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Portrayals on The Celluloid: The 10 Must-Watch Movies of 2019

Shrijan Thu Dec 05 2019
Portrayals on The Celluloid: The 10 Must-Watch Movies of 2019

2019 has been a fantastic year for the movies with Hollywood churning out one hit movie after another. The job of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to filter out the year's best movies in a year where seemingly every other movie is a modern masterpiece is not an enviable one. 

We have tried to do the impossible! In the list below, we have thrown our picks in the gauntlet for the best movies of the year 2019. The list is in no particular order and provides a glance at some of our standouts in one of the best years for movies since 2014. 

1. The Irishman

The fact that this movie is in the running for the potential movie of the year comes as a surprise to no one. With one of the finest filmmakers of all time, Martin Scorsese, at the helm, the movie is bound to be a classic.

Add in the fact that The Irishman is led by three of Hollywood's finest in Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, and you have a once-in-a-lifetime movie-going experience. 

The movie revolves around a truck driver who becomes the hitman for a crime kingpin. 

2. Lighthouse

Robert Pattinson has had a strange career: being typecast as the resident Hollywood pretty-boy with no substance or depth of character. After floundering for years in obscurity, Pattinson breaks the proverbial glass ceiling in his tour de force performance in Lighthouse. Having the veteran Willem Dafoe to star alongside, Pattinson gives the performance-of-a-lifetime in this psychological thriller.

Centered around two lighthouse-keepers who begin to descend into madness after being stranded on a deserted island, the movie has received universal praise for being shot in stylistic black-and-white resolution with a 1.19:1 aspect ratio. 

3. Parasite

Parasite is living proof that cinema has no language or cultural barriers. The South Korean black-comedy thriller provides social commentary on the lives of the working-class of South Korea. 

The movie has already made history as the first South Korean film to win the prestigious Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. 

The movie depicts a poor household who scheme to get into a wealthy family through deceit and rob them blind.

4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Quentin Tarantino's contribution to 2019, and some say, perhaps his greatest. 

The movie features an ensemble cast including  Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino, among others.

Set in 1969 LA in the dying days of the golden age of Hollywood, the movie focuses on an actor at the twilight of his career and his stunt double as they try to stay relevant.

As with anything involving Tarantino, the movie contains his signature brand of "Tarantino-ism"  with stylized cinematography, graphic violence, and explicit language. The film is an ode to Tarantino's love for movies, and what a superb homage it is!

5. Ford Vs Ferrari

Ford Vs Ferrari is a sports drama film that revolves around Caroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles as they attempt to dethrone the monopoly of the Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. 

Featuring stellar performances from the two leads, Matt Damon and Christian Bale, the movie transcends its racing themes and at its heart is about passion and determination. Hailed almost universally by critics, the movie is undoubtedly deserving of being in the contention for the top movies of 2019. 

6. Joker

It was almost a foregone conclusion that no matter how good the DC comics antagonist is portrayed on the screens, they are bound to be overshadowed by Heath Ledger's menacing yet masterful portrayal in the 2008 superhero epic, The Dark Knight

Joaquin Phoenix proves why he is counted as being in the top echelon of Hollywood greats. He takes the character of Joker and makes it his own. 

Centered around floundering comedian Arthur Fleck and his nihilism and psychosis that wreaks havoc in the lives of the denizens of Gotham City, the movie provides social commentary on mental health and the violence that it incites.

While critics remain divided over the gratuitous violence, there is no denying that Joaquin Phoenix gives it his all, and with the vision of director Todd Phillips, Joker is an unforgivable experience. 

7. Ad Astra

Directed by James Gray, Ad Astra sees Roy McBride scouring the ends of the universe in search of his missing father. The past collides with the present and threatens the future in this science-fiction epic.

Brad Pitt makes another stunning turn as the titular character of this space adventure. His performance is generating Oscar-buzz and the movie itself is being praised for its ambitious plot and the visual effects. Theatre-goers were treated to a modern classic in this thrilling movie, and it is one of the best movies of 2019.

8. Knives Out

Director Rion Johnson explores the murder-mystery trope with his signature brand of stylized film-making in Knives Out

The movie, starring an ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, and Katherine Langford, among others. 

Hailed by critics and moviegoers alike, the movie's plot centers around a family as they try to uncover the murder of the family patriarch in a whodunit murder-mystery. 

9. Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame is a fitting swan-song to the beloved Avengers franchise spanning over a decade. The movie belies the notion that huge-budget blockbuster movies lack the substance to be considered a cinematic masterpiece.

Set after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, the movie sees what remains of the universe's most beloved superheroes as they hunt down Thanos in an attempt to undo the event that wiped out half the world's population. 

What is, at a cursory glance, your run-of-the-mill high-budget superhero movie, turns out to be a time-traveling adventure and a story of camaraderie and brotherhood that provides a satisfying end to this monstrous franchise. 

At the end of the movie, critics and fans left (with a tear in their eyes) satisfied with this beautifully crafted superhero adventure. Endgame is, indeed, storytelling at its finest.

10. Uncut Gems

What happens when Adam Sandler ditches the goofy-childish comedy and steps into a more dramatic role? The answer is he becomes part of one of the sleeper hits of 2019.

Uncut Gems is a masterful film, and Adam Sandler proves that when he is not involved in mindless comedy, he is one of the finest actors of this generation.

Adam commands the audience in this crime thriller as the jeweler and compulsive gambler Howard Ratner as he races against time to pay off his debts and save the ones he loves.

 

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