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 throw 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.


Ready or Not Review

Ready or Not is a cult classic satirical horror in the making with an entertaining plot and a great ensemble cast.

Score: 4.5 / 5

Satirical Horror is not an easy genre to nail. It requires walking a tight rope between going too dark or going too goofy. If a movie can pull it off though, you are typically in for an entertaining treat that elevates itself from every other horror movie on the block. Well Ready or Not is one of those movies. In fact Ready or Not feels just like the cult classic The Cabin in the Woods creating a tone of messed up moments balanced by humor that keeps things from getting depressingly bleak.

Ready or Not follows Grace, who is about to marry into the very eccentric and rich Le Domas family. Along with being a family of Arrested Development style odd balls, they have a little family tradition whenever someone new joins the family. Play a game chosen by the draw of a card. Unfortunately for Grace she picks Hide and Seek, which for this family is more Hide and Hunt. If Grace doesn’t avoid the family she is dead, if Grace doesn’t die the family is dead (or so they believe). So begins this game of cat and mouse. The movie doesn’t get too twisty and sticks more to just being an entertaining horror satire.

This movie works so well because of a fun script that does an excellent job keeping the story from getting so dark that it just brings you down. There are a great jokes, and moments of levity throughout which keeps things entertaining. What really makes this all work is the excellent cast. Samara Weaving plays Grace, and she leads the hell out of this one. You want her to win, you want her to take out this family. She’s tough, humorous, and sells the horror of the situation extremely well.

The rest of the cast all have their moments, but my favorites would have to be Adam Brody who plays Daniel, and Kristian Bruun who plays Fitch. Brody’s Daniel plays off as someone who has just checked out of the whole family cult thing, but you can tell he wants a reason to finally put an end to the madness. Then you have Bruun’s Fitch, the brother in-law who doesn’t take things seriously because he’s just that kind of dumb. That’s also not to say that the rest of the cast does a great job with their roles as well. I could spend paragraph after paragraph highlighting their contributions needless to say it’s a great ensemble.

Ready or Not feels like a cult classic in the making, not enough people know of it and not enough can grasp what kind of movie it really is. This movie is a fresh entertaining ride through the horror genre that any fan owes themselves to check out. If you liked the Cabin in the Woods, this is a must watch.