Lists

Top 10 Best Movies of 2020

Well, here it is, my Top 10 Best Movies of 2020! It’s late, in true fashion of course, because 2021 is really testing my resolve right now. I’d tell you all about it to make my chest feel lighter, but there’s going off topic and then there’s derailing a blog post completely. So let’s stick with the positives, shall we? I already posted my Top 10 Worst Movies of 2020 if you happened to miss that. As much as I love these lists, it can be so confusing with release dates around the world. The UK tends to get the big, Oscars type movies in January but I’ve also been lucky enough to be given screeners for movies that aren’t released in the UK until 2021, so please bare that in mind.

Let’s do this, shall we?

Number of 2020 movies watched: 94
Movies that just missed out: Over the Moon, The Broken Hearts Gallery, Soul, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special

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#10 Kajillionaire – Pre-pandemic I would have had to wait months to see this, when one of the streaming services picked it up. But with a lack of blockbusters my local cinema was playing Kajillionaire in the small summer window that it was allowed to open and it was such a great experience. I love quirky movies like this and I highly recommend it.

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#9 Happiest Season – Christmas is my favourite time of year, it’s no secret. So when new festive movies get released, I get excited. When last year’s biggest offering also happened to star some of my favourite actresses as well as one of geniuses behind Schitt’s Creek, my most adored TV show of 2020 – I was absolutely desperate to see it. And despite some troubled story telling as far as the lead couple goes, I still loved every minute.

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#8 Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga – Just when I was at an all time low living under Lockdown 1.0, this movie came along to brighten my spirits. Let the anthem of 2020 be Jaja Ding Dong! You don’t need to be a hardcore Eurovision fan to enjoy this but you will need to find a bit of joy in being silly.

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#7 Palm Springs – Another entry to the ‘Groundhog Day’ genre but this time featuring Andy Samberg in the glorious sunshine. It shouldn’t have been as good as it was but it had such charm that it was impossible not to love.

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#6 Wonder Woman 1984 – I have to admit, by Halloween I never thought we would have gotten Wonder Woman 1984 released in 2020. I had the privilege of watching it on the big screen at one of the very few open cinemas at the time, just days before they all closed (again!) and it was delightful. It served as a reminder that cinemas are still relevant and needed. Yes, it’s great watching new releases in the comfort of our own homes but you just can’t beat the big screen experience.

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#5 Tenet – Whether you loved it or hated it, Tenet was surely one of the most talked about movies of the year. Once the cinemas closed in March and speculation began as to what would be the first big release when they reopened, Tenet was the one. I needed two watches to fully appreciate it and understand it as much as I was ever going to, but if I were to describe my ideal kind of movie, Tenet is it, so I was always going to be a fan.

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#4 The Gentlemen – I had to check and re-check but yes, The Gentlemen was released on January 1st, 2020 in the UK. It was the first of very few movies I saw at the cinema last year and I loved every second of it. At the time I questioned myself giving it a full 5/5, but it turned out to be only one of four that I gave the rating to in the end! If you’ve only ever seen Hugh Grant as a charming British gentleman, you absolutely need to see how different he is in this!

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#3 The Trial of the Chicago 7 – I’ll admit, I haven’t watched many courtroom dramas. I think they can be quite slow and dry, but when they’re good they tend to be incredible, and that was the case with The Trial of the Chicago 7. I won’t even pretend to understand American politics so the beginning confused me but the trial itself was astounding, and shocking when it’s based on a real case.

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#2 Promising Young Woman – I’ve only recently reviewed this so I won’t ramble much but oh my goodness I loved this movie. Mix together Gone Girl (2014) and A Simple Favor (2018), give it a candy coloured aesthetic and a killer soundtrack and you have…this *chefs kiss*

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#1 Hamilton – I almost left Hamilton out of this list completely. It’s not considered eligible for the Oscars after all as really, it’s an edited recording of a live theatre performance that happened a few years ago. But it is so captivating and so easily the best thing I watched on any screen last year that it would be a travesty to disclude it from this list.

Lists

Best and Worst Movies of 2020…so far!

Can you believe we’re halfway through the shitstorm that is 2020? I like to do a little mid-year best and worst post but for a while, I thought it wasn’t going to be possible. Thanks to plenty of cinema visits before lockdown and the joys of Netflix, I can confidently say I’ve seen enough movies to give you a list of the 5 Best and 5 Worst movies of 2020 so far. With Mulan and Tenet pushed back AGAIN, who knows when the next big release will be?

I watched Hamilton (2020) on Disney+ between choosing which movies would feature in this list and actually sitting down to write it, so it’s excluded for now. I guess there’s an argument to be made that it isn’t a movie, but that’s an argument for another day.

Let’s kick off with the 5 worst movies of 2020 so far, shall we?

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#5 Bloodshot

I doubt I would have even watched this if it weren’t for lockdown. Vin Diesel isn’t my cup of tea and the movie trailer didn’t excite me. The actual movie itself wasn’t bad, just painfully average in every way. It would have been a solid 6 or 7 out of 10 if it came about 10 years ago, but action movies like this have moved on.

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#4 Dolittle

Since writing my full review of Dolittle I have learned that Robert Downey Jr was meant to be doing a Welsh accent. Oh. Wales is about an hour drive away from me, and my boss is Welsh. I really should have been able to detect that accent. Yikes.

