TC Candler

The Films of 2020

The GOOD

(Recommended Films Released This Year)

Persian Lessons (GER)

A Jewish prisoner, at the height of WWII, pretends to be Persian in order to teach the camp commandant the language he dreams of learning.  His life depends on inventing, and remembering, the words to his farcical Farsi.  This riveting drama is superbly acted by the two central leads, and wonderfully directed by Vadim Perelman.  

9.5 / 10

Riders of Justice (DEN)

Mads Mikkelsen stars in this Danish gem, that somehow manages to balance truly serious drama and violence with some of the funniest scenes of the year.  Think “Taken” meets “Reservoir Dogs” meets “Office Space”.  It’s like the cinematic equivalent of dipping fries into milkshakes… don’t knock it till you try it!

9.4 / 10

Sputnik (RUS)

Oksana Akinshina (from the legendary 2002 film “Lilya 4-ever”) stars as a doctor assigned to a remote Russian facility to study a Soviet cosmonaut, whose mission crash landed under mysterious circumstances.  I was fully immersed in 1983 cold-war Russia.  The mood was eerie.  The effects were seamless.  The story riveting.

9.3 / 10

Nomadland

Frances McDormand carries the weight and the pain of a woman who doesn’t fit anywhere in the modern world.  Her husband has passed.  Her small home town has died due to the crash of 2008.  She is alone and poor and heads out on the open road to live a nomadic life.  Directed by Chloé Zhao, this film was shot with a supporting cast of many actual “van-life” nomads who lend tremendous authenticity.

9.3 / 10

The Vast of Night

This little gem about a 1950’s small town UFO encounter is a must watch.  There are so many original cinematic touches that work a charm.  I loved the ‘fades to black’.  The overlapping dialogue is energetic and realistic.  The soundscape is brilliant.  The camerawork is mind-blowing.  The ending is pitch perfect.  Great storytelling!

9.3 / 10

Black Bear

Aubrey Plaza shines in a film that I don’t really know how to describe.  The film is split into two halves… both set in a luxury cabin in the Adirondacks… both exploring the struggle of the creative process and the nature of infidelity.  Sarah Gadon and Christopher Abbott are also fantastic here.  “Black Bear” is a film snob’s film… and I loved it.

9.3 / 10

I’m Your Woman

Rachel Brosnahan is a special actress.  In this film, she plays the wife of a 1970’s gangster, who is forced on-the-run with her infant child.  She has to quickly evolve from a coddled rich girl to a fully-fledged do-whatever-it-takes bad-ass mother… to save herself and her baby.

9.2 / 10

Sound of Metal

Riz Ahmed gives one of the best performances of the year as, Ruben, a heavy-metal drummer, touring the club scene with his lead-singer girlfriend.  They live a nomadic, simple life, bouncing from one gig to another.  One day, Ruben experiences hearing loss and it deteriorates rapidly.  This film superbly explores the shocking and immediate change of lifestyle that accompanies going deaf.

9.1 / 10

Deliver Us from Evil (KOR)

Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae face off as an unstoppable force and an immoveable object in this revenge thriller.  As expected in a Korean production, the action scenes are stellar and the cinematography is out of this world.  It doesn’t redefine the genre, as there are many of the classic tropes… However, it packs an emotional punch and hits all the notes you’d want from a movie like this.

9.0 / 10

The Burnt Orange Heresy

Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger & Donald Sutherland are all in top form with a superb script.  The film deals with fine art… the criticism of art… the truth of art… and the theft of art.  It is brilliant little heist movie that will have you thinking about every spoken word.

8.8 / 10

Beasts Clawing at Straws (KOR)

This Korean thriller has elements of “Grosse Pointe Blank” and “Bad Times at the El Royale”… stolen money, double-crosses, murder and bloody mayhem.  It combines heist thrills with dark humor in a swirling tornado of greed.  I had a really good time with this one.

