think of it as an asterisk on that 2010s retrospective, celebrating the films we knew were great then and—in the case of our late-breaking #1 of the year—the ones we’ve rallied around since. Instead, the Aussie writer-director chased her debut with a much riskier kind of horror movie: a wilderness rape-revenge thriller of such extreme violence and despair that it screened with a trigger warning at some venues. News, stories, photos, videos and more. No one can blame Netflix for throwing some easy-watching romantic comedies with charming, underserved leads into its content churn, but must we rave about glorified Hallmark movies just because it’s delightful to see Randall Park and Ali Wong starring in them? You won’t find complete agreement among our voters, particularly when it comes to the question of the most overrated film of 2019. This year, like any other, The A.V. Though his behavior adapts to fit his new surroundings, his personality remains defiantly static. It’s a story about systemic sexism that feels like it was made by filmmakers who just discovered that concept exists. Little Women14. Menu. Their provocation was in service of a film that takes zero risks whatsoever; that is gleeful in its celebration of a song by a convicted sex offender; that equates mental illness with murder; and that cannot, from scene to scene, say anything poignant or meaningful about the state of modern American society, social isolation, or economic disenfranchisement. Her Smell4. This father-daughter drama from Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj went largely unseen amidst the year’s steady rush of Netflix releases. Los Reyes15. Her Smell3. But to Gray, the inky unknown is less escape route from earthbound concerns than a roundabout path back to them. Parasite2. Asako I & II2. Marriage Story5. Twenty years after Edward Norton secured the rights to Jonathan Lethem’s novel, his passion-project adaptation finally hit screens. Us. Critics prefer presumably autobiographical depictions of broken relationships when they come across as fair-minded and mature (see: Marriage Story), but if can’t extend the right to be indulgent and undisciplined to artists, then what’s the point? Under The Silver Lake5. Yet, like all good jokes, a kernel of discomfiting truth lies at its center: People don’t ever really change; they can only adjust. Club will have reviewed over 350 movies released this year. The unranked list below, a kind of catch-up guide to the year in movies so far, includes a sex comedy, a Netflix sports drama, an avant-garde essay from a living legend, a famous concert performed by a dead legend, and a space odyssey starring our future Batman. His clinging to the story and Mont’s struggle to understand his role as a playwright both serve as responses to San Francisco’s transformation into a nouveau riche enclave ignorant of its own history. Built around a writer (Kim Minhee) who people-watches at a small café, it’s a melancholy meditation on the limits of artistic expression and the mysteries that remain beyond its purview. Midsommar14. [Mike D’Angelo], Rian Johnson’s witty and phenomenally entertaining whodunit may have been inspired by classic Agatha Christie adaptations, but its underlying story of fortune and upward mobility owes more to Charles Dickens (who had his own fondness for mystery plots). That’s a difficult thing to accept—difficult because it will be a staggering loss for film culture, but also pretty hard to even believe. Whatever it may be, The Dead Don’t Die is funnier than it is profound, and for Jarmusch, that’s damning praise. The Irishman4. As Morris has pointed out multiple times, that’s not what he does. Must be nice, to be so detached from the stakes of public life that you believe fascism can be halted with hugs. I’d expect something this fiendishly clever from the thriving indie horror community, but Fox Searchlight funding a nasty horror-thriller that blends Clue with You’re Next? Putting out two movies in one year is a classic Steven Soderbergh move, but there hasn’t been a gap in quality between his same-year films as broad as the one between High Flying Bird, one of the best films of 2019, and The Laundromat, one of the most embarrassing. Wang organically develops this plot to a finale as tense and emotional as any in cinema this year. Homecoming14. Clumsy as his writing can be, Shyamalan possesses a style—baroque, colorful, exaggerated—that’s more compatible than most with the visual language of comics. Shadow9. The Farewell8. Under The Silver Lake12. These perspectives become even more sharply defined when you look at the individual ballots, which reveal both our consensus picks for the year’s best and our personal favorites. Rather than focus on a single character, Leigh takes a somewhat experimental route, narrowing his attention to the varying textures of speech within the collective to ultimately show how the relationship between rhetoric and action is fraught with misapprehension. By the end of 2019, The A.V. [A.A. Dowd]. Too Late To Die Young12. (See the other cosmic journey a few spots down from here.) Parasite7. Adam Driver may deliver a showier performance in Marriage Story, but the sense of