After a rough start, 2019 ended up being a terrific year for film. Several movies which didn’t make my personal list – films like Marriage Story, Toy Story 4, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Us, Apollo 11, One Cut of the Dead, Uncut Gems, etc. – could easily constitute a separate lineup teeming with its own memorable moments. But, as the saying goes, though there are many [lists] like it, this one is mine. Here are my favorite films of last year.
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I don’t remember a year where I struggled more to narrow down my favorite movies. It’s almost ridiculous how jam-packed 2019 was with excellent films: from stunning debut features to contemplative epics by masters of their craft, to character dramas that plunged into unimagined depths, to cozy family fables that unexpectedly cut like a knife, to the embarrassment of riches floating in from abroad. Movies had so much to say, and they said it brilliantly.
These are just a few of my favorite things, but even at the last minute I was shuffling this list around. So in honor of those movies that almost made the cut, here are my honorable mentions: The Irishman, The Lighthouse, Us, Ad Astra, Marriage Story, Varda by Agnes, John Wick Chapter 3, Transit, Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
With that, here are my top 10 movies of 2019.
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Hot on the heels of the Writers Guild of America chiming in with their award nominations for the films of 2019, the Producers Guild of America is revealed the nominees for their 31st annual awards ceremony. There aren’t really any surprises among the nominees for film with Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Knives Out, Little Women, Marriage Story, and Parasite all landing a nomination for the PGA’s equivalent of Best Picture. Rounding out the noms are recent Golden Globe winners 1917 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Along with the nominations for motion pictures, the PGA also announced their awards for animated movies, streaming and cable movies, as well as television. Get the full list of 2020 PGA Award nominations below. Read More »
It was another great year for movies, where we were blessed by new classics from beloved auteurs and new works of genius from fresh faces. Where sophomore efforts turned out to be magnificent titles in their own right. And, perhaps most interesting of all, where multiple movies conveyed a similar, and timely, “eat the rich” motto. My name is Chris Evangelista, and I approve this message. These are the 10 best movies of 2019, according to me.
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Daniel Craig will be back on the case, and this time his knives are out. The actor is set to reprise his role as the Southern detective Benoit Blanc in a Knives Out sequel, which director Rian Johnson is currently developing under Lionsgate. The studio is reportedly seeing franchise opportunities after the Rian Johnson whodunit’s immense holiday box office success.
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In the 21st century, geek properties have come to define our entertainment culture to the point where some say comic book nerds are now our cultural overlords. Despite false alarms of impending genre fatigue, superhero films dominated the 2010s right up until the end of the decade. In 2019, geek-chic gave way to peak-geek, with saga-ending pop culture behemoths like Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker roaming the earth and indeed ruling the worldwide box office. However, “geek” is a broad term that could encompass not only sci-fi/fantasy but also the work of auteurist directors, whose filmographies inspire the same kind of brand-name loyalty among cinephiles. What the term really implies is a certain devotion.
We’re all movie geeks. For some fans, a new Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino film, especially one that served as a bittersweet career culmination, might be no less an event than a Disney+ premiere or a Game of Thrones finale. Throw in Joker and a few other wild cards — including the sale of 21st Century Fox and HBO’s live-action sequel to Watchmen, the greatest comic book story ever told — and it starts to feel like the deck was pretty stacked this year. In all honesty, there may never be another year like this again, entertainment-wise.
With the real world in shambles (“We’re in the endgame now?”), looking back on the escapist highs and lows of 2019 only serves to hammer that home with thundering clarity, like a powered-up Captain America laying the smackdown on any notions of a competing convergence of franchise farewells. Yet amid the perfect storm of geekiness that was 2019, new industry trends also emerged to create a picture of the future landscape of film and television.
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Posted on Friday, December 13th, 2019 by David Chen
Knives Out is out in theaters now, and it’s a blast. It’s a delightful murder mystery that takes place in the modern day, yet is loaded with references to its predecessors (particularly the works of Agatha Christie). It manages to convey an infectious love for its genre while still being a substantial entry into that genre, and that’s a rare treasure in this day and age.
The mastermind of the film is writer/director Rian Johnson, who has managed to continuously reinvent his career with every film he puts out. Despite going from low budget mysteries to big budget sci-fi, Johnson’s films all manage to retain his love of wit and surprise.
I was grateful that Rian decided to stop by the Slashfilmcast this week to chat with me and Jeff Cannata about how the film came together in the months following The Last Jedi, and how Rian put his own spin on the murder mystery film. Warning: There will be banjo.
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The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, see how animation evolved between the release of Frozen in 2013 and this year’s sequel Frozen 2. Plus, see how a professional dancer and choreographer reviews dance scenes from movies like Save the Last Dance, Chicago, Silver Linings Playbook and others. And finally, listen as Jamie Lee Curtis breaks down her career from Halloween through Knives Out and plenty in between. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
We’re getting closer to the end of 2019, and that means the year-end lists delivering what critics think are the best movies of the year are starting to arrive. It’s a little early, especially since some of the movies appearing on lists haven’t hit theaters yet, but many critics have seen those movies in advance thanks to deadlines for voting bodies to determine their awards nominations. That brings us to film critic David Ehrlich‘s traditional video countdown of the Top 25 Movies of 2019. Did any of your favorites make the cut? Find out below. Read More »
Genre films have a unique ability to offer entertaining and fantastical stories, while also being able to offer poignant commentary. This year saw the release of Parasite, Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece that’s part black comedy, part home invasion thriller, and all-round commentary on class.
Another film that uses genre to tell a very entertaining story while also offering commentary on the time in which it was made is Rian Johnson’s whodunit Knives Out. The film doesn’t hide its politics, but it also doesn’t put them under the spotlight, instead putting enough on screen to spark conversations…the very same conversations that millions of American families had during Thanksgiving, which is exactly when the film was released.
This post contains some minor spoilers for Knives Out.
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