2019 has come to a close and with it the 2010s. Focusing on this past year we've had some hits and some flops. I've seen them both, but not everything. Here are my favorite feature films of 2019.
5. Spiderman: Far From Home
When Marvel announced they would be recasting this iconic superhero for a third time in less than 20 years I rolled my eyes so hard. But now I'm glad they did. Tom Holland is my favorite Spiderman. And I love this sequel so much more than Homecoming.
Far From Home made the list because it is the funniest movie I've ever seen in theaters. It's also one of only less than a handful of films I've seen in theaters more than once. I cried laughing both times. The impressive special effects of Mysterio's mind bending powers made it no problem for me to rewatch it a week later. Far From Home is one of the best 2019 movies and top Marvel movies.
4. The King
This Netflix film starring Timothée Chalamet is based on William Shakespeare's Henriad. I went to Shakespeare summer camp for four years in a row so I attended and/or performed all four of the Henriad plays before. I also took AP European history in high school because I'm just a little obsessed with monarchical history.
That being said, I was familiar with all the plot, characters, and context before watching this movie. I get that it's not for everyone because my roommate who watched it with me found it so boring and could not pay attention at all. I recommend this film to anyone who, like me, enjoys period pieces and slow burn stories. The tension kept me interested the whole film.
I adored this interpretation of the Henriad, enough changes to the plays were made so that it was different and fresh but not outlandish and ridiculous. Watching the complicated political and war strategies play out fascinated me. The twist ending was perfect. Chalamet nailed his acting role once again. And I was surprised, but also floored, by the appearance of Robert Pattinson.
3. Little Women
Another Timothée Chalamet role in another period piece: Little Women! I saw the Winona Ryder adaptation earlier this year before I knew Greta Gerwig had this coming to theaters, and I hated it. I saw the play my high school did years ago and that was fine so I thought a professional one must be even better, I was wrong. The 1994 version sets up the film so you completely expect Laurie and Jo to get together and it makes Amy an annoying little sister who gets whatever she wants without consequences.
I was expecting to be let down in the same way since the 2019 movie has the same source material. Instead, this 2019 adaption has a great set up where I feel like Amy grows and really deserves someone who loves her in the end. Jo and Laurie work perfect as best friends and Saoirse Ronan's acting makes it clear that's all they are so I was incredibly satisfied.
Not to mention this movie has some of the best cinematography and editing and other pretentious film stuff I hope they win Oscars for.
2. Avengers: Endgame
This movie wins watchability by far. I'm so impressed by how a movie that's over 3 hours keeps up the pace and flies by while entertaining so well. The ability to juggle so many different story lines that come from different movies culminating in "the most ambitious crossover of all time" earns a spot on the top films of this year, this decade, and even all time.
I understand how Endgame is the highest grossing film of all time, the effort shows. The reason this film isn't number one for me is because, on a personal level, it doesn't emotionally resonate with me. I'm not a die hard Marvel fan so I didn't sob for days when characters died and the reunions were cute but not life changing. Endgame is still one of the most entertaining films I've ever seen.
Say "hello" to Florence Pugh again.
Watching this film is in no way "fun." It's deep. This movie was stressful and disturbing and haunting and that's why I loved it more than anything else I saw this year.
This film demands attention in all its details. The foreshadowing astounds me. I love how Midsommar is about a young woman finding a community again after her parents and sister die and ends with a cathartic break up from her crappy boyfriend. I wouldn't have believed that's what this film is truly about based on the bashed in heads and cult skin peeling rituals but it is, and that's why it stuck with me because it's emotional and relatable.
I know a film is good when I find myself simply thinking about it a while after watching it. That's exactly what I did with Midsommar. A month later a small detail about it would just pop into my head and I would think, "wow, that's cool." It soars so far above the passable and easy to consume movies that dominate the modern cinema market and I applaud Ari Aster for creating the only movie on this list to not cash out on sequels, spin-offs, adaptations, or remakes.
These movies didn't quite make the cut because most of them are kids movie sequels which is not my genre but I enjoyed them for what they were.
I thought Star Wars was great, but I only got into the movies in high school. I didn't grow up with them so it was hard for me to care about Princess Leia or these planets as much as this movie wanted me to.
Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, Lego Movie 2, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Movies I Haven't Seen That I Want To:
If your favorite movie of 2019 didn't make the cut maybe I just haven't seen it. I kinda wish I had seen one of these instead of the awful Charlie Angels movie.
The Lighthouse, Booksmart, Us, Knives Out