By most metrics 2020 SUCKED. As someone who believes movie theaters are akin to religious institutions, 2020 was an especially rough year for me. Without blockbusters and theater crowds to keep us entertained, movie fans turned to streaming services and VOD. Perhaps the only silver lining was horror. Horror killed it in 2020 with some tremendous early hits I was actually able to see in theaters and then tons more from the comfort of my couch thanks to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and above all Shudder. Shudder was a shining beacon in the dark of plague halted year for horror fans and for only $5 a month it is worth every penny.
In 2020 we saw the return of the horror anthology, typically great foreign horror and the rise of young promising writers/directors who can dominate this genre for years to come. So let’s take a look at my Top Horror Films of 2020!
Well folks, we made it through the crazy year that was 2020. Everything is different, but thankfully we still had movies to give us a few distractions and some much-needed laughs at time. But even that was different, we spent less time in a dark theater with a crowd of folks, replacing that experience with our TVs and sound systems at home with numerous streaming services to offer up movies to entertain us. I think I usually average around 70 new movies a year, but sadly this year it was only 42, and that includes even older movies I saw for the first time. And the back catalog of stuff on the various streaming services, I missed out on a bunch of movies too.
And as you can see from the title, we are doing things a little different as well. I had my list down to 11 movies and even after about a week of trying to narrow it down, I couldn’t, so you are getting 10 (+1) this year.
It’s a few months into 2020, so it’s time for my Top 10 Movies of 2019 list. I meant to get this up earlier, but there were a few reasons for the delay, some good and some bad (some technically difficulties unfortunately). So let’s just get cracking on the 10 best movies I saw in 2019, and one that was released in 2019, but it took me a few weeks into 2020 to watch one of it. I was surprised to see the number of new movies was a little lower than normal. I signed up for the AMC Theatres A-List ($20 a month to see 3 movies a week), and thought I was going to see a ton of movies, but I guess I was busy with other things. I am going to make a solid effort to make up for that in 2020, although I am off to a slow start with one month in.
The majority of films are on the list below are compelled to put a halt to something. That something can be anything, but it’s the driving force that makes some of these films approach greatness. The impulse to avoid something or to alter an emotion have consumed the films in my top 10. An aging director in Pain and Glory desperately tries to avoid the bleak fact that his best years, personally and creatively, are well behind him by avoiding drifting into creative obscurity. In Portrait of a Lady on Fire, two ravishing young women must avoid the passionate feelings they have for each other, no matter how difficult such a task is. Quentin Tarantino ruminates extensively on the concept of altering time. His Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood envisions a world where Charles Manson and his disciples get the ultimate comeuppance. In Uncut Gems there seems to be an inevitable ending that its main character cannot avoid, no matter how tirelessly he tries. And in The Irishman an aging gangster wants so badly to avoid his inner conscious that he tries to avoid his true emotions at all costs, but sometimes trying all your might just isn’t enough.
It’s that time of the year again where writers from various film blogs start to post their top ten favorite films of the year. Given that we see over 100 films a year, it is hard to narrow it down to a top ten list. Of course, not all lists are the same, and all of them are subjective. One list doesn’t necessarily define an entire year. Still, you are likely to find a similarity of choices of films on these lists. Looking back at the year, there have been plenty of movies that could have made the list from the blockbuster favorites like Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War to indies like Lulu Wang‘s The Farewell, and even some really great foreign films like Bong Joon-ho‘s Parasite and originals like Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out. Below I run down my top ten favorite movies of 2019.