To say 2020 has been a challenge would be a huge understatement. The year has been incredibly tough for everyone, and almost impossible for some.
For the movie industry, 2020 has been a bit of a bust. Many of the major movies that were due out this year either got shelved, rescheduled then shelved, or opened to almost empty cinemas.
Yet despite the huge setbacks, 2020 has still managed to serve up some real humdingers. Whether they snuck in before the madness started, or they slipped out onto a streaming platform, the year has offered some superb movies.
So, if you are currently wondering what to watch tonight, tomorrow, or maybe even one day next week, I have a few suggestions which might help you out.
First and foremost, I am rewinding the clock back to the beginning of 2020 when we kick-started the year with the hilarious, and poignant JoJo Rabbit. The movie – from director Taika Waititi – hit UK cinemas in January and in my review of the picture I called it “hilarious, touching, and something which is highly recommended.”
You’ve still not watched it? Well then, JoJo Rabbit should be your first port of call.
Now, how do you follow something as good as JoJo Rabbit? By highlighting Parasite, of course!
You may recall, before the dark times took over, that Parasite was the Best Picture winner at the 2020 Academy Awards. Parasite took home the highly coveted accolade because it is simply an incredible movie.
If you have got this far into 2020 and you still haven’t watched Parasite, then add it to your list. I watched this film shortly before it won the Best Picture award and it seemed pretty obvious to me that this was going to take the prize.
Another film which received a lot of awards buzz at the beginning of the year was The Lighthouse. Now this is a film that is certainly not for everyone, but if you like bonkers black-and-white art house movies featuring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, then this one could be for you.
If you want to know more about The Lighthouse, or any of the movies mentioned in this post, click on the highlighted links. This is something I certainly urge you to do with The Lighthouse, to ensure you understand what kind of movie this is.
Moving on to some mainstream movies now, and February presented Sonic the Hedgehog – a surprisingly enjoyable romp about the classic games character – and Birds of Prey. Both of these movies were fun, colourful pictures, that were big on laughs, and in the case of Birds of Prey, this Harley Quinn-centric film was far more enjoyable than 2016’s Suicide Squad.
And speaking of enjoyable, one of my favourite movies of the year (so far) was The Invisible Man, which hit cinema screens around the same time as Sonic and Birds of Prey. The movie – an update on the classic Invisible Man story by H. G. Wells – was a critical and commercial hit, and also a bloomin’ marvellous thriller.
Produced on a relatively small budget, The Invisible Man focused largely on great acting and some clever camera trickery to tell its story. It reworked the Invisible Man concept to present a tale about domestic violence, and in doing so brought something new and engaging to the table.
If I was to pick out one movie from 2020 to stand as my favourite, The Invisible Man would be it. Once again, check out my review, and see what I had to say about this movie earlier in the year.
Other suggestions for great movies which you may have missed this year included The Hunt (which opened just as the UK went into lockdown), the creepy (but brilliant) Little Joe, and the deliciously fun, The Babysitter: Killer Queen, which arrived on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. All of these films are worthy of your time – especially if you like horror/thrillers.
And speaking of Netflix, the streaming service has delivered some very, very strong pictures in recent months, including Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; the Charlize Theron-led action movie, Old Guard; the South Korean zombie film, #Alive; and the highly entertaining Enola Holmes. All four of these movies got the thumbs up from me and prove there is some great content finding its way onto streaming services.
As for my next top pick of new movies for 2020, I’m reserving that one for Bill & Ted Face the Music. If you missed the one at the cinema, then keep this one in the back of your mind for now and be sure to check it out when it gets a home video release – which I expect will be sooner rather than later.
The next pick is for Summer of ’85 – a beautiful French language coming-of-age movie about two teenagers who fall in love. The movie was released in the UK in October, via Curzon Home Cinema and is highly recommended.
During my review of the movie I said, “I urge everyone to give Summer of 85 a couple of hours of their time. Even if you’re not into love stories, this is still one to watch.”
I also highly recommend His House – a horror drama which arrived on Netflix just in time for Halloween. His House is a contemporary ghost story which looks at the ever present topic of migration, and frames it against the backdrop of horror.
His House has received strong praise from critics (as well as me) and currently has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100%.
My final recommendations are the superb and terrifying Host – a British horror movie shot in lockdown; the delightful Disney-Pixar adventure movie, Onward – which the kids will love; and the psychological horror/thriller, Saint Maud. Host can be found on Shudder, Onward is available on Disney+, while Saint Maud should be heading to home video in the not-too distant future.
Other films which have come out this year, which you may wish to watch, but sadly didn’t make much of an impression with me, include Scoob!, Underwater, Fantasy Island, and The New Mutants. None of these films got strong recommendations from me, so read my reviews to be sure these are worth devoting any time to, but they may prove more popular with you.
Oh, and before I sign off, movies I recommend you actively avoid include Artemis Fowl, Hubie Halloween, and The Turning. All three movies are stinkers and a complete waste of time, so don’t even bother.
I still have one or two big movies from 2020 to catch up on, but for now these are the films to pay attention to.
Thanks for stopping by It’s A Stamepede!. For more movie-related content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.