Greatest Films of the 2010s
Greatest Films of the 2010s


Greatest Films of the 2010s
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

2019

Academy Awards for 2019 Films
Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description


Ad Astra (2019), 123 minutes, D: James Gray
In this thought-provoking sci-fi drama (literally meaning "through hardships to the stars") about an emotional and literal inter-galactic odyssey, astronaut Major Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) courageously traveled to the outer edges of the solar system near Neptune to find his missing father Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) from a 30 years earlier doomed expedition (the Lima Project) to search for alien life, and to unravel a mystery that threatened the survival of the universe.



Avengers: Endgame (2019),
181 minutes, D: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
This 22nd installment in Marvel's Cinematic Universe was the highest-grossing (domestic) film in the year 2019. 23 days after the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) when purple-skinned Thanos (Josh Brolin) used the Infinity Gauntlet (and Infinity Stones) to disintegrate half of all life in the universe, Iron Man/Tony Stark ( (Robert Downey Jr.) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) (adrift in space) sent a message to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) for rescue, while the remaining Avengers -- Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and James Rhodes/War Machine (Don Cheadle) - assembled to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos -- the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe, by traveling back in time.



A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019), 109 minutes, D: Marielle Heller
A biographical drama regarding Fred Rogers (aka the softspoken, cardigan-wearing Mr. Rogers) (Tom Hanks) seen through the eyes of jaded, cynical and skeptical Esquire magazine writer and investigative journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) (based on real-life writer Tom Junod). In the course of their interactions for his article on cultural heroes, Vogel found himself bonding with the appealing, compassionate and truly nice Mr. Rogers, and realized he had been transformed by the unlikely friendship.



Booksmart (2019), 102 minutes, D: Olivia Wilde
A coming-of-age buddy teen comedy about high school best friends Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) who were determined to get into their colleges of choice, by skipping parties, studying in the library, and participating in extracurricular activities. On the eve of graduation on the last day of their senior year, the two normally-responsible girls decided they couldn't miss out by attending a big year-end party (with drinking, pot smoking, hallucinogenic drugs). Their misadventures in trying to find the party included a yacht-party, a ride in a car with their principal Jordan Brown (Jason Sudeikis), and a murder mystery party.



Dolemite is My Name (2019), 117 minutes, D: Craig Brewer
The vulgar, biographical story of wanna-be singer and comic Rudy Ray Moore (Eddie Murphy) who found fame when he created the iconic big screen pimp, kung-fu expert and rapper alter-ego character of Dolemite in the 1970s during the Blaxploitation era. His career took off during the making of a big-screen version of the character in the mid-70s, with a small camera crew including director D'Urville (Wesley Snipes), writer Jerry (Keegan-Michael Key), and student cameraman Nick (Kodi Smit-McPhee).

The Farewell (2019, China), 100 minutes, D: Lulu Wang
In this tragi-comic dramedy (in Mandarin with English subtitles) - and "based on an actual lie," Chinese-born Billi (Awkwafina) raised in America discovered (to her shock) that her beloved matriarchal grandmother Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) had only a short while left to live due to a terminal diagnosis - and that her extended family had decided to keep her in the dark, scheduling a fake wedding in Changchun, China to gather at before she died.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019), 137 minutes, D: David Leitch
In this action spin-off from the major franchise, federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) of the Diplomatic Security Service in LA and ex-assassin and British military elite operative Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) in London teamed up to combat cyber-genetically enhanced cyborg super-soldier Brixton Lorr (Idris Elba), an anarchist, rogue MI6 agent with superhuman strength, who threatened the world with a lethal pathogen. The deadly human-made virus had already been injected into the body of Deckard's sister, fearless MI6 agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby), and was due to kill her (and everyone else) within 72 hours.



Ford v Ferrari (2019),
152 minutes, D: James Mangold

In this semi-factual, racing-oriented biopic, American car designer and racer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) (retired due to a heart condition) and volatile British-born driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) teamed up to battle corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for the Ford Motor Company headed by slimy executive Leo Beebe (Josh Lucas), in order to take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

Frozen II (2019), 103 minutes, D: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Three years after the events of the previous film in this musical sequel to the 2013 film, magical Queen Elsa (The Snow Queen) (voice of Idina Menzel), her sister Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), Anna's boyfriend Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and snowman Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) headed far from their kingdom of Arendelle into the mysterious enchanted forests (and its indigenous people of Northuldra) and dark seas beyond to learn the truth about an ancient mystery (the origin of Elsa's magical powers), and their parents' deaths and backgrounds, in order to save their kingdom.



