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The 50 Best Movies of 2019

There were more than 900 movies released in theaters in 2019. Even more went directly to streaming platforms. These are the 50 best, according to the Film School Rejects team.
Best Movies of 2019
By  · Published on December 31st, 2019

45. Her Smell

Her Smell

Any film this irritating deserves immense recognition in the sense that it imposes such commanding anxiety, it feels as if you’re being crushed from the inside out. How many films hijack your attention, your worries, your fears, and your psyche as pointedly as Her Smell? Elisabeth Moss is unbelievable as Becky Something, a tyrannical, sour, spoiled, and cruel pop-punk band leader. She spends most of the film backstage on a blended bender, a primal tear fueled by jealousy, rage, a central fear of insignificance, and an exotic cocktail of pills and powders. Alex Ross Perry’s underappreciated character portrait is hellish, unflinchingly disturbing (Becky drops a baby), and totally transfixing. It’s more like social horror than drama, plus it’s packed with the pacing of a taut thriller. Whether you love it or never want to see it again, you’ll remember the ballad of Becky Something. (Luke Hicks) (Luke Hicks)

44. Avengers: Endgame

Avengers Endgame

Part of the journey is the end. Although we know there will be more movies. Like all universes, the MCU is forever expanding, i.e., terrifyingly infinite. Still, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers bow out of the game, and their exit is an incredibly satisfying one. For all their grand adventures and cosmic abilities, the Avengers are a team of doubt-filled egos who struggled through their victories in a constant flux of denying and recognizing their intrinsically human faults. As Frigga explains to Thor when he returns to the Asgard of before, “Everyone fails,” but that does not make you any less worthy. Own your failures, but do not fall to them. We love to see Thanos and his horde take a beating, but the true pleasure of Endgame is witnessing Tony Stark finally place his life secondary to all others, and Steve Rogers thanking Iron Man for his sacrifice by finally allowing his life outside of the team thrive. He’s earned it, but also, he knows there are a dozen other herculean heroes to fill his space on the roster. He’s good. We’re good. (Brad Gullickson)

43. Shazam


The DC Extended Universe has been on a roll lately, and Shazam! was further confirmation that the studio is capable of making great movies when it does its own thing, as opposed to trying to quickly establish a shared universe in an effort to replicate the Marvel formula. Shazam! was always going to be a risky bet, though. The superhero is one of DC’s longest-serving denizens, but he isn’t exactly a bankable name like Superman and Batman are. Shazam! is weird, goofy, and fun, and bringing that tone to the screen was always going to be a challenge. Fortunately, DC knocked it out of the park and made a movie that contains a perfect mix of heart, humor, horror, and action. The film also feels stripped back compared to other superhero blockbusters, with action sequences taking place in theme parks, instead of resorting to exploring the globe or the cosmos. This is a movie that kids will grow up loving, as Billy Batson is a hero they’ll identify with. (Kieran Fisher)

42. Dolemite is My Name


Much like Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander’s other biopic Ed Wood, it’s difficult to watch Dolemite Is My Name without wanting to immediately revisit Rudy Ray Moore’s complete filmography. But here’s the thing, unlike Ed Wood, Rudy Ray Moore’s films are actually good. Anchored by career-best performances from its ensemble, namely Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes, the film hits every emotional beat you want in a biopic without becoming trite or overly sentimental. Dolemite Is My Name is a genuine, sidesplitting comedy and the perfect springboard to introduce yourself to the blaxploitation legends wild as fuck oeuvre. As the man himself would say, put your weight on it! (Jacob Trussell)

41. The Peanut Butter Falcon

Pbf Tif

Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz’s modern retelling of Huckleberry Finn is one of 2019’s most feel-good movies. In addition to boasting a wonderful story about a man with Down Syndrome who sets out to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler, the film features a breakout performance from Zack Gottsagen, an actor who has the same condition in real-life. The part was written specifically for him, and the filmmakers refused to buck to the demands of potential backers who wanted to cast a safer bet. Gottsagen knocks it out of the park too, and he has a very promising future in movies ahead of him. From the film’s narrative to the story of its leading star, everything about The Peanut Butter Falcon is inspirational. (Kieran Fisher)

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