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#3 Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl is on par with Dolittle for the most WTF moment in a children’s movie. Dolittle had a grown man pulling objects out of a dragon’s butt, Artemis Fowl had Josh Gad widen his jaw enough to burrow using his mouth and fart out dirt. I don’t know what more to tell you, guys.

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#2 365 Days

I haven’t mentioned it yet but yes, I watched 365 Days. It’s surely the most-watched movie on Netflix by now. I never thought I would see the day that I could say I would watch something with a worse story than Fifty Shades…but here we are. Those…naughty scenes were quite something though, weren’t they?

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#1 Brahms: The Boy II

You know what? I’m still salty about this sequel. I kind of loved the original movie for thinking out of the box and I was optimistic about seeing more. The Boy II basically just pretends the first movie didn’t exist and was full to the brim of modern horror movie cliches. Brahms deserved better.

2020 hasn’t been a complete disaster (yet) in terms of movies however. I found no trouble picking 5 movies that I loved enough to award them the title of best so far, and I present them to you now.

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#5 Extraction

I’ll admit, by the end of the year Extraction will probably fall into the category of ‘good’, but for now, it most definitely ‘good’ enough to feature in this list. I was expecting an average, run of the mill action movie and a chance to drool over Chris Hemsworth for a couple of hours. Instead, I got a decent story, characters I cared about, and a huge action scene that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a John Wick movie.

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#4 The Invisible Man

One of the last movies I got to see at the cinema before they all closed. This was such a good experience, watching it on the big screen with nowhere to hide when the tension got too high. I’m normally very quiet at the cinema but that restaurant scene? I gasped VERY loudly.

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#3 Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Warner Bros’ marketing department have a lot to answer for here. They failed to promote their own, promising movie and then tried to blame anyone but themselves when it flopped at the box office. Margot Robbie fits this role perfectly, and it’s full of fun, colourful action scenes from the very beginning. I’ve watched it 3 times now and it’s a blast every time.

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#2 Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Jaja…DING DONG. I’m not sorry for ranking Eurovision so high. It was a solid 8/10 when I watched it and I love it even more almost 2 weeks after watching it. It’s everything I need it to be. It’s funny, it has a touching story, it has songs way catchier than Frozen 2 (I mean it) and did I mention that 4 men ripped Dan Stevens’ shirt off? I love it.

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#1 The Gentlemen

This was the first movie I saw at the cinema in 2020 and when I came out, I had to sleep on my feelings. It felt like a solid 10/10, but could I really give the first movie of the year full marks? Turns out yes. Yes I can. The Gentlemen is brilliant. Hugh Grant is disgustingly phenomenal in his role, and not only did Matthew McConnaughey not get on my nerves like he always does…I really loved his character and what he stood for. It was so much fun, and it’s going to take a lot to knock this off the top spot at the end of the year.

Movie Reviews

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

eurovision-song-contest-fire-saga-2020Director: David Dobkin

Genre: Music, Comedy

Runtime: 123 Minutes

Main Cast: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, Demi Lovato, Jamie Demetriou, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Graham Norton

Plot: Lifelong friends Lars and Sigrit have forever dreamed of performing at the Eurovision Song Contest and representing their home country, Iceland. When the team responsible pick their 12th entry at random, Fire Saga is chosen to take part and Lars and Sigrit are given the chance to make their dreams come true.

My Thoughts: I’m not ashamed to say I was really looking forward to the release of this movie. Will Ferrell is hit and miss for me, but mostly a hit, and whilst I wouldn’t call myself one of the biggest Eurovision fans, I love the cheese of it all and the catchy tunes, so that’s what I was hoping for.  This is a movie most will scoff at, but I found it a clever mix of pure comedy and feel good, follow your dreams and it paid off. It opens with a fantastically funny musical number and then takes a while to find it’s feet, but after the first half-hour I was sold.

That may, of course, be thanks to the character Dan Stevens plays. I haven’t been following movie news or watching trailers during these last couple of months so I kind of went in blind but when he showed up, I actually did a little scream. You can ask my husband. The spend the next 90 minutes rolling his eyes at me. This is Dan Stevens’ best role since The Guest (2014). I mean it. He’s arguably the best part of the whole movie.

If you enjoy the kind of comedy that comes with Will Ferrell, and if you like music-orientated movies like Pitch Perfect (2012), then you’re going to find a lot to love here. It was kind of ironic that we got this movie in a year when we didn’t get an actual Eurovision, but that’s just another thing to look forward to in 2021. Oh, and the UK still got 0 points. Cheers for that painful reminder!

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Best Bit: I know they were written to be a bit daft but…I just love the songs in this! They’re all on Spotify thankfully, I can’t wait to sing them badly and loudly in the car on the way to work when I finally go back. But the best moment could have possibly been when those 4 dancers tore Dan Stevens’ shirt off of his body mid-song. You guys…they got PAID to make Dan Stevens shirtless. I’m in the wrong job for sure…

Worst Bit: With ABBA songs playing and Pierce Brosnan on screen doing a terrible accent, I got Mama Mia flashbacks. And what’s worse? I remembered how much I enjoyed the Mama Mia sequel.

Fun Trivia: Will Ferrell’s interest in the Eurovision Song Contest began when his Swedish wife Viveca Paulin took him to her cousin’s house in May 1999 and the family turned the competition on. Since then, he kept following it. In 2014, Ferrell travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark to watch the final.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stunning, well-endowed Greek statues which Dan Stevens’ character claims to have no idea that they look identical to him.

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