“Seen anything good lately?” That is a question I am asked on an almost daily basis! I try to see as many releases as possible because I am a movie lover, and also because I consider it to be part of my job.
Unfortunately, I can’t see everything, and I often feel like I watch things nobody else is interested in while skipping movies that people can’t wait to get their hands on! Most of the time I am quick with a reply for a recommendation and that is what I am aiming for here with this Top 10 of 2019 list.
Author’s note: not only are these strictly personal recommendations/tastes of mine, they follow strict protocol in that they are movies released in theaters and/or on DVD in the calendar year of 2019. While I did see plenty of movies for the first time in 2019, the 10 listed here were 2019 releases in some capacity.
They are listed in alphabetical order. I tried to place them in ascending order and kept switching places for some due to being unable to decide where they should fall!
- Avengers: Endgame (released in theaters on April 26th, on DVD August 13th) – The new #1 box office movie of all time and an epic-to-end-all-epics culmination of 21 previous interconnected Marvel superhero movies. Everything led to this, and what an end it was! (PG-13)
- Captain Marvel (released in theaters on March 8th, on DVD June 11th) – A previously unseen/unknown superhero was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with her own mid-90’s period piece that was equal parts action, sci-fi, and fun. Her origin story here is integral to some moments that later followed in “Avengers: Endgame”, as Captain Marvel proved to be very vital in the Avengers fight against Thanos! (PG-13)
- Columbus (filmed in 2017 but not released anywhere until on DVD March 26th) – A slow, moody, drama filmed in and set in Columbus, Indiana, one of the architectural hotspots of the world. I enjoyed the simplicity of the film and the beautiful locations so much I took an extended-weekend vacation to visit Columbus for the first time shortly after watching! (R)
- Fighting with my Family (released in theaters February 22nd, on DVD May 14th) – The true-story of WWE Superstar Paige and how she went from one of the most prominent families in British wrestling history to achieving her dream of becoming a full-time WWE Superstar. I am a diehard lifelong wrestling fan and, despite already knowing the story behind Paige’s journey, still loved the movie and Florence Pugh’s breakout performance as Paige. (PG-13)
- John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (released in theaters on May 17th, on DVD September 10th) – The third entry in the on-going John Wick saga starts mere seconds after Chapter 2 ends, and doesn’t stop “running” until the credits start to roll just over 2 hours later. It featured some awesome shoot-em-up scenes and fist fights like the first two movies did and I, like many others, cannot wait for Chapter 4 (announced for release in May of 2021). More John Wick now, please! (R)
- Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (released in theaters on July 26th, on DVD December 10th) – Quentin Tarantino himself called his 1960’s alternate-reality ode to Hollywood his “magnum opus”, and he is correct! Tarantino is at the top of his game here with the half real/half fictional story of 50’s and 60’s film star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his personal stunt double/best friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Intertwined is an altered version of the story of Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and the Manson Family, making for a comedy-drama like no one other than Tarantino could pull off. I straight-up loved it! (R)
- The Peanut Butter Falcon (released in theaters on August 23rd, on DVD November 12th) – My favorite movie of 2019! Shia LaBeouf stars as a drifter on the run from former coworkers he took a stand against. He runs into Zach, a mentally handicapped man who has escaped from the retirement home he is forced to live at in an effort to become a professional wrestler. Together they fight to survive a newfound life on the run while learning about each other and the world around them. A wonderful comedy-drama that I would recommend to anyone! (PG-13)
- The Rainbow (released only on DVD October 29th) – Documentary about The Rainbow Bar and Grill on the famous Sunset Strip in Hollywood, and how integral of a part it played in the careers of rock stars and musicians through the years. This fantastic documentary isn’t just the tale of the famed bar and grill but the evolution of rock and roll itself, from its inception in the 50’s through 80’s hair metal and beyond. I highly recommend it to any fan of rock and roll music! (R)
- Ready or Not (released in theaters on August 21st, on DVD December 3rd) – A dark horror comedy about an uber-rich family with secrets from their past that unravel over the course of a twisted game of hide-and-seek for a new bride that just married into them. I not only loved the different take on a simple cat-and-mouse concept, but really enjoyed the dark humor and absolutely wild and unexpected ending as well! (R)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (released in theaters on July 2nd, on DVD October 1st) – The first Marvel release after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” nails the character of Spider-Man the way I have personally always felt he should be showcased: as an cocky but unsure teenager struggling to deal with the world around him and events that are out of his control. It was funny, filled with excellent Spidey-action and just plain fun! (PG-13)