A Hidden Life (2019), 174 minutes, D: Terrence Malick
In this lengthy and downbeat biographical drama based on a true story, in 1939, Austrian farmer and devout Catholic Franz Jägerstätter lived in a small German village with his wife Franziska (Valerie Pachner) with three children. He faced the threat of execution for being a conscientious objector who refused to fight for the Nazis during World War II. He was arrested after refusing to take a loyalty oath to Adolph Hitler and was awaiting trial.



Hustlers (2019), 110 minutes, D: Lorene Scafaria
A heist crime drama about two high-end New York strippers, based upon a New York Magazine article. Single-mother Destiny (Constance Wu) and her mentor Ramona Vega (Jennifer Lopez) joined with two other dancers - following the after-effects of the 2008 recession - decided to devise a daring scheme targeting their rich Wall Street clients, involving a series of illegal scams to steal money and credit cards.



The Irishman (2019), 209 minutes, D: Martin Scorsese
Another violent, epic gangster film from Martin Scorsese set in the 1950s, telling (in flashback) about the life of union truck driver Frank Sheeran (Robert DeNiro) a WWII veteran of Irish origin living in Pennsylvania. His fortunes rose when he allied himself with mobster Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and his crime family and made deliveries on the side. As Sheeran climbed the ranks to become a top hit man, he was sent to Chicago to work for Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) -- a powerful Teamster union leader tied to organized crime, and they became close friends. However, a crossroads approached when Hoffa was jailed for jury tampering and was later released, but then threateningly sought to reclaim his power and control of the unions, displeasing the crime family heads - and Sheeran was declared the triggerman.


Joker (2019), 122 minutes, D: Todd Phillips
In this dark, nihilistic, bleak and violent comic-book Batman movie thriller unlike many others, in the early 1980s in Gotham City, failed and mentally-unstable, wanna-be stand-up comedian Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) wore a mask for his day job as a party clown. The impoverished Fleck lived with his sickly mother Penny (Frances Conroy) and struggled with mental illness himself. After being bullied and ridiculed and losing his weekly therapy sessions and regular medications, Fleck began a slow and mad descent as he transformed himself into his alter-ego - an infamous, murderous, psychopathic criminal mastermind known as the Joker.

Judy (2019), 118 minutes, D: Rupert Goold
In this sad and tragic biographical drama, a cautionary tale, legendary performer Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) (about 30 years after her 'The Wizard of Oz' career-topping role) struggled to retain custody of her children from her third ex-husband Sidney Luft (Rufus Sewell). While struggling with multiple demons: continual eating disorders, alcoholism, and drug abuse (and with flashbacks to her teen years), she performed a series of sold-out concerts in London at the Talk-of-the-Town nightclub in the winter of 1968 for a five-week long stretch to earn some income. She also experienced a whirlwind romance with musician Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock), her soon-to-be fifth husband.



Knives Out (2019), 130 minutes, D: Rian Johnson
A suspenseful, comedy and all-star Agatha Christie-inspired murder-mystery filled with ingenious deceptions and red herrings, investigated by renowned and debonair master Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). The case regarded the mysterious circumstances surrounding the untimely death of wealthy and successful - but argumentative - crime novelist Harlan Thrombey - a family patriarch who had just turned 85. Everyone in the dysfunctional, eccentric and large Thrombey family (and its staff) became a suspect in the throat-slashing murder committed in his Massachusetts mansion, including Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis), Richard Drysdale (Don Johnson), Walt Thrombey (Michael Shannon), Joni Thrombey (Toni Collette), and Hugh Ransom Drysdale (Chris Evans). The key person in the mystery was Harlan's nurse/caretaker Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), who vomited every time she lied. She thought that she had accidentally overdosed Harlan with morphine, and as he died he told her to make up an alibi and then slit his own throat. When Harlan's will was read, everyone in the family was shocked that Marta was the sole beneficiary. Ultimately, final clues led to Ransom as the calculating schemer behind Harlan's murder.

The Lion King (2019), 118 minutes, D: Jon Favreau
In Disney's CGI-dependent "live action" darker remake of the 1994 original film, after young lion cub Simba's (voice of JD McCrary) father King Mufasa (voice of James Earl Jones) was violently murdered in a wildebeest stampede sequence, Mufasa's envious and jealous brother Scar (voice of Chiwetel Ejiofor), a competitive heir to the throne and Simba's uncle, battled with Simba and forced his exile. With the help of newfound friends (who had 'no worries') - feisty meerkat Timon (Billy Eichner) and warthog Pumbaa (Seth Rogen), a grown-up Simba (voice of Donald Glover) returned to Pride Rock to battle for his rightful throne as the one true Lion King against the hyenas and Scar.



