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Old 01-01-2020, 09:56 PM   #1
thewerepuppygrr thewerepuppygrr is offline
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Exclamation The Blu-Ray Community Top 25 Films of 2019 (Please Read 1st Post)


the Deadline for your votes is set for:
Friday (Feb 28th) at noon eastern time (9 am pacific)
.

Happy New Year, Blu-Ray.com! Let's say goodbye to 2019 in style by rounding up the best films this past year had to offer. You've got two whole months to catch up on anything you've missed.

Guidelines

Like previous years, simply list your top 20 - 25 films in order descending from your favorite, the higher up the film is the more points it'll get, like this:

1. 25 Points
2. 19 Points
3. 18 Points
4. 17 Points
5. 16 Points
................
16. 5 Points
17. 4 Points
18. 3 Points
19. 2 Points
20. 1 Point
................
21. 1 Point
22. 1 Point
23. 1 Point
24. 1 Point
25. 1 Point

Your top film gets 25 points, because it's your favorite so it deserves a little bit extra. This year continues the addition of 21 - 25 as we believe everyone should have a chance to add some runners up, they all get 1 point each, which will hopefully avoid us getting many tie breakers and might allow us to add some little known films that wouldn't of initially gotten many peoples attention last year. If you can't think of extra 5 films worth mentioning, then don't worry, the minimum amount of submission is 20 films, the extra 5 are for people who might want them.

And please, list your films in the order given, no randomly ordered submission will be counted.

The Rules

1. Like mentioned above, Minimum amount of films listed is 20 and Maximum is 25. If you can't list 20 movies you've seen this year, all the films on your list will only receive 1 point each towards the total so be sure to reach that 20 milestone.

2. What counts as a 2019 release? - A film must have been released either limited, wide, on demand, or straight-to-dvd (which ever comes first) in the United States in 2019. This does not include film festivals or released internationally. It may be hard to determine if some films were released in 2019 or not, so that's what the strict rules on this are for. We stick to the US as our guide for no other reason than it is easier that way.

Use the release dates on IMDb if you are unsure if it's eligible. As an example from a previous countdown, Snowpiercer was released in some countries and festivals in 2013, but did not get a limited release in the U.S. until June 27th, 2014. So that film will count as eligible for 2014. Likewise, a movie that doesn't get a wide release until January, but it had a limited release sometime in 2019, would also count.

Classic films that were re-released ARE NOT ELIGIBLE! Please do not include them on your list, you'll be asked to change it and if you haven't changed before the deadline, the films on your list will get 1 point each.

And if you're unsure if a film is eligible, just ask and we will help figure it out for you!

3. Please only make one list - Make only one list on this thread. However, you are free to update and change your original post as often as you'd like until the deadline. It will make tallying very hard if there are multiple lists from one person. Just find your original post and click 'Edit' to make your changes. If you do re-post your list twice or more, I'll message you to remove them.

4. Add a short review of your film choices - In an attempt to personalize the list as a whole, I want members to post a short bit of prose about their choice. This can range from a short sentence consisting of a couple of words to a couple of lines long paragraph, or you can link to a previous review you wrote when the film was released.

5. This is not compulsory, and you can write these short pieces on however many of your choices you want, even if it's only for your first pick., however the more input the better, the short words of wisdom will be included on the final tallied up list in a well presented manner, and you're list will be linked with you're description so others who see your words will hopefully want to look at your other choices as well.

6. Any votes from brand spanking new accounts or accounts that are in anyway suspicious or suspect will be void. Play nice, or don’t play.

7. Finally, just to remind you, the Deadline is set for: Friday (Feb 28th) at noon eastern time (9 am pacific). Please make sure you get your list in and make any final edits before this deadline, as any changes after that will not count.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:57 PM   #2
Mandalorian Mandalorian is offline
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Happy New Year

1. 1917



With two introspective central performances bolstering the precise direction and editing, 1917 is as emotionally resonant as it is technically impressive.

2. Parasite



Parasite is thematically dense, and unlike anything I've seen before, seamlessly balancing tones like a tightrope walker on a unicycle juggling chainsaws.

3. Avengers: Endgame



Very few blockbusters have garnered as strong an emotional reaction from me as Avengers: Endgame, paying off a decade long cinematic experiment that no other studio has been able to replicate.

4. Little Women



Little Women is an adventurous and poignant exploration of love, be it familial, romantic, or artistic.

5. The Farewell



The Farewell manages to be consistently funny as it challenges the morality of questionable cultural practices in the face of tragedy.

6. Uncut Gems



Uncut Gems is a chaotic tour through capitalism's seedy underbelly by a self-destructive gambling addict, and easily one of the most energetic and intense movies of the last decade.

7. The Lighthouse



The Lighthouse is a gorgeously shot tour de force in acting, with a harrowing sense of claustrophobia and madness, while remaining surprisingly funny throughout.

8. Knives Out



Knives Out is a sharply written and directed encapsulation of the classic whodunnit, exploiting our expectations of the genre’s conventions while making a timely social statement.

9. The Irishman



The Irishman brings cinema legends together for one last gangster epic that exchanges the exuberant energy of their past classics for a somber pensiveness.

10. Marriage Story



Marriage Story is a deep dive into relationships, with two leads that are so willing to bare all on-screen that it's occasionally uncomfortable to watch.

11. Toy Story 4



Toy Story 4 had a lot to prove following the supposed conclusion to a flawless trilogy, but Pixar once again proves that they know how to handle their crown jewel with care.

12. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood



Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood is not only another of Tarantino's cathartic revisionist fantasies, it's also a ton of fun as a simple hangout odyssey.

13. The Last Black Man in San Francisco



With a gorgeous aesthetic that clashes with its sad dose of reality, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is an underappreciated gem that I hope cinephiles will continue to discover as time goes by.

14. Jojo Rabbit



Jojo Rabbit is a bold satire that packs a surprising emotional punch, with everyone involved giving 100% of themselves over to a concept that could have easily gone awry.

15. Joker



Gorgeous cinematography, an unsettling score, and one of Joaquin Phoenix's best performances make Joker a landmark comic book film.

16. Ford v Ferrari



Ford v Ferrari is a crowd-pleasing biopic with the energy of a buddy action movie.

17. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum



John Wick: Chapter 3 is a work of art, from the elaborate set design that creates a neon lit playground for John to slaughter countless assassins in, to the increasingly ridiculous action choreography with death by book, horse, dog, and guns galore.

18. Ad Astra



I have a thing for space exploration movies that are wide in visual scope with intimate character-driven stories, especially when they revolve around a parent/offspring relationship.

19. Us



Jordan Peele expertly crafts yet another superb socially conscious horror parable, with Lupita Nyong'o turning in one of the best performances of year in her dual roles.

20. Waves



Waves has more mood swings than a wrestler with CTE, tonally shifting from fun to intense to somber, as it explores pressure, regret, grief, and forgiveness.

21. The Art of Self-Defense



The Art of Self-Defense is a dark repudiation of toxic masculinity with a twisted dry sense of humor.

22. Booksmart



Booksmart feels like something both familiar and fresh, with a cast so charismatic that their energy radiates off of the screen.

23. Doctor Sleep



Doctor Sleep is one of the rare great sequels to a classic from a master filmmaker made decades later, thanks to rich worldbuilding, an eerie atmosphere, and a story that pays off both the source material and original film.

24. Midsommar



Midsommar's bright never-ending daylight makes its atmosphere deceptively inviting, paving the way for some of the most batshit insane drug-fueled imagery of the year.

25. Klaus



Klaus is a beautifully animated future Christmas classic about what a community can accomplish with kindness, and I hope these are the kinds of projects that Netflix will continue to use its capital and platform to produce.

