If my top 75 films of the decade list demonstrated anything it’s that I’m a sucker for cinema that sticks with you.  That’s what made 2019 individually a hard year to pull a top 10 for.  It’s not that there weren’t good films, it’s that as well made as many of them were, they didn’t necessarily feel like all-timers.  Well, except for “Parasite,” of course.

On the other hand, “1917,” “Marriage Story,” “The Irishman,” “Little Women,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and “Knives Out,” just to name a few, are all well-acted and smartly crafted pieces of cinema, but will they demand another viewing just a few years from now? Perhaps, perhaps not. Are they just very good films with far less to say than some believe?  Potentially. It depends on your worldview of cinema and, apologies for the cliche in advance, life. Taking that all into consideration, the ten listed below?  We’re quite confident they’ll be very hard to forget.

Special Note: My top 10 is determined by the year I saw it as opposed to its theatrical release. For example, I caught “Climax” at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and it made my top 10 last year even though it arrived in cinemas this calendar year.

1. “Parasite”
Bong Joon Ho’s masterpiece haunts you for days. How does Director Bong make it look so easy?

2. “I Lost My Body”
One of the most visually creative and moving animated films I’ve ever seen.

3. “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”
Quentin Tarantino‘s fairy tale of a Hollywood that no longer exists is maybe his best film of the decade?

4. “The Last Black Man in San Francisco”
A perfect snapshot of an American city with centuries of history losing the battle to gentrification.

5. “The Farewell”
Lulu Wang‘s impressive tearjerker that wonderfully encapsulates the choices and sacrifices made to keep a family together.

6. “Invisible Life” (“The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão”)
Karim Aïnouz‘s epic melodrama features two of the best and, shockingly, unheralded performances of the year from Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler.

7. “Us”
Jordan Peele’s impressionistic political horror story plays by its own rules. Somehow that makes it often feel  “too” real. Imagine that.

8. “Booksmart”
A teen buddy comedy for the ages where the ladies are, thankfully, center stage. Oh, and a mighty impressive calling card for Olivia Wilde.

9. “Ad Astra”
This might make James Gray fans angry, but it’s actually our favorite James Gray film.  Not sure even he saw that coming.

10. “Monos”
I wasn’t a fan the first time I screened it at Sundance, but couldn’t get it out of my head either. Saw it again months later and it struck me like a creative cannonball. It’s pulse-pounding, patience pushing cinema.  More, please?

Almost there: “First Cow,” “The Lighthouse,” “Honey Boy,” “Hustlers,” “The Souvenir,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Uncut Gems,” “1917,” “Ford v. Ferrari,” “The Two Popes,” “Rocketman,” “The Beach Bum”

Best episodic content: “The Crown” season 3, “Watchmen,” “The Boys,” “When They See Us,” “Sex Education,” “Russian Doll,” “Fleabag” Season 2, “The Mandalorian,” “Legion,” “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” “Shrill,” “Ramy,” “The Other Two”

Best reality, comedy or special event: “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK,” “Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” “Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce,” 2019 Grammy Awards, “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” “Nailed It,” “Encore”