Best Of

Best Movies of 2019

We made it everyone! 2019 is in the books at that means a time of movie reflection. What made this year more interesting for me is that this was the first year that I focused on seeing as many movies as I could. I kind of fell off at the end of this year (moving takes up a lot of time folks) but I made sure to make time for ones that really caught my eye. Anywhoooo, this year was pretty damn fantastic in terms of top notch movies that I left impressed with. In fact several will be in the running for my favorites of the decade. But let’s get to this year first. BEHOLD!

If you follow film circles you have at least heard someone say that you should go see Parasite. Yeah you should listen to them, and to me. Parasite is the best movie the year and one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It’s blending of genres and switch from dark comedy to a disturbing drama is top notch. The writing is masterclass, and it’s an experience that by the end will leave you with a lot of feelings to unpack. This isn’t a movie you see every day or even every decade. Go watch this as soon as you can.

Knives Out
Knives Out is a modern murder mystery whoduunit that packs a great cast, excellent humor, and beautiful cinematography to make one of the most entertaining movies of the year. Even after you have watched it the first time, know the twists and turns, it’s the performances that will keep you coming back over and over.

Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins gave us all one final present this year with 1917. The World War I drama takes us all on a tense, emotionally heavy journey through the trenches in a way that I haven’t seen committed to so beautifully on film. The entire movie is designed to appear as one continuous shot and it creates an experience unlike any movie I have seen before. That alone would have been enough to through this on my list, but it’s also a great story performed by excellent actors that makes this one of the best.

Ready or Not
It’s taken 8 years, but not since The Cabin In The Woods have I seen a satirical horror movie that is both frightening and hilarious all wrapped into one. Like Knives Out this is a movie of a great performances playing a cast of one F-ed up family. It’s the lead Samara Weaving though that makes this movie such a fun ride. She’s funny, she’s badass, and by the end you’ll want her to kill every one of those psycho family members.

If there’s one comedy that I would recommend to see this year it’s Booksmart. Booksmart is one of those end of high school have to have one big night before college stories. You have seen them plenty of times, but this one is by far the best. It’s humor is smarter, the situations are funny yet realistic, and the messages feel more in tune with today’s sensibilities. The cast, crew, writers, and director Olivia Wilde knocked this one out of the park.

Us is another original horror concept from Jordan Peele and it’s amazing. He carefully blends horror, with science fiction, and splashes of comedy to give us an experience that you haven’t seen before. It’s also a blast to watch as every actor plays two roles of the same character. That alone is something that begs to be watched, but the fact that the performances are wrapped around such an entertaining story only adds to the reason that this is one of the best movies of the year.

Avengers: Endgame
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is like the most expensive long running TV show that only plays in theaters, and Endgame was the season finale. It’s insane what they were able to pull off. It’s both an entertaining movie by itself but for those who have seen all the movies, it’s a masterpiece like no other. The callbacks, the remixes, the joy, the sadness, this movie tackles so many emotions and it ends in such a satisfying way. I don’t think we are ever going to see something like this again, and Mavel Studios deserves all the praise and heaps of cash for giving us this 11 year journey.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino movies have always been hit and miss with me. When they are good, they are damn good, when they are bad, I can’t even finish them. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is one of the good ones, one of his best actually. It may run a little long, but it has the genius pairing of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. They both bring their A game to this one and are up there as my favorite performances from both actors. And then there is that one thing that Tarantino is really good at with climaxes that insanely fun to watch. This one has one of those.

The Joker is a heavy messed up movie. It’s not a movie that everyone can handle but for those who can it’s a very deep character study of a disturbed man that is looking to be the hero of his story even if it is only in his head. It’s the haunting performance from Joaquin Phoenix that makes this a movie that any movie fan should check out, just be prepared for a story that won’t make you feel too jazzed by the end.

Zombieland: Double Tap
There are some movies that you know aren’t for everyone and you can’t justify that it’s something everyone will find value in, but I really loved this movie. I was a fan of the first, and this one is somehow a funnier movie. Yeah it has some callback jokes, which only land some of the times. But the new characters they add in steal the show. The cast looks like they are having a blast, and it’s just fun to see a sequel to a movie from last decade that’s actually good. This is one of those movies that I’ll be watching again and again in the October season and that means it deserves this slot on my list.


Booksmart Review

Score: 4.5 / 5

Go see this movie. If you are 17 or older, stop reading. Look up showtimes and go see Booksmart. I’ll wait.

Did you see it yet? No jokes here go see it is as soon as possible, if not you are going to miss out on one of the best high school coming of age comedies in a looong while. Why am I pushing you to see it right now? Well it’s a smaller movie and it’s going to get buried in the summer losing theaters till you are lucky if you can find it anywhere. That would be a crime. This female directed, female starring story needs to be seen. It is our duty as an audience to support and carry films that give us new voices, and different perspectives. SO GO SEE THE MOVIE!

Alllllright, sorry for the slightly more aggressive tone there. Seriously though, Booksmart is such a fun ride. The story follows two top notch female students who realize the day before graduation that they haven’t done anything fun in their high school lives. Believing it would be the difference of getting them into the best schools, the harsh reality that the partying teens were getting into the same schools cracks Molly (Beanie Feldstein) who then gets her best friend Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) to join her on getting to the best party and having some of that fun they avoided for four years.

What follows is a movie you have probably seen before as the best friends get into wacky situations and roadblocks getting to the finish line, and when they arrive they get a mix of fun, pain, conflict, and realizations about their friendship and lives. If you have watched movies like this before, you have seen this plot play out, but what sets this one apart is in a great script, great direction, and very great lead actresses.

Directed by Olivia Wilde, written by several talented female writers, Booksmart captures moments and perspective that you don’t see in movies like this too often. I watched this movie with my girlfriend who commented that moments between Amy and Molly felt real and authentic. It leans into this for comedic moments, for building on these characters journeys and in the process also tells a lot of positive messages on teens letting go of judgements. There is a moment in this movie that one of our leads talks about admitting, that she doesn’t know everything, that we as people should be open to understanding and learning each other over stamping our first impression as everything there is to know about a person. It’s messages like this that make this a movie that you’ll get more out of other than entertainment.

It’s really entertaining though. This is a really funny movie. The situations Amy and Molly get into made me laugh, the performances made me laugh, the smart script made me laugh, the likely improved moments made me laugh. This is a comedy that nails it with the humor like John Wick nails action. It’s so much fun, that even if you don’t care for messages and heartfelt moments (you monster) you’ll just have a blast laughing your way through an hour and forty-five minutes of movie.

I cannot recommend this movie enough. Booksmart is something special, it merges excellent humor with messages that are worth remembering once you leave the theater. So like I said before. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Thank me after.