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.

Tenet (2020)

tenet-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Christopher Nolan

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 150 Minutes

Main Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Martin Donovan, Himesh Patel

Plot: (Okay, it’s now been 24 hours since I started this post and I still can’t sum up the plot coherently by myself. For the sake of having something to fill this section I’m copying and pasting from IMDB! I’m not usually so lazy, I promise)
Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.

My Thoughts: I’m going to share more thoughts on Tenet when I’ve seen it again next week (can’t wait!) but I wanted to get my initial thoughts off my chest first. Firstly though, how amazing is it to be back in the cinema for a brand new, big-budget movie?! It’s the only new thing out right now other than The New Mutants which is having previes this weekend, so there are showing every 30 minutes and they all looked sold out to me. Well, as sold out as a cinema screen can be in 2020! I made every effort to not read any reviews before I saw it for myself, and although I promise this post will be as spoiler-free as I can keep it, I still urge you to go in as blind as possible.

What an experience Tenet was. There are elements that I’ve never seen in a movie before, and knowing that most, if not all of those special effects were done in real life (they literally crashed that plane into a building) just makes it all the more jaw-dropping. It’s 2 and a half hours long and throws you right into the action straight away, making it an exhausting watch. The cast is, well, simply stunning, pushing my current obsession aside. John David Washington is a perfect leading man. Elizabeth Debicki is wonderful as always but I can’t help but feel like she’s starting to be a bit typecast. Robert Pattinson is using his natural, British accent which always throws me, I keep forgetting he isn’t American!

We’re specifically told that Tenet isn’t time travel…but I can’t think of any other way to explain it. I ADORE time travel movies. There’s just something so fascinating about the concept, the paradoxes, the implications. Just going to bed afterwards and thinking about how it all works, but oh man, I got way more than I bargained for here. It’s simply impossible to just watch Tenet once and ‘get it’. I thought at one point I’d figured it out, and then it just went further and further. When the credits rolled everyone had that same reaction of ‘that was amazing…my brain hurts!’.

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Best Bit: Forgive me if I’ve remembered the term wrong but I think it was a Temporal Pincer Maneuver. There’s two of them in the movie and I just can’t comprehend how complicated they are!

Worst Bit: Whoever was in charge of Robert Pattinson’s hair needs to be fired. But on a serious note, there were so many times when I actually couldn’t work out what any of the characters was saying. I was desperate for subtitles. From what I can gather though it’s not a problem unique to me, which leads me to wonder, is it a terrible editing mistake, or is it intended?

Fun Trivia: In addition to performing stunts backwards, the main cast actually learned how to speak in reverse for their roles. Kenneth Branagh not only had to learn to speak backwards, but also had to do it with a Russian accent (he is Irish in real life).

My Rating: 4 and a half packs of paracetamol, the exact amount I needed to take after spending all night trying to work out what I had just watched.

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