Yeo-jeong Jo appears in Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite.” (Courtesy Neon)

2019: The best in film

Critics love director Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Parasite’

“Parasite,” Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s savage social satire about haves vs. have-nots, has topped the San Francisco Examiner’s annual highly unscientific roundup of the year’s best movies, appearing on each of our select critics’ lists.

Other favorite 2019 releases admired by three of our four surveyed reviewers include Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” based on the life of mob hitman Frank Sheeran; Noah Baumbach’s drama “Marriage Story” about a dissolving relationship; Quentin Tarantino’s homage to movies, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”; and French director Céline Sciamma’s 18th century-set “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” about the forbidden same-sex romance between an artist and the aristocrat whose wedding portrait she’s been hired to paint.

On a local note, Joe Talbot’s acclaimed “The Last Black Man of San Francisco” made the top lists of notable viewers, including former President Barack Obama.

Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)

2. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)

3. 3 Faces (Jafar Panahi)

4. Parasite (Bong Joon-ho)

5. Avengers: Endgame (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)

6. One Cut of the Dead (Shin’ichirô Ueda)

7. Waves (Trey Edward Shults)

8. 1917 (Sam Mendes)

9. Tigers Are Not Afraid (Issa López)

10. Little Woods (Nia DaCosta)

Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner

1. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Celine Sciamma)

2. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)

3. Parasite (Bong Joon-ho)

4. We Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson)

5. Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach)

6. Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodovar)

7. Waves (Trey Edward Shults)

8. 1917 (Sam Mendes)

9. Synonyms (Nadav Lapid)

10. One Child Nation (Nanfu Wang, Lynn Zhang)

Al Pacino, left, plays Jimmy Hoffa, and Robert DeNiro plays the title character in “The Irishman.” (Courtesy Netflix)

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

1. Parasite

2. Knives Out

3. Ash Is Purest White

4. The Irishman

5. The Souvenir

6. Marriage Story

7. I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians

8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

9. Portrait of a Lady on Fire

10. Little Women

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver star in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.” (Courtesy Netflix)

Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

1. Parasite

2. Uncut Gems

3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire

4. Marriage Story

5. Give Me Liberty

6. Hustlers

7. Monos

8. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

9. The Souvenir

10. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino star in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. (Courtesy Columbia)

Highest grossing, Box Office Mojo

1. Avengers: Endgame

2. The Lion King

3. Frozen II

4. Spider-Man: Far From Home

5. Captain Marvel

6. Toy Story 4

7. Joker

8. Aladdin

9. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

10. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant star in Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” (Courtesy Neon)


San Francisco Examiner critics select their top 10 movies from 2010-19.

Yalitza Aparicio stars in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” one of the best films of the decade. (Courtesy Netflix)

Jeffrey M. Anderson

1. Roma (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018)

2. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

3. Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, 2013)

4. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

5. The Turin Horse (Bela Tarr, 2011)

6. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)

7. Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2010)

8. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)

9. Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010)

10. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014)

Alex Hibbert, left, and Mahershala Ali appear in Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” named among the 10 best movies from 2010-19. (Courtesy A24)

Anita Katz

1. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)

2. Roma (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018)

3. I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016)

4. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)

5. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)

6. The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012, 2014)

7. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)

8. Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)

9. CitizenFour (Laura Poitras, 2014)

10. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)

Movies and TV

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Officer who knelt with George Floyd protesters accused of insubordination a day later

Rubin Rhodes, a black officer who identifies as non-binary, sent home for wearing earrings

SF officer involved in shooting death of homeless man quit while facing discipline, landed new job in Antioch

An officer who faced discipline for needlessly escalating a confrontation that led… Continue reading

State AG to work with Vallejo on police reforms after fatal shooting of SF man

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced an agreement Friday with Vallejo to… Continue reading

Most Read