2022 is the first year that I’ve surpassed watching one-hundred movies which were released either limitedly or widely in America from the same annual timespan. As a result, there was no way I wouldn’t be making a celebratory list for 2022 of the best of the best, and I’m excited to share another twenty movies that blew all their year-round contenders out of the water. Before I begin listing my favorites though — in no particular order — here are some…

Honorable Mentions:

…and now I present to you THE BEST MOVIES OF 2022:

The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier)

What I think The Worst Person in the World has working at its advantage is how it relates us to that familiar, existential navigation of the “in between” state we constantly find ourselves questioning, where life seemingly never starts yet seemingly has all the time in the world to never end, and how both of those instinctive presumptions are a lie retrospectively despite our permanent refusal to accept it. Most of our yearns for life to start are just accumulating in the process of it rather ending, and we can’t help but refuse to challenge the notion that nothing of value worth holding onto happens during these time frames, and that the development of new time frames is in order to spark some sort of euphoric discovery before any eventual “parenthood phase” occurs — something so culturally set in stone as what continues predominantly from there on till the end, a cliché of consistency despite that being exactly what we want, except, through a more ideological lens that can somehow turn these young adult coming of age days into an otherworldly meaning to cherish onward. But everything is a byproduct of leading ourselves to new generations, and the fear to let it happen will always be there despite us rarely caring to pinpoint what’s even making our current motions worth experimenting with, as if they weren’t perfectly okay to begin with.

Compartment No. 6 (Juho Kuosmanen)

A film that falls for its familiar premise’s — “the unlikely friendship’s” — dramatic conventions maybe far too frequently, but one that at least feels personal enough in its presentation of them to humanize the narrative and therefore relate its audience. Juho Kuosmanen fabricates quite the effective sense of abandonment in this. Naturally, he also communicates to us how brief moments of loneliness can punish us as if we were experiencing an eternity, and how that fattens our intimacy towards strangers. We often seek people not because we’re aware of who they are in their entirety, but rather for their time and the nostalgic memories we can make of them simplistically. The charm of or, perhaps even more so, the attraction towards people can certainly stem from their unconventional ambitions, whether we understand why they exist or not; we just know they must for a reason, and that’s what brings us back down to earth: noticing there are others who merely want to share that “time” caused uniquely by them; we live for dedication to another and their dedication to ourselves. There’s no doubt that the intentionally chosen ambiguities of the two main leads in Compartment No. 6 have helped communicate this across the board, as well as their persuasive performers. 

Everything Everywhere All at Once (Daniels)

The Daniels bite off a little more than they can chew, but by God is there so much to chew to really get that upset at them for it. If anything, for what they did do, that alone is already lightyears more commendable than what you could say about a majority of filmmaking efforts today. In hindsight, what ends up divulging the impressiveness of Everything Everywhere All at Once the most is really its surface technicalities: the insanely hyper-specific camerawork and blocking, intricately jumbo-footage-assembled match-cut editing, and unusual variety of special effect styles and pop culture references; the sheer amount of effort here is something impossible to not find admiration in even if they don’t all perfectly translate the story’s desired emotional resonance, which howbeit, again, feels inevitable given something that crams this much content into its runtime. And, the amalgamation between comedy and action here is just sublime: the duo truly take the rules of their universe to each’s fullest, absurdist potential in the funniest, slap-stickiest, and blissfully immature-ist (like that attempted spelling) possible ways, never holding an ounce of expression back. If this movie proved anything, it’s that The Daniels are worthy of becoming the hard-working modern-day Chaplins and Wachowskis for this meme-led generation.

The Northman (Robert Eggers)

In all 137 minutes of brooding, virtually heartless, and testosterone-wedged human malice, Robert Eggers only offers his audience but a brief glimpse of mercy that wanes away though so forthwith that your attempt to catch a breath is ominously meant to disorient you even more so for the rest which ensues. Bearing in mind that this is a contemporary big studio production, I am quite shocked by how much is supposedly not held back — because it seems as if nothing is. Manifesting the hunger of a carnivore, socializing the captured to rape, massacring children for your own future; the hardcore yet truthful nature of what’s shown here is excruciating. Thus, get this through your head right now: every character in The Northman was forged from the depths of hell. Like Eggers himself once said: “You can’t be judgmental of the characters and the time period. You can’t rewrite history to conform to the zeitgeist.” The Northman doesn’t flow seamlessly in every respect, but every isolated moment of Anglo-Saxon theater performance or calculated violence is so hypnotically accomplished on their own rights that it’s difficult to not be in a trance with them, at least individually, similar to how Eggers’ previous efforts operated. If anything, they connect well enough regardless because of this expected dream logic chronology that has always been a trademark of the director’s unparalleled aesthetic. Sincerely to general blockbuster audiences reading this, prepare yourselves for some serious culture shock… and gore.

Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) *MY 3RD FAVORITE MOVIE OF 2022*

Memoria, not to that much of a shock, is about someone uncovering the mystery behind her memory, brought to life when a mysterious, canorous thumping noise begins occupying the ears. She initially presumes that this noise is happening at random, appearing in jump-scare-like magnitudes of shock that catch both her and likely us viewers off-guard during their first couple appearances, but incident by incident do the noises begin to appear only more as if they’ve been orchestrating her into seemingly destined situations. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s latest contribution to gentle and cryptic cinema is another kind of homage to one of life’s greatest mysteries: the tragic unreliability yet adventurous bliss within memory as a form of believed reality and dependable guidance, exhorting divisively both our distrusts towards the present time and our innocence from its lack of objectivity.

Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg)

“Crimes of the Future” is a title that nearly every one of David Cronenberg’s socially-minded body outputs thus far could’ve slipped themselves into – one in fact even did near the very beginning of the auteur’s illustrious career – but perhaps this now recently adapted 20-year-old script, initially scrapped right before his career began mutating into strict drama narratives, is the most earned of the name as an irony of it. See, these are quote on quote “crimes” of the future, but they are also meant to speak for quite literally the crimes of forever, the cumulative crimes built from all humanity. The film is disguised to be about a beginning in an end, and then confesses to really be about a fragment of a prolonged beginning never reaching an end. Essentially, there is no future here as the favored word has been glorified to insinuate, just a future in its verbatim of wanting one; if there is a crime of the future, it’s that it has no greater future, just a genetic habit that only helps obscure it: to control our own evolution but not OUR evolution. The dependable world-building that Cronenberg uses to depict this alone feels like something he’s been dying to make his entire career, but one not ready for such until the longer observed aging of his body could feed him the information he needed to get this story right. In doing so, the face-value crime of what we see in his sci-fi is not necessarily sworn as one to him, but more so as something he’s accepted as fact. There’s barely a cautionary thesis to this like his previous body-horror endeavors. If anything, the thesis is “let it be”. It’s as if he’s decided to drop the “horror” and leave the “body”. 

Mad God (Phil Tippett)

A movie like Mad God longs for your interpretation. It is a vulnerable cinematic excavation of the content of its creator’s nightmares, a practice in artistically materializing one’s déjà-rêvé, perhaps acting as a sort of therapy for Phil Tippett in doing so. The Old Testament-inspired fantasy realm that he has – for the past thirty years now – reconcocted with a doyen’s level of care humorously toys with our corporal circle of life by adjusted conditions that stretch the reality which we know of, just as dreams often do. A faceless figure giving a traveler the pouty eyes yet with no actual visible eyes, the voice of an infant spewing cryptic demands or for all we know whatever on an intercom broadcasted though importantly to the ears of thousands of disposable idols, a World War Hell filled with unsystematic clock ticks that subjectively bend time; what do they remind you of? What could they possibly be trying to tell you?

RRR (S. S. Rajamouli)

Ever wanted to see a blockbuster maximize every minute drop of logos, ethos, pathos it has into gloriously exaggerated segments, inserting as many plot conveniences necessary so you can witness two lead characters persistently commit some of the most badass physics-defying instances in cinema whether they be from dance-offs, a posey of carnivorous animals, etc.? Well, RRR is your more than obvious answer. A movie this carefully engineered to be a nonstop crowd pleaser of wickedly amplified tropes really has no reasonable excuse at this point not to be populated into all American theaters and furthermore sought out by its inhabiters.

Nope (Jordan Peele)

The allegorical atmosphere that Peele creates from this picture as a whole, for the most part, succeeds as a haunting impression of a socially deceased one, a graveyard population looking away from truth to lie in peace. For me, every Jordan Peele movie thus far has had concepts worthy of building towards a masterpiece. The man is clearly operating on a higher level creatively than most Hollywood artists out there and has about a hundred more personal thoughts to share than them as well, even if most of it boils down to simply pointing out his facts and letting us then independently chew on them. An artist this deserving finally getting the chance to direct a near hundred-million-dollar project, one furthermore devoted to something this ambitious that you can watch worldwide in an IMAX theater of anything, is really just a sight to behold in terms of today’s cinematic landscape.

Bodies Bodies Bodies (Halina Reijn)

As someone born around the very dawn of the 21st century, I can attest that it’s very easy for our generation to feel as if the world is working against us. We’ve become conditioned to treat every social interaction, online debate, etc. as transactions set in a hostile, constantly judgmental environment. In doing so, we cover-up behind stereotypes that the world has deemed most popularly the “correct” ways to be and think, and throw ignominious new ones out to those whose ideologies clash with them. But why do we do it? Because it’s easier to act like the victim, to not take the blame, to, if the time comes, have the advantage via your current resume that understands the “formula of the year” best based on what’s been broadcasted over the media and spread between peers who want you to only agree with them and literally nothing else. We rather have weapons up our sleeves at all times than a voice that comes from the heart given how competitive America has become, even if it means other people’s livelihood, whether truly guilty or not, will drop in the process. Bodies Bodies Bodies allegorizes this through both horror and satire. It’s John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) for Gen-Z, but it doesn’t have to pretend like it’s so directly related because the filmmakers are clearly confident enough in their own re-envisioning as opposed to so many big-shot Hollywood writers today. 

Moonage Daydream (Brett Morgen)

David Bowie is the greatest musician of the 20th century who got to live long in the limelight. There is something about the film industry’s recent agenda for live-action classic rock biopics, from the falsified Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) to the sensationalized Elvis (2022), that lack a psyche into their respected artists. While the documentary Moonage Daydream falls in line with having eager leverage of musical nostalgia which chiefly produced those two movies’ draw, it is, however, also prioritized in sampling Bowie’s philosophical ethos, the partner core towards his sonic innovation for which made him a legend in the field. In fact, it’s the sole voice the film actually allows to speak aside from a few captured fan interviews. Many want to uncover the mystery left of him, sure, but we should moreover let the pieces that could solve such speak for themselves in defining the character which he had created from the recorded self instead of forcing it all to come together at the sacrifice of truth. Perhaps simply sharing the amount of direct information we do have is the most courteous method for what should be tapped into with the case of fallen artists.

Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund)

Winning the Palme d’Or is always infuriatingly tricky because, for one, it sets up distended expectations for a film among a hundred equally worthy choices that won’t come with the burden of its prerequisites, and two, it’s easy to demonize the ones that aren’t saying the most profound things ever said in cinema, and if the controversial reaction to Ruben Östlund’s first win with The Square (2017) proves anything it’s that Triangle of Sadness is bound to receive a similar treatment again. Perhaps beyond what’s most obvious about Ruben Östlund’s sixth feature-length, aside from its mock of life’s “greatest” financial extravaganzas, is its premise of a lab rat experiment that neutralizes them into the impossible equilibrium that its lucrative characters are made fun of for believing in, harkening all the way back to material like Luis Buñuel’s 1962 bourgeoise-critique classic The Exterminating Angel (1962). When at the mercy of living, rich or poor, always comes the necessity of the animal.

Tár (Todd Field) *MY FAVORITE MOVIE OF 2022*

The conspiracy of evil: despotism, identity, certitude, the means surrounding such and not necessarily means that are pure in “evil”. Yet, as a byproduct of her reckless career suicide, legendary composer Lydia Tár is quickly learning what it’s like to live in a generation that wants to believe they are. What’s so interesting about Todd Field’s constantly labeled “cancel culture movie” beyond the culture that comes together to cancel one, is how he overviews why the target of them — a conductor whose entire work is built on controlling the time of others — made it her own doing for neglecting the time in which controls her, to tyrannically curtail the welfare of her human-centric foundation of power, to not stoop low for the perhaps flawed mainstream criteria that glorifies “the conspiracy of evil”, and to pick and choose what present reality modernities she would however kneel for because what good are they otherwise if they do not cater to her personal ethos? By the end though, Tár humbles herself by abstaining from this perspective and adapting more to the new world’s heart even if her own heart somewhat has it out for the old.

Decision to Leave (Park Chan-wook)

As you can imagine, Park Chan-wook going soft doesn’t exactly equate to a particularly happy-go-lucky narrative given what he’s known for. Sure, there aren’t people being bludgeoned to death with a hammer or even just steadily tortured with a paper cutter in Decisions to Leave, but the heartache that Chan-wook’s characters frequently accumulate to certainly simmers beneath every perverted act sparked between insomniac Detective Hae-joon and suspect Seo-rae. In classic noir fashion, Chan-wook follows our curious lead as he labors to decrypt the femme fatale, and in classic Chan-wook fashion, he engulfs our attention with eager visual splendor to support his unusual romantic affairs.

The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh)

The island of Inisherin is as bothered of a place as is its simpleton residents who perfectly elapse the time drinking pints at their one pub, herding their farm animals across every homogeneous neighbor abode, and conversing within the topical confinement of this intrinsically regimented cycle over and over again — say from the occasional war that can be sought just across the ocean. Not soon after though does this “simpleton” world quickly become fable: in the matter of just a beeline request, one man tells another that he no longer wants his company, as simpleton at long last can do no more for this sole Inisherin. The told man, on the other hand, is conned rather enlisted out of simpleton because of this ex-best-friend’s erratic maneuver. It gets him to finally see that the daily papers he reads are full of unforgettably bilateral tales in the making exclusively happening on foreign soil, Inisherin’s window into outside affairs corrupting the peace of its simpleton environment. The two (like the generals across seas) want to believe that good is no longer measured by “kindness”, but by “immortality”, and in other words by “consequence”. In spite, sometimes kindness still can’t be helped.

Bones and All (Luca Guadagnino)

The *admittedly gnarly asf* vampire shenanigans are constantly employed as brash coming-of-age metaphors, but Bones and All is nonetheless tastefully grim in regards to its ground-level familial drama, and hilariously melodramatic in classic YA fashion for the better especially towards its climax. Ergo, this is unapologetically accentuated and of its genres, which shouldn’t be too much of a shock for Luca Guadagnino since it succeeds his Suspiria (2018) remake. Love it when a director lets their actors drool too, snot and all.

Aftersun (Charlotte Wells) *MY 2ND FAVORITE MOVIE OF 2022*

Aftersun is so in the moment that it doesn’t even need plot deviations for you to get why this should hurt so much to consume; every revelation is already insinuated at the gecko and from there on forward gradually built upon. It trusts the audience in that regard to let the piled-on little glimpses tell you everything you need to know about what this means to the video-watcher and reminiscer herself, someone whose finite knowledge is shared with us. The spoon-feeding therefore becomes relatively repressed, at least more so than the status quo like a real memory. Even when the obligatory feel-good, emotional heightener of a track eventually finds its way in, it doesn’t seem overdone; if anything, the film knows it’s damn well earned it whereas most would tack it at the coda as a sticking final blow to make up for a weak job, which is far from the case here. Nonetheless, it’s mostly meek memory dumping up until then that naturally haunts from its incessant absence of closure. Through in throughout though, it triumphs on that simplicity and the easy control of it with an anchor on lived-in performances and transitions that keep everything mobile, and it’s frankly heart poison to ride. 

Vortex (Gaspar Noé)

The very conclusion to institutional love exhibited in excruciating real-time, but it’s not without a fight. Like God, three individual perspectives linger (sometimes simultaneously) over three individuals of a family trying to hold it together at the end of their rope: a mother with dementia, a father with a secret, and a son with a hitch. Gaspar Noé evidently holds back on how many times he usually has to hit us over the head to get a painful reaction from the crowd, and yet, his new methodology still manages to sting like hell by the end not too far from the degree as say his 2002 masterpiece Irreversible. Thus, Vortex is certainly no light chore to endure especially given its runtime — but don’t worry, it’s all for the better.

Playground (Laura Wandel)

The first learning lesson in life that if you’re treated like a loser, people will perceive you as one. The first learning lesson in life that social status is an innate ticket for controlling your crowd. The first learning lesson in life that your respect for each other is never bigger than your respect for the world. The first learning lesson in life that those who make the first move to challenge authority are the ones targeted for outcast. The first learning lesson in life that you either eat like you were told to eat or be eaten. The greatest part about school is that it teaches you how society functions in sometimes the roughest ways possible, exposing you to the freedom of deciding how to enact upon its rules.

All the Beauty and All the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras)

Of the many others will have, I’ll give you two good reasons why you should watch this: 1) the slideshows of Nan Goldin’s transcendent photography work — which is interwoven throughout the film like graceful little intermissions. 2) being exposed to the Sackler family situation is a solid entry point into how you should begin perceiving the rest of what is marketed to us by our country for widespread consumption. It’s easy to project this situation onto other private owned companies that hold jurisdiction over so many people’s wallets. Addicts make business; never forget it.


It feels good to be back making end of the year lists again after the dreadful gap of 2020! In celebration of a return to form for cinema, I have picked out 20 movies that I believe are the best of the year from what I have seen. Unlike 2019, however, I’ve decided I won’t be ranking my choices, besides my top 4 favorites of 2021. Each selection will feature a trailer for it, a quote from my original review of the film, and the link to that article. The picks are only shown in order of when I saw them, from oldest to latest viewing. Before we get onto the list though, here are eight honorable mentions I have that still deserve a shoutout regardless of not receiving a spot…

Honorable Mentions:

  • Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)
  • The Suicide Squad (James Gunn)
  • Annette (Leos Carax)
  • Mass (Fran Kranz)
  • Lamb (Valdimar Jóhannsson)
  • The Last Duel (Ridley Scott)
  • West Side Story (Steven Spielberg)
  • The Hand of God (Paolo Sorrentino)
  • Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen)

…and now with that out of the way, here are THE BEST MOVIES OF 2021:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Assiduously directed, compositionally sound, and intimidating as hell, Judas and the Black Messiah almost articulates like a reverse BlacKkKlansman, setting the true-story straight regarding a young black man who’s used by the FBI to go undercover as a member of the Black Panther Party, and ultimately sabotage its chairman Fred Hampton and his revolution. What Shaka King has done here is quite formidable, stressing the guilt of a man who put his livelihood over everything else, and the agencies of vice (this notoriously fowl FBI organization) that pressured him into this greed.


Minari introduces us to a Korean American family arriving at their new home set a bit remote from the city-life society. In terms of how Lee Isaac Chung embodies culture shock in its pros and cons, the stereotype arc of family vs. work which arrives with the logical progression of the two’s mixture, and even an existentialist grime into what assimilation burdens yet eventually blesses its subjects with, he does it at least “above” the average of most filmmakers out there with his candidly poetic plot and emotionally comprehensible execution.

The Father

Zeller has taken the clichés of the elderly parent with dementia and the exhausted offspring dynamic, and reworked them into a more understanding, secondary outlook we don’t see too often through the eyes of the ill, making its familiar story beats seem less sappy than what they could’ve felt. As compensation, we are instead thrown directly into the eternal confusion of the victim, experiencing all his emotional agony but simultaneously interpreting the pain of others who witness his actions through our own conceptions rather than his. 

Shiva Baby

Emma Seligman’s directorial debut has the After Hours dream-state of insane coincidences, the modern family claustrophobia of Krisha, and the industrious escalation of mother!. Most importantly though, it’s a total laugh-a-thon crowd-pleaser, and the bottleneck time restriction of 78 minutes saves it from possibly reaching into pretentious or repetitive territory. 

All Light, Everywhere (My Favorite Movie of 2021)

…that’s the beauty, curse, and purpose of humanity’s yearn for technological experimentation: as we become more aware of our limitations to understand what we live in, we then become more doubtful of our actions, fostering ourselves to do something about it whether or not it services our experience of moral justice or perhaps simply over-bloats it. Director Theo Anthony has taken us from rich, variant points in history to very present human curiosities in order to reinforce his respectably neutral-minded investigation on the matter, honored by his execution’s appropriate and even occasionally anesthetic b-roll footage that either foreshadows or frustrates history’s trials and failures of discovery primarily through narrated scientific observations or by delving into modern police technology for which we find ourselves controversially dealing with today. 


Somehow laid-back with a cynical tang of carelessness to a grave conundrum yet aggressive with its depictions of eerily hardheaded perpetrators and even more eerily dilapidated victims, Janicza Bravo has converted 148 tweets into 86 minutes of partially fun and hopefully sarcastic nudging that amounts to a somewhat operative commentary on covering-up complication through social media-like habits. The quirky style that’s always spacing out as if it’s on the verge of erupting and the loud, extravagant performance comedy seems to at least bring Zola to a sound place in mind anyhow.

