The 20 Best Movies Of 2019 According To Metacritic

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If there’s one thing that movie and TV fans were not doing in 2019, it’s complaining that there wasn’t enough to watch. The multiplexes might be largely dominated by big budget franchise movies, but the competition between the studios, networks, streaming services, and media companies ensured that there was a constant stream of film and TV content to check out. The problem wasn’t having enough, it was knowing what to focus on.

We all know what the most financially successful films were–most of them were made by Disney, and many of them featured superheroes, spaceships, and animated toys or animals. But while the likes Marvel and Pixar have millions of fans, the most commercial films aren’t always the ones favored most by film critics. It’s always fascinating to look at annual Best Of lists from critics, as that’s where the smaller gems can be found, the great movies that might not have had all the attention they deserve.

Taking a look at GameSpot’s sister site, Metacritic–which collects and averages out critic movie ratings–we found the best reviewed movies of the year and are presenting the top 20 for you. And if you’re looking ahead to 2020, check out our looks at the Biggest Movies, TV shows, and Anime to watch next year…

20. Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

Metacritic score: 86

Martin Scorsese’s second Bob Dylan documentary follows the legendary musician on his 1975 Rolling Thunder tour. It’s a mix of concert footage, backstage material, and retrospective interviews. Scorsese’s decision to mix fictional interviews with real ones caused some complaints, but it adds to Dylan’s enigmatic persona, and the live footage is spectacular.

19. An Elephant Sitting Still

Metacritic score: 86

This acclaimed Chinese drama was notable for the tragic death of its first time director Hu Bo shortly after he finished it, and is an epic four-hour exploration of life in modern China.

18. 63 Up

Metacritic score: 86

Michael Apted’s groundbreaking documentary series has caught up with the same group of ordinary British people every seven years since 1964. His subjects are now–as title states–in their early 60s, and as before, look back on the past seven years and compare that time with their other experiences over the past five decades.

17. Diane

Metacritic score: 86

This acclaimed indie drama stars veteran actress Mary Kay Place as an aging woman who must deal with the double burden of caring for her bedridden cousin and her drug-addicted son. Place was much praised for her powerful performance and the compassion the film shows towards its troubled subjects.

16. Genése

Metacritic score: 87

A Canadian coming-of-age movie that follows the romantic lives of two teenage half-siblings. It got much acclaim and was nominated for various awards in Canada, with the focus on the performances by its young leads and Philippe Lesage’s inventive direction.

15.The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

Metacritic score: 87

Another much-praised Canadian drama, this one focuses on the relationship between two indigenous women, one stable and affluent, the other a victim of domestic abuse who lives on the street. The movie is noted for the fact it takes place in real time, and largely consists of a single unbroken take.

14. Apollo 11

Metacritic score: 87

This stunning documentary about the 1969 moon landing was crafted from newly-discovered 65mm footage and thousands of hours of previously unheard audio recordings. The film eschews a traditional voiceover narration and lets the words and images from the era tell this incredible story.

13. Pain and Glory

Metacritic score: 87

Acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar reunited with his long-time star Antonio Banderas for a movie about an aging filmmaker looking back over his life. It was celebrated as a sensitive, funny, and stylishly directed movie from one of world cinema’s greatest directors.

12. Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Metacritic score: 89

This Chinese drama has nothing to do with the classic play of the same title, and is instead an abstract and visually stunning experimental 3D film that includes a 55-minute unbroken take about a man lost in memories about his past life as he wanders the streets of the Chinese city of Kaili.

11. The Farewell

Metacritic score: 89

Comedienne Awkwafina is exceptional in this film about Chinese-born American woman who returns to China to discover that her much-loved grandmother only has weeks to live. Awkwafina received much acclaim, as did debuting writer/director Lulu Wang, who balances drama and comedy with great skill.

10. For Sama

Metacritic score: 89

One of the most powerful documentaries of the year, For Sama is a harrowing film about a young woman trying to raise a daughter in war-torn Syria. It has much to say about both its subjects and the wider conflict, and allows moments of hope and happiness to permeate the darkness.

9. Uncut Gems

Metacritic score: 89

Adam Snadler gives an electrifying performance as a streetwise jeweler who finds himself in deep trouble in this New York crime drama from the Safdie brothers. In his review for GameSpot, Rafael Motamayor described Uncut Gems as “a film so energetic it’s like a triple-shot of espresso injected straight into your veins.”

8. Cunningham

Metacritic score: 89

3D is rarely used for documentaries, but this film about pioneering choreographer Merce Cunnigham uses the format to recreate some of his groundbreaking modern dance routines in spectacular style. Director Alla Kovgan wisely avoids cutting to standard documentary talking heads, and instead simply overlays the voiceovers on top of the breathtaking dancing.

7. Little Women

Metacritic score: 91

Ladybird director Greta Gerwig directs a new version of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel with an amazing cast that includes Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep. The story of the March sisters has been adapted many times over the decades, but Gerwig’s new version has scored some of the best reviews of any version.

6. The Souvenir

Metacritic score: 92

A powerful London-set drama from director Joanna Hogg, who tells a semi-biographical story of a young film student in the early ‘80s who falls in love with a mysterious older man. It marked the movie debut of Tilda Swinton’s daughter Honor Swinton Byrne, who show she has definitely inherited her mother’s acting skills.

5. Apocalypse Now: Final Cut

Metacritic score: 92

Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam masterpiece got a new version this year, that splits the difference time-wise between the original 1979 version and the much longer “redux” cut from the mid-2000s. As well as the new footage, the film has been remastered into 4K and looks absolutely spectacular.

4. Marriage Story

Metacritic score: 94

Black Widow and Kylo Ren–sorry, Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver–play a young married company going through a messy divorce in indie auteur Noah Baumbach’s sad, compassionate, and funny Netflix drama.

3. The Irishman

Metacritic score: 94

Martin Scorsese’s long-awaited Netflix movie stars a de-aged Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci in an epic, decade-spanning gangster drama. In his review for GameSpot, Dan Auty described it as a “mature and dignified work that could only be made by an older filmmaker able to look back on his life and his work.”

2. Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Metacritic score: 95

This French period drama tells the story of the secret affair between an aristocratic woman and the female artist who is commissioned to paint her portrait. Director Céline Sciamma’s film has been praised for being both extremely moving and highly romantic, as have Adele Haenel and Armande Boulanger for their stunning performances.

1. Parasite

Metacritic score: 96

Snowpiercer director Bong Joon-Ho is no stranger to critical acclaim, but his latest movie is easily the best regarded of his career so far. This breakout Korean drama won rave reviews and awards over the past year, and don’t be surprised to see it figure at the Oscars next year. In his review for Gamespot, writer Rafael Motamayor described how the “pitch-perfect casting, excellent cinematography, and operatic score all result in a tragedy of epic proportions.”

Source: Game Spot Mashup