Making a film about sexual harassment and abuse is a very hard task, it’s a very heavy subject that you have to really nail down to get right and luckily She Said nails it. From the trailers it did seem like another case of Hollywood patting themselves on the back despite sexual abuse and harassment still being a huge ongoing problem in the industry. She Said tells the events of Harvey Weinstein one of the biggest Hollywood producers being finally exposed for his disgusting crimes, I do want to note that She Said is not just about Harvey Weinstein it’s about Sexual harassment and assault happening in the workplace being covered up in general. The cast is very strong here particularly Zoe Kazan and Carey Mulligan who truly deliver some powerful and honest performances that really bring a lot to the film, both of which play real journalists which only add to the power of their performances. The film is also claustrophobic and quite disturbing at times which it accomplishes that by never showing any of the sexual assault or harassment instead it uses it’s atmosphere combined with it’s writing to put the viewer into the victims shoes. It might be a bit disturbing yet the film is empathetic and approaches the heavy topic with a lot of respect and that has a lot to do with Maria Schrader’s direction who really nails down a huge issue that is still going on in Hollywood, she makes some very strong decisions such as letting survivors tell their stories and show tons of emotion while talking to the journalists. It creates a brutally honest experience that is very real, combined that with Kazan and Mulligan blending incredibly well together with their two very different personalities and you have a honest film that approaches a heavy subject with tons of respect.
The Eyes Of Tammy Faye is interesting and sort of surprising, right from the beginning it gives this bizarre style to it that I had no idea what to make of it. There are very standard biopic bits during the first half that aren’t too exciting but not anything really bad, Jessica Chastain gives one of her best performances here and is more than likely going to get nominated when the award shows start. And as she should she becomes Tammy Faye, she nails every single thing about her from how she acted and spoke to her style of singing. Speaking of which the songs were very great, despite Christian music certainly not being my type of music I still found myself singing along and have actually listened to a few of the songs since I saw the film. Andrew Garfield is also pretty great as well, while he isn’t as good as Jessica Chastain he still delivers a fantastic performance and was very believable as Jim Bakker. There are moments when he even becomes Jim Bakker it gets pretty scary, Cherry Jones who plays Rachel LaValley deserves to be talked about more for her performance. She’s hilarious, she gives this sarcastic yet loving performance that really makes you smile. The major flaw with The Eyes Of Tammy Faye is skimming over certain subjects. Especially with her connection to the LGBT community sure it’s shown in the film a few times and it does show she genuinely cares about the community, however it doesn’t feel like it’s discussed very much. I would have also loved to see the film dive a bit deeper on the shadiness of televangelist, but for what the movie did talk about it did a solid job. The writing definitely improves as it goes on, it starts out good enough but just very strange for the sake of feeling strange, but as the movie reaches its 30 minute mark it improves quite well. Overall The Eyes Of Tammy Faye is quite great, it does feel like a very standard biopic at times but there is a lot to like about this one, I recommend watching this one solely because of the performances!
Worth is a pretty solid movie that tells the true story of lawyer Kenneth Feinberg who battles a ton of obstacles to help the victims of 9/11. Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci both give very solid performances, Worth is at it’s best when it focuses on the victims of 9/11 particularly the interview scenes. It has a lot of human interaction during those scenes and has a huge sense of rawness to it as well, that ultimately make this movie an emotional ride at times. I do wish the writing could have been a bit stronger in some areas, particularly the first act that does take a bit to get going. Worth is overall a solid enough movie that is quite interesting and delivers the emotional moments quite well.