Riders of Justice

Blatantly reeking of an intense obsession for the butterfly/chaos theory whether it’s between an almost fated dynamic of parent and spouse, tiny events to their rather catastrophic repercussions, and statistical inquiries made by characters faced then to a revealing yet fittingly sporadic plot structure, Riders of Justice is unique in concerns of how it reviews its subject matter to say the least. This is a film assembled under unusually adverse characters, ones for which we may not have full backstories of but certainly enough downcasted specter to suggest their need and desires for a union. Their journey of being hunted by notorious terrorists ironically becomes a hardy series of therapy sessions to them, divulging possibly the real internal reasons for why people band together to fight justice in the first place.


Surprisingly refined in execution, natural and comfortable in its relaxing 3 chapter structure — yeah, it’s just a fancy rewording of the model act structure — Michael Sarnoski smartly does enough with not too much of a reliance on exaggerated thrills but with modest revelations. As if the film didn’t feel any more relevant than it does today with characters who are secretly under the pressure of validation at the expectations of thousands of faces, we discover where the breaking point of burden and ambition usually is: when tragedy strikes, awakening rediscovery.

The Green Knight

In countless tales of legends often disclosed at campfires or bedsides of younglings inspired to become these fables’ leads, maybe the more truthful ones about those who grow into heroes for themselves are the stories most inspiring rather than the ones based on those gifted with innate righteousness for all others. Maybe an ego-change could be the true savior of a celebrated story. Knowing of a future destiny is one thing, but to be convinced by the self that that destiny is completed with honor seems to be one of the important lessons in The Green Knight, to not let just the view of others be the only thing that convinces you of your character but to respect the accuracy of said depicted character. 

Titane (My 2nd Favorite Movie of 2021)

Titane is defined by its unusual beauty for using false premises, caused by our main characters’ discomforts for their modern isolations, to push these said artificial circumstances into dynamics of unconditional love that are so intentionally taboo and desperate, giving us the full effect of what the characters at hand are willing to face to heal the almost irredeemable tragedies that have paved the majority of their past lives. 

The French Dispatch

No Wes Anderson film to this day throws as much quirky s**t at you (whether its paper shots, tiny subtitles, big actor appearances, timeline changes, filter changes, general… changes, holy f**k I can’t keep track, etc.) than his latest The French Dispatch does. Yet, it all just feels right to me, and as per usual, I don’t mind the mindlessness in his comedic attention to detail. If we can enjoy the same superhero formula flick every once in a while, we can sure as hell do the same with an Anderson.


Royalty not as a luxury, but as a prison. Spencer is (kind of?) Pablo Larraín’s Cleo from 5 to 7 led though by a more Kristen Stewart-esc character than we may have presumed who has enough goading manner to put you so outstandingly into the mentally ill mind of Princess Diana that it literally made the stakes of her being late for dinner seem as demanding as life or death itself; to make this easier to understand, it’s really f**king difficult to make Christmas (the days for which this movie takes place) seem like the very embodiment of Hell on Earth to me, and this movie did that as if it were nothing. 

Licorice Pizza

For every awfully painful to watch Minnie and Moskowitz or every aggressively despairing There Will Be Blood that can be found in the cinematic discussion of platonic yet competitive relationships, maybe we need something as sweet and sincere as Licorice Pizza to follow them up and even out the playing field. Paul Thomas Anderson has made once again another episodic rhythm of supposedly random moments and claimed it as a narrative, with each affair on screen however silently insinuating and revealing a wholesome or tragic reality in PTA’s classic two-on-two dynamical exploration.

C’mon C’mon

Like the saying “no one is ever ready to have kids” augmented into a movie. Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon is a commercially likable peer at adults learning to channel the childhood experience, and while it never seems to lead its protagonists towards a whole lot of answers, Mills assures you that that’s perfectly okay.

Red Rocket (My 3rd Favorite Movie of 2021)

Like the title suggests, Mikey is virtually all bodily pleasures, say for a little wit, but no heart. In no better way of describing my unforgettable experience with Red Rocket, it was really like watching Animal Planet, pertaining though to witnessing an exclusive two-hour-long episode of it that dials in on this human leech in his natural yet temporary habitat, sure to return to and plumage from it time and time again nonetheless as he always has and ends up continuing to do even by the credits. Cringe, harrow, but laugh hysterically at one of mankind’s most dangerous and pathetic influencers living in just a small town of Texas who barely walks the fine line between legal and illegal actions.

Drive My Car

Drive My Car is defined by so much that it’d probably take rewatches upon rewatches to jot it all down, but to at least my knowledge, it gripped me most whenever it proved how letting someone flawed pave the rest of our lives, even after they have left, requires an extensive journey ahead but one that uniquely states the longer it is, the better. It presents understanding as a manipulative sequence of regrets for not letting the mystery unravel slower so that you can ultimately allow yourself to be metaphysically stuck hand in hand back into the life with the one you dearly miss.

The Power of the Dog (My 4th Favorite Movie of 2021)

The Power of the Dog is one of those movies that really makes you appreciate how intellectually loving and twisted people are towards each other, the kind of subtle grime in all of us that can see manipulation as an expression of tending for others, silent backstabbing as a wholesome compromise, and slight yet mean-spirited actions as a right of self-justice. It’s a film where people get to live beautiful lies for catastrophic exterior reasons, but man oh man do they seem so damn truthful towards the reality of life never being paved from simply discovering objective answers, but rather from accepting our ideal hopes as surface-level truths then and again till the end.

Quo vadis, Aida?

Zeroing in on one family or person, fictional or not and even in the hell of a genocidal background, has always been the easiest method to get an audience to connect with a real life historical calamity on a deeper level, but one thing is for sure: usually it at least works like it does in Jasmila’s Žbanić’s Quo vadis, Aida? Witness 90 harrowing minutes of attempt after attempt to avoid the inevitable through innocent hope and admirable persistence as a mother begs at the toes of the UN, an organization that in this event continuously make clear of their submissive, cowardly indulgence in the lies of Bosnia’s enemy.

The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth is wickedly a near clear-cut emulation of its source material, literally using the same complex and difficult to understand language of Shakespeare in each phrase of its dialogue, mandatorily requiring its viewers to read subtitles. What may be the strongest point though of Joel’s cinematic telling of the acclaimed classic, is how he’s able to bring what essentially is an enhanced “play stage” to life with Stefan Dechant’s surreal production design and Bruno Delbonnel’s concentrated cinematography. Macbeth, in all it’s straightforward drama that’s otherwise heavied by Shakespeare’s classic use of dissecting every minute feeling felt in every minute character presumption, is breathed of new life in how Coen works the collaboration of cinematic range and freedom with the visual tropes of a theater show. 

The Lost Daughter

One things for certain: Maggie Gyllenhaal understands the importance of unveiling characters that are inscribed like real people, bodies that can give up on a mood mid-sentence, or open themselves up for exposure even if it may lead them to the obvious consequences one would logically want to avoid, or better yet, are capable of feeling virtually nothing while watching others suffer at the fault of themselves even if it’s just to fill an almost programmed void in them that they don’t even know why it’s precisely there to begin with. Her directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, sees almost nihilistically, yet in such an honest and preferably confrontational way, the imperfect reality of motherhood as this nagging pushing pin to live a second life of pleasurable adulteries.

The 40 Songs of 2020 That Defined the Year for Me

Bad news: I’m not making a top best movies of the year list for 2020. Why? Well, given the hellish state that COVID-19 created for the film industry, I haven’t had the opportunity to watch that many new movies this year, let alone had the opportunity to watch that many “great” movies this year. It just doesn’t feel right for me to make a list praising my top 10 or 15 favorite movies of the year when I wouldn’t even love half of them.

However, 2020 did have a decent amount of great music to come out especially during quarantine; obviously this year doesn’t nearly touch the brilliance of 2019 for the artform, but there were enough bangers to certainly devise a best singles list. As a clarification, the songs I’ve included on this list are not ranked and the choices that I’ve made here are mainly based on the songs that I listened to the most throughout the year — that’s why they are the tracks that “defined” 2020 for me. Without further to do…

