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Every year, the wisened staff of Milwaukee Film steps up to deliver you top tens that celebrate the year in cinema. Stay tuned through January to see what we have to say! Next up is Digital Media Manager Tom presenting his top 2019 double features!


Another cinematic year is in the books, and while I find myself deeply behind in my 2019 filmgoing (could make a top 25 list of the movies I meant to see), I still want to celebrate the year that was. As a person with a predisposition towards film binging (a double or triple feature is my modern opium den - just get me some cushions and let me float away), I thought the best way to honor another great year of films was to suss out some thematic connections and present you with…




Parasite/Us  - Upstairs/Undergroundstairs
(Dir. Bong Joon Ho | 2019 | South Korea)
(Dir. Jordan Peele | 2019 | USA)

  • Forget Downtown Abbey: The Movie, we got far more delicious upstairs/downstairs (in both cases, extremely downstairs) parables courtesy of Bong Joon-Ho (#BongHive ‘til the damn day I die) and Jordan Peele this year. 


Crawl/Annabelle Comes Home
(Dir. Alexandre Aja | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Gary Dauberman | 2019 | USA)

  • While you’ll rarely make end-of-year lists by executing a simple premise with precision (unless a beloved filmmaker decides otherwise -, both Crawl (father and daughter trapped in a flooded house with alligators) and Annabelle Comes Home (a sort of John Hughes riff on the Conjuring universe pitting a group of well-rounded teens/tweens versus the Warrens’ cabinet of cursed curiosities) were simple yet genuine delights! 


Climax/Long Day’s Journey Into Night
(Dir. Gaspar Noe | 2018 | Belgium/France)
(Dir. Bi Gan | 2018 | China/France)

  • We stan filmmakers who insert title cards no earlier than forty minutes into their films.


One Man Dies a Million Times/A Hidden Life – My Sacrifice - CreedVEVO
(Dir. Jessica Oreck | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Terrence Malick | 2019 | USA/Germany)

  • Two films that touch the sublime/ecstatic in their portraits of those willing to risk annihilation in order to protect their belief systems (in one case, a seed bank essential to the continued propagation of the human race; the other, the inner seed of their moral certitude in a time of deep darkness). Both films treat belief seriously as a choice you must make everyday, no matter the consequences.


John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum/Toy Story 4/Between Two Ferns: The Movie/Always Be My Maybe/Replicas  - Keanuthon
(Dir. Chad Stahelski | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Josh Cooley | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Scott Aukerman | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Nahnatchka Khan | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Jeffrey Nachmanoff | 2019 | USA)


  • Looking for a moderately fun way to burn ten hours of your day? Treat yourself to this specially curated Keanu Reeves circa 2019 marathon (which I affectionally have dubbed KeaNU Wave) celebrating the year that was in Keanu on celluloid:

12 - 2 p.m..: Watch Replicas

2 - 2:10 p.m..: Watch the extended interview between Zach Galifianakis and Keanu from Between Two Ferns: The Movie

2:15 - 2:18 p.m.: Watch the trailer for the upcoming The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run

2:30 - 4:15 p.m.: Watch Toy Story 4

4:20 - 4:45 p.m.: Keanu romance trailer jam: A Walk in the Clouds, Sweet November, The Lake House, and Destination Wedding

4:30 - 6:15 p.m.: Watch Always Be My Maybe

6:20 - 7:00 p.m.: Violent Keanu trailer jam: The Matrix, Man of Tai Chi, Speed, Johnny Mnemonic, John Wick, John Wick Chapter 2

7:00 - 9:15 p.m.: Watch John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum


Hustlers/High Flying Bird
(Dir. Lorene Scafaria | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Steven Soderbergh | 2019 | USA)

  • Two great movies about people being ground under the heel of late-stage capitalism deciding to seize the means of production at their respective places of employment!


Knives Out/Ready or Not – Family Feud
(Dir. Rian Johnson | 2019 | USA)
(Dirs. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett | 2019 | USA)

  • An outsider finds herself caught in the crossfire of intra-familial squabbling in palatial mansions.


The Beach Bum/I Lost My Body – Out On A Limb
(Dir. Harmony Korine | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Jérémy Clapin | 2019 | France)


  • The two best violent separations of limb from body in cinema this year. 


Ad Astra/Doctor Sleep – Dads: Sad, Bad, or Otherwise
(Dir. James Gray | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Mike Flanagan | 2019 | USA)

  • Emotionally closed off men are forced to reckon with the trauma inflicted on them in their childhoods by absent/alcoholic/troubled father figures. 


Cats/Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker  - Return of the Jellicledi
(Dir. Tom Hooper | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. JJ Abrams | 2019 | USA)

  • A multitude of characters introduce themselves throughout a series of escalating and incoherent events, culminating with a main character floating away to heavenly repose.


The Irishman/Pain & Glory
(Dir. Martin Scorcese | 2019 | USA)
(Dir. Pedro Almodovar | 2019 | Spain)


  • Two elderly roads diverge in a wood - one retreating into itself, reflecting on a life spent pushing others away, while the other ceases their retreat (into a literal narcotic coccoon of memories), instead forging ahead and creating anew despite the indignities of aging.

Posted by: Tom Fuchs