Written by: Christopher Llewellyn Reed
As I did last year, I offer, in my 2019 Top 10 list,* below, my 5 favorite fiction films and 5 favorite documentaries, in alphabetical order. I pull these from the 2 separate lists I already published at Hammer to Nail, where I am lead film critic. I will soon, on my blog, publish a longer list, with additional runners-up and honorable mentions. There were plenty of excellent movies to see this year, featuring great diversity of subjects, directors and actors. I very much enjoyed some of the big blockbusters of 2019, among them the many Marvel offerings and rousing action-adventure stories, but none of those cracked my Top 10. Here is what did. Since I have previously reviewed all of them, I hyperlink the titles to those reviews (whether on this site or on Hammer to Nail. Enjoy!
- The Brink
- Cold Case Hammarskjöld
- Jojo Rabbit
- Los Reyes**
- Marriage Story
- The Nightingale
*Special shout-out to Us (Jordan Peele) – check out Film Festival Today writer Patrick Howard’s excellent review – as an 11thchoice. I did not get to review it (since Patrick did), but included it in my Top 10 list of fiction films over at Hammer to Nail. It is, like Parasite, a searing indictment of modern capitalism, embedded in a gripping horror-film structure.
**Though this list be in alphabetical order, Los Reyes may in fact be my absolute favorite film of the year. A documentary about two stray dogs living in the oldest skate park in Santiago, Chile, it combines stunning cinematography and evocative audio to create an indelible, life-affirming tale of the bonds of friendship. Yes, it’s the perfect movie for animal lovers, but also for anyone who appreciates profound storytelling.