Last edited by Mandalorian; 02-07-2020 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:58 PM   #3
Creed Creed is online now
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Reserved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only need to see 1917 and Uncut Gems, and I'm good to go!
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:00 PM   #4
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1.Jojo Rabbit
2.1917
3.Parasite
4.Midsommar
5.Booksmart
6.Joker
7.Marriage Story
8.Ford vs Ferrari
9.The Farewell
10.The Lighthouse
11.The Irishman
12.Endgame
13.The Two Popes
14.Longshot
15.Late Night
16.Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
17.Bombshell
18.Knives Out
19.Ready or Not
20.Captain Marvel
21.Judy
22.Brittany Runs a Marathon
23.The Beach Bum
24.Shazam!
25.Klaus

Really regret not catching Uncut Gems and Little Women before the deadline.

Last edited by blu blood; 02-26-2020 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:01 PM   #5
Cremildo Cremildo is offline
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01. Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood
02. The Irishman
03. Invisible Life
04. Motherless Brooklyn
05. Ford v Ferrari
06. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
07. Uncut Gems
08. Glass
09. Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben)
10. The Two Popes
11. Us
12. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
13. Toy Story 4
14. Memory: The Origins of Alien
15. Wild (Sauvage)
16. The Laundromat
17. Shazam!
18. Captain Marvel
19. Knife+Heart (Un couteau dans le coeur)
20. The King
21. Anna
22. Dark Phoenix
23. Parasite
24. Marriage Story
25. Joker
26. Jojo Rabbit
27. Midsommar
28. Rocketman
29. Dogman
30. Dark Waters

Not seen: 1917, A Hidden Life, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Atlantics, Pain and Glory, Bombshell, Little Women, Ash Is Purest White, Richard Jewell

Last edited by Cremildo; 02-28-2020 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:03 PM   #6
Comicman494 Comicman494 is online now
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You're a saint, Pup.
  1. Avengers: Endgame
  2. Little Women
  3. Spider-Man: Far from Home
  4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  5. Us
  6. Booksmart
  7. Jojo Rabbit
  8. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
  9. Ready or Not
  10. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
  11. Uncut Gems
  12. Just Mercy
  13. SHAZAM!
  14. Toy Story 4
  15. The Peanut Butter Falcon
  16. Ford v Ferrari
  17. The Farewell
  18. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  19. Ad Astra
  20. The Irishman
  21. The Beach Bum
  22. Togo
  23. Little Woods
  24. Hotel Mumbai
  25. Knives Out

Last edited by Comicman494; 02-10-2020 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:06 PM   #7
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More to come in the future. Always look forward to these. List is done btw.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



1. The Lighthouse.

How long have we been on this rock? Five weeks? Two days? Where are we? Help me to recollect.

Madness. Pure, uncut, unbound, unbridled nautical madness. If you thought Robert Eggers’ debut film was a sucker punch, The Lighthouse takes everything he built up before and makes something that could possibly drive viewers insane. Set on an island off the coast of Maine in the 1890’s, what transpires for the next two hours is watching two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) pretty much lose their minds over being stuck with their abrasive behavior, being horny, farting a lot, getting drunk, disagreeing with their methods on how to cook food and possibly being cursed by the great sea gods such as Poseidon and Proteus. However, do not let this fool you into thinking it’s a drag to watch. Eggers proves he’s got a killer sense of humor and a wonderful sense of scale, crafting a film that is a joy to watch from start to finish. And to say nothing of the dynamic duo of Dafoe + Pattinson, who might have just staked their claims for performances of the year (Dafoe in particular has a monologue that could make those with the stiffest of nerves tremble in fear). There have been many movies to come out this year, but none could top this sea adventure slathered in exquisite period detail and delightful prose. Don’t miss it.



2. The Irishman.

One of a thousand working stiffs... until I wasn't no more. And then I started painting houses... myself.

For the first two thirds of Martin Scorscese’s The Irishman, I was somewhat baffled at the claims of the film being a “mournful film” by one of the masters of cinema. It felt just as energetic and broadly entertaining as anything else he’s ever done, as it details in great length (three and a half hours, to be precise) the life of hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and his friendship with Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). But then the final hour comes in and the film’s true colors are revealed: a bleak message film about how crime doesn’t just pay but how it can utterly destroy one’s life. Sure, you’re the big cheese in the moment but eventually, everything whittles away due to the passage of time. Sure you’ve killed people and survived prison, but you’ve driven away everyone you’ve ever loved because of the monster you are, and the history-altering crimes you’ve committed. And eventually, you’ll wind up a lonely person rotting away while the rest of the world forgets you. It’s a devastating and incredible work, made all the more worth the gargantuan running time by the terrific pacing, incredibly seamless de-aging effects and the best performances by De Niro and Pacino in years. Did I forget to mention that it’s a joy to see Joe Pesci on screen again? Because it is.



3. Gloria Bell.

Well, when the world blows up, I hope I go down dancing.

As evidenced in a lot of films, getting old can suck. But what if there’s still some fire in that belly of yours that was just as vibrant as it was in youth? That’s a question Sebastain Lelio’s remake of his 2013 film answers with style and genuine joy. In her mid 50s and single, Gloria (Julianne Moore, in one of this year’s most underrated performances) finds herself distant from her children and family but still finds ways to keep herself busy and happy between a regular 9-5 job, clubbing, dancing, enjoying sex and smoking weed. But when she comes across the charming Arnold (John Turtorro), things begin to change for her. Could she have finally found a new love in her life? But even so, conventional plotting takes a backseat to this charming slice of life venture, as we gracefully drift in and out of Gloria’s day to day life. And if you told me spending 100+ minutes of this would be one of the happiest movies I’ve seen in 2019, I thought you would have been pulling my leg. But thanks to its wonderful soundtrack (both Matthew Hubert’s score and the endless 80s flavored needle drops), Nathasha Braier’s dreamlike cinematography and Moore’s captivating work, Gloria Bell wound up being one of my most beloved cinema going experiences from this year. Even when things look down, they can always go up in an instant, and the film illustrates that point beautifully from the beautifully melancholic first frame to its triumphant last.



4. Doctor Sleep.

I’ve always called it the Shining.

Making a sequel to one of the most legendary horror films of all time takes balls. Serious goddamn balls. And yet somehow, against all odds, Mike Flannagan did it. Not only did he make it but he also made it pretty goddamn great, satisfying both Stephen King himself and the Kubrick estate with this patient and unsettling adaptation of King’s novel, which picks up years after the original Shining. Danny Torrence (Ewan McGregor, providing some really quiet and low key charm with this performance) has been trying to deal with the trauma of the events of the Overlook hotel for years, finding himself resorting to drugs and alcohol to bury the pain. When he finally finds his footing for the first time in ages, his peace is disturbed when a malicious group of vampiric Shiners called The True Knot begins to target a little girl he’s made friends with named Abara (Kayleigh Curran). Soon, he must fight the dangers he’s been warned about for a long time and in doing so, must also confront the horrors he’s had to live with. In a way, Doctor Sleep functions as the Blade Runner 2049 of horror movies: A sequel that probably didn’t need to be made but was anyway and turned out better than any one of us could have expected. And you can bet your bottom dollar I’d be up for doing a double bill of this and original in the future. In a year where we got a glut of King adaptations, this was easily the best of the bunch and further evidence that Flannagan is one of the better directors of the horror genre around.



5. Apollo 11.

One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.

In a way, I’m not entirely sure how to describe what it’s like watching Todd Douglas Miller’s documentary on one of mankind’s greatest achievements, outside of one simple word: Awe. Just absolute awe. It really does feel like I haven’t seen something like this before: No talking heads, no recreations, no narration - just a straightforward yet absorbing depiction of what the historical 1969 launch was like with footage we have and haven’t seen before, coupled with just enough theatrical bells/whistles (such as a top notch sound mix that makes you feel like you’re there and Matt Morton’s supremely awesome synth score) to make this more of an experience than an educational film. I’m honestly at a loss for words on how to put it, but all I know is that I sincerely regret missing out on what must have been a monster of a theatrical showing to make even the grandest Hollywood spectacles look tame by comparison. Plonk yourself down and crank up the sound system for this sucker, it’s an inspiring ode to those who look to the stars.



6. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus.

DID WE WIN?

Invader Zim was one of Nickelodeon's strangest, meanest and unique shows wherein they let Johnny The Homicidal Maniac creator Jhonen Vasquez have carte blanche to create a cartoon for a younger audience. His idea? To make it about an incompetent alien invader disusing himself as a regular human kid to conquer the Earth, a planet loaded with beings just as stupid (if not more so) as he is, with a paranoiac named Dib being the only one in his way. Years after the show unceremoniously ended (though it lives on in comic form), Vasquez returns to the series to give it the finale(?) it deserves. To describe what transpires in the special would ruin the fun but let it be known that Zim (Richard Steven Horowitz) has a new scheme for world domination and it’s just as insane, hilarious and twisted as one can hope for. But the most surprising thing about this special is the heart it shows, something that was never in the original show. Don’t let that scare you away however; this merely helps compliment the special rather than bog it down. And if you were to tell me that this was it for the evil alien gremlin, I’d be a-okay with it.



7. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.

Sometimes, you just gotta cut a mother****er.

It took me a while, but I’m finally on board with this extremely silly, viciously violent and exhilaratingly stylistic action franchise. Parabellum is the best installment yet, cranking up EVERYTHING to 11 and never stopping for a single moment to breathe: You want to see Keanu Reeves fight against the guys from The Raid films in a tower similar to the one from Skyfall’s beloved Shanghai sequence? You got that. Have the urge to view Halle Berry send specially trained dogs to maul people’s crotches on command in Casablanca? Got ya covered. Need to marvel at seeing our titular protagonist deal with finding ways to kill enemies immune to his signature headshot kills? No problem. There’s also a knife fight in a museum, Keanu vs a giant while using only books as weapons, a horse vs motorbike chase, the aforementioned mutts and enough bloodshed to cause an overload at the blood bank. Even the Concierge at The Continental gets in on the action! After a certain point, you just have to go with the flow of something this over the top and if director Chad Stahelski + writer Derek Kolstad can somehow keep it going with the eventual 4th installment, then I’ll be on board and then some.



8. The Peanut Butter Falcon.

Friends are the family you choose.

You ever watch a movie where you said afterwards “Man, I wish that was longer”? That was my girlfriend and I’s immediate reaction towards Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz directorial debut which focuses on the misadventures on Zak (Zack Gottsagen, in a wonderful debut role), a young man with Down Syndrome living at a retirement home with dreams of becoming a professional wrestler someday. Soon, he breaks out of the center he’s living at, and encounters a petty criminal/fisherman named Tyler (Shia LaBeouf). At first, Tyler is hesitant to befriend Zak, but like any good buddy yarn, they begin to form a bond stronger than any blood relation could ever form. And what happens over the course of 90 minutes is some of the sweetest, most gosh darn wonderful comedy-dramas you will see all year. From the film’s laid back yet consistently moving pace to Nigel Bluck’s terrific cinematography to an absolutely game cast (which also includes Dakota Jonson, Bruce Dern and Thomas Haden Church). In particular, this might sport career best work from LaBeouf, who has come a long way from his Transformers days.



9. In Fabric.

The hesitation in your voice, soon to be an echo in the recess in the spheres of retail.

There is weird art house horror films and then there’s Peter Strickland’s In Fabric. The premise alone is enough to raise eyebrows (A size 36 dress that haunts and eventually kills its owners that was made by a coven in charge of a department store) but the tone and vibe the film lets off is truly bizarre. From menstruating mannequins to deliberately off kilter dialogue that goes into comedic territory and exceedingly surreal images, this is a horror flick that is far removed from anything in the mainstream. But for those willing to gel with its oddness, you will be richly rewarded. It’s so much fun to watch with the colorful characters, incredible style and haunting score. And while the film doesn’t fully match up in its qualities in both halves (which from what I understand stemmed more from budgetary reasons than anything pertaining to the actual script), it manages to satisfy in a way that most esoteric horror films don’t seem to actually do. It’s weird, it’s creepy, it’s funny but above all, it’s one of the best of the year and a perfect film to view after the Christmas season.



10. Parasite.

They are nice because they are rich!

Every once in a while, there’s a movie that has a massive amount of pre-release hype for it, whether it be from festivals, early screenings, reviews, word of mouth or what not. Sometimes these films can live up to the hype while others do not. But Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite most certainly does. This is a crafty, twisty, tightly-wound hilarious blast of a thriller, as we see two different families, one poor (the Kims) and the other rich (the Parks), engage in a form of covert class warfare as the former infiltrates the latter and laps it up in luxury until certain things begin to happen, and that is all I will say in regards to the plot. This is one of those movies that the less you know, the better because what happens is some of the most delightfully dark thrills you’ll see in a movie all year with a razor sharp script and how it really plays with who you should be rooting for. Bong has always been a director I’ve liked but not fully embraced but I feel safe in saying this is his best yet. Believe the hype on this one.



11. Toy Story 4.

I was made to help a child, I don't remember it being this hard.

The older one gets, the more one comes to realize how weirdly horrifying and philosophically strange the Toy Story films are, especially considering that its comes from the Disney corporation and that these films are fully aware of said ideas. Thankfully, these films are graceful and heartwarming enough for them to be easily consumed for all ages, from young to old. And this fourth installment continues the tradition when Woody (Tom Hanks, honestly doing one of his best performances) is confronted by a toy his new owner Bonnie made called Forky (Tony Hale), a plastic spork who really wants to be thrown away into the trash rather than being played with. While the film isn’t without its flaws (there’s a series of elaborate set pieces that seem to be there to fill space rather than actually contribute to the story and Buzz’s character gets something of a downgrade), this is just as wonderfully written and emotionally genuine as any other previous installment. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was crying at the end, especially the final coda. And can I just say that this is Pixar’s best looking movie to date? They’ve always been innovators in the medium of animation, but what they’ve pulled off is frighteningly photorealistic at times. Here’s hoping for better memories for all.



12. Us.

We are Americans.

In 2017, Jordan Peele struck gold with Get Out, a film that etched itself into mainstream American culture and established Peele as more than a geeky funny man who’s good at doing impressions and satire. In 2019, he returned with another socially conscious literal stab at the horror genre with his sophomore effort Us. In turn, his goals went from the social horrors of liberal racism and body swapping to class politics and murderous dopplegangers. On a simple vacation weekend for the Wilson family, they find their peace is hideously disturbed by a group of red jumpsuit wearing maniacs that come off as deformed mockeries of their original personalities. But this simple home invasion premise slowly but surely morphs into something stranger, more violent and downright apocalyptic. Much has been said about Lupita Nyong'o’s double work as Adalaide and her hoarsely verbose opposite Red and rightly so, but the real winner here is Peele, who ups his game from his original film in nearly every way from from cinematography to performances to sheer nightmarish imagery. While it’s less audience friendly than its predecessor (many debates have been had in regards to how the film plays with logic and the third act), I for one found it largely enthralling, especially the last shot, and it makes me excited to see what Peele will deliver in the future.



13. Ad Astra.

We’re all we’ve got.

You would assume that James Gray’s Ad Astra would be a pulse pounding space thriller based on the marketing, and the kind of things that show up in the movie such as moon buggies, space pirates, science experiments gone wrong and fist fights in zero-g. But it isn’t. Far from it, in fact. What we have here is more or less a contemplative Sci-Fi drama that’s actually about an astronaut (Brad Pitt) with nerves of steel who’s not afraid of any of these things but instead is afraid of confronting his father or, even worse in his eyes, becoming like him. It’s an odd thing to see in a Science Fiction film but Gray makes it work with a sincerity that’s as powerful as anything else he’s made, with terrific production values from visuals to Max Ricther’s score and Brad Pitt’s understated but soulful performance that shows both his leading man magic and genuine acting chops. This was my most anticipated of the year and while it didn’t fully live up to my expectations, it still gave me a wave of melancholy that I have come to expect from the director. I hope that repeat viewings will unlock more of what I missed on my initial viewing.



