(Photo by )

SXSW 2019 Movie Scorecard

At this year’s edition of the South by Southwest Film Festival, we had the requisite horror breakout (Us, the opening salvo in what is shaping to be a big year for Jordan Peele) and teen raunch (Good Boys), some actors making their directorial debuts (Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, Logan Marshall-Green’s Adopt a Highway), and, you betcha, plenty o’ politics (Knock Down the House, Running With Beto). And the aforementioned Us aside, if you thought our current horror renaissance was running out of steam (and victims), look no further than Little Monsters and Pet Sematary. And if you’re wondering why some movies got way more reviews than others, it’s because they previously premiered elsewhere.

Though SXSW doesn’t have nearly the amount of movies other festivals have, like Sundance or Toronto, it’s still a challenge to make sense of who’s saying what with the most buzz. With that in mind, we present the SXSW 2019 movie scorecard, ranking everything by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#56

Booksmart (2019)
96%

#56
Adjusted Score: 116367%
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.
Synopsis: Academic overachievers Amy and Molly thought keeping their noses to the grindstone gave them a leg up on their high... [More]
Directed By: Olivia Wilde

#55

Maiden (2018)
98%

#55
Adjusted Score: 104013%
Critics Consensus: Enthralling viewing even for audiences with little to no knowledge of or interest in sailing, Maiden pays powerful tribute to a true pioneer.
Synopsis: In 1989 Tracy Edwards leads the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling yachting competition... [More]
Directed By: Alex Holmes

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 103994%
Critics Consensus: A galvanizing glimpse behind the scenes of a pivotal election, Knock Down the House should prove engrossing for viewers of all political persuasions.
Synopsis: A young bartender in the Bronx, a coal miner's daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada, and a... [More]
Directed By: Rachel Lears

#53

Pahokee (2019)
100%

#53
Adjusted Score: 100221%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Four small-town high school students who are believed to hold the key to the future experience the ups and downs... [More]
Starring:
Directed By:

#52

Mr. Jimmy (2019)
100%

#52
Adjusted Score: 71624%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In snowbound Tokamachi, Japan, teenaged Akio Sakurai took refuge in his room, escaping to another world with a pair of... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Peter Michael Dowd

#51
#51
Adjusted Score: 91267%
Critics Consensus: Candid and compelling, Running with Beto is an illuminating exploration of an up-and-coming politician and the changing political landscape around him.
Synopsis: Filmmaker David Modigliani's behind-the-scenes look at Beto O'Rourke's breakaway campaign that was designed to unseat Ted Cruz in the U.S.... [More]
Starring: Beto O'Rourke
Directed By: David Modigliani

#50
#50
Adjusted Score: 77689%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The story behind the 1998 hit song "Who Let the Dogs Out," by the Bahamian group Baha Men.... [More]
Starring: John Diemer
Directed By: Brent Hodge

#49

Aquarela (2018)
86%

#49
Adjusted Score: 88682%
Critics Consensus: Patiently constructed and beautifully filmed, Aquarela views man's relationship with water through a sobering -- and awe-inducing -- lens.
Synopsis: From massive waves to melting ice, filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky travels around the world to capture stunning images of the beauty... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Victor Kossakovsky

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 100165%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Creating a unique mix of punk, emo and trap, Lil Peep is set to bring a new musical genre to... [More]

#47
Adjusted Score: 82643%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Kenny Sailors popularizes the jump shot in professional basketball and revolutionizes the sport for women.... [More]
Directed By: Jacob Hamilton

#46
Adjusted Score: 97219%
Critics Consensus: As sharp, funny, and scathingly irreverent as its subject, Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins pays entertaining tribute to a brilliant writer.
Synopsis: The life and work of Molly Ivins, a political journalist from Texas, best-selling author, and Bill of Rights warrior.... [More]
Directed By: Janice Engel

#45
Adjusted Score: 71916%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Filmmaker Aaron Kunkel examines the rise and fall of boy band impresario Lou Pearlman.... [More]
Directed By: Aaron Kunkel

#44

Get Duked! (2019)
88%

#44
Adjusted Score: 92383%
Critics Consensus: The rare comedy thriller that's funny as well as thrilling, Get Duked! marks writer-director Ninian Doff as a filmmaker with a bright future.
Synopsis: A camping trip in the Scottish Highlands turns into a fight for survival when four teens become the target of... [More]
Directed By: Ninian Doff

#43

Come as You Are (2019)
95%

#43
Adjusted Score: 97052%
Critics Consensus: Come As You Are approaches sensitive subjects with heart and humor, taking audiences on a thoroughly entertaining road trip to a crowd-pleasing destination.
Synopsis: A traveling nurse takes three disabled men on a road trip to Montreal so they can lose their virginity at... [More]
Directed By: Richard Wong