Little Women (2019), 134 minutes, D: Greta Gerwig
Another very sensitive and poignant adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic, coming-of-age sisterhood novel, partially told in flashback by sister Jo about her March family: the matriarch Marmee (Laura Dern) and four March sisters in 19th century Massachusetts: aspiring author Jo (Saoirse Ronan), responsible and pretty Meg (Emma Watson), impulsive and artistic Amy (Florence Pugh), and quiet and musical Beth (Eliza Scanlen) who came of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. They welcomed their new neighbor Theodore "Laurie" Laurence (Timothée Chalamet) who helped the March family while their father Mr. March (Bob Odenkirk) served in the war.



Marriage Story (2019), 137 minutes, D: Noah Baumbach
A compassionate, well-acted, extremely authentic and intense story of a marriage breakup after a decade-long marriage - between NYC's brilliant theatrical director Charlie Barber (Adam Driver), and his wife - one-time Los Angeles movie actress Nicole (Scarlett Johansson), with an 8 year-old son Henry. Nicole moved to the West Coast for a job opportunity, and during counseling with Nora Fanshaw (Laura Dern), an LA divorce lawyer, Nicole suspected Charlie was sleeping with his stage manager Mary Ann (Brooke Bloom). In the grueling case, the couple battled it out in court with their two lawyers, Nicole's Nora, and Charlie's Jay (Ray Liotta), mostly over child custody.

Midsommar (2019), 147 minutes, D: Ari Aster
An unsettling and violent horror movie, about a young American couple (as anthropologists), Dani (Florence Pugh) and her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor), who traveled with his friends Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Mark (Will Poulter) and their other friend, Pelle (Vilhelm Blomgren). They journeyed to a fabled Swedish mid-summer solstice festival (held only every 90 years in a remote village), where they uncovered a terrifying, disturbing and sinister nightmare under the pastoral, utopian dream-paradise they thought they had found with the communal locals - discovered to be a pagan cult who celebrated with rituals that were often bloody, strange, and deadly.



1917 (2019), 119 minutes, D: Sam Mendes
An immersive, beautifully-choreographed (as one long tracking shot) and tense war story set at the height of the Great War (WWI) in the spring of 1917. Two young low-ranking British soldiers, Lance Cpl. Schofield (George MacKay) and Lance Cpl. Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) were forced to cross German-occupied enemy territory to deliver a message that would stop a deadly attack on 1,600 British soldiers including Lieutenant Joseph Blake (Richard Madden), Blake's brother.


Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019), 161 minutes, D: Quentin Tarantino
Set in the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles, this crime film mixed fact and fiction. It followed the movie-town lives of faded, hard-drinking 1950s TV westerns actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo di Caprio) (who was contemplating leaving for Italy to shoot 'spaghetti westerns') and his best friend and driver - unemployed, long-time stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who were struggling to survive. Rick was neighbor to Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski (Rafał Zawierucha) and his recently-wife actress/model Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) (who was being acclaimed for her recent new movie, The Wrecking Crew), whose lives would soon be affected by the Tate-LaBianca Murders committed by the notorious Manson Family cult. Problems ensued after Cliff drove hitchhiker "Pussycat" (Margaret Qualley) to the George Spahn Ranch, current residence of hippies in the Manson Family.


Pain and Glory (2019, Sp./Fr.) (aka Dolor y Gloria), 113 minutes, D: Pedro Almodóvar
In this semi-autobiographical tale about aging and death, semi-retired filmmaker Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) faced mortality in Madrid and a declining career. In a heroin-induced haze brought on after contact with previous leading actor Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia), a heroin-addict, he reflected back on his life: his mother Jacinta (Penélope Cruz), and the love of his life Marcelo (Leonardo Sbaraglia). His recollections encouraged him to reignite his career and life to continue filmmaking.



Parasite (2019, S. Korea), 232 minutes, D: Bong Joon Ho
A Best-Picture winning film and incisive social satire involving a greedy class war. In Seoul, Korea, the members of the unemployed and destitute Kim family who were living in a basement-level apartment folding pizza boxes - developed a major scam. They began to insinuate themselves into the livelihood of the wealthy and glamorous Park clan, by taking jobs in the family - such as an English tutor, art therapist, and more. The first to be employed was son Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-sik) who tutored wealthy daughter Park Da-hye (Jung Ziso), followed by daughter Kim Ki-jung (Park So-dam) functioning as an art therapist for the Park family's precocious youngest son Park Da-song (Jung Hyeon-jun).