14. Glass.

This wasn’t a limited edition; It was an origin story the entire time!

Finales are truly a tricky thing to pull off for anything, whether it is a TV show, a multi part film series and even just a simple straightforward trilogy. But for my money, M Night Shyamalan delivered on his promises of concluding the superhero saga he started since 2000’s Unbreakable and 2017’s Split. This is the Crisis Event of the Eastrail 177 trilogy, as Shyamalan pits David Dunn/The Overseer (Bruce Willis), Kevin Wendell Crumb/The Beast (James McAvoy) and Elijah Price/Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) in a nut hut as they find themselves being challenged by Dr. Elle Staple (Sarah Paulson), who’s trying to convince the trio that they’re not the superbeings they actually are. It’s an idiosyncratic spin on the genre amidst the CG spectacle and macguffin hunt plots that the genre is loaded with, more interested in the psychology of its characters and small scale setting than anything else. It’s often weird, clunky, and the ending will not satisfy everyone but it did me and it gave me a glimmer of hope for the superhero/comic book genre for it to do better. Here’s hoping it can.



15. Midsommar.

We only do this every 90 years.

After busting his foot through the door with last year’s grotesque shocker that was Hereditary, Ari Aster proves he wasn’t going to slow down with his follow up film Midsommar, which in his words would be a “Wizard of Oz for perverts”. And he made true on his claims with this very long and patience-testing but also visually arresting and emotionally distressing horror epic, which combines the typical tropes you’d see out of pagan horror classics like The Wicker Man with a really dark break up story that dabbles in the themes of toxic relationships and grief. We watch the relationship between Dani (Florence Pugh, in a truly powerhouse performance) and Christian (Jack Raynor, playing the king of Bad Boyfriends) crumble during a festival run by a cult in Sweden. For horror junkies worried they won’t get their fill amidst all of the relationship drama, don’t worry, Aster has you covered: ritualistic sacrifices, orgies, head-smashing, psychedelic drug trips, violent imagery and particularly pitch black humor, all building to a climax that is as stressful as it is cathartic. Aster claims he wrote the film during a bad break up he was going through and based on what I saw, I hope to God the guy is feeling better now than he was then.



16. JoJo Rabbit.

"Yeah, I know, definitely not a good time to be a Nazi.”

It says something about the quality control of Kiwi writer-director Taikia Waitti that even a film like this I think is his weakest effort so far, and yet it still trumps 90% of the films I’ve seen this year. On paper, this whimsical tale of a 10 year boy (first-timer Romain Griffith Davis who gives a remarkable performance) fully indoctrinated into the Nazi idology during the final months of WWII should sound like a mess between its shifts of tone, the imaginary best friend he has being da Fuhrer himself (played by Waitti himself no less) and overall handling of the Holocaust. But thankfully, what we have here is one of the most sincere and genuinely endearing films of the year. There’s so much to love: The goofball humor, the Wes Anderson-esque approach to shooting, musical choices that range from period-appropriate to anachronistic and a top-to-bottom cast fully committed to the material. I know the film has become something of an “enemy” during the awards season, but I find that insulting to give a movie this genuine in its feelings and messaging a bad rap. Bring the family to this one folks, it’ll work like a charm on ‘em.



17. Dragged Across Concrete.

"There’s a lot of imbeciles out there.

Ever since it was shown at the Venice Film Festival in 2018, S. Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete has been raked through the coals by several media outlets for being some kind of right wing action movie due its top billed performers (Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn), its touchy subject matters (police brutality, crime, racism), the long running time (159 minutes) and graphic violence. Yet to dismiss the film because of those attributes is in my eyes reductive, because Zahler isn’t making something to make you feel good about yourself; He’s making a down and dirty, genuine exploitation film in nearly every regard and a damn good one at that, as he details something of a hyperlink story between two cops (Gibson and Vaughn) let off of the force due to how they did their job, an ex-con (Tory Kittles) struggling to provide for his family, a bank teller (Jennifer Carpenter) on maternity leave trying to get back to her job and a gang of gimp mask wearing thugs (Thomas Kertchman, Primo Allon and Matthew MacCaull) that are as robotically ruthless as they are efficient. All these stories culminate in a way that’s provocative, tightly written and consistently engaging from frame one. Some would say they don’t make movies like this anymore, but I think Zahler has a thing or two to say about something like that.



18. The Last Black Man In San Francisco.

"You don't get to hate it unless you love it."

You know the old saying “Home is where the heart is”? Joe Talbot’s The Last Black Man In San Francisco feels like the cinematic version of that old quote. And my, what a version it is. Though it is a little thematically vague in some ways, especially towards the end, this is an often heartfelt and gorgeous tale of best friends Jimmie and Mont’s (Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors, respectively) attempt to reclaim the former's childhood home in the ever-changing social climate of San Francisco. For a first timer, Talbot shows a considerable eye for making the more rough areas of the famous city look like a beautiful dream (with obvious inspiration from Barry Jenkins but with enough differences to separate itself) while his performers showcase a low key but affecting presence. And out of all of the movies I've seen this year, I doubt any of them could muster an amazing soundtrack like this does. In particular, there's a cover of "When You're Going To San Francisco" that's so good it could make ya weep. It’s a loving tribute to all walks of life in the city, whether they be black, white, male, female, old or young.



19. Ready or Not.

F***ING RICH PEOPLE!

In-laws can suck. Like, really, really suck. And what’s a worse case scenario when dealing with the ones who don’t like you? Why, they also want to kill you too! Such is the case with Grace (Samara Weaving) as she joins the Le Domas family with new beau Alex (Mark O’Brien). As part of the tradition of joining the family, she is made to play a game. However, instead of it being something simple like Checkers or Old Maid, it’s a particularly deadly game of Hide & Seek. And what transpires for the next 90 minutes is some of the funniest, gleefully playful and straight up entertaining genre thrills you could ask from a movie like this. Directing duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (also known as Radio Silence) do a great balance of gore and giggles, while Weaving definitely shows the talent from her uncle does not fall from the tree. Then there’s the ending, which should hopefully go down as an all timer for the genre. With any luck, it will.



20. The Farewell.

Okay, when were you guys going to tell me this? How could you let me find out like this?

What’s worse than finding out a loved one of your family is sick and may die at any time? All of that but not being allowed to tell them. That is the main crux of Lulu Wang’s autobiographical comedy-drama as it details the perspective of Asain-American Billi Wang (Awkafina in what might be career best work) finding out her grandmother Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) has terminal lung cancer but is denied by her family to tell Nai Nai due to Chinese tradition. There’s a sense of unease all throughout the film due to the nature of the lie and how sadly oblivious Nai Nai is to such a thing. It doesn’t make for easy viewing and can be heartbreaking but there is warmth and humor to be found here, from the funny interactions of Billi’s family to the film’s ending. Despite the cultural differences, this is a story that anyone can relate to. Here’s hoping Wang keeps getting opportunities to do affecting films like this in the future. Also Nai Nai for President or we riot!



21. A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.

Fame is a four-letter word. What matters is what we do with it.

There seems to be a resurgence of popularity lately with Fred Rogers. Last year, we got Morgan Neville’s terrific documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? And this year, we get the semi-biographical A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood from Marielle Heller with America’s favorite actor Tom Hanks as old Fred himself, in what seems like a case of the most obvious casting ever. However, instead of going for the obvious biopic route, Heller does something much more clever. It shows Rogers effects on others, as the film follows a cynical journalist named Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) who’s assigned from his top brass to write an article on Fred. Vogel has father issues with his dad Jerry (Chris Cooper) and by interviewing the red cardigan wearing paragon, his cynicism starts to wear down for the better. It’s a gentle viewing experience, with some nicely stylistic touches such as using Fred’s old sets as establishing shots and a particularly surreal dream sequence into Vogel’s head. And of course, Hanks delivers the goods as Fred, who’s just as inviting as the man himself. We could all use a little kindness in the world and I think Mr. Rogers would agree on that.



