2020 has been an uncertain time for movies with the Coronavirus pandemic closing cinemas for most of the year and delaying Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters releases.
Thankfully, streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max, along with VOD has provided us with plenty of new content to help forget about the outside world for a few hours at least.
Below, Reel Anarchy’s staff have chosen their favorites movies of the year (we’ve also let some TV shows make the list), and to determine Reel Anarchy’s collective best we will compile all our choices and put them into a list that makes up our Top 10 of 2020.
The film must have had a theatrical/streaming/VOD release in 2020 (US/UK) to be eligible. 10 points for 1st place, 9 for 2nd, 8 for 3rd, 7 for 4th, and so on.
Craig Lin – Founder/Editor-in-Chief
01. Tenet (10 Points)
Tenet is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It demands your full attention. Van Hoytema’s cinematography was on a whole other level. The high concept practical effects are so immersive. The film is confusing, but I feel that’s part of the fun, trying to understand the concept, questioning everything you’ve seen on screen. It will test you, but by the end it’s a bit clearer. It’s one hell of a ride. Nolan has crafted another cinematic triumph.
02. The Invisible Man (9 Points)
Leigh Whannell crafted an instant classic with a clever and creepy reinvention. The atmosphere and pacing helps create a tense thriller. The film shows the real life horrors of domestic abuse, and the extremes abusers go to. Elizabeth Moss is incredible!
03. Bad Boys 4 Life (8 Points)
Bad Boys 4 Life is a blast. Potentially even the best of the trilogy. Adil & Bilall bring a freshness to the franchise, with actual stakes at play. There’s solid action, humour, twists and heartfelt moments. But it’s all about Martin Lawrence & Will Smith chemistry.
04. King of Staten Island (7 Points)
The King of Staten Island is a beautiful and heartwarming story about dealing with loss, growing up and trying to find your place in the world. It’s the most relatable film I’ve seen in a while. Pete Davidson put his heart and soul into this, he’s pretty incredible!
05. Just Mercy (6 Points)
Just Mercy is a powerful, hard-hitting and heart wrenching story, that’s inspiring and extremely important. Michael B. Jordan delivers the best performance of his career. Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson and Tim Blake Nelson all shine in their supporting roles.
06. The Gentleman (5 Points)
The Gentlemen is tremendous. A story, within a story, within a story. Fantastic script, hilarious and filled with brilliant characters. Hugh Grant and Colin Farrell are both phuc-ing phenomenal. Guy Ritchie manages to perfectly blend action, comedy and swagger.
07. Undewater (4 Points)
Despite Underwater not being a Cloverfield prequel/sequel, in my eyes it should have been. This film is a claustropbe’s nightmare. Tight spaces, darkness and isolation throughout made me a little uncomfortable. K Stew once again proves she’s a very underrated actress.
08. The Way Back (3 Points)
Everyone loves a good comeback story. The film does nothing new with the genre, but its deeply personal story for Ben Affleck. His performance was perfect, perhaps due to where he was in his life back then dealing with the hardships of loss and alcoholism.
09. Green Land (2 Points)
I’m a sucker for disaster films and Gerrard Butler’s latest is one of the best in recent memory. Greenland felt scarily realistic. Lots of suspenseful and emotional moments, with great performances from the cast.
10. The Old Guard ( Point)
A summer blockbuster I never knew I needed. Gina Prince-Bythewood brings us immortal mayhem, crazy (mostly) practical action (hand to hand combat/gun fights) and bad-ass superheroes with a beautiful range of representation and diversity.
Thomas Gemmill – Contributor
01. Parasite (10 points)
From the opening shot, this film captivated me. The great characters, brilliant performances and the sly script with many surprises makes this my top choice.
02. Bombshell (9 points)
Performances are everything in this very enjoyable movie about such a serious topic. The silent moments where Margot Robbie is humiliated in the office with John Lithgow are excruciating.
