M. N. Miller’s 2019 Year In Film: Part 6
119. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
I had a harder time warming up to the highly anticipated A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood than my frozen holiday turkey. It’s an oddly indulgent piece that’s laudable, but humdrum.
118. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
A Mildly funny follow-up to the original, has a sweet message, with a slew of welcomed cameos, but it’s not as “awesome” as the “same old same old.”
117. Annabelle Comes Home
The latest horror chapter will satisfy hardcore fan types with a well executed chapter, but tends to not offer jump scares outside of the conventional.
116. The Current War
An electric battle of wits with a script that offers only a surface level, uneven treatment of its three subjects.
115. Escape Room
I think I have come to appreciate thefilm more – I’ve already pledged to make that the 2019 film grading curve since Replicas came out before Escape Room, but that doesn’t mean it is more recommendable than a rental.
114. Cold Pursuit
While it’s puzzling that some compared this Liam Neeson notch in the action bed-post filmography to Fargo, I admired how it showers the viewer with its cold/dark humor.
113. A Dog’s Way Home
The film is unapologetically feel-good while unabashedly manipulating your feelings, even though it is hard to knock a film that serves up cats and dogs living peacefully while giving each other endless Eskimo kisses.
Elf x Feminism + Anthropomorphic Characters = Noelle
While I admired several moments of the high-concept film Yesterday, it’s ultimately an odd mix of originality and a typical Hollywood playbook. You’d have to think a much better film is only a day away.
This is more of a vanity exercise that doesn’t offer any real insight, even though the script can be clever at times with its nods to the author’s classic works.
A one-woman show for Geetika Vidya Ohlyan; a meaty character study that’s light as an all-encompassing experience.
For a war film with a deep emotional scope of one of the most important battles the world has ever known, you’ll have to watch… well, there isn’t one. Until then, Midway is your CGI-filled, mildly suspenseful, poorly-written substitute which at least honors real-life American heroes.
107.The Art of Racing in the Rain
Here’s a film made for that lazy Sunday afternoon that makes you appreciate what you have or long for what you don’t.
106. Late Night
An overpraised comedy from Mindy Kaling that has some bite, but a surprising lack of sharp teeth that plays it all too timidly.
105. The Aeronauts
Credit is deserved for casting Jones as a heroine even if the real figure was a man. In the ’90s, a script would have been reworked with Redmayne ascending the balloon with Moose from Frasier. Progress wins & historical accuracy takes a holiday even if the script is full of hot air.
Abominable has some gorgeous visuals, a sweet message, and should be given credit for creating an Asian female heroine. However, I find most Dreamworks animations to have an emotional disconnect (Shrek being the exception) from their audience, and Culton’s film is no different.
Yes, Jexi is a Her rip-off; a toned down, immature comedy that plays like a Spike Jonze film for dummies. However, there are enough solid laughs and a winning formula to give this movie a shot on cheaper formats like rental or digital streaming platforms.
102. In the Shadow of the Moon
This twisty, sci-fi horror-noir, doesn’t always make sense or connect all the dots, but it has the feel of a good, unedited Black Mirror or X-Files episode, with the always interesting Boyd Holdbrook performance at its center.
101. Trial by Fire
Unbroken‘s Jack O’Connell carries Trial By Fire and gives a combustible turn as an unlikable man who loved his children dearly, but who can’t get out of his own way.
100. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Here’s a horror film that actually knows its target audience that even manages not to pander, patronize, or condescend. While it does have its flaws, the adaption feels overly cramped, it will surely satisfy its fervent fan base.
M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.