Lead vocalist of the band “Daughters” unexpectedly released this 2020 solo effort and it floored me. It sounds more rough and forbidden than even some of the tracks off of Alexis and company’s “You Won’t Get What You Want.”
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Angel Olsen’s acoustic remix LP that she dropped this year, but one track on it did stick out like a sore thumb to me and that was “Whole New Mess”: a simple, desperate sounding nightmare of insecurities that has one of my favorite vocal performances from Olsen yet.
Ashnikko came off as quite the unusual artist when her hit song “STUPID” blew up on TikTok. Afterwards, I didn’t really know what to make of all her high-octane, braggadocios music until very recently when she released “Daisy,” which is by far not only her most mature effort yet, but it also has one of the oddest vocal hooks I’ve heard in a while. Anyhow, I dig it!
Devi McCallion’s sinister vocals whisked with this witchcraft-type beat and a piercing rap verse from Backxwash are what make “Spells” SOOO uncommonly delectable. If you know me, I’m a huge sucker for ominous hip-hop music, and this track will now be used as my quick, two minute example of the subgenre.
Swans meets Slint meets King Krule? Whatever it is, I’m f**king obsessed with it. That lingering bass line, the graphic lyrics, the extroverted vocal performance from Isaac Wood, the schizophrenic midway guitar/sax solo, and the monstrous climax of instrumentals… ugh! It’s quite the gut-punching experience from upcoming band Black Country, New Road.
Not only did Charli XCX drop her slickest LP yet, “how i’m feeling now,” this year, but on that LP was my favorite pop track of 2020 as well. “forever” is a hyper-produced song of electronic insanities that additionally happens to be unconventionally pleasing on the ears. Imagine making this, “claws,” “7 years,” “pink diamond,” and “enemy” all in the same year. Quarantine has somehow refined Charli’s artistry.
clipping. has been a powerhouse experimental hip-hop group for almost a decade now, and “Say the Name” happens to just be more proof to add to that claim. It’s also one of their greatest tracks… like… ever. What a climax!
Considering I edited “The Holy” music video for the mysterious artist known as Darkohtrash, I obviously had to listen to the song countless times. It’s now an engraved memory for me during the summer of 2020, so how could I not include it on this list? Also, my reflection is hiding somewhere on the cover artwork!
“DIET_” is 2 whole minutes of FLAMES. In fact, the entire EP that Kenny and Denzel made at the beginning of 2020 was pretty spicy. This partially old-school-styled track, however, just happens to be the highlight of it all.
“The Rite of Spring Monkey” is a song that feels like a long lost “Madvillainy” track that simultaneously happened to be made in Japan. The members of Dos Monos must have pretty good taste in music.
If you had told me a couple years ago that I would somehow end up enjoying Dua Lipa’s work by 2020, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Yet, here we are. The track “Future Nostalgia” is well… 80s rewiring done seamlessly.
I will be bopping to Duma if I ever make it to Hell, guaranteed. Akin to many of their tracks that dropped this year, “Corners in Nihil” has some of the most aggressively unapologetic and zany experimentation I’ve heard… ever. The Kenyan Metal scene is about to explode again with charged inspiration once Duma’s career begins taking off.
I’ll admit, I never finished Eminem’s latest album “Music To Be Murdered By.” It… bored me, and after disliking his other two albums that came before, I just kind of lost hope. However, I did genuinely enjoy his hit track on it, “Godzilla.” Juice WRLD’s feature on here is surprisingly catchy, and I haven’t seen Eminem this creatively out there on a track in nearly a decade. The music video is loads of fun too!
Confession: this is my #1 favorite track of 2020. Even the Atlantic Ocean doesn’t have enough room to contain the amount of eccentricity expressed in “Shameika.”
HAIM’s “The Steps” is their catchiest and most lively hit song since “The Wire” was first released in 2013. “I can’t understand, why you don’t understand me, Baby!”
R.I.P Jordan Groggs. You ended your career off on a high-note with “Hoodwinked.” That saxophone loop is unforgettable!
The IDLES came politically charged this year, and while the lyricism at times sometimes stains as surface-level statements, the sound of “Grounds” is too bombastically head-bopping to ignore; it OVERRULES!
An even better throwback to 80s pop, Jessie Ware’s “Spotlight” would’ve been an A-class, smashing hit if it were released back during that era. Hopefully, if we’re lucky, it’ll blow-up bigtime next year given the success of artists who are also evolving the nostalgic sound such as Dua Lipa or The Weeknd.
“Acid” is 2020’s finest example of blending the old with the new. The sound editing here is just PHENOMENAL! I can’t wait to see where this new, experimental duo goes given how exotically enigmatic this track and the EP it appears on was.
This just in: Filthy Frank is gone for good and Joji is fully ALIVE.
Among the many great tracks that JPEGMAFIA spontaneously decided to drop this year, “COVERED IN MONEY!” is by far the best. This man can do no wrong.
Kelly Lee Owens is someone I’m looking foreword to seeing more of in the future. If you’re a fan of house music, “Re-Wild” and the rest of her LP is a must listen.
I added this song to my “currently listening to” playlist at the beginning of this year and it hasn’t been removed since. “Stoned Again” is an ugly, horrorshow track from Archie that perfectly encapsulates a downward spiral in a brief amount of time.
Sure, I could’ve put down the many cover tracks Lingua Ignota released this year, but I felt as if her one original song she released earlier this year crushed in comparison. “O Ruthless Great Divine Director” sees Ignota continuing her distinct sound with even more expression in her vocals.
Ah, yes; Liturgy never seems to disappoint in, at least, their piano compositions, huh? It’s difficult imagining the avant-garde metal group not making a song that’s at least sonically extravagant, whether it works or not. Luckily, “SIHEYMN’s Lament” lies on the winning side. Being the second act and scene of Liturgy’s latest album “Origins of Alimonies,” the piece boldly uses a peculiar sound of deviating elegancy to enhance its speaker’s glorification on pain.
Undoubtedly a particularly emotional experience for fans of Mac Miller, “Good News” is a thought-provoking career send off, as the song nearly encapsulates the psychological state of its singer before his tragic death.
“Conveyor” wasn’t initially my first choice for which Moses Sumney track to choose for this list. I was actually thinking of picking either something as complex as “Cut Me,” or as grandiose as “Bless Me,” or even as strictly angelic as “Polly.” But… I don’t know; if you can turn a coughing noise into one of the most eternally haunting rhythms I’ve heard all year, then you’ve won the game of art. So cheers to Sumney for, haha, “that” and many of the other abnormal assets that make “Conveyor” a noteworthy musical milestone.
“Daiitoku-Myoo no Odaiko” is a LOT to take in. What a BEAST of a song, incorporating so much instrumental texture with an epic scale of cinematic vibrancy. It’s continuously investing throughout its lengthy 6-minute runtime.
Perfume Genius has a holy falsetto, and “Jason” is a show-off of this attribute like no other. Describing a one-night stand with a man, this track uses a standout harpsichord inclusion, controlled bassline, orchestra, and some bouncy verses to deliver one of the most beautiful sounding songs of 2020.
Arguably my favorite closer to an album this year, “I Know the End” to my knowledge is by far Phoebe Bridgers at the height of her career. It’s a progressively inclining balance of existential dread and optimism that unleashes its hidden aggression towards the climax of the song with some of the keenest production I’ve heard in my entire life — period. IT’S OUGHT TO BE THE SECOND BEST SONG OF THE YEAR.
Poppy, Poppy, Poppy. Just when you thought she couldn’t outdo her last single, she does it. Specifically though, with my favorite track on her latest record, “Anything Like Me.”
Rina Sawayama has become one of the most versatile pop artists of our generation. It’s tough not including more of her work off of her insanely detail-oriented produced album “SAWAYAMA.” Nonetheless, “XS” ended up being my pick for the list. The amount of hooking moments and tasteful textures on this song is absolutely bonkers compared to the average pop/alt track.
“yankee and the brave” is one of the grimiest produced Run the Jewels songs I’ve heard thus far and a near perfect opener to a solid LP.
Umm… words… can’t uhh… explainexplainexplain… I think I’m going to malfunction because of how industrially badass this track is from innovative artist Sevdaliza. Her new LP “Shabrang” really proved that she hasn’t stopped trying her hardest even with the rough COVID-19 circumstances standing in our way as an obstacle.
Slauson Malone certainly appears to have a hands-on talent for musical production. His work here feels so passively raw yet flexible. “Smile #6” almost sounds like two separate songs aimed at the same subject matter, and I’ve come to appreciate its ambitious yet spiritual totality.
The Strokes are back, baby! After a long hiatus from the music scene, the band doesn’t disappoint with their return. “The Adults Are Talking” sees the group exploring new territory with more modern instrumental sounds while also managing to preserve their distinct style all throughout the track.
Easily my favorite song to come from the response to the tragic murder of George Floyd, “Pig Feet” is Terrace Martin working at the top of his game.
Tkay Maidza is the NEXT BIG THING. The multi-talented singer/rapper/writer does little wrong on her EP “Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2” and it shows especially in the groovy closing track “Don’t Call Me Again.”
The standout duo name “WARGASM” should give you just enough information on what to expect from this aggressively sparkling rock banger. “IT’S SO DIS–SGUSTING!”
Yves Tumor, in a sense, kind of gave me what I wanted out of Tame Impala’s latest record. He admittedly weighs past influences heavily on his shoulders, yet he’s able to use this combination of guidance as a gateway to create something only he himself could craft. “Dream Palette” is my favorite track off of “Heaven To a Tortured Mind” for its interesting use of sound effects, busy instrumentation, and imperial vocal design.

The Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

So, recently I did some research on what movies were coming out in 2020 and was contentedly surprised to find out just how much this year has to offer. Considering that 2019 set the bar for 21st Century years for movies, I had totally forgotten that there are a lot of attracting movies coming out this year. Hence, here are my top 10 most anticipated movies of this decade’s opening year: 

10. No Time to Die 

Release Date: April 8th

Granted, 2015’s Spectre didn’t impress me. To me, that movie kind of admitted that the Daniel Craig saga of the 007 franchise was beginning to die down in intrigue. However, I am a total geek for this series. From From Russia to Love to Casino Royale, there are so many monumental moments in James Bond’s grand, epic story and to hear that No Time to Die could be the definitive quote on quote “ending” (for now) of this individual’s legacy does harness my attention. Plus, the trailer was badass and Cary Joji Fukunaga (the man behind Beasts of No Nation) is directing it. 

9. The Invisible Man (2020)

Release Date: February 28th

I have always been a supporter of Leigh Whannell ever since he and James Wan made the original Saw. Two years ago he directed a fantastic throwback thriller called Upgrade, which ended up on my Top 20 list of 2018. I am also a big supporter of Elisabeth Moss because she’s a phenomenal actress. Hearing that these two are coming together to craft a twisted, darker reimagining of The Invisible Man tale is honestly quite exciting. 


8. Those Who Wish Me Dead 

Release Date: October 23rd

Taylor Sheridan is a man of many talents—one part actor, one part writer, and one part director. This man not only wrote Sicario 1 and 2 and Hell or High Water, but he also directed 2017’s acclaimed Wind River. I legitimately would have to be critically insane not to be thrilled for his junior directorial feature-length, Those Who Wish Me Dead


7. The Trial of Chicago 7 

Release Date: September 25th

Aaron Sorkin is a screenwriting legend to me. His collaboration with David Fincher, also known as The Social Network, featured one of the greatest screenplays ever in my opinion. Later on, Sorkin went on to write Moneyball and Steve Jobs, and more recently he directed a solid biopic about American entrepreneur Molly Bloom. Now, he has a second directorial film coming out that has not only a killer cast but a pretty interesting true story behind it. I doubt that anything could possibly go wrong with this movie; I can’t wait! 

Film Title: Glass

6. Last Night in Soho

Release Date: September 25th

I have a confession to make: I am not the biggest fan of most Edgar Wright movies. For the most part though, I’ve liked all his films but have never really “loved” any of them besides maybe his most recent gift to cinema, Baby Driver. With that being said though, you can’t deny that the director is outstandingly gifted. I am always excited to see a new project by Wright because no matter what, even if I don’t end up falling head over heels with a new project of his, there’s always something creatively worthwhile to get out of anything that the man crafts. He’s clearly someone who appreciates the art of cinema and I hope Last Night in Soho is a stylistic blast like most of his feature-lengths. 

5. Tenet 

Release Date: July 17th

Christopher Nolan is a mainstream filmmaker that I adore. Even if he makes an indifferent movie like Interstellar every once in a while, everything that the dude makes always interests me and at least has some sort of admirable complications to them. Tenet, based off the trailer, intrigues the hell out of me. I have no idea if I’ll like it or not, but like most Christopher Nolan movies, there’s bound to be something mind-boggling about its culmination. Plus, Robert Pattinson is in it. 


