Welcome, welcome everybody. Don’t trip on the red carpet on the way to your seat. You all look very fine indeed, what with those tuxedos/evening gowns/sweatpants you’ve donned for this very, very special occasion.
We’re talking about the Plugged In Movie Awards, of course. It’s a ceremony far more lavish than the Oscars … or would be, if we had the time and, well, any money at all. Still, as you can see from the footage from the ceremony, we do our best.
For those not inclined to watch video, or for those of you who want more information on the selection process or to learn what you, our Plugged In readers/listeners thought were the best pics this year, read on.
Best Movie for Kids
Plugged In’s Pick: Toy Story 4
Did we really need another Toy Story movie? I mean, weren’t the first three good enough? Those were, admittedly, questions I was asking when I walked in to review Pixar’s newest film. But Pixar proved that there was another toy story to be told—one that asked some serious questions of its own. Toy Story 4 proved to be both an existentialist rumination and a wildly fun, clean kids’ flick—not an easy combo to pull off. But, to paraphrase Buzz Lightyear, it did it in style.
Your Pick: Aladdin
Y’all didn’t like Toy Story 4 as much as we at Plugged In. Perhaps it was the spork. No matter: You gave Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake your highest grade, with the final chapter in the How to Train Your Dragon saga flapping into second place.
Best Movie for Teens
Plugged In’s Pick: Harriet
We didn’t overload this category with four-quadrant blockbusters this year as we often do. Even so, the race for the Teens’ title was stacked. Endgame was a fitting climax to a more-than-decade-long saga. Little Women is a Best Picture contender at the Oscars. Blinded by the Light and Togo were great pics in their own right. But in the end, we went with Harriet, the inspirational, faith-rich biopic about Harriet Tubman. This well-crafted film shines a light on someone who deserves it—educating and entertaining its audience at the same time.
Your Pick: Tie, Avengers: Endgame and Little Women
Your choices could not be more different from each other … and yet they’ve got some strange similarities going for them, too. Both feature time-honored, diverse characters that clash with each other at times, but who still care for one another when the chips are down. Both films stress sacrifice, determination and love. Both come with hard-earned happy endings. Only one, though, features a gigantic bedazzled glove that could destroy the universe.
Best Movie for Adults
Plugged In’s Pick: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Every year, this is the category that we Plugged In staffers argue over more than any other. Some fought for 1917, the resonant World War I drama, even though it has some pretty difficult content to wade through. Others argued for A Hidden Life, Terence Malick’s beautiful story of faith and principled resistance. But A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a semi-fictionalized snapshot of Mister Rogers, ended up taking the prize. As Plugged In Director Adam Holz said, it’s a rare picture that you walk out of that makes you want to be a better person. And that’s what this film does.
Your Pick: 1917
The British war drama has picked up tons of honors this awards season, so why not add one more? This film is a fascinating blend of an intimate portrait—that of two soldiers making their way through the war’s horrific No Man’s Land—told on a sprawling canvas. It’s really effective as a movie and surprisingly impactful as a story. It shows us that, even in the most deplorable conditions, we can—and must—still try to do the right thing.
Best Christian Movie
Plugged In’s Pick: Unplanned
For the first time in the history of the Plugged In Movie Awards, we decided to honor an R-rated film—and oddly, it came in the Christian category. This impactful, harrowing and at times difficult-to-watch drama unpacks one woman’s journey from abortion provider to pro-life advocate. The latest polls suggest that the United States is more accepting of abortion than ever: If more people watched Unplanned, those stats might change.
Your Pick: Unplanned
You were equally moved by this tricky story, with Overcomer sliding into second place. A few folks were wondering why Silence, God’s Not Dead 3 and Do You Believe didn’t make our list of nominees. The answer: Those films weren’t released in 2019.