03. Mulan (8 points)
A big, colorful adventure with some good action and lovely performances. Watch the deleted scene which was cut because test audiences didn’t believe that the imaginary phoenix that watches over Mulan would swim underwater, and dismay at humanity.
04. Birds of Prey (7 points)
The first ten minutes were a struggle, but I loved the verve, the colour, the PERFORMANCES, the genuinely exciting action, and struggle to understand the hate the film gets from Angry Movie Twitter Karen.
05. 1917 (6 points)
I love long takes, and was worried the gimmick would be a novelty, but the film is a triumph on so many levels. The inventiveness of the script and Thomas Newman’s music help Sam Mendes create an engrossing movie experience.
06. The Old Guard (5 points)
High concept graphic novel inspired movies can be hit or miss, but I loved the mix of mythology, history and frenetic gunplay. It screams for a sequel and I’d love to see more.
07. Uncle Frank (4 points)
A simple coming of age hits with an emotional gut punch as Beth (Sophia Lillis) narrates the story of her uncle. Alan Ball writes great characters, and the performances of the whole cast, but especially Lillis, Paul Bettany, and Peter Macdissi are superb.
08. Extraction (3 points)
An elevator pitch movie which is thrilling and enjoyable: mercenary has to rescue kidnap victim and escape hostile city. Chris Hemsworth is great, the action blistering, the car chase pretty cool.
09. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2 points)
This Netflix drama, brilliantly acted by Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman and the ensemble cast can’t escape from its play origins, but that itself is refreshing, allowing for some intense and powerful scenes.
10. Sonic the Hedgehog (1 point)
This film is just plain fun. Sonic is funny, never annoying. James Marston as natural as ever, and it is fantastic to see Jim Carrey having a ball. Some nice humour amongst the sight gags too.
Ryan Hyde (Contributor)
01. Da 5 Bloods (10 Points)
Leave it to Spike Lee to turn a script about veterans going back to Vietnam in search for hidden gold into one of the most emotionally satisfying films of the year. In his latest joint, Lee presents the past and present of the Vietnam war in one of the most unfiltered way possible, while still maintaining an exciting heist style movie. Lee never holds back, showing uncensored footage of the Vietnam War and the events surrounding it but also getting raw and extremely emotional performances from all the main actors. Da 5 Bloods is on par with some of his best films of his career.
02. Devs (9 Points)
This is the first of three “limited series” that came out this year, and that may as well be treated as a movie, just separated into chapters. Alex Garland, Writer and Director of Ex Machina and Annihilation, two of the best sci-fi films to come out in recent memory, knocks another one out of the park with Devs. A little too cerebral for anyone not into hard sci-fi and given the format, requires a little patience to get to the hook of the story but the final few episodes are some of the best writing I’ve seen all year.
03. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (8 Points)
There’s no question that Aaron Sorkin is one of the best screenwriters working today but his work can be on the slef-serving side now and then and his first directorial effort, Molly’s Game, adequate but felt a tad long but with The Trial of the Chicago 7, it feels like he’s back in his sweet spot. Based on the real events in Chicago of 1968, the story feel both shocking and yet very relevant to 2020 eyes. Sorkin sticks tight to the events of the trial but does do a good job of dramatizing behind the scenes conflicts.
04. The Queen’s Gambit (7 Points)
Another technical limited series on my list yet The Queen’s Gambit feels more of a film then most movies that came out this year. Leave it to Netflix to release a seven episode Chess drama in October and have people talking about it for the rest of the year. Scott Frank makes the great decision of expanding the story into close to 7 hours instead of a 2 plus hour movie to tell the roller-coaster narrative of Chess Prodigy, Beth Harmon, played by the electric Anya Taylor-Joy. Just like the book the miniseries is based on, its heard to stop once you dive in.
