2019 Watch List

by Jlshall | created - 11 months ago | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

Movies I watched for the first time in 2019

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1. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

85 Metascore

Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares for battle with the First Order.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher

Votes: 487,195 | Gross: $620.18M

I'm not sure why I keep watching the Star Wars movies. Since The Empire Strikes Back, they've gradually gotten less and less worth seeing. And now that Han is gone, why bother, right? Sort of felt like they were really making another version of The Last Air Bender.

2. The Search for the Last Supper (2017 TV Movie)

56 min | Documentary, Adventure, History | Completed

In this thriller-like quest, a National Geographic bestselling author and historian goes in search of a mysterious second version of the famous 'Last Supper' fresco, reportedly painted by ... See full summary »

Director: Jean-Pierre Isbouts | Star: Alessandro Demcenko

Votes: 10

3. The Human Monster (1939)

Not Rated | 73 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

Insurance agent-physician collects on policies of men murdered by a disfigured resident of the home for the blind where he acts as doctor-on-call.

Director: Walter Summers | Stars: Bela Lugosi, Hugh Williams, Greta Gynt, Edmon Ryan

Votes: 1,012

Some day I hope to be able to say I've seen every movie Bela Lugosi made, and this is one more checked off the list. He was, as usual, worth watching in this one. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was less memorable.

4. Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Approved | 74 min | Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi

After being awakened, Larry Talbot chips Frankenstein's Monster out of a block of ice. When Talbot changes to the Wolf Man, the two creatures battle each other.

Director: Roy William Neill | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Ilona Massey, Patric Knowles, Lionel Atwill

Votes: 7,173

5. The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

Unrated | 84 min | Horror

Upon returning to his home village to continue his experimental research, the destitute Dr. Frankenstein revives his old creature, but a hypnotist wants the monster to control for himself.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Peter Cushing, Peter Woodthorpe, Duncan Lamont, Sandor Elès

Votes: 3,316

Another film I thought I'd already seen, but nothing seemed familiar. Decent entry in Hammer's Frankenstein series, although not terribly exciting. Certainly a hideous version of the Creature this time, but also a very moving portrayal. Definitely worth seeing.

6. Youth (I) (2015)

R | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

64 Metascore

A retired orchestra conductor is on vacation with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip's birthday.

Director: Paolo Sorrentino | Stars: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Jane Fonda

Votes: 66,372 | Gross: $2.70M

Gosh, I wanted to love this film. Such a great cast and they all turned in wonderful performances -- even Rachel Weisz. Even so, I found the whole thing pretty boring. And sort of confusing. Why was Paul Dano dressing up as Hitler? I must have missed something there. But I felt that way about most of the movie. I'm assuming the director was trying his hand at Fellini-esque satire, but it really didn't work for me.

7. Trumbo (2015)

R | 124 min | Biography, Drama

60 Metascore

In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's top screenwriter, until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.

Director: Jay Roach | Stars: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Louis C.K.

Votes: 70,469 | Gross: $7.86M

8. Roma (2018)

R | 135 min | Drama

96 Metascore

A year in the life of a middle-class family's maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta

Votes: 117,953

9. Johnny O'Clock (1947)

Passed | 96 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A high-class crook gets in trouble with the law.

Director: Robert Rossen | Stars: Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes, Lee J. Cobb, Ellen Drew

Votes: 1,262

Thought I'd seen all of Dick Powell's noir mysteries from the late '40s, but this one got by me until now. Robert Rossen wrote the screenplay for this, his debut as a feature film director. Very entertaining crime story, with some wonderfully Chandler-esque dialogue. When Powell's Johnny wants a piano-player to give it a rest, he yells "Hey, you with the hands!" And I loved it when the tipsy Ellen Drew says "I choked on a piece of scotch!" This is one I could see again.

10. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Not Rated | 98 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Dr. Jekyll faces horrible consequences when he lets his dark side run wild with a potion that transforms him into the animalistic Mr. Hyde.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Fredric March, Miriam Hopkins, Rose Hobart, Holmes Herbert

Votes: 11,742

Seems like I must have seen this one at some time or other -- surely one of those Late Late Movie shows I used to watch, growing up in the '50s, must have shown it. But I didn't recognize anything about the production, so I'm including it on this list. I think I still like the Spencer Tracy version better, but March delivers an amazing performance (in spite of those Jerry Lewis teeth). And Miriam Hopkins was absolutely radiant. Entertaining movie with some really great cinematography.

11. Mary Shelley (2017)

PG-13 | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

49 Metascore

Life and facts of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, who at 16 met 21 year old poet Percy Shelley, resulting in the writing of Frankenstein.

Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour | Stars: Elle Fanning, Bel Powley, Owen Richards, Joanne Froggatt

Votes: 10,160 | Gross: $0.10M

Here we have Percy and Mary and Byron and their entourage as 21st Century teenagers. Just didn't really work. But the photography and set designs were gorgeous, and I was really surprisingly impressed by Elle Fanning's performance as the young Mary. If the other characters were as well-rounded, this one could have been more than tolerable.

12. Kepler's Dream (2016)

90 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

An 11 year-old girl searches for a missing rare book from her grandmother's (Holland Taylor) library and tries to understand why her family is fractured the way it is during a memorable ... See full summary »

Director: Amy Glazer | Stars: Tailinh Agoyo, Isabella Blake-Thomas, Ryan Jason Cook, Leedy Corbin

Votes: 58 | Gross: $0.00M

13. The Visit (I) (2015)

PG-13 | 94 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

55 Metascore

Two siblings become increasingly frightened by their grandparents' disturbing behavior while visiting them on vacation.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunagan, Peter McRobbie

Votes: 105,625 | Gross: $65.21M

So much wasted potential here! When will filmmakers learn disgusting is just not scary?

14. Sunshine (2007)

R | 107 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057.

Director: Danny Boyle | Stars: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis

Votes: 223,743 | Gross: $3.68M

15. Spinning Man (2018)

R | 100 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

A happily married professor, known for having many affairs with students, becomes the prime suspect when a young woman has gone missing.

Director: Simon Kaijser | Stars: Guy Pearce, Pierce Brosnan, Minnie Driver, Alexandra Shipp

Votes: 7,850

16. Crossword Mysteries: A Puzzle to Die For (2019 TV Movie)

TV-G | 120 min | Crime, Mystery

A crossword is found on the murdered owner of a burglarized art gallery. Tess, a Sentinel crossword editor, finds clues in crosswords. Eventually, detective Logan accepts her clues and help. Tess is also running a crossword tournament.

Director: Don McCutcheon | Stars: Lacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott, John Kapelos, Barbara Niven

Votes: 525

I love these Hallmark channel movies. The young women leads are totally interchangeable and there must be some network law that Brennan Elliott has to be in every one of them. I find them wonderfully relaxing.

17. Allied (2016)

R | 124 min | Action, Drama, Romance

60 Metascore

In 1942, a Canadian intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Vincent Ebrahim

Votes: 130,554 | Gross: $40.10M

18. Haunter (2013)

Not Rated | 97 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

49 Metascore

A teenager is stuck in a time loop that is not quite the same each time. She must uncover the truth but her actions have consequences for herself and others.

Director: Vincenzo Natali | Stars: Abigail Breslin, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, Stephen McHattie

Votes: 15,816

Moderately entertaining haunted house / haunted family tale. I liked the time loop element and the super-spooky basement scenes. And it had a great cast. Confusing ending, though -- who was dead, who was alive?

19. Le Chef (2012)

PG-13 | 84 min | Comedy, Drama

43 Metascore

A veteran chef faces off against his restaurant group's new CEO, who wants to the establishment to lose a star from its rating in order to bring in a younger chef who specializes in molecular gastronomy.

Director: Daniel Cohen | Stars: Jean Reno, Michaël Youn, Raphaëlle Agogué, Julien Boisselier

Votes: 15,399 | Gross: $0.34M

20. I Was Born, But... (1932)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara

Votes: 4,437

21. The Convent (1995)

PG | 90 min | Drama, Mystery

The journey of Michael Padovic, an American professor who arrives with his wife, Helene, at a Portuguese convent where he expects to find the documents needed to prove his theory: ... See full summary »

Director: Manoel de Oliveira | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich, Luís Miguel Cintra, Leonor Silveira

Votes: 899 | Gross: $0.05M

22. Their Finest (2016)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A former secretary, newly appointed as a scriptwriter for propaganda films, joins the cast and crew of a major production while the Blitz rages around them.

Director: Lone Scherfig | Stars: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Richard E. Grant

Votes: 15,918 | Gross: $3.60M

23. The Bookshop (2017)

PG | 113 min | Drama

62 Metascore

England 1959. In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

Director: Isabel Coixet | Stars: Emily Mortimer, Bill Nighy, Hunter Tremayne, Honor Kneafsey

Votes: 9,560 | Gross: $1.59M

Much less depressing than the book! Which is good, because the book is one of the most depressing I've ever read. Watched this one mainly because I try to see everything Bill Nighy does, and he didn't disappoint. The rest of the cast were decent, too. Totally watchable.

24. The Caretaker (I) (2016)

TV-14 | 80 min | Horror, Thriller

A young woman returns home to care for her gravely ill grandmother, only to begin sleepwalking, envisioning spirits and uncovering dark secrets in her family's past.

