2019 was a great year for cinema, with many outstanding movies that captivated audiences and critics alike. From powerful dramas to thrilling action movies and innovative comedies, there was no shortage of excellent films to enjoy.
Some of the best movies of 2019 explored complex themes, offered fresh perspectives, and showcased impressive performances by talented actors and actresses.
Best 2019 Movies
In this article, we’ll delve into some of the best movies released in 2019 and why they resonated with audiences.
1. Joker (2019)
“Joker” is a 2019 psychological thriller film directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a struggling stand-up comedian who descends into madness and becomes the infamous Joker.
The film received critical acclaim for its powerful performance by Joaquin Phoenix, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the character. It was also praised for its exploration of complex themes such as mental illness, societal inequality, and the power of media manipulation.
However, “Joker” was also controversial due to its graphic violence and its depiction of the Joker as a sympathetic protagonist. Some critics and audiences felt that the film glorified violence and could potentially inspire real-life acts of violence.
Despite the controversy, “Joker” was a commercial success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide. It sparked intense debate about the role of cinema in society and the responsibility of filmmakers to address important social issues.
Overall, “Joker” is a bold and provocative film that challenges audiences to confront uncomfortable truths about society and the human condition.
Its stunning cinematography, haunting score, and powerful performances make it a standout film of 2019 and a memorable addition to the Batman franchise.
2. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Avengers: Endgame is a 2019 superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. It is the fourth Avengers film and the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The film features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and others reprising their roles from previous Marvel films.
The film follows the surviving Avengers as they attempt to reverse the devastating effects of Thanos’ snap in the previous film, Avengers: Infinity War, which wiped out half of all life in the universe.
The Avengers embark on a time heist to retrieve the Infinity Stones before Thanos can use them to destroy the universe, leading to an epic battle between the Avengers and Thanos and his forces.
Avengers: Endgame was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $2.798 billion worldwide and becoming the highest-grossing film of all time at the time of its release.
The film received praise for its emotional impact, the character development of the main cast, and the way it concluded the overarching story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe up to that point.
Overall, Avengers: Endgame is a thrilling and satisfying conclusion to the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a must-see for fans of superhero and action films.
3. Parasite (2019)
“Parasite” is a South Korean dark comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho, released in 2019. The film follows the Kim family, who live in a semi-basement apartment in a low-income area of Seoul, and their attempts to infiltrate the wealthy Park family by posing as highly qualified professionals.
The film explores themes of class conflict, social inequality, and the lengths people will go to achieve success and upward mobility.
It has been praised for its social commentary, as well as its tension-filled plot and strong performances from its cast, including Song Kang-ho, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, and Lee Sun-kyun.
“Parasite” has received widespread critical acclaim, winning the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.
It is the first non-English language film to win Best Picture. The film is a must-watch for fans of thought-provoking and socially relevant cinema.
4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is a 2019 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
The film is set in 1969 Los Angeles and follows the story of Rick Dalton, a fading Hollywood actor, and his stunt double, Cliff Booth. The two men try to navigate the changing film industry and their own personal struggles against the backdrop of the Manson Family murders.
The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, a real-life actress who was one of the victims of the Manson Family murders.
The film also features an ensemble cast of notable actors, including Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, and Kurt Russell.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” received critical acclaim and was praised for its performances, direction, and attention to detail in recreating the Hollywood of the late 1960s.
The film won several awards, including two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt) and Best Production Design.
5. Toy Story 4 (2019)
Toy Story 4 is a 2019 computer-animated comedy film directed by Josh Cooley and produced by Pixar Animation Studios.
It is the fourth installment in the Toy Story franchise and follows the adventures of Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Tim Allen), and their toy friends as they embark on a road trip with Bonnie, their new owner.
The film has been praised for its stunning animation, heartwarming story, and strong performances from its voice cast. It explores themes of love, loss, and the importance of finding one’s own purpose in life.
Toy Story 4 introduces several new characters, including Forky, a spork that has been turned into a toy, and Gabby Gabby, a vintage doll who is desperate to be loved. These new characters add depth and complexity to the story, and help to further develop the relationships between the established characters.
The film has also been praised for its emotional impact, with many critics and audiences noting that it is a worthy conclusion to the beloved franchise.
While some fans were initially skeptical about the idea of another Toy Story movie, Toy Story 4 has proven to be a critical and commercial success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide and earning several awards and nominations.
6. Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
“Spider-Man: Far from Home” is a 2019 superhero film directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
The film is set after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” and follows Peter Parker as he goes on a school trip to Europe, where he is recruited by Nick Fury to help stop a new threat in the form of the Elementals.
The film has been praised for its fun and exciting action sequences, as well as its exploration of themes such as responsibility, loss, and the challenges of growing up.
It has been noted for its strong performances, particularly by Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal as the mysterious Mysterio, and its ability to balance humor and heart with high-stakes superhero action.
“Spider-Man: Far from Home” has been praised for its ability to expand the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) while staying true to the character of Spider-Man and his legacy.
The film has been noted for its post-credits scenes, which have significant implications for the future of the MCU. It has been regarded as a worthy successor to the previous Spider-Man films, and a testament to the enduring popularity and appeal of the character.
7. Cold War (2018)
While “Cold War” was originally released in 2018, it didn’t receive a wide release in the United States until early 2019, so it’s still considered one of the best movies of 2019.
This Polish film, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, is a romantic drama that tells the story of a passionate love affair between a musician and a young singer in the 1950s.
The film is set against the backdrop of the Cold War and explores the cultural and political tensions of the era. It’s shot in stunning black and white, with a breathtaking visual style that draws viewers into the story.
The two lead actors, Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot, give mesmerizing performances that bring the characters and their emotions to life in a truly compelling way.
“Cold War” received critical acclaim for its direction, cinematography, and performances, and was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Cinematography.
It’s a beautifully crafted and emotionally resonant film that offers a unique perspective on love, politics, and history.
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8. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)
“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is a 2019 action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and starring Keanu Reeves as the titular character John Wick. The film is the third installment in the “John Wick” film series and follows the events of the previous films.
In this film, John Wick is on the run after being declared “excommunicado” by the High Table, a council of powerful crime lords that govern the world of assassins.
With a $14 million bounty on his head, Wick must fight his way through waves of assassins to try to clear his name and escape the city.
The film was praised for its stunning action sequences, creative fight choreography, and Keanu Reeves’ magnetic performance as the iconic hitman. It was also noted for its world-building, which expanded upon the mythology of the series and introduced new characters and locations.
“John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” was a commercial success, grossing over $326 million worldwide. It solidified the franchise’s reputation as a standout in the action genre and set the stage for future installments in the series.
Overall, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” is a thrilling and stylish film that delivers non-stop action and excitement from beginning to end. Its creative fight scenes and Keanu Reeves’ iconic performance make it a standout entry in the franchise and a must-see for fans of the action genre.
9. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a 2019 computer-animated action fantasy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and directed by Dean DeBlois. It is the third and final installment in the How to Train Your Dragon film series.
The film follows the young Viking named Hiccup and his dragon Toothless as they discover a hidden world of dragons, which they must protect from a ruthless dragon hunter named Grimmel.
Along the way, Hiccup learns about his family history and makes a difficult decision about the future of dragons and Vikings on the island of Berk.
The film was praised for its animation, storytelling, and emotional depth. It was also a box office success, grossing over $521 million worldwide.
Critics and audiences alike praised the film for its heartwarming story, stunning visuals, and strong character development, making it a fitting and satisfying conclusion to the beloved franchise.
Overall, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a must-watch for fans of the series and anyone who appreciates beautifully crafted animation and engaging storytelling.
10. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” is a sequel film to the critically acclaimed television series “Breaking Bad”. The film was written and directed by series creator Vince Gilligan and was released in 2019.
The film picks up shortly after the events of the series finale and follows Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, as he tries to escape his troubled past and start a new life. Jesse must confront his demons and ties to the drug trade as he seeks to start over.
The film has been praised for its strong performances, especially from Aaron Paul, and its ability to effectively continue the story of “Breaking Bad” while also standing on its own.
The film also features appearances from several characters from the series, including Bryan Cranston’s Walter White.
“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” has received positive reviews from both critics and audiences and is a must-watch for fans of the “Breaking Bad” series, as well as anyone interested in tense and character-driven dramas.
11. Rocketman (I) (2019)
“Rocketman” is a 2019 biographical musical film based on the life of British musician Elton John. The film is directed by Dexter Fletcher and stars Taron Egerton as Elton John, with Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard in supporting roles.
