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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

2019’s films ranked

This ranking includes only new theatrical releases viewed for the awards year of 2019 (for eligibility for the Academy Awards and the OFCS and AWFJ awards); some films released in the UK without US releases (and so ineligible for those awards this year) may also be included, for my own bookkeeping purposes. Links go to my review. Numbers after each entry are Date First Viewed/US Release Date/UK Release Date; year is 2019 unless otherwise noted.

Ranking still ongoing!


Though this ranking is now free for all readers to peruse, Patreon supporters have been privy to it all year long — thank you, you lovely people! Become a Patreon patron now at any level to enjoy access to 2020’s ranking.


other yearly rankings:
2020
2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003


green light
worth paying multiplex prices for

[5 stars]
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (10.12/11.22/01.31.20)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (10.08/12.06/02.28.20)
The Nightingale (05.29/08.02/11.29)
Jojo Rabbit (10.05/10.18/01.01.20)
Knives Out (10.09/11.27/11.27)
Mary Magdalene (03.05.18/04.12/03.16.18)
Little Women (12.11/12.25/12.26)
The Chambermaid (La Camarista) (11.04.18/06.26/07.26)
Jellyfish (02.15/TBA/02.15)
Woman at War (09.28/03.01/05.03)
Greener Grass (06.02/10.18/11.22)
Parasite (12.19/10.11/02.07.20)
After the Wedding (05.29/08.09/11.01)
For Sama (07.21/07.26/09.13)
The Cave (11.13/10.18/12.06)
Us (03.18/03.22/03.22)
Hustlers (09.09/09.13/09.13)
Sorry We Missed You (11.02/03.04.20/11.01)
Hala (11.23/11.22/TBA)
Marriage Story (10.06/11.06/11.15)
Captain Marvel (03.08/03.08/03.08)
Apollo 11 (05.28/03.01/06.28)
Booksmart (05.17/05.24/05.27)
The Farewell (05.28/07.12/09.20)
Wild Rose (09.12.18/05.10/04.19)
Rocketman (05.22/05.31/05.22)
Luce (08.14/08.02/11.08)
Atlantics (11.09/11.15/11.29)
Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts 2019 (91st Academy Awards) (02.01/02.08/direct to VOD)

[4.5 stars]
Rafiki (10.13.18/04.19/04.12)
Wild Nights with Emily (04.12/04.12/direct to VOD)
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (04.13/04.19/01.17.20)
1917 (01.10.17/12.25/01.10.17)
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (09.28/09.25/TBA)
Doctor Sleep (10.31/11.08/10.31)
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (09.10/10.25/11.01)
Harriet (10.13/11.01/11.22)
Maiden (06.22/06.28/03.08)
Honeyland (07.25/07.26/09.13)
Clemency (09.19/12.27/TBA)
An Impossible Love (01.04/TBA/01.04)
3 Faces (Se rokh) (03.02/03.08/03.29)
Tigers Are Not Afraid (08.31/08.21/TBA)
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (04.27/05.10/05.10)
Voices of the Sea (01.09/TBA/01.11)
Blowin’ Up (03.31/04.05/TBA)
Farming (08.27/TBA/10.11)
One Child Nation (08.10/08.09/09.27)
Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise (04.20/04.05/direct to VOD)
The Brink (03.16/03.29/07.12)
The Report (09.27/11.15/11.15)
Gloria Bell (05.21/03.08/06.07)
Who Will Write Our History (02.02/01.18/direct to VOD)
Communion (Komunia) (01.12/01.04/TBA)
The Fight (03.14/TBA/03.15)
Long Shot (04.18/05.03/05.03)

[4 stars]
The Laundromat (09.11/09.27/09.27)
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (05.15/05.17/05.15)
Avengers: Endgame (04.25/04.26/04.25)
Spider-Man: Far from Home (07.03/07.02/07.02)
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (01.30/02.08/02.08)
Stuck (09.15.17/04.19/TBA)
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (09.15/01.10.20/10.18)
Official Secrets (08.30/08.30/10.18)
Arctic (09.27.18/02.01/TBA)
All Is True (01.28/05.10/02.08)
Ordinary Love (12.03/02.14.20/12.06)
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (12.15/12.13/TBA)
Last Breath (03.11/TBA/04.05)
My Days of Mercy (05.17/07.05/05.17)
Daughter of Mine (02.09/02.01/TBA)
The Last Tree (06.01/06.26.20/09.27)
What Is Democracy? (11.05/11.16/TBA)
Of Love & Law (02.26/TBA/03.01)
Children of the Snow Land (02.27/TBA/03.14)
Hail Satan? (03.28/04.17/08.23)
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (06.08/06.21/03.06.20)
Shooting the Mafia (11.16/11.22/11.29)
Edie (05.01.18/09.06/05.25.18)
Late Night (05.29/06.07/06.07)
Mrs Lowry & Son (08.05/11.01/08.30)
Phoenix (Føniks) (09.09/TBA/09.13)
Citizen K (02.05.20/11.22/12.13)
2040 (06.04.20/06.05.20/11.15)
Blinded by the Light (08.05/08.16/08.09)
The Current War (06.21/10.25/07.26)
Fighting with My Family (02.07/02.14/02.27)
Nervous Translation (04.05/TBA/04.14)
Ask Dr. Ruth (05.18/05.03/direct to DVD)
XY Chelsea (05.22/direct to cable/05.24)
Free Trip to Egypt (06.11/05.31/TBA)

