Based on the 2014 film of the same title, this mockumentary series manages the difficult, Seinfeld-ean task of being about nothing in particular and still being funny. Sure, the show's episodes usually revolve around its core cast of vampires' unfamiliarity with the real world, but the stakes are low—no pun intended—and the character relationships get to develop at a relaxed pace. Even when new monsters or more fearsome vampires are introduced, the show never loses its absurd, goofy tone. And from insecure Nandor and feisty Nadja, to exasperated Guillermo, monotone Colin, and sassy Laszlo, What We Do in the Shadows boasts one of the most robust ensemble of bumbling protagonists on TV today.
Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2019. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.
Wellington Paranormal is a wry and highly entertaining mockumentary series that follows a special force unit and their adventures in quelling paranormal activity. Taika Waititi executive produces this cross-genre sitcom, which serves as a spin-off to Waititi’s cult classic What We Do in the Shadows.
While the film focuses on the creatures, Wellington Paranormal is decidedly about Officers Minogue and O'Leary and the hijinks that ensue as they encounter all sorts of supernatural beings, from vampires and werewolves to sea monsters and demons. The show is simple but deadpan funny: a chillingly breezy way to spend your binge time.
This six-part BBC crime drama is about two detectives who try to solve cold murder cases. In the first season, they try to solve the murder of a young man from the 70s who left a diary full of seemingly unconnected names.
Like most BBC mysteries, it’s grounded, believable, and consistent. Still, the second and third seasons of Unforgotten are better than the first, offering a reward for sticking with the show.
An eccentric billionaire. A freakishly strong character who is ashamed of his strength. A Captain America-esque leader. An old mentor in the form of a wise talking monkey. You guessed it; The Umbrella Academy is about superheroes.
One fateful day in 1989 many women across the globe give birth at the same time, but at the start of that day, none of them were pregnant. The eccentric billionaire adopts a number of these children to form The Umbrella Academy, a collective similar to X-Men or The Avengers. Except, because they are all kind of related, this show is about their family dynamic as much as it is about their superpowers.
The Umbrella Academy is an entertaining story of superheroes that is rarely original but always enjoyable. Ellen Page plays one of the kids (the black sheep of the family who has no superpowers), and she’s a joy to watch.
And substantial bonus: Mary J. Blige (!) plays a hitman.
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe are the only two actors starring in this eccentric movie, and they deliver such grand performances that it feels like another actor would have been one too many.
They star as lighthouse keepers in the 19th century, left on an island to interact only with each other and their rock. It's a fascinating premise of how these men, left on their own, deal with boredom, loneliness, and being annoyed with one another.
Incredible performances, an interesting aspect ratio, and perhaps excessive weirdness, make this movie unforgettable.
This comedy-drama is about a British family that moves from England to Corfu, Greece, in hopes of a better life.
At first the cultural shocks and mishaps are hilarious, but The Durells quickly becomes a heartfelt drama centered around the mother, who has to push through a lack of money, new responsibilities and a sense of loneliness on top of the cultural adjustment.
You may have heard about this 2019 critic-favorite from clips like this one of a kid running to flee the movie theater during a screening. “little billy ran the f**k out the door”, the caption reads.
You will want to do the same. Recovering from losing her sister and her parents in a single incident, a young girl goes on a trip to Sweden to observe a ritual within a bizarre commune that occurs every 90 years. This cult’s idea of death and their traditions intersect with the girl’s grief to create unthinkable monstrosities.
Note: while some readers praise the movie for its depiction of anxiety, I highly recommend against watching Midsommar if you suffer from panic attacks.
Unlike other adaptations of young adult novels that get caught up in overly romanticized teenage angst, the eight-episode Hulu version of John Green's Looking for Alaska is far more self-aware about its own precocious characters. Because no matter how much earnest faux-wisdom they spout, all their intelligence still hits a brick wall when faced with unanswerable questions of grief, guilt, and what it means to truly love another person. It's as funny as it is devastating, with genuinely moving emotional payoffs that are more than worth the wait, thanks to a uniformly brilliant cast that includes Charlie Plummer, Kristine Froseth, and Denny Love.
This Oscar-nominated French movie is set in Montfermeil, the Paris suburb where Victor Hugo wrote Les Misérables but which today is a rough neighborhood.
Inspired by instances of police violence that happened in 2008, the movie follows a squad of police officers who try to keep the neighborhood under control. Their methods, or lack thereof, inevitably cause things to explode. This is a thriller with a message, one which sometimes feels forced; but the payoff at the end will make you forget all of that.
Hanna the movie was the perfect mix between a coming-of-age story and a Bourne-Trilogy-type thriller. It was suspenseful, edgy, and so original.
How to make these attributes stick when the movie is stretched to a TV show? As it turns out, more of the same does the trick.
The majority of events have been imagined especially for the show, and it doesn’t stop there. The series is packed with great new talent who bring their uniqueness to the story. Hanna herself is played masterfully by British actress Esme Creed-Miles. Her father - much more present in the show than the movie - is also amazingly played by Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman (you may recognize him from House of Cards or The Killing).
High production value and incredible suspense make Hanna an enjoyable and prolonged thrill ride. It’s even more fun if you’ve never watched the movie, as all plot developments will be new to you.
This is an thrilling BBC/Netflix show and a Yakuza drama that takes place between Tokyo and London. About half of the dialogue is in Japanese and the other half is in English.
Yakuza families are no longer at peace when a boss’s nephew is assassinated in London. Trying to bring the culprit in without interference from the British police, a Tokyo detective is sent to the UK to try to find him.
There is an undeniable appeal to seeing the world of yakuza unfold, but the show’s title, which translates to Duty/Shame is a reference to the detective’s own personal conflict: the suspected murderer he’s looking for is his brother. Ouu.
This Mexican movie set between Queens, New York, and Monterrey, Mexico is a stunning and profound work of art.
Ulises is the leader of a street dancing group that loves Cumbia, an Afro-Colombian style of music. Dancing is an alternative to being sucked in into gang life, which Ulises and his bandmates have ties to.
Ulises is good, and his town starts noticing. But just when his community is flourishing and his dancing is becoming famous, a wrong-time/wrong-place situation has a gang force him to leave everything behind and immigrate to the U.S. He suddenly finds himself lonely and living a life of undocumented existence.
But that is not the progression of I’m no Longer Here, which intertwines scenes of Ulises thriving in Monterrey and alone in New York. The difference is stark and depressing, but the camerawork and great performances are a constant source of cinematic brilliance.
TV nerds know that Orange is the New Black, as much as it’s hailed in the U.S. for being 'crazy’, doesn’t deserve that title. It’s only a mellow take on the women prison genre that was perfected outside the States. The Australian show Wentworth is one example and Vis a Vis (or Locked Up) is another. The show starts with an inmate being boiled alive.
Macarena Ferreiro is set up by her boss/lover and ends up in prison for tax crimes. First naive and used to luxury, she has to adapt to harsh prison conditions, and harsher inmates. On the outside, her parents try to secure a large sum to pay her bail.