2020: A Year in Review

2020, it ended! Here’s my watchlist

  1. The Gentlemen
  2. 1917
  3. Uncut Gems
  4. Seberg
  5. Waves
  6. Weathering With You
  7. Bombshell
  8. Bad Boys For Life
  9. Just Mercy
  10. The Turning
  11. A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
  12. Queen & Slim
  13. Richard Jewel
  14. The Rhythm Section
  15. Underwater
  16. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
  17. Horse Girl
  18. Sonic the Hedgehog
  19. Emma.
  20. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
  21. Dolittle
  22. A Fall From Grace
  23. The Call of the Wild
  24. Dark Waters
  25. Onward
  26. The Invisible Man
  27. Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back-Evolution
  28. Proxima
  29. In the Stillness of Sounds
  30. Only the Animals
  31. Two of Us
  32. The Truth
  33. The Photograph
  34. Military Wives
  35. The True History of the Kelly Gang
  36. Calm with Horses
  37. Lost Girls
  38. Guns Akimbo
  39. Strummer
  40. The Droving
  41. Fantasy Island
  42. My Spy
  43. Bloodshot
  44. Bruce Lee and the Outlaw
  45. The Hunt
  46. Nona: If They Soak Me, I’ll Burn Them
  47. Gretel & Hansel
  48. Ema
  49. Trolls World Tour
  50. The Grand Bizarre
  51. Vivarium
  52. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend
  53. Russian Youth
  54. Electric Swan
  55. Eeb Allay Ooo
  56. 45 Days in Jarbar
  57. Sisterhood
  58. Beyond the Mountain
  59. Kmêdus
  60. Volubilis
  61. Wake Up: Stories from the Frontlines of Suicide Prevention
  62. SEE Factory Sarajevo mon amour
  63. Nasir
  64. Air Conditioner
  65. Rosalinda
  66. Cassandro, the Exotico!
  67. Vitalina Varela
  68. Around the World When You Were My Age
  69. Extraction
  70. The Wrong Missy
  71. Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen
  72. 365 Days
  73. Sea Fever
  74. MS Slavic 7
  75. Misbehaviour
  76. Dating Amber
  77. Love Sarah
  78. Lady and the Tramp
  79. Togo
  80. Artemis Fowl
  81. Da 5 Bloods
  82. Stage Mother
  83. The Day After I’m Gone
  84.  Four Kids and It
  85. Scoob
  86. The Half of It
  87. The Vigil
  88. Let It Burn
  89. The Willoughbys
  90. Broken Law
  91. Unhinged
  92. Make Up
  93. Film Title Poem
  94. Perfect 10
  95. The Old Guard
  96. Hope Gap
  97. Pinocchio
  98. Spree
  99. Red Dwarf: The Promised Land
  100. The Portuguese Woman
  101. Landless
  102. The Assistant
  103. Money Plane
  104. Once There was Brasilia
  105. Again Once Again
  106. Tenet
  107. Dogs Don’t Wear Pants
  108. The New Mutants
  109. All Together Now
  110. Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story
  111. A Woman’s Revenge
  112. Echo
  113. Giraffe
  114. I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  115. Correspondences
  116. Seduction of the Flesh
  117. The Roads Not Taken
  118. The Broken Hearts Gallery
  119. The Tree House
  120. Savage
  121. Technoboss
  122. The Social Dilemma
  123. Cuties
  124. Bill & Ted Face the Music
  125. The Man in the Hat
  126. The Eight Hundred
  127. Nocturnal
  128. Ride Your Wave
  129. Book-Paper-Scissors
  130. Complicity
  131. Street Leagues
  132. The Blue Flower of Novalis