#42
#42
Adjusted Score: 87606%
Critics Consensus: Daniel Isn't Real, but the smart, stylish fun waiting for genre lovers in this well-acted suspense thriller is completely genuine.
Synopsis: A troubled college freshman resurrects his imaginary friend to help him cope with a violent trauma.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Egypt Mortimer

#41

Extra Ordinary (2019)
98%

#41
Adjusted Score: 102328%
Critics Consensus: A horror/rom-com hybrid that somehow manages to blend its ingredients without losing their flavor, Extra Ordinary more than lives up to its title.
Synopsis: A woman who has supernatural abilities must save a possessed girl.... [More]

#40

Greener Grass (2019)
82%

#40
Adjusted Score: 84940%
Critics Consensus: Greener Grass is far from the first comedy to skewer suburbia -- but it might be among the most bizarre and surreally distinctive.
Synopsis: Soccer moms Jill and Lisa compete for approval and acceptance in a bizarre suburbia while their kids battle it out... [More]

#39

Jezebel (2019)
90%

#39
Adjusted Score: 90110%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A young woman becomes a webcam model after moving to Las Vegas to live with her family.... [More]
Directed By: Numa Perrier

#38
#38
Adjusted Score: 101481%
Critics Consensus: Brought to life by a breakout performance by Camila Morrone, Mickey and the Bear finds affecting drama at the crossroads of a young woman's coming-of-age journey.
Synopsis: A Montana teenager navigates a loving but volatile relationship with her single, veteran father. In a desperate search for independence... [More]
Directed By: Annabelle Attanasio

#37

Sister Aimee (2019)
68%

#37
Adjusted Score: 68221%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In 1926, the world's most famous evangelist, Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, fakes her own death in order to run away... [More]

#36

Snatchers (2019)
94%

#36
Adjusted Score: 93893%
Critics Consensus: Snatchers' practical effects and strong writing come together to create a sci-fi comedy that's fun, frenetic, and at times, freakin' crazy (in the best way).
Synopsis: After a teen has sex for the first time, she wakes up the next day nine months pregnant with an... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Cedars

#35

South Mountain (2019)
100%

#35
Adjusted Score: 100377%
Critics Consensus: South Mountain sifts through the wreckage of a broken marriage, finding quietly impactful resolutions through Talia Balsam's nuanced performance.
Synopsis: An artist's life gets turned upside down when she learns her husband has another family.... [More]
Directed By: Hilary Brougher

#34
#34
Adjusted Score: 106543%
Critics Consensus: A feelgood adventure brought to life by outstanding performances, The Peanut Butter Falcon finds rich modern resonance in classic American fiction.
Synopsis: After running away from a residential nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a pro wrestler, a man who... [More]

#33

Yes, God, Yes (2019)
92%

#33
Adjusted Score: 98112%
Critics Consensus: Natalia Dyer's charming performance -- and writer-director Karen Maine's sensitive work -- will leave audiences saying Yes, God, Yes to this coming-of-age dramedy.
Synopsis: A Catholic girl finds herself having tempting thoughts after an AOL chat turns unexpectedly racy.... [More]
Directed By: Karen Maine

#32

Apollo 11 (2019)
99%

#32
Adjusted Score: 108656%
Critics Consensus: Edifying and inspiring in equal measure, Apollo 11 uses artfully repurposed archival footage to send audiences soaring back to a pivotal time in American history.
Synopsis: Never-before-seen footage and audio recordings take you straight into the heart of NASA's most celebrated mission as astronauts Neil Armstrong,... [More]
Directed By: Todd Douglas Miller

#31

Us (2019)
93%

#31
Adjusted Score: 122747%
Critics Consensus: With Jordan Peele's second inventive, ambitious horror film, we have seen how to beat the sophomore jinx, and it is Us.
Synopsis: Accompanied by her husband, son and daughter, Adelaide Wilson returns to the beachfront home where she grew up as a... [More]
Directed By: Jordan Peele

#30

Amazing Grace (2018)
99%

#30
Adjusted Score: 107468%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly capturing a remarkable performer near the peak of her prodigious power, Amazing Grace is a thrilling must-watch documentary for Aretha Franklin fans.
Synopsis: Singer Aretha Franklin performs gospel songs at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles in 1972.... [More]
Directed By: Alan Elliott

#29

Villains (2019)
84%

#29
Adjusted Score: 86829%
Critics Consensus: Led by a quartet of strong performances, Villains offers genre fans a delightfully dark thriller with a sharp comic streak.
Synopsis: Amateur criminals stumble upon a dark secret in a sadistic couple's home.... [More]
Directed By: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen

#28

Wild Rose (2018)
92%

#28
Adjusted Score: 102397%
Critics Consensus: There's no shortage of star-is-born stories, but Wild Rose proves they can still be thoroughly entertaining -- and marks its own transcendent moment for lead Jessie Buckley.
Synopsis: Fresh out of prison, a Scottish woman juggles her job and two children while pursuing her dream of becoming a... [More]
Directed By: Tom Harper

#27

Pet Sematary (2019)
57%

#27
Adjusted Score: 71427%
Critics Consensus: Pet Sematary takes its source material in a few different directions, but this remake feels like an exhuming almost as often as it does a revival.
Synopsis: Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple... [More]

#26
#26
Adjusted Score: 91502%
Critics Consensus: The Art of Self-Defense grapples compellingly with modern American masculinity -- and serves as an outstanding calling card for writer-director Riley Stearns.
Synopsis: After getting attacked on the street, Casey enlists in a local dojo that's led by a charismatic and mysterious sensei.... [More]
Directed By: Riley Stearns

#25

Little Monsters (2019)
79%

#25
Adjusted Score: 85437%
Critics Consensus: Led by typically outstanding work from Lupita Nyong'o, Little Monsters is a horror/rom-com hybrid that proves the zombie genre still has fresh brains to savor.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Abe Forsythe

#24

The Weekend (2018)
87%

#24
Adjusted Score: 87344%
Critics Consensus: Led by a potentially star-making performance from Sasheer Zamata, The Weekend takes a well-acted, smartly written approach to familiar character dynamics.
Synopsis: A down-on-her-luck comedian's vacation plans are interrupted by her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend.... [More]
Directed By: Stella Meghie

#23

Long Shot (2019)
82%

#23
Adjusted Score: 97872%
Critics Consensus: A sharp and deceptively layered comedy that's further fueled by the odd couple chemistry of its leads, this Long Shot largely hits its marks.
Synopsis: Fred Flarsky is a gifted and free-spirited journalist who has a knack for getting into trouble. Charlotte Field is one... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Levine

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 98199%
Critics Consensus: Whether you're a guitar lover, a student of New York City history, or simply interested in celebrating a deep commitment to craft, Carmine Street Guitars strikes a chord.
Synopsis: Five days in the life of Carmine Street Guitars.... [More]
Directed By: Ron Mann

#21

Sword of Trust (2019)
94%

#21
Adjusted Score: 98716%
Critics Consensus: Expertly drawn characters and a strong senes of humanity make Sword of Trust an enjoyable -- if at times meandering -- journey.
Synopsis: A cantankerous pawnshop owner and his man-child employee team up with an out-of-town couple who are trying to hawk a... [More]
Directed By: Lynn Shelton

#20

Go Back to China (2019)
83%

#20
Adjusted Score: 83609%
Critics Consensus: Uneven but entertaining, Go Back to China puts a refreshing cross-cultural spin on the traditional coming-of-age story arc.
Synopsis: A spoiled rich girl is sent to work for her family's toy business in China after she is cut off... [More]
Directed By: Emily Ting

#19

Her Smell (2018)
84%

#19
Adjusted Score: 91065%
Critics Consensus: Held together by a gripping lead performance from Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell is challenging and admittedly uneven, but ultimately worth the effort.
Synopsis: Becky Something is a talented but self-destructive musician who seems determined to alienate everyone around her -- even at the... [More]
Directed By: Alex Ross Perry

#18

Olympic Dreams (2019)
70%

#18
Adjusted Score: 71608%
Critics Consensus: Even if it's mainly distinguished by its unique setting, Olympic Dreams remains a romcom with a heartfelt story and likable leads.
Synopsis: A young cross-country skier bonds with a volunteer doctor in the Olympic athletes village.... [More]
Directed By: Jeremy Teicher

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 69050%
Critics Consensus: Absurd yet anchored in knotty real-world themes, The Day Shall Come adds another bleakly funny satire to director/co-writer Christopher Morris' filmography.
Synopsis: An impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Morris

#16
Adjusted Score: 80329%
Critics Consensus: Alex Gibey's The Inventor declines to outright condemn the actions by Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, but instead provides a comprehensive overview of the scandal that allows viewers to mull over its implications towards the broader Silicon Valley.
Synopsis: With a new invention that promised to revolutionize blood testing, Elizabeth Holmes became the world's youngest self-made billionaire, heralded as... [More]
Directed By: Alex Gibney

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 68331%
Critics Consensus: Body at Brighton Rock leaves some of its thrilling potential untapped, but the end result remains a solidly crafted outing that should entertain horror fans.
Synopsis: Wendy, a part-time summer employee at a mountainous state park, takes on a rough trail assignment at the end of... [More]
Directed By: Roxanne Benjamin