4. The French Dispatch 

Release Date: Unknown

Ah, yes, Wes Anderson. An artist who usually makes the cutest, prettiest, and most hipster-targeted movies of this generation. When it comes to Anderson, I never have major expectations for his stories, but I always have major expectations for his entertainment values. There’s something peculiarly charming about everything that the filmmaker has made yet and I guarantee that there will be many things that are oddly delightful about his newest film, The French Dispatch


3. Mank

Release Date: Unknown

There’s a new David Fincher movie coming out. Do I really need to explain myself? This time around though, I think I’m more excited for a film of his than ever not only because it’s been more than half a decade since he’s released a feature-length, but because this new movie of his, Mank, is about the creation of Citizen Kane. Thee Orson Welles, Citizen Kane. That’s awesome! I’m utterly dying to see it! 


2. I’m Thinking of Ending Things 

Release Date: Unknown

Good news for Netflix subscribers: I’m Thinking of Ending Things will be available to stream on the platform this year. I have no issue in saying that writer and director Charlie Kaufman is one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time. Most notably, the mastermind is known for writing such hit films as Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but, to me, his greatest achievement in the category of cinema is easily his directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York. Not only, with only two films, has the craftsman proven that he is a brilliant writer, but he has furthermore proven that he is more than capable of directing a masterpiece. About less than a year ago, I actually read the novel that Kaufman’s new movie will be based on and reviewed it. In simple words, I loved it, and there is no fitter director out there to take on the material that that book had to offer than Kaufman himself. I have high hopes for this exceedingly anticipated motion picture. 


1. Dune (2020)

Release Date: December 18th

In 1984, legendary director David Lynch made an underwhelmingly received adaptation of the heavily acclaimed novel, Dune. Not until 36 years later did it seem as if the perfect director would come to take a jab at the iconic science fiction tale. From the man behind such triumphs as Incendies, Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario, and Blade Runner 2049, comes a motion picture that is almost guaranteed to be an experience of a lifetime. Of course it’s my most anticipated movie of the year! 


The Top 20 Movies of the Decade! (2010-2019)

Well, ladies and gentlemen, another decade has flashed by as well as a whole 10 years of movie releases. I won’t waste anymore time. You know exactly what that means…

20. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

As of the moment, Moonrise Kingdom is my all-time favorite Wes Anderson film, and probably because I saw it during my adolescence when it first came out. Being the same age as the two main characters in this film gained so much value for me because I harshly related to what our leads were going through at that time. Now, gazing back at the film as an adult, I can furthermore appreciate just how perfectly it encapsulates young love. Moonrise Kingdom is endearing, spirited, and, in all likelihood, my favorite looking Wes Anderson movie as well. 

19. Moonlight (2016)

Sticking on target with movies that involve love and sexual awakenings, here we have Barry Jenkins’ directorial debut, Moonlight. This motion picture journey I would confidently describe as technically flawless. There’s literally nothing in terms of execution, directing, and visual presentation in this film that is anything below marvelous. Moonlight is the quintessential drama about someone growing up in a poor neighborhood and family while simultaneously dealing with a secret that isn’t necessarily accepted in society. It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking three-part exploration. 

18. Snowpiercer (2013)

South Korean legend Bong Joon-ho made an American feature-length back in 2013 that was harshly criticized by audiences for its lack of “story-wise” plausibility. The thing is though, Snowpiercer isn’t trying to be quote on quote “realistic.” It’s trying to show you the ugly truth about human nature, which is, that no matter the absurd situation, social-class will always stay relevant. To me, Snowpiercer is a science-fiction cult classic that is brimmed with fantastic set pieces, memorable characters, and some of the coolest shot action sequences I’ve seen all decade. 

17. Good Time (2017)

Good Time: the most moving (literally) or “always-on-the-run” motion picture ever, one of the most aesthetically pleasing projects in the visual department, and easily the most stressful movie I’ve ever had to sit down and watch. The Safdie Brothers are gems to the new world of stress-urging cinema, and Good Time is about as far-out you can possibly go in replicating the throbbing feelings of hysteria. I wish I could watch Good Time for the first time ever again, as it was an unforgettable experience that I had no clue what I was in for.

16. Her (2013)

Spike Jonze’s acclaimed Oscar-winning hit is both scary and beautiful. Scary because of its realism and profound insight into our very future with where technology is taking us and beautiful because it manages to make a human and robot (of artificial intelligence) relationship blossom into something that many would describe as true love. It genuinely takes a skillful cast and crew to make such an unorthodox and almost laughable premise function in such a down-to-earth and riveting manner. 

15. A Ghost Story (2017)

A Ghost Story isn’t necessarily a movie that’ll appeal to everyone, yet it’s certainly a movie that’s about all of us. It’s a hypnotic exploration of life and death. It’s almost like the elongated version of what we would most likely urge to see right before we died. Like Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, David Lowery’s A Ghost Story is a compelling take on existentialism: what life really is and what it might be like if life were to cease. It’s so hard to compare the execution of A Ghost Story really to any other movie that’s ever been made. It’s holy original, addicting to look at, and truthfully a movie that I would consider severely overlooked. 

14. The Florida Project (2017)

If there were anything out there that could possibly (be prepared to hear something that will probably sound awkward and strange) make me feel like a child again, it would be The Florida Project: a movie about a group of kids living in an impoverished area. This entire film doesn’t even really feel like a film; it’s like you’re 100% looking in on the everyday life of some families who don’t have necessarily the most wealthy lives. Not only are the child performances in this movie hands-down the greatest child performances to ever be showcased on camera, but the atmosphere of the movie is hands-down one of the most genuine, heartfelt encapsulations of American poverty lifestyle in the existence of fictional storytelling. 

13. Incendies (2010)

“One plus one, does it make one?” is still one of the most effectively used quotes in the history of cinema—and if you don’t know the context of the scene, please don’t search up the scene on YouTube; go watch the whole movie! Overtime, I have grown to consider Incendies to be Denis Villeneuve’s masterpiece. This is rightfully his most f****d up movie of his entire filmography as well as his most relevant feature-length to date. It’s a heart-wrenching magnum opus. 

12. Suspiria (2018)

Well, onto the most underrated horror movie of this entire decade. Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria is a downright serpentine of muddling intentions. It’s not a pretentious flick; it’s a scary flick—like how most horror movies should be. The majority of criticisms I’ve heard about this film are glaring reasons into why I think people have stopped appreciating what makes horror real horror. Is it real horror if the plot makes complete sense or gives you full closure—like what some people seem to want these days more than to be terrified of unblemished execution and editing techniques—or is it a movie that delivers eerie, unnerving confusion, imagery that burns directly into your eyes for all of eternity, and ear-wrecking music. Just saying. 

11. It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)

Easily the most passionately crafted and emotional of the films on this list, It’s Such a Beautiful Day is an obnoxiously overlooked and underrated animated masterpiece that depressingly showcases life itself. Its narration is creative as hell and unlike anything else. Its themes are well progressed and relatable to nearly every living being on this planet—take your dog to see this one, I guess. Plus, the incredible soundtrack is used in the most constructive way I’ve seen used in an animated motion picture. It still blows my mind that Don Hertzfeldt made this movie with only a couple other people. It’s an artistic feat if I’d ever seen one. 

10. Inherent Vice (2014)

This may sound harsh, but the type of people who hate Inherent Vice are most likely the type of people who know their opinion on a movie the moment the movie ends. No wonder Inherent Vice has received such negative reception by audience members because this is not an easy movie to digest at first glance. Structurally it’s a clusterf*** of intentional dilemmas and the story, in essence, doesn’t really add up in a perfect little circle. But, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2014 hippie mystery noir is the type of film that only gets better the more you recollect the confusing and utterly unique experience of the poisonous hallucinations that the motion picture took you on. If drugs were a movie, it’d be Inherent Vice: a masterpiece in progressing cinema to new, undiscovered territories. 

9. Burning (2018)

Lee Chang-dong’s Burning has the most unsatisfying satisfying ending in the history of storytelling. This masterclass in slow-burning progression has possibly the evilest finale to accompany a motion picture ever—and I f*****g love it. It took me about a year to realize that this movie is evidently flawless. It also took me a year to realize that The Academy (AKA, the worst movie award show ever since The Golden Raspberry) doesn’t deserve this movie—especially after they decided to not even nominate this masterpiece for best foreign film, furthermore continuing the company’s racist trend of never nominating a South Korean flick in the show’s entire historical runtime. Hopefully, spot #7 will break that trend!

8. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Is it okay for me to say that this is the best action blockbuster ever made? Because it is. Mad Max: Fury Road is the grandest show-off movie of this entire century, meaning that it basically was made to make every other action movie in the world look like garbage. This is a flick of sheer, madcap craziness with practical effects shining left in right, colorful explosions imploding the screens, and a faultless return to the iconic Mad Max series. It’s literally a post-apocalyptic lover’s wet dream. 

7. Parasite (2019)

Now, I’ve already said plenty of things about Bong Joon-ho’s greatest achievement yet, so if you’re curious, I’ll link my full review of it. Otherwise, all you need to know about this movie is that it’s the most fun I’ve had in the theaters ever. Check out my review: CLICK HERE 

6. The Lighthouse (2019)

Yet another movie I’ve already said plenty about. It’s a TRIUMPH! It’s belly-achingly FUNNY! It’s quite HORNY! Check out my review: CLICK HERE 

5. The Lobster (2015)

Arguably the best romantic comedy of this entire century, Yorgo Lanthimos’s The Lobster is the most fitting depiction of dystopian relationships ever—even though people literally transform into animals in this movie. Despite the fact that this entire movie is “lore-wise” absurd and goofy, sprinkled with awkward, clunky dialogue, and kind of meant to just make you laugh or feel extremely uncomfortable, it has so many things to say about modern and future society. The Lobster artistically investigates our desperation for love and our hatred of the taboo. It’s a personal favorite of mine! 

4. The Social Network (2010)

It takes god-like talent to make a boring-ass story about the creation of Facebook into debatably the most interesting drama in living memory. So, it makes sense that both David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin were the leading minds behind The Social Network. There’s not a whole lot to be said about this movie that hasn’t already been preached about by critics. It’s witty, fast-paced, always investing, and constantly wrapped up in exploiting the modern-like rivalries between friends and foes. 

3. Under the Skin (2013)

The best way to describe Under the Skin is to pitch it as if 2001: A Space Odyssey took place primarily on Earth, and I swear to you, it is almost as good as Stanley Kubrick’s classic. It’s easily the most underrated movie of this entire decade; it hurts me that almost nobody talks about it despite its legendarily flawless and groundbreaking quality. If aliens actually came to Earth to try and take us over, this is how I imagine it would happen—in utter, traumatizing and psychologically unimaginable ways. 

