We are closing in on the end of the year and I have clocked in a little over 150 movies this year (and counting) and I am going to bring you my top 10 favorite movies of the year.
Honorable mentions: Us. JoJo Rabbit. Luce. I Lost My Body. Peanut Butter Falcon. Knives Out.
- 10. Ford v Ferrari
Matt Damon was the MVP of this film, he was Carol Shelby and as you watched Shelby grow, you watched Damon grow as well. The chemistry between him and Bale is another reason why this film worked.
I am extremely upset with the lack of Caitriona Balfe love this award season, she was the heart of this film and it showed on several occasions where she helps propel Ken Miles and his journey.
From the opening race to the final lap this movie is jam packed with energy and adrenaline. Mangold is a genius.
Check out my full review here: https://thesportsscript.com/2019/11/21/the-valero-verdict-ford-v-ferrari/
- 9. Dolemite Is My Name
Dolemite is equal parts funny as it is inspiring, telling a story of a man who doesn’t let society hold him back, instead he bets on himself and it pays off.
Eddie Murphy oozes charisma and swag as Rudy Ray Moore. Murphy looked like that Murphy that we all fell in love with. He looked like he had as much time as we did watching this film.
The rest of the cast is so much fun including a nice introduction to the start of the future Da’Vine Joy Randolph.
Dolemite is the funniest movie of the year and this movie has MASSIVE replay value (I’ve watched it 8 times already)
Check out my review here: https://letterboxd.com/rickyvalero/film/dolemite-is-my-name/
- 8. Queen & Slim
Queen & Slim is a mesmerizing thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
Turner-Smith and Kaluuya are stars. They share an impeccable chemistry together that truly makes this film work on so many different levels.
Melina Matsoukas directing in this is the true star of the film. She puts the pieces together so well that you feel every single emotion from the beginning of the film to the end of it. I truly can’t wait to see what she does next.
Check out my review here: https://letterboxd.com/rickyvalero/film/queen-slim/
- 7. Avengers: Endgame
The scene above in which the picture came from is one of the best cinematic experiences of my life. This scene made me want to jump out of my chair and not only cheer but fight along side these guys.
This movie was the culmination of 22 other films and it was a beautifully crafted end to an amazing journey.
Check out my full review here: https://thesportsscript.com/2019/04/26/the-valero-verdict-avengers-endgame/
- 6. 1917
This movie doesn’t work without the captivating performance from George MacKay. His performance as Schofield is one of the years best. His performance was one of which we are going to look back 10 years from now and ask ourselves “why wasn’t he nominated for an Oscar”.
Sam Mendes is genius. From the opening scene to the closing credits I was on the edge of my seat and I am not sure I even breathed for the entire movie.
Not sure you’ll ever see a better use of sound, cinematography and directing in a movie.
Check out my full review here: https://musiccitydrivein.com/2019/12/05/the-valero-verdict-1917/
- 5. Joker
This was the most beautifully haunting film of the year.
Hildur Guðnadóttir score was poetic, powerful and haunting, just like the film. It’s not just the best score of the year, it’s one of the best of the decade.
Joaquin Phoenix was masterful in this role which he should be on his way to collect his overdue Oscar in February for his work in this film.
Check out my full review here: https://thesportsscript.com/2019/10/05/the-valero-verdict-joker/
- 4. Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood
I recently re-watched this movie and found such a new appreciation for the art that was this film. Tarantino and I have a love/hate relationship as I am not as big of fan of his as most but he truly outdid himself in this film. His screenplay is one of the years best.
Brad Pitt was the MVP of this film. He turned in one of the best performances of anyone this year and was an absolute delight to watch in this movie. He went toe to toe with Leo and not only held his own but stole the show.
The rest of this cast was strong from DiCaprio to Qualley to Butters to Robbie, the list goes on and on.
You can see my full review of the film here: https://thesportsscript.com/2019/07/27/the-valero-verdict-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood/ and also a fun review I did here: https://thesportsscript.com/2019/10/15/thinking-out-loud-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood/ and my most recent one on Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/rickyvalero/film/once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood/1/
- 3. Marriage Story
We all love the idea of two people falling in love and we love watching it on the big screen but the idea of two people falling out of love in a violent and brutal way is not an easy watch but it’s reality.
Driver/Johansson go toe to toe in one of the best scenes of the year. Its a non-stop emotional roller coaster ride that you wanted to get off but couldn’t help but stay on.
Marriage Story had some of the best acting in any movie this year, I have said from the moment I saw it, that it is the most complete film I have seen in 2019.
Check out my review here: https://musiccitydrivein.com/2019/12/06/the-valero-verdict-marriage-story/
- 2. Honey Boy
I have watched this movie 3 times now and it is the one movie this year that has gotten better with each viewing. Shia LaBeouf’s screenplay ripped me into 1,000 pieces and I wasn’t even mad about it.
This is one of the best ensemble cast of the year that is not getting attention.
This is one of the most powerful movies of the year. It shows us that every mistake is redeemable, we can overcome our troubled up-bringing and we can control our OWN destiny and not live within the scars.
Check out my full review here: https://musiccitydrivein.com/2019/12/10/thevaleroverdict-honeyboy/
The hype surrounding this movie was a bit worrisome for me as times I am let down from these types of movie. I couldn’t have been happier to be wrong.
Parasite is not only one of the best movies of the year, it is one of the best of the decade. The entire cast was phenomenal.
It was a dark, intense, funny thriller that was just a joy to watch. I am not sure I have truly experience what I did when watching a film. The twist and turns within the film left you guessing but when they happened, it left you in awe. Joon-Ho screenplay was masterful.
Check out my full review here: https://thesportsscript.com/2019/10/29/the-valero-verdict-parasite/
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