Joe Bell is a movie where at first glance it seems like it’s trying to be meaningful and heartwarming but when you actually sit down and take a closer look at it that’s just not true at all. The only thing I can give this movie is Mark Wahlberg gives a fine enough performance and trust me when I say that isn’t enough to save this movie, my biggest issue with this movie is that it really tries to hammer in this idea that “at least I’m not AS homophobic as those guys” look I’m all for redemption stories, people can change it’s part of the human nature. However this feels like a very ignorant and a tasteless way of doing that. It doesn’t help that the writing is terrible and is a complete and total mess, the LGBT character is sidelined in favor of the father who’s homophobic. It feels like another inspiration porn but this case this movie was made for some straight people to pat themselves on the back. What makes this even more tasteless and honestly very uncomfortable is that this is based on an actual suicide, so not only is the movie just bad in general due to poor direction that has nothing to it at all. It completely fails at treating the true story with care, as for the rest of the movie it’s honestly shocking of how cheaply made despite a $33 million dollar budget (according to Deadline) I’ve seen films with a much lower budget that don’t feel anywhere near as cheaply made as this. As I said before the writing is a complete and total mess, it feels like nobody looked this over and just went with it. Overall Joe Bell is one of the worst movies of the year, it’s a complete mess, it’s tasteless and it just flat out fails on what it’s trying to do.
I really wouldn’t blame someone if their first reaction hearing about another Ted Bundy movie being released was “another one?!?” Because quite frankly there has been a lot of them at this point, however Amber Sealey’s No Man Of God manages to be far different from the other films. For one thing the film isn’t only about Ted Bundy it’s also about FBI analyst Bill Hagmaier which is story I feel like completely goes unnoticed at times. The performances here are quite fantastic Luke Kirby does a fantastic job as Ted Bundy, he’s intimidating, acts like him and so on this is definitely one of the best if not the best portrayal of Ted Bundy in recent memory. Elijah Wood plays Hagmaier and he does an incredible job as well, the chemistry between Wood and Kirby is fantastic and feels very real. It’s disturbing but at the same time very fascinating as to what was going on between their discussions, which is where the writing comes in. Which I truly feel is the best part about this film, the writing really shares the thoughts and discussions they shared with one another. It’s a dark film that truly delivers in every single way possible, if your a fan of true crime you are going to love No Man Of God!
This is sort of hard to review but I’ll try my best. P!nk All I Know So Far focuses on P!nk and her relationship with her daughter which is touching and absolutely beautiful, it’s one of those documentaries where you get to see more into a celebrity’s life that feels raw and meaningful. A lot of the film is behind the scenes and home videos which again keeps it more interesting, P!nk really shows the audience how she keeps a balance between family and her career as it can be hard to balance the two. It’s a very wholesome documentary, it’s almost like those old family videos your family made when you were younger. It does surprise me how Amazon did very little advertising for this documentary because it is quite interesting. As far as filmmaking there really isn’t anything mind blowing but I feel in this case it really doesn’t have to be. If your a fan of P!nk you are most definitely going to love this documentary!
P!nk: All I know So Far is now available on Amazon Prime Video!
I was very unfamiliar who J Balvin is , I knew of him and know some of his songs but that’s about it. I feel like the best bits in this movie are when it tackles Balvin’s depression and anxiety it starts to feel somewhat relatable…it’s too bad the rest of the documentary couldn’t do that, look I’m glad J Balvin eventually did use his platform to speak about what was going on in Colombia the problem is for way too long he felt like he “was obligated” to comment and use his platform. Which I get being scared about commenting on politics (look what happened to The Chicks previously known as The Dixie Chicks) but in this case I would argue is a little different, his fans were actually the ones who wanted him to say something. It’s very hard to actually review this movie to be quite honest because nobody really knows what was in J Balvin’s mind, as far as how well made it is? It’s nothing really special but nothing bad either. It’s something that I really don’t think I’m ever going to watch again. If your a fan of J Balvin you will probably like this one.
The Boy From Medellin is now available on Amazon Prime Video!
I apologize this is pretty late between festivals and other stuff I’ve been delaying this for a bit. But here it is better late then never, I do want to clear up that I’ll be going back to a Top 60 Best and Worst when it comes time to do the 2021 lists. The only reason why I decided on doing a top 100 for 2020 was to give other films a chance to shine due to COVID-19. For 100-26 I won’t be talking about them at all except for maybe a few movies that just missed the top 25. For the Top 25 I’ll say a few things about them but nothing too crazy. With that said I hope you enjoy and hope this helps you find movies you want to watch.
So a few here that just barely missed the top 25.
Wolfwalkers is a fantastic animated film that really tells a beautiful story in great detail and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom gives arguably Chadwick Boseman’s best performance of his career!
