2019 was a great year for movies. Whether you bought tickets to see a raunchy tween-starring comedy or a nuanced familial dramedy, it felt like there was a movie for everyone. Here are the very best films of 2019.
Rocketman is not a traditional biopic. It instead aims to capture the life of the legendary Elton John through a deft blending of fact and fantasy. It’s a bold gambit that somehow works swimmingly, thanks in large part to a brilliant lead performance from Taron Egerton.
Chicago Reader’s Leah Pickett opined that the fantasy conceit is part of what made the film work so well. She wrote:
“This fantastical take…is undoubtedly how the unconventional artist at its center wanted it to be. The story reshuffles reality, especially time and facts, and the film is more enjoyable for it.”
Many critics were complimentary of Egerton’s performance, but Quad City Times’ Linda Cook summed it up best with a sweet line:
“I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words how wonderful life is when Elton John’s music, and this movie, are in the world.”
Fans waited four long years for the ninth film from Quentin Tarantino, and as usual, the master delivered a singular and amazing piece of cinema. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Tarantino’s portrait of the swinging ’60s in Los Angeles, and how they came to an abrupt end the night of August 8, 1969. The night that followers of the infamous Charles Manson visited the house of pregnant actress Sharon Tate, leaving the town changed forever in their bloody wake.
Tarantino’s story is told through the lens of fictional washed-up actor Rick Dalton and his best buddy and stunt double Cliff Booth, as they find themselves in the middle of the seismic events of that night. Praise was effusive for Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “amazing” onscreen chemistry, and while not every critic was convinced, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was generally found to stand with Tarantino’s best work. As Lou Thomas of Den of Geek wrote:
“Tarantino has created a storming hangout movie for the ages: changing times captured remarkably by a film in love with cinema itself.”
Writer/director Ari Aster made a huge noise in 2018 with his terrifying debut Hereditary, but in 2019, we discovered that he had just been warming up. Midsommar finds troubled couple Dani and Christian going on a trek through the Swedish countryside to a remote village. The bizarre happenings there unfold not in the dead of night, but in broad, sunny daylight, one of many unusual aspects of the film which critics singled out for praise. Keep watching the video to see the best movies of 2019!
Rocketman | 0:13
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood | 1:02
Midsommar | 2:07
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark | 2:51
Ready or Not | 3:33
Downton Abbey | 4:16
Ad Astra | 5:05
Good Boys | 6:01
Brittany Runs a Marathon | 6:43
The Farewell | 7:22
Hustlers | 8:12
The Lighthouse | 8:57
The Irishman | 9:33
Ford v Ferrari | 10:16
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood | 11:10
Knives Out | 11:49
Dark Waters | 12:22
Little Women | 13:11
Uncut Gems | 14:24
Joker | 15:35
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