My Top 10 List Is An Uncut Gem


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By Paul Hall

The year 2019 has passed and thus it is time to recap the year that was, and remember some of its best films.
The year was filled with tears and laughs. Adam Sandler had an award-worthy dramatic role, and Netflix released some of the best films of the year. There were flops and hits at the box office, no surprise there.

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We said goodbye to Star Wars, part of our lives since 1977, with a ninth chapter. The Avengers reached Endgame and Spider-Man was Far From Home. It got a second chapter, John Wick a third and Toy Story a fourth, all while Hobbs & Shaw spun off from the Fast & Furious franchise to a movie of their own.

But film critic law requires an end-of-the-year list, so let’s give out some honorable mentions and name a Top 10.
Honorable mentions for the year include:
Documentaries — Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable, The Brink, Citizen K, Hail Satan?
Animated Offerings — Abominable, Frozen II, Missing Link, Toy Story 4
Plus — A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Bombshell, Booksmart, Captain Marvel, Downton Abbey, Happy Death Day 2U, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Parasite, Richard Jewell, The Two Popes

All great titles, but I had to narrow it down. Here are my 10 favorites of the year.
10. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood — Tarantino is a master and he shows off his attention to detail in this labor of love.
9. Knives Out — Love the use of a huge cast in crafting this fun whodunit from director Rian Johnson.
8. Avengers: Endgame — An almost perfect conclusion to this part of the franchise, it stuck with me all year.
7. The Biggest Little Farm — My favorite documentary of the year is poignant and relevant; it’s a complete and encompassing film. Try it, please!
6. Joker — Less a movie about a comic book character and more about a man’s descent into madness.
5. 1917 — One of the most amazingly filmed movies in years, this World War I narrative’s intensity is fierce and focused.
4. Ford v Ferrari — I really loved this film. Not just a racing movie, it’s also about friends, rivals, corporate politics and so much more.
3. Marriage Story — Look, this ripped my heart out. Love and conflict amid a separation in a film that probably has more truth than most on the topic. Incredible actors bring this story to life and make it special.
2. Uncut Gems — Adam Sandler is amazing; the film is really hard to watch and never gets easier, but I couldn’t turn away.
1. The Irishman — Yes, I love Martin Scorsese. This has brilliant portrayals from Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, among others. Although it’s a touch long, I found myself enjoying the extra time absorbing all that the magical Scorsese puts onscreen.


The Informer
Not Rated
Stars: Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Common, Ana de Armas, Clive Owen
Director: Andrea Di Stefano
Recruited by the FBI, an ex-con and former special-ops soldier’s life is on the line when he’s forced to try to take down the most powerful crime boss in New York.

Inherit the Viper
Rated R
Stars: Josh Hartnett, Margarita Levieva, Owen Teague, Bruce Dern, Chandler Riggs
Director: Anthony Jerjen
Dealing opioids is a way of survival for siblings Kip and Josie; however, when a deal goes fatally wrong, their paths lead to violence, betrayal and heartache.

Just Mercy
Rated PG-13
Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Based on a true story, this powerful legal drama follows Harvard grad Bryan Stevenson, who heads to Alabama to defend the wrongly convicted. His first case is that of Walter McMillian, whose 1987 death sentence he tries tirelessly to overturn amid racism and corruption.

Like a Boss
Rated R
Stars: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek, Jennifer Coolidge, Billy Porter
Director: Miquel Arteta
This raucous, girl-power comedy finds best friends Mia and Mel’s friendship and business, a homegrown cosmetics company, threatened when a titan in the industry looks to buy them out.

Rated R
Stars: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Colin Firth
Director: Sam Mendes
This emotional, race-against-time World War I drama finds two British soldiers on a seemingly impossible mission — crossing enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save hundreds of their comrades, including the brother of one of the soldiers.

Three Christs
Rated R
Stars: Richard Gere, Peter Dinklage, Walton Goggins, Bradley Whitford, Julianna Margulies
Director: Jon Avnet
In 1959, Dr. Alan Stone leaves teaching to begin an ambitious psychological study of three delusional patients who each believe they are Jesus Christ. Based on Milton Rokeach’s research and book, this account is one of risk, hope and compassion.

Rated PG-13
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick
Director: William Eubank
A team of researchers is 5,000 miles from land and seven miles underwater when an earthquake devastates their lab and forces them out of their confines into the ocean’s dark depths on a horrifying quest for survival.

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