My Favorite Movies of 2019

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All right, squad! It’s time to continue my year-end lists. Up on the docket today: my favorite movies of 2019. You’ve all heard my strange tale of woe, how I’m terrible at watching movies. I’m watch Film Twitter calls “5 Movies a Year Twitter.” But you know what? I’ve made my piece with that. I may not be a critical movie viewer, but I’ve still got some hot takes.

I’ve watched a lot of movies this year that I really enjoyed. I had a good time watching them and they stuck with me. To make this list, I simply had to have seen the movie for the first time this year. They do not have to be 2019 releases, though several are. And now, from horror to animation to sci-fi, these are the movies that helped make 2019 great.


Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge.

I mean, it’s a choose-your-own adventure film. It’s fun, it’s well-acted, it’s dark— it’s everything I wanted it to be. It’s a really neat way to play with reality and the concept of parallel universes.


Bird Box

When a mysterious force decimates the world’s population, only one thing is certain: if you see it, you take your life. Facing the unknown, Malorie finds love, hope and a new beginning only for it to unravel. Now she must flee with her two children down a treacherous river to the one place left that may offer sanctuary. But to survive, they’ll have to undertake the perilous two-day journey blindfolded.

Sandra Bullock’s character is an interesting protagonist, unlikable in the best of ways. I really like how the monsters are never shown, left only to your imagination. I thought it was a really effective tool. Oftentimes, monster reveals are disappointing. This movie finds and maintains its horror in the unknown. It’s unfortunate that John Malkovich’s asshole of a character is usually the one right about things, but what can you do? This was still a good horror/survival movie.


Annihilation

A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don’t apply.

This is easily one of my favorite book-to-movie adaptations of all time. It’s able to make changes to the source material while still retaining the book’s essence. The film works with themes of identity. It also includes more action and character development for the supporting roles. It’s just… it’s a really good film, guys.


Pan’s Labyrinth

In the Falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

This should be what fairytale retellings are from now on. It’s just such a beautiful and heartbreaking story. I still feel so emotionally raw from it. Guillermo del Toro is an absolute genius.


Chasing Happiness

Follow the Jonas Brothers’ on their journey to pop superstardom, stunning breakup and the reunion that inspired their upcoming album “Happiness Begins.”

This documentary gave me so much respect for the Jonas Brothers. I’ve always been a fan, but I never knew how much passion went into their music and how much went on behind the scenes. Between this, the album, and seeing them in concert, I’m a full-fledged JoBros stan again.


Christopher Robin

In the heartwarming live action adventure Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” the young boy who shared countless adventures with his band of lovable stuffed animals in the Hundred Acre Wood is now grown up and living in London but he has lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin rediscover the joys of family life, the value of friendship and to appreciate the simple pleasures in life once again.

I wasn’t expecting to love this movie as much as I do. It just made me so happy. There’s a nostalgic feel to this movie— the audience is returning to their childhood along with Christopher Robin. I had a smile on my face during the whole movie.


Jennifer’s Body

When small town high school student Jennifer is possessed by a hungry demon, she transitions from being high school evil gorgeous (and doesn’t she know it), stuck up and ultra-attitudinal to the real deal: evil/evil. The glittering beauty becomes a pale and sickly creature jonesing for a meaty snack, and guys who never stood a chance with the heartless babe, take on new luster in the light of her insatiable appetite. Meanwhile, Jennifer’s best friend, Needy, long relegated to living in Jennifers’ shadow, must step-up to protect the town’s young men, including her nerdy boyfriend Chip.

I’m glad I hadn’t watched this film until recently because I think I appreciated it more. It’s a dark comedy horror movie that’s also pretty gay. And it single-handedly made me fall in love with Megan Fox. It’s no wonder this movie has become a cult classic.


Frozen II

Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna embark on an adventure far away from the kingdom of Arendelle. They are joined by friends, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven.

I honestly think this movie is better than the first one. It has higher stakes and made me sob like a baby. Multiple times. Do you know how hard it is to get me to actually cry? I also appreciate how Anna and Elsa are both active participants in pushing the plot forward. In fact, I feel like we get to know Elsa better in this film. And the soundtrack? Fantastic!


Ready or Not

A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.

Is there such a thing as a bad movie whose thesis is “Eat the rich”? If so, it’s not this movie. I was so stressed out while watching this movie, but that’s not a criticism. Rather, it’s the mark of a good horror film. I’ve had nightmares like this movie, except they weren’t as well-plotted and characterized. I also fell head-over-heels in love with Grace.


Promare

A futuristic firefighting mecha service is created to protect the world.

I’ve gone back and forth on whether to include this movie in my favorites list, but decided to include it because I do still think about it sometimes. Plus, I’ve reblogged a bunch of posts about it on Tumblr. And also my sister would kill me if I didn’t include it. This movie is a not-so-thinly-veiled callout to the billionaires and corporations who do nothing to prevent climate change. The solution is not to flee the planet and doom those who can’t— it’s to save the planet and protect humanity. It also tells a story of racism and genocide. But, more than that, I just really love Lio Fotia and lowkey ship him with Galo. Check out my discussion post here!


The Rise of Skywalker

The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron’s journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.

I can feel at least half of my audience side-eying me, but I don’t care. My entire criteria for a good Star Wars movie is if I got to see my favorite characters doing cool things and if I had fun watching it. The sequel trilogy’s conclusion fits the bill on both counts. I understand the criticisms and even agree with some of them, but I love this movie despite its flaws. Rey, Poe, and Finn were amazing in it.


What were your favorite movies of 2019? Tell me about them in the comments!

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