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2019 Releases I've Seen, Ranked
1. Ford v Ferrari
    The use of music to raise tension was excellent. Shelby's second chance speech, rumble with Miles, and Ken's sunset track walk with his son are great scenes, as is the unexpected final sequence.
2. Booksmart
    Fantastic. Every moment. I would add the doll hallucination to the top scenes of the year. Great music too.
3. Parasite
    Brilliant writing, dialogue, characters, and acting, different than anything and surprising. Everyone should see this.
4. Once Upon a Hollywood
    Cliff is a fantastic character and his fight with Bruce Lee is one of my favorite scenes of the year. One of Tarantino's best because it tones down the speechifying.
5. Jojo Rabbit
    It takes brilliant directing to pull something like this off in a similar way that Roberto Benigni did with Life is Beautiful. Roman Griffin Davis and Thomasin McKenzie are great together.
6. Good Boys
    There are some great laughs in here, with the frat house drug buy being one of the best scenes of the year. This is a great doubleheader with Booksmart.
7. Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
    Poorly advertised and I took a while to warm to it, but I loved the treatment of mental illness and the final journey to the most isolated place. Loved the last scene and credits footage.
8. Toy Story 4
    Although there's a lull during the toy shop sequence, Bo Peep is kick-ass, Woody's choices are emotional, and I laughed a lot. Duke's 40ft jump is one of the best scenes of the year.
9. Avengers: Endgame
    Impressive as it is that they managed to hold all the stories together, Carol is senselessly of little help, and there's a funeral imbalance. Iron Man is still my favorite film of the series.
10. Zombieland: Double Tap
    Lots of great scenes here, especially the end credits Day Zero. Zoey Deutch is hilarious as Madison.
11. 1917
    Amazing cinematography. Entering and running through the dark streets of Écoust is just one of the most eye-popping scenes of the year.
12. Long Shot
    I'm more 80s than 90s, and the secret relationship was implausible, but this was a sweet and funny romance better than most in a while.
13. Captain Marvel
    Brie/Carol is great, especially her final scenes, but the movie is slow to get there and the musical cues to the era are heavy handed.
14. Missing Link
    I was really surprised how good this was - the cinematography and camera angles are fantastic, and I really enjoyed the dialogue and Frost as a character. The saloon fight was a great scene too.
15. Knives Out
    Note sure about Craig's accent, but Ana de Armas and her character's relationship with Plummer's is great, and Evans has a fun part.
16. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
    The visuals are fantastic - I would say even better than Avatar. There's also plenty of fun humor here from the supporting characters.
17. The Farewell
    The acting is good all around, and I think it's worth calling out Zhao Shuzhen because she's so natural as Nai Nai.
18. The Angry Birds Movie 2
    The first half is a little ho-hum, but I laughed a lot during the second half, especially during the trojan-horse/urinal sequence.
19. Spider-Man: Far From Home
    I felt like this was more memorable than the previous Spidey. Zendaya is great.
20. John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
    For a secret underworld the assassins are awfully overt, but the cast is great and it has a bunch of great scenes from the dogs to Dacascos to the Shinobi fight.
21. Us
    I liked the balance of humor to just take the edge off. Lupita Nyong'o's voice is creee-py.
22. Five Feet Apart
    Haley Lu Richardson is great and her first major emotional scene is an absolute heartbreaker.
23. The Two Popes
    This story is developed really well. The Two Popes is particularly notable for its sound design, which I didn't always like.
24. It: Chapter Two
    I enjoyed the charm of the kids in the first movie, but there's a good amount of humor here and some no-holds barred violence.
25. Marriage Story
    A frustrating real catch-22 divorce. Solid acting; I loved Merrit Wever. Some of Baumbach's dialogue sounds annoyingly like Woody Allen's.
26. Dolemite is My Name
    I don't know that I'd say Murphy deserves an award, but he certainly charms you into wanting Dolomite to succeed.
27. Hustlers
    Lopez looks amazing on the stage but she's pretty great through her role. They could have done without the interview narrative.
28. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
    I don't normally go for horror, but the use of Season of the Witch in the opening sequence hooked me, and Zoe Colletti was great casting. Creepy fun.