#14

Adopt a Highway (2019)
70%

#14
Adjusted Score: 70831%
Critics Consensus: Adopt a Highway might have done more to fill in its sparsely sketched story, but Ethan Hawke's performance is often enough to fill in the blanks.
Synopsis: When an ex-convict finds an abandoned baby in a dumpster, he gains a new lease on life, deciding to dedicate... [More]
Directed By: Logan Marshall-Green

#13

Good Boys (2019)
81%

#13
Adjusted Score: 93706%
Critics Consensus: Good Boys is undermined by an eagerness to repeatedly indulge in profane humor, but its appealing cast and ultimately thoughtful message often shine through.
Synopsis: Invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max asks his best friends Lucas and Thor for some much-needed help on... [More]
Directed By: Gene Stupnitsky

#12

Teen Spirit (2018)
71%

#12
Adjusted Score: 77773%
Critics Consensus: Teen Spirit tells a story we know by heart, but writer-director Max Minghella's connection to the material and Elle Fanning's remarkable performance add an effective hook.
Synopsis: A shy teenager dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an... [More]
Directed By: Max Minghella

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 50110%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Some former university friends travel to an isolated lodge to scatter a friend's ashes. When they decide to entertain each... [More]
Directed By: Abigail Blackmore

#10

Them That Follow (2019)
59%

#10
Adjusted Score: 63161%
Critics Consensus: Them That Follow never quite captures the spiritual fervor of its setting, but the cast's committed performances make for an intermittently satisfying character study.
Synopsis: Inside a snake-handling church deep in Appalachia, a forbidden relationship forces a pastor's daughter to confront her community's deadly tradition.... [More]

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 85443%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A complex portrait of a city and its inhabitants dealing with climate change, disguised as a portrait of collective anxiety.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Brett Story

#8

I See You (2019)
75%

#8
Adjusted Score: 76442%
Critics Consensus: I See You gets tripped up on its own narrative contortions, but a solid cast and an effective blend of scares and suspense make this slow-building mystery worth watching.
Synopsis: Strange occurrences plague a small-town detective and his family as he investigates the disappearance of a boy.... [More]
Directed By: Adam Randall

#7

Porno (2019)
77%

#7
Adjusted Score: 78886%
Critics Consensus: Porno mines sexual repression to produce a laughably lurid -- and genuinely scary -- outing that should delight genre fans in search of a good time.
Synopsis: Four repressed, religious teens and a straight-edge projectionist working at a small-town movie theater in the 1990s discover a secret... [More]
Directed By: Keola Racela

#6

The Beach Bum (2019)
57%

#6
Adjusted Score: 63048%
Critics Consensus: The role of a lifetime for Matthew McConaughey, The Beach Bum is set apart by Harmony Korine's distinctive style, but that isn't always enough to offset the unfocused story.
Synopsis: Moondog is a fun-loving, pot-smoking, beer-drinking writer who lives life on his own terms in Florida. If he can put... [More]
Directed By: Harmony Korine

#5

The Mountain (2018)
64%

#5
Adjusted Score: 66390%
Critics Consensus: The Mountain finds its provocative director further honing his craft -- but formal flair and an engrossing Jeff Goldblum performance may not be enough to sway the unconverted.
Synopsis: Since his mother's confinement to an institution, a man has lived in the shadow of his stoic father. A family... [More]
Directed By: Rick Alverson

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 37599%
Critics Consensus: Content to coast on jump scares rather than tap into its story's creepy potential, The Curse of La Llorona arrives in theaters already broken.
Synopsis: In 1970s Los Angeles, the legendary ghost La Llorona is stalking the night -- and the children. Ignoring the eerie... [More]
Directed By: Michael Chaves

#3

The Highwaymen (2019)
58%

#3
Adjusted Score: 64881%
Critics Consensus: The Highwaymen depicts law enforcement's side of the Bonnie and Clyde manhunt -- a story that's unfortunately not quite as entertaining despite its marquee leads.
Synopsis: Former Texas Rangers Frank Hamer and Maney Gault join forces to try and capture notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde... [More]
Directed By: John Lee Hancock

#2

Darlin' (2019)
68%

#2
Adjusted Score: 68720%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A feral teenage girl is taken into strict Catholic church care and prepared for her First Holy Communion.... [More]
Directed By: Pollyanna McIntosh

#1

Tone-Deaf (2019)
44%

#1
Adjusted Score: 44776%
Critics Consensus: A messy horror-comedy hybrid that makes poor use of a talented cast, Tone-Deaf aims for social commentary, but tumbles down the generation gap.
Synopsis: After a string of bad relationships and work failures, Olive leaves for a weekend in the country, only to discover... [More]
Directed By: Richard Bates Jr.