Top Ten Films of 2019

As I look back on the 2019 year in cinema, two thoughts come to mind. The first is that wow, I saw a lot of movies last year! The first few months of the year saw the release of “Us,” the sophomore film by “Get Out” director Jordan Peele, of “Captain Marvel,” straight out of the MCU, and of “Glass,” a miscalculated sequel to both “Unbreakable” and “Split,” if you can imagine such a thing. Later, we got the sentimental “Toy Story 4,” the ribald, “Superbad”-esque comedy “Booksmart,” and a quiet little think piece called “Avengers: Endgame.”

The second-half of the year gave us a few above-average horror films (“Doctor Sleep,” “The Lighthouse”) and a few below-average ones as well (“It Chapter Two,” “The Dead Don’t Die”). Finally, the end-of-year Oscar-bait bombardment gave us such diverse fare as “Richard Jewell,” a compelling true story by octogenarian Clint Eastwood, “Uncut Gems,” an intense thriller of sensory overload starring a better-than-usual Adam Sandler, and a slate of Netflix titles given the briefest of Oscar-qualifying runs, such as “The Two Popes,” which posited an imagined meeting between Popes Benedict and Francis.

Phew! I try to avoid seeing bad movies at the theater, and enjoyed most of what I sought out. A few films disappointed me, like the mis-marketed Mr. Rogers movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” and the Brad Pitt-starring “Ad Astra.” Still, there was much to like, and I tried to catch up via Netflix or Amazon Prime on anything that I may have missed in the theater. Good thing for those reward cards – lots of free popcorn!

Here are my picks for the Top Ten Films of 2019:

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Ten More Great Stephen King Books (11-20)

Reading SK 2

I love top ten lists. This past January, I published my ranking of what I believe to be the Top Ten Stephen King Books. Over just a few months, that blog entry has become one of my most-read posts.

Mr. King continues to produce new material at a rate that is almost as scary as some of his most frightening novels. In 2013, 2014, and 2015, he published six books – two each year – while regularly visiting the television set of the CBS mini-series “Under the Dome” (2013-present) and simultaneously drafting the screenplay for “A Good Marriage” (2014). He is also one of the most prolific celebrity presences on Twitter, and can often be seen in the stands at Fenway Park, home of his beloved Boston Red Sox.

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