22. Dolemite Is My Name.

Shoot for the moon, and if you miss it, cling on to a mother****in'’ star!

Whether they be to send a message, tell something important or just to entertain others, we all have dreams of making our own movies someday. Sometimes it doesn’t always pan out, but in other cases, it can. Case in point: Craig Brewer’s wonderful comedy-drama about the creation of the 70’s Blaxploitation classic Dolemite, and its creator, Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) of how he went from a two bit record store employee to an icon for raunchy comedy--and in his own roundabout way, cinema. There’s plenty on display to love here: The catchy soundtrack, Murphy’s energetic performance which is his best in a long time, the costumes, the script, but what really sells Dolemite Is My Name is the pure affection it has for its subject matter. This is far from a dressing down or mockery; it’s a film that shows what a joy it can be to make your mark on the world. It may not come to you automatically and there will be bumps in the road but when you’ve got your shot, take it and run with it. That’s certainly what Rudy did, and what he kept doing till the day he died.



23. 6 Underground.

Sorry. I have bad taste.

What happens when the world’s most maximalist, excessive and tasteless action director in the world is given a blank check to do what he wants? Why, you get exactly what you’d expect: something tacky, something mean spirited, something that doesn’t give a flying shit about collateral damage or the human body, something beautiful to gawk at and something that moves so fast you wonder what you just watched. THAT’s what it’s like to watch Michael Bay’s 6 Underground, courtesy of the guys who wrote the Deadpool movies and Netflix. Ryan Reynolds plays a billionaire who, along with a collection of hitmen, soldiers and government mooks, fake their deaths to do operations off the books and take down a dictator in charge of a third world Middle Eastern country. And as tasteless and crass as it is, it also winds up being Bay’s most political film yet, as he uses his action chops to make a movie that’s essentially him venting his frustrations with the ineptitude of democracy and how you could just wish to take tyrants down with no restrictions. Of course, Bay being Bay, it’s shot like a music video with extremely pretty people and enough explosions to blow up half the world but when his name is on the box, you know what you’re in for.



24. IT: Chapter Two.

For 27 years, I dreamt of you. I craved you... I've missed you!

Let’s get something straight before I get into any detail: IT Chapter Two is a flawed movie. It’s excessive in nearly every way from how many jump scares there are to its runtime to how it repeats beats from the 2017 film to how it does its damndest to cram in everything from the original novel. Not to mention the absolutely wackadoo tone, where it feels like we’re watching a Sam Raimi horror comedy than the terrifying book. At times, it REALLY pushes itself, almost to the point I think director Andres Muschetti and writer Gary Dauberman were in over their heads trying to adapt the rest of the book in comparison how they did it the first time around. But at the same time, they actually GET what Stephen King is. He may be a master of horror and things that go bump in the night, but he’s also a big softie and that might just be the most important thing to get when it comes to bringing his work to life. They get what the main appeal of this story isn’t just the clown but the bonds of the Losers and how they truly are best friends. Every performer from James McAvoy to Jessica Chastain to Bill Haeder wonderfully bring life to the adult versions of their characters will Bill Skarsgard hasn’t lost a step of playing the delightfully mean monster. Chapter Two may be something of a mess, but it’s an ambitious, grandly scaled, confident and emotionally genuine mess and I can’t own a double pack of both films in the future.



25. Arctic.

They are looking for you, don't worry. They'll be here tomorrow. Or the day after tomorrow. Don't worry.

Survival movies are probably the sturdiest genre around. All you need is a dangerous but beautiful setting, a charismatic lead actor or actress, some hostile animals and blunt straightforward storytelling. Such is the case of the directorial debut of Joe Penna and his film Arctic, which stars Mads Mikkelsen (one of our generation’s greatest performers) as an everyman who finds himself stranded in the Arctic Circle waiting for some chance of rescue while braving the harsh, cruel cold. When a helicopter crash lands and one of the survivors comes close to death, he decides to risk his chances and make a journey for an outpost many miles from where his camp is. And what follows after is rock-solid tension and suspense. Penna makes the smart move by not bogging the film in exposition, keeping dialogue as light as possible while letting Mikkelsen do his thing in a performance that is as physically powerful as it is emotionally affecting. Running at a drum-tight 90 minutes, this is definitely the best possible version you could ask for with a movie like this.

Last edited by The Debts; 02-29-2020 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:09 PM   #8
Hoke Moseley Hoke Moseley is offline
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1. The Irishman
2. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
3. Parasite
4. Ford v Ferrari
5. Little Women
6. Deadwood: The Movie
7. Knives Out
8. The Art of Self-Defense
9. Dragged Across Concrete
10. Toy Story 4
11. Uncut Gems
12. Hustlers
13. Richard Jewell
14. Ad Astra
15. Rolling Thunder Revue
16. Fighting with My Family
17. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
18. Greta
19. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
20. Rocketman
21. The Highwaymen
22. Triple Frontier
23. Spider-Man: Far from Home
24. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
25. The Peanut Butter Falcon

will be edited before the deadline..

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Old 01-01-2020, 10:25 PM   #9
Hucksta G Hucksta G is offline
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Finally got in here early enough to be on the first page, I will update constantly until the deadline.

1. Parasite
2. Uncut Gems
3. The Lighthouse
4. Marriage Story
5. For Sama
6. The Nightingale
7. Midsommar
8. 1917
9. The Art of Self-Defense
10. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
11. The Irishman
12. Joker
13. A Hidden Life
14. Little Women
15. Ad Astra
16. Booksmart
17. Deadwood: The Movie
18. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
19. John Wick: Chapter 3
20. At the Heart of Gold
21. Climax
22. Dogman
23. Jojo Rabbit
24. Cold Case Hammarskjöld
25. The Farewell

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Old 01-01-2020, 10:31 PM   #10
Al_The_Strange Al_The_Strange is offline
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25: Furie (Hai Phuong)



This unassuming Vietnamese thriller offers a rather simple premise, the likes of which we've seen in other action pictures (Taken, for example). And yet, the film remains captivating through its style (which paints its rural landscapes with such grungy and colorful detail) and its focus on character relationships. It works because we can care for the lead character and her daughter. Fight scenes won't blow anybody away, but are modestly satisfying to watch. Same can be said of the film, but I give it the edge for having a story that fundamentally works.

24: Shazam!


Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year--it is well-executed and puts the focus smartly on the character and the way he learns responsibility through having powers granted to him. There is a level of heart that reminds viewers of seminal hits like Big, and the film's best laughs will come from Zachary Levi and the way he plays up the disparity between the adult world and his character. It is a nice, harmless, heartwarming story, and probably the most wholesome movie of the year.

23: Hail Satan?



A straightforward documentary with the objective to shed light on the Satanic Temple. The film unearths surprising motives and ideals that reach beyond religion and stab at the heart of political issues. I may not particularly agree with the methods, but the film shows that the rituals and symbols are mostly optics to symbolize ultimate rebellion. One can't help but to sympathize with rebels who stand up for freedom.

22: Climax



It begins as a vibrant dream. It transitions into a feverish, gut-wrenching nightmare. At its actual climax, the film rips all the pretense and civility of its cast to expose the savagery that exists in the human heart. Gaspar Noe garnishes the experience with his usual flair, this time with emphasis on mesmerizing dances. The combination of performance art, sick beats, and structure highlights the good times, and it makes the bad times particularly gut-wrenching.

