Another weird year in the books. Going to the cinema was a strategic endeavor of finding unpopular showtimes and empty theaters, but I was still able to catch a bunch of new films. Here are my favorites I saw this year.
Honorable mentions to Last Night in Soho and The Eyes of Tammy Faye which were both well made and well acted, but left me feeling not good! (Also I couldn’t decide, so it’s a list of 11.)
11. The Mitchells vs. the Machines
9. Plan B
8. Army of the Dead
7. The Suicide Squad
6. Tick, Tick… Boom!
5. The French Dispatch
3. The Sparks Brothers
2. Spider-Man: No Way Home
Watching movies was pretty different this year and I seriously can’t wait until I can go to the cinema again. Still, many new movies were released and a lot of them were good (though I don’t think I loved any of them either).
I didn’t include Hamilton here since it’s not really a film, but it was a gift this year and I watched it so many times. Also I wasn’t able to catch Minari but I’m excited to see it once it has a wider release.
9. The Half of It
8. Da 5 Bloods
7. An American Pickle
6. The New Mutants
5. The Old Guard
3. The King of Staten Island
2. Palm Springs
Today we went to Alamo Drafthouse for a screening of the animated short films nominated for Oscars this year. Of the nominees, I hope Hair Love wins. It’s beautiful! And somehow the least devastating. (Seriously was that a requirement this year?)
After the nominees, they screened a handful of other animated shorts and wow, The Bird and the Whale is extraordinary. It’s paint-on-glass animation and all seven minutes are made of “over 4300, 24 x 34 inch paintings and took more than 14 months to paint.” The effect is gorgeous.
Here’s a trailer for the film and a behind-the-scenes video:
This list was much harder to make than my favorite movies of 2019. I was able to get it down to 15 and that’s how many Chris Coyier did, so I figured that’s great.
It was especially difficult because movies released earlier in the decade have the advantage of nostalgia and repeat viewings. I might revisit this in 5 years to see how my opinions change.
14. Get Out
13. Midnight in Paris
12. Moonrise Kingdom
11. Baby Driver
10. JoJo Rabbit
9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
8. Guardians of the Galaxy
7. Crazy Rich Asians
3. Gone Girl
2. Pitch Perfect
1. Eighth Grade
Crazy Stupid Love
This Is The End
Lots of great movies this year, but here are my ten favorites.
10. The Farewell
5. Avengers: Endgame
4. Always Be My Maybe
3. Knives Out
1. JoJo Rabbit
I love Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, Eighth Grade, so much. And I love this You Should See It from FilmJoy a whole bunch too. If you haven’t seen this marvelous film, please do.
Colin Firth as a gentleman spy? Yes please. Kingsman: The Secret Service is just awesome, combining great actors, fine suits, comedy, and over-the-top-violent fight scenes. It’s James Bond meets Kick-Ass (basically the only kind of James Bond film I’d be interested in seeing from this point on).
Watch the trailer again and then go see it in theaters immediately.
Some more animation goodness. Everything is awesome in this video showing the process behind The LEGO Movie. Creating the realistically miniature world was all about attention to detail. I especially love how it’s computer animation, but feels like stop-motion.