29. Shazam!
    Zachary Levi was a good choice for this role since he plays the tone just right. I'm always a fan of Cooper Andrews, and Grace Fulton seems like a future star.
30. Angel Has Fallen
    The drone attack, Nolte's forest traps, and final battle are solid scenes. An improvement over the last installment.
31. The LEGO Movie 2
    LEGO movies are fun, but this one came up a little short of the original somehow.
32. The Art of Racing in the Rain
    The maturity of the voiceover makes this the best of this year's dog movies, and it's great to finally see modern GT racing get some screen time.
33. Fighting With My Family
    Florence Pugh was great. Even though I don't watch wrestling, this story drew me in.
34. Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
    Reynolds is fun voice casting, but he was also distracting enough that I couldn't tell you what the plot was.
35. Bombshell
    Charlize is convincing as Megyn, but some of the other celeb characterizations sound like near misses, making them distracting.
36. The Secret Life of Pets 2
    Fun, maybe not as poignant as Toy Story. Interesting to hear Harrison Ford in his first voiceover role as a Curly Washburn type figure.
37. Little Women
    It's nice, sure, but enduring the dialogue while waiting for the plot it like standing at a bus stop for an hour while it's hailing.
38. Captive State
    Reminiscent of District 9 (or even the tv show V, as it's a lot about politics), with great not-quite-apocalyptic tone. The cast is good all around.
39. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
    There is some great cinematography in the latter half, and callbacks are nice, but this is like expecting a new episode and finding out it's a clip show.
40. Terminator: Dark Fate
    Mackenzie Davis is a nice addition and I liked the three women working together as leads. Not sure I like the domesticated Terminator.
41. The Report
    Interesting insight into something we mostly know from the headlines. The movie can feel as slow as the actual process, but Annette Bening is great as Feinstein.
42. Ma
    I could totally see this as a news headline. Octavia Spencer is great.
43. Tolkien
    For the time period, I liked this more than Downton Abbey because it was grounded in greater realism. I also liked the inclusion of linguistics. A good period biopic, maybe not must-see.
44. The Upside
    Solid inspirational drama.
45. Downton Abbey
    I've never watched the series so this was like a light and fluffy version of Remains of the Day for me. I love history but I can't say this hooked me for a sequel.
46. Blinded by the Light
    Yesterday felt more produced (and of course has the fantasy element), this feels a little more independent and sincere.
47. Yesterday
    The running bit of trying to remember lyrics was relatable, but I came out wanting more of the Lily James romance than the music.
48. Judy
    Zellweger is convincing as Garland, and the cinematography makes it feel like you're watching an older movie. Her final song is the standout scene.
49. The Aeronauts
    Maybe a little one-note for some viewers, but I enjoyed the science history, and Amelia's climb makes for two harrowing scenes.
50. Dora and the Lost City of Gold
    Pleasant, maybe not as adventurous as Jumanji or Journey to the Center of the Earth. The way they used animation was fun.
51. Frozen 2
    Some of the songs are great again - Show Yourself, The Next Right Thing, and the power ballad Lost in the Woods (which should be a karaoke hit) - but I found the movie largely forgettable.
52. The Art of Self Defense
    I wouldn't say I'm all in, but the deadpan humor has some funny moments.
53. Just Mercy
    Just when you think you know what's going to happen, you don't, so it stays interesting. Foxx is solid but Larson is surprisingly flat.
54. Brightburn
    Bloody and stressful, I'd compare this sc-fi horror to 2017's Life, terrifying for different reasons.
55. Cold Pursuit
    This hums along as an easy revenge fantasy and then switches to trippy Native American appreciation, which was great. I really liked Tom Jackson.
56. The Lion King
    I liked this more than I expected to, maybe slightly more than The Jungle Book and Aladdin, but I don't expect any of them to be memorable.
57. Abominable
    Chloe Bennet provides good voice work and a nice tune. I really liked Nai Nai.
58. The Addams Family
    Recent success of the Hotel Transylvania series makes this feel both dated and derivative. Fans might enjoy it, but this non-fan didn't feel a connection.