[3.5 stars]
Armstrong (06.12/07.12/07.12)
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (10.02/11.15/TBA)
Le Mans ’66 (aka Ford v Ferrari) (11.07/11.15/11.15)
Daniel Isn’t Real (02.03.20/12.06/02.07.20)
Toy Story 4 (06.17/06.21/06.21)
Wine Country (05.11/05.08/direct to Netflix)
The Wind (04.02/04.05/direct to VOD)
Animals (05.31/TBA/08.02)
Good Boys (08.06/08.16/08.16)
Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth (11.03/direct to VOD/08.30)
#Female Pleasure (10.12/10.18/TBA)
Endzeit (Ever After) (06.21/06.21/TBA)
Roll Red Roll (03.09/03.22/TBA)
Honey Boy (11.02/11.08/12.06)
To Kid or Not to Kid (06.16.20/11.15/direct to VOD)
Dark Waters (12.06/11.22/02.28.20)
The Cat Rescuers (08.28/07.05/direct to VOD)
Ask for Jane (05.26/05.17/TBA)
A Breath Away (aka Hold Your Breath) (01.31/02.01/direct to VOD)
The Flood (04.30.20/05.01.20/06.21)
J.T. Leroy (04.28/04.26/08.12)
Always Be My Maybe (06.01/05.29/direct to Netflix)
Zombieland: Double Tap (10.16/10.18/10.18)
Corporate Animals (05.28/09.20/direct to VOD)
Saint Judy (02.23/03.01/TBA)
Working Woman (03.23/03.29/TBA)
Just Mercy (10.03/12.25/01.17.20)
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts 2019 (91st Academy Awards) (02.01/02.08/direct to VOD)
Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts 2019 (91st Academy Awards) (02.01/02.08/direct to VOD)
Trial by Fire (05.16/05.17/direct to VOD)

yellow for maybe
worth seeing, but wait for DVD, unless your favorite actor is in it

[3 stars]
Last Christmas (11.06/11.08/11.15)
Ophelia (06.27/06.28/11.22)
Gwen (07.18/08.16/07.19)
The Death of Dick Long (05.29/09.27/TBA)
Charlie’s Angels (11.29/11.15/11.29)
Bombshell (01.17.20/12.13/01.17.20)
Little Monsters (09.17/10.08/11.15)
The Sweet Requiem (07.10/07.12/TBA)
Sword of Trust (07.06/07.12/TBA)
Family (04.18/04.19/direct to VOD)
Dora and the Lost City of Gold (08.04/08.09/08.16)
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (07.10/07.12/direct to VOD)
Monos (10.02/09.13/10.25)
Brian Banks (07.29/08.09/direct to VOD)
Downton Abbey (09.13/09.20/09.13)
The Elephant Queen (10.30/10.18/10.18)
Five Feet Apart (03.10/03.15/03.22)
A Dog’s Journey (05.06/05.17/05.03)
Body at Brighton Rock (04.26/04.26/TBA)
Abominable (10.06/09.27/10.11)
Kursk: The Last Mission (aka The Command) (07.01/06.21/07.12)
The Spy Behind Home Plate (07.10/05.24/TBA)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (08.08/08.09/08.23)

[2.5 stars]
Judy & Punch (09.19/06.05.20/11.15)
Little Joe (10.01/12.06/02.21.20)
Seberg (10.05/12.13/01.10.20)
The Aeronauts (11.09/12.06/11.04)
American Woman (09.17/06.14/10.11)
The Two Popes (11.05/11.27/11.29)
Good Posture (10.04/direct to VOD/10.04)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (01.20/02.01/02.22)
The Dead Don’t Die (07.08/06.14/07.12)
Frozen II (11.26/11.22/11.22)
Paradise Hills (10.26/10.25/TBA)
The Good Liar (11.05/11.15/11.08)
Terminator: Dark Fate (10.29/11.01/10.23)
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (05.19/06.07/05.24)
Sometimes Always Never (06.03/06.12.20/06.14)
Miss Arizona (07.09/07.12/direct to VOD)
Yesterday (06.10/06.28/06.28)
Red Joan (02.14/04.19/04.19)
Girls of the Sun (04.06/04.12/TBA)
The Operative (08.02/08.03/direct to VOD)
Shazam! (03.20/04.05/04.05)
Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (02.26/02.08/03.08)
The White Crow (10.18.18/04.26/03.22)
Charlie Says (05.02/05.10/direct to DVD)
Photograph (06.20/05.17/08.02)
Shadow (09.24.18/05.03/TBA)
The Public (04.03/04.05/02.21.20)
Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (02.28/02.13/05.17)
Papi Chulo (06.09/06.07/06.07)
An Acceptable Loss (01.17/01.18/direct to VOD)
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot (02.10/02.08/TBA)
Above the Shadows (07.10/07.19/direct to VOD)

