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The Best Movies You Missed In 2019

These underseen gems are some of the best films of the year and we recommend you catch up on them before 2019 ends. Start watching now.
Rewind Best Movies You Missed
By  · Published on December 9th, 2019

15. Teen Spirit

Teen Spirit

Teen Spirit‘s coming-of-age chronicle of a young woman’s rise to fame on a British singing competition TV show is a story with familiar beats. But what distinguishes this film is its embrace of simplicity, its willingness to forgo heavy drama in favor of a sweet, slightly precious approach to its subject matter. Were it not so sincere it would feel superficial. But Max Minghella‘s directorial debut is finely in tune with Violet’s (Elle Fanning) journey, and in neon-soaked hues it beautifully follows her experience with sudden pop stardom. Teen Spirit isn’t a revolutionary film, but it’s a wonderfully pleasant experience that was overlooked this year, and as an added bonus, the soundtrack absolutely rips. (Anna Swanson)

14. Styx

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A successful doctor takes a much-needed vacation that sees her sailing the open sea all alone, but when she crosses paths with a sinking boat overflowing with refugees she’s forced to think fast and act faster. Between her doctor’s oath and human empathy, the next steps seem clear, but the real world is never so simple. Director/co-writer Wolfgang Fischer crafts a beautiful and harrowing tale of survival and moral conflict as he throws his protagonist into deep, choppy, and uncharted waters, and Susanne Wolff mesmerizes as the woman at the heart of it all. Questions of morality smash and crash against human nature and international law and all of it plays out amid an unforgiving landscape. (Rob Hunter)

13. Under The Silver Lake

Under The Silver Lake

I can promise you one thing in regards to Under The Silver Lake: love it or hate it, you won’t see another movie like it. David Robert Mitchell‘s neo-noir satire follows burnt-out conspiracy theorist Sam (Andrew Garfield) as his desire to get laid leads him down a dark path. The film is like a collective Hollywood version of Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built. It’s either a spellbinding chronicle of obsession, paranoia and a fundamentally human craving for meaning, or it’s a hollow display of male entitlement that gratuitously indulges in its own self-righteousness. Actually, scratch that — it’s probably both. The film’s release was repeatedly pushed back as it became clear that A24 had no idea how to market the film and they eventually opted to dump it into a limited run this spring. Some will surely find the movie worthless, but those who end up loving this peculiar maybe-masterpiece will be kicking themselves for not catching it earlier. (Anna Swanson)

12. The Day Shall Come

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Writer/director Chris MorrisFour Lions (2010) found big laughs in the real-world horrors of religious extremists and terrorist intents, and while it may have taken him nearly a decade he’s come close to repeating the feat with his latest. The film follows a loud and idealistic preacher in Miami who gets caught up in a sting operation designed to catch terrorists, but unfortunately for him that sometimes means they have to create the terrorist before they can arrest them. It’s a funny film at times, but the growing specter of sadness and futility enveloping it all soon extends its reach to the viewers too. Culpability is a disease, and there is no cure. (Rob Hunter)

11. Hagazussa


When selling Hagazussa to friends, family, and strangers on public transit, I tend to vomit up its would-be neighbors on a hypothetical DVD shelf: Possession, The VVitch, Mandy, Melancholia… But the truth is that there is nothing like Hagazussa; this dreamy, horned-up, stomach-churning slow-drive is a uniquely terrifying and rewarding watch. Set deep in the mountains of 15th Century Austria, Hagazussa charts the unraveling of Albrun, a reclusive single mother whose strange ways invite the cruelty of a community all too willing to push a sick mind to its breaking point. Albrun’s world is plagued by a beautiful and unsettling fuzziness; by the liminality of the real and the imagined, sanity and madness, the supernatural and the earthy. Hagazussa is slow, sensual, and if you avail yourself to its dark rhythms, utterly devastating. I’m thrilled Hagazussa has crawled out of the swamp and found itself a stateside release this year. Hagazussa is Lukas Feigelfeld’s Beyond the Black Rainbow; he’s one to watch, and this is a door-kick of a debut that is not to be missed (Meg Shields)

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Anna Swanson is a Senior Contributor who hails from Toronto. She can usually be found at the nearest rep screening of a Brian De Palma film.