8.8 / 10

Lost Girls and Love Hotels

Alexandra Daddario gives one of the best performances of 2020.  She stars as Margaret, an American in Tokyo, who lives as a flight attendant instructor by day, and a submissive broken sex-addict for random strangers to enjoy by night.  It is moody and atmospheric… Shot beautifully and acted impeccably.  It is an exercise in blistering cold cynicism, with a smattering of hope and romance.

8.7 / 10

Mulan

The ethereal beauty, Liu Yifei, stars as the legendary Chinese character, “Mulan”.  This is a grand epic that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen you can find.  The battle sequences are breathtaking.  The cinematography is gorgeous.  However, the main reason to watch is the superb central performance by Liu Yifei.  I was fully immersed in this version of the famous Chinese folk tale.

8.5 / 10

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

The Dissident

Yet another fantastic documentary from Bryan Fogel, the man who directed the engaging 2017 film, “Icarus”.  This time, he turns his lens to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, ordered by the fascist dictator of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.  This is superb truth-telling.

7.8 / 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

Come to Daddy

Elijah Wood is summoned by his estranged father to visit him after vanishing for thirty years.  When he arrives, things get very creepy indeed.  This film bounces from thriller to comedy to horror… all in a breezy ninety-minute clip.  This wacky trip entertained throughout.

7.3 / 10

Promising Young Woman

This film had me, then lost me, then totally grabbed me again… and right at the end, completely lost me a second time.  Carey Mulligan is terrific.  The visuals are superb.  The plot is, at times, absolutely riveting.  The message is one I agree with wholeheartedly.  However, the contrivances, especially in the final 10 minutes, are so absurd that it became laughable.  If the film had had the courage to end before the big “satisfactory” reveal… it would have been far more powerful.

7.2 / 10

The Call (KOR)

You have to buy into the absurd concept of a phone call traveling through time… and there are literally dozens of logical leaps your sane mind will have to make… but if you accept the premise, this Korean thriller generates serious chills.  Park Shin-hye is fantastic and pulls together all the loose ends with a superb central performance.

7.1 / 10

The Man Standing Next (KOR)

Lee Byung-hun stars, in this true story, as the right hand man to South Korea’s 1979 President.  The film details his actions in the forty days that preceded his decision to assassinate that President.  The film is a well made and superbly acted recreation of that event.

7.0 / 10

Driveways

A quiet, intimate little film about a woman, and her 9-year-old son, clearing out her recently passed sister’s house.  While there, they befriend a widower neighbor with stories of his own to tell.  The conversations and the connections all feel very authentic and it makes for a peaceful, kind-hearted film about family and loss. 

7.0 / 10

My Octopus Teacher

Oddly, I was recommended this documentary by an actual K-pop star on Instagram.  Without seeing that post, I would have likely never seen this small, intimate story about a man and his best friend… an octopus.  He spends 365 consecutive days swimming with and filming his best friend… until the inevitable, touching and inspirational ending.

7.0 / 10

Fatman

“Fatman” is a film about a cash-strapped Santa Claus who has to take on a US military contract, with his factory of elves, in order to make ends meet. Meanwhile a wealthy pre-teen asshole gets a lump of coal for Christmas, and hires a hitman, who owns a depressed hamster, to kill Santa.  It feels like the Christmas movie Tarantino never made.

6.9 / 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.

6.7 / 10

Extraction

Chris Hemsworth delivers a solid action flick with “John Wick” level visuals and choreography.  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.

6.6 / 10

Time to Hunt (KOR)

This is a solid heist-gone-wrong / chase movie set in a dystopian future Korea.  Four astonishingly incompetent criminals rob a casino and try to flee to safety.  However, a virtually un-killable assassin is hunting them down.  The film is kept afloat by moments of gripping suspense, but it is often let down by its hard-to-believe shoot-outs and stand-offs.