The film follows John’s early years as a young prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music to his musical partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin and his rise to fame as a pop superstar in the 1970s.
The film also delves into John’s personal life, including his struggles with addiction, his relationships, and his coming out as a gay man.
“Rocketman” was praised for its performances, especially Egerton’s portrayal of John, and its musical sequences, which feature several of John’s hit songs.
The film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” and was nominated for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song Score).
12. Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 science-fiction action film directed by Robert Rodriguez and produced by James Cameron.
The film is based on the manga series “Gunnm” by Yukito Kishiro and stars Rosa Salazar as Alita, a cyborg who awakens with no memory of her past in a dystopian future world.
The film has been praised for its stunning visuals and action sequences, which are a blend of live-action and computer-generated imagery.
The character of Alita has also been widely praised for her strength, determination, and empathy, and the film explores themes of identity, humanity, and the consequences of technological advancement.
Alita: Battle Angel also boasts a talented cast, including Christoph Waltz as Dr. Dyson Ido, the scientist who helps Alita uncover her past, and Mahershala Ali as Vector, a criminal who seeks to exploit Alita’s abilities for his own gain.
While the film has been criticized for its pacing and lack of character development for some of its supporting characters, it has garnered a passionate fanbase and has been hailed as a visually stunning and entertaining sci-fi adventure.
Despite a lukewarm reception at the box office, there have been talks of a sequel, and fans have campaigned for its continuation.
13. Midsommar (2019)
“Midsommar” is a 2019 horror film written and directed by Ari Aster. The film follows a group of friends who travel to a remote Swedish village to witness a midsummer festival that only occurs once every 90 years.
As they become immersed in the festival’s pagan rituals, they begin to realize that something sinister is at play.
The film has been praised for its unique and unsettling visuals, as well as its exploration of themes such as grief, trauma, and the human psyche. It has been noted for its slow-burning and atmospheric storytelling, as well as its ability to blend horror with drama and comedy.
“Midsommar” has been regarded as a standout film in the horror genre, with its disturbing and provocative imagery leaving a lasting impression on audiences.
The film has been praised for its psychological depth and its ability to subvert audience expectations, as well as its use of folklore and mythology to create a truly terrifying and immersive experience.
It has been hailed as a modern classic of the horror genre, and a testament to the power of storytelling and visual artistry in cinema.
14. Shazam! (2019)
“Shazam!” is a 2019 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Directed by David F. Sandberg, the film stars Zachary Levi as Shazam, a teenage boy named Billy Batson who gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero with the powers of six mythical gods.
In the film, Billy is a troubled foster kid who is granted the power of Shazam by an ancient wizard. Along with his foster brother Freddy, Billy must learn how to control his powers and face off against the villainous Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, who seeks to steal his powers for his own nefarious purposes.
“Shazam!” was praised for its lighthearted tone, humor, and heartfelt themes about family and friendship. It was also noted for its standout performances, particularly from Zachary Levi as the titular hero and Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy.
The film was a box office success, grossing over $364 million worldwide. It has since been confirmed to be part of the larger DC Extended Universe, with a sequel currently in development.
Overall, “Shazam!” is a fun and charming superhero film that delivers on both humor and heart. Its unique premise and likable characters make it a standout entry in the DC film universe and a must-see for fans of the genre.
15. Fighting with My Family (2019)
Fighting with My Family is a 2019 biographical sports comedy-drama film directed by Stephen Merchant. The film is based on the life of WWE wrestler Paige and her family, who were all involved in the wrestling industry in England.
The film follows Paige, played by Florence Pugh, and her journey from growing up in a family of wrestlers in Norwich, England to becoming a WWE superstar. Along the way, she faces various challenges and obstacles, including training at the WWE Performance Center in Florida and dealing with the pressure of performing in front of large crowds.
The film was well-received by critics and audiences for its heartwarming story, strong performances, and entertaining wrestling scenes.
It was praised for its accurate depiction of the wrestling industry and its portrayal of the unique challenges faced by women in the sport.
Overall, Fighting with My Family is a funny, heartwarming, and inspirational film that offers a unique glimpse into the world of professional wrestling and the determination required to succeed in such a challenging and competitive industry.
16. Aladdin (2019)
“Aladdin” is a live-action adaptation of the popular Disney animated film of the same name, released in 2019. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film stars Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, and Will Smith as the Genie.