2. Melancholia (2011)

Lars von Trier is a controversial director, sure, and this is most likely going to be a controversial choice. However, give me a chance to explain myself. Depression is something everybody goes through, right? It’s a natural asset of the human persona. Melancholia, as the title may suggest, is about depression, and as pretentious as it may sound, it is the artistic entity of depression. This is the #1 film, to me, that has most accurately depicted the bipolar disorder. Melancholia is a (hopefully soon-to-be) classic that is, on paper, about the end of mankind as we know it, but really, the perfect vetting of our misery. If aliens (yes, I’m using aliens as an example again to describe a movie; shut up) ever came to Earth after we were long gone and wanted to understand us and our symptoms of depression, all they would need to do is pop in a Blu-ray copy of Melancholia, and voila, they will learn! 

1. The Master (2012) 

The Master is the finest made movie of all-time. There I said it. Is it my favorite movie ever? No, second favorite actually—beaten by A Clockwork Orange. But, personally, I genuinely believe that The Master, in terms of filmmaking technicalities, is the most perfect movie ever—even more so than The Godfather, which most people often claim to be cinema’s best-made film. Paul Thomas Anderson’s greatest masterpiece is one that intricately observes manipulation, partnership/love, belief, leadership, purpose, and addiction all in a flawlessly balanced and persuasive manner that hasn’t been executed in such an uncanny fashion in the history of cinema as it has in this movie. Did I also mention that The Master is the best looking, best acted, and best-written film of all-time? Enough said. To the kiddos who say cinema isn’t nearly as good as it is now: s-h-u-t u-p. 


The Top 15 Best Movies of 2019

Can I be frank with you fellas for a second? 2019 has been a GOLD MINE year for cinema. It’s as if the movie gods themselves had wanted to drop every consecutive masterpiece during this very special time in 21st-century history. So, with that in mind, this list was extraordinarily hard to make; it hurt putting this one together. I wish most of the movies on this list could get the #1 spot, but this was a damn well competitive year, so I’ll be a fair gentleman and rank them accordingly. Once again, I have done separate reviews for all of these films so the links for them will be highlighted over the titles of each film. First off, though… 

My Honorable Mentions: Knives Out, Ad Astra, Beach Bum, 1917, Joker, Shazam!, The Farewell, Us, Her Smell, Rocketman, Birds of Passage, They Shall Not Grow Old, The Souvenir, and Pain and Glory

Now, onto the list! 

15. Greener Grass

I feel as if I would be doing the world a disfavor by not having Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebee’s severely overlooked Greener Grass on this list. This movie is just straight-up freakin’ weird. It’s a motion picture that doesn’t try to hide the fact that it’s quirky and absolutely absurd, but rather, fully embraces its uncanny material. Nevertheless, what truly makes Greener Grass a triumph is how it evokes laughs out of its audience. The comedy here is not only holy original but the eccentricness of the movie’s comical material is utilized for a much more consequential meaning. Through one of the most joyful parts of human existence (laughter) DeBoer and Luebee sinisterly strive to make gloomy meanings out of situational comedy. 

14. Cold War

This foreign gem by acclaimed director Paweł Pawlikowski didn’t get a US release until February 2019, so it’s on my list—which I’m not complaining about, FYI. Cold War isn’t necessarily a movie I’d deem super innovative, it’s simply just an exceptionally well-written and well-acted love story that successfully encapsulates its time period. Some of the best, most provocative dialogue of the entire year lies within this film. Cold War is a lovely film to look at, an extremely pleasant movie to listen to—thanks to its spectacular original soundtrack—and a fairly insightful study on intimacy. 

13. The Irishman

In many ways, Martin Scorsese’s return to mafia motion pictures does seem like a retread of familiar grounds, but at the core of the film, the themes of the motion picture feel entirely different from anything the legendary director has touched on. The Irishman is a three-hour documentation on a husband/father who starts to incrementally get caught up in his work and caught up in some of his new colleagues who have almost become like “family” to him. The most daunting part about this state of affairs is that working in such a dangerous field inevitably forces you to make some tough calls that could majorly affect your real family or your best friends. It’s essentially a more psychological modernization of Goodfellas

12. Midsommar (The Director’s Cut) 

The first time I saw Midsommar, I thought it was just “fine.” I had no dire inclination to watch the movie again in theaters. That is until I read some articles that director Ari Aster was pretty much propelled to cut down the movie by studios. A couple months later, A24 decides to limitedly release a 3-hour director’s cut of Midsommar in theaters. Due to these circumstances, I decided to watch this extended version of the polarizing horror/drama feature-length and I ended up pretty much loving it. It’s amazing realizing just how much less than half an hour of footage can improve a film. This superior version of Midsommar to me is a fantastic example of how uncomfortable situations that at first, may appear quite taboo and funny, can really get under your skin when you begin to witness how it affects others. A terrifying break-up movie, indeed! 

11. A Hidden Life

It seems that we’re on a roll with these 3-hour-long movies, huh? Terrence Malick’s newest feature-length A Hidden Life was a beautifully depressing experience, to say the least. Of course, the movie is shot and directed to a god-like level that only Malick can accomplish. But, I also really appreciated what Malick had to say in this story. This is an admirable exploration on how belief is such a chief principle in causing us to make decisions that don’t necessarily seem logical. It’s a very upsetting look into an Austrian farmer during World War II who simply gives up all his lawful rights just so that he can keep his firm beliefs. It’s inspiring yet emotionally draining to witness, and the unforgettable experience that Malick took me on has simply not been able to scram out of my head. 

10. Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is a great argumentative piece of evidence to show people that marriage and divorce aren’t as cookie-cutter as they appear to be. While this movie did piss me off a lot because you essentially witness just how corrupt the divorce system is, it was also a very moving experience for me and I’m sure a great chunk of people who saw the film. Not only do Adam Driver and the spectacular Scarlett Johansson deliver some of the best performances of this entire year, but they also share together one of the most important stories of the entire year. This is a must-watch for couples who want some forewarning and single folks who want to feel victorious.

9. Uncut Gems

As a gigantic Good Time fan, it can be plainly expected that I had high hopes for the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems. Luckily, my expectations were reached. This is, of course, an exceedingly anxiety-driven thriller like Good Time, but is one that seems to want to focus more on its main character than the rough sensations you get from the situation at hand. This is a marvelous motion picture that constructively exemplifies the cliché father who is too caught up in his work and money than in his actual family. Plus, there’s some crazy filmmaking stuff in it that cinephiles like myself will eat up graciously. 

8. Waves

Can we please make an exclusive Academy Award for Trey Edward Schultz that rewards people who know how to direct and move a camera seamlessly? That’d be so cool. Anyhow, Waves was a hard film to watch and I can completely understand anyone who found the movie to be repulsing. To me though, I found Waves to be endlessly insightful on modern-day adolescence/young adulthood. It showcases some very graphic scenarios and builds off of them productively. It has resolutions that are immorally disgraceful and resolutions that are morally positive and it successfully balances them as a singular, consecutive piece. It’s a momentous movie that I think everybody high-school-age and up should check out. I truly believe that it’s an experience that we all need to understand and recognize for the benefit of ourselves.

7. Under the Silver Lake

I can’t tell you how much I hated the first hour of this movie when I initially saw it. But, I hate to compare a movie to Citizen Kane, but this movie is similar to Citizen Kane in the sense that it’s so adventurously taboo to the filmmaking art that it makes sense why so many people, critics and audiences alike, would initially hate the experience of the movie. By the end of it, I was won over despite almost despising the confusion I gained during the opening act of the movie. Under the Silver Lake is one of those films where you don’t entirely understand what the story presented at hand is, but you do know entirely what it’s trying to say thematically. The whole movie is this unbelievably ridiculous abstraction that’s meant to intel us on the cancerous culture of the entertainment industry. You feel it throughout the movie, and while it hurts to not understand every intricate plot point that is occurring at hand, you feel satisfied in the otherworldly journey of emotions and memories of Hollywood that David Robert Mitchell’s newest film takes you on. Also, it has my favorite scene of the entire year in it. Do yourselves a favor and Google, “the Elite Scheme scene.” 

6. High Life

I never could have imagined that one day I would need a horny science-fiction movie to complete my life. High Life, you’ve disturbingly changed my taste in movies. Legendary director Claire Denis’s newest feature-length is not only one of the best looking space movies I’ve ever laid eyes on, but it’s also one of the most unique movies I’ve ever seen in my entire life. The execution of this film is super unorthodox and the resolutions of this movie are also extremely unorthodox. This whole movie is one humongous “F-U” to the conventions of typical storytelling. But, there’s clearly a purpose to all the madness, and I ended up getting so much out of High Life especially as I thought more and more about it. In my mind, this movie is going to age superbly and I can only hope that it becomes a cult classic in the near future; it deserves it. 

5. Climax

Gaspar Noé you sick son of a bitch, stop stressing me the hell out! Climax was one and a half hours of just pure horror. I hated it. But that’s why this movie is so incredibly mind-blowing and why Noé continues to be one of my favorite directors working today. Sure, the movie is arguably short on story, but obviously, that’s not what the movie is all about. This is a stressful visual performance that allows its victims (the viewers) to witness a posse of dancers struggle to survive on LSD. From the flawless camera direction to the gut-wrenching performances from all the actresses and actors, Climax is undoubtedly a monumental accomplishment for the thriller genre. Watch it with the whole family!

4. Portrait of a Lady on Fire

I was one of the few—thanks to not seeing the trailer beforehand—people who went into Portrait of a Lady on Fire without knowing that it was a love story. In hindsight, because I watched this movie slowly blossom into a beautifully orchestrated romance with no knowledge of the film at all, it can evidently be said that my experience was unfairly enhanced. However, I don’t care, I still think this movie is absolutely brilliant either way. Imagine if Ingmar Bergman wrote Call Me By Your Name; that’s essentially what Portrait of a Lady on Fire feels like. Who could turn down such a prodigy of combination? Céline Sciamma is certainly going places and I’m dying to see what she does next.

3. Once Upon a Time In Hollywood

Tarantino’s ninth feature film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is the type of unadulterated “fun” Hollywood should ironically be striving for. It’s a lightweight movie made exclusively from the ambitions of a filmmaking genius who wanted to play around a little with his devoted audience. It’s the kind of light-hearted, laid-back motion picture that takes you on multiple different journeys through the preexisting times of the Hollywood Renaissance. It’s another Tarantino soon-to-be-classic, indeed. 

