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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Best films of 2019

Metacritic produces an annual list of the top films of the previous year based on top-10 lists created by various film critics. This is an aggregation based on lists produced by 340 critics:
Movie and Metascore# 1st Place# 2nd Place# OtherPoints
196 Parasite7733137.5434.5
283 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood3827124.5292.5
394 The Irishman2445118280
493 Marriage Story1427117213
590 Uncut Gems201887183
695 Portrait of a Lady on Fire121079135
791 Little Women51285124
882 Knives Out9582119
987 Pain and Glory10766.5110.5
1089 The Farewell2787.5107.5
1191 The Souvenir3955.582.5
1281 Us1173.578.5
1384 Booksmart255268
1478 19175542.567.5
1572 Midsommar3252.565.5
1683 The Lighthouse3250.563.5
1783 The Last Black Man in San Francisco4246.562.5
1882 Transit4728.554.5
1980 Ad Astra134554
2059 Joker4530.552.5
2158 Jojo Rabbit423450
2278 Avengers: Endgame3138.549.5
2378 A Hidden Life323447
2485 Atlantics033743
2579 Hustlers1037.540.5
2680 Waves412539
2785 Ash Is Purest White322437
2877 High Life1131.536.5
2969 Her Smell2225.535.5
3088 Apollo 110228.532.5
Through February, I've now seen 15 of the 30 listed films. My rankings would be (roughly):

Tier I Outstanding: top award choices

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Marriage Story
Little Women
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

October 2020 update: 2019 was a great year for movies, clearly. Indeed, the top 3 on the next tier could be moved up with these 6 on another day.

Tier 2 Very good: strong consideration for awards

Knives Out!
Uncut Gems
The Irishman
JoJo Rabbit

Uncut Gems was very well done, generally, but I didn't care for the 3 artsy shots used by the filmmakers to peer and travel inside a human colon, a gemstone, and an open wound. The film it most reminded me of this year was Her Smell, actually, as the two main characters of these films were seriously flawed and frustrating to observe.

Tier 3 Above average, but flawed in some way

The Souvenir
The Farewell
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
High Life
Ad Astra
Apollo 11
Her Smell

My rankings are not very precise. Virtually all of the films listed here have real strengths and are worth your time.

Tier 4 Skip it

Avengers: Endgame

If you are a big fan of these Marvel films, you probably already saw it. If you are not, then just skip it. I wish I had the nearly 3 hours back to watch something else and read. It moves slowly at times. There are too many characters. The fight scenes are cartoonish with lots of CGI. I'm tired of the impossible-to-kill villain. Spoiler alert: Now available with time travel. 

I'll update this list with highlighted additions after this post first appears.

Of the 15 films I've missed as of the original post, it's unlikely I'll see Midsommar anytime soon as I'm not a big fan of horror.

These are all of the unlisted films in alphabetical order. I'll move them up as I see them:

Ash is the Purest White
A Hidden Life
The Lighthouse
Pain and Glory

On any given day, I might feel slightly differently about film rankings within the different tiers. In any case, 2019 was another good year for film.

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