Director: Jeff Prugh | Stars: Meegan Warner, Sondra Blake, Sean Martini, Chanel Celaya

Votes: 663

Another example of a fairly decent little horror film spoiled by a really dumb ending.

25. Infamous (2006)

R | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

While researching his novel "In Cold Blood", Truman Capote develops a close relationship with convicted murderers Dick Hickock and Perry Smith.

Director: Douglas McGrath | Stars: Toby Jones, Daniel Craig, Sandra Bullock, Sigourney Weaver

Votes: 15,796 | Gross: $1.15M

26. The Son of Dr. Jekyll (1951)

Passed | 78 min | Crime, Horror, Romance

Edward Jekyll, ignorant of how his father had brought forth death and destruction with his experiments, is pursuing a chemist career despite the fact that he has been discharged from school... See full summary »

Director: Seymour Friedman | Stars: Louis Hayward, Jody Lawrance, Alexander Knox, Lester Matthews

Votes: 258

This is one more of those old movies I really thought I'd seen at some point. But none of it was familiar, so it goes on the list. As a lot of reviewers say, it starts slow and takes a long time to come up with anything interesting. But the last half is pretty exciting, with strong performances by Louis Hayward and Alexander Knox. Actually more mystery than horror film, but still entertaining.

27. The Gorgon (1964)

Not Rated | 83 min | Horror

In the early twentieth century, a Gorgon takes human form and terrorizes a small European village by turning its citizens to stone.

Director: Terence Fisher | Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Richard Pasco, Barbara Shelley

Votes: 4,786

28. Flower Shop Mystery: Mum's the Word (2016 TV Movie)

TV-G | 83 min | Crime, Mystery, Romance

Abby Knight returns to her small home town as a NYC lawyer. On the day of her flower shop opening, her car gets damaged by someone fleeing a murder scene. She soon meets a charming bartender and partners with him in the search for answers.

Director: Bradley Walsh | Stars: Brooke Shields, Brennan Elliott, Beau Bridges, Kate Drummond

Votes: 772

29. The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971)

R | 97 min | Horror

Horror thriller set in 17th century England about the children of a village slowly converting into a coven of devil worshipers.

Director: Piers Haggard | Stars: Patrick Wymark, Linda Hayden, Barry Andrews, Michele Dotrice

Votes: 4,335

30. The Witches (1966)

Not Rated | 90 min | Horror

Following a horrifying experience with the occult in Africa, a schoolteacher moves to a small English village, only to discover that black magic resides there as well.

Director: Cyril Frankel | Stars: Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh, Alec McCowen, Ann Bell

Votes: 2,329

AKA: "The Devil's Own" - not sure which title came first or why it was changed. Great cast in this one, should have been a much better movie.

31. Slender Man (2018)

PG-13 | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

30 Metascore

In a small town in Massachusetts, a group of friends, fascinated by the internet lore of the Slender Man, attempt to prove that he doesn't actually exist - until one of them mysteriously goes missing.

Director: Sylvain White | Stars: Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso

Votes: 22,465 | Gross: $30.57M

Almost exquisitely bad movie. But some great visuals.

32. Theater of Blood (1973)

R | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

Director: Douglas Hickox | Stars: Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews

Votes: 8,619

I had seen the end of this one several times, but never watched the entire film until now. It truly is a blood fest, a little more graphically gruesome than I really like. But Vincent Price's ham actor turn is worth wading through all the gore. And the rest of the cast is terrific, too -- especially Diana Rigg who is gorgeous and totally mesmerizing, as usual.

33. Breakdown (I) (1997)

R | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

73 Metascore

A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.

Director: Jonathan Mostow | Stars: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan, M.C. Gainey

Votes: 45,516 | Gross: $50.13M

It is what it is -- pretty decent "stunt man" movie. Lots of thrills and spills and blood all over the place.

34. There Was a Father (1942)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama

Shuhei Horikawa, a poor schoolteacher, struggles to raise his son Ryohei by himself, despite neither money nor prospects.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Shûji Sano, Shin Saburi, Takeshi Sakamoto

Votes: 2,185

Every time I see an Ozu film, I think "this is definitely his masterpiece." Then I see another one and think the same thing about that one. Really, the man made some magnificent films. And Chishû Ryû was such an amazing performer -- just watching him take off his coat is like a master class in acting.

35. Effie Gray (2014)

PG-13 | 104 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

54 Metascore

A look at the scandalous love triangle between Victorian art critic John Ruskin, his teenage bride Effie Gray, and Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais.

Director: Richard Laxton | Stars: Dakota Fanning, Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge, Emma Thompson

Votes: 3,813 | Gross: $0.34M

36. The Aspern Papers (2018)

R | 90 min | Drama

28 Metascore

A young writer tries to obtain romance letters a poet sent to his mistress.

Director: Julien Landais | Stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, Lois Robbins

Votes: 382

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