6.5 / 10

Minari

The story of a Korean family moving to Arkansas, in the 1980’s, to pursue the so-called American dream, by starting their own farm.  It is a beautifully acted and poignant film, semi-autobiographically based on the director’s own childhood.  Perhaps “Minari” is a little too personal to have universal appeal… but there is no denying its qualities.

6.5 / 10

Lovers Rock (Small Axe)

Steve McQueen directs one of the episodes in his Amazon Prime “Small Axe” anthology.  “Lovers Rock” is a brisk 70 minute journey back to a 1980 house party in the West Indian community of London.  You can smell, taste and feel this film.  The authenticity is its strength.  The brevity is its weakness.  Perhaps it is a little slight.

6.5 / 10

News of the World

Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel star in “True Grit 2: This Time It’s Personal”.  All jokes aside, this is a rather routine western with good performances and lovely cinematography.  A few of the obstacles that the plot contrives feel a tad forced… but ultimately, it is a nice little story about the meaning of home.  Helena Zengel is a future star!

6.4 / 10

Blackpink: Light Up the Sky

A peak behind the curtain of the biggest musical act of this generation… This documentary feels a little bit like an introduction to new fans, rather than an in-depth exploration for actual fans.  It is fascinating to see these extraordinarily talented girls, behind the scenes, from discovery to debut to worldwide success.  I just wish it had dug deeper.  Perhaps that will come in a film a decade from now.

6.4 / 10

The Nest

This is a film that relentlessly dissects the veneer of marital and workplace pretense.  Jude Law and Carrie Coon are terrific as the 1980’s couple who play along with upper class social construct for as long as they can… before they crumble.  The film is superbly acted, but lacks a meaningful resolution.  It essentially says… Look at these pitiful people and wallow in their shallow misery.

6.3 / 10

On the Rocks

Sofia Coppola teams up with Bill Murray for the first time since their 2003 masterpiece.  The film has him leading his daughter around NYC on a mission to catch her husband having an affair.  It all feels very slight — like a caper comedy about rich people problems.  Murray’s charisma carries the bulk of the running time, and there are some good scenes.  However, it lacks any and all profundity… settling for mild chuckles and forgoing the sting in the tail that the film so desperately needed.

6.3 / 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

Bad Education

Hugh Jackman gives a terrific performance in this true-life story of a high-school superintendent who embezzled millions from his own school district.  The film slightly over-estimates its magnitude, but nevertheless manages to hold interest throughout.

6.2 / 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

Collective

A Romanian documentary about the aftermath of a 2015 night club fire, and the systemic corruption of the healthcare system, makes for an infuriating watch.  It makes you realize that, all around the world, there are governments that are trading human lives for money.

6.1 / 10

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Sometimes you come across a movie that has no flaws… but you know that you will never watch it again.  Such is the case here.  The film has terrific performances and it touches on important issues.  Perhaps it is a little too somber and self-serious for its own good.

6.0 / 10

Ammonite

Set on the dreary southern coast of Britain in the 1840’s, “Ammonite” is the story of a lesbian love affair between a repressed fossil hunter and a young wife who is overcoming the loss of a child.  The entire film feels like a weaker version of 2019’s, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”.  That French movie captured the restrained passion, whereas this effort doesn’t let the spark ignite.  Still, Winslet and Ronan are superb.

6.0 / 10

The Average

(Forgettable Films in the Middle of the Pack)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Sacha Baron Cohen revisits his most famous character in what feels like another in a long line of tired retread comedies.  What was groundbreaking 15 years ago is now a tad uninspired.  Sure, there are a handful of good chuckles… However, the main takeaway from this film is that the red half of America is one of the least educated (verging on mentally challenged) basket of deplorables in the world.  But again… Everyone already knew that.

5.9 / 10

Another Round (DEN)

“Another Round” (a.k.a. “Druk”) has a fascinating premise, but a messy, stumbling plot that never quite allows for a good film.  Four teachers explore the idea that keeping their blood alcohol levels around 0.5 might make their banal lives and dull classrooms a little more exciting… not only for them, but the people around them.  Perhaps director, Thomas Vinterberg, should have had a few more shots before filming… or a few less.

