Up next in our countdown of 2020 is one of the most overlooked movies of 2020. In a year of utter chaos, The Way Back rolled out on March, playing off of the annual March Madness frenzy. However, the concept of March Madness took on another meaning this year, leaving behind this uplifting, yet grounded in some semblance of reality, gem. From Gavin O'Connor (Miracle) he makes the case for being the go-to sports Director. Additionally, Ben Affleck grounds his performance in a steadiness which doesn't waver into melodrama territory, while also seemingly exercising some of his real-life demons too. Go back to this one and check it out, sports fan or not, as it is a surprisingly moving look at the banality of addiction thrashing up against the life altering moments one cannot change.
Kicking off our year-end review of the best movies from 2020. Of note: I haven't seen some of the top awards contenders, big releases in December, so the list will be updated I'm sure. That said, this group of flicks are some of our favorite rides of this hopefully once-in-a-lifetime year.
Up first: Relic. A slow burn, generational-focused horror movie from a strong first-time director, Natalie Erika James announces herself as a voice and vision to look forward to in the coming years. 2020 saw strong female voices and stories front and center, with efforts like Relic leading the way with a strong focus on three-generations of the cursed fictional family. The ties that behind are felt very deeply here, with an ending that quietly sits with you and creates great moments for contemplation of how we all accept our fates in a variety of ways.
As the sun sets on 2020 - for many this is a welcome site - and we all flip through calendar over, it is worth looking back at a year in movies that will be marked as one of historical significance. However, we've all had quite enough of historical significance, so let's lighten the mood with some of the 'Best Of' nights.
Play the Hits
Invisible Man: Best high-performing flick. Although I didn't see this one in theaters - wish I had - I imagine this was a wild ride and great experience.
The Lovebirds OR Palm Springs: Going out, discovering the things you enjoy or maaayyyybbbeeee don't as much, I'm sure took a hit this year, so two of the best ways to cut to the chase would prove to be watching these highly enjoyable flicks with great chemistry from the leads.
Onward: In a weird, weird year for entertainment, one of the biggest examples of the industry shift, volatility and impact of the year is right on display in the family genre. An overlooked night for the family is Onward, a fantasy road trip from Pixar. No other movie felt the immediate gut punch more than this one, as lockdowns coincided with its release. Although the Mouse House is doing alright and doesn't need your sympathy, as a movie, this one is a light, enjoyable ride to revisit or catch up with the first time around.
Did You Hear That?
Relic: A slow burn that may not satisfy everyone, but an announcement of a talented voice in play here with a strong debut from Natalie Erika James. One of our favorites from 2020, making for a good night on the couch with your hands covering your face part of the time.