The Best Movies of 2019 (So Far)

Good. Bad. Fresh. Rotten. Movies come in all degrees of quality. How about chopping through the chaff and watching only the best ones?

Welcome to the Best Movies of 2019! So far, at least. As this decade barrels towards its final destination, Rotten Tomatoes be there every day, every step of the way, adding new Certified Fresh each week. Already, we’ve got early prestige upstarts (Ash Is Purest White), family films (LEGO Movie 2), blockbusters (Captain Marvel), and a movie about a man who killed Hitler and then Bigfoot (The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot).

And just how does a movie become Certified Fresh, exactly? Simple: Get a Tomatometer score of 75% or higher after 40 reviews (80 reviews for wide releases), with five those coming from Top Critics.

What does the year hold in store for us? Who knows (you could check out our guide to 2019’s Most Anticipated Movies, or even 2020’s), but check back this countdown of the best movies 2019 often to witness it unfold.

Last updated 3/18: High Life, Never Look Away, The Mustang

#22

Climax (2019)
71%

#22
Adjusted Score: 79.45%
Critics Consensus: Challenging and rewarding in equal measure, Climax captures writer-director Gaspar Noé working near his technically brilliant and visually distinctive peak.
Synopsis: From director Gaspar Noé (Irreversible; Enter the Void; Love) comes a hypnotic, hallucinatory, and ultimately hair-raising depiction of a party... [More]
Directed By: Gaspar Noé

#21
Adjusted Score: 78.628%
Critics Consensus: The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot just about lives up to the wild promise of its title, due in no small part to Sam Elliott's world-weary work in the title role.
Synopsis: THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT follows the epic adventures of an American legend that no one... [More]
Directed By: Robert D. Krzykowski

#20

Never Look Away (2019)
76%

#20
Adjusted Score: 80.464%
Critics Consensus: Never Look Away fills its protracted running time with the absorbing story of an incredible life -- and its impact on the singular artist who lived it.
Synopsis: A sweeping romantic historical drama, NEVER LOOK AWAY follows thirty years in the life of a great artist - loosely... [More]

#19

Captain Marvel (2019)
78%

#19
Adjusted Score: 104.835%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: The story follows Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#18
Adjusted Score: 88.279%
Critics Consensus: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind earns its predictably uplifting arc through strong performances and impressive work from debuting director Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Synopsis: Against all the odds, a thirteen year old boy in Malawi invents an unconventional way to save his family and... [More]
Directed By: Chiwetel Ejiofor

#17
Adjusted Score: 101.264%
Critics Consensus: While it isn't quite as much fun as its predecessor, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part fits neatly into an animated all-ages franchise with heart and humor to spare.
Synopsis: The much-anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed, global box office phenomenon that started it all, "The LEGO (R) Movie 2:... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 90.436%
Critics Consensus: The Hole in the Ground artfully exploits parental fears with a well-made horror outing that makes up in sheer effectiveness what it lacks in originality.
Synopsis: Sarah and her young son Chris move to a new home in the Irish countryside, next to a forest that... [More]
Directed By: Lee Cronin

#15
Adjusted Score: 90.436%
Critics Consensus: Potentially insurmountable for viewers not attuned to the director's wavelength, The Image Book is typically confounding - and ultimately rewarding - late-period Godard.
Synopsis: Do you still remember how, long ago, we trained our thoughts? Most often we'd start from a dream.... We wondered... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

#14

High Life (2019)
88%

#14
Adjusted Score: 90.214%
Critics Consensus: High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis.
Synopsis: Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to the outer... [More]
Directed By: Claire Denis

#13

Arctic (2019)
88%

#13
Adjusted Score: 93.686%
Critics Consensus: Arctic proves that a good survival thriller doesn't need much in the way of dialogue to get by -- especially when Mads Mikkelsen is the one doing the surviving.
Synopsis: A man stranded in the Arctic after an airplane crash must decide whether to remain in the relative safety of... [More]
Directed By: Joe Penna