5.9 / 10

The Social Dilemma

This is a documentary that tells us we are addicted to social media… and that it is bad.  No shit!  I don’t disagree with much of the information in “The Social Dilemma”, but it failed to offer up concrete solutions.  The fact is that society is getting worse and we are all simply along for the ride.  This doc announces the obvious and changes absolutely nothing.

5.8 / 10

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Despite adequately solid production and performances, there are a few major flaws in Aaron Sorkin’s film.  It never feels cinematic — instead presenting itself like a television reenactment of a fifty year old trial.  It also takes obvious liberties with the actual events in order to shoehorn in cheesy clichés.  Perhaps most egregious is the force-fed message that harkens present day unrest.  While I happen to agree with that message, it induces overt and repeated eye-rolling.

5.8 / 10

First Cow

Listen, director Kelly Reichardt’s films are always extremely methodical… verging on slow.  They are always gorgeously shot and tremendously well acted.  However, sometimes the languid pace masquerades as cinematic depth.  Sometimes it is simply dull.

5.8 / 10

Sylvie’s Love

The lead performances from Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha are the strength of film.  It also features some nice late-fifties sets, costumes and cinematography.  However, writer-director, Eugene Ashe stumbles and fumbles his way through some forced clichés and thick melodrama.  The way the plot manipulates the fate of the central couple, when simple one minute conversations would solve all their troubles… Well, it makes for a frustrating watch that tests our patience.

5.5 / 10

7500

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as the pilot of a hijacked plane heading to Paris.  The movie has some tense moments, but flounders due to multiple stretches of dead-air and a poorly written character in Vedat, the hijacker with a change of heart.  The film feels cheap.

5.3 / 10

Honest Thief

“Honest Thief” (aka “Taken 17”) feels small and cheap.  Liam Neeson has been kicking and punching his way through action movies for over a decade now.  This is one of the more forgettable versions of the same schtick.  Kate Walsh is aggressively bad.  Jai Courtney is the cliché bad cop.  Everyone is mailing it in and collecting a check.

4.9 / 10

Wonder Woman 1984

The general rule of thumb with rating superhero movies is that the smaller they are, the better.  The ones that self-aggrandize and try to be the biggest, most spectacular extravaganzas typically suck.  The 2017 original absolutely nailed it (with the exception of a clichéd ending).  This 2020 sequel bites off so much that it is positively gagging.  The enormously bloated 150 minute running time is not nearly enough to make sense of a plot that feels like it is on fast-forward.

4.7 / 10

Eurovision Song Contest

“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” is a harmless spoof of the infamous competition.  The jokes are mild.  The romance is tepid.  The songs are thankfully better than the real contest normally delivers.  At two hours, it is far too long.  And the best thing about the film, “Volcano Man”, is barely even featured.  A mediocre effort.

4.6 / 10

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

Greenland

Who cares if 99.9% of the planet gets incinerated? The most important thing is that a rich family’s son gets his insulin pack. This is a “2012” / “Day After Tomorrow” clone, with so much coincidence and random luck, both good and bad, that it breaks the cinematic scale. The catastrophic meteor special effects are also really generic, as if they were made on Windows 95.  Other than that, it is mindless fun.

4.4 / 10

#Alive (KOR)

This Korean zombie flick is filled with clichés.  It feels like a weaker version of the 2018 French film, “The Night Eats the World”.  There are far too many scenes that strain credulity.  Park Shin-hye is the film’s strongest piece… but even her talents cannot save the experience.

4.4 / 10

The Midnight Sky

George Clooney has starred in a number of good movies… but his directorial efforts have always been left wanting.  In “The Midnight Sky”, he directs himself in a derivative story that never gains much momentum and is filled with scenes lifted directly from other, better films (“The Martian”, “Gravity”, “The Grey”, “Interstellar”, “Contact” etc.).

