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Every 2020 Film, Ranked

Let’s be honest, 2020 was a WILD year. By no means did we think VOD and drive-in theaters would be the new normal, therefore destroying the motivation to go to the cinema itself. Out of the large bunch that did manage to come out, however, I viewed 308 films in total. Out of those, there were some that were special, those that were the peak of hilarious, sad, horrific, terrifying, or psychological. Without any further ado, let’s get to my final ranking of 2020.

The Rest of the Rest (308-101)—No Reviews

308. The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, Skyline Entertainment

 

307.  365 Days, TVN

 

306.  Artemis Fowl,  Disney+

305.  We Can Be Heroes, Troublemaker Studios

 

304.  Songbird, STX Films

 

303.  The Kissing Booth 2, Netflix

 

302.  The Main Event, WWE Studios

 

301.   The Tax Collector, Kodiak Pictures

 

300.  Desperados, Netflix

 

299.   The Binge, LD Entertainment

 

298.   American Pie Presents: Girl’s Rules, Universal Pictures

 

297.   The Grudge, Screen Gems

 

296.   Scoob!, Warner Bros. Pictures

 

295.   The Sleepover, LD Entertainment

 

294.   Secret Society of Second Born Royals, Disney Channel

 

293.   Dangerous Lies, Netflix

 

292.   The Turning, Universal Pictures

 

291.   Brahms: The Boy II, STX Entertainment

 

290.  The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, Goldfinch Studios

 

289.  The War With Grandpa, West Madison Entertainment

 

288.   The Lie, Blumhouse Productions

 

287.   John Henry, Kodiak Pictures

 

286.  The Last Days of American Crime, Netflix

 

285.  Fatal Affair, Hybrid

 

284.  Operation Christmas Drop, Netflix

 

283.  Inheritance, Highland Film Group

 

282.  Monster Hunter, Tencent Pictures

 

281.  Evil Eye, Amazon Studios

 

280.  A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, Walden Media

 

279.  Fatale, Hidden Empire Film Group

 

278.  Earth and Blood, Labyrinthe Films

 

277.  Wild Mountain Thyme, Bleecker Street Films

 

276.  Capone, Bron Studios

 

275.  Body Cam, Paramount Pictures

 

274.  Valley Girl, Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer

 

273.   Holidate, Netflix

 

272.   Fantasy Island, Blumhouse Productions

 

271.   The Last Thing He Wanted, Netflix

 

270.  You Should Have Left, Blumhouse Productions

 

269.  Ava, Voltage Pictures

 

268.  Trolls: World Tour, Universal Pictures

 

267.   Like a Boss, Paramount Pictures

 

266.   The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two, Netflix

 

265.   To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, Paramount Pictures

 

264.   Go!, Netflix

 

263.   The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Netflix

 

262.   Proximity, Demeusy Pictures

 

261.   Shooting Heroin, Veritas

 

260.  Dolittle, Universal Pictures

 

259.   The Rhythm Section, Paramount Pictures

 

258.   Airplane Mode, Netflix

 

257.   Breach, Aloe Entertainment

 

256.   Cadaver, SF Studios

 

255.   The Jesus Rolls, Screen Media Films

 

254.   Fatman, Ingenious Media

 

253.   The Croods: A New Age, Universal Pictures

 

252.   Centigrade, Manhattan Productions

 

251.    Becky, Redbox Entertainment

 

250.   Black Box, Amazon Studios

 

249.    Ronald Dahl’s The Witches, Warner Bros. Pictures

 

248.    The Binding, Indigo Film

 

247.    Run this Town, JoBro Productions

 

246.    Gretel and Hansel, Orion Pictures

 

245.    The Burnt Orange Heresy, Rumble Films

 

244.    The Banker, Apple TV+

 

243.    The Stand In, Ingenious Media

 

242.    Goldie, VICE Media

 

241.     Blood and Money, Screen Media Films

 

240.    Mulan, Walt Disney Pictures

 

239.    Tesla, RNG Entertainment

 

238.    Mortal, Nordisk Film

 

237.    Downhill, Searchlight Pictures

 

236.    Endings, Beginnings, CJ Entertainment

 

235.    The Last Full Measure, Roadside Attractions

 

234.    Greed, Sony Pictures International Productions

 

233.    Radioactive, StudioCanal

 

232.    Skylin3s, Vertical Entertainment

 

231.    Godmothered, Walt Disney Pictures

 

230.   Rebecca, Netflix

 

229.   Bloodshot, Columbia Pictures

 

228.   Project Power, Netflix

 

227.   The Wrong Missy, Netflix

 

226.   The Roads Not Taken, BBC Films

 

225.    An American Pickle, Sony Pictures

 

224.    Love Wedding Repeat, Netflix

 

223.    The Coldest Game, Netflix

 

222.    A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, StudioCanal

 

221.    Sputnik, STS Media

 

220.   Wasp Network, Netflix

 

219.    The Secrets We Keep, Bleecker Street Films

 

218.    The Call of the Wild, 20th Century Studios

 

217.     The Postcard Killings, RLJE Films

 

216.     Coffee and Kareem, Netflix

 

215.     Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Netflix

 

214.    Rogue, Lionsgate

 