red for no
give it a miss

[2 stars]
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (12.19/12.20/12.19)
The Day Shall Come (09.28/09.27/10.11)
Uncut Gems (10.10/12.13/01.10.20)
William (04.13/04.12/TBA)
Black Christmas (12.12/12.13/12.12)
Vita & Virginia (07.05/08.23/07.05)
Ad Astra (09.18/09.20/09.18)
The Lighthouse (10.04/10.18/01.31.20)
After Class (12.05/12.06/TBA)
Hotel Mumbai (09.26/03.22/09.27)
Tolkien (05.04/05.10/05.03)
Pond Life (04.08/TBA/04.26)
Pet Sematary (03.21/04.05/04.04)
The Aftermath (02.26/03.15/03.01)
Rust Creek (01.26/01.04/TBA)
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (06.05/06.07/06.05)
King of Thieves (08.31.18/01.25/09.14.18)
Out of Blue (10.12/03.22/03.29)
Little (04.09/04.12/04.12)
The Informer (08.19/01.10.20/08.30)
Hampstead (08.01/06.14.19/06.23)
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (08.01/08.02/08.01)
Aladdin (05.16/05.24/05.22)
Dumbo (03.25/03.29/03.29)
What Men Want (03.07/02.08/03.15)

[1.5 stars]
Waves (10.02/11.15/01.17.20)
The Angry Birds Movie 2 (08.03/08.14/08.02)
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (07.26/07.26/08.14)
The Crossing (Guo Chun Tian) (03.14/03.15/03.22)
In Fabric (06.04/12.06/06.28)
The Souvenir (08.22/05.17/08.30)
Jumanji: The Next Level (12.03/12.13/12.11)
Missing Link (03.30/04.12/04.05)
Men in Black: International (06.14/06.14/06.14)
It: Chapter Two (09.02/09.06/09.06)
Richard Jewell (12.09/12.13/01.31.20)
Joker (09.30/10.04/10.04)
Angel Has Fallen (08.25/08.23/08.21)
White Chamber (03.29/03.29/direct to VOD)
Teen Spirit (06.06/04.12/TBA)
The Whistleblower (12.04/12.06/12.06)

[1 star]
High Life (05.02/04.05/05.10)
Starfish (06.01/03.15/direct to VOD)
Greta (04.10/03.01/04.18)
Radioflash (11.20/11.15/TBA)
Lords of Chaos (03.12/02.08/03.29)
Berlin, I Love You (02.13/02.08/TBA)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (05.28/05.31/05.29)
21 Bridges (11.20/11.22/11.22)
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (10.14/10.18/10.18)
Peterloo (10.29.18/04.05/11.02.18)
Glass (01.16/01.18/01.18)
Tell It to the Bees (05.04/05.03/07.19)
Nina (01.24/direct to VOD/01.25)
Riot Girls (09.21/09.13/TBA)
Angel of Mine (09.07/08.30/TBA)
The Curse of La Llorona (04.24/04.19/05.03)
Annabelle Comes Home (07.02/06.26/07.10)
Ma (05.28/05.31/05.31)
Midway (11.05/11.08/11.08)
Slaughterhouse Rulez (10.29.18/05.17/10.31.18)
The Unseen (aka Amaurosis) (12.14.17/05.17/12.15.17)
Midsommar (07.01/07.03/07.03)
The Lion King (07.19/07.19/07.19)
Dilili in Paris (10.04/10.04/TBA)

[.5 stars]
Girl (02.19/direct to Netflix/03.15)
Brightburn (06.19/05.24/06.19)

[0 stars]
Knives and Skin (12.05/12.06/TBA)
The Upside (01.08/01.11/01.11)
The Prodigy (02.20/02.08/03.15)
The Hustle (05.09/05.10/05.10)
Alita: Battle Angel (01.31/02.14/02.06)
The Goldfinch (09.17/09.13/09.27)
Cold Pursuit (02.04/02.08/02.22)
Hellboy (04.11/04.12/04.11)
Gemini Man (10.03/10.11/10.10)
Playmobil: The Movie (08.05/08.09/12.06)
Cats (12.20/12.20/12.20)
Serenity (02.26/01.25/03.01)
Under the Silver Lake (03.05/04.19/03.15)

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