Hello everyone, it’s me, The Blog Complainer and welcome to the third annual top 10 movies of the year that you should have been watching instead of whatever you normally do. However this year is a little different to the preceding years because there was this virus that kind of messed up the movie schedule for not just me, but for everyone in the entire world. So I saw less movies than previous years meaning I didn’t see as many great movies as I normally do. Saying that I struggled to see the necessary movies to make this list is no understatement. So three cheers to streaming for the reason I didn’t need to can both of these lists this year. I’m releasing this a bit earlier this year because I just want to record what I managed to see before the year ended and perhaps one day when I do eventually catch every hit of 2020 I may decide to include those.
Onto the films that were omitted from this list and if any entry is highlighted in blue, then that means I made a review of it. (This also applies to the main list.) In no particular order:
- Freaky: The best horror movie of the year because it’s stupid and has Vince Vaughn pretending to be a teenage girl. It’s great!
- The Hunt: This movie got a bad wrap because of its political satire, but really it’s just a fun bloody action movie. I especially love the Hunger Games like opening where characters are dying left right and centre, while throwing us off on who the real main character even is.
- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Borat is back and his sequel didn’t suck, hooray!
- Hamilton: The only reason I’m putting it here is because its not an actual movie, but a Broadway production and the only reason I’m mentioning it is because its better than 98% of the movies I have seen this year.
Onto the list!!
I never expected to be seeing this movie on my list, mainly because back in January I had a very naïve outlook on the year. Oh well, out of the movies that were up for the number 10 spot, The Gentlemen offers what I like most from movies like these. Sharp writing, memorable characters, a great cast and a unique story that is very entertaining to watch. Not much more to say about it except its very British, which is the real reason why it made onto this list.
Da 5 Bloods
This is another movie which, back in June, I did not expect to be on my best of the year list. Da 5 Bloods is an improvement over Spike Lee’s previous effort Blackkklansman as it tells the story of some old black Vietnam vets returning to Vietnam to retrieve their friend who died in the war. This character happens to be played by the late Chadwick Boseman, which feels a bit meta now that I think about it. It gets a little ridiculous in the last act, but it is a good story of how each of these four men were changed by Vietnam. The most memorable being Delroy Lindo’s character who goes on a Colonel Kurtz type of route.
There may be a bit of bias here as this is a David Fincher movie and his movies are usually masterpieces in my eyes. Not Mank though, as it’s a hard movie to recommend as you need pre-existing knowledge to really appreciate it and it’s not an easy one to watch without yawning. Despite its short comings Mank is still a well made movie. The story of Herman J. Mankiewicz is quite a sad one who is wonderfully portrayed by Gary Oldman. The film also nicely fills in the context of how Mank created one of the most well regarded screenplays of all time and the controversies that followed.
I’m not sure how many of you have heard of this, but is it still safe to say this is underrated? Dreamland is an American indie film starring mostly Australian actors and its pretty damn good. A young man wanting to get away from his mundane life in the desert, changes when he protects a wanted bank robber/murderer played by Margot Robbie. Yes, there is an unnecessary romance in there, but its mainly about a young boy maturing into a man who relates to a criminal, who we never really know what her deal is. Some may consider that bad writing, but I beg to differ.
Onward is the lucky sixth best of this year, a feat that no other animated movie has ever accomplished on any of my previous lists. Onward tells the story of a blue elf Star Lord and Spider-Man going on a fun brotherly adventure of self discovery with their magic walking trousers dead father. A lot of critics weren’t too fond of this one, but I enjoyed it, its like most Pixar affairs fun and emotional. Trust me this is the final movie that I didn’t expect would make it on my list, so up next are some really good ones.
A recurring trend you might have noticed with the previous entries (Slight spoilers also applies to the number 1 spot) is most of these movies focus on a really strong chemistry between two characters, more particularly a man and a woman. That’s the main appeal of Palm Springs is the relationship between two people who probably wouldn’t have said more than two words to each other if they weren’t trapped in a Groundhog’s Day type time loop. It’s a comedy so don’t expect it to get too deep, but it’s still a solid watch.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
I didn’t review this one either, which is unfortunate as it was really good. The whole film takes place mainly in one location and is a series of monologues of how the different band members deal with the fact that they’re black and are living in the 1920’s. I enjoy character based bottle movies so I was satisfied, with the only real highlight being the acting of Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman with a stellar final performance.
Next is another movie from a director I like, but is also something that isn’t easily to recommend and perhaps knowing more information surrounding this film might help you enjoy it better. The main difference been is I’m Thinking of Ending Things is not dependent on that stuff, and is actually beneficial the less you know about on your first viewing. This movie is a cryptograph because with each viewing you’ll slowly understand more of the puzzle. I doubt I’ll forget this one anytime soon as, aside from being weird, it looks very distinct, it has great acting and it can be unexpectedly funny too, which feels so rare in movies nowadays.
Sound of Metal
We did it folks, this our first great movie on this entire list! Now we’re finally making 2019 blush! I did write up a review on Sound of Metal but changed my mind about releasing it so I’ll just summarise my thoughts from that. Basically I tell you need to watch it for yourself! It’s a very effective drama about a young drummer losing his hearing and having to live with it. The film does a great job at making you understand what the main character is experiencing with the sound being muffled in certain parts. The acting is exceptional, especially from Riz Ahmed who would be my pick for best actor of the year. It’s a great film and the only one where the first and final shot still play back in my head weeks after first seeing it.
The film that I just reviewed also happens to be number 1. Why is that? Is it to steal the honour that Onward just got? Not at all, I chose Soul as not only is it a near masterpiece, but I think in a horrible year like 2020, this is the movie we all needed. Soul glories in how great it is to be alive, but also how it should best be spent. Another movie with great character interactions, one being a grown man and the other being an undeveloped soul, a fascinating dynamic that the film takes full advantage of. It’s Pixar so the animation is also top notch, more so in the scenes where the main character, Joe, is playing the piano and he just gets lost in it. Your reward for beating 2020, is this magical film, as it made me feel good to still be here.
That’s this year’s list, the worst one is up next. Next year is going to be an interesting year for films, so I wish you all the best, and I have been The Blog Complainer, signing out.