As calamitous a year as 2019 was for pretty much everything else in the world, it could be fairly said that it was a decent season for the film business. Box office was down a bit from 2018. But money aside—although it’s rarely aside in Hollywood—it’s difficult to recall a recent year in which so many superb films have been released. There were big-budget dramas like The Irishman, 1917, Ford v Ferrari, and Once upon a Time in Hollywood. There were smart, mid-budget dramas and comedies like Jojo Rabbit, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Dolemite Is My Name, Rocketman, Hustlers, Little Women, Marriage Story, and Uncut Gems. And there were clever, highly personal films like Parasite, Booksmart, Waves, and Motherless Brooklyn.
This is not even including the massive Disney sequel-and-remake juggernaut of Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Aladdin, Frozen II, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Lady and the Tramp, Avengers: Endgame, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.