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The Best Films Of 2020: GoC’s Top 10 Titles Of The Year

2020 has been hard for those of us who love going to movie theatres. In this wild year where we faced this thing called a pandemic, we had to turn to our televisions and computers in order to watch some of our films. Although the conditions may have been different, the quality of films remained the same. This year has given us a plethora of great cinema and we mostly found them in an unexpected place, streaming. So, coming up with GoC’s Top 10 Films of 2020 was rather difficult task to be honest.

That being said, here are 10 films that we thoroughly enjoyed, live rent-free in our minds and are easily accessible right now. All can be rented, bought, or streamed on one of the many streaming platforms (which you will find links to in the titles).

GOC’s choices for the best films of 2020:

The Invisible Man – Directed by Leigh Whannell

The Best Films Of 2020
(Courtesy of Universal Pictures)

“This is a prime example of elevated horror, a film not just meant to scare the audience, but provide insightful commentary and a perspective we don’t often see. I thoroughly look forward to what the brilliant mind of Leigh Whannell has to offer in the future. I highly recommend anyone who enjoys the horror genre or these classic monsters to check out Whannell’s reimagining.” – Sabrina Ramirez

Read the rest of Sabrina’s review here.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Directed by George C. Wolfe

(Courtesy of Netflix)

“Both Davis and Boseman expertly weave through their characters’ ups and downs to create a fully-rounded persona in a short amount of time. I’ve never seen either in roles such as these and quite frankly, they ate every moment up. It was very easy as a viewer to fall in love with these performances which are a tour de force. Davis and Boseman are deserving of each and every nomination (and hopefully wins) they may be up for this awards season.” – Britany Murphy

Read the rest of Britany’s review here.

The Old Guard – Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood

(Courtesy of Netflix)

“Sometimes with films with an ensemble cast, the characterization of many can get lost in translation. However, this is something that thankfully never happens in The Old Guard. The story was well-paced and I enjoyed the history and mythology lessons that were learned along the way. The glimpses into the pasts of our immortals were some of the most compelling parts of the film and were perfectly pieced together with the amazing fight choreography. Yet again, 2020 has blessed us with another awesome comic book film directed by a woman.” – Britany Murphy

Read the rest of Britany’s review here.

Soul – Co-Directed by Pete Docter & Kemp Powers

(Courtesy of Disney+)

“This movie does a great job of handling what some would consider adult themes such as death and questions like “what it means to live”. It truly is a testament to the writers on the breakdown of these questions and answers for all levels to comprehend, and resonate with you just as deeply.” – Dorian Parks

Read the rest of Dorian’s review here.

Hamilton – Directed by Thomas Kail

(Courtesy of Disney+)

“The play is a little under three hours with a one-minute intermission. Needless to say, every single minute is thrilling and leaves no room for boredom. Even though you may know what happens next because of history, you will still find yourself wondering what will happen next as so much of the play is an unexpected reimagining of historical facts and figures.” – Rihaana Stark

Read the rest of Rihaana’s review here.

The Half of It – Directed by Alice Wu

(Courtesy of Netflix)

“Alice Wu has created a masterpiece with The Half of It. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the other characters in the film, Leah Lewis and Alexxis Lemire as Ellie and Aster respectively, are soft and dynamic in their dynamic together. I would give my whole heart for Ellie, Aster, and Ellie’s dad. The intimacy from each character conveys so much understanding, longing, and trying. While I personally would not rewatch the film any time soon, as a whole, The Half of It is beautiful, stirring, and emotional, and certainly worth a watch.” – Josephine L.

Read the rest of Josephine’s review here.

TIE: Da 5 Bloods, Small Axe (Five Film Collection) & One Night in Miami.

Yes, there is a seven-way tie between Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, Steve McQueen’s anthology film series Small Axe, and Regina Hall’s One Night in Miami. These films, amongst others released across the year, are part of a large and rich tapestry of the stories of Black people in the US and the UK. All are deserving of a place on our best of list and all are worth watching if you are able to.

(Courtesy of Netflix)

“Spike Lee utilizes all of the tools in his toolbox to make this movie great. From directing breathtaking performances from a squad of the veteran character actors to addressing the societal/personal repercussions of the war to the tense, suspenseful environment around a modern-day Vietnam, Spike Lee elevates what could’ve been a standard adventure movie into an impactful, abrasive story of loss, triumph, and self-discovery.” – Robert Butler III

Read the rest of his Robert’s review here.

(Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video)

“Simply put, Mangrove is one of the best films to be released this year. Mangrove tells an essential and poignant tale that everyone should familiarize themselves with, and I am glad that McQueen brought this story to a broader audience. Showcasing a masterclass in both directing and cast performances, Mangrove is certainly a film that should be on everyone’s watchlists right now.” – Britany Murphy

Read the rest of Britany’s review here.

“The film is an ode to the romantic reggae genre “lovers rock” and McQueen is determined to have you fall in love with it. McQueen is not set on just simply having a passive showcase of a night of laughter, romance, singing and dancing. He wants the audience to experience it. No matter who you are, there is nothing that can deter you from enjoying the party.” – Ferdosa Abdi

Read the rest of Ferdosa’s review here.

(Courtesy of Amazon)

One Night in Miami is a bit of a slow burn. However, the end results are well worth it. Although based on a stage play of the same name, King does a particularly good job at making the happenings of One Night in Miami not seem like everything is only happening in the Miami hotel room. Much of the film is understated and that makes the emotional beats all the more compelling, including the differences between the lives of these four men.” – Britany Murphy

Read the rest of Britany’s review here.

Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell

(Courtesy of Focus Features)

“Clearly, Fennell wanted to make sure that every possibility and every outcome was explored within the film, regardless of how the audience may receive it. With a strong script and powerful performances, Promising Young Woman is exactly the kind of film that will likely live in your mind rent-free for months to come. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this one.” – Britany Murphy

Read the rest of Britany’s review here.

Palm Springs – Directed by Max Barbakow

(Courtesy of Hulu)

Palm Springs is, undoubtedly, one of the best romantic comedies we’ve seen in years because it breaks down the way we engage with films of the genre. The reason some consider rom-coms played-out is because nothing has ever come along that revitalizes it with this kind of energy. The writing is intelligent, playing off the normal cliches that we typically see in a very self aware way. We know the way this film will end, but how enthralling and entertaining the journey is compensates for all of that.” – Sabrina Ramirez

Read the rest of Sabrina’s review here.

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – Directed by Cathy Yan

(Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

“A group of badass women, who do badass things, but do not solely rely on just that. These are characters who are nuanced, flawed and come with a lot of baggage, but they still come together as a unit to form an unlikely kinship, and an even more unlikely team. While the film may not be perfect to some, I would be surprised if you could look past its great action, perfectly timed comedy and performances that are impossible to get enough of.” – Britany Murphy

Read the rest of Britany’s review here.

Honourable Mentions:

The GoC team has seen many films this year, all great in their own right. However, not every film can make a list like this. So let us take a moment to honour the greats that didn’t make it, but we really did like: Tigertail, Minari, Over the Moon, His House, Wolfwalkers, Beans, Wonder Woman 1984, The King of Staten Island and Sound of Metal.

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