Eppler: The best movies of 2019
Moviegoers had plenty to feast on in 2019, both in theaters and on their favorite streaming services. We saw movies from some of the best directors of their generations (Scorsese, Tarantino) and new work from some very promising emerging helmers (Aster, Eggers).
Here are the ten movies that stuck with me from last year:
10. "Knives Out"
Writer and Director Rian Johnson's hugely entertaining who-dunnit with an all-star cast felt fresh and politically relevant while also turning the genre inside out - never behaving how you'd expect.
The best comedy of the year too easily written off as the female "Superbad," the whip-smart and hilarious screenplay about two straight A students trying to party on the last night of school is also touching and true.
8. "Ad Astra"
Brad Pitt travels across the universe to find his long lost father, but in director James Gray's elegant and beautiful space odyssey, it's more about a long journey into self.
7. "The Lighthouse"
A claustrophobic nightmare featuring Willem DaFoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers trapped together and descending into madness is the most brilliantly bonkers thing you're likely to see. Robert Eggers dialogue is poetry and his visuals stunning.
6. "Uncut Gems"
An intense, sweaty-palmed pulse-pounding crime drama that pulls you in like a choke-hold. Somehow, Adam Sandler and the Safdie Brothers made a better crime drama this year than DeNiro and Scorsese.
5. "Once Upon a time in... Hollywood"
I had problems with the final section of this movie, but it still ranks highly on this list because the rest of Quentin Tarantino's ode to 60s Hollywood is so perfect. It's even better on a second viewing.
4. "Little Women"
I needed another adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel like I needed more homework in high school, but Greta Gerwig delivers a master class is making old material fresh and relevant. The cast is a murderer's row of talent, and Gerwig has made herself an essential voice.
Bong Joon-ho's tale of a family of scam artists has more than a few shocking surprises wound around a withering satire of class struggle. It's a jaw-dropper that never gives us easy heroes and villains.
2. "Marriage Story"
A drama about divorce that is tender, painful, funny and real. Adam Driver and especially Scarlett Johanssen are wonderful as a couple navigating an ugly process with pit bull lawyers while somehow remembering their love for each other. Writer-director Noah Baumbach's movie is richly rewarding finding happily ever after in the unexpected.
Another break-up movie, but this one unlike anything you've ever seen as a couple joins friends on a summer vacation to visit a hidden colony in the woods that we know is definitely a cult. Director Ari Aster's beautiful living nightmare of a movie builds dread and tension to a stomach-churning fever pitch with images sure to revisit you. There's so much to see and think about in this rich, inventive and unique film. You may not be ready for it.
Also Receiving Votes (alphabetically)
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
"Dolemite is my Name"
"Ford vs Ferrari"
"Rolling Thunder Revue"
"Toy Story 4"