Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, 2019)

There is a family from South Korea known as the Kims. It consists of father Ki-taek, mother Chung-sook, son Ki-woo, and daughter Ki-jeong. They are decidedly not well off, living in a small basement apartment. The dwelling is unkempt with dishes strewn everywhere and they often find themselves needing to hold their smart phones to the ceiling to get any kind of Wi-Fi reception. They are barely staying afloat by working various low-paying odd jobs. One day, Ki-woo’s friend, Min-hyuk, intends to study abroad, and gives the Kim family a scholar’s rock, which is supposed to bring them wealth. Feeling pity for his friend, Min-hyuk suggests that Ki-woo pose as a university student and take over his job as an English tutor for one Park Da-hye. The Park family is very wealthy, so Ki-woo may have stumbled into something that can help his family leave their squalid living conditions.

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Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, 2019)

Charlie Barber is a theater director residing in New York City. He has been highly successful, and his current production stars his wife, Nicole. However, while the couple appears to be happy on the surface, their domestic life is decidedly troubled. They are seeing a marriage counselor to rekindle the feelings of love they once had, but even this proves unhelpful. The relationship reaches a point of no return when Nicole, having been offered the starring role in a pilot in Los Angeles, leaves Charlie’s company to her mother’s residence in West Hollywood, taking their son, Henry, with her.

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1917 (Sam Mendes, 2019)

It is April 6, 1917, and the most powerful nations in the world are embroiled in a war the likes of which humankind has never seen. An aerial reconnaissance team has noticed that the German army is in the middle of a tactical withdrawal from the Hindenburg Line. However, British forces stationed there believe them to be retreating, not knowing of their oppositions true intentions to wipe them out with artillery. The field telephone lines have been severed, so the only way to deliver this valuable information is for it to be conveyed in person. General Erinmore sends two young soldiers, Will Schofield and Tom Blake, to deliver the message to Colonel Mackenzie, who leads the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment. The fate of 1,600 men hangs in the balance.

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Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi, 2019)

Johannes Betzler, better known as Jojo, is a boy ten years of age. Despite being considered scrawny by his peers, he is, by most accounts an ordinary kid – except for the minor detail that he has an imaginary friend named Adolf Hitler. Jojo is one of the many children indoctrinated in the mandatory Hitler Youth program. Even as the tides of conflict have turned against Nazi Germany, the jingoistic Jojo remains ever hopeful that his country will prevail.

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The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019)

An elderly man named Frank Sheeran currently resides in a nursing home in the 2000s. Superficially, there wouldn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary about this man. However, this man has a storied history, beginning during the time he served in the Second World War. Being close to death, he reminisces about his exploits upon returning home. Nobody would suspect this elder, who doesn’t look that much different than the home’s other tenants, was actually a hitman responsible for countless high-profile murders throughout the twentieth century.

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Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019)

In 1868, a woman finds herself pitching a story to an interested publisher. It is a story largely based off of her life with her sisters growing up during the American Civil War. She has been a passionate writer her entire life, and this is her big moment to make an impact. Unfortunately, the publisher is highly skeptical that this woman’s story is sellable. Friedrich Bhaer, a professor who is in love with her, also criticizes the work – much to her chagrin. Things take a turn for the worse when the condition of the woman’s younger sister worsens, prompting her to return home

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Ford v Ferrari (James Mangold, 2019)

In 1963, the Vice President of the Ford Motor Company, Lee Iacocca, makes an interesting proposition to Henry Ford II. To boost car sales, they are to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. To do this, they will purchase the famed manufacturer Ferrari – the latter company being strapped for cash. However, the founder, Enzo Ferrari, opts to walk out of the deal when Fiat offers an alternative that allows him to retain ownership of the Scuderia Ferrari. With one final insult to Ford, the executives are sent on their way. Enraged at this slight, Henry II immediately orders his racing division to build a car capable of defeating Ferrari at Le Mans.

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Joker (Todd Phillips, 2019)

The year is 1981. Arthur Fleck is a party clown and a social outsider who aspires to become a stand-up comedian. He lives with his mother, Penny, in an apartment in Gotham City. The rigid class system in this society has resulted in large segments of the population unemployed, disenfranchised, and impoverished. Arthur himself has it worse than most due to his crippling mental disorders. Things reach their absolute nadir when a group of delinquents steal Arthur’s sign, attacking him as he catches up to them. Still, he holds out hope that one day, it will all work out.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

This story takes place in the year 1969. An aging actor named Rick Dalton has been stuck playing the role of antagonists in various films for several years. He was once the star of a Western television series called Bounty Law in the 1950s, but his time in the sun has long passed. He often confides to his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth that his career is effectively over. Despite his dire situation, Rick lives in a comfortable house on Cielo Drive. He realizes he may have a second chance on his hands when two rising talents, Sharon Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski, move into the large house next door to him.

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