  133. Isadora’s Children
  134. Rebuilding Paradise
  135. Enola Holmes
  136. Rialto
  137. That Click
  138. Silêncio – Voices of Lisbon
  139. Caveat
  140. Private Fiction
  141. Seven Years in May
  142. Body of Truth
  143. Woman of the Photographs
  144. Birds (or How to Be One)
  145. Yes, God, Yes
  146. Old Timers
  147. Space Dogs
  148. Wintopia
  149. Breaking Ice
  150. Journey to Utopia
  151. A Maverick Islander
  152. Pari
  153. The Viewing Booth
  154. Ava
  155. Sometimes Never, Rarely Always
  156. Uncle Peckerhead
  157. Red Screening
  158. Bird Island
  159. Breeder
  160. I Am Toxic
  161. Asylum: Twisted Horror and Fantasy Tales
  162. Violence Voyager
  163. The El Duce Tapes
  164. Butchers
  165. The Deep Ones
  166. Death Ranch
  167. Anonymous Animals
  168. Purgatory Road
  169. Ropes
  170. The Special
  171. Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business
  172. Ten Minutes to Midnight
  173. In the Quarry
  174. The Oak Room
  175. The Curse of Valburg
  176. The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
  177. Hubie Halloween
  178. The Babysitter: Killer Queen
  179. #Alive
  180. South Terminal
  181. The Spongebob Moviie: Sponge on the Run
  182. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  183. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  184. The Racer
  185. Two/One
  186. Maddy the Model
  187. Working Girls
  188. La Fortaleza
  189. I Love You I Miss You I Hope I See You Before I Die
  190. A Common Crime
  191. Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story
  192. Frem
  193. Castro’s Spies
  194. The Bright Side
  195. The 8th
  196. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
  197. The Edge of Chaos
  198. Wildfire
  199. Siberia
  200. Luxor
  201. I Am Samuel
  202. Games People Play
  203. County Lines
  204. The Castle
  205. Summerwar
  206. Falling
  207. The Human Factor
  208. Into Dad’s Woods
  209. My Name is Baghdad
  210. H is for Happiness
  211. Wolfwalkers
  212. The Trouble with Being Born
  213. Vivos
  214. Rascal
  215. An Impossible Project
  216. Bad Tales
  217. The Witches
  218. Ghost Strata
  219. The Young Observant
  220. The Devil All the Time
  221. To the Ends of Earth
  222. Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowen
  223. Saint Maud
  224. Finding Jack Charlton
  225. Pixie
  226. A Christmas Carol
  227. Superintelligence
  228. Dreamland
  229. Mulan
  230. Hillbilly Elegy
  231. Come Away
  232. Wonder Woman 1984
  233. Let Him Go
  234. Mank
  235. About Endlessness
  236. Bacurau
  237. Soul
  238. Les Misérables
  239. Possessor
  240. The Midnight Sky
  241.  Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  242. Kajillionaire
  243. Antebellum
  244. Howard
  245. Making and Unmaking
  246. Shirley
  247. The 40-Year Old Version
  248. Time
  249. Cemetery
  250. Faith
  251. Capone
  252. Feels Good Man
  253. Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
  254. Origins-The Story of Irish Hip Hop
  255. The Craft: Legacy
  256. Bit
  257. She Dies Tomorrow
  258. Jezebel
  259. Promising Young Women
  260. Butt Boy