213.    The One and Only Ivan, Disney+

 

212.    Chemical Hearts, Amazon Studios

 

211.    A Fall From Grace, Netflix

 

210.  37 Seconds, Netflix

 

209.  Love, Guaranteed, Netflix

 

208.  The Lovebirds, Paramount Pictures

 

207.   #Alive, Lotte Entertainment

 

206.    Really Love

 

205.    Vampires vs. the Bronx, Netflix

 

204.    Underwater, TSG Entertainment

 

203.    She Dies Tomorrow, NEON

 

202.    All Day and a Night, Netflix

 

201.    The Rental, IFC Films

 

200.   The Night Clerk, Netflix

 

199.    Guilty, Netflix

 

198.    Holly Slept Over, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

 

197.    The High Note, Focus Features

 

196.    Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Warner Bros. Animation

 

195.    I Am Woman, Netflix

 

194.   Stargirl, Disney+

 

193.   Antebellum, Lionsgate

 

192.   Resistance, IFC Films

 

191.    Work It, Netflix

 

190.    Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, Disney +

 

189.    Sergio, Netflix

 

188.    Babyteenth, Universal Pictures

 

187.    Minor Premise, Utopia

 

186.    Lost Girls, Netflix

 

185.    For the Weekend

 

184.   Love and Monsters, Paramount Pictures

 

183.   Batman: Death in the Family, Warner Bros. Animation

 

182.   Judy and Punch, Hulu

 

181.   Walkaway Joe, Quiver Distribution

 

180.   Blow the Man Down, Amazon Studios

 

179.    7500, Amazon Studios

 

178.   The Whistlers, Magnolia Pictures

 

177.    Come to Daddy, Saban Films

 

176.   The Undoing, HBO Max

 

175.    Greenland, STX Entertainment

 

174.    The Nest, BBC Films

 

173.    I’m Your Woman, Amazon Studios

 

172.    Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Netflix

 

171.    Three Christs, IFC Films

 

170.   Horse Girl, Netflix

 

169.   The Hater, Netflix

 

168.   Over the Moon, Netflix

 

167.   After Midnight, Cranked Up Films

 

166.  Sorry We Missed You, BBC Films

 

165.   Wander Darkly, Lionsgate

 

164.   Irresistible, Focus Features

 

163.  Wonder Woman 1984, Warner Bros. Pictures

 

162.   Peninsula, Next Entertainment World

 

161.    Archenemy, RLJ Entertainment

 

160.   My Spy, Amazon Studios

 

159.   Spenser Confidential, Netflix

 

158.   Guns Akimbo, Amazon Studios

 

157.    Superman: Red Son, Warner Bros. Animation

 

156.  Burrow, Pixar

 

155.   Clouds, Disney+

 

154.  We are Who We Are

 

153.   NiNoKuni, Netflix

 

152.   We Summon the Darkness, Netflix

 

151.   The Photograph, Universal Pictures

 

150.   Uncle Frank, Amazon Studios

 

149.   Troop Zero, Amazon Studios

 

148.   Impractical Jokers: The Movie, truTV

 

147.   Tiger King, Netflix

 

146.    Get Duked!, Amazon Studios

 

145.    Spree, RLJE Films

 

144.   Mosul, Netflix

 

143.   Don’t Listen, Netflix

 

142.   Enola Holmes, Netflix

 

141.   American Murder: The Family Next Door, Netflix

 

140.  On the Rocks, Apple TV+

 

139.  Bill and Ted Face the Music, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

 

138.  Tuscaloosa, Cinedigm

 

137.  Standing Up, Falling Down, Shout! Studios

 

136.  Hubie Halloween, Netflix

 

135.   Selah and the Spades, Amazon Studios

 

134.   The Half of It, Netflix

 

133.   Beastie Boys Story, Apple TV+

 

132.   The Midnight Sky, Netflix

 

131.  Spontaneous, Awesomeness Films

 

130.  Da 5 Bloods, Netflix

 

129.  His House, Netflix

 

128.  Bad Trip, Orion Pictures

 

127.  Happiest Season, Netflix

 

126.   There is No Evil, Europe Media West

 

125.    The Traitor, Canal+

 

124.    The Boys in the Band, Netflix

 

123.    The Glorias, Amazon Studios

 

122.    The New Mutants, Marvel Entertainment

 

121.     The Hunt, Universal Pictures

 

120.    Hope Gap, Origin Pictures

 

119.     LA Originals, Netflix

 

118.     The Quarry, Hulu

 

117.     Bull, Sony Pictures Worldwide

 

116.    The Life Ahead, Netflix

 

115.    Incitement, Amazon Studios

 

114.    Cut Throat City, Rumble Riot Pictures

 

113.   Mainstream, IFC Films

 

112.    How to Build a Girl, IFC Films

 

111.    A Whisker Away, Netflix

 

110.   Robert the Bruce, Crackle

 

109.   Fatima, Picturehouse

 

108.   Miss Juneteenth, Vertical Entertainment

 

107.   The Broken Hearts Gallery, Sony Pictures Releasing

 

106.  The Old Guard, Netflix

 

105.    All the Bright Places, Netflix

 

