Now that we’re past the mid-point in the year, it’s time to get into my favorite movies of 2019 thus far. If you haven’t seen these movies you’ll want to add them to your watch list.
Halfway through 2019 I’ve seen 40 movies (a bit behind the pace for 100 but the draft took over for a bit there) and I wanted to give some indication of where I’m at with my top movies of the year. I’ve watched everything from Blockbuster theatrical releases to VOD indies and my top 10 should reflect a range of different mediums. I don’t discriminate.
With that said, I know that recency bias is a thing and will note that these rankings are fluid and changing all the time. A movie you see in my top 10 now may be moved below another later in the year, and almost definitely will by the time I do my final rankings of the year. To be clear, these are my favorite movies from the year, not movies that you should be looking at for awards season necessarily.
This could end up being a long piece so I’ll stop wasting time and get into it.
#10. Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile
Cast: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Angela Sarafyan, Sydney Vollmer
Why: I am definitely a true crime fan and when it comes to movies about these people I worry about directors spending too much time on the crimes themselves. Obviously they have to be part of the story but we don’t need to see the murders on-screen. These were real people and in my mind it’s disrespectful to try to display their final moments.
There is none of that in Extremely Wicked and it was refreshing to see a new perspective on his crimes. The movie is based on the book written by his live-in girlfriend during the time of the murders and is told from her perspective. Efron knocks it out of the park as the charismatic killer and truly gives you a look into his psyche. It was a riveting watch.
#9. Rim of the World
Cast: Jack Gore, Miya Cech, Benjamin Flores, Jr., Alessio Scalzotto, Annabeth Gish
Why: Call me a sucker for nostalgia here but Rim of the World was a lot of fun. It’s an action movie about an alien invasion told from the perspective of pre-teens who each are dealing with some sort of difficulty in their life. We are given one characters story at the beginning and learn about the rest over the course of the movie.
Some didn’t like it because it’s not exactly kid friendly but that was one of the reasons I did. The kids talk like the kids I knew at that age and that just added to the nostalgia factor. Between that and the hilarious situations the kids end up in along the way, Rim of the World was just a fun experience all the way around.
Cast: Octavia Spencer, Diana Silvers, Juliette Lewis, McKaley Miller
Why: I undertand that Ma had “meh” ratings but I don’t care. I think the reviews had a lot to do with expectations. I try to go into movies without any and that worked for me with Ma. There weren’t many scary moments, while there were plenty perilous ones, but that wasn’t what I needed. The entire premise behind Ma was hilarious and the movie then played out as a comedy for me. Dumb kids and a disturbed woman were a match made in Hell and you can’t help but stop caring about the kids’ well being after they ignore all of the very evident signs.
If you skipped Ma because of the reviews, I say keep it in mind but go in expecting to laugh.
#7. Always Be My Maybe
Cast: Ali Wong, Randall Park, James Saito, Michelle Buteau, Keanu Reeves
Why: What can I say about this movie. Yes a Rom Com made my top 10 but it’s definitely not a generic one. I was excited when this movie was announced because I love Ali and Randall and also loved the fact that they were getting a chance to lead in this movie. I was not ready for the Keanu Reeves role at all and it really took the movie to another level. This movie was hilarious from start to finish then hit way too close to home by the end.
Any movie that can make you feel all of the emotions deserves to be promoted. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, definitely add it to your list.
Cast: Khalil Everage, Ashley Jackson, Uzo Aduba, Anthony Anderson
Why: This movie might partially be here because of recency bias and my proximity to the subject matter but I did like the movie. It got off to a very rough start and I was not sure that I wanted to watch it. We get a very close up look at violence on the streets of Chicago but the movie shifts dramatically after that.
Once we get rolling on Khalil’s character August trying to cope with the tragic loss of his sister the movie makes a strong turn toward heartwarming. His anxiety is portrayed well and Anthony Anderson’s character helps him deal with it, though his motives are not entirely unselfish. I didn’t much care for Anderson’s character’s story but they do have a very satisfying end for August and that’s what made the movie for me.