The Lodge is definitely a strange but fantastic horror film, it released in early February of 2020 and I definitely feel a lot of people missed it. It’s a pretty interesting horror movie that keeps you guessing on what’s going to happen next definitely recommended. And Happiest Season I wanted to put in the Top 25 really badly but the competition in 2020 was really tough. It’s a fantastic film and as I said in my review I can definitely see it becoming a classic to watch during the holidays.
Now for the Top 25!
25. Miss Americana – This film was an early favorite of 2020 coming out in January and on Netflix. This is one of the few documentaries where you actually get to see a human side to an artist in this case Taylor Swift. Which she share’s pretty much everything with the audience, I absolutely admire the energy of this documentary Taylor is telling everyone who attacked or made stuff up about her that she’s not going to be pushed around anymore. You also actually start to feel for her as well seeing the media pretty much slander her, create false narratives that doesn’t exist and much more. Truly a fantastic documentary that I haven’t forgotten about
24. Time – This is a personal about Fox Rich fighting for the release of her husband, the documentary is power that’s honestly the best way to sum it up. It shows how much Fox loves her husband to the point where you feel the pain and sadness she’s going through, this is seriously a beautifully made documentary that will most definitely make you cry.
23. Hamilton – Not much to say here to be quite honest, before I saw the performance on Disney+ I actually had never seen Hamilton before but I always wanted to. So it was great opportunity when Disney+ had recording Hamilton, what’s even better is it makes you feel like you are right there in the theater.
22. Dick Johnson Is Dead – A fantastic idea that is executed perfectly, the documentary is effect due to Kristen and her father’s relationship it’s both hilarious and meaningful.
21. Relic – A very horrifying take on Dementia, Natalie Erika James absolutely knocks it out of the park in the director’s chair, she knows how to make interesting character development and how to make a film as haunting as possible. When you combine that with the atmosphere it’s truly horrifying!
20. Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Last Always – Again another one with not much to say, it’s a fantastic look at Rue and Ali’s characters. Both are going through several problems and they talk out, it’s a very realistic and emotional look at a conversation about drug addiction. Levinson does a fantastic job with the directing and the character development as I said before is fantastic.
19. Host – Host just sort of came out of nowhere and ended up being on a lot of people’s favorite films of 2020 lists and mine is no exception. I’m a huge fan of the social media horror/thriller movies, like Searching, Cam, Unfriended, The Den and a few others! Host ends up being one of the absolute best, it’s entirely on a Zoom call which ends up giving the film a much more realistic approach as well, the film itself is very atmospheric, haunting and just an overall a incredible ride that may only be 56 minutes long but it’s much more effective than a lot of Hollywood horror movies.
18. Shirley – 2020 was definitely Elisabeth Moss’s year when it came to film, She absolutely knocked it out of the park with her role in Shirley. It feels like a dreamlike horror of a fairytale, Josephine Decker’s direction feels like a fantasy come to life combined with beautiful cinematography and a hypnotic feel to the film. It’s truly a beautiful display of storytelling!
17. Bad Education – Cory Finley did a fantastic job with his previous film Thoroughbreds and he did a fantastic job here! Hugh Jackman and Alison Janney both do an incredible job, the film does a fantastic job of telling the story of the largest public school embezzlement in American history, the writing is flawless and leads to incredibly raw moments. Make sure to watch this one if you haven’t already!
16. The King Of Staten Island – Pete Davidson also had a strong year when it came to movies, first with Big Time Adolescent and then with King Of Staten Island. The best way to sum up King Of Staten Island is that everything about it is raw, the acting is raw, the writing is raw, the film is shot in this very raw style. The story is simple yet very interesting as well, it has that “showing the daily lives or life of a certain person or group of people” type feel. Truly a remarkable film!
15. One Night In Miami – The idea of having four different black icons (Malcolm X, Cassius Clay, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke) telling their thoughts on topics such as civil rights movement, the black community and much more makes a very interesting concept that results in a flawless execution. One Night In Miami gets even stronger when all four have a discussion with each other. Sharing their agreements, disagreements and topics they feel neutral on, it really explores who they are and what they ultimately think about the topic. The four sharing very different viewpoints and ideas is truly fascinating. Regina King knocks it out of the park with her direction as well!