05. Sound of Metal (6 Points)
One of the more low-key films on my list yet one of the most emotionally powerful, Sound of Metal tells a an intimate story of a heavy metal drummer who suddenly loses his hearing and has to adjust to an unfamiliar new life. Riz Ahmed gives one of his best performances of his career and carries the weight of the majority of the film. This is a film that stick with you long after you’ve finished it.
06. Soul (5 Points)
Pixar being in a top 10 of the year list shouldn’t be a surprise by now and Soul proves that Pixar has not stopped crafting animation masterworks. Although Onward, the other Pixar movie that came out this year was no slouch, Soul is the kind of film that pushes the limits of what can be told in animation and reaches the heights of the other Pixar greats like Up, Wall-E and Inside Out. Although this barely passes as a kids movie not saying that in a bad way), I hope this continues the trend of complex entries for the animation studio.
07. Palm Springs (4 Points)
Palm Springs takes the now well tread premise of living the same day over again, similar to Groundhog Day and Happy Death Day, and spins an absolute blast of a yarn with it. Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti’s chemistry shines bright as the story is just a great excuse to get these two great comedic actors on screen together. The film is both hilarious and emotional, never taking the fantasy aspect too seriously. I’m hoping they find an excuse to get those two back in similar non-traditional romantic comedy in the future.
08. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (3 Points)
This year, we lost one of the best actors of this or any generation, Chadwick Boseman, at the age of 43. Ma Rainey’s Black bottom has the unfortunate distinction of being billed as the final live action performance from Boseman, however, it proved to be a spectacular story and possibly Boseman’s best performance of his career. Viola Davis, as the titular character, also gives one of the best performances of the year without becoming a caricature. A small but powerful story of black musicians from the 1920’s, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a small glimpse into the American experience that is rarely talked about at that time.
09. The Last Dance (2 Points)
My last “longform” entry on the list, The Last Dance a documentary limited series about the last season Michael Jordon played with the Chicago Bulls. Presented in a non-traditional narrative (think 2019’s Little Women but with basketball) , this documentary dives deep in the lives of the multi-championship winning Chicago Bulls line-up and gives contact into Michael Jordan’s whole professional career, warts and all. Although I could have used more behind the scenes footage of Space Jam, I would recommend this documentary even to people who have zero interest in the sport of basketball.
10. The Invisible Man (1 Points)
My only entry on my list that I was able to see in theaters this year, The Invisible Man was a surprise delight that refreshed the classic Universal monster character. Lee Whannell directs this heart-pounding thriller and continues to prove he’s a filmmaker to keep an eye on in the future. No spoilers but if you haven’t seen it, brace yourself for a certain scene set in a restaurant that will leave your jaw on the floor.
Gabe Gabrielle (Contributor)
01. Promising Young Woman (10 points)
My favorite film of the year is also its more daring one. Emerald Fennell delivers a post-modern cautionary tale in the form of a subversive, brutally relevant feminist revenge thriller with a poignantly sassy sense of humor and led by a powerhouse performance by Carey Mulligan, with a thoroughly masterful script and mesmerizing direction to accompany.
02. Wonder Woman 1984 (9 points)
No other blockbuster has left me as awe-inspired and jaw-dropped as Wonder Woman 1984 has in 2020. Its sheer commitment to its own silliness and absurdity as well as its powerfully resonant aura of optimism and hope, coupled with its highly layered character arcs and entirely choice-driven script of high emotional gravitas are all the reasons why it takes the crown of the best DCEU movie for me.
03. Wolfwalkers (8 points)
The best animated film of the year, Wolfwalkers soars to magical heights that most live-action releases of 2020 could never scratch. A beautiful story about friendship, acceptance, and an ode to paganism executed in gorgeously inventive hand-drawn animation, amazingly compelling characters and a fantastically well-realized world.
