My Year at the Movies – 2020

Best Action Film of the Year

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Ava

Bad Boys for Life

Mulan

Wonder Woman 1984

Best Action Scenes of the Year (SPOILERS) (see below for One-on-One Fights)

6) Xian Lang rampage, Mulan

5) Riyadh, Ava

4) C-47, Da 5 Bloods

3) Extraction and chase, Extraction

2) Hospital hallway havoc, The Invisible Man

1) Funhouse spinning skirmish, Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn

Best Adventure of the Year

Da 5 Bloods

The Call of the Wild

Doolittle

Onward

Over the Moon

Best Non-2020 Films Discovered in 2020

https://letterboxd.com/paulstanis/list/best-non-2020-films-discovered-in-2020/

Worst Non-2020 Films Discovered in 2020

https://letterboxd.com/paulstanis/list/worst-non-2020-films-discovered-in-2020/

Best Comedy of the Year

Palm Springs

An American Pickle

My Spy

The Prom

Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made

Director Trajectory: Up

Niki Caro. Mulan > The Zookeeper’s Wife

George Clooney. The Midnight Sky > Suburbicon

Stephen Gaghan. Dolittle > Gold

Spike Lee. Da 5 Bloods > BlackKklansman

Ryan Murphy. The Prom > Eat Pray Love

Gavin O’Connor. The Way Back > The Accountant

Steven Soderbergh. Let them All Talk > The Laundromat

Director Trajectory: Down

Michael Dowse. Coffee and Kareem < Stuber

Guy Ritchie. The Gentlemen < Aladdin

Michael Showalter. The Lovebirds < The Big Sick

My Least Favorite () Yet

Tenet, my least favorite Christopher Nolan film yet

Best Heroes or Antiheroes of the Year

6) Ava Faulkner (Jessica Chastain), Ava

5) Young woman (Jessie Buckley), I’m Thinking of Ending Things

4) Elena McMahon (Anne Hathaway), The Last Thing He Wanted

3) Abby Holland (Kristen Stewart), Happiest Season

2) Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), Mank

1) Cecilia Kass (Elisabeth Moss), The Invisible Man

Best Horror Film of the Year

The Invisible Man

Color Out of Space

The Lodge

Run.

Snatchers

Moments of the Year

9) “Music of the night”, Wolfwalkers

8) Race to the mailbox, Run.

7) “Under Pressure”, Valley Girl

6) “Husavik”, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

5) She’s not there, The Invisible Man

4) Another world, Color Out of Space

3) Mulan revealed, Mulan

2) Call from Billy, The Vast of Night

1) “Be True to Your School”, Stargirl

Best Novel Adaptation of the Year

Color Out of Space

Greyhound

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

The Midnight Sky

Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made

One-on-One Fights of the Year (SPOILERS)

7) Harper Caldwell (Mackenzie Davis) vs. Sloane Caldwell (Alison Brie), Happiest Season

6) Andromache (Charlize Theron) vs. Guard, The Old Guard

5) Bill Goodfellowe (Wolf) (Sean Bean) vs. Oliver Cromwell (Simon McBurney), Wolfwalkers

4) Ava Faulkner (Jessica Chastain) vs. Simon (Colin Farrell), Ava

3) Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) vs. Saju Rav (Randeep Hooda), Extraction

2) Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) vs. Barbara Minerva Round 1, Wonder Woman 1984

1) Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) vs. Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn

Most Overrated Film of the Year

Sonic the Hedgehog

Tenet

The Gentlemen

Enola Holmes

Best Pop Culture References/Allusions of the Year

7) Peter Pan, The Vast of Night

6) The Thing, The Lodge

5) Doctor Who, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmegeddon

4) Up, Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made

3) The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

2) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Sonic the Hedgehog

1) On the Beach, The Midnight Sky

Ranking Disney-Distributed Movies

7) The One and Only Ivan

6) Artemis Fowl

5) Onward

4) Stargirl

3) Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made

2) Mulan

1) Soul

Disney Fox

2) Underwater

1) The Call of the Wild

Best Romance of the Year

Palm Springs

Happiest Season

The Lovebirds

The Prom

Stargirl

Best Science Fiction Film of the Year

The Invisible Man

The Midnight Sky

Palm Springs

Underwater

The Vast of Night

Sequel Improvement

Bad Boys for Life > Bad Boys 2

Sequel Decline

Wonder Woman 1984 < Wonder Woman

Stray Observations

After last year’s Gemini Man, Will Smith made Bad Boys for Life, another movie where he’s attacked by a guy in a motorcycle helmet who turns out to be his son.

In last year’s Stuber, Kumail Nanjiani’s car was commandeered by a cop, and it happens again in The Lovebirds.

This year we had Bad Boys for Life, a Bad Boys framed picture on a desk in Bloodshot, and a Bad Boys 2 parody in Coffee and Kareem.

Most Underrated Films of the Year

Trolls World Tour, The Midnight Sky, The Last Thing He Wanted.