14. Soul – One of Pixar’s strongest films, it hits you with all sorts of questions that you start to think about in a very deep way, Soul is definitely a very human movie about our choices, what we want to do in the future and so on. The storytelling is just that strong and magical truly masterful!
13. The Devil All The Time – “Some people are born just made to be buried” “It is our delusions that lead us to sin” those quotes really sum up how dark this film is, it’s truly an incredible film that looks at a small town and just how messed up pretty much everyone in the town is Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland are both fantastic as well as Sebastian Stan and Bill Skarsgard!! Truly a messed up film that I recommend!
12. Lovers Rock – 70 Minutes of some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve seen in a film of 2020, from the acting, to the writing to the absolute beautiful “Silly Games” scene it made me cry at least 3 different times Steve McQueen really did a fantastic job!
11. The Invisible Man – Leigh Whannell has proven he’s an Incredibly talented director after his previous film Upgrade there came Invisible Man which is truly an incredible horror film. Elisabeth Moss slays it in her role and truly gives a raw performance that is quite powerful! The film tackles PTSD In a very respectful manner as well which is again because Whannell set out to make this movie as good as possible. It’s haunting, surprising and truly one dark horror film that doesn’t hold back at all.
10. Possessor – kicking off the top 10 we have Possessor a disturbing horror film that Brandon Cronenberg did a wonderful job with. Between the brutal kills, the haunting atmosphere, the writing and acting being as realistic as possible and so much more Possessor really hits it out of the park when it comes to horror films that will definitely go on to be modern classics
9. Promising Young Woman – Carey Mulligan is fantastic in the leading role, Emerald Fennell’s realistic direction makes this film all the more powerful, the aesthetic of the film is just wonderful and the thrilling atmosphere really gives this film so much strength, the paths this film took were smart. It’s definitely not for everyone but for me it’s quite great!
8. I’m Thinking Of Ending Things – Definitely 2020’s “what the hell did I just watch?” Movie in the best way possible, it’s a very well acted film that really keeps you guessing of what’s real and what’s not. Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons and Toni Collette all do a fantastic job in their roles, Kaufman’s direction is masterful and the film itself is a one of a kind experience!
7. The Assistant – One of the most powerful films of 2020, it depicts sexual abuse In the work place in the most realistic way possible, Julia Garner does a fantastic job, the film also never ends up showing the boss which I still think is really clever of the film. Kitty Green does a great job of creating the mannerisms of the co-workers in the type of environment and so much more. It’s an incredible disturbing watch that I still think about.
5. First Cow – it’s a film that says a lot while doing the smallest things. John Magaro and Orion Lee both hit it out of the park, both of them give raw performances combined with incredible writing truly makes them some of the best performances of the year. Just the discussions the both of them have with each other is fascinating to watch, it feels very grounded and it sticks with you as well. The friendship element I absolutely loved, the direction from Kelly Reichardt is very special she shows how realistic she wants this movie to be. She shows that showing the simplest things such as two characters having a simple discussion can be one of the strongest elements In a film, the music and the filming both are incredible. They both match the setting extremely well and give the viewer a feel of where it’s taking place.
4. Never Rarely Sometimes Always – This the type of film that just sticks with you, I’ve thought about this film constantly. The best word to describe the film is powerful, Sidney Flanigan gives one of the best performances of 2020 and truly does a perfect job, there are tons of scenes that ripped me to shreds truly an incredible film.
3. Minari – it’s the American Dream in a film, it’s everything that the dream stands for and Lee Isaac Chung showed just that on every single level.
2. Sound Of Metal – A film that makes you thankful for what you have, asks you what would happen if you woke up one day and lost something that is your happiness and it can slip away just like that. In this case it’s hearing which is important to a drummer, Riz Ahmed gives one of the most emotional and truly impactful roles.
