Top 10 Films of 2019

Top Ten of 2019

2019 has been a roller coaster in the world of film.  For every strong entry, there has been plenty of mediocre outings.  Creating a place of true escapism makes the journey fun.  Even when most the year lack greatness, the one’s that stood above are defined in the journey of the unexpected.  The strength comes in how each film subverted what you know to create uniqueness within its own right.  No matter if it is comedy, drama, action or fantasy, the emotional weight brought something magical.  These films provide that kind of feeling, pushing you upon a path of amazement.  There were many to choose from, and a few that missed my top 10 list.  My honorable mentions are:

Hustlers – This is a film that combines two distinct worlds to create an odd journey of real-world consequences (stock market crash effect on the strip clubs).  With a strong cast and a fusion of the drama and gangster genres, you won’t be disappointed.   

Dragon Ball Super: Broly – This is a film that it is a great combination of lore, action and pure escapism for fans alike.  Providing a story from a long-famed property, this is a film that highlights the strength of Japanese anime.   

Hello, Love, Goodbye – A romantic tale that pushes forward the ideas of fate and consequence, it is a great entry into the world of foreign films.  With strong leads and a fresh take on the genre, this is a romance story that gives you the feeling of real love.  

Joker – A strong iteration of newness, this film showcases how comic books can go beyond the typical tropes and clichés.  Putting the focus from the villain’s perspective, this is a character study that proves you can make great stories out of any source material.  

Doctor Sleep – This is a genre bending film that pushes a new perspective on the source material.  A sequel to The Shining (book and film), it showcases the aftermath and expands upon a world through psychological and dramatic means.  With stellar performances, this is horror film that provides new ways for storytelling.  

These films were amazing, and could be on anyone’s list.  Now, let’s reveal my Top 10 films of 2019.

10.  Us – Jordan Peele hit it out of the park with Get Out.  His second outing is another home run for the writer/director.  With this film, he creates a mind-bending psychological tale that pushes forward the question of what is the meaning of identity.  A fusion of strong characters, ambiguous storytelling and moments of iconography, this pushes the horror genre to another level.   

9. Little Women – Characters are, for me, the linchpin of any great story.  No matter the flow of the direction, what makes this story standout is the interaction of the four March sisters.  Moving between the past and present, you watch as the ideas of love and family push forward a mixture of drama and coming-of-age growth for each individual character.  With strong actresses and an endearing tale of moments, this is one worth of the top ten.   

8. The Irishman – Martin Scorsese is a famed director that has created many masterpieces.  With this film, he pushes forward a new perspective of the gangster genre.  Highlighting the life of Frank Sheeran, we watch how he navigates the world of gangster and unions during the 60s and 70s.  With standout performances, strong dialogue and a retrospective look on the genre, this is a journey that subverts what you know to create endearment on a whole different level.     

7. Blinded by the Light – One thing I always look forward to is the blending of genres.  When a film does this, it creates a tale that is riveting beyond imagination.  This story pushes forward that idea to create a journey that is one half coming-of-age and another half period piece.  Through the inspiration of Bruce Springsteen’s music, this film highlights what it means to finding your purpose.  An endearing tale that strikes close to home, this is a realistic ride that gives pure escape in growing up through a different part of the world.        

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Feel good films always dance the line of not trying to be too dramatic while not being too cheesy.  When combining that with real life scenarios, it leads to an ominous feeling of bending the truth.  There are times when creating a story through other means can be a true source of inspirations.  This film takes one aspect of Mr. Rogers life to create something that is unexpectedly a raw tale of finding purpose and hope.  With a story that gives true revelation of the human heart, this is a fusion of genres that leads to a journey of true meaning for the audience.     

5. Knives Out – This film takes the murder/mystery genres and flips it on its head.  Within a slew of colorful characters, Rian Johnson creates a tale that focuses on the aftermath of consequences.  A ‘who done it’ that pushes what we know about outcomes, it is a vivid expression of originality that makes this film a real guessing game till the end.  With strong characters and witty dialogue, this film is one of the best of the year and worthy of the top ten.

4. Marriage Story – Indie films always are the ones that take you on journey of the unexpected.  When a story focuses solely on its characters, it creates a path of real endearment.  This film puts you on a journey of love and devotion that highlights raw detail of emotional worth.  With strong leads in Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson, this indie takes you on an ironic path of wholesomeness that leaves you feeling the meaning of consequence.  This film will sneak up on you, making the mark as one of the best of the year. 

3. Avengers: Endgame – This is what makes the experience of going to the theater so amazing.  A true define of the journey, this film takes 10 plus years of stories and puts forward a climax that is raw, riveting and truly an achievement of cinema.  Marvel proves with this that a genre that is known for bombastic detail can be dramatic and endearing.  This film is everything a comic book film should be, while pushing forward a meaningful sense of story.  One of the best comic book films ever, and one worthy of the top ten.

2.  Toy Story 4 – I mentioned in my review that the passage of time has brought evolution of great storytelling.  When you hear sequels are being made, you always wonder is there more story to tell.  A proven property for Pixar, this next chapter highlights the importance of the unexpected.  With a vivid approach, this tale of toys puts you on an emotional journey that captures the essence of individual worth.  A film that wasn’t needed becomes an everlasting story of our lifetime.  This is the best animated film of the year, worthy of the top ten.    

1. Ford v Ferrari – The meaning of true cinema is the journey.  No matter the genre, when you give that pure escape on the big screen, everything falls into place.  When something becomes natural, it is a true cinematic experience.  Subversion of expectations, you move through a true tale that is marked with strong characters, amazing storylines and the importance of friendship.  With a combination of characterization, drama, true story elements and action, Ford v Ferrari is the epitome of great cinema.  Journey of the unexpected can only be pure when knowing becomes unpredictable.  In that, you will be on the edge of your seat, feeling as if you’re part of the journey.  Being enraptured by that raw sensation, that is why this is my number 1 film of 2019.

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