Film in 2020: Were there any good movies? Here are the ones to watch
2020 is a year that takes many things from many people. For many of us film fanatics, the release of new movies and the movie-going experience is among 2020’s booty, as we witnessed a large collection of upcoming films push their release dates to 2021 & 2022 due to the current pandemic.
That’s why we were caught off guard when we learned earlier this week that the Academy Awards may still be a go for next year. I mean . . . did anything actually come out? Yes, actually! Here’s a look into 2020’s best films released.
93rd Academy Awards
Motion Picture Academy is currently exploring avenues in which an in-person ceremony could work, tentatively for a spring of 2021 air date given the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The film event, which typically takes place in either late February or early March at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, is still planning to press on with their award show tradition of 93 years, honoring Hollywood’s biggest achievements in film for the previous year, with categories that vary from acting, to special-effects, to costume design.
While some obvious health & safety-related questions must be asked, one giant question stands: Due to the shut down of thousands of theatres and the delayed releases of many highly anticipated films, were there actually any good movies released this year that are worth checking out?
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin put out all the stops for his second directorial effort, bolstering The Trial of the Chicago 7 with a stellar cast, raw story, and powerful message.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 tells the true story of seven defendants brought to trial in 1969 by the federal government for the counterculture protests in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Featuring an incredible ensemble cast including Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langela, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Michael Keaton, this Netflix film is simply one of the best courtroom dramas we’ve had since A Few Good Men – worth checking out on Netflix.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Welcome back to the list, Mr. Baron Cohen! After retiring the character of Borat in 2006 in his feature film debut, a title in which we will take no time spelling out here, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is the surprise follow-up once again holding up a mirror in the face of American society, with the character of Borat himself there to guide much of our country’s ignorance along.
A film many assumed could never work as a sequel, Sacha Baron Cohen finds plenty of new & inventive ways to shake up the character’s interactions, including bringing along his fiction daughter, Tutar, for the ride. Played by Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, Tutar stole the movie with Bakalova’s comedic style & timing.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is available now on Amazon Prime Video.
Da 5 Bloods
This Spike Lee joint, currently streaming on Netflix, tells the story of four African American soldiers who return to Vietnam years later hoping to find their fallen brother/leader, as well as treasure he has helped them tuck away.
The film is a strong follow up to Lee’s 2018 Oscar-winning Blackkklansman, as it tackles, as does many Spike Lee titles, historical injustice inside of an entertaining setting, giving audiences a story that sticks with them long after the credits have rolled.
We’ve all earned a good laugh this year, and few people give us better laughs than Saturday Night Live alum and Lonely Island singer Andy Samberg.
Hulu’s Palm Springs, best described as a comedy in the vein of Happy Death Day & Groundhog Day, stars Samberg and How I Met Your Mother’s Cristin Milioti, and tells the story of two wedding guests stuck in a time loop.
As Samberg & Milioti try to discover ways to escape this loop, they also discover a developing romance that, for whatever reason, might be even harder to escape.
Disney & Pixar Studios squeezed out one last family-friendly adventure before the 2020 pandemic hit, and that was Onward, an animated fantasy featuring the voices of stars Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Octavia Spencer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Onward focuses on two teenage brothers who set off on a quest to complete a magical spell said to bring back their dead father for one final day. The Disney film is as transparent about family & acceptance as any film we’ve seen in 2020.
Just remember, adventures don’t really mean all that much unless you have someone to share them with. Watch Onward now on Disney+.
Some of our honorable 2020 film mentions that are still worth checking out include: The Gentlemen, the documentary Class Action Park, The Way Back, The Invisible Man, Bad Education, and Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Sage.