104.    Deerskin, Greenwich Entertainment

 

103.    Bad Hair, Hulu

 

102.    Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Candace Against the Universe, Disney+

101.    Charm City Kings, HBO Max

 

In the Bubble (100-70)—With Reviews

100. Endings, Beginnings, Samuel Goldwyn Films


Look, hats off to this horrid fan fiction adaptation for making me dislike Shailene Woodley THAT much more. This movie stumbles at the start and never really gets up and starts the race. The obvious comparisons are there, from Fifty Shades of Grey (Hello, Jamie Dornan?) and After, where that girl is so aroused by the totally generic male instagram model foreign exchange student or whatever. Look, if I get any of these plots wrong, It’s because I probably fell asleep during one of those films. Ladies and gentlemen, the main theme is, “If you like two people and everyone tells you to pick one, ignore them and go double or nothing.” Like, we’re not going to act like she could’ve easily chosen to get with the first person she met? Oh, and that ending. Just veer away from this cinematrocity. It’s not like Chris Stuckmann when he says that a movie that is bad but really funny in the process can be considered a hillariocity. This is an atrocity, without the hillariousness. Good luck sitting through this junk. Luckily, from here on out, every film on this huge list is decent enough to sit through.

 

99.  The Gentlemen, STX Films

Guy Ritchie has always cemented himself as an extremely stylish director of sorts, and has once again proved himself with The Gentlemen, a witty comedy/action thriller that is mostly cliches and giggles carried by all that is Matthew McConaughey and Charlie Hunnam. The thing is, while Ritchie’s style certainly proves to be innovative in a time where innovation is key with Hollywood, it falters due to the amount of tropes that are emphasized in the film that are borrowed from other successful action thrillers. Check out Ritchie’s new feature Wrath of Man this April, only in theaters.

 

98.  Buffaloed, MXN Entertainment


At its core, Buffaloed is a film that knows what its audience is and realizes exactly what it is it wants to accomplish. I have to give a round of applause to Zoey Deutch for really bringing this story to life. Director Tanya Wexler manages to bring another approach to the underground world of debt-collecting, and the effects of the latter on our society through the usage of pathos as a rhetorical device to convince the audience that the shady business our protagonist is getting herself into is completely warranted. Nevertheless, Buffaloed is a fun acting showcase that really begins to touch on important topics without fully realizing its vast potential.

97. Nomadland, Hulu

Ah, Best Picture. It’s practically a game of musical chairs, except almost every year the most undeserving film ends up winning it. While I was able to breath a sigh of relief last year when Parasite and Bong Joon-Ho took home top honors, the Academy has almost always hit standstills with their Best Picture Picks. The only two films that have fully deserved the top award offered this decade have been 2016’s Moonlight and the aforementioned South Korean masterpiece. Nomadland is a film that has amazing cinematography, and its editing is top notch, but for a film that won Best Director, it doesn’t have any clear direction or pathway. It just wanders aimlessly, pointing a camera at Frances McDormand and forcing the viewer to endure two miserable hours of depressing realism. After the year that was 2020, this is the WORST film to watch if you strive for escapism.

96. Run Hide Fight, The Daily Wire


This is right-wing media company The Daily Wire’s first attempt at making a live-action feature film, and it doesn’t totally self-implode, but it can be much better given the talent on screen. Thomas Jane, known for his fantastic performance in the 2007 Frank Darabont horror feature The Mist, felt equivalent to a man in catatonic shock with every line he uttered. Nevertheless, Isabel May and Eli Brown both carry this film with stellar performances that made the film enjoyable.

95.  MLK/FBI, IFC Films

MLK/FBI is an extremely intriguing documentary feature because it puts you in the shoes of MLK, and the issues he had with federal law enforcement through the reviewing of declassified documents that are just NOW accessible. If you watch this as a double feature along with Judas and the Black Messiah, you will slowly begin to start disliking the unorthodox and racially charged methods of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI back in the 1960s and 1970s.

 

94.  Excuse Me, I Love You, Netflix


This extremely colorful and vibrant documentary takes a full dive into Ariana Grande’s Sweetener World Tour that took place in 2019. Whereas on the surface Ariana may just seem like a shallow pop star, this documentary does its best to flesh out the music prodigy by focusing on her personality behind the scenes. Ariana is an amazing singer and songwriter, and seeing more of her via my favorite outlet of review is always something to smile about.

93. Call, Netflix

Call reminds me of that cheesy movie starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock released in 2006 titled The Lakehouse—but with a horror twist. I find it amazing how horror still manages to survive even though the main industry of Hollywood continues to exploit the popular genre by eliciting a jump scare at every conceivable turn. But Call is not only scary, it is extremely unsettling. It uses an innovative script and cast to its advantage to succeed as a really well-rounded horror film.

