As 2019 draws to a close, it’s fun to look back and remember all the movies we’ve seen, especially the early releases that feel like they’ve been around forever. In that spirit, here are the Hypable staff’s picks for their favorite 2019 movies.
With a year of movies as epic as this one, it’s definitely not easy to choose the best or worst, and it’s even harder to pick a favorite, but the Hypable staff has accepted this challenge. Below are our picks for our favorite 2019 movies of the year. And even with all these picks there are some seriously wonderful movies left out of the discussion.
And there are still a few 2019 movies to come. With Jumanji: The Next Level, Little Women, Bombshell, 1917 and more yet to hit theaters nationwide, we couldn’t wait for all of these to debut before we made our selections, so read on for a sampling of just a few of the great movies we loved in 2019.
Our favorite movies of 2019 are:
No matter how you feel about Rian Johnson after the whole The Last Jedi situation, you have to admit that the man knows how to make a non-franchise film. If you’ve seen Brick, The Brothers Bloom, or Looper, you’ve seen the immense talent he has at his disposal.
And his latest, Knives Out, is a perfect example of what Rian Johnson can do when he’s free to make his own great movies. I love a good whodunnit, but it’s been a while since one subverted my expectations as thoroughly as this caper did. I mean, halfway through this film, it certainly seemed like the central mystery was all sewn up. It was far too early for the credits to roll, but it had me questioning everything I knew and wondering what could possibly come next.
He pulled together a stellar cast, what had to have been a true labor of love of a script, and a remarkable score to bring one of the most incredible trips to the theater I’ve made this year. One missed opportunity does not a bad filmmaker make, and Rian Johnson has made that abundantly clear with how incredible Knives Out has proved to be.
If anything would stop me from picking Avengers: Endgame as my favorite movie of 2019, it’s that it seems like so much more than just a movie. After over a decade of buildup with more than 20 individual films all culminating in this grand finale, Avengers: Endgame was one of, if not the biggest cinematic event of all time.
The movie had a lot to accomplish. It was the end of the line for many of the most beloved Marvel characters in the MCU, as well as the culmination of the entire Infinity War arc, which was touched on in almost every Marvel film up to that point. It delivered all of that, and then some. Endgame gave us several meaningful deaths, and just as many happy endings. Somehow, both of these made us cry. It also served as a launching point for the next era of the MCU. Just like all the Marvel movies before it, it managed to be endlessly entertaining while flawlessly tying a gigantic, and ever-growing world together. It was no easy feat to accomplish a worthwhile conclusion to the stories that had been established, but Endgame pulled it off. For that, I can’t think of any other movie in 2019 that was even close to as impressive.
If there’s one film that absolutely blew me away this year, it’s Rocketman. This film was an exhilarating and engrossing ride from start to finish, so much so that I absolutely hated to see it end. From the gorgeously detailed costumes to the overwhelming amount of love and care woven throughout the film, I couldn’t stop thinking about this movie for months after I first saw it.
And the music? I had Elton John and Rocketman songs on repeat for a long, long while (to the point where Elton John is one of my top Spotify artists this year). Taron Egerton does his best work in this film, slipping completely into his character without a crack or flaw to be found. His musical performances are absolutely entrancing and really make you want to sing along. Rocketman, though unfairly released to less fanfare than Bohemian Rhapsody, is a true masterpiece and deserving of as many awards as it can be given.
Unassuming in how revelatory it is, the directorial debut from Olivia Wilde puts a female twist on the classically male-driven last day of high school odyssey movie (see Dazed and Confused and Superbad). Booksmart is a breath of fresh air, a casually progressive and inclusive comedy that makes you wonder what took us so long to get here.
Beanie Feldstein (now nominated for a Golden Globe) is firing on all cylinders from her breakout in Lady Bird, and here she fully comes into her own as a comedic performer. Kaitlyn Dever also turns in a star-making performance, while the across-the-board excellent supporting cast includes The Real O’Neals‘ Noah Galvin and Billie Lourd making her late grandmother Carrie Fisher proud with insane comedic prowess. An unabashed delight, laugh-out-loud hilarious, big-hearted, feel-good where even in high school there are no real villains, Booksmart shows that to get by in this life, all it takes is to let your guard down a bit and get to know the people around you. And that’s a simple life lesson we could all use.
I’m a Marvel girl through and through, and while I’ve enjoyed most of the DC movies that have come out over the last few years, I never quite connected with them like I did with Iron Man or The Avengers. Then along came Wonder Woman, which gave me hope that DC was slowly finding its footing. I love Diana Prince’s story, and even if another DC movie didn’t come close to touching this installation, it would be okay. I now had faith that they were capable of providing us a solid and inspiring superhero movie.
Then along came Shazam! I had zero expectations walking into the theater, but even if I had, I think this film would have impressed me. The story is solid (dare I say it, but the third act outshines Wonder Woman’s), and while it’s not my favorite DC movie (three guesses which one is), I do think it’s the best one so far. The script is solid, the comedy is on point, the action is exciting, and the characters — oh, the characters! — are brilliantly written and performed. While Zachary Levi carries this film on his very broad shoulders, he’s helped out immensely by the supporting cast of children. Faithe Herman is the real standout here, but they’re all fantastic. That final scene when they all transform into their alter egos is emotional, hilarious, and awesome.
Shazam! is easily the movie that impressed me most this year, and I honestly can’t wait to see what comes next.
This latest masterpiece from greatest living director Martin Scorsese is simply breathtaking. It explores the American underworld of the mid-20th-century, of course, but what’s more, it asks what is the value of any life when you get to the end of it? The film posits that literally any job you do for another person — who will often ask you to do things against your personal wishes — is a waste of your life. And even despite such heavy a theme, the tropes of the gangster genre, not to mention some of the funniest dialogue in a movie of any genre in years, makes the film supremely entertaining and re-watchable.
The Irishman is absolutely invigorating and captivating from the first shot to the last — not a wasted shot, a feat given the 209-minute runtime. The acting is extraordinary across the board, but particularly of note are Scorsese mainstay Robert De Niro; Al Pacino, in his first Scorsese film; Joe Pesci, fresh out of retirement; and Anna Paquin in a brilliant, nearly wordless role. The Irishman is an instant classic, truly one for the ages.