04. The Forest of Love – Deep Cut (7 points)
The director’s cut for Japanese auteur genius Sion Sono’s The Forest of Love came out this year on Netflix in episodic format, and while its original cut didn’t make the highest of my ranks last year, this fully untamed, uncompromised, four-hour-and-a-half ride of Sono insanity rockets straight to my top 10 this year. It’s a completely unrelenting story of gaslighting, scam and murder that constantly bathes itself in the absurdity of “based on true events”, and nothing in this year has even come close to being as wild.
05. Birds of Prey (6 points)
Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey is one of the most wildly entertaining comic book movies to come out in the last few years, and certainly the DCEU’s most stylistically fascinating one. It’s the marriage between a Quentin Tarantino pulp exploitation film and a Howard Hawks comedy in the form of a superhero team-up flick, with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn leading as a hilarious, badass, fourth-wall breaking and a tad bit crazy Marilyn Monroe. Diamonds are indeed a girl’s best friend.
06. Tenet (5 points)
Tenet is, without a doubt, the heaviest sensorial experience of 2020 through-and-through. Christopher Nolan concedes to pure language over logic in order to create a blockbuster so wild you can’t help but to be overwhelmed by it – which to me is fantastic. John David Washington comes off as one of the year’s best leads in the iconic role of The Protagonist, and his fun relationship with a highly charismatic Robert Pattinson lies in the heart of the film as well as Elizabeth Debicki’s character’s story of emancipation does. And also, what even is Ludwig Göransson’s high-concept synth original score?
07. The Invisible Man (4 points)
Female-centered stories have been the driving force of 2020 and The Invisible Man was one of the best of its kind. Leigh Whannell’s directorial effort following the phenomenal Upgrade is a fresh revamp of a classic story arguably done-one-too-many-times that’s full of surprises, scares, nerve-wracking tension and powered by an Academy Award-level performance in Elizabeth Moss.
08. Black Bear (3 points)
Black Bear is certainly a movie that it’s best to go in blind – in the heart of all the fascinatingly bizarre choices it makes, there lies Aubrey Plaza as our guiding star, showcasing just how much of a force to be reckoned with she is in what might be my favorite performance by any actor this year. It’s a strong story filled with ambiguous narrative and creative choices that refuses to reveal us all of its secrets – it just lends us enough to lead us on through it with an idea of what it might be, rather than ever telling you what is really is, and that’s wonderful. If any 2020 film can be described as Lynchian, it’s this one.
09. A Whisker Away (2 points)
My second favorite animated movie of the year – and it’s still not a Pixar one. A Whisker Away, produced by Studio Colorido and written by celebrated Japanese screenwriter Mari Okada, was one of my most pleasant surprises this year – a tender and emotionally-driven story where its endearing protagonist transforms into a cat to see her crush. It’s lovely, magical, and an absolute must-see for cat people – which I am.
10. Bad Boys for Life (1 point)
Yes. What’cha gonna do? Bad Boys for Life was the best and most fun pure action movie of 2020, revitalizing the iconic franchise with a fresh new vision by filmmakers Adil & Bilall that both gets the heart of this series and knows how to look forward by allowing the characters to evolve out of their shells, while proving the Bad Boys are more beloved and relevant to modern audiences than they ever were. Its unapologetic heavily melodramatic gravitas that comes straight out of a 90’s action movie is but one of the things that make it so special, but yet its biggest strength is the sheer dynamite charisma that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence still share.
Ambarish Deshpande (Contributor)
01. Tenet (10 Points)
Christopher Nolan directed spy thriller with time travel. This would’ve been top on my list even if I had just heard of the concept. It works at multiple levels as a action thriller, puzzle box movie, sci-fi think piece on determinism, etc etc. Great music and great performances. Deserves repeat viewings!
02. Soul (9 Points)
I will literally shoot someone if this movie doesnt win best animated feature. This movie is deep and relevant on a level thats almost Bhagvad Gita like but with Pixar cuteness. Also, it has the most innovative visuals I have seen in animation for a while.