21: Shadow (Ying)


The latest, visually sumptuous epic from Zhang Yimou delivers just what it promises--duality. Black and white. Men and women. Love and war. It's woven together with stunning photography that captures its monochrome battles in flowing motion, expert choreography, and polished quality. The story has enough nuance and intrigue to keep it interesting. This may be the finest wuxia film I've seen in years.

20: Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of Skywalker


The ninth film in one of my most beloved film sagas delivers what was promised--a conclusion, action-packed and guaranteed to elicit a smile and a tear. I can't even remember the last time spectacular stunts really wowed me, but watching Rey leap over a TIE fighter and slice its wing off may be the awesomest thing I've seen all year. The fast-paced adventure is stuffed with blaster shootouts, lightsaber duels, space battles, and more. The film probably makes the mistake of playing things too safe, sacrificing bold storytelling to give audiences what they want in terms of story decisions and nostalgia. However, it's still an enjoyable romp thanks to the sheer quality of the visuals, the snappy editing, the personalities of the actors, and above all, heart. If this is one last look at our friends from a galaxy far far away, it's at least a look of fondness.

19: Marriage Story


This unassuming Netflix feature plays out like a modern-day Kramer vs Kramer. Set in the current era, a failing marriage is explored in the context of modern law practices, modern norms, and modern parenting. As each side is scrutinized, tension bears down on the characters until sheer outrage and sorrow bleeds out of the characters (with superb dedication from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, both of whom exude emotion and personality well). It is a worthwhile experience that made me care for a family slowly coming apart.

18: One Child Nation


If you've studied modern Chinese society, chances are you may have heard of their one-child policy circa 1979. Jialing Zhang and Nanfu Wang take the camera across the mainland to show us real faces and voices of those affected by the policy--not only is it eye-opening, it's also a compelling study of humanity, or the lack thereof, in the shadow of authoritarian power. Like any good documentary should, this film exposes truth in a way that's hard to ignore. This is a truth that 1.4 billion Chinese citizens face. Hearing their stories is perhaps long overdue.

17: The Irishman



Martin Scorsese may have outdone himself, crafting a sprawling three-and-a-half hour chronicle of Jimmy Hoffa through the eyes of the titular Irishman, Frank Sheeran. The story unfolds at a leisurely pace, giving all the space in the world for Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino to dominate each scene (with a respectable supporting cast to boot). The film bears all the usual Scorsese trademarks--lucid cinematography, characteristic voiceovers, real-looking locations, unflinching bloodshed, and a dedicated attention to historic detail.

16: Spider-Man: Far From Home


In the aftermath of Endgame, Spider-Man gets his European vacation. As it was with Homecoming, the focus remains on Peter Parker's high-school relationships in the midst of juggling school work and SHIELD work. There are some interesting surprises in this film, many of which I found endearing and interesting. Action scenes and visual effects don't disappoint, of course, but the story remains interesting as it positions Spider-Man as a potential successor to Tony Stark, perhaps even suggesting a new through-line for the next Marvel phase. It's a nice touch in a movie that's packed with excitement, humor, and personality.

15: Ad Astra


The latest slow-burning adventure from James Gray takes us to the stars and into the heart of darkness. Ad Astra taps into the same story structure as Apocalypse Now! to elicit introspection on the human condition in the midst of loneliness. One man's search for catharsis becomes every man's search for answers, and the journey becomes a symbolic representation of our relationship with higher powers and ourselves. I appreciate the sheer gravitas of the film, especially with its quality visuals.

14: Dragged Across Concrete


How is it that this simple premise--one that's stretched across two-and-a-half hours--can unearth so much truth about society's racial divide and the nature of crime? This carefully-woven story manages to elicit surprising insight thanks to the way the characters are pushed and pulled, always fluctuating between barbarism and civility. It builds up to a dry, but incredibly suspenseful stand-off. It could have gone on for a dozen hours, and I'd still find it compelling. Between this and Brawl in Cell Block 99, S. Craig Zahler is becoming a beast in the crime genre.

13: IT Chapter Two



Two years ago, we watched the Losers Club vanquish Pennywise the Clown as children. It was inevitable that we'd see the rest of the story in this second chapter, focusing solely on the characters as adults in their final stand against the child-eating clown. As expected, the film delivers its story with admirable narrative skill, giving the broad, respectable cast enough screen-time to let their characters shine. Their encounters with Pennywise are extravagant, all the way to a satisfactory conclusion that made me root for the Losers.

12: Alita: Battle Angel


It took years for James Cameron to bring this awesome manga to life for the big-screen--with Robert Rodriguez running the camera, Alita was finally unleashed. The film offers everything I could ask for--badass cyborg combat, to include a rad game of Motorball. Beneath the digital veneer, Rosa Salazar delivers a performance that's equal parts electrifying and heartfelt, bringing Alita to life in a way that you can't help but to fall in love with her. What glues the narrative together is the theme of self discovery and exploration, and it is inherently awe-inspiring to watch this brave new heroine grow into a fully-realized character with her own hopes and dreams. The film does decent justice to bringing the Japanese comic to life, making this Hollywood's best anime adaptation to date.

11: John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum


After being dragged into the underworld twice, John Wick just can't catch a break. As the chase becomes more desperate, the films become more bonkers, this time sending Wick to the ends of the Earth to atone for his crimes. The fights are as visceral as ever, but with an even more slapstick tone that will elicit as many laughs as it does awe. The story is fascinating, with particular focus on expanding the crazy world-building. It's hard to imagine how the next movie will top this madness--as it is, this chapter is a madcap rush of bullets, bloodshed, and mayhem.

10: Avengers: Endgame



Twenty-one films in eleven years, and we finally come to this. In what might be the grandest motion picture event of the year, every single character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe counts towards the Endgame, in which a myriad of iconic heroes venture across time and the cosmos to undo the damage caused by the Infinity War and restore what was lost. The result is a massive, emotional upswing. Nothing can be more heartwarming than to watch every hero rise from failure and band together for one final fight. The visual and emotional heights makes this one of the most epic cinematic experiences I've seen since The Lord of the Rings.

9: Toy Story 4


While most movie franchises might peter out by the fourth entry, Pixar manages to keep its fourth Toy Story entry just as relevant, deep, and emotional as all its predecessors. Even with its growing list of characters, the actual toy story manages to juggle all its threads in a balanced away, weaving complex themes of friendship and existentialism through all its heartfelt encounters. And it does all this while looking good and being funny. See you, space man and cowboy...

8: Doctor Sleep



It would have been easy to flub up a sequel to Kubrick's The Shining, just as much as it'd be easy to flub a direct take on King's actual text. The film manages to do the story justice by having it both ways, pulling off a balancing act between Kubrick's and King's visions. I've always admired this story, which follows Danny Torrance through dark paths that I find compelling. The expanded lore of the stories introduce new threats (including new villains--Rose the Hat is one mean chick) and sends the characters on a twisty plot that offers chilling revelations and suspense. While the finale understandably deviates from the novel to adhere to Kubrick's film, it does so with a level of reverence I can appreciate. I loved the book, and I'm pretty happy with how the movie came out.

7: Jojo Rabbit


Taika Waititi paints one of the darkest ages of war with his own brand of color and comedy. The effect is twofold: on one hand he creates a shocking contrast that highlights the messed-up ways ideology and indoctrination can perpetuate one of the most inhumane regimes in history. It also adds a surprising level of heart and humanity in a story where such heart and humanity is implicit. Roman Griffin Davis is a champ for emoting his character in a compelling and lovable way, and he stands on the shoulders of an impressive supporting cast. Waititi himself is a hoot to watch in the uniform of an imaginary Hitler. Behind the camera, however, he shows an impeccable attention to the story's craft--all its detail and nuance elevates this film into one of the most fulfilling and heartwarming films of the year.