2. Parasite

Parasite is genuinely one of the most carefully crafted films ever made. A virtually flawless affair in directing, writing, acting, cinematography, comedy, twists, drama, structure, characters, and themes, this is arguably a 2019 knockout that’s up there with some of the greatest movies of all-time. It’s exciting, it’s traumatizing, it’s shocking, and it’s a movie that nobody on this entire planet is going to forget once they’ve seen it. I can’t imagine a living soul out there that wouldn’t be enthralled from start to finish by Bong Joon-ho’s finest contribution to Korean filmmaking yet.

1. The Lighthouse

While Parasite may be the cinematic technical achievement of the year, when it comes down to it, Robert Egger’s The Lighthouse is this year’s feature-length that I personally bonded with the most. The aesthetically old-fashioned yet utterly original film lends itself to classic horror premises like The Shining where we observe an individual or a couple people slowly drift away from sanity. However, The Lighthouse doesn’t present itself like any of those vintage psychological terror flicks. Despite its obvious influences, this is a dark comedy at its core. The satire blended with the old-folk language makes for an absurdly hilarious adventure of drinking, farting, and violence. You wouldn’t believe the lines that come out of Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe’s characters until you hear them. You couldn’t come up with the type of character actions that Eggers’ pulls out of his odd little complex until you’ve seen them for yourself. This is an endlessly rewatchable genre-blender with some of the best acting, dialogue, and sequences ever put to arthouse film. High-brow creativity never seemed to cease in The Lighthouse. 

So, those are my top 15 movies of 2019. Damn, this year was killer. I don’t know what else to say. If you haven’t already, check out some of the movies on this list. Support these talented filmmakers. This year deserves one big round of applause. 


My Top 10 Least Favorite Movies of 2019

It’s that depressing time of the year again, ladies and gentlemen, where I go over my top 10 least favorite movies of 2019. Disclaimer: I haven’t seen every dreadful act of wickedness this year so if a crappy movie that you absolutely despised didn’t show up on this list, don’t get upset; it’s probably not on here because I didn’t see it. Unless it’s High Life. I saw that movie, and I loved it; I don’t understand why you barbaric people hated it so much! Additionally, I have reviewed each of these movies separately, so if you’re interested in checking those out, the links to each review will be highlighted over the movie titles. Now, let’s get this s***show on the road, shall we? 

10. It Chapter Two

I thoroughly enjoyed Andrés Muschietti’s 2017 remake of It so the concept of making a sequel to the wildly successful horror hit always came as an alarming scheme to me considering that the source material in which the novel is based on has a highly half-baked secondary story revolving around the all-grown-up members of The Losers Club. Regretfully, It Chapter Two ended up being exactly as I expected it to be: drawn-out, moronic, and a complete misuse of such a talented cast. 

9. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

While I did admire the haunting creature designs in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the movie itself left more to be desired. Admittedly, I never grew up on the books as a kid—I was rather a Goosebumps fanatic (sorry, not sorry)—so I may have not bonded with the long-awaited motion picture like some folks did. It merely felt like an amateurishly extended version of an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark—and a tedious one at that. 

8. Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel isn’t necessarily what I’d call a “terrible” movie, but it’s certainly the type of blockbuster that I would gladly categorize under “vanilla-as-HELL.” It’s a forgettable, pointless, and defectively contrived adventure flick that lives at the depths of such duds as Thor: The Dark World or The Incredible Hulk. It’s disappointing to see that the first female superhero movie in the MCU—which, by the way, has taken way too long to happen—ended up being a vast waste of money and time. 

7. Happy Death Day 2U

Happy Death Day 2U is a Blumhouse cash-grab sequel that’s a complete retread of the original Happy Death Day, just without the imaginative wit or drive. This whole movie feels like a PG-13 Disney Channel TV movie—meaning, it has the childish writing, acting, and dialogue of a made-for-television feature but the raunchy blunder of a PG-13 movie. They should’ve never made a sequel; the first Happy Death Day was a solid stand-alone that didn’t need to be tampered with. 

6. Terminator: Dark Fate

We’re officially 4 for 2 in the crappy Terminator movie count. Imagine: a studio wants to erase all their previous mistakes from the official Terminator timeline (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, and Terminator: Genisys) so that they can restart the franchise with a clean slate…and then they just end up making another mistake—except this one, unlike the previous three failures, is a light retread of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The action has never looked more embarrassing, the plot is all too familiar, and the results whimper down to another reason to jot down on the list of why the Terminator movies never should’ve been a massive franchise in the first place. 

5. Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

Isn’t it just depressing that I’ve now had two Star Wars movies in my top 10 worst of the year lists? First Solo: A Star Wars Story and now The Rise of Skywalker—which by the way, is even worse than Solo. Like, it’s so disappointing that these new Star Wars movies have already reached this level of “bad” and it’s been like only 4 years since Disney released The Force Awakens. It’s such a shame. Anyways, do I really need to explain what is so utterly wrong with this movie? I’m exhausted from watching these Star Wars movies transform into studio orientated blueprints on how to please their obnoxious fanbase rather than ambitious and creative passion-projects. Enough said. 

4. 3 From Hell

I feel so sorry for hardcore Rob Zombie fans. I do shamefully enjoy The Devil’s Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses isn’t that shabby, but by golly is 3 From Hell a dyed-in-the-wool disservice to the series. It’s a movie that has absolutely no geography or sense of idea on what it wants to be or where it wants its gratuitous story to go. It’s one of those movies that thinks it’s so meta for parodying its source material, but just ends up comically backfiring on itself. If I had to choose between going to Hell or watching this movie again, well, let’s just say, it’d be a tough decision. 

3. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Gareth Edward’s Godzilla is a good movie. There, I said it. Did you see Godzilla for more than 15% of the movie? No. Was there at least an authoritative sense of scale and intensity to that motion picture? Absolutely! What does Godzilla: King of Monsters have? Unbearable characters, shaky-cam/close-up CGI action sequences, and an unhealthy amount of fan service. Sure, mindless diehards got to see their favorite monster fight on the big screen, but at the cost of what? Getting a movie that inserts so much unqualified blockbuster nonsense that eventually gets real old real fast and even makes the greatest creature known to cinema seem repetitive and tiresome? Not worth it, in my humble opinion. 

2. X-Men: Dark Phoenix 

Sigh. Now, even though this movie is indisputably an atrocious superhero flick beyond disbelief, I wouldn’t say that I hated it. In fact, I, sinisterly, had fun watching just how horribly awful this franchise has become. In hindsight, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Logan, in a lot of ways, set the bar for how fantastic superhero movies can be. But, watching such a solid revamp of a franchise just coward back to the flaws of its original series but at such a miserable level that hadn’t yet been discovered was hilariously enjoyable to witness. Dark Phoenix may be an inexcusably convoluted film, but it’s an unintentionally hilarious one. Do yourselves a favor: watch it with the biggest group of friends you can gather up. Alcohol may be needed. 

1. The Lion King

So here it is, fellas. My least favorite movie of 2019: the quote on quote, “live-action” Lion King remake. Not only does this movie happen to be the most despicable feature-length that this year has had to offer, but it’s taken a more special spot in my life as of the moment: it’s officially my least favorite movie of ALL-TIME. Yep, I am not exaggerating. Let’s take a glance at some of the classic choices that people would often choose as some of the “worst” movies ever made: Tommy Wiseau’s The Room and Amir Shervan’s Samurai Cop. Terrible, terrible movies. But, if you haven’t noticed already, these movies feature something that The Lion King simply does not possess: passion-driven ambition. The Lion King shouldn’t even count as a movie; it’s a greedy corporate product that managed to get millions of people to pay money and watch the same exact movie that they’ve already seen—minus the heart, minus the creative animation, and minus the charm. This is “legal plagiarism” if I’d ever seen it. I HATE JON FAVERAU’S THE LION KING SO MUCH. SO MUCH! IT MAKES ME GET SO AGGRAVATED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT! 

Deep breathes, Evan. Deep breathes. So, that concludes my least favorite movies of 2019. If I’m being quite frank, this year could’ve been a lot worse. Half of the movies on this list I don’t even think are that bad. I just happened to not see that many stinkers this year, which is delightful to recognize. The Lion King, truthfully, was basically the push I needed to make this list, all-in-all. So, thank you, Disney. 


The Four Special Albums That Made 2019 For Me

I was debating whether to do a top 10 list for my picks for the best albums of the year or just make a small, contained selection of a couple LPs that truly spoke to me, unlike any other albums I heard this year. As you probably already figured out from reading the title, I’ve decided to do the cringy, personal choice by speaking about the four records that emotionally made 2019 a musically special year for me. With that in mind, I still have a handful of LPs to give honorable mentions to:

Lana Del Rey’s Norman F***ing Rockwell,

Lingua Ignota’s Caligula

Thom Yorke’s ANIMA 

Now, onto the kickass stuff…

IGOR – Tyler the Creator

IGOR is a fine example of a very consistent album. Narratively, it’s extremely on topic and gradual. The production and sampling—which, by the way, is easily some of the best production and sampling of this entire decade—is tonally steady. Even the music videos that accompany Tyler’s newest record are visually harmonious. This piece, as a whole, is well balanced. There doesn’t seem to be one specific weak spot hidden somewhere in between tracks. While Tyler’s Flower Boy features most of his principal hits, I personally feel as if IGOR is the concise assembly that truly marked the artist’s greatest achievement yet. 

All Mirrors – Angel Olsen

All Mirrors sounds like the LP love child of Lana Del Rey and The Cranberries. A blissful mingle of 90s and modern-day influence, Angel Olsen has perfected her finest project yet in this 2019 breakout album. It’s a 21st century LP that I would happily describe as nothing less than “epic.” It’s a gathering of the most alluring symphonic instrumentals of the year and a landmark in Olsen’s development as a performer. 

All My Heroes Are Cornballs – JPEGMAFIA

Last year, JPEGMAFIA released a killer experimental hip-hop record known as Veteran. After such a crowning moment in the artist’s career, nobody could’ve fathomed the idea of him topping such a project. Fast forward one year later and the rapper has carelessly outdone his previous record with All My Heroes Are Cornballs. Surprisingly enough, this album doesn’t promote the hard-hitting, up-in-your-face sort of style that made Veteran such a harsh delight to listen to; the LP is rather more concerned in showcasing the restrained exploration of Peggy’s sentiments towards modern-day culture while also being a huge extravaganza of inventive genre-blending. It’s a contemporary hip-hop exemplar that deserves more recognition. 

