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The best under-the-radar movies of 2019

It’s tough for a film to attract an audience if it’s neither a blockbuster event (like Avengers: Endgame) nor an obvious Oscar contender (like The Irishman). Sadly, the majority of films exist in this netherworld of underappreciation. And 2019 was an especially great year for them.

So take the next few weeks to catch up on some of the best films of the year that didn’t make a ton of money at the box office or find themselves in the thick of the largely arbitrary awards race (or both). These films may not have received the big headlines or elicited viral thinkpieces, but they were every bit as rewarding as Once Upon in Time in Hollywood and Toy Story 4.

Here are seven great 2019 films that flew under the radar, and where you can watch them:

High Flying Bird

Director Steven Soderbergh is proving with each new film that he can make quality cinema on his own terms, outside the traditional studio system. High Flying Bird, a Netflix film shot entirely on an iPhone, is his latest example. Shot on a measly $2 million budget, the movie stars André Holland as an NBA agent working behind the scenes to end a financially devastating lockout. It’s catnip for sports business fans, but also accessible to anyone who enjoys smart, fast-paced human drama. The screenplay was written by Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. Watch it on Netflix.


A visually arresting nightmare, Monos gets closer to the experience of watching Apocalypse Now for the first time than any other film I’ve seen since. Directed by Colombian-Ecuadorian filmmaker Alejandro Landes, Monos follows a cult-like group of teenage commandos camped out on a remote mountain somewhere in Colombia. After taking an American woman hostage, the group slowly devolves into primal chaos. It won the

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