Cinemas may have been closed for a few months now due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this year there were still a bunch of really good movies. It may be a while before we see any new productions in theaters, even when they reopen outside of, of course, those that have already been made. Meanwhile, we can watch and re-watch the best Hollywood movies of this year.
1. Bad Education: Disney+ Hotstar
This Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney star is a gripping comedy-drama. Although it is a comedy and also has many characteristics of outright satire, it treats its subject – corruption in academia – with the seriousness it deserves. Both Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney play complex, three-dimensional characters full of vulnerabilities, and the actors do their roles full justice.
Read also | Bad Education review: Hugh Jackman’s comedy-drama is one of the best films of the year so far
2. Birds of prey
This Cathy Yan director had to step out of the shadows of 2016’s Suicide Squad. Fortunately, it featured Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, one of the few good things about the original film, along with a cast of brilliant actors. Coupled with a good story, excellent dialogue and a flippant tone, the film was a delight – funny, witty, action-packed and entertaining,
3. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog saw the iconic character from the Sega video game of the same name befriend a small-town cop and take his help to evade the authorities, specifically Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik, who is determined to capture it. The film, despite some production difficulties, proved to be a fun and heartwarming ride for audiences.
4. Onward: Disney+ Hotstar
Not Pixar’s best, but that’s like saying a nugget of gold that isn’t quite as shiny. The animated feature of the best in the business world, Onward, brought together two actors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. It revolved around two elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, voiced by Holland and Pratt respectively, who “go on an extraordinary quest to find out if there’s still a little magic left out there.”
The trailers for this Kristen Stewart film didn’t impress me much, but the film itself scored with a claustrophobic, atmospheric setting and an engaging story.
6. 7500: Amazon Prime Video
7500 is a harrowing and disturbing dramatization of a plane hijacking starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The movie does a great job of making the viewer feel what Tobias (Gordon-Levitt’s co-pilot character) is going through. The restrictive cinematography does wonders for the story, increasing the already exorbitant tension.
Read also | 7500 movie review: Joseph Gordon-Levitt shines in a claustrophobic thriller
7. The Expanse of Night: Amazon Prime Video
The Vast of Night, an indie sci-fi thriller, revisits those classic stories and tales of UFOs and alleged alien sightings, along with the regular diet of shows and movies made about them with which many between us have grown. The film, directed by Andrew Patterson and written by James Montague and Craig W Sanger, makes no secret that it’s meant to be a nostalgia-tinged experience – for older viewers anyway.
Read also | The Vast of Night movie review: A gripping old-school sci-fi thriller
8. Shirley: Hulu
Shirley is an adaptation of an eponymous novel by Susan Scarf Merrell about a young couple who move into the home of Jackson and her literary critic husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman. Elisabeth Moss plays the lead role. Moss has been on a roll lately with her role choices and what she brings to them. But I wasn’t prepared for her performance in Shirley. In this film, Moss becomes Shirley. There is no other way to say it. She is Shirley. And frankly, she holds this film together, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else filling the auteur’s shoes that way.
Read also | Shirley movie review: Elisabeth Moss delivers a piercing performance
9. The Invisible Man
Another Elisabeth Moss star. Leigh Whannell’s spin on HG Well’s classic novel of the same name was an inventive reboot, and Moss was dependable and brilliant.
10. The Banker: Apple TV+
Read also | The Banker review: Anthony Mackie and Samuel L Jackson star is entertaining
This Anthony Mackie and Samuel L Jackson star is entertaining. For a film like this that tackles racism and racial discrimination, it’s also very funny. Many critics said the film was too dramatic for a film that deals with such serious issues. I do not agree. The film is just entertaining and deals with much deeper issues without, admittedly, the glitz of a prestige production.