03. Justice League Dark : Apocalypse War (8 Points)
Until the fans get Snyder cut in 2021, this was every DC fans equivalent of Endgame. A powerful ending to an era of animated movies, the movie surprisingly covers a lot of ground in a small time giving a great finale to a fantastic continuity.
04. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (7 Points)
Aaron Sorkin directed court room drama. There’s literally nothing else that need be said. The dialogue is as incisive as the script and the actual set of events that took place in 1968.
05. Wonder Woman 1984
The much awaited sequel to wonder woman is flawed but still good. DC outdoes itself by bringing in a different kinda villain played brilliantly by Pedro Pascal. Gal brings a great human flawed touch to a goddess. Barring a few bad action scenes & initial tonal inconsistencies, totally engaging adventure movie with a message.
06. Bad Boys for Life (5 Points)
The boys still retain the fantastic chemistry after first 2 movies and directors Adil & Bilal breath fresh life (intended) into the franchise. It doesnt look like its being milked and there’s a surprisingly emotional thread through all the mayhem. Only bad thing is they couldve used this title for the 4th (Bad Boys 4 life)
07. Enola Holmes (4 Points)
A surprisingly good movie with a stellar cast. Interesting to see Sherlocks family dynamic other than Mycroft of course. Cant wait for Enola and Sherlock to team up more though.
08. The Old Guard (3 Points)
A never before heard Comoc book movie. Charlize Theron is at her badass best. Cool concept (a bit Highlanger-ish), could’ve used slightly better execution…however good set up for a sequel.
09. Extraction (2 Points)
Great gritty action movie. Fast paced, well shot…set in Bangladesh for a change. That one tracking shot really makes the movie worth it.
10. Birds of Prey (1 Point)
Another great attempt at offering variety by the DCEU instead of the monolithic MCU. However script could’ve used more twists and more time for the characters. A fun movie though
01. The Forty Year Old Version (10 Points)
The Forty Year Old Version is refreshing, poignant and funny as hell. Radha Blank brilliantly writes and directs this story of a struggling playwright who wants to try rapping. The black and white cinematography is crisp, the characters are well-realized, and the direction is filled with energy and personality. The film directly tackles various social issues in an impactful and clever way.
02. Another Round (9 Points)
From Denmark, Another Round follows four teachers who decide to maintain a constant level of alcohol in their system to see how it impacts their personal and professional lives. It’s a wonderfully engaging story full of humour, drama and feeling. And Mad Mikkelsen gives a tremendous performance.
03. Totally Under Control (8 Points)
Extremely relevant, informative and well put together. Totally Under Control tells us a lot of what we already know, but also does a great job of examining and explaining the US government’s poor handling of the pandemic. It gives a well-rounded, insightful account of the whole situation that is naturally very frustrating to watch.
04. Wolfwalkers (7 Points)
With whimsical 2-D animation and an imaginative folklore tale, Wolfwalkers is an absolute wonder. It’s refreshingly different from most modern animation, emphasizing sincere, mythic storytelling. The rich world and characters are complimented by unique visuals and sweeping music.
05. Birds of Prey (6 Points)
Birds of Prey is playful mayhem is the best of ways. It oozes style and creativity from top to bottom. From the funky storytelling to the creative action, this movie is a blast to watch. The character interactions and performances are all super enjoyable. And Margot Robbie once again kills it as Harley – making her one of the most entertaining DC characters on screen.
06. Soul (5 Points)
An enjoyable, moving film for kids and adults alike. Soul once again displays Pixar’s wonderful ability to combine a fun, creative, visually appealing adventures with resonant themes. The jazz music backdrop was also really great.
07. Happiest Season (4 Points)
Clea Duvall’s Happiest Season makes for a wonderful Christmas rom-com. It’s a well-written story, with humour and charm in spades. It’s sweet, witty and very re-watchable. Mary Holland is especially delightful, stealing every scene she is in.
