TC Candler

The Films of 2020

The GOOD

(Recommended Films Released This Year)

The Assistant

“Ozark” star, Julia Garner stars as a young, naive assistant to a film producer.  Only in the position for five short weeks, she is beginning to realize that the entire office is complicit with the boss’ culture of sexual harassment and abuse of power.  The film closely observes one day in the life of this young woman’s job… from lights on to lights off. 

8.2 / 10

Tigertail

Tzi Ma stars in this wistful tale of the lifelong memories of a Taiwanese immigrant to the United States.  “Tigertail” is a patient film with superb performances and a truly touching conclusion that will warm the soul.

7.4 / 10

The Trip to Greece

The fourth in the renowned travel series is yet another success from Steven Coogan and Rob Brydon.  While none of the sequels have fully lived up to the masterful 2011 original, all of them have had solid laughs and surprising poignancy.

7.3 / 10

Spenser Confidential

Mark Wahlberg has teamed up with director, Peter Berg, yet again, to deliver a solid run-of-the-mill cop corruption drama that hits all of the familiar beats.  It is meat and potatoes film-making that comfortably clears the bar for acceptable entertainment.

6.5 / 10

Extraction

Chris Hemsworth delivers a solid meat and potatoes action flick with “John Wick” level action.  It is fast paced and generally easy to follow.  Character development is at a bare minimum, but it manages to wow with some cool one-take sequences and great fight scenes.

6.4 / 10

Escape from Pretoria

Daniel Radcliffe heads to prison in this true story of a 1970’s group of freedom fighters and truth-tellers in apartheid South Africa.  Their ingenious plan makes for a decent film — although it does skip over some key plot points that would have been interesting to see.

6.3 / 10

Swallow

Haley Bennett stars as a wealthy newlywed housewife who begins to swallow random objects around her luxurious home in order to feel something… anything.  Her empty, vapid life is too much to bear.  The central performance is brilliant.  The film itself is a bit sparse.

6.2 / 10

The Average

(Forgettable Films in the Middle of the Pack)

The Night Clerk

A man with aspergers syndrome gets a gig working the night shift at a local hotel.  In order to learn how to interact socially, he records the guests and mimics their conversations.  One night, he sees something that he shouldn’t have.  It all feels sub-par and not daring enough.

4.5 / 10

Vivarium

This is a brilliant concept for a 30-minute short film, dragged kicking and screaming out to a 97-minute feature.  This metaphorical tale of suburban angst and relationship boredom has very little to say and no place to go.  It becomes aimless and meandering.

3.5 / 10

The BAD

(Movies That Just Didn’t Work on Any Level)

The Hunt

While, in principle, I support the notion of liberal elites violently executing deplorable Trump supporters, this film lacks the courage of its convictions.  The satire lacks wit.  The film isn’t brave enough to choose a side.  This is weak sauce that tries to have it both ways.

2.7 / 10

The Wrong Missy

Here is yet another Adam Sandler Netflix bomb… this time, without Adam Sandler.  You know exactly what you are going to get… a handful of weak laughs, the usual cast of characters, a Hawaiian location, and very lazy movie-making.  Cheap, lame, mildly cheerful, crap.

2.5 / 10

The Worst of the year

(Hate-Filled Pieces of Crap)

Underwater

Kristen Stewart stars in this cheap “Alien” rip-off.  The “Underwater” scenes are murky and provide very few scares.  The characters could be described on the back of a postage stamp.  A completely underwhelming film that didn’t have high expectations to begin with.

1.8 / 10

The Invisible Man

Hands down, one of the dumbest films of 2020.  This is a ludicrous tale of a wife being abused by a “billionaire-optics-expert” who fakes his own death in order to stalk her invisibly.  It has two or three stylish moments early on… and then just devolves into cliché and silliness.

1.4 / 10

Yes… There is a Section Lower than the Worst Movies of the Year!
I Present a List of Films That I Absolutely Refuse to Watch… (Because I am a Pretentious Film Snob).

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