By now, audiences have caught on to the way American distributors tend to stockpile their quality movies for end-of-year award-season release, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t treasures to be found in the first two quarters. In fact, sometimes it’s the movies that aren’t making a self-important Oscar push that wind up hitting closest to our hearts — and providing respite from such recent turkeys as “The Beach Bum
” and “Wonder Park
.” With quality to be found everywhere from blockbuster superhero sagas to niche-release art-house fare, it turns out 2019 is off to a good start. Variety chief critics Owen Gleiberman
and Peter Debruge
pick their favorite releases of the year so far.
Avengers: Endgame Marvel Studios
In his Variety review, Peter Debruge called it “the ultimate fan-service follow-up,” and that nails the riveting and cathartic satisfactions — and, just maybe, the built-in obsolescence — of this toweringly crafted and