internalized frustration he conveys in The Report is every bit as compelling. Her Smell6. Grass, his second feature released by Cinema Guild this year, might be his most structurally harmonious film since Right Now, Wrong Then. 1. Welcoming back a celebrity whose fallen out of public approval can seem like the amnesiac outcome of icky PR stunts, especially when the person in question has done legitimately foul things. But after a year of largely unspectacular spectacles and a couple more rewatches of a highly satisfying one, I’m inclined to say I might have been overcautious, because I love this loopy, overstuffed journey of sci-fi self-discovery with all of my ridiculous heart. High Life2. Joanna Hogg’s semi-autobiographical drama manages to be many things at once—a portrait of addiction from the outside, a making-of-the-artist story, a tale of obsessive love and the ways it can make even the most sensible among us fools—without ever feeling overstuffed, thanks in part to Helle le Fevre’s elliptical, elusive editing. On paper, “a loose, shaggy small-town zombie story from Jim Jarmusch” sounds like a slam dunk. 5. Set in the occupied Tasmania of 1825, The Nightingale starkly depicts the evils of colonialism as visited upon an Irish convict (Aisling Franciosi) and the Aboriginal tracker (Baykali Ganambarr) she’s hired to guide her through the bush in pursuit of the English soldiers who destroyed her life. This attempt to spin Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson out into their own Fast & Furious-based franchise has its pleasures: Statham’s scowl, Vanessa Kirby’s ass-kicking, and a couple of neat set-piece tricks from director David Leitch. Club counted down its favorite movies of the 2010s. But it’s nowhere near the total number that actually hit theaters or popped up on streaming platforms over the last 11 months. Knives Out10. From our list of the best made-for-TV movies and miniseries of the ’00s:. [Jesse Hassenger], Last year, Sorry To Bother You and Blindspotting examined Bay Area gentrification with contrasting absurdity and sincerity. Could any actor hope to disappear into the role of Mister Rogers, to compete with our memories of this beloved TV personality? Awkwafina gives an alternately funny and heartbreaking lead performance, as a nonconformist New York artist who finds this whole scheme ridiculous and who could, at any minute, blow it all up. High Flying Bird13. He should’ve leaned into the novel’s irony instead of embracing undercooked sincerity. The results are frustrating to say the least: an overlong mixture of Chinatown and The Power Broker that bogs down what could have a fun detective yarn with Trumpian allusions and genre dress-up. Putting out two movies in one year is a classic Steven Soderbergh move, but there hasn’t been a gap in quality between his same-year films as broad as the one between High Flying Bird, one of the best films of 2019, and The Laundromat, one of the most embarrassing. Packed with memorable supporting characters (and impressive turns from newcomers like Julia Fox, Keith Williams Richards, and NBA star Kevin Garnett, who plays himself), Uncut Gems establishes the Safdies as masters of anxious existential grit; their style of overlapping dialogue and tension feels like the unlikely fusion of Robert Altman and Abel Ferrara. Marriage Story5. They Shall Not Grow Old13. A thread of quiet rebellion runs throughout Portrait Of A Lady On Fire. Writer-director Lulu Wang actually lived a real-life version of this story, and while she brings some ace comic timing to its wackier elements, her film is more of a gentle and relatable domestic portrait, shaded with an understanding of the many ways that families lie to each other. I thought Shults’s debut, Krisha, was overpraised, and I know I should be too smart for this one—which, among other crimes against good taste, offers up notions of sin, forgiveness, and class so simplistic that they would make Lars von Trier roll his eyes. The best Fast & Furious movies come by their ridiculousness honestly; Hobbs & Shaw labors to tell everyone that it’s in on the joke. [Allison Shoemaker]. In that way and others, this drama about the relationship between Rogers and an emotionally constipated journalist squirmed around my skepticism and past my defenses, slightly hoary dramatic angle notwithstanding. Taika Waititi’s self-proclaimed “anti-hate satire” (a bold stance, anti-hatred!) Even grading on a TV-movie curve doesn’t account for the shoddiness of this production, from filmmaking that has no idea how to convey the passage of time to actors who appear under-directed at every turn to jokes that often sound as if they were added to the margins of scenes during post. Far Sector was one of the best comics of 2019 after only two issues, and as the miniseries progressed, it reinforced its status as a new gold (green?) Little Women3. BEST MOVIES of 2018. Those who stick with it are rewarded with a powerfully moving vision of solidarity among survivors—a film that resonates, like most of the great Westerns, with the present world. And the driving scenes would be filmed from afar instead of in thrilling close-up, perhaps even incorporating footage from actual car