59. Richard Jewell
    I can't get frustrated at the FBI when Jewell is his own worst enemy.
60. The Good Liar
    Decent acting, but I was hoping for a fun cat and mouse game and not the twist that effectively undid the setup.
61. Midsommar
    Interesting cgi drug-induced effects, but I kept wanting Cliff Booth to come along and punch out all these psycho hippies.
62. Glass
    I like the premise more than the execution. I found it interesting but could see others finding the tone overwrought.
63. The Irishman
    Unnecessarily long, and I would have preferred the voiceover documentary-esque style of The...Coward Robert Ford, which was better. Nothing I'd nominate here.
64. Ad Astra
    There are some interesting scenes (like the attack on the Moon), but Interstellar was more moving on the same themes.
65. Stuber
    I was surprised at how violent this got and how almost unredeemable Bautista's jerk of a character is, but Nanjiani had some good lines that kept the tone balanced.
66. Shaft
    Samuel's character feels out of time but he's funny, as is Shipp's reaction to Jr. shooting a gun. This is much more entertaining than Superfly.
67. Dark Waters
    It's an important issue, but the movie slogs as you'd expect from an overly esoteric legal case. I'd rather read the original article.
68. Motherless Brooklyn
    Brightly lit like L.A. Confidential, byzantine like Chinatown, not really rising to either level. Baldwin and Norton deliver interesting characters and Dafoe does the acting.
69. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot
    The van scene introducing the friends and their connection makes this Hems-worth it.
70. Joker
    I like origin stories, especially of organized crime. Interesting background on his laugh. But this is shot so differently from DC (even Nolan's Batmans) that it doesn't mesh with DCU.
71. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
    Jolie is great as the lead but it feels as if the movie doesn't always treat her that way. I *really* disliked the 'brdrdrddd' hedgehog and the fairy ladies.
72. Escape Room
    I enjoyed this more than I expected to, maybe because it felt more like Final Destination than Saw.
73. Annabelle Comes Home
    There are some chilling anticipation moments, fitting of the series, but I was a little disappointed they underused the werewolf.
74. Aladdin
    It's pretty, and Naomi Scott is great, but Will Smith surprisingly doesn't have the baritone to sing the songs, and live action restricts his movement compared to the animated genie.
75. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
    Interesting how this sparked forgotten memories, but I actually found Hanks's style to be unnerving rather than comforting.
76. The Hustle
    Rebel gets some fun dialogue while Hathaway gets the accents exercise. It has its moments but the original is still the classic.
77. Gemini Man
    None of Will Smith's versions are very good, though there is some decent combat, and it's cool to see Winstead kicking butt.
78. Anna
    There are some good fight scenes but it does feel like a remake of La Femme Nikita in reaction to Atomic Blonde.
79. Godzilla: King of Monsters
    Certainly a lot more interesting and entertaining than the previous film, and interesting lore, but Farminga's motivations are insane.
80. The Kitchen
    I'd actually compare this to Ocean's 8, not just because of the female ensemble but because they win just a little too easily. But it has some grit.
81. Rocketman
    Bohemian Rhapsody felt more like a drama, this felt more like a Broadway musical.
82. The Kid Who Would Be King
    It's fine, it's good that it's treated at more of an adult level than grade school, but I didn't find it memorable.
83. The Goldfinch
    The Pulitzer-prize-winning novel must have been good, but unfortunately the film version doesn't get interesting until the last half hour.
84. Poms
    There's an inspiring story here made unpalatable by Keaton's miserable character. American Ninja Warrior Ginny MacColl was a fun addition.
85. A Dog's Way Home
    Cute puppy, but the voiceover reduces the tone to babytalk.
86. The Dead Don't Die
    I understand the attempt but I really didn't like the intentional deadpan repetition as humor. If a character breaks the 4th wall you need to go full Mel Brooks.
87. 3 From Hell
    Sheri Moon Zombie has personality, and the 1970s setting comes through. Not as violent as I expected from Rob Zombie, but also not my genre.
88. Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw
    Kirby is fun. Johnson and Statham sound like they were out of practice at adlibbing, and the plot is ridiculous..
89. Dark Phoenix
    Like the past few X-Men movies this is a bunch of noise and isn't memorable.
90. What Men Want
    I like the premise of reversing genders on this remake, but Taraji's character is less likeable than Gibson's and felt more plot motivated than arc motivated (that I recall).
91. Men in Black: International
    Tessa Thompson is fun as a new agent, but the movie still feels like a cash in on the brand.
92. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
    A lot of the movie is screaming and panic that made me want to reach for the mute button. The finale is like a boss fight in a video game you're not supposed to win.
93. Alita: Battle Angel
    The motion capture is great, but Alita's face still has an expression like she's breathing through her teeth. Ali is cool.
94. Crawl
    Between this and 47 Meters Down, I think the sharks win for both effects and scares.
95. Hellboy
    Harbour doesn't have the same chin or charm as Perlman, and the content is pretty gruesome.
96. Rambo: Last Blood
    Rambo used to be about a loner wanting respect, and standing up against bullies, but he's just in revenge mode here. The gratuitous deaths aren't satisfying.
97. The Lighthouse
    I'd like to see more movies shot with the same technique, but the sound design was so irritating that I watched most of it on mute as a silent film, and still disliked it.
98. Dumbo
    Dumbo is a sweet story but it's easy to see why it's not a box office winner: it just doesn't grab you. Plus there's an unnecessary amount of cgi that feels sanitized.

2019 Releases (I Haven't Seen Yet)
99. After
100. After the Wedding
101. Always Be My Maybe
102. The Aftermath
103. American Woman
104. Arctic
105. Apollo 11
106. Arctic Dogs
107. Badla
108. The Beach Bum
109. Ben is Back
110. The Best of Enemies
111. A Beautiful Planet
112. The Biggest Little Farm
113. BTS World Tour
114. Breakthrough
115. Black and Blue
116. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
117. Brian Banks
118. Bring the Soul: The Movie
119. Capernaum
120. Chhichhore
121. The Chaperone
122. Child's Play
123. Clemency
124. Cliffs of Freedom
125. Countdown
126. Crown Vic
127. The Current War
128. The Curse of La Llorona
129. A Dog's Journey
130. Don't Let Go
131. Dragon Ball Super: Broly
132. Echo in the Canyon
133. Everybody Knows
134. Faustina: Love and Mercy
135. Gloria Bell
136. Gully Boy
137. Greta
138. Happy Death Day 2U
139. Hotel Mumbai
140. Housefull 4
141. The Intruder
142. Isn't It Romantic
143. Jexi
144. Kalank
145. The Kid
146. Little
147. Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice
148. Luce
149. Made For More
150. Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral
151. Menteur
152. Mission Mangal
153. Miss Bala
154. The Mustang
155. My People, My Country
156. The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith
157. Overcomer
158. Pavarotti
159. The Peanut Butter Falcon
160. Penguins
161. Playing With Fire
162. Pet Sematary
163. Playmobil: The Movie
164. The Prodigy
165. Promare
166. Ready or Not
167. Red Joan
168. Run the Race
169. Second Act
170. Serenity
171. Saaho
172. Super 30
173. The Sun is Also a Star
174. Tod@s Caen
175. Unplanned
176. Uglydolls
177. The Wandering Earth
178. War (2019)
179. The White Crow
180. Wild Rose
181. Wonder Park

Pending DVD
182. Late Night
183. Brittany Runs a Marathon
184. Doctor Sleep
185. Charlie's Angels (2019)
186. Midway
187. Last Christmas
188. 21 Bridges
189. Honey Boy
190. Queen & Slim
191. Jumanji: The Next Level
192. Black Christmas
193. Spies in Disguise
194. Cats

Acclaimed films to see
195. Uncut Gems
196. The Last Black Man in San Francisco
197. Harriet
198. Her Smell
199. Hidden Life, A
200. Waves
201. Atlantics
202. Transit (2019)
203. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
204. Pain and Glory
205. Ash is the Purest White



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Friday, June 14, 2024
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