The fifteen best Films Of 2019 (So Far) #Hours_AgoJune 16, 2019
By now, audiences have caught on to the way American distributors tend to stockpile their quality movies for end-of-year award-season release, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t treasures to be found in the first two quarters.
In fact, sometimes it’s the movies that aren’t making a self-important Oscar push that wind up hitting closest to our hearts — and providing respite from such recent turkeys as “The Beach Bum” and “Wonder Park.” With quality to be found everywhere from blockbuster superhero sagas to niche-release art-house fare, it turns out 2019 is off to a good start.
Variety chief critics Owen Gleiberman and Peter Debruge pick their favorite releases of the year so far.
Marvel StudiosIn his Variety review, Peter Debruge called it “the ultimate fan-service follow-up,” and that nails the riveting and cathartic satisfactions — and, just maybe, the built-in obsolescence — of this toweringly crafted and moving act of utilitarian comic-book closure.
Sphinx Prods.Ron Mann’s spry and beguiling portrait of a venerable guitar shop in New York’s Greenwich Village is a documentary love poem to a lot of things that are hanging on more than you’d expect: the analog allure of instruments built by hand, the cranky camaraderie of urban bohemia in a world of rising rents and chain-store values, the primal simplicity of rock ‘n’ roll.
The movie is a lyric ramble crafted as a shaggy fairy tale, and it finds room for some fine musicians to discover new ways to seduce us with sound.
Watching “Leaving Neverland,” we, too, bear witness.
Courtesy of Venice Film FestivalI get it: Not everyone goes to the movies to watch a filmmaker work out his marital issues onscreen.
The beauty of Zachary Levi’s performance is that he plays Shazam as an overgrown kid struck with wonder at his own powers.
Far greener than you might imagine, Iceland remains one of the most unspoiled and otherworldly outposts on earth (which explains why “Game of Thrones” and the “Thor” movies used its locations to represent faraway planets), and here, “Of Horses and Men” director Benedikt Erlingsson captures the country’s primeval charms as few movies have, making it easy to root for the vigilante environmentalist who goes to hilarious lengths to awaken the public to the damage of “progress.” — PD