races, as in McQueen’s 1971 flop Le Mans. [Mike D’Angelo], Expanding the frenetic, panic-attack-inducing cinema of Good Time with novelistic ambition, the brothers Josh and Benny Safdie created a thrilling study of one man’s compulsive self-destruction with this tragicomedy about a hustling Manhattan jewelry dealer (Adam Sandler, in the best performance of his career) who owes a fortune in gambling debts. Not nothing, but not a lot either. The year’s best animated film is partly about a luckless, lonely young man falling in love, and partly about a severed hand that’s slowly crawling across a city filled with small-scaled dangers. Sam Mendes’ elaborately choreographed plunge into the trenches of WWI is an undeniably impressive technical achievement. If Give Me Liberty was just a portrait of manic stress brought upon by the small concurrent crises impacting an in-over-his-head medical transport driver, it would still be one of the best films of the year. The Nightingale12. ... Oscars Best Picture Winners Best Picture Winners Golden Globes Emmys Women's History Month STARmeter Awards San Diego Comic-Con New York Comic-Con Sundance Film Festival Toronto Int'l Film Festival Awards Central ... X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi . Uncut Gems4. The first is to be expected from Quentin Tarantino, who’s made a career out of witty, reference-laden banter. Belmonte11. 1. The three-hour extravaganza of Pavlovian fan service that unseated Avatar to become the highest grossing film of all time. Yet Honey Boy feels far from a manufactured apology tour. Some folks mistook the protagonist’s paranoid, borderLine misogynistic viewpoint for the film’s, but Mitchell is unmistakably ridiculing thE prevalence of outlandish conspiracy Theories, even as he acknowledges their vIsceral appeal (and throws in nuMerous coded puzzles for fans to solve). [Roxana Hadadi], In My Room sports a familiar post-apocalyptic scenario: a man wakes up to discover he’s seemingly the last person on Earth, and following a period of reckless freedom, decides to make the best of it. Transit5. It’s a question we’re also asking about Deadwood: The Movie, a project that, just last year, Timothy Olyphant said was doomed. Ad Astra7. Even critics seemed unaware of the film’s release; had more of them seen it, I bet it would have popped up on a number of best-of lists this season. Parasite5. Top 50 Best Films of 2019. So don’t just think of the list below, reflecting the individual tastes and consensus favorites of our 13 ballot-filing critics, as a salute to what 2019 had to offer theatergoers and streamers. It has fucking Ad Astra on here, which is one of the worst films of the decade. Johnson, who made his name with geeky delights like Brick and Looper before hitting it big with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, finds ingenious solutions to the rules of the murder-mystery movie formula. Her Smell12. First Love7. With this expertly wrought period piece, Rick Alverson peels back the placid surface of midcentury Americana to reveal the squirming hotbed of anxiety, repression, and predation lying just beneath the “good ol’ days.” Good doctor Jeff Goldblum takes young ward Tye Sheridan on the road as he goes from hospital to hospital demonstrating his barbaric lobotomy technique; the banal horrors Sheridan witnesses along the way lay bare the ugliness of our national character. He’s reckless, neurotic, self-deluding, an addict, equal parts sucker and scammer—and perhaps more like us than we’d care to admit. The simple notion of having Charlotte (Charlize Theron, in her best performance of the year) finally let loose, only to wind up having to deal with pressing matters of state, was such a clever subversion of one trope and such a new take on another that it’s amazing we haven’t seen it discussed more frequently. Portrait Of A Lady On Fire. The film faltered in the shadow of Danny Boyle’s inferior Yesterday, because apparently American audiences can’t handle two movies with brown leads in the same summer. AV Club's Most Anticipated Movies of 2019 show list info This year, we've narrowed the list to 25 movies with official release dates: a mix of tantalizing blockbusters, the latest efforts from name directors, and a healthy number of films we've already seen (and liked). Babak Anvari’s New Orleans-set follow-up to his acclaimed Iranian horror film Under The Shadow failed to generate much positive buzz when it debuted at Sundance earlier this year, or when it landed on Hulu a few months back. But this is also a movie with a lot to say about indigenous identity in the 21st century, told through the story of two native women—one middle class and white-passing, the other working class and dark-skinned—who meet one afternoon on a Vancouver street corner. Structured like a zero-gravity Apocalypse Now but gooey as Xenomorph guts, Ad Astra says it’s the mysteries of inner space rather than the outer kind that really matter. Peele, working with the talented cinematographer Mike Gioulakis (who also shot another movie on this list, as well as M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass), has only grown as a visual artist, summoning a richly shadowed