6: Us




Everybody went nuts over Jordan Peele's Get Out, but I feel more at home with Us. This film may not make much sense, but that's okay--taken as a piece of surrealism, I find it visually arresting as it is thrilling. Each scene is drawn out with attention to detail and characterization that I find admirable. The film can conjure any number of ideas behind its premise, from social commentary to Jungian psychology--the sum of its themes suggest a frightening undercurrent to the world we live in, which could overtake us when we least expect it. I may never look in the mirror the same way again.

5: Once Upon a Time in...Hollywood


Quentin Tarantino takes us on a tour of the 1960s, where the movies were groovy, the music rocked, the hangouts were really swinging, and everything exists in a sunbathed dream. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt form a cool duo who inevitably cross paths with specters of Hollywood's dark underbelly. The story unravels methodically and expertly, slowly building towards an insane finale where every detail--even the smallest--matters. The film exudes quality in its cinematography and production design, but the performances and script breathe life into these interesting characters and their misadventures. On top of being a fine film, it's a celebration of film itself, and a wonderful fairy tale that hints at a glorious Californian dream that could have come true, once upon a time...

4: Parasite (Gisaengchung)



Leave it to South Korea to deliver one of the most poignant movies of the year. Bong Joon-ho dials back the absurdity and gives us a shockingly plausible scenario in which one family leaches off another. The social commentary punches its audience in the face, and it's not a hit that can be easily walked off. The film sticks because of the actors' dedication, which makes characters on both sides compelling and relatable. They venture through incredible twists that make the tension bubble, until the film slowly boils over into a gut-wrenching finale. It is an incredible story told well--maybe even an important one, bearing universal relevance in a world where social classes continue to rupture apart. Everybody just wants a good quality of life--this film holds up a mirror and shows how the dream can starve under our own parasitic ambitions.

3: Midsommar


The Wicker Man can eat its bee-ridden heart out. Ari Aster draws on personal anguish to craft the ultimate break-up movie in the form of a throwback horror experience. Only this film is a sunbathed, drug-induced dreamscape full of flowers, dancing, feasting, and mystic rituals. There's a beautiful, Earthly quality to the film even as it slowly peels its bright skin off and reveals disturbing truths. It achieves a heart-wrenching catharsis in its finale, thanks to the poignant juxtaposition of darkness and light, love and hate, beauty and terror, life and death. If you feel unsettled, don't worry, there's nothing wrong with your drink. You're just tripping on the film.

2: Joker


People fear him. Some look up to him, while others want to see him beaten down. Love him or hate him, the Joker has plagued Gotham City--and our psyches--for almost 80 years. Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips teamed up to deliver something uncanny in today's environment: a quiet character study that shows the Joker's origins amidst a perfect storm of social ills that mold our relatable protagonist into a disillusioned agent of chaos. The effect is pulled off handsomely thanks to the colorful and quaint cinematography, a quality script, and a shockingly perfect performance from Phoenix. The influences are quite transparent, to the point where you could consider the Joker to be the Taxi Driver's hip younger brother. And yet, there is a unique voice (or laugh?) in this film, which directs attention towards such distressing issues as the failing healthcare system, a widening divide in social classes, and the nature of evil. Joker is a portrait that shows us the wicked clown that spawns when certain people are ignored, evil runs unchecked, and the system remains cruel. Take heed, because if we're not careful, the face we see in the Joker may be our own.

1: Apollo 11



A film fifty years in the making. The historic 1969 mission to the moon was captured on hundreds of hours of film (including a wealth of spectacular 70mm footage) and thousands of hours of audio recordings. Now, in 2019, we can see it in a brisk 93 minutes--all the preparations, all the little problems that had to be solved, all the pomp, all the excitement, all the triumph is shown to us as it actually happened. There is no narration, because none is needed--we can see it happen with our own eyes, with only Matt Morton's electric score to direct our mood. We see Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and a massive team of ground control techs all in the flesh as they achieve incredible feats. This is more than a film--it's a piece of literal history, presented with the elegance and respect of a museum set piece. As such, this is easily the purest kind of cinema I've seen all year. Apollo 11 was real, and for a brief time, I felt like I was there with the astronauts in history.

Runner ups:
Tolkien
Anna
Glass
Rocketman
Booksmart
Terminator: Dark Fate

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Old 01-01-2020, 10:32 PM   #11
PS-RagE PS-RagE is offline
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I still have a number of this year's releases I haven't been able to view yet so this list will likely change before the deadline:
  1. Alita: Battle Angel
  2. Joker
  3. Avengers: Endgame
  4. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
  5. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
  6. Doctor Sleep
  7. Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker
  8. Apollo 11
  9. Spider-Man: Far from Home
  10. Klaus
  11. Crawl
  12. Ready or Not
  13. Midsommar
  14. Midway
  15. Terminator: Dark Fate
  16. Shazam!
  17. The Irishman
  18. It Chapter Two
  19. Toy Story 4
  20. The Aeronauts
  21. Glass
  22. Dark Phoenix
  23. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  24. Captain Marvel
  25. Polar



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Old 01-01-2020, 11:23 PM   #12
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I didn't get to see everything I wanted but I felt this was kind of a soft year regardless. I wanted to make this post look a little better, my apologies but got a little too busy.

1. Parasite
2. Uncut Gems
3. Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood
4. The Irishman
5. 1917
6. High Life
7. The Lighthouse
8. The Mustang
9. Ad Astra
10. Midsommar
11. Transit
12. Luce
13. Climax
14. Under the Silver Lake
15. Knives Out
16. Ford v. Ferrari
17. Ash is Purest White
18. The Nightingale
19. Dark Waters
20. Little Women
21. Wild Rose
22. The Art of Self Defense
23. Pain and Glory
24. The Peanut Butter Falcon
25. Dragged Across Concrete

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Old 01-01-2020, 11:24 PM   #13
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1.


Thoughts: More than any other director, Bong Joon-ho has this magnetism for me. I don't know what it is, other than just masterclass film making, that makes me want to keep coming back to his films more than any other and is why Memories of Murder is the film I've seen the most in my adult life. Having seen it six times already, Parasite is no different. Everything from the production design, cinematography, editing, and the incredibly tight and unique screenplay, just begs you to keep coming back. Whether you are there to gather all the themes or not, it's incredibly entertaining regardless. It makes you go through so many moods, and yet I'm pretty sure I had a huge smile on my face the entire way through.

2.


Thoughts: Greta Gerwig is now two for two, and for me is the best new filmmaker to rise in the last couple years. I'll admit that this is my introduction to the source material, but I don't think I would have it any other way. I'm a sucker for a good period drama, and you mix that with Gerwig's great writing and likable characters and it ended up being just an absolute joy. Also, Saoirse Ronan is a gift to the world. That is all.

3.


Thoughts: When you have Roger Deakins shooting your film and going for the manipulated one shot(or two shot), and succeed in that, then you are already tickling me in the right spot. We usually get a pretty amazing one every year or so, but I love a good war film. Intense without ever needing to rely much on action, it keeps you on the edge of your seat. It may not have the most depth, but lead by some outstanding central performances, it is engaging from start to finish.

4.


Thoughts: In many ways feels like a greatest hits for Scorsese while still learning new tricks. While not perfect, still incredibly impressive what they were able to accomplish with the de-aging. An absolute masterclass gangster epic with top class acting and banter. Particularly enjoyed every scene Pacino was in. Just a great film that never feels taxing despite it's lengthy run time.

5.


Thoughts: When so many franchises that crap it up at one point or another, it's impressive that after 21 films, that they were able to stick the landing so well here. It knows exactly what it is in being crowd-pleasing popcorn fare and embraces it to perfection. Incredibly satisfying and I honestly couldn't ask for anything more from this finale.

6.


Thoughts: While probably my least favorite of the three, it's still not a disservice to say considering I love this franchise. A satisfying conclusion to a rare Dreamworks franchise that has some passion and heart.

7.


Thoughts: Definitely a big fan of Waititi's humor, but I did not expect the emotional impact that he would bring to this film as well. I think it takes a unique talent to have this story brought together with satire and come across in the right manner, and i think he nails it.