 

92. Extraction, Netflix


Look, Extraction as a feature film is just built to entertain. With witty action sequences and great fight choreography built into the breathtaking cinematography, it’s easy to overlook the lack of true story that this film just never offers. Chris Hemsworth is truly fun and episodic in anything and everything he does, and action movies are just that piece of cake we keep on feasting on. He keeps us entertained, and helps us ignore the disappointing, flawed script brought together by the usually talented Russo Brothers, whose most recent credit before this flick was the widely successful box-office juggernaut Avengers: Endgame. Henry Jackman’s score was again well recorded, putting us in Hemsworth’s shoes as he goes up against gangsters and mafia members, and is successfully fitting at every twist and turn. The direction by the Russo Brothers, save for the below average, muddled script, is mostly creative and it’s intent is to drive in viewers from all demographics. This is a fantastic action thriller to just watch if you want a good time, but as an actual narrative is where it falls mostly short.

 

91. The Burnt Orange Heresy, Hulu

The Burnt Orange Heresy fails to captivate, as it shifts continually into a downward spiral, never able to regain its momentum. While the performances are worthwhile, the story is muddled and ruins whatever efforts are put forth to spice up a painfully mediocre heist thriller.

 

90.  Vivarium, Amazon Prime Video

This is easily the weirdest film of 2020. It was also conveniently a perfect film to watch during quarantine. I had a fantastic time watching this one as I screamed and flinched more than once due to the excellent style of horror Lorcan Finnegan emulates during the entirety of the film. Both Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg are both fantastic, but it’s Poots who carries the heavy load here. She plays both a vividly confused madwoman and a lover that is trying to do her best for her husband. Vivarium is a fantastic thriller that evokes your senses and makes you think really hard about your housing situations.

89.  Sea Fever, Hulu

Sea Fever and Vivarium are literally the two perfect in-house quarantine films. Sea Fever has to do with the spread of a parasite, wheras Vivarium has to do with being trapped in your home. But what Sea Fever does is it takes stories and screenplays like The Thing, Alien, Life, and Prometheus and puts its own unique spin on it. This time, our group of protagonists are isolated, in the middle of nowhere, and to make matters even worse there is a life-threatening parasite that kills hidden in their water supply. And so, much like in the The Thing and Alien, they start getting picked off, careful not to spread the parasite to another person. Sound familiar? I kind of disliked one aspect that, in a way, helped this film retain its relevance in our society these days. Whenever you have a parasite or alien film, it’s always customary to have a group of naive individuals that have no idea what’s going on until one totally unsuspecting dunce gets killed, then they all suddenly turn into Einsteins, only to die the same way Mr. Billy Madison did just 40 minutes prior. What I’m trying to get at here is that while it utilizes its setting and set of characters perfectly, it can also be the film’s downfall. That’s my main issue with Sea Fever. It wants to be one with the crowd instead of branching out and revolutionizing the tropes initially brought forth by Ridley Scott and John Carpenter. I’m not saying I didn’t like the film, but I’m saying it could’ve been different. I’m tired of seeing the same plot lines occur in different locations, with the same endings and the same clichés. However, since we were in quarantine at the time, I had large amounts of fun with this one, despite its obvious flaws.

 

88. The Informer, Warner Bros. Pictures


Imagine if Shot Caller met every generic prison movie or series, like Prison Break, only without the actual BREAK being emphasized. If you actually understood that last sentence, you’ll know the name of the film I’m so subtly describing. Sure, The Informer has its fair share of great moments, it being an action thriller and all, but it does suffer from having a screenplay that is all over the place. Ana De Armas continues her ascent into legendary status among Hollywood actresses today, and Joel Kinnaman continues to prove himself and solidify himself as a valuable asset to the success of action flicks like this entertaining piece of work right here. If you look far past the so awfully-clichéd moments and the predictability of it all, you’ll probably enjoy this subpar action thriller.

 

87. James vs. his Future Self, Vudu

I was generally dazed and confused when I heard plans about a film like this even happening. I mean, really. This is the romantic comedy version of Looper that we’ve wanted all along. Ok, not really, but it panned out really well, surprisingly, taking story elements from other films, mainly Looper and any romcom you could possibly name to make this film successful. The film hits on a sentimental, but not too melancholic level, and most of the laughs in the film are mostly because of Daniel Stern’s impressive use of slapstick humor. In other Daniel Stern news, he totally crushed it in this film, giving his best performance in a film since he most notably played one of the wet bandits in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. The entire film is self-aware of its subject matter and its ridiculousness, attributing to the success of this fun little rom com.

86. Big Time Adolescence, Hulu


The main lesson that this movie tries to convey: Don’t be a Zeke. Throughout the entirety of the film, we find ourselves comparing Mo, a 16 year old who is still going through the stages of puberty, to Zeke, a thirty-year-old who never really found his footing and works as a drug dealer, putting a bad influence on Mo. I honestly feel like this film pulsates a good, hearty message to not follow bad or toxic influences in your life, no matter how attached you are. Sydney Sweeney again steals the show, further securing her spot as one of my top favorite up-and-coming actresses. Overall, the story, characters, and high school setting were portrayed both intelligently and honestly, and it just brings back memories of school altogether, regardless of how old you are.