08. Athlete A (3 Points)
This documentary is a tough, but important watch. It follows the journalists who broke the story of Larry Nassar abusing young female athletes on the USA Gymnastics national team. You really get to see how intense and corrupt the system is towards these young athletes.
09. Sound of Metal (2 Points)
It’s a thoughtful look at a drummer losing his hearing. While a lot of movies of this kind focus on big dramatic conflicts and motivational speeches, Sound of Metal is a lot more restrained and pensive. The film attentively focusses on the smaller moments of frustration and acceptance. Riz Ahmed’s moving performance really carries the film.
10. Tenet (1 Point)
True to form, Christopher Nolan’s latest flick is ambitious, bombastic and mind-boggling. While the plot often convoluted, the film is still exciting and visually stunning. The whole time-inversion concept lends itself to some really unique action set pieces. You may not always know what’s exactly happening, but it’s a thrilling ride.
Martin Doyle – Contributor
01. Tenet (10 Points)
Nolan is one of only a handful of contemporary directors who can deliver an epic cinematic experience on this scale. I don’t even want to think about the logistics of taking on and executing such an ambitious piece of film making. Tenet is essentially a Rubik’s Cube Bond film in all but name. Its labyrinthine ‘end-of-the-world’ plot, is augmented by a mind-blowing visual narrative; one where time can move forward and back simultaneously. In true Nolan fashion, the film demands much of its audience; managing to challenge, impress, and excite in equal measure.
02. The Invisible Man (9 Points)
I absolutely adore the Universal Monsters pantheon of characters, with Claude Rain’s performance as Dr Jack Griffin a perennial favourite. Leigh Whannell’s contemporary take on The Invisible Man is paranoiac nightmare fuel, focusing more on the victim rather than the eponymous character himself. Clever use of negative space ratchets up the tension to create a genuine sense of anxious dread throughout. An amazing central performance from Elizabeth Moss as a gaslit nervous wreck, and a powerful twist ending, make it one of the best horrors in recent memory.
03. The Devil All the Time (8 Points)
In a similar vein to No Country for Old Men and Pulp Fiction, The Devil All the Time examines the dark underbelly of America through a Southern Gothic lens. Musings on the abuse of power, corruption of the innocent, and the nature of evil are explored, with Tom Holland’s Arvin being the narrative glue. It’s a subtly nuanced performance; in stark contrast to the sensational cameo from Robert Pattinson as a vile and twisted preacher. The real star is Antonio Campos’ direction, though. His innate sense of drama and atmosphere shrouds the film in a malevolent miasma that lives with you long after the film ends.
04. Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (7 Points)
With Zack Snyder’s Justice League finally landing in 2021, and the first cinematic appearance of Darkseid, this is one film that should be on every DC fan’s watch-list. It’s the perfect capstone to the DCAMU, and is a brilliantly constructed, superbly animated battle for the ages, with JLD taking centre stage. Voice cast regulars are on point, and the writing is some of the best in the series. With its genuine dramatic stakes; universal scale battles; and a plethora of your favourite DC characters, it’s rarely been bettered in animation or live action.
05. Fatman (6 Points)
This was, without doubt, the most surprisingly fun film of 2020. I could practically hear Jim Ross yelling “outta nowhere!” as I watched along. Fatman is a witty, darkly comedic Santa story in a similar vein to Rare Exports or Krampus. Whilst a little thin on plot beyond the main premise, it’s the central performances by Mel Gibson and Walton Goggins that truly elevate it. The rapier-like dialogue, and clever riffs on Santa mythology, are bolstered by brilliantly choreographed action sequences. An impressive supporting cast do their part, too, to make it an instant “alternative” Christmas classic.
06. The Way Back (5 Points)
Ben Affleck’s performance in The Way Back would appear, from the outside at least, to be semi-autobiographical. He plays an alcoholic basketball coach battling his demons and a host of other relationships and personal issues, in a performance tinged with pathos and a genuine sense of gravitas. It’s a thoughtful exploration of the highs and lows of dealing with addiction and loss; balanced perfectly with the team’s battle to overcome the odds and their own personal struggles.