And Dolittle wins my “Pardon One Turkey” award.

Best Villains of the Year

5) Blair Mudfly (Michael Sheen), Dolittle

4) Barb (Rachel Bloom), Trolls World Tour

3) Diane Sherman (Sarah Paulson), Run.

2) Xian Lang (Gong Li), Mulan 

1) Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), Wonder Woman 1984

Worst Villains of the Year

3) Victor Marquez (Greg Bryk), My Spy

2) Mickey Bowen (Logan Paul), Valley Girl

1) Hal (Dan Stevens), The Call of the Wild

WTF (bad)

Karen Gillan wasted, The Call of the Wild

Cell phone gag, Valley Girl

Simon Cowell, Scoob!

The kid, Vivarium

WTF (good)

Stabbed in the back, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Death of a sandwich, Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn

And two movies, Dolittle and Capone, embody all of WTF (bad) and WTF (good).

(Rough) Final Ranking of All 69 2020 Films Seen (Best to Worst)

The Invisible Man; Color Out of Space; Soul; Palm Springs; The Prom; Mank; The Vast of Night; Run.; Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn; An American Pickle; Bad Boys for Life; Wolfwalkers; The Way Back; Wonder Woman 1984; Ava; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; I’m Thinking of Ending Things; Bad Education; The Lodge; The Old Guard; Mulan; Greyhound; The Midnight Sky; Blow the Man Down; Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made; Stargirl; The Banker; Happiest Season; Onward; My Spy; On the Rocks; The Last Thing He Wanted; Extraction; Da 5 Bloods; Trolls World Tour; Shirley; Military Wives; Emma.; Dolittle; The Call of the Wild; The Lovebirds; Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga; Rebecca; Let them All Talk; Guns Akimbo; Buffaloed; Snatchers; Tenet; Underwater; Over the Moon; Fatal Affair; All Together Now; Artemis Fowl; Project Power; A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmegeddon; Fantasy Island; Bloodshot; Scoob!; Like a Boss; Vivarium; Capone; Coffee and Kareem; Sonic the Hedgehog; The Witches; Enola Holmes; The One and Only Ivan; Valley Girl; The Gentlemen; The Grudge

By the Numbers

Percentage of films viewed that pass the Bechdel/Wallace Test: 67% (up from 47% last year)

7 Films featuring traumatic showers (The Grudge, Color Out of Space, The Invisible Man, Vivarium, Palm Springs, The Lodge, Soul)

6 Envelopes filled with compromising photographs (The Lovebirds, The Last Thing He Wanted, The Banker, Bad Education, On the Rocks, Run.)

4 Films featuring table tennis (Sonic the Hedgehog, Fantasy Island, Enola Holmes, Over the Moon)

2 Alpaca appearances (Color Out of Space, Snatchers)

2 Animated young men who mourn the destruction of their beloved vans (Onward, Scoob!)

2 Aurora borealis appearances (Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Greyhound)

2 Disney movies featuring a main character whose outsider status at school is symbolized by a piece of neckwear that gets ripped at one point (Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made, Stargirl)

2 Disney movies starring precocious boys (Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made, Artemis Fowl)

2 H.P. Lovecraft horror shows (Color Out of Space, Underwater)

2 Stalker thrillers featuring “wave crashing on rock” imagery (The Invisible Man, Fatal Affair)

Messing with the studio logos (Sonic the Hedgehog, Guns Akimbo, The One and Only Ivan, Mulan, Trolls World Tour, Tenet, Soul)

Opening title sequences – * = dedicated sequence (Bad Boys for Life, Like a Boss, Color Out of Space, Fantasy Island, The Lovebirds, Artemis Fowl, Capone*, Vivarium*, Guns Akimbo*, Buffaloed, All Together Now, Ava*, The Gentlemen*, Happiest Season*, Underwater*, Snatchers*, Wolfwalkers*, The Prom, The Midnight Sky, Wonder Woman 1984)

Wrap Party Finales (Emma., Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made, Trolls World Tour, Happiest Season, The Prom)

Epilogue text (Military Wives, Da 5 Bloods, Capone, Greyhound, Buffaloed, The Banker, The One and Only Ivan, Bad Education, Valley Girl, Underwater)

Curtain Call Cast Credits – * = no specific character iconography (Dolittle, Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn, Sonic the Hedgehog, Bloodshot, Da 5 Bloods, My Spy, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Scoob!, Enola Holmes, Trolls World Tour, The Prom)

Mid-Credits scenes – * = does not take up the entire screen (The Grudge*, Dolittle, Bad Boys for Life, Sonic the Hedgehog, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmegeddon, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga*, Palm Springs, Greyhound*, An American Pickle, The One and Only Ivan, The Witches, Valley Girl, The Prom, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Midnight Sky*, Wonder Woman 1984)

Post-Credits scenes (Stargirl, Snatchers, Soul)

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