85. Mank, Netflix

David Fincher is a vital part of my love for film, as he has made some of my all-time favorites with Gone Girl, The Social Network, Se7en, and The Game. But something just felt off about his newest feature film. Don’t get me wrong, the B&W aesthetic and astonishing production design that blend immaculately with great performances from Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman aren’t at fault. This film just doesn’t feel like it was directed by THE David Fincher. The entire film suffers from a loss of tonal direction and drags with exposition, not allowing the viewer to fully realize the era they are in without having to be reminded of the plot. Nevertheless, it is a pretty decent film, and if you like Fincher the way I do, it’s worth a watch. But disappointment could be imminent depending on how you see Fincher as both a director and an artist, so don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

84. Hamilton, Disney+


When Lin-Manuel Miranda’s renown play Hamilton roared onto Disney+ in “feature film” form, I knew I had to check it out. The end result ended up being extremely entertaining. Whether you enjoy the art of theater or musicals being adapted onto the big screen or not, you have to take a moment to appreciate the amount of work that was put into translating a play so good that it won a Pulitzer Prize into a film. The camerawork and cinematography were all on point, and that’s just the absolute beginning. Lin-Manuel Miranda knocked it out of the park with this play, and had a stellar supporting cast comprising of Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs and Christopher Jackson. The musical numbers were phenomenal and were each meticulously choreographed to perfection by Miranda’s crew with the help of amazing backup dancers and extras, with each one providing an insight to an important moment of Hamilton’s life. The songs are parasitically addicting, and “My Shot” is still stuck in my head to this day. Miranda found a way to get to our hearts by crafting an extraordinarily riveting tale of one of America’s most important characters, Alexander Hamilton. To make it all worthwhile however, he brought his enthralling play to our screens with such talent and ardor. However, with all this praise I’m giving it, how can it be in the 80’s? There were so many spectacular films this year that I decided to give the benefit of the doubt to actual feature films that struck me on a deeper cord. However, that is not to say I totally recommend this to anyone looking for anything that will stimulate all five senses and have you singing for days on end. Go watch Hamilton right now, and “don’t throw away your SHOT!”

83. The Social Dilemma, Netflix

Being as how our society runs on electronic device use, much like America runs on Dunkin’, it is terrifying to discover that just about every fact mentioned in Netflix’s The Social Dilemma is 100% true. Large corporations use cookies and other unnoticeable things downloaded onto our phones to track our movements, purchases and lifestyle. The scariest part? Nobody heeded that warning, because our society is so brainwashed by more fortuitous technological powers that it can’t stop and do something. We live our lives on social media platforms, documenting our every location and dinner plate, not stopping to think that social media might have a stronger hold on us than we are led to believe. If you are interested in more, this is an extremely interesting documentary to check out.

82. If Anything Happens I Love You, Netflix


This may be a short film, but it is an experience that feels like a feature-length film. Mass shootings are horrible, and they can take on an even more emotional meaning when you lose your child in a shooting. This short film explores loss, grief, and preserving through struggle in such a real human way and I couldn’t help but hold back tears throughout its duration because even if you don’t have personal ties to someone who has lost a family member or friend to a mass shooting, it still hurts because you feel for that family deeply. This short film took me on an emotional roller coaster, and it deserves more recognition as it did win the Oscar. If it hits too close to home, I would advise against watching, but if you want to witness great animation and emotion, check out If Anything Happens I Love You.

81. The Prom, Netflix

Netflix’s latest LGBTQIA+ film is more of an experiment than a film itself, but it still manages to garner a number of laughs from its respective audience. James Corden is infamous for starring in such dumpster fires such as The Emoji Movie and Cats, but he gives an actual comedic performance here, and many jokes fall on point. The Prom doesn’t shove its obvious LGBTQIA+ agenda down your throat, and instead allows you to connect with each and every character personally and intimately. I liked this movie and I generally want to see more of Nicole Kidman and James Corden’s chemistry in future comedies.

80. A Quiet Place Part II, Paramount Pictures


The successor to the surprise 2018 hit A Quiet Place just doesn’t hit on every level the way it should have. Emily Blunt is still fantastic as Evelyn Abbott, the Abbott family’s matriarch and widow. The use of flashback scenes to incorporate John Krasinski’s character Lee are worthwhile, but the film is able to stand on its own without the use of the latter. While the aforementioned flashbacks provide much needed backstory that explains what life was like before these creatures took over, Lee is gone, and should be, without a trace. Speaking of Krasinski, he once again manages to direct a cohesive and fun thriller that may not live up to its predecessor’s thrills, but definitely merits a watch.

79. Lost Transmissions, Gravitas Ventures

Lost Transmissions is a very well-crafted film of emotion, but one that is flawed by delving into moments of intense melancholia too frequently. The subject matter dealt with is usually accompanied by tons of emotional cushion, but if this film was supposed to bring awareness, why was the end result so sad? The acting was really well executed, but the script falls short. However, this one has proved to be one of the more underrated indies in a year where the latter wasn’t as appreciated.

78. The Willoughbys, Netflix


You heard it all. This one had to be a two day viewing because I had seen Trolls: World Tour the day prior and I just couldn’t believe how bad THAT was, and boy, did I get a nice refreshment. So this has been one of my clear cut favorite works of animation this year, and for good reason. First off, let’s take a look at the glorious, wonderful style used to bring these vibrant characters to life. The animation style is ubiquitously amazing, and it truly is it’s own version of eye candy. Alesia Cara is my definite pick to win best Original Song, and she is spectacular in this movie. This is definitely a must watch on Netflix, and easily one of, if not the best, movie on the service.