Oncle Jazz – Men I Trust

Awe, yes. My favorite album of 2019: Men I Trust’s Oncle Jazz. Now, is it a little unfair that 30% of the songs on this record are made up of stunning singles that the band has released in the years of 2017 and 2018? Yes. But, this LP is 24-tracks long. So, in a manner, it sort of makes up for the fact that this album is compiled with a good amount of older hits. To me, Oncle Jazz is the reinvigoration that the dream-pop genre desperately needed. Men I Trust’s two previous LPs didn’t exactly seem to do the trick, but the band’s newest passion-project is just brimming with so many unforgettable gems that truly exemplify colossal signs of maturity. Twin Peaks soundtrack fans, it’s our time to shine. 


My 20 Favorite Songs of 2019 (From 15 Different Artists)

Last year, I made a “20 favorite songs” list for 2018, but it was in a video format on YouTube, so unshockingly, it got removed. At this point, due to YouTube’s destructive nature, I’ve decided to make all my “top” lists for this year just articles. To start off my celebration of this arguably eventful year in the entertainment industry, I have here the 20 favorite songs that came out in 2019 that I personally fancied the most. These songs aren’t ranked, this article is simply just a collage of the most remarkable contributions to music that I got to listen to for the first time during the year of 2019. 

King James – Anderson Paak

The first song on my list is additionally one of the first songs of 2019 that I really dug. King James is a light-hearted, throwback-y soul track that productively travels through quintessential landmarks in history while also explaining Anderson Paak’s current stance on Donald Trump’s desire to build a wall. Whether you agree or disagree with his statements on the matter, you can’t deny that King James is one hell of a groove! 

Lark – Angel Olsen

If I could, I would put most of the tracks off of Angel Olsen’s All Mirrors onto this list, but that plainly wouldn’t be fair. So in a race against time, I narrowed down two Angel Olsen songs to place onto this list, one of them being Lark—her first released single off of All Mirrors. The symphony on this song is truly something beyond epic and Olsen’s emancipating vocal performance on here undoubtedly makes this track one of the finest of her entire career. It’s a six-minute track that goes by in a flash and I’ve gotten so much emotional fulfillment every time that I’ve listened to it. out of it

Spring – Angel Olsen

The second Angel Olsen track that I have on this list is Spring. Opposite to a track like Lark, Spring is one of Olsen’s more tame songs—which isn’t a bad thing. It’s soothing as hell, wavy, and the quintessential 2019 song to put on when you’re feeling like utter s***. I adore the simplistic drum work on it, the gloomy crooning from Olsen, and just the romantic vibes that it unintentionally gives off. 

xanny – Billie Eilish

Time to call out the few people reading this that are most likely cringing in their seats, repulsed by this choice, acting out like they’re some intellectual music listener who can’t stand the exceedingly popular Billie Eilish—a Los Angeles talent who made her first LP when she was only 17 years old. I’ll admit, there are some tracks by the young artist that aren’t particularly for me, but her distinct musical style is such an uncanny departure for the Pop genre that it honestly makes her existence more refreshing than trendy. xanny is Billie Eilish’s best single of the year for many different reasons. From the intriguingly warped vocals to the blend of dismal lyrics and the old-timey “swing” genre, the track is arguably the greatest sign of maturity from the ever-evolving artist.  


BROCKHAMPTON’s BOY BYE happens to be my most listened to song of the year. Of course, the strict two-minute runtime is certainly a player in the reason, but this is easily one of the most energetic and vibrant songs I’ve heard all year. It’s very easy to listen to, tons of fun to jam out to despite its serious lyrical content, and has a fantastic sample in it by Ejazeh. 

La Mala Ordina – clipping., The Rita, Elcamino, Benny The Butcher

There was a great deal of outstanding clipping. tracks that the experimental hip-hop band released this year, but if I had to choose, gun to my head, my favorite of the singles, La Mala Ordina would proudly be my choice. Yes, the last two minutes of the song is pretentious distortion, but the first three minutes of it are devilishly good. Daveed Diggs is such a talented writer and he truly exemplifies his assets in the lyrical content of La Mala Ordina. From paralleling his knowledge of film structure to reality to savagely describing graphic events, La Mala Ordina is clipping. pushing forward a compelling story at a stunning peak. Marvelous song.  

Move Together – Dessert Sessions

Queens of the Stone Age’s collaboration band is back and with some of the zaniness rock tracks I’ve heard all year. Move Together, a song off of Dessert Session’s newest LP Vols. 11 & 12, is a chaotically unbalanced blend of modern-day musical elements and classical rock characteristics. The drum work here is unexpected, the guitar inclusions are expressive, and even some of the electronic components are quite effective. It’s an experimentally delightful contribution from Queens of the Stone Age and company. 

Typical Story – Hobo Johnson

Even though, I didn’t, as a whole, like Hobo Johnson’s new LP The Fall of Hobo Johnson, there were some tracks on the album that I found to be exceptional, one of them being Typical Story. This song is angsty alternative punk music done correctly and that’s a serious praise coming from me considering I’m not a huge fan when it comes to the genre (AKA, the whiny, “my life sucks; I wanna die” genre). Hobo Johnson is able to fully reinvent the fretful, heavy-hearted cliché into something lively and cleverly mocking. It’s definitely a 2019 banger and one that I’m sure most people can have a ball with.

Free the Frail – JPEGMAFIA, Helena Deland

Possibly JPEGMAFIA’s gateway into mainstream appeal, Free the Frail is strangely a very tender song by the vexed experimental rap artist. It’s got one of the catchiest hooks I’ve heard all year and some surprisingly peaceful musical elements that have me head over heels for it. Plus, the closing of the track is accompanied by some gorgeously charming vocals from Helena Deland. 

Kenan Vs. Kel – JPEGMAFIA 

Kenan Vs. Kel might be my favorite R&B track of the year. Its combination of rock and experimental rap is so perfectly implemented and the way it builds it up to that amazingly distorted grunge sound, it’s…yeah…f***ing awesome. It’s so instrumentally diverse but not too compacted with types. The song is holy original and somehow works flawlessly in its execution. Kenan Vs. Kel is a track that I hope heavily inspires more future hip-hop artists to come. 

How to disappear – Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey had a batch of fantastic songs this year thanks to her new album Norman F****** Rockwell. The track that stood out to me the most, however, was undisputedly How to disappear. While some of her other singles like Norman f*****g Rockwell and The greatest certainly have a wide-range appeal for newcomers of Lana’s genre, I feel as if How to disappear was her love letter to her OG style. It’s very melodramatic yet instrumentally attractive, and while it does harken back to her older style, it seems as if she’s conflicted between her new line of happiness and falling back into her mentally stressful times—AKA, the moments when she first started making music. It’s the perfect amalgamation of “new Lana” and “old Lana.” 


Hey, it’s a fellow San Dieagan—one point for us! Lingua Ignota’s newest LP Caligula was experimental folk metal madness that made for a certainly haunting experience like no other, but the track that I took away the most from was undoubtedly MAY FAILURE BE YOUR NOOSE. Like a good handful of songs off of Caligula, Ignota takes us through a wide range of tonal changes, ultimately resulting in this hellish climax of repetition that only gets more and more unsettling as the song progresses. Particularly, though, I think Ignota’s wide range of beautiful vocal fluctuations on this track that cover a lot of the same lines just in different pitches is what makes it stand out from the crowd. 

Numb – Men I Trust

Probably the track that I connected with the most on a personal level, Men I Trust’s Numb was an accurate descriptor of its title. This is possibly the band’s band’smost soothing and transcending track yet—a ballad of weirdly mocking synths and guitar work that all result in this heaven-like track that seems to want to put you straight into a coma. 

Norton Commander (All We Need) – Men I Trust 

Disturbing but at the same time relaxing, Men I Trust’s Norton Commander is a song that evokes two conflicting emotions every time I listen to it. I can’t quite decide if this track is supposed to be an optimistic interpretation of loving until the end or if it’s just a downright ridicule of giving your life away to someone you admire. Either way, it makes for one unforgettable dream-pop track. 


BLOODMONEY is hands down one of the greatest tracks I’ve heard all year, and I never would’ve imagined saying something like that about a Poppy song. This is one of those tracks that you simply have to hear for yourself to understand the hype behind it. It’s vicious as hell, demandingly satanic, the EDM elements are hard-hitting and just outright insane, and it’s probably my favorite single that the artist has made in her entire career. Good job, Poppy. 

Scary Mask (feat. FEVER 333) – Poppy

Scary Mask (feat. FEVER 333) is essentially the Bohemian Rhapsody of alternative metal. In a sense, the track desperately tries to cover all grounds that the genre can deliver through a convoluted structure of ups and downs, followed around by some of the most intricate instrumentals that I’ve heard all year. It’s a trip alright. Check it out. 

The Hanging Man – Swans

I’m beginning to notice a pattern here in which a lot of my choices for “the best songs of 2019” happen to be extremely unnerving. And, if some of the past few tracks haven’t confirmed that for you, Swans newest single The Hanging Man surely will. I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t necessarily a song that is remotely pleasant to listen to, but it is one that summons a lot of varying sensations. The constantly unstable guitar riff and Michael Gira’s unrestrained yapping make for one of Swans’ most deranged singles yet.

Dawn Chorus – Thom Yorke

Yes, it’s a little unfair that this song is accompanied by one of the greatest music videos for an album I’ve ever seen directed by the filmmaking genius, Paul Thomas Anderson. Dawn Chorus is certainly the highlight of ANIMA. It fully embraces the album’s intentions to remind us of the mystery behind dreams. It sounds very robotic, sure, but the content that Thom Yorke creates here feels human. It’s a strange memoir of our unexplainable minds.

A BOY IS A GUN* – Tyler the Creator

Tyler the Creator truly killed it this year in my opinion. Not only did IGOR convert me into a diehard fan of the excessively creative individual, but it also convinced me to go back to Tyler’s predecessor Flower Boy and appreciate it more by a great deal. A BOY IS A GUN* is my favorite track off of IGOR for many reasons. Not only is the sampling and nostalgic instrumentals absolutely irresistible, but a lot of Tyler’s vocal commentary on the track is extremely moving. This is easily one of the greatest songs that I’ve heard of this entire decade, truly. This single is certainly going to be stuck on my playlist for years and years onward.

NEW MAGIC WAND – Tyler the Creator

Now, for my second favorite track off of IGOR, NEW MAGIC WAND. This is an extremely dirty and grimy single that in many cases, is quite an ugly song, but in a manner, that’s what creates the appeal of the track. This is Tyler fully embracing the IGOR (I am so gross and disgusting) mascot to a T. I love it, it’s uniquely compulsive, superbly assembled, and it’s one of Tyler’s greatest songs in my opinion.