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Best Movies Of 2019: 'Polar,' 'The Irishman,' 'Mirage' And More

Polar Mads Mikkelsen Duncan Vizla The Irishman Joe Pesci Russell Bufalino Robert De Niro Frank Sheeran Al Pacino Jimmy Hoffa Netflix Mirage Durante la Tormenta David Ortiz Álvaro Morte Inspector Leyra Chino Vera Roy Adriana Ugarte Darín Ángel Prieto Javier Gutiérrez
Image by Netflix / Warner Bros.
Thanks to international film, movies had some stellar entries in 2019. “Polar,” “The Irishman,” and “Mirage” all earned a spot among the year's best. Where did they rank? Before digging into each of them, here is a bit of a primer. Two entries star outstanding thespian Mads Mikkelsen. Four out of the top ten slots are filled by Spanish-language films. Only three movies are primarily English-language.

Netflix continued providing a window into the best content of 2019. Nine out of the top ten are streaming on the service. An indication that the streaming giant is not holding back on the feature film front either. Largely behind another astonishing year in television, Netflix headed out of 2019 on a hot streak for Eclectic Pop.

In terms of genre, there is not a particular type of film that dominates 2019’s best. One recurring theme is big drama and thought-provoking thrills. Yours truly never tires of either of those ingredients. There is one movie that was transcendent and riveting. Hence, it takes the top spot. Think you can guess what it is? Keep reading! As of the end of 2019, these were the year's best movies.

#10: An Affair to Die For

A fun Friday or Saturday night thriller that is precisely what you need after a long week. “An Affair to Die For” provided a mystery that kept you guessing while the ride to answers kept you entertained on Netflix.

#9: Kidnapping Stella

A remake of “The Disappearance of Alice Creed,” “Kidnapping Stella,” was no less entertaining to watch. The original was a great film, and this German-language remake held its own. That is saying something.

#8: Ready to Mingle (Solteras)

A romantic comedy that got honest about dating, marriage goals, and being distraught while single. “Ready to Mingle” contained one of the year’s best performances by an actress in a comedy -- Cassandra Ciangherotti!

#7: Blood Will Tell (La Misma Sangre)

What happens when a mysterious death looks like murder? Suspicion, innuendo, and betrayal made for destructive bedfellows in “Blood Will Tell.” An enthralling piece of cinema that was absorbing and memorable.

#6: Arctic

A story of survival and what it means to want to keep living even when all hope looks grim. “Arctic” hinges on Mad Mikkelsen, and he gave yet another stellar career turn that kept this viewer firmly in its grip from scene to scene.

Always Be My Maybe Ali Wong Sasha Tran Netflix
Image by Ed Araquel / Netflix

#5: Always Be My Maybe

Romantic comedies continued their hot streak with this entry. Ali Wong and Randall Park’s incredibly believable chemistry elevated “Always Be My Maybe” beyond rom-com complacency. Not to mention their comic timing, which helped the comedy aspect exponentially.

#4: The Irishman

It was not “The Wolf of Wall Street.” That said, legendary director, Martin Scorsese, delivered an engrossing mafia opus in “The Irishman.” Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro, and Al Pacino’s performances making for a triple threat.

#3: Polar

Back-to-back Mad Mikkelsen? You bet. Also starring “Vikings” actress Katheryn Winnick and Vanessa Hudgins, Mikkelsen’s hitman with a heart had a lot to contend with in “Polar.” One of the few 2019 films worthy of a sequel.

#2: Mirage (Durante la Tormenta)

Sci-fi and drama combined for a story about parallel timelines and altered destinies. One of the most multi-layered movies of 2019, “Mirage,” was an experience that gave you a lot to contemplate after it finished.

#1: Everybody Knows (Todos lo Saben)

Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem enthralled in this drama that saw a family’s secrets come tumbling out after a startling kidnapping. Director Asghar Farhadi did not let up on a minute of intrigue or human nuance in this movie. “Everybody Knows” was an absolute knockout. The year’s best.

Final Thoughts

This list of 2019’s best movies was composed without seeing several contenders including “Parasite” and “Little Women,” which may change things. I previously expressed high hopes that the latter would be a movie worthy of the year’s best, so stay tuned. Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan’s re-team and “Parasite” may end up getting added later.

There is no doubt that the movies that did make the list will stand the test of time. All of them are different, giving viewers a touch of something unique every step of the way. Movies have struggled to keep up with the quality of television in recent years. In 2019, these films gave the medium promising signs of life.