77. Escape From Pretoria, Signature Entertainment

Talk about ANXIETY-INDUCING. Tense, thrilling, and amazingly executed, Escape from Pretoria historically recaps the biggest South African prison break, with fantastic performances from Daniel Radcliffe, who delivers his best performance in years since his days at Hogwarts, and from Daniel Webber and Mark Leonard Winter as well as Ian Hart. This is a really underrated and well-made film that most people probably haven’t heard of but needs to be promoted more.

 

76. Defending Jacob, Apple TV+


Before I saw this mini-film, I was convinced it would fail to excite me or even remotely interest me due to the fact that Chris Evans was in a detective drama and it felt totally incorrect. Well boy, WAS I WRONG. Defending Jacob is jarring at every turn, with fantastic performances from Evans, Jaeden Martell, and Michelle Dockery. Director Morten Tyldum knows how to balance family drama and crime investigation, and has you guessing who is behind the murder that drives the whole series. One con to this series is its ending, which leaves the door open for a season 2, which I am avidly against, seeing as how the film ends on a much lighter note than the book it is based on. If you want to be intrigued by a compelling whodunnit case, Defending Jacob is for you.

75.  Siberia, Nexo Digital

I have to start shortening these reviews because I still have 74 more to go, and Siberia is a great place to start. Willem Dafoe and Abel Ferrara work well together, so why was this convoluted dystopian hallucinogenic mess the end result? Ferrara’s past works that involved Dafoe were Tommaso and Pasolini, the latter of which I believe to be a top five film of its respective year. But I guess there is a first time for everything, and this is easily the duo’s first flop.

 

74. Gunda, Neon


Ganda
is the easiest film for human eyes, but also consequentially manages to bore them at every turn. Director Viktor Kossakovsky has an artistic eye, and many of the shots captured in B&W are simply splendid, but the film doesn’t come all together in terms of telling a story that sticks with the viewer for a long time.

 

73. The Silencing, Saban Films

The Silencing involves a simple script that has definitely been made in a similar way for past films, but brings a certain energy to it that causes the film to succeed in that department…. for the entirety of 20 minutes. The film’s overuse of action and stealth sequences causes the film to collapse under its own weight, rendering another amazing performance from Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau useless.

72. The Other Lamb, IFC Midnight


I personally don’t believe The Other Lamb is bad at all, but I think it definitely had its fair share of flaws. When a film goes for the artistic jabs, it either succeeds or fails miserably. And in this case, it was a mixture of both. The movie veers off from its original plot line to try to juggle many plot lines at once, and while Raffey Cassidy has her own share of great moments. the film as a storytelling mechanism falls short.

71. Calm With Horses, Netflix

Nick Rowland’s directorial debut is definitely one to remember. Calm With Horses focuses on the character of Douglas, portrayed fantastically by Cosmo Jarvis, and his misadventures with drug dealer partner Dymphna. The story itself is very coherent, action-packed, and entertaining. But the main underlying theme of it all is family itself. Throughout the film, Douglas tries to drop the gang act to be a better father to his child, but can’t bring himself to it. And so the entire movie sees him coming to terms with his own decisions at the cost of reuniting with his own family. The script itself is very well-written, and tells a story that only Nick Rowland seems to be able to put together in stunningly stylish fashion. The score by Benjamin John Power is moving and really illustrates the emotions shown throughout the course of the film. We see a lot of Douglas’ past revealed, and in thorough, good character building fashion, and good direction of the already above average script makes this one of the best indies, and also one of the best well-crafted and underrated films of 2020.

70. Bad Education, HBO


Bad Education is a great piece of modern cinema filled with fantastic, unforgettable performances, including arguably Hugh Jackman’s greatest. This film revolves around an embezzlement scandal and its two main suspects Frank Tassone and Pamela Gluckin. Suspenseful, entertaining, and nail biting, the score also helps set the mood for the phenomenal thriller we are about to experience. It doesn’t quite hit the mark for me solely because of some oddly executed plot points and subplots, but other than that, Hugh Jackman completely steals the show here, giving HBO another gem in Bad Education.

 