4.3 / 10

Palm Springs

A weak-sauce rip-off of “Groundhog Day”, but with particularly unlikable characters who never really show the growth that Bill Murray did in that 1993 classic.  It is all so slight and insignificant.  I chuckled twice.

4.2 / 10

The BAD

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

Peninsula (KOR)

The sequel to “Train to Busan” does so many things poorly compared to its predecessor.  The effects, action and zombies are all so overtly CGI that they have zero weight or visual impact…  It is like watching a video game.  Also, the characters are all rather thinly drawn, so we don’t really care much about them or their survival.

3.8 / 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

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Charlie Kaufman is so odd that his films become very hit or miss.  Sometimes he hits and misses in the same film.  In this absurdist tale, there are stretches of fascinating dialogue performed masterfully by the entire cast.  However, the overall abstraction becomes so manic and personal that only its creator, Kaufman himself, could make any sense of it.  In classic form, he leaves it so vague that some rabid fans will claim genius where there is none.

3.5 / 10

The Old Guard

An overlong, overly self-serious mess.  Charlize Theron headlines an immortal group of ethnically and sexually diverse soldiers, who are being hunted for their DNA by an absurdly cheesy bad guy and his henchmen.  Remove Theron from the production and you have a straight-to-hulu’s bargain bin movie that would be seen by no one.

3.4 / 10

Greyhound

One of my most anticipated 2020 films lands with a dull thud.  Excluding credits, this movie is 78 minutes long… and 75 of those minutes are spent listening to Hanks scream orders like, “Left Full Rudder! Bearing Two Niner Zero! Hard to Starboard!”  There is zero character development… and Elisabeth Shue (who gets second billing) has exactly 15 seconds of screen-time.  What a disappointment. 

3.4 / 10

Da 5 Bloods

Spike Lee’s 2020 effort starts off nicely, but dwindles into implausible absurdity in the second half.  Some weak performances, and a plot that goes completely off the rails, makes for a massively disappointing film.  Also, the “message” is so on-the-nose that it feels like the director is winking at us while whispering, “Do ya get it?”

3.2 / 10

Lucky Grandma

An aging Grandma, who is grumpy and rude with everyone in her life, steals tens of thousands from a stranger, who dies on the bus seat right next to her.  Her actions endanger her 11-year-old grandson’s life, and she learns nothing in the process.  This bitter character is a selfish moron… and we are supposed to find her charming?

3.1 / 10

Breaking Surface (SWE)

This Swedish scuba-disaster pic is so frustrating.  The premise has two sisters going on a freezing cold dive in an icy fjord, when a rockslide traps one of them at the bottom.  Unfortunately, for us, the capable sister is trapped and the completely inept, miserable, loser is the one who has to save the day.  By the end, I was rooting against her.

3.1 / 10

Tesla

This biopic was one of my most anticipated of 2020.  Sadly, it is as dull as a Wikipedia entry… sprinkled with two scenes of anachronistic music and a secondary character reciting Google search statistics.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Ethan Hawke is as reliable as they come… but even his talents are insufficient in bringing this dead script to life.

3.1 / 10

Hamilton

A decidedly uncinematic recording of the actual Broadway hit play.  The story is very exposition heavy.  It plays out like a high-school musical that conveniently glosses over some inconvenient historical facts.  This should have been developed into an actual film or remained as a play.  As it stands, unless you love the music (I didn’t), this is a bust.

3.0 / 10

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

Yes, God, Yes

This is just such a nothing film.  Nothing to hate, but nothing to love either.  A teenage catholic school girl goes to Jesus camp and discovers that everyone is lying and that porn is fun.  Big whoop!  It generates zero laughs and has an obvious point to make.