8.


Thoughts: A wonderful capture and love letter to Hollywood's golden age. Was so entertained by the great acting and dialogue, that the ending took me completely by surprise despite the fact that it's Tarantino and I should have expected it. Probably my favorite of his since Pulp Fiction.

9.


Thoughts: No secret that I love the first film, and this one continues it's magic. Beautifully animated with a story that flows to it's own accord without taking you down a too predictable path. The soundtrack is not quite as memorable as the first, but it's still got some great tunes.

10.


Thoughts: An adrenaline rush from start to finish that may give you an anxiety attack, but the kind i'd be happy to take again. Adam Sandler shows the kind of great acting he is ultimately capable of when lead by great directors looking to utilize it. The Safdies are just getting started, and I can't wait to see what they tackle next.

11.


12.


13.


14.


15.


16.


17.


18.


19.


20.


21.


22.


23.


24.


25.



Simplified List
[Show spoiler]
1. Parasite
2. Little Women
3. 1917
4. The Irishman
5. Avengers: Endgame
6. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
7. Jojo Rabbit
8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
9. Frozen 2
10. Uncut Gems
11. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
12. Us
13. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
14. Ad Astra
15. Toy Story 4
16. Klaus
17. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
18. Marriage Story
19. Shadow
20. A Hidden Life
21. Midsommar
22. The Nightingale
23. The Farewell
24. The Art of Self-Defense
25. It: Chapter 2

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Old 01-01-2020, 11:29 PM   #14
ArrestedDevelopment ArrestedDevelopment is offline
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FINAL rankings:

1. Parasite
2. Uncut Gems
3. Dragged Across Concrete
4. Waves
5. The Lighthouse
6. Jojo Rabbit
7. The Irishman
8. Doctor Sleep
9. Us
10. Knives Out
11. 1917
12. Ford v Ferrari
13. Freaks
14. Booksmart
15. Midsommar (Director's Cut)
16. I Am Mother
17. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
18. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
19. Luce
20. Good Boys
21. The Peanut Butter Falcon
22. Ready or Not
23. Little Women
24. The Farewell
25. The Nightingale

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Old 01-01-2020, 11:30 PM   #15
thelittleprince thelittleprince is offline
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Subject to changes until deadline.

1. Joker
2. Parasite
3. The Irishman
4. Us
5. It: Chapter 2
6. Glass
7. Midsommar
8. Little Women
9. The Lighthouse
10. 1917
11. Marriage Story
12. Avengers: Endgame
13. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
14. Spider-Man: Far From Home
15. Alita: Battle Angel
16. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
17. Captain Marvel
18. Uncut Gems
19. Knives Out
20. Judy
21. Ready or Not
22. Shazam!
23. Hustlers
24. Rocketman
25. Brightburn

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Old 01-01-2020, 11:30 PM   #16
Frank TJ Mackey Frank TJ Mackey is offline
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1. Parasite

Work in progress——

Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
The Irishman
Uncut Gems
Marriage Story
Midsommar
JoJo Rabbit
Cold Pursuit
Good Boys
The Farewell
Joker
Rise of Skywalker (release the JJ cut)
The Art of Self-Defense
Rocketman
Dolemite Is My Name
Us
Ready or Not

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Old 01-01-2020, 11:45 PM   #17
DanTheMan DanTheMan is offline
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01) Parasite
02) The Irishman
03) Avengers: Endgame
04) Booksmart
05) The Farewell
06) Ford v Ferrari
07) Joker
08) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
09) Knives Out
10) The Art of Self-Defense
11) Uncut Gems
12) The Lighthouse
13) Portrait of a Lady on Fire
14) Spider-Man: Far From Home
15) Climax
16) Alita: Battle Angel
17) Marriage Story
18) Bombshell
19) Brittany Runs a Marathon
20) The Peanut Butter Falcon
21) It: Chapter Two
22) Rocketman
23) Midsommar
24) The Nightingale
25) Jojo Rabbit

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Old 01-01-2020, 11:49 PM   #18
MikeScott MikeScott is offline
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Push it back to March . I really want to get to Portrait of a Lady on Fire before doing one but it doesn't open until February 14th and probably won't come anywhere remotely near me before maybe late March. Sounds like it's going to be a slow roll-out .
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:40 AM   #19
Darth Marcus Darth Marcus is offline
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My Top 25 Films of 2019

#1. Parasite | Directed by Bon Joon Ho



Quote:
As wonderful as 2019 was at the movies, there was Parasite, and then there was everything else. Bong Joon-ho elevates his already strong grasp of filmmaking to god-tier level with this endlessly entertaining and intellectually stimulating rumination on social class divisions and their effects on society. True to its title, this film will get inside your mind, body, and soul, and take up permanent residence. Here's the thing, though, you won't want to kick it out.

#2. The Irishman | Directed by Martin Scorsese



Quote:
Martin Scorsese returns to the mobster genre with The Irishman, and he's brought along with him some familiar faces. But here you won't find the cocaine-fueled craziness of Goodfellas or the paranoia of The Departed, instead you'll find a sure and steady hand exercising patience with its deliberate pacing and methodical storytelling. De Niro, Pesci, and Pacino all deliver performances worthy of their legend, and Scorsese serves up an ode to the films that made his career that's as memorable as anything he's ever done.

#3. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood | Directed by Quentin Tarantino



Quote:
From the mind of Quentin Tarantino comes another tale that's as unique and distinctive as moviegoers have come to expect. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood wonderfully realizes the hope and promise of 1969 Hollywood where new careers blossom and fading stars find opportunity to be reborn. Equipped with his signature dialogue, his penchant for violence, and his fetish for feet, Quentin lovingly writes a fairy tale that honors what Hollywood once was and simultaneously dreams of what it might've become had things gone differently one fateful August night in 1969.

#4. Portrait of a Lady on Fire | Directed by Céline Sciamma




#5. Apollo 11 | Directed by Todd Douglas Miller




#6. Marriage Story | Directed by Noah Baumbach




#7. Ad Astra | Directed by James Gray




#8. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood | Directed by Marielle Heller




#9. The Lighthouse | Directed by Robert Eggers




#10. Uncut Gems | Directed by The Safdie Brothers




#11. Little Women | Directed by Greta Gerwig




#12. 1917 | Directed by Sam Mendes




#13. Avengers: Endgame | Directed by The Russo Brothers




#14. Toy Story 4 | Directed by Josh Cooley




#15. Knives Out | Directed by Rian Johnson




#16. Ford v Ferrari | Directed by James Mangold




#17. Jojo Rabbit | Directed by Taika Waititi




#18. Doctor Sleep | Directed by Mike Flanagan




#19. The Two Popes | Directed by Fernando Meirelles




#20. Dark Waters | Directed by Todd Haynes




#21. The Farewell | Directed by Lulu Wang




#22. Spider-Man: Far From Home | Directed by Jon Watts




#23. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum | Directed by Chad Stahelski




#24. Midsommar | Directed by Ari Aster




#25. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World | Directed by Dean DeBlois


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Old 01-02-2020, 01:07 AM   #20
JustinB13 JustinB13 is offline
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1. Ad Astra 4.5/5
2. 1917 4.5/5
3. Avengers: Endgame 4.5/5
4. Us 4.5/5
5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 4.5/5
6. Ready or Not 4/5
7. Midsommar 4/5
8. Hustlers 4/5
9. Joker 4/5
10. Spider-Man: Far From Home 4/5
11. How to Train Your Dragon 3 4/5
12. Captain Marvel 4/5
13. Glass 4/5
14. Knives Out 4/5
15. The Farewell 3.5/5
16. Annabelle Comes Home 3.5/5
17. Toy Story 4 3.5/5
18. Little Women 3.5/5
19. Terminator: Dark Fate 3/5
20. Dark Phoenix 3/5

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