Great All-Around Films (69-11)—No Reviews

69. Your Honor, Showtime

68. Becoming, Netflix

67. Undine, ZDF

66. Greyhound, Apple TV+

65. Death to 2020, Netflix

64. Unhinged, VOD

63.  After We Collided, Netflix

62.  My Octopus Teacher, Netflix

61.  Shirley, Hulu

60. Black Bear, Momentum Pictures

59. The Trial of the Chicago 7, Netflix

58. Uncorked, Netflix

57. The Assistant, Hulu

56. True History of the Kelly Gang, Hulu

55. Eternal Beauty, Amazon Prime Video

54. Quo Vadis, Aida?, Hulu

53. Black is King, Disney+

52. I Care a Lot, Netflix

51. Sylvie’s Love, Amazon Prime Video

50. John Lewis: Good Trouble, HBO Max

49. Bacurau

48. White Tiger, Netflix

47. Ammonite, Hulu

46. Hillbilly Elegy, Netflix

45. Run, Hulu

44. Relic, IFC Midnight

43. Supernova, StudioCanal

42. Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn, Warner Bros. Pictures

41. Possessor, Hulu

40. La Llorona, Shudder

39. Premature, Hulu

38. Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, Amazon Prime Video

37. Emma, Hulu

36. I Am Greta, Hulu

35. Pieces of a Woman, Netflix

34. Time, Amazon Prime Video

33. Swallow, IFC Films

32. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Netflix

31. Kajillionaire, Focus Features

30. The Invisible Man, Universal Pictures

29. Bad Boys for Life, Sony Pictures Releasing

28. Sonic the Hedgehog, Hulu

27. Minari, A24

26. Tigertail, Netflix

25. Unpregnant, HBO Max

24. Wolfwalkers, Apple TV+

23. Small Axe, Amazon Prime Video

22. Just Mercy, Warner Bros. Pictures

21. Another Round, Hulu

20. Yes God Yes, Netflix

19. The Vast of Night, Amazon Prime Video

18. The Outpost, Netflix

17. Freaky, Universal Pictures

16. Color Out of Space, RLJE Films

15. Onward, Disney+

14. Tenet, Warner Bros. Pictures

13. The Devil All the Time, Netflix

12. Sound of Metal, Amazon Prime Video

11. One Night in Miami, Amazon Prime Video

 

The Masterpieces of 2020 (10-1)—With Reviews

10. The Lodge, Neon

The ambience of the titular lodge is mysterious and lingering, and leaves the average audience member either floored or disgusted by the end credits, and both for excellent reason. The Lodge is one of the finest horror films I’ve seen in a while, as it uses the element of isolation to perfection, keeping our main protagonists away from any source of external help. The film utilizes stylistic techniques used in past horrors to its own advantage to help structure its world and rules that our characters must bind to. Once they make the wrong decision, there is no way out. The best movie I can compare this to is Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi horror flick Alien. Its very motto resonates with the strongest engine of fright in this movie. In space, no one can hear you scream. When the events of this movie kick into full gear, there’s no stopping the chilling score put together by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans. The cinematography is also quite astonishing, as the shots of the cabin in snowstorms and blizzards look fantastic on the big screen. Get ready for a terrifying film, and an even more horrifying finish.

9. Promising Young Woman, Focus Features


The visuals. My goodness, the visuals. Promising Young Woman is Emerald Fennell’s debut feature, and boy, is it masterful. Her direction does not make this film seem like a debut, which is one of the reasons this film is so wonderful. The production design is the best of the year, with colors that pop out at you, and Anthony Willis’ score is easily the best this awards season has to offer. Carey Mulligan is a different beast in this film, balancing the psychotic nature of one Amy Dunne and channeling that against a “nice girl” persona. She has such great chemistry with everyone in the film, but shines the most with Bo Burnham. If you don’t already know, Bo Burnham directed one of my favorite films of 2018, Eighth Grade, and when I saw him starring as the romantic interest of our lead, I lost it. His performance is truly underrated, caught in the web of all that is Carey Mulligan. Seriously guys, this is a force to be reckoned with at the Academy Awards, and I HIGHLY recommend checking this one out.

8. I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Netflix


Despite the fact that I am a relatively young man, I have always thought about the inevitability of time itself. Much like a clock or stopwatch, time moves rather swiftly.  Sixty seconds go by, and before you know it a minute has gone by. Sixty minutes go by, you have an hour. Twenty-four hours go by, you have a day. I’m a sixteen year old that often thinks back at how fast time flies. There’s this old saying that all our teachers and parents tell us constantly. It goes a little something like this: “Cherish the moment, because when you get to the top of the heap and you’re on the brink of leaving to college, there’s no turning back the hands of the clock.” Obviously, that isn’t the exact statement that everyone has been told, but they’ve all heard some version of it, I’m sure. I remember my first day of freshman year so vividly, it feels like it happened yesterday. But then I look at my calendar and I have to remind myself that two years have gone by, much to my shock at that initial realization. But that’s the blunt reality of time itself. The hands keep on turning, and the continuation of time and life is inevitable and rather onerous to combat. We are all mortal and will eventually pass into the next life, and I’m Thinking of Ending Things immaculately explains that lingering and painful thought. Charlie Kaufman is an inventive and brilliant visionary. In 2008, he penned and shot one of my favorite films to ever grace the big screen, Synecdoche, New York. While the film follows an eerily similar premise comparable to that of I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Kaufman connects Synecdoche to his previous masterwork Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to create an original hybrid that is both frighteningly realistic and wonderfully directed. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is what I like to label “a psychological horror that succeeds.” Like others around him, Kaufman is an expert on the human psyche, and conveys this through his main character, who is referred to in the cast and credits as “Young Woman” as she loses sight of who she truly is throughout the duration of the film. Jessie Buckley is truly magnificent in this role, as her  mannerisms, expressions, and timorous excerpts of dialogue demonstrate true trepidation and perturbation. Not to mention, Toni Collette and David Thewlis are phenomenal additions to the film, and play a big role in the largely ambitious and ambiguous plot line. This entire film is filled to the brim with such ambiguities that make you think about certain topics, such as life and the essence of time. This is truly an arthouse film, and one that isn’t afraid to take big risks at all. It truly is the best film I have seen from Kaufman, but Synecdoche is not far behind. Do I recommend you check it out? It isn’t for all audiences, as it obviously deals with eminently sophisticated leitmotifs, themes and ideologies that a simple mind wouldn’t understand. This is evidently a film of analysis, in layman’s terms. The only genuine path to understanding I’m Thinking of Ending Things is to analyze its convoluted themes and lore top to bottom. This is Kaufman’s one magnum opus, his one fine wine, and an instant classic that will be talked about for years to come.

