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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Twelve Stellar Movies From 2019 That You Need to Catch Up On

This year has thrown up plenty of cinema gems so far — here's what you need to see.
By Concrete Playground
July 06, 2019
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Twelve Stellar Movies From 2019 That You Need to Catch Up On

This year has thrown up plenty of cinema gems so far — here's what you need to see.
By Concrete Playground
July 06, 2019
  shares

Whether you're heading to the cinema with friends or curling up on the couch with your significant other, a night watching movies remains a fantastic source of entertainment, enjoyment and escapism. Sitting in the dark, switching your mind away from your regular worries and slipping into another world — if you're catching the right flick, few things can top it.

Cinema-wise, 2019 has thrown up plenty of films that tick all of the above boxes — and now we're just past the halfway mark, it's time to look back. Maybe you missed one of this year's hits when it was in theatres. Perhaps it's still showing and you haven't made it yet. Or, there could be a few gems that just slipped your attention. Of course, there's always the ace movies you saw, loved and want to see again.

Whichever category fits, here's 12 films from 2019 that you you need to catch up on. Head to the cinema and grab a choc top or organise your streaming queue and cook up some popcorn, as we've sorted out your viewing for the near future.

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EIGHTH GRADE

What our critic said: As effective as every narrative beat, probing shot and well-deployed blast of Enya (yes, Enya) proves, writer/director Bo Burnham's savviest move is also his most straightforward. Actually casting a teenager in a movie about a teenager is much more rare than it should be, and Eighth Grade wouldn't be the success it is without Golden Globe nominee Fisher as its star.

Read our full review.cp-line

FREE SOLO

What our critic said: As well as chronicling an awe-inspiring story, every frame of Free Solo offers a palpable, visceral reminder of life's enormous risks and immense rewards — and to the filmmakers' credit, you're all but certain to feel the impact in your constantly sweaty palms.

Read our full review.cp-line

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

What our critic said: Black lives devastated by discrimination, young lovers braving seemingly insurmountable obstacles: both tales have played out across countless pages and screens before, although not as they do so here. There's a bewitching alchemy to the combination of James Baldwin's words and Barry Jenkins' direction — never shying away from the despairing truth of the situation, but never wallowing in inescapable bleakness either.

Read our full review.cp-line

VOX LUX

What our critic said: In Vox Lux, the difficulties and complexities of success slash savagely and hack furiously, with Brady Corbet writing and directing a blunt yet brilliant onslaught of a movie. As he did in The Childhood of a Leader, the actor-turned-filmmaker relentlessly charts the ascension of an influential fictional figure who owes their rise to struggle and trauma.

Read our full review.

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DESTROYER

What our critic said: Conflicted cop Erin Bell could walk alongside any of noir's dogged investigators and hold her own. Stepping into the character's shoes, Nicole Kidman could do the same among any of the genre's best stars. Destroyer lives and breathes through its complicated protagonist and phenomenal lead performance, with each putting on a stunning show.

Read our full review.

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US

What our critic said: Us is a creeper in multiple senses of the word. It's disquieting from the outset (even more so when it spends its opening credits staring at caged rabbits), but Jordan Peele knows how to let that unease fester and grow. While the 'master of suspense' label was bestowed decades ago, the comedian-turned-filmmaker is just as devastating at cultivating distress as Hitchcock or any other iconic horror or thriller director.

Read our full review.

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BURNING

What our critic said: A ruminative mystery, a fine-tuned character study and an intricately observed examination of human relationships all at once, one of the joys of Burning is its wholesale aversion to simplicity. Here, as in reality, nothing is straightforward. Indeed, Lee Chang-dong takes life's enigmas and puzzles, thrusts them into view and forces the audience to ponder along with him.

Read our full review.

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AVENGERS: ENDGAME

What our critic said: There's very little that's simple about this picture, marking as it does the extraordinary culmination of several dozen intricate and intertwined story arcs that extend all the way back to 2008... Where Infinity War was all bombast, Endgame offers reserve. Where Infinity War wrought intergalactic devastation and destruction, Endgame delivers intimacy and an examination of grief, loss and very private regret.

Read our full review.

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LONG SHOT

What our critic said: After a five-year stretch that's included Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde and Tully, Long Shot is the latest example of its star's chameleonic talents — a political rom-com that's as irreverent (and often inappropriate) as you'd expect of a flick that also features Seth Rogen, and genuinely heartfelt and hilarious as well. Charlize Theron, romantic-comedy standout? You'd better believe it.

Read our full review.

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JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 — PARABELLUM

What our critic said: Cinematic beauty comes in many forms, and the John Wick franchise perfects one of them. The term 'balletic' couldn't better describe the series' hypnotic action sequences, with its array of frenetic fights and carnage-dripping set pieces all meticulously choreographed like complex dance routines. In fact, when ballerinas actually pirouette across the screen in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, they seem bland in comparison.

Read our full review.

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HIGH LIFE

What our critic said: While shooting into the stratosphere to ponder what it all means has become a genre of its own, High Life proudly stands in its own space boots. Perhaps that's why both the film and Robert Pattinson seem like such a perfect fit, and why the final product both soars high and burrows deep: you won't catch either meekly treading where everyone else has before.

Read our full review.

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PARASITE

What our critic said: Parasite proves exceptional in every single frame and detail that it flicks onto the screen... Internationally renowned and beloved as the auteur behind The Host, Snowpiercer and Okja, Bong Joon-ho has crafted a bleak, twisty blend of black tragi-comedy, pulsating thrills and socially relevant horror — a movie that's such a phenomenal example of all that cinema can and should be that you'll want to high-five the filmmaker after watching it.

Read our full review.

 

Published on July 06, 2019 by Concrete Playground

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