Sunday, December 27, 2020

2020 The Best In Movies

It is normal for me to average 100+ movies in theaters every year. Thanks to COVID-19 I was lucky to see 43 movies as of this writing. I put off this post to make sure I got in a couple December releases. There were plenty of movies to watch on streaming platforms this year but only movies I watched in a theatre are eligible for this list.

So here in alphabetical order are the movies I liked the most this year.

Director: Sam Mendes

April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.

A great story is seldom as beautifully shot as it is written, 1917 however is one of those movies that even with the sound off the story is clearly presented.

Director: Eshom & Ian Nelms
Billy, a neglected and precocious 12 year old, hires a hit man to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.

I saw this movie online and liked it so much that I drove an hour to a theatre to see it on the big screen just so I could add it to this list. A new must watch every Christmas Fatman was probably the movie I tried the hardest to get my friends to watch. Mel Gibson and Walton Goggins both command the screen and their character motivations are rich and well laid out. 

After swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, a young girl in high school discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.

I had high hopes for this movie after seeing the directors previous 2 "Happy Death Day" films. I wasn't blown away during my initial viewing. I did think it was fun and a great take on the body swap movies from my youth. Its seldom I wish a horror movie was rated pg-13 because I believe that can water down the scares. Freaky however could have easily been softer especially with its course language. With that said I have watched this movie a handful of times since Its release and still find it entertaining.

The Gentleman
Director: Guy Ritchie

An American expat tries to sell off his highly profitable marijuana empire in London, triggering plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under

An absolute and welcome return to form by Guy Ritchie. Good grief this was a breath of fresh air. Snatch is one of my all time favorite movies and seeing Guy Ritchie return to the ganster films form his early years but to do it with the eye and skills he has cultivated while working on more mainstream fils is just a delight. Great movie, no notes.

The Hunt
Director: Craig Zobel
Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don't know where they are, or how they got there. They don't know they've been chosen - for a very specific purpose
I had no real expectations for this film prior to release. It had been pulled off the calendar for months due to real life events.  When it did finally get release I was pleasantly surprised.  This turned out to be my favorite movie of 2020.  It's clever and witty, it has action and comedy all perfectly blended.
Since it's release on home video I have watched it a half a dozen times at least.

The Invisible Man
Director:  Leigh Whannell
When Cecilia's abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.

A brilliant take on the premise of the invisible man. I watched this movie twice in the theatre. Leigh Whannell the co creator of the Saw and Insidious franchise never ceases to impress me with his work. Go watch Upgrade and see what I mean

News of the World
Director: Paul Greengrass
A Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.

I put off making this list primarily because of this movie. I had watched the trailer only once but knew this was going to be right up my alley.  I am excited to give it at least one more watch in the theatre. Tom Hanks is perfect as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd and Helena Zengel can express more in a look than a lot of actors twice her age can with dialogue. The pacing is swift enough to move the story but steady enough to allow for character development.

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