2019’s Best Films

2019 was a spectacular year for film; it was packed to the gills with drama, romance, laughs, and tears. Here are some of the year’s best films (in no particular order). 

 

  1. Midsommar, dir. Ari Aster. Ari Aster was already one of my favorite directors after 2018’s Hereditary, and this film sealed the deal. It is haunting, horrifying, and deeply cathartic. The first time I saw it, I was silent for 20 minutes after; the second time, I had to step out halfway in and come back after 10 minutes, it’s that brutal. Florence Pugh’s performance made my heart ache and my stomach sick in the best way possible. 

  2. Parasite, dir. Bong Joon-Ho. I don’t want to tell you anything at all about this film except that it involves two South Korean families, it’s insane, and it absolutely lives up to the hype. It got an eight-minute long standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. Seriously, just go watch it. There is nothing else I can say. 

  3. Knives Out, dir. Rian Johnson. This movie is campy in the best way, and is doing so much to revive the whodunit genre. This ensemble cast is one of the best ever assembled (haha, get it, Chris Evans was—okay, sorry), and Johnson’s directing shines. Twist after twist, I was hooked and on the edge of my seat the entire time. 

  4. The Lighthouse, dir. Robert Eggers. This movie made me and my boyfriend sit in the theater, entirely unsettled, until the lights came up and the Alamo Drafthouse employees started side-eyeing us to get out. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe offer some of their best performances to date. This is another film I don’t want to say too much about, so please, just go see it. 

  5. Jojo Rabbit, dir. Taiki Waititi. Waititi is one of the great minds of our time, because who else could make a satirical film about a young member of Hitler Youth and the Jewish girl hiding in his house without being horribly offensive? This film will lure you in with comedy and surprise you with its heart and depth. It has some truly spectacular performances from the two young leads, Roman Griffin Davis and Thomasin McKenzie. 

  6. Ready or Not, dir. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett. Samara Weaving shines in this thriller about an old-money family hunting her for sport after she marries their youngest member; she will certainly be a talent to watch in the coming years. The ending of this film is worth the ride, for sure. 

  7. Rocketman, dir. Dexter Flecher. This film lives on the line between daydreamy pomp and brutal reality, and it lives there well. Taron Egerton gives the performance of his career as Elton John, and the clever blending of his discography and real-life events makes it shine. 

  8. Booksmart, dir. Olivia Wilde. This goofy, heartfelt comedy about two young bookworms graduating high school and wanting to go wild before they leave town is just so damn good. I wish this had come out when I was a senior in high school; it has such an impact on teens now, I think it will be a go-to teen film for years to come. 

  9. Us, dir. Jordan Peele. Lupita Nyong’o is one of the great talents of our generation, and certainly joins ranks with famous Final Girls in this film. The premise is a family is under attack from doppelgangers, and I won’t say anymore than that, because the twist is so mind-boggling, you won’t know what hit you until the credits roll. And not even then, really.