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 99.478%
Critics Consensus: The Kid Who Would Be King recalls classic all-ages adventures -- and repurposes a timeless legend -- for a thoroughly enjoyable new addition to the family movie canon.
Synopsis: Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING. Alex (Ashbourne Serkis)... [More]
Directed By: Joe Cornish

#11
Adjusted Score: 104.657%
Critics Consensus: The rare trilogy capper that really works, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World brings its saga to a visually dazzling and emotionally affecting conclusion.
Synopsis: Now chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance... [More]
Directed By: Dean DeBlois

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 102.25%
Critics Consensus: Much like the sport it celebrates, Fighting with My Family muscles past clichés with a potent blend of energy and committed acting that should leave audiences cheering.
Synopsis: FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY is a heartwarming comedy based on the incredible true story of WWE Superstar Paige(TM). Born into... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Merchant

#9

High Flying Bird (2019)
93%

#9
Adjusted Score: 98.3%
Critics Consensus: High Flying Bird takes a thoughtful and engrossing look at professional sports that sees Steven Soderbergh continuing to test the limits of new filmmaking technology.
Synopsis: In the midst of a pro basketball lockout, sports agent Ray Burke (André Holland) finds himself caught in the face-off... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#8
Adjusted Score: 99.3%
Critics Consensus: Birds of Passage traces the familiar arc of the drug crime thriller from a different direction that's as visually absorbing as it is hard-hitting.
Synopsis: From the Oscar (R)-nominated team behind the genre-defying Embrace of the Serpent, comes an equally audacious saga centered on the... [More]

#7

The Mustang (2019)
95%

#7
Adjusted Score: 97.664%
Critics Consensus: The Mustang finds fresh perspectives in a familiar redemption tale brought brilliantly to life by powerful performances from Bruce Dern and Matthias Schoenaerts.
Synopsis: Roman (Matthias Schoenaerts), a convict in a rural Nevada prison who struggles to escape his violent past, is required to... [More]

#6

Transit (2019)
95%

#6
Adjusted Score: 100.621%
Critics Consensus: Transit lives up to its title with a challenging drama that captures characters - and puts the audience - in a state of flux and exerts an unsettling pull.
Synopsis: As fascism spreads, German refugee Georg (Franz Rogowski) flees to Marseille and assumes the identity of the dead writer whose... [More]
Directed By: Christian Petzold

#5
Adjusted Score: 99.986%
Critics Consensus: Treating its timely themes with a deceptively light touch, Woman at War is easy to enjoy in the moment, yet its impact lingers long after the closing credits roll.
Synopsis: Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as... [More]
Directed By: Benedikt Erlingsson

#4

Gloria Bell (2019)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 99.557%
Critics Consensus: Free of visual or narrative embellishments, Gloria Bell rests almost completely on Julianne Moore's performance in the title role -- and she's gloriously up to the task.
Synopsis: Gloria (Julianne Moore) is a free-spirited divorcée who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on... [More]
Directed By: Sebastián Lelio

#3
Adjusted Score: 99.729%
Critics Consensus: Led by a standout performance from Ana Brun, The Heiresses takes a thoroughly compelling look at lives little explored by mainstream cinema.
Synopsis: Chela and Chiquita, both descended from wealthy families in Asunción, Paraguay, have been together for over 30 years. But recently... [More]
Directed By: Marcelo Martinessi

#2

3 Faces (2019)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 100.179%
Critics Consensus: Observational, insightful, and ultimately powerful, 3 Faces adds another quietly thought-provoking chapter to writer-director Jafar Panahi's filmography.
Synopsis: Well-known actress Behnaz Jafari is distraught by a provincial girl's video plea for help--oppressed by her family to not pursue... [More]
Directed By: Jafar Panahi

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 102.4%
Critics Consensus: Ash Is Purest White finds writer-director Zhangke Jia revisiting familiar themes while continuing to observe modern Chinese society with an urgent, empathetic eye.
Synopsis: A tragicomedy initially set in the jianghu-criminal underworld-setting, ASH IS PUREST WHITE is less a gangster movie than a melodrama.... [More]
Directed By: Zhangke Jia

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