The Best Movies I Saw in 2019

Tuesday, December 31, 2019
This was a pretty good year for smaller movies, despite the dominance of blockbusters. And I can say I saw multiple movies by female directors this year, which is not something you can usually say. My movie diet this year was also pretty varied by genre, as well. I saw horror, horror-comedy, superhero, different kinds of family drama, strippers scamming, and a murder mystery.

Obviously, this is only taking from the movies I saw this year, which wasn't everything. But, these are the ones that I really enjoyed and will most likely watch again.

  • Little Women
    • The best adaptation of Little Women yet. The first adaptation that equally balanced the childhood and adult years of the sisters, and didn't focus only on Jo. And, it made Amy more than just the spoiled brat she has been turned into thanks to previous adaptations and more like the Amy that was in the second volume of the book.
  • Hustlers
    • It's interesting to see a crime drama directed by a woman, and I have never seen a strip club depicted like it is in this movie. Constance Wu and J Lo are fantastic, and the Usher scene is glorious.
  • Ready or Not
    • I love a good horror-comedy, and this movie doesn't skimp on either genre. The cast knows exactly what movie they're in and what their character's roles in the family is. I don't want to say much about the plot, because it helps to not know anything, so you can be surprised by what's coming. 
  • Midsommar
    • This is one of the weirdest movies I've ever seen, so it's worth putting on the list just for that. It's centered on a strong lead performance by Florence Pugh, who I am starting to fall in love with as a performer.
  • Knives Out
    • It is a perfectly executed, big ensemble whodunnit, a movie that I wish would be made more frequently than they are. Ana de Armas is a star, my love for Chris Evans is still present, and Daniel Craig's accent was ridiculous and I loved it.
  • The Farewell
    • This is such a great portrait of a family, and the power dynamics of family, and how who can speak or understand language plays into it. But overall, the love the family has for each other prevails amidst the potential loss of their matriarch and the deception of that fate that is awaiting her. Awkwafina gives a great dramatic performance, and I can see her doing more dramas in her career. 
  • Little Woods
    • This was released in April, but it was so limited that I didn't get to see it until I found where it was streaming. It is the directorial debut of Nia DaCosta, from a screenplay she wrote, and this does not seem like a debut feature. It's so assured in its tone and style, and the lead performances by Tessa Thompson and Lily James are understated and emotional and they feel like they are actually sisters.
  • Fast Color
    • If you think superhero movies are getting too big for your taste, then this is for you.A movie about people with powers that is smaller, grounded, and moving, with a superb performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. This was another smaller movie that I did not know about until it ended its very limited theatrical run, and was beginning to be championed by some of the film critics I follow.
  • Avengers: Endgame
    • I saw this movie the day it came out at a seven am screening, and I will probably never do that for another movie again. They managed to actually end this whole saga well, and gave the actors who weren't moving on with the franchise appropriate endings for the characters. Unlike some people who were overthinking it, I understood the time travel rules, unlike a lot of movies and tv that use that device. They also made a three hour movie that didn't feel like three hours when I was watching it in the theater.

And just for fun, here are movies that I finally watched this year and loved:
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • The Apartment
  • Out of Sight
  • Frances Ha
  • Airplane!
  • Pretty in Pink
  • The End of the Tour
  • Never Goin' Back
  • Tangled
  • The Princess and the Frog
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