Movies – The Best Movies Of 2020
The most trippy, bewildering, fantastic film of the year comes in the form of psychological thriller Wander.
As a conspiracy theorist is called to investigate a suspicious death in a small town, he becomes convinced the case has something to do with the death of his daughter years earlier.
Aaron Eckhart is unhinged here, and the best he’s been since Two-Face in The Dark Knight. With a wonderful Tommy Lee Jones along for the ride, this is a whole lot of film to explore.
It will require some suspension of disbelief, but if you let it, the ride Wander takes you on will be absolutely exhilarating.
Promising Young Woman
This film is absolutely bonkers, and features Carey Mulligan’s absolute best performance ever.
As Cassandra, she stalks the night, hitting up bars. She falls around in high heels, appearing virtually wasted to everyone around her. When some well-meaning gentleman offers her a ride home, or to take her back to his place, she always obliges.
But once they — inevitably always — cross the line, the facade comes down. Cassandra is not drunk, but she’s more than ready to teach a lesson or two about preying on young women.
Guided and spurred on by a traumatic event from college, she begins to soften upon meeting Ryan, a pediatrician in the area, and her nightlife and life with him can no longer mesh. Something has to give. But what? She struggles to make that decision.
Mulligan is Oscar-worthy, with surprising turns from Bo Burnham and Jennifer Cooledge, as well as a great role for Laverne Cox.
This is really gut-wrenching cinema, and won’t be for everyone. But it’s the most necessary film of the year.
The Trial Of The Chicago 7
This story of those charged with causing a riot at the democratic national convention in Chicago to push against the Vietnam war is spellbinding.
Of all the films this year, it features the absolute best ensemble, and the characters are so real and fleshed out it’s hard not to feel for them.
Writer-director Aaron Sorkin – of The Social Network fame – makes this courtroom drama sing. This is a taut, intense tale, and Sascha Baron Cohen is Oscar-worthy.
In fact, the entire cast is, but it’s Cohen that stands out. Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance as a hapless lawyer, Frank Langella as a racist judge, Succession’s Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a prosecutor with a conscience, and the outstanding Yahya Abdul-Mateen III all give amazing turns.
This is one of the most entertaining, rousing films of the year, and it’s unforgettable.
A foreign-language film won Best Picture last year, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this year’s best foreign film as one to watch.
This comedy-drama out of Denmark is fantastic and hits a perfect tone. It revolves around four friends – all high school teachers – who hear that if you have a bit of alcohol in your blood constantly will improve your life.
So, they all decide to do it, to varying results. As they begin to realize alcohol gives some courage, others anger, and generally may be dangerous, they do what they can to navigate the tricky waters they’ve dove into.
Director Thomas Vinterberg makes a nearly perfect film, and actor Mads Mikkelsen gives one of his best turns ever in a move you won’t forget.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
I’ve mentioned this movie every chance I’ve had since it released December 18th. Chadwick Boseman – Black Panther himself – gives the posthumous performance of his career.
As ambitious, fast-talking Levee, a band-member in Ma Rainey’s group looking to strike out on his own, there’s a simultaneous confidence and pain that hit me hard.
He’s absolutely stunning, and manages to outshine his Oscar-winning co-star Viola Davis, who is vibrant and boisterous as Ma Rainey.
As she fights white music producers during a recording session, Levee stands in the background, plotting to make bigger strides.
It’s an amazing ensemble film and it showcases Boseman perfectly. It is the best possible way to see the man off, as he’s the best he’s ever been.
Anthony Hopkins is sure to get an Oscar nomination for his turn as an older man going through the early stages of dementia.
He can barely make sense of his life or where he is when he wakes in the morning, but refuses his dutiful daughter’s care, as she desperately tries to hold it together.
Hopkins is the best he’s been since Silence Of The Lambs, and Olivia Colman knocks it out of the park.
Director Florian Zeller turns The Father into one incredible, heartbreaking picture. It’s one of the most emotional of the year, and it’ll definitely be in the Oscar conversation.
Wonder Woman 1984
This superhero sequel is so, so fantastic. It does circles around the original and restores the qualities of Wonder Woman that seemed lost in Justice League.
It’s light entertainment that teaches some incredible lessons, with Gal Gadot taking up the mantle and doing things better than ever.
Director Patty Jenkins makes a superhero movie with a beating heart and some pretty incredible visuals.
Kristin Wiig impresses as a villain, as does The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal, and their characters manage to become developed.
This is a living, breathing, awesome piece of popcorn entertainment, and the most fun I’ve had watching a movie this year.
Pieces Of A Woman
This searing film is one of the most difficult movies you’ll watch all year. Pieces of a Woman is about the pain a couple feels after losing their child during a home birth.
Normally, given the circumstance Shia LaBeouf has put himself in, I wouldn’t mention one of his movies.
But for the women in this picture – Oscar frontrunners at that – I need to talk about what a feat this is.
It’s a tragedy, and Vanessa Kirby absolutely carries the film, and deserved an Oscar nomination for sure. Ellen Burstyn, as the supportive but overbearing mother, deserves consideration also.
This story of the disintegration of a marriage left me in tears, and this is an absolutely must-see endeavour.
The female performance in this film deserves every single second of your attention.
Da 5 Bloods
Spike Lee makes an enthralling film with this summer hit, Da 5 Bloods. Half a film about the unnecessary Vietnam war and half a caper flick, it’s all the way intense.
When four African American veterans get back together and go to Vietnam, they try to find the remains of their squad leader, who died in war years prior, and find the gold fortune they left behind.
With Chadwick Boseman in an amazing supporting role, and Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis and Jonathan Majors on board, this really is a masterclass.
But it’s grizzled Delroy Lindo who steals the film, and may just steal an Oscar nom, for his role here.
It’s a poignant movie with hardened edges, and it’s worth every second.
The Devil All The Time
Sound Of Metal
Target Number One
The Way Back