1. The Death of Dick Long (2019)
The most uncomfortable feel-good movie of the year. Black comedy at it's finest with earnest performances, and a soundtrack that paints a hilarious and life-like story of southern suburban lifestyle in crisis, completely uncompromising and unique displaying the comedy of keeping a secret. Very Cohen Brothers-esque.
2. Midsommar (2019)
Shocking, bold and inspired. Midsommar is a milestone in mainstream horror cinema, with unflinching gore drenched in hallucinatory vision, surrounded by the creeping setting of a trapped situation and daunting self-realizations. Fair passing Hereditary with Midsommar, Ari Aster is the horror director well needed to direct horror in a meaningful direction, of merging pure grief with terror and resolve.
Noah Baumbach is one of my favorites and he's back with his most effective film yet; Marriage Story. Autobiograpical of Noah Baumbach's own divorce, Marriage Story paints a clear picture of two people who've made mistakes coming to terms with the end of their relationship. As the film shows the path of two, Adam Driver's character is the protagonist for the better half of the film being the one on the worse end of the deal. Though one person maybe more flawed than the other, Noah Baumbach shows the far from positive experience of divorce whether you deserve it or not as a whole, and the importance of memories to any experience no matter how bad.
4. JoJo Rabbit (2019)
A truly meaningful satire that gets to the core of what makes satire important.
5. The King (2019)
Hardcore and direct with a realistic and unflinchingly matter of fact performance by Timothee Chalamet, The King tells the story of Henry V without false or fail, throwing you into the grim, connectic steel of the 15th century war and politics. Furthermore, exposing the back and forth strategy and malice Henry V went through in his reign as King of England.
6. Us (2019)
The most thought provoking film of 2019, Us keeps you thinking on all levels, upon race, self hate, politics and most of all class. With something for everyone to bite into, Us further proves Jordan Peele's attention to detail, handling of social ideas and issues, and his expert mixture of said themes with horror, becoming a definite important part of cinematic history. Not to mention adding much needed exposure of dark skinned black protagonists in the fore front of mainstream cinema.
7. Light of my Life (2019)
Brutal yet heart felt, Light Of My Life will stick with you as it's depiction of a post apocalyptic world reads true, and reminds you that when it comes to protecting the ones you love, no matter how far you'll go it'll be as real as can be. Serving as an allegory for #metoo and father/daugther relationships, Light Of My Life hits home.
8. Little Woods (2019)
A pain-stakingly powerful story about being black in Appalachia and the sobering struggle of true poverty. Peppered with great performances and heart breaking plot points, director Nia Dacosta makes an important eye opening debut.
9. The Art of Self-Defense (2019)
An extremely comedic satirical dark parable about the pit falls of toxic masculinity, and being one's self, while fighting back at fascism's control with it's own force.
A deep look at colorism, white liberalism, black shaming, #metoo and cultural war torn upbringing, in it's relation to adoption in the United States. Luce takes up a discussion about black Americans and their irate connection to black Africans, and the treatment of black Americans in their own country in favor of white adopted blacks from abroad. A truly important and serious film that that sheds light on topics, and the details of certain topics that rarely or if at all get talked about.
- Maurice Jones