07. The Hunt (4 Points)
Another left-field surprise this year was Craig Zobel’s The Hunt. Its brazenly caustic take on the current political, social, and cultural discourse in America, was the subject of much debate online upon release. Think Battle Royale meets The Running Man; add a dash of humour and an even more overt political edge, and you might be somewhere in the crazy ballpark where this film resides. Equal parts black comedy and biting satire, it also features some hilariously bloodthirsty action sequences. Betty Gilpin again shows why she’s deserving of more mainstream acclaim with a strong, memorable performance.
08. Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge (3 Points)
As a huge fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise, this was always going to be a “must-see”. The origin story of Hanzo Hasashi, is as heart-rending as it is brutal; shedding new light on many characters who populate the MK universe. It’s just as gloriously violent as the games; but beyond the expected bloodshed, it’s an emotionally engaging story of revenge. It’s all set against an epic scale battle for Earthrealm that rivals any live action hero fare.
09. Birds of Prey (2 Points)
To be honest, my expectation levels for Birds of Prey were pretty low, so I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable an experience it turned out to be. There are some niggles in respect to action choreography, costuming, and characterisation, but there’s no denying its flamboyant, effortless sense of style. Harley’s story of empowerment free of the Joker’s influence, highlighted just how strong her character truly is. Margot Robbie again underlines her importance to the DCEU, backed by a fabulous supporting cast, with Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask stealing the show in a wonderfully over the top performance.
10. Sonic the Hedgehog (1 Points)
After the furore surrounding Sonic’s poor CGI in the original trailer, this film had a pretty harsh spotlight shining on it. Thankfully, Jeff Fowler’s fun, colourful, and heartfelt origin of everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog didn’t wilt under the pressure. The decision to redo the CGI was a bold one, but it really makes a difference to the finished product. Sonic looks fantastic; like he’s been ripped right out of the game world. Highlights like the opening in the Green Hill Zone; a DC Flash easter egg; and Jim Carrey’s riotous return to Ace Ventura form as Dr Robotnik; make it a true joy to behold overall. The perfect popcorn flick for fans of the original games, kids, and adults alike.
Grayson Rodriguez (Contributor)
01. Palm Springs (10 points)
Come out early in the year, Palm Springs was an unexpected surprise. Taking narrative cues from the 1993 Bill Murray classic, Groundhog Day, Palm Springs makes the concept its own and delivers the best film of 2020. With great performances by Cristin Milioti and Andy Samberg, this film goes beyond the comedic tropes of the genre and offers an emotionally resonate story that hits home and leaves you wanting more.
02. The Way Back (9 points)
Ben Affleck delivers are raw and emotional performance as Jack Cunningham, a struggling alcoholic who has suffered a great loss in recent years. Coming from director Gavin O’Connor, he continues his trends of sports based films. And with this one, his track record remains in tact. With a great story and a great supporting cast, you feel so much sympathy for what Affleck’s character goes though and most importantly you understand why he has fallen to the vices of alcoholism. And with Affleck’s recent history with similar struggles, you can’t help but feel elated for not only the fact that the character he portrays finds his way back, but also for Affleck himself.
03. Bad Boys For Life (8 points)
After nearly two decades, Martin Lawrence and Will Smith return to cap off the Bad Boys trilogy. Though it is not directed by the man who directed the first two classics, Michael Bay, the awesome balls to the wall action and car chases are still present, and possibly even better than ever. Being a lot older than they once were, Lawrence portrays the old retiree cop, and Smith portrays the man who still trying to live out his glory days. This isn’t a new dynamic for the franchise, but it’s given new life when they incorporate a fantastic supporting cast of newcomer cops and a weird but interesting plot line that deals with some from of witchcraft. Suffice to say this film was a lot better than it should’ve been and might even be my favorite of the trilogy.