Weirdly enough this is the same number of new releases I saw in 2019, and this was all when cinemas were closed for most of the year!

As always, if any of these you contest being Irish 2020 releases feel free to let me know! Now onto the main event:

Guilty Pleasures

365 Days

I originally planned to write a piece around this film’s popularity after it dropped on Netflix, and how stuff like this and 50 Shades of Grey tackling darker sexual themes targeted at women get these dumb moral outrages over them. I eventually didn’t because 1. I’m really not equipped to make this argument, and 2. This film is too stupid to defend even on those principles. But where 50 Shades legitimately annoyed me, this one I just find silly and really over the top. I don’t think this will, like, entice women to be kidnapped or enter abusive relationships-it’s a fantasy involving rough sex and is so crude and terribly presented that I found it more funny than sexy. Enjoy cheap thrills all you want, no matter how you get them from this shit.

The Deep Ones

One of my favourite 2019 releases was Richard Stanley’s contemporary interpretation of Colours out of Space (he said it would make you shit yourself), so the idea of another contemporary Lovecraft tale was something I was gunning for*. Then I…watched. This. How confused and tone deaf is one thing, but this fucker is cheap in a way that’s incredibly distracting (it looks like they shot at their mate’s holiday home) and that’s before we get into what I laughably refer to as the “horror” elements. Really ineffective cult-based horror, but I kind of admire the effort, and despite it being so off-kilter and misguided it was compelling throughout. Intentionally so or likely not.

*No, I haven’t seen Lovecraft County-I will get to it

Guns Akimbo

Commentary…kind of? This is absolute trash of the trashiest variety, but it’s my trash and I roll in the trash it keeps on trashing. I tend to just hate satires of internet culture that has this cynical a lens, as it comes across as edgy for edginess sake, and this film is incredibly stupid with a flimsy plot structure and really loathsome characters. But Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving are just so effortlessly gung-ho (gun-ho ha)  with everything thrown at them. It went from boring and obnoxious to absolutely hilariously gonzo in a matter of minutes, and I’m just so on board by that point. Not very smart, but very, very fun if you’re in that mindset.

Horse Girl

This is one of the weirdest, most uncomfortable films I sat through all year. And like it’s really hard for me to gleam whether this is some avant garde masterpiece or just strange nonsense for its own sake. It really does border on both and, honestly, that makes it fascinating, and not because it’s a fucking trainwreck like a lot of other films. I think it’s on the cusp of being an awkward masterpiece, but it’s too incoherent and baffling for baffling’s sake to really have me give them that credit. Alison Brie is awesome however, and I can say the film is never weird or annoying. Strange one to put on a list like this, there’s no guilt here, except the guilt of not getting it. I guess.

Money Plane

The kid from Recess made a heist movie. No, seriously. The lad who played TJ on Recess directed this. This isn’t the only famous person involved, however, as they got Denise Richards, Punisher himself Thomas Jane and Kelsey Grammar, who looks so invested it appears they didn’t even leave his house and shot the scenes over the course of, like, an hour. This film is really, really bad, but it’s kind of entertaining in a “Let’s watch money burn on screen” kind of way. The plot is rote and predictable, but its Ocean’s Eleven-inspired heist shit is so clumsily handled, and the film is so flat and awkward that I can’t help but laugh at how bafflingly shit it is. There’s not much else to really say here-it’s just good for a laugh and terrible for literally anything else.

Only the Animals

A French movie I reviewed here. I’m way more negative on it here than I will be now, but honestly I kind of appreciated the wild ride of ridiculous melodrama and loathsome human beings getting what they deserve (for the most part). It’s just so misguided, and I really think it’s trying to be a taut, interconnected melodrama similar to something like 21 Grams, but instead comes off like it’s on 21 grams of coke. Maybe you’ll watch it and find a masterpiece, or just find it a boring piece of shit, I don’t know. I just kind of found it hilariously tryhard and really floundering in how it tries to weave its convolutions and wayward threads into something that feels satisfying and whole. It’s a whole lot of something, alright.


Gonna take a leap and say everybody’s made the “Russell Crowe’s weekend filmed” joke. This is really, really dumb. Like, a lot of things here; the physics, how intensely stupid the characters are, how fast and crazy this escalates. But like that’s also part of the fun, it’s a wild ride where nothing comes together to be narratively tight, but if you can ignore the eye-rolling plot contrivances you’re in for a ride (hah). Russell Crowe is a hell of a lot of fun here-he really dives into this perception people have of him (to the point that he advertised the fucking movie with it), and there’s something really magnanimous and gripping about him here. It’s not, like, a good performance, but it’s the most spirited and passionate I’ve seen the man in a long time, and he really makes the film. A car crash in every sense of the word, but you can’t help but look on.

Wanna hear my opinions on the Best and Worst of 2020? Look no further:

Worst of 2020

Best of 2020

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