Toy Story 4

An absolutely amazing story that only Disney can tell! It brings back all your favorites and helps you capture the same feeling you had from your childhood when you sae the first one. The story is much different from what you would have expected to see from the first three instalments which makes it original and enjoyable. The movie addresses the past, present, and future through the eyes of the toys and has you asking: Will there be a Toy Story 5? I sure hope so! 

 

The Lighthouse 

I wasn’t sure what this movie was about based on the trailer, but it addresses isolation in a very eye opening way. WIllam Defoe and Robert Pattinson have amazing chemistry that delivers in the final product. What makes this movie so great is the single location that film uses to tell the story: a lonely island with a lighthouse on it. This movie was filmed in Black & White and helps to really give you contrast compared to other films on list this (its the only movie that doesn’t have any color). This movie is sure to get some Academy Award nominations most likely for Best Picture. 

 

Hotel Mumbai

Based on real events, this is a very well shot action- that pulls you in from the start and has you guessing on how it will end. I went into this movie on a whim and glad that I did, it turned out to be excellent. This is another film that uses a central location to help tell the story and just like The Lighthouse it gives it all that you need it making the hotel a character. This movie is great if you want something more facts based then fiction, its worth your time. 

 

Midsommar 

Originally described as a slasher film, Midsommar explores a pagan cult in Helsinki, Sweden with a psychological twist. This was a very ambitious and unsettling film, its impressively crafted. The pace is slow and plays out more like an opera versus a traditional film. Its visually stunning and the twist and turns will keep you guessing. There are two versions of this film out, the original theatrical cut and the director’s cut. If you can get your hands on the latter I suggest you do, its an extra 45 minutes worth of screen time and helps to paint the full picture of cult. A must see for any indie movie fan! 

 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood…

Quiten Tarantino loves to tell his own version of historical events, similar to Inglourious Basterds, this movie takes its own twist and turns. An All-Star studded cast this movie was by far one of the standouts for me of 2019. Visually stunning and a story that pulls you in. Any fan of Los Angeles will want to see this as there are several places you can visit that are still standing today. The ending really delivers and has you asking for more. 

 

The Farwell 

Saying goodbye to family is always hard and this movie shines a great light on that process in a way that really makes you want to call your family and tell them you love them. Akwafina delivers the role of her career and it would not surprise me one bit if this gets her a Best Actress nomination at next years Oscars. This was one of the best films I saw all year and its going to be a darling at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. What makes this film so special is even tho family could not see each other for long periods of time, they can always find joy in those limited moments together. 

 

Glass

The final instalment of M. Night Shyamalan alternative take superheroes and their role in society. This movie is a great mix of reality and fantasy mixed together. What allowed it to make this list is you could see this movie and actually believe that something like this could be happening, there are no men from outer space, amazonian women, or teenagers bitten by radioactive spiders. Its normal people thinking they’re super, and that’s what makes it great! 

 

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu 

Our first sampling of the Pokemon Cinematic Universe, this movie was great! It takes a more of an adult approach and still manages to keep to the original feel-good antics that made the franchise an international phenomenon. Ryan Reynolds plays Pikachu with a similar style and tone that we see him play as Deadpool. Very funny movie, give it the time, and you won’t regret it. 

 

The Public

Emilio Estevez directorial debut this is another film that takes place in a central location. What begins as a nonviolent occupy-sit-in style of ragtag civil disobedience trying to not freeze out in the cold front of Cincinnati quickly turns into a stand-off with the local riot police. The film has an intoxicating level of ethos that you cannot help but feel as the tension keeps rising. The ending will have you laughing. 

 

Jojo Rabbit 

Pop culture and World War 2?! How can you go wrong! This is a much different look at war than what we’re used to seeing. This movie shows war through the eyes of a 10 year old boy brainwashed by Nazi propoganda and then has to make a decision to follow his country or to follow his heart. The trailer really sold me on this as I though it was going ot be good, but it actually turned out to be excellent! 

 

Honorable Mention:

 

The Beach Bum 

This movie had no point, but let me tell you the laughs keep rolling in it! Matthew McConathugy plays Moondog a writer who falls over backwards and everything works out for him. Loaded with talent from Zac Efron to Snoop Dogg this movie will make you laugh if anything.

 

Fighting with my Family

Based on a true story, this movie is incredibly well done. It’s not anchored down by constant wrestling but rather show the struggle of what it means to be a professional wrestler in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and the intense training one has to go through to get to that level. The story explores a family who are born and raised in the wrestling business and the struggles they each have to take in order to live their dreams. 

 

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