I don’t enjoy comparing movies to other movies and and I don’t believe that any film is inherently bad. It’s why I have no ratings system and it’s why your receiving this instead of a “10 Best/Worst” list. A lot of time and effort goes into making these films from hundreds of people, and I think to bash their efforts is disrespectful. I say that every movie is worth something and I genuinely believe that, even if it’s Hellboy (2019). So without further ado, here are the 10 films that I enjoyed most this year, in release order.
1. Knives Out
Director Rian Johnson might be one of the best and most original directors in the industry right now. If you didn’t feel that with The Last Jedi then I guarantee you will feel it here. Excellently paced murder mystery with superb acting from all the cast, and a brilliant score to boot.
2. Jumanji: The Next Level
I wrote in my review of this film’s predecessor that though it was not required, I’m glad the franchise has stuck around. That remains as true now as it did then, because the cast are so wonderful to spend any amount of time with and the set design is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see where they go next.
3. Jojo Rabbit
Possibly the funniest film I saw all year, but also one of the most heartwarming. Taika Watiti really decided to make a film about a child whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler, and pulled no punches. It also has a heartbreaking queer subplot, so that’s a bonus.
4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
Having grown up in Scotland, I didn’t experience Mr Rogers while I was growing up. However, the moment I was old enough to research people, I made sure to learn as much about him as I could. From what I can tell, this film is spot on and I can think of nobody more suited for the main role than Tom Hanks.
5. Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn
You know when a Comic Book Movie feels like a comic book? In much the same way that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and the DCEU’s Shazam! did? This film manages it too, and it has gays, and Ewan McGregor.
6. Sonic The Hedgehog
This might be the most 2020 film I saw this year, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s a film that simply refuses to take itself seriously and just has fun with the premise. I like that.
7. Disneyland’s Forgotten Sci-Fi Rock Band – Live From the Space Stage
If you haven’t been paying attention to DefunctLand on YouTube then you’ve really been missing out. From 40 minute documentaries on EPCOT to the former Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square, he’s covered it all. This full length Doc on the one-time Disney metal band Halyx is a true testament to his skill and makes me wish I could have seen them live.
8. Boys in the Band
I’ve really missed the theatre, so watching a play with a film budget was something I needed. It just so happens to also be a terrific education on queer history and feature some beautiful acting. I know it went straight to Netflix, but I would more than happily have seen this on a big screen.
9. Happiest Season
It’s a lesbian Christmas movie. It has Kristen Stewart, and Aubrey Plaza. Films like these are paving the way for representation and I think this is one I’ll keep coming back to in the following festive seasons. I’m glad someone is making the Yuletide gay.
10. Bill and Ted Face the Music
Let’s be honest with ourselves…I was going into this with a bias. In a shocking turn of events, I ended up liking it, though I’m not yet sure how it fits in the scheme of “Best Bill and Ted Movie”. Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine are utterly bodacious as Billie and Thea, and are excellent additions to the main cast.