For film lovers, to say 2020 has been disappointing would be an understatement. What was supposed to be a year full of blockbusters and probable Oscar nominees has turned into one of the driest periods of time in film history. Release dates are being pushed back left and right, and going to the movies has become a thing of the past.
Despite the drought, the year hasn’t been a total loss. No, there aren’t movies coming out left and right at the moment, but there are a few that have quietly impressed. They’re no Marvel blockbuster, but they’re worth a watch.
Here are a few of the 2020 movies we found at the very least fun and at the very most, some of the best of the year.
It’s tough to make a sizable list of good 2020 releases, but there are a few that have made a bleak year a little brighter. Disclaimer, if your favorite movie of the year isn’t on the list, it’s probably just because we haven’t seen it. Movie theaters aren’t exactly the place to be right now.
Palm Springs – ★★★★
Palm Springs is by far a standout in an otherwise underwhelming year. Starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, this is a rom-com with a fun twist. To describe the plot even in the slightest will give a lot away but here’s the gist, two people have a chance encounter at a wedding that goes south quickly when they are unable to escape the venue. The rest is for you to find out. Plot summaries aside, Palm Springs is funny and heartfelt, balancing the lighthearted with the more emotional moments perfectly. The chemistry of the two leads carries the film, along with a fun premise, making it easily re-watchable.
Unpregnant – ★★★★
Another 2020 release that perfects the balance between playful and emotional is Unpregnant. This one follows an Ivy League bound high schooler, Veronica, played by Haley Lu Richardson. When Veronica discovers she’s pregnant, her future education and career plans are in jeopardy. She makes the decision to travel across the country so she can legally get an abortion. Joining her is a friend from her past, Bailey, played by Barbie Ferreira. Together, the pair have some fun and of course get into trouble along the way. It’s fun, absurd, and heartwarming all at the same time. At the end of the day this is all about friendship, and it leaves you feeling warm by the end of it.
Birds of Prey – ★★★★
Once upon a time before the pandemic Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) hit theaters. Following the disappointing Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey allowed a fan favorite character in Harley Quinn to shine. After an explosive breakup with the Joker, Harley has a target on her back as she has run-ins with numerous city villains. She does, however, come across three new allies in Huntress, Black Canary and Renee Montoya. In a world of ultra-serious superhero movies, Birds of Prey is funny, vulgar, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s underlying girl-power message is something you don’t find too often in the genre, and the change of pace pays off.
These next films aren’t the best of the best, but a fun watch nonetheless. What else do you have to do when you’re stuck at home anyway? We highly recommend a Netflix party with some friends for these.
The Half of It – ★★★½
Yet another rom-com that does a lot of things right. The Half of It is all about Ellie Chu, a shy high schooler who is hired by a sweet but inarticulate jock to help impress one of the most popular girls in school. They form an unlikely friendship but things get complicated when Ellie realizes she has feelings for the same girl. The plot is nothing new for the teen genre, but the cast is charming enough to make it enjoyable. Not to mention it’s one of the few LGBTQ+ stories of its kind, which helps it stand out.
The Devil All the Time – ★★★½
To say that this crime thriller is fun seems wrong given some of these plot lines, but it’s really appropriate The Devil All the Time is messy, and at times unnerving, and even though it’s not amazing, it was an entertaining watch. The cast alone is reason enough to check it out, featuring, Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Riley Keough, and Bill Skarsgård to name a few. Set in rural Ohio, Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) and his family come across a number of morally bankrupt characters. Give this one a chance, it starts off a bit slow but by the ending you will be thoroughly entertained (and a bit uneasy.)
Although 2020 doesn’t have much to show when it comes to movies, there is plenty of fun to be had with the few that have been released this year. What they all have in common is a much-needed escape, and that’s all anyone really needs right now.
Cover photos: IMDb