Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2019. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.
Actor: Alexa Demie, Algee Smith, Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Maude Apatow, Nika King, Storm Reid, Sydney Sweeney, Zendaya
Director: Sam Levinson
Asif Kapadia, the genius of biopics who gave us Senna, is back with this documentary on an even bigger sports personality: Argentinian soccer player Diego Armando Maradona. Considered as possibly the best soccer player of all time, Maradona's footage on the pitch is pure wizardry, and you'll feel that way whether you are a soccer fan or not. But that's not the focus of this documentary. What happens outside the pitch is more interesting: from Maradona's modest beginnings to the passionate hatred (and love) that entire countries develop of him. And it doesn't make his story less interesting that during his time in Naples he was affiliated with the mafia.
This is an excellent documentary that distills 500 hours of footage into 2, giving you all you need to know about a character who captured the imagination of a big part of the world for decades.
Actor: Alberto Bigon, Ciro Ferrara, Claudia Villafane, Corrado Ferlaino, Dalma Maradona, Diego Armando Maradona, Diego Maradona, Gonzalo Bonadeo, Maria Rosa Maradona, Pele
Director: Asif Kapadia
Following a group of journalists uncovering an entire architecture of institutional corruption in Romania, Collective makes for an inspiring watch—not just because these people are pursuing a story outside their usual wheelhouse, but because their enemy really is so much greater than they can handle. Yet they continue chipping away, never once backing down from speaking truth to power. Director Alexander Nanau understandably might not have much access to the government's side, but he still manages to portray them as an ever-present, omnipotent invisible force, giving the film a thick atmosphere of dread and paranoia. But still, in the face of such overwhelming odds, the best thing to do is refuse to be scared into silence.
Actor: Tedy Ursuleanu
Director: Alexander Nanau
The highly unusual story of this documentary starts with Kevin Hearn, a member of the band Barenaked Ladies, realizing that his painting by famous Canadian Indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau is a fake. When he sues the collector he bought it from, he starts a series of inquiries that unravel a story that gets progressively darker: drug dealing, organized crime, addiction, sexual abuse, and completely crazy characters (reminiscent of Tiger King).
Behind all of that, There Are No Fakes is about the exploitation not only of Indigenous art but of Indigenous people in Canada in general.
Director: Jamie Kastner
An amazing binge-worthy show that is a mix between a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a crime thriller. It tells the story of James, a 17-year-old who believes he is a psychopath (for some very convincing reasons). James decides he wants the victim of his first murder to be a new schoolmate, Alyssa. He befriends her and keeps waiting for the perfect moment to kill Alyssa until he finds himself on a journey with her to escape her home. Somewhere near the middle of the show, and without you fully realizing it, it transforms from an original coming-of-age story or odd-boy-meets-odd-girl story to an intriguing view on adolescent insecurities and the role of parents into shaping them. It transforms from a mysterious, almost charming story to an interesting character study. This is when the show will blow your mind. It's a fresh, smart, funny yet disturbing emotional thrill ride.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Actor: Alex Lawther, Christine Bottomley, Eileen Davies, Gemma Whelan, Jayda Mitchell, Jessica Barden, Jonathan Aris, Josh Dylan, Naomi Ackie, Navin Chowdhry, Steve Oram, Wunmi Mosaku
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Actor: Efrat Dor, Giovanni Ribisi, Libe Barer, Margo Martindale, Marin Ireland, Shane McRae
Disproving the notion that American animation is only for kids, the latest project from Genndy Tartakovsky (most known for Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack) is an uncompromising action epic that puts most multimillion-dollar live-action blockbusters to shame. Though Tartakovsky has stated that Primal will continue on as an anthology series, the first two seasons tell a surprisingly character-driven story about a caveman and a mother Tyrannosaurus teaming up to survive in the prehistoric wild—with nearly zero dialogue.
It's a highly entertaining riff on the man vs. nature story that ends up creating a fleshed-out world full of monsters and magic and families destroyed by all this chaos. And this initial set-up only becomes stronger in its second season, as the warmongering nature of man becomes the real threat. It's all wrapped up in a beautiful technical package that makes a case for traditional (2-D) animation as a vital art form.
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Fantasy
Actor: Aaron LaPlante, Braulio Castillo Jr., Famke Janssen, Isaac Santiago, Jeremy Nazario, Kevin Durand, LaMonica Garrett, Michael Imperioli, Nicolas Cage, Sewell Whitney, Tommy Walker
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky, Nick Powell
Set against the backdrop of the Algerian Civil War in the 1990s, the film follows Nedjma, a young fashion student, as she navigates the challenges of pursuing her dreams while living under strict societal and religious constraints. Gripping and emotionally charged, the film paints a vivid picture of the oppressive climate and the courageous women who refuse to be silenced. The performances are outstanding, particularly Lyna Khoudri's portrayal of Nedjma, who brings a compelling blend of vulnerability and determination to her character. Director Mounia Meddour's storytelling is powerful and thought-provoking, shining a light on the resilience of women in the face of adversity and the importance of artistic expression as a form of resistance.
