For the last several years I’ve kept track of every film I’ve seen and ranked them. This year was no different.
I saw 18 films that were released in 2019. Below are some thoughts on a few of my favorites – Marriage Story, Knives Out, and Little Women – as well as a fully ranked list.
Marriage Story #
Marriage Story is an ironically titled film about a couple navigating the full process of a divorce; from the awkward but cordial beginning to the eventual toxicity that comes with involving cutthroat lawyers. It is one of those films that has the ability to make you laugh during one scene and cry with the next.
There are several incredibly affecting scenes in this film. Perhaps the most memorable is a climactic scene where Adam Driver sits with his theater friends at a restaurant and realizes that he’s become the worst thing a theater director can be: boring. When the pianist begins to play “Being Alive” by Stephen Sondheim, Driver stands up and naturally begins singing a song that serves two purposes: entertainment and catharsis.
No movie I saw this year affected me as much as Marriage Story. I’m sure its a film that I’ll revisit multiple times in the future.
Knives Out #
Watching Knives Out in theaters resulted in one of my favorite movie-going experiences of the year, second only to Avengers: Endgame.
Knives Out is a murder mystery, but like all Rian Johnson movies, it ultimately subverts your expectations about where a film in the genre should go. It’s a murder mystery that “solves itself” in the first act. It’s a detective film where you simultaneously want the detective to solve the murder and don’t want them to solve the murder. To say any more would be to spoil what is a roller coaster of a movie. Just go see this one.
Little Women #
Little Women really surprised me. I had no prior knowledge of the novel or any of the several film adaptations. I have almost nothing in common with a group of sisters living in the late 1800s. Despite this, Little Women ended up being equally as affecting as Marriage Story. This is thanks to Greta Gerwig’s clever non-linear screenplay and direction.
Saoirse Ronan is excellent, as always, as the confident and non-traditional Jo. Florence Pugh is also a standout as the stubborn and romantic Amy.
The full ranked list #
Below is a full ranked list of every movie I saw which came out in 2019:
- Marriage Story
- Knives Out
- Little Women
- The Irishman
- Avengers: Endgame
- El Camino
- The Farewell
- Toy Story 4
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
- Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
- Long Shot
- The Report
- Frozen 2
- Late Night
- Captain Marvel