1. Nomadland – Chloe Zhao really went and directed one of the most beautiful films out there, Nomadland takes the spot of number one because of how meaningful, beautiful, emotional and raw it really is. From the music, to the acting, writing, direction and so much more. It really does feel like you are on a trip with Fern. Nomadland is simply a masterpiece that is on a whole other level, it’s truly something you don’t see often at all in film. Chloe Zhao is truly Incredible and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
“One of the things I love most about this life is that there’s no final goodbye. You know, I’ve met hundreds of people out here and I don’t ever say a final goodbye. I always just say, “I’ll see you down the road.”
Thank you for your patience with this list! I hope you enjoyed!!
City Of Lies is one of those movies that has a more interesting history than the movie itself. City Of Lies you may recognize and could almost swear this came out years ago, but this was originally supposed to come out September 7th 2018 the 22nd anniversary of the Murder of Tupac Shakur it was pulled due to a lawsuit between Johnny Depp and the film’s location manager a lot of theories were suggested that this was a cover up and that the LAPD may have been trying to suppress the film at least to my knowledge nobody has commented on any of the theories. Saban films eventually got the rights to the movie and here we are now…and it’s a very forgettable movie. I’m going to be honest here there is not a whole lot to be said at all about City Of Lies. Johnny Depp tries to do the best he can but it ultimately just does not work at all, the filming is pretty decent and there was definitely some attempt to try and make this work. But a lot of it is just not that interesting, as a lot of people have pointed how for a movie that is about the murder of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. two of the most famous rappers of all time the movie is very forgettable. The writing has it’s moments but a lot of the time the movie feels like it’s going through an identity crisis, it has no idea what it wants to be and by the end kind of just gives up. I don’t think City Of Lies is particularly a terrible movie but it is most definitely a very forgettable one.
Billie Eilish is currently one of the biggest stars, I’ve been a huge fan of her’s since she started. This documentary is unlike any documentary about a celebrity it’s a coming of age story from when Billie was at the age 16 (when R.J. Cutler started filming her before her success) to where she is now as one of the biggest stars in the world. I feel like what I have always liked about Billie Eilish is that she comes off as one of the most real celebrities, she genuinely cares for her fans and audience and when you actually sit down and listen to her speak it’s quite impressive. That documentary proves that point even more, it shows a very human side to Billie, as I said earlier it’s a coming of age story and a truly beautiful one as well. You learn almost everything about Billie to the point where it feels like you are having a conversation with someone you listening to her tell you about her life. Billie talks about her Tourette’s syndrome and how she has suicidal thoughts but she expresses that through words rather than actions. One of the strongest things aspects is Billie’s beautiful relationship with her family, each of her family members taught her something for instance her mom taught her about songwriting, her dad taught her how to play the ukulele and the piano finally her brother produced her and was her songwriting cohort. The interactions between her and her family is seriously some of the most beautiful interactions I’ve seen in a long time, they all are there for each other no matter what and it’s truly a beautiful thing. As the documentary goes on you learn more and more about Billie and how she got to where she is now and you as the viewer get completely invested into it. A lot of things a lot of documentaries about celebrities don’t really do at all is show a human side to the celebrity they are talking about, a lot of the time it feels like we don’t learn much about their personality or how they are as people. Sure we are given information and told they are “nice and incredible” but we never see that at all. With Billie Eilish The World’s A Little Blurry we get to see Billie’s actions, how Billie is as a person, how Billie reacts to certain situations and how she thinks and feels, it’s truly refreshing to actually see something completely different. And by the end of the film it feels like you know every single thing about Billie, her personality is truly beautiful, her determination is very inspiring, and her love for her fans and family is truly a beautiful thing. The documentary made me cry at least 3 different times it’s mostly due to Billie’s journey as an artist and just how beautifully made this documentary is, this is the type of filmmaking that really gets me the most. Seeing the life, or lives of a certain person or group of people is truly amazing and inspiring. You also start feeling like you can relate to Billie given how much information you are told, any documentary that can get you to feel relatable to a celebrity and to bring out a human side of them I feel is successful. Overall Billie Eilish The World’s A Little Blurry is masterful, I absolutely recommend you check this one out. It’s definitely one of the highlights so far this year!