As 2019 comes to a close, it's time to look back on the movies that made this a year to remember.
Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers, who is also host of ABC’s “Popcorn with Peter Travers,” chose seven of his favorite films from this past year, though he noted that his picks aren't necessarily indicative of what performed best at the box office.
If ticket sales drove his rankings, he said, the number one movie of the year would be "Avengers: Endgame," which, according to Box Office Mojo, raked in $2.79 billion worldwide. "The Lion King" was second in ticket sales, earning $1.65 billion; "Spider-Man: Far From Home" came in third, with $1.13 billion; "Captain Marvel" was in fourth with $1.12 billion; and rounding out the top five was "Toy Story 4," which brought in $1.07 billion.
However, the sixth highest-earning movie, "Joker," did make Travers' list, which brings us to his top seven films of the year:
7. "Joker": Some people hated the art house/superhero movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, but others, Travers included, loved it. "We were told that there would be violence in movie theaters and that there would be police everywhere. Nothing happened. Nothing happened because it was actually a smart movie about something important -- about bullying in this country and what happens to people who are abused," Travers said. "Phoenix's performance puts him in line for every kind of award as best actor. He was that good."
6. "1917": "The great Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes has decided to make this movie about two soldiers, two young British soldiers who are given an assignment to cross into German lines and get the commander to stop a battle, an attack that will kill hundreds of British soldiers. And he decided to do it so that it looked like it was in one take," Travers noted. "So you sit there like this [stares] during this movie. It is just a triumph of directing. And you've got to see it next."
5. "Little Women": Even before the Greta Gerwig-directed movie hit theaters, it generated Oscar buzz, not just for Gerwig but also its stars, actresses Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh. Based on the classic book of the same title, Travers gushed that the movie gives the story a more modern feel. "It's so exuberant and so exciting to watch these women getting together, making something new and re-imagined," Travers said. "You don't want to miss it."
4. "Marriage Story": A critics' darling about a couple going through a contentious divorce, "Marriage Story" earned more Golden Globe nominations than any other movie, including individual nods for its stars, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. "It's a movie that you laugh at, but at the same time, you cry and you cry a lot," Travers said. "Boy, does it work."
3. "Parasite": South Korea's "Parasite" earned three Golden Globe nominations and deserves to be on your watch list, Travers said. When describing the plot, Travers said: "This family has nothing. They're basically living in a basement and one of them gets a job working for a wealthy family. And she says, 'You know what? I'm going to get my whole family jobs in this house, but I'm not going to tell my employers that they're my family.' And suddenly they begin to take over." "People say to me, 'Well, really, you know, subtitles. I don't want to read subtitles.' Yes, you do, because after five minutes, you won't even know you're reading them," he continued. "This director, Bong Joon-ho, is so amazing as a cinema master that he makes every moment of this totally exciting."
2. "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood...": "I can't think of a movie this year that's on my best list that I enjoyed more than this because it's [director] Quentin [Tarantino]'s love letter to Hollywood," Travers said of the film, which stars Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, and explores Hollywood in the 1960s. "I watched this movie in a total state of exhilaration."
1. "The Irishman": Another highly-regarded Netflix film, "The Irishman," starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, and directed by Martin Scorsese, topped Travers' list for 2019. "It's [Scorsese's] most mature movie and it's also one of his most exciting," Travers said. "Get out there and see it now."