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019, Fr.) (aka Portrait de la Jeune Fille en Feu), 121 minutes, D: Céline Sciamma
A period piece drama set on an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century. A female artist-painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) was hired by Italian noblewoman (Valeria Golino) to serve as a companion - and to paint a wedding portrait of reluctant bride-to-be Heloise (Adèle Haenel), her young daughter who had just left the Benedictine convent (before the suicide of her older sister necessitated her return and her betrothal). It was understood that the painting was to be done in secret without her knowledge, because she refused to pose. Soon, an intimate romance developed between artist and subject as the wedding date approached for her to wed a Milanese nobleman.



Rocketman (2019), 121 minutes, D: Dexter Fletcher
A biopic and epic rock musical fantasy (told through a series of flashbacks) regarding the rags-to-riches life of British musician-performer-songwriter Elton John (Taron Egerton). It followed his transformation from a drug, booze and sex-addicted, gay, underloved and shy piano prodigy Reginald "Reggie" Dwight into international superstardom as Elton John, through his years at the Royal Academy of Music (with a scholarship) and his influential and enduring musical partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell).


Toy Story 4 (2019),
100 minutes, D: Josh Cooley
A new animated action-comedy and chapter (the fourth sequel) in the lives of Woody (voice of Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (voice of Tim Allen), Jessie (voice of Joan Cusack), Rex (voice of Wallace Shawn), and the "Toy Story" gang, envisioned as a road-trip, and with a new toy character named "Forky" (voice of Tony Hale) - hand-made with a spork, clay, popsicle stick feet, pipe cleaners for arms, and googly eyes. The toys were separated from their young kindergartner owner Bonnie (voice of Madeleine McGraw) and faced the sinister and desperate antique-store 1950s baby doll Gabby Gabby (voice of Christina Hendricks) who wanted a new voice box (and was desirous of Woody's vintage one) and took Forky hostage. During the journey, Woody was unexpectedly reunited with independent porcelain spirit Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts) who had become a nomad adventurer and ended up as a lamp display in the antique store.

The Two Popes (2019), 125 minutes, D: Fernando Meirelles
In a story inspired by true historical events, Cardinal Bergoglio (the future and liberal Pope Francis) (Jonathan Pryce) became frustrated with the direction of the Catholic Church with his divergent views. He turned in a letter of retirement in 2012 to the current church leader, conservative and traditionalist Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins), who had replaced Pope John Paul II. Facing scandal, misconduct among the clergy, and self-doubt himself, the introspective Pope Benedict summoned his harshest critic to his summer residence to discuss their differing views on theology and leadership. These talks revealed an earth-shattering secret - the current Pope's own retirement and resignation - culminating in a transition of power.



Uncut Gems (2019), 135 minutes, D: Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
In this dramedy/crime thriller, once-successful, fast-talking Jewish-American gems-diamond dealer Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler) in NYC's Diamond District, a veritable con-artist, liar, gambler and adulterer, became mired in debt due to his gambling addictions. In the face of demanding collectors, he thought he had his next big "win" or score when he came to possess a block of rare Ethiopian black opal, but he faced the obsession of Boston Celtics basketball player/star Kevin Garnett (as Himself) for the precious uncut gem. A series of high-stakes bets for the pathological Ratner that risked everything for a windfall ended up in tragedy.



Us (2019), 116 minutes, D: Jordan Peele
In this supernatural horror film, troubled Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong'o) experienced a traumatic childhood in the mid-1980s in the House of Mirrors in Santa Cruz. Years later, she and her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) and their two children: teen daughter Zora and Jason (Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex) returned to the N. California coastline (Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk area) for an idyllic summer getaway. Adelaide became paranoid and haunted about the safety of her family, especially after a day at the beach with their rich friends the Tylers: Josh (Tim Heidecker), Kitty (Elisabeth Moss), and their two children Becca and Lindsey (Cali and Noelle Sheldon). After dark, the Wilsons found themselves confronted and terrorized by four figures dressed in red in their driveway - doppelgängers of themselves.

Yesterday (2019, UK), 116 minutes, D: Danny Boyle
In this sweet comedy-romance, singer-songwriter Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) in the tiny English seaside town of Lowestoft was strongly supported by his devoted, chidhood best friend and faithfully loyal manager Ellie Appleton (Lily James), but was struggling for popularity and fame. After a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack woke up in an alternate timeline to discover that The Beatles never existed. Jack's new power-hungry American agent Debra (Kate McKinnon) helped him to rise to prominence by performing Beatles' songs - plagiaristically claiming the Fab Four's hits as his own - that were fresh to the world's ears. As he became a star, the price of his newfound success was at the risk of losing Ellie.


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