Actor: Aida Guechoud, Amira Hilda Douaouda, Khaled Benaissa, Lyna Khoudri, Nadia Kaci, Shirine Boutella, Yasin Houicha
Director: Mounia Meddour
Dickinson takes more than a few creative liberties in telling the story of one of America's greatest poets, Emily Dickinson (played here by the effervescent Hailee Steinfeld). As soon as the first pop song blasts in the background, followed by more than a few expletives blurted by the characters, it becomes clear that the series is more interested in making Emily's life story not just understandable to a new generation, but timeless and universal too; it's a tale about freeing oneself from the constraints of gender and society, and how regardless of whether you succeed or not, it's the attempts that keep us human.
The series is funny and tender and vivacious, kept afloat by its modern sensibility and desire to showcase a whole new side of Emily. Here, she's a fighter, a (queer) lover, and an intellectual. But she's also spoiled, narrowminded, and selfish—she is after all, still a growing girl. Dickinson succeeds on two counts: as an enlightening biopic, artistic license notwithstanding, and as an energizing coming-of-age series, complete with awkward epiphanies and inspiring character developments.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, History
Actor: Adrian Enscoe, Amanda Warren, Anna Baryshnikov, Chinaza Uche, Ella Hunt, Hailee Steinfeld, Jane Krakowski, Toby Huss
Genre: Action, Action & Adventure, Comedy
Actor: Antony Starr, Aya Cash, Colby Minifie, Dominique McElligott, Erin Moriarty, Jack Quaid, Jessie T. Usher, Karen Fukuhara, Karl Urban, Laz Alonso, Nathan Mitchell, Tomer Kapon
This documentary starts with Alex Lewis, who gets into a motorcycle accident and wakes up in the hospital not knowing who he is. He doesn’t remember anything (not even what a bicycle or a TV is, or who his mother or father are), but he remembers his twin brother, Marcus. When Alex gets back into his childhood home, he’s full of questions, and Marcus is full of answers. However, slowly, Marcus realizes his power to reshape Alex’s version of their past. Marcus leaves one important detail from Alex’s life that makes this documentary (as if it wasn’t already) such an insane story. I know I said it’s a sad movie, but it’s also fascinating and, ultimately, humanizing of the brothers’ experience.
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Mystery
Actor: Alex Lewis, Andrew Caley, Evan Milton, Kathleen Rainey, Laura Obiols, Marcus Lewis |
Director: Ed Perkins
In Motherwell, you either “get locked up or knocked up,” or so says Gemma, a teenager on the cusp of adulthood growing up in an old Scottish steel town. Gemma runs among a tight-knit group of friends, at the center of which is ordinary mischief, routine, and roughhousing. And beneath that lies a certain kind of everyday violence.
As Gemma enters young motherhood, she reckons with how to reconcile her own aggressions with the protective tenderness she feels toward her newborn. Beautifully and thoughtfully directed by Ellen Fiske and Ellinor Hallin, Scheme Birds never feels invasive. Rather, their documentary lets Gemma speak for herself—and in doing so, illuminates not just her life, but the complicated lives that intersect hers, too.
Genre: Documentary, Drama
Director: Ellen Fiske, Ellinor Hallin
This emotional and moving story is about a mother of four who is forced into homelessness in Dublin. With her husband working in a demanding restaurant job, Rosie is left to take care of the children while trying to find anything resembling accommodation. She starts by seeking the help of the city council, but every facility she calls is full or refuses to welcome them.
As a viewer, the heartbreaking reality of the situation sinks in quickly: Rosie and her husband are priced out and there are too many people in their condition. Their car doesn't fit them. But to her children, relatives, and school officials, Rosie keeps up appearances and doesn't compromise on her overwhelming child care tasks.
Actor: Clare Monnelly, Eva-Jane Gaffney, Johanna O'Brien, Killian Coyle, Lochlann O'Mearáin, Moe Dunford, Molly McCann, Natalia Kostrzewa, Pom Boyd, Sarah Greene, Toni O'Rourke
Director: Paddy Breathnach
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Drama, Kids
Actor: Abby Trott, Ayano Kinashi, Barbara Goodson, Hitoshi Honma, Issei Takubo, Kana Odaira, Kanako Nishiyama, Mai Kanazawa, Masako Matsuno, Mikako Tabe, Shigeru Sugimoto, Soki Matsumoto, Takayuki Yamada, Veronica Taylor, Yuzuha Kobayashi
Director: Masahito Kobayashi