From 20 to 11
That’s the honorable mentions; now, here comes Sinekdoks’ top 20 movies of 2019. Starts here.
20. The Two Popes
20. The Two Popes (Fernando Meirelles)
Jonathan Pryce, Anthony Hopkins
Hopkins is Ratzinger and Pryce is Bergoglio in this intimate yet casual conversation between the former and the latter popes. While personal and professional (in the scope of the Catholic church), the conversation cleverly glimpses the ethereal discourse of modern Catholicism: to stay exclusive and conservative in European churches’ way or to become more progressive and liberal as in the third-world churches’ methods. The uplifting discussion is only made relevant and enticing by the leading performances. Read The Two Popes review here.
19. Avengers: Endgame
19. Avengers: Endgame (Anthony Russo & Joe Russo)
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson
With Endgame, Marvel provides an emotionally overwhelming cinematic experience as a closure to its carefully planned universe and an 11-year journey to being celebrated for years to come. It’s a cinematic experience. It’s a new box office record holder. It’s, by any means, phenomenal and excusable. Read Avengers: Endgame review here.
18. Joker (Todd Phillips)
Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz
In this new rendition of Joker, Phoenix makes an unsettling, uncomfortable inferno that does not let us look away from Arthur Fleck’s sufferings that transforms him into a face of horror. It redefines not only the character but also how comic book characters can be treated in a movie adaptation. Read Joker review here.
17. Weathering with You
17. Weathering with You (Makoto Shinkai)
Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori
Reverberating the idyllic fantasy romance of Your Name that transcends time and space, Makoto Shinkai crafts another coming-of-age romance. If Your Name serves as the spiritual answer to 5 Centimeters per Second; his new animation, Weathering with You a.k.a. Tenki no Ko is undoubtedly the spiritual answer to his rain-soaking The Garden of Words. The parallels to Shinkai’s works in this weather-bending romance are crystal clear. Read Weathering with You review here.
16. Us (Jordan Peele)
Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elizabeth Moss
Following up on the highly inventive Get Out, the comedian-turned-director presents another high-concept horror called Us. The new horror shares similar DNA as Get Out, but it’s not a follow-up, nor an expansion; it’s more like a soul sister lurking mysteriously from the dark to take audiences by surprise with “fucked-up performance art.” Read Us review here.
15. The Farewell
15. The Farewell (Lulu Wang)
Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Zhao Shuzhen
Wang’s directorial debut is a moody yet heartfelt dramedy about embracing fate and life-and-death deals. Awkwafina moves up from some side-kick roles to become the real deal. The Farewell is completely a chef-d’œuvre. Read The Farewell review here.
14. Toy Story 4
14. Toy Story 4 (Josh Cooley)
Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts
When it comes to Toy Story, it’s always a heartfelt, heartbreaking yet heartwarming ride. And, Toy Story 4 is able to deliver all those feelings to you as you recall the good ol’ memories with Woody, Buzz, and friends. We have no idea if it will actually be the final goodbye; but for now, it’s a perfect closure for the sheriff’s tale. Read Toy Story 4 review here.
13. Ford v Ferrari
13. Ford v Ferrari (James Mangold)
Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal
Bale and Damon got into the Ford GT40, revved up the engine, and never slowed down to lead Ford v Ferrari into the podium. While the narrative drifts on a very familiar trajectory, Mangold excels on how to get it thrilling and enticing even after some heat and occasional pitstops. Read Ford v Ferrari review here.
12. Hustlers (Lorene Scafaria)
Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles
This is, definitely, not a story of saints nor it is a glorification of crimes; but, Hustlers takes its stance profoundly. It stands with the women as they empower each other and, as fate leads them, take advantage of the broken system while bashing off tottered patriarchy. The witty, ballsy, and gritty Hustlers profoundly sees how women take care of each other to survive, making it more than just a stripper movie. Read Hustlers review here.
11. Booksmart (Olivia Wilde)
Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Jessica Williams
You’re forgiven when you think both Feldstein and Dever does not outshine each other. They work as a pair of enlightenment that show audiences just how real people are observed in real life. That’s how Olivia Wilde teams up with the usual sidekicks in Booksmart, an uplifting coming-of-age comedy with enough party, wit, and sincerity. Read Booksmart review here.