7. Soul, Disney+


I personally thought that this would be another attempt to recreate a better version of 2015’s Inside Out, but I was sorely mistaken. Soul is easily Pixar’s best film of the last couple of years, and it shows in its heart and determination. Jamie Foxx does a stellar job at voicing Joe Gardner, a music teacher and aspiring pianist who perished before his time and begins to ascend into the Great Beyond, but not before panicking and falling from the escalator, ending up in the Great Before. The Great Before is where all souls are made, and find their spark in order to embark on their earthly journey. This film is brilliant in analyzing themes having to do with life and death, and the concept of living life “in the moment.” The award-winning score by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste was fantastic, and is one of my all-time favorite Disney scores. It captures the very essence of life and death in certain situations in which the character is experiencing either of the two. I highly recommend Soul for all audiences, as it not only entertains, but teaches important lessons about life and the pursuit of your dreams.

6. Palm Springs, Hulu


What do you get when you mix up Andy Samberg, the basic plots of Groundhog Day, Happy Death Day, and all the other “copycats” of the time loop genre? Palm Springs. Andy Samberg knocks it OUT of the park with this role, and had me laughing every other second. The time loop genre, like any other genre, can gradually grow frail and uninteresting, but when you bring lively characters and an all around energetic script to the party, it’s easy to see how movies like Palm Springs keep reinvigorating a genre that never gets old.

5. The Platform, Netflix


The Platform is a crazy ride from start to finish. Hitting on important themes of class and levels while delivering a gore-fest of gritty and real horror, this is one of the best examples of fantastic execution of an amazing synopsis. This is easily the best foreign movie Netflix has to offer, besides Roma. Please check it out when you get a chance.

4. The Way Back, Warner Bros. Pictures

I have never been more affected physically and spiritually by a basketball film, and yet The Way Back just broke that trend. Talk about a fantastic performance. Ben Affleck has slumped around Hollywood these past few years, and finally redeemed himself with this gem. The Way Back focuses not on themes of teamwork and perseverance, but on themes of family, estrangement, and grief. It is an amazing masterclass work of art that needs to be seen, and is the best basketball film I have EVER seen.

3. Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Focus Features


Rounding off our top 3 is an indie film that not many people have heard of. Indie is an ever growing achievement that cinema has been happy to promote and produce, and Never Rarely Sometimes Always is easily the deepest, most personal story told. The film covers a 17 year old young woman who finds herself pregnant and choosing between abortion and keeping her child. Emotional, gritty, and really important to our society as it touches on sensitive issues, this film is one of the best indie features I’ve seen in a long time.

2.  I Still Believe, Lionsgate


I have seen my share of Christian faith-based films, and mostly because I am a devout Catholic, but this film is so energetically touching and vibrant that it differentiates itself from others preceding it. By far the best movie I’ve seen that portrays faith, we follow two star-crossed lovers, Jeremy and Melissa, who meet in college. Jeremy is a guitarist who sings, and Melissa is a devout Christian who is in love with the stars. Meeting each other at a concert, they realize that God has brought them together. However, when she falls ill, Jeremy must keep his strong faith in order to save her. The odyssey of love that we see our two leads go through, with Jeremy’s dad being that supportive role model and Melissa’s sister Heather being her important figure, is unmistakably excellent and extremely intimate. The story itself has been molded around and told many times, but somehow this one retains every piece of originality it has. This film is so magical in the way it deals with keeping your faith in God in severe situations, and it shows just how much He loves us. Melissa and Jeremy are truly star-crossed lovers brought together by God, and they mean the world to each other. I was really emotionally touched throughout the duration of this two-hour film because there have been times where I’ve been through something similar to what Jeremy had been through. Even with those experiences intact, however, I still can’t imagine the horrors Jeremy must’ve been through. Each experience is different and unique in the sense that the stakes are raised in each separate situation. This film teaches you to trust in God’s plan and what he wants from us. Seriously, guys. Watch this amazing, fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime-feature.

 

1. The Father, Lionsgate


Two words: ANTHONY HOPKINS. He absolutely destroys this role, and you can definitely argue that this is his best role and not Hannibal Lecter. The Father follows an octogenarian suffering from a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s, and we see a short period of time in which he begins to lose himself and his memory of others. This film struck me very deeply on an emotional level, because a really good friend of my family died due to Alzheimer’s and watching this film puts you in the very shoes of the victim. This film is phenomenally directed, acted, scripted, and edited, but it is one that I will most likely never see again due to its hard-hitting subject matter.

 

One Response to “Every 2020 Film, Ranked”

  1. Martin says:

    I’ll make sure to refer back to this list whenever I need a good movie to watch that

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