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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

10. Cold Case Hammarskjöld

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A filmmaker explores the suspicious death of a UN Secretary-General back in 1961, but what should have been a simple mystery instead blossoms into something devastating for the modern world. As a thriller, this tale would be fairly ridiculous, but as a documentary, it’s upsetting, surprising, and… ridiculous. It’s also pretty damn entertaining as director Mads Brügger weaves a hard to swallow story involving African politicians, genocide, murder, and more, and while it feels ludicrous at times it also feels all too believable. Brügger is a boisterous, charismatic, and egotistical screen presence, and that combination paired with his sincere desire to find the truth her makes for supremely compelling filmmaking. (Rob Hunter)

9. The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open

The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open

Co-directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn, this understated and touching Canadian drama follows the story of two Indigenous women (Tailfeathers and newcomer Violet Nelson) whose lives intersect when they meet on the street in Vancouver. Their vastly different financial and personal circumstances illuminate the range of Indigenous experiences, refusing to allow either woman to fit into a neat box. In subtle details and beautifully delicate shared moments, the film captures their lives with care and showcases two impeccably strong performances from the two leads. The most astonishing part is that the majority of the film plays out in what appears to be one long take. The filmmaking never draws attention to itself, utilizing the long take as an invitation into the characters’ most intimate moments rather than just a directorial flourish. The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open is heartbreakingly tender and absolutely essential viewing for anyone compiling a best of the year list. (Anna Swanson)

8. Girls of the Sun

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Stories about female soldiers remain a rarity, but this film shows just how powerful and thrilling they can be. The focus follows a unit of Kurdish female fighters operating against ISIS extremists and the expectations of those around them. The women, in many cases, have sen their loved ones cut down and their country manipulated into chaos, and while they never foresaw themselves as purveyors of violence, the decision was removed from their hands by the actions of others. It’s an affecting, suspenseful, and haunting tale at times filled with acts of bravery. (Rob Hunter)

7. Domino


When I informed Rob that I intended to put Domino on our list, this was his response: “You are a madwoman. Horrible movie, but I gotta respect your commitment.” In many ways, begrudging respect is the best way to approach Brian De Palma‘s terrorist thriller. The filmmaker has disavowed the film as having been cut up without his consent, but his singular style and impulses are continually present enough it’s clear who was behind the camera during production, even if not during editing. For better or worse, De Palma’s Hitchcock homages and his obsession with voyeurism make for a fascinating take on this story of a Danish detective (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who crosses paths with the CIA while trying to track down the ISIS operative who assaulted his partner. The film boasts a couple of genuinely masterfully crafted setpieces, including a rooftop chase scene for the ages. It also has gall to spare, either making for an impressively bold accomplishment or an offensively black-and-white approach to its themes. Many took it as the latter, but those of us who can get on board with De Palma’s brand of madness (there are dozens of us!) have been treated to a film that shows us he’s still got it. (Anna Swanson)

6. Them That Follow

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Those with extreme religious views are often portrayed as outliers, but this dramatic thriller drops viewers into their midst with a story revealing doubters and non-believers as the minority. Snake handlers in America’s Appalachian Mountains are the focus as a young woman at their heart discovers her own struggle with the only life she’s ever known. The film never dismisses them outright and instead builds fully realized human beings among their rank, and as story threads intertwine the resulting narrative is one filled with depth and suspense. (Rob Hunter)

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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.