world that follows his characters around, even in broad daylight, in a kind of permanent haunting. That’s the act of violence that protagonist Reed (Christopher Abbott) must refrain from committing on his infant daughter, so he instead channels his homicidal impulses onto a sex worker (Mia Wasikowska). It would be tempting to say that the biggest mystery of this film is why such a miss hasn’t seemed to hurt Hawley’s career, but that would be ignoring an even bigger one: How the hell do you tell this story and cut out the diapers? Portrait Of A Lady On Fire joins the canon of our most lushly realized period romances, all while defiantly carving out a space of its own. Available for rent and purchase on Amazon Prime. It’s a film that rewards multiple viewings: Knowing the shrieking bloodbath that’s to come in the explosive finale somehow takes the pressure off, allowing the viewer to put up their feet, mix a whiskey sour (or maybe a pitcher of margaritas), and just hang out with Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) and Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) for a couple of hours. Parasite9. Having worked together on TV (Maron, Glow) and a stand-up special, director Lynn Shelton and comedian Marc Maron reunited for this low-delight about the perils of fake news, the latter in peak form, delivering sarcasm and heartbreak with ease. Though it caught fair comparisons to everything from Apocalypse Now to Lord Of The Flies to Dogtooth, this intense action-drama casts its own hallucinatory spell. That’s the centRal idea of David RobErt Mitchell’s wonderfully Weird pseudo-noir, Under The Silver LAke, in which a bliSsfully unemployed, perpeTually lascivious, morally dubIous L.A. goofball (ANdrew Garfield, hilariously self-deprecatinG) starts inVestigating the mysterious disappearance of A new neighbor (RiLey Keough) and finds himself sUcked deeper and deeper into what Appears to be an elaBorate citywide cipher. This new version does not diminish the earlier ones—it elevates them, and its source material, by eschewing reverence in favor of treating the March sisters like living, breathing, messy, contradictory people. The first film from Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions is inherently political, but it’s more complex than agitprop. There are sequences almost too brutal to watch, but this harrowing plunge into a dark historical chapter never slips into grindhouse gratuitousness. Following a trio of close female friends navigating the turbulent singles market of a big-box toy store where they all work, Lorain moves her camera and choreographs her talented actors with musical grace. Soderbergh cosplaying as Adam McKay is the absolute wrong choice for an explanation of the Panama Papers; the film is too disjointed, with characters breaking the fourth wall and opulence masquerading as satire, to connect with viewers. [Beatrice Loayza], Like the dashing, troubled Anthony (Tom Burke), The Souvenir is always hiding something. I enjoyed it—how can you resist “Rick fuckin’ Dalton,” that yellow shirt, Sharon Tate enjoying her own movie, and other such moments? TV Shows. Slut in a Good Way10. How High Flying Bird dismantles that makes it one of Soderbergh’s most urgent films in years. But The A.V. This choice engenders a hazy sense of cognitive dissonance that perfectly meshes with his characters’ anxious, transitional state. Appropriate to Peele’s expertly navigated horror-to-comedy-to-domestic-drama tonal shifts, there’s a virtuosic range to the performances—especially that of Lupita Nyong’o, playing predator and prey, sometimes within the same seamless split-diopter shot. Hustlers8. And those absences will stick out, because just one month later, it’s now fully clear what a powerhouse year it’s been for movies—for space odysseys and class-warfare thrillers, for romances fated and doomed, for the anxieties of aging directors becoming very aware of their age. Knives Out12. As for the action, its sword and shield brawls both resemble and disappointingly pale in comparison to those in Outlaw King, Netflix’s not-so-hot medieval entry from last year. Cliff and Rick aren’t quite over the hill, but they’re definitely cresting it, and the film grapples with the collision of the male ego against the brick wall of middle age with both comedy and pathos. Movies The 10 Best Movies of 2019 Plus the best of the decade. The Irishman5. With no escape, no future, and no hope, a collection of interconnected locals fixate on the rumors they’ve heard about an elephant in the nearby city of Manzhouli that peacefully sits, indifferent to the suffering of the world. Us11. Uncut Gems13. Honey Boy15. But on top of that, it’s also a deeply moving depiction of allyship. In Hollywood. This is one of the best superhero movies not only this year but ever. The A.V. Uncut Gems2. Norton does solid work as a gumshoe with Tourette’s, but can’t help falling into Rain Man-like schtick. With a three-part structure of changing eras and fortunes that recalls the director’s flawed but compelling Mountains May Depart, Ash Is Purest White feels in many ways like a summary of Jia’s career to date.

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