The story follows Aladdin, a young street thief in the fictional city of Agrabah, who falls in love with Princess Jasmine and embarks on a journey to win her heart.
Along the way, he discovers a magical lamp containing a powerful genie who helps him try to thwart the evil plans of the sultan’s trusted advisor, Jafar.
The film has been praised for its colorful and vibrant visual style, as well as its performances from the cast, especially Will Smith as the Genie. The film also features new songs in addition to the classic songs from the original animated film.
While some critics have argued that the film lacks the charm and magic of the original, it has still been generally well-received and is an enjoyable watch for fans of the original animated film or anyone looking for a fun and family-friendly adventure.
17. Ad Astra (2019)
“Ad Astra” is a 2019 science fiction film directed by James Gray and starring Brad Pitt as astronaut Roy McBride, who embarks on a mission to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father, who went on a mission to Neptune and may have gone rogue.
The film is set in a near-future in which humanity has established colonies on the Moon and Mars and follows Roy’s journey through space as he confronts his own emotional baggage and grapples with the existential questions that arise from the vastness of the universe.
“Ad Astra” received positive reviews from critics, with many praising Pitt’s performance, the film’s stunning visuals, and its thoughtful exploration of themes such as father-son relationships, the human need for connection, and the fragility of life in the vast emptiness of space.
The film was also noted for its realistic portrayal of space travel and its emphasis on scientific accuracy.
18. The Lion King (2019)
The Lion King is a 2019 musical drama film directed and produced by Jon Favreau. It is a photorealistic computer-animated remake of Disney’s 1994 animated film of the same name.
The film features an all-star voice cast, including Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar
. It also features updated versions of the original songs, as well as new music composed by Hans Zimmer and performed by Beyoncé and others.
The film has been praised for its stunning visuals, which use groundbreaking technology to create photorealistic animals and environments. The voice acting has also been widely praised, with many critics noting the emotional depth of the performances.
However, the film has also been criticized for being too faithful to the original, with some reviewers arguing that it lacks the charm and energy of the original animated film.
The updated version of “Be Prepared” has also been a point of contention, with some fans feeling that it pales in comparison to the original.
Despite mixed reviews, The Lion King was a box office success, grossing over $1.6 billion worldwide.
19. The Dirt (2019)
The Dirt is a biographical drama film released in 2019, directed by Jeff Tremaine and based on the book “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band” by Motley Crue.
The film follows the rise of Motley Crue, a heavy metal band that gained immense popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, and their struggles with fame, addiction, and personal demons.
The movie stars Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx, Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars, Colson Baker (Machine Gun Kelly) as Tommy Lee, and Daniel Webber as Vince Neil.
The film received mixed reviews, with some praising the performances of the cast and the depiction of the band’s hedonistic lifestyle, while others criticized it for being too sanitized and lacking in depth.
Best 2019 Movies – Wrap Up
Parasite – Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Parasite is a dark comedy-thriller that explores the class divide in South Korea.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Directed by Quentin Tarantino, this movie is a love letter to Hollywood’s golden age, featuring an ensemble cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.
Joker – Directed by Todd Phillips, this movie is a dark and disturbing portrayal of the iconic Batman villain, with Joaquin Phoenix delivering a mesmerizing performance.
Avengers: Endgame – Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, this movie marked the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first decade, bringing together all the beloved superheroes in an epic showdown against Thanos.
Marriage Story – Directed by Noah Baumbach, this movie is a poignant and emotionally raw exploration of a couple’s divorce, featuring standout performances from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson.
The Irishman – Directed by Martin Scorsese, this movie is a sprawling crime epic that reunites Scorsese with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino.
Little Women – Directed by Greta Gerwig, this movie is a fresh and modern adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, with Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and Florence Pugh leading a talented ensemble cast.
The Farewell – Directed by Lulu Wang, this movie is a heartwarming and funny family drama that explores the cultural differences between the East and the West, with Awkwafina delivering a breakout performance.
Knives Out – Directed by Rian Johnson, this movie is a clever and entertaining whodunit that subverts the genre’s tropes, with an all-star cast that includes Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Ford v Ferrari – Directed by James Mangold, this movie is a thrilling and emotionally resonant sports drama that tells the story of the Ford Motor Company’s attempt to beat Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans race, with Matt Damon and Christian Bale delivering powerful performances.