top ten FILMS OF 2019
EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE
El Camino isn't a sequel to the legacy of Breaking Bad, but a missing piece of the puzzle that some fans will die to acknowledge and others would have rather let their imaginations run wild. Who would have known that four years after the series finale we would be itching for our fix of the nostalgia, and oh boy, did El Camino deliver. Paul's silent tormented performance, the nostalgia built up since the final episode, mixed with the utter beauty of the cinematography and Gilligan's triumphant return to the story culminates into El Camino being a lovely epilogue to the television masterpiece that is Breaking Bad.
STAN & OLLIE
Stan & Ollie is certainly the film to see to start off your year, as it became an instant classic in my eyes. Nothing can be said to make people turn the other direction, as this film brings the charm, sadness, and humanity that we all would expect to experience from a duo we’ve been watching all our lives. For many, Laurel & Hardy are legends, but for the newer generations, they’ve been unfortunately lost; now they can find their way back into the hearts of the youth with the real life story of Stan & Ollie.
TOY STORY 4
I always do my best to set aside bias when reviewing a film and even disregarding my overwhelming love for this series, I found this movie nothing less than enchanting. Between the gorgeous animation, fully realized characters, and deserved emotional moments, Toy Story 4 is immensely satisfying. It made me wonder why I ever doubted this film’s existence. It helped me get back in touch with my inner child and reconnect to the legendary first trilogy of films in this series. To infinity and beyond, this entry soars just as high.
If you are looking for a space epic on the level of Interstellar, you’re going to leave Ad Astra disappointed. However, if you are patient with the film’s storytelling and surrender to the journey, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful, haunting, and introspective films in recent years. Masterfully acted, directed, shot, and composed, Ad Astra is a towering achievement in science fiction.
Jojo Rabbit affected me emotionally way more than I ever thought it would. It's a poignant, hilarious, and beautiful coming of age story about tolerance and love. I absolutely loved it and you shouldn't let it pass you by. It's one of the best in 2019 in my opinion.
Uncut Gems is a lot of movie. It has a breakneck and tense pace, eccentric but surprisingly human characters, and a sound experience that captures the cacophonous nature of the narrative. But above all else, it tells an engrossing and cautionary tale about addiction, pride, and what can happen when bets go too far. It’s a new thriller classic, and easily among the finest films of the year. Go find out how you win.
This year was full of film releases that I was excited for. Some ended up being deeply disappointing and forgettable, while others took me by surprise and swept me off my feet. The one film this year that exceeded every one of my expectations and served them on a shiny silver platter is this masterpiece. I highly suggest this film, especially in theaters while you can. I had so much fun watching everyone clap and cheer, but mostly cry (if we’re going to be honest). I can't wait to venture out to the theater again this week. This time I'll be sure to bring my tissues.
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
I have a deep love and respect for Mister Rogers, for everything he represents is everything us as humans should be able to represent at all times, yet we fail to do so. Journalist Lloyd Vogel is a prime example of a man who believed humanity had failed until the teachings of Fred Rogers came into his life. The story being told here is a soulful true story of a man having to find himself in the wreckage of his life leading up to the moment he met Mr. Rogers. The direction is pure, and the storytelling resonates beautifully with fans of the icon and the acting. Hanks as Fred Rogers is an immense delight to sit back and relish as he is brought back to life once more on the big screen.
Knives Out offers up some of the best cinema one could possibly ask for. It has the look of old Hollywood. It has the feel of a wacky hijinks movie like Clue. It has the heart and sensibilities of modern Hollywood. What Johnson has crafted here is the perfect whodunit for the modern age. It checks all the boxes and then some extra boxes for good measure. It is a film that takes chances and plays with the genre in such a smart and innovative way that it solidifies its place as the best film of the year and one of the very best of the decade. Rian Johnson has used the medium of film to tell a compelling story, get grade A performances from Grade A actors, all while taking chances and being entertaining. In my opinion, Knives Out is what a perfect movie should be. Unquestionably smart, but also stays entertaining at the same time. Knives Out is a cut above the rest
ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is an absolutely massive film, and it’s one that only could have been made by Quentin Tarantino. It’s clearly the work his entire career has been building up to, and one that feels like it was led by a very wise and assured director who has matured, and now looks back with reverence and nostalgia. The result is the year’s most complete film, featuring comedy, melancholy, and over-the-top violence in equal measure. Once Upon A Time is, in short, the year’s most essential film, and undoubtedly its best.