04. Hillbilly Elegy (7 points)
From director Ron Howard, we experience the trails and tribulations of a midwestern family. With a mother struggling with drug abuse and a son who eventually makes his way to law school, we are shown an emotionally journey how all that unfolds. And with an amazing cast such as Amy Adams, Glen Close, and the lead who this film is based on, Gabriel Basso, this story hits all the right spots and pulls on your heartstrings.
05. Wonder Woman 1984 (6 points)
Patty Jenkins throws back to the 80’s with not only a film that resembles that time period, but a film that also feels like it was made in that time period. With all the goofiness and shenanigan’s you could expect from this Donner inspired sequel, Patty still manages to capture the heart of Wonder Woman better than ever before. And that is also thanks to Gal Gadot who gives a career defining performance as the Amazonian warrior.
06. Mank (5 points)
David Fincher brings us the story behind the penning of the script of Citizen Cane. This drama is filled with intrigue, and blasts from the past that a lot of film buffs will appreciate. With great performances by Gary Oldman, Lily Collins, and Amanda Seyfried, this journey of a writer racing against the clock while struggling with collaborative process of creativity is something that is deeply relatable and inspiring. And in all its monochrome greatness, it truly brings the love of film to light.
07. Birds of Prey (4 points)
A suto-sequel/spin off from much maligned Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn takes goes on her own journey of self discovery, absent of her clown prince boyfriend, the Joker. Coming from director Cathy Yan, she breaths some much needed life into Harley Quinn and depicts a bright a fun story about characters who are trying to get their life back. This film not only proves that Harley Quinn is here to stay, but it also proves that Margot Robbie owns this role.
08. The Old Guard (3 points)
Starring Charlize Theron, she comes back with another action packed flick, once again proving herself to be one the best action stars of this decade. With a unique story told by comic book writer Greg Rucka, director Gina Prince-Bythewood brings to life one of the most unique films I’ve seen this year. With the ability to heal themselves a group of mercenaries embark to solve a mystery of their storied mythology. With great action and a deep rooted mythology, this film is definitely one of my favorites to come out this year.
09. Ava (2 points)
Starring Jessica Chastain, this film is a welcomed addition to her filmography with her venturing into one her more action centric roles. Although there’s enjoyment to be had in this film, it’s brought down by its unoriginality, making it seem like a John Wick knock off. With some good performances and action sequences, a sequel would be welcomed, but if they do decide to make another, the script for it would need to be a massive step up. There’s interesting mythology at play, but overall it struggles to fully embrace it.
10. Extraction (1 point)
After directing two of the biggest films of all time, Joe Russo needed something to do. So in turn he decided to pen the script for this movie. Directed by Sam Hargrave, who is often a 2nd unit director on most action films you see today, this film is definitely indicative of his influence. With a moderately interesting story, this film doesn’t offer much besides its impressive action scenes, including a 14 minute one shot sequence. The film takes big swings, and only lands a few, but the action alone is worth it.
Krypton Caged – Contributor
01. The Invisible Man (10 Points)
02. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (9 Points)
03. Soul (8 Points)
04. Vivarium (7 Points)
05. Da 5 Bloods (6 Points)
06. His House (5 Points)
07. The Way Back (4 Points)
08. Sonic (3 Points)
P9. The Old Guard (2 Points)
10. Fatman (1 Point)
Reel Anarchy Top 10 Films of 2020
01. Tenet – (36 Points)
02. The Invisible Man – (33 Points)
03. Soul – (27 Points)
04. Birds of Prey – (26 Points)
05. Bad Boys 4 Life – (22 Points)
06. The Way Back – (22 Points)
07. Wonder Woman 1984 – (21 Points)
08. Da 5 Bloods (16 Points)
09. The Trial of Chicago 7 (15 Points)
10. Wolfwalkers (15 Points)
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