2.4 / 10

Unhinged

A gargantuan Russel Crowe road rages his way into a murderous spree as he relentlessly torments a young mother who honked at him at an intersection.  The plot is as dumb as it sounds.  The inevitable and utterly predictable conclusion is cheesy and lame.  I give the cast a smidge of credit for making the most out of very little.

2.1 / 10

The Worst of the year

(Hate-Filled Pieces of Crap)

Tenet

Christopher Nolan’s latest film confuses complexity with depth.  He wants so badly for it to be profound, but it is actually a ludicrous mess.  The film is basically “Inception”, minus characters we care about, and exchanging layered consciousness for time reversal.  There are times during the film’s final third that are more confusing than listening to someone explaining string theory in ancient Sanskrit… backwards!  At some point, I just stopped caring entirely.  I am sure there is a Nolan fanboy out there who will spend the next couple of months trying to explain away all the plot-holes with well articulated points.  Please let me not meet that guy!

1.9 / 10

The Vanished

Perhaps the most implausible, preposterous plot of 2020 belongs to “The Vanished”.  An insane final twist tries to redeem all the lunacy that precedes it… But your brain will have long since scrambled due to the moronic central characters and the absurd happenings along the way.

1.9 / 10

Antebellum

I like Janelle Monáe, but she is utterly wasted in this absurd film with an even more absurd twist.  The woke message is an obvious one, spread too thickly, and one that comes across as preaching to the choir.  The violence is exploitative and feels gratuitous.  I didn’t like this film at all.  It had nothing to say… and it said it loudly.

1.8 / 10

The Beast (ITA)

Fabrizio Gifuni is the Italian Liam Neeson in this kidnapped-daughter-rescue-revenge plot.  What starts off as an intriguing genre flick quickly dwindles into a low-energy, blood-soaked mess, interspersed with the occasional slow-motion montage, backed by an F-list soundtrack.  I’d rather watch “Taken 3” again.

1.8 / 10

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

Written, directed and starring Jim Cummings, who gives one of the worst performances of 2020, this comedy-thriller has little to offer in the way of laughs or thrills.  The tone is all wrong.  The visuals are cheap.  The ending is grossly unsatisfactory.  A total mess.

1.8 / 10

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.

1.7 / 10

Saint Maud

By definition, horror movies are a lesser form of filmmaking.  They can entertain, when done well, but that’s about it.  Only a handful of very rare exceptions exist in the genre.  “Saint Maud” is not one of them.  It wallows in misery and morose, heavily borrowed religious cliché.  As the closing credits roll, one has to ask… What the hell was the point?

1.5 / 10

Bill & Ted Face the Music

It feels like watching a 1980’s hair-metal band, who had one and a half hits, trying to replay the glory years… but with regular middle-aged man hair, zero energy, and wrinkly skin.  It’s all rather sad and pathetic.  It reminded me of the disastrous “Dumb & Dumber” sequel.  Note to all lazy filmmakers… Never try to recapture the magic!

1.4 / 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

The Silencing

This feels a lot like an episode of Scooby-Doo… but without all the tension and believability.  Do not waste your time on this utter piece of garbage.  It is a joyless, morose, dull and moronic thriller with over a dozen absurd plot-holes and contrivances.

1.3 / 10

Synchronic

A ridiculous time-traveling drug plot that seems to borrow from lots of other bad movies.  Nothing about this concept creates any drama or intrigue whatsoever.  Everyone who watches this will become just a fraction dumber than they were before.  

1.3 / 10

Ava

Jessica Chastain plays an international hit-woman. John Malkovich is her handler. It sounds like a Luc Besson thriller in the making. It’s not. This is a ludicrously hard-to-believe story with soap-opera level writing and stiff performances all around. Everyone has a haunted past… infidelities… alcoholism… gambling addiction… cliché after cliché. At no point did anyone convince me of their character. This feels like the first draft in a college freshman’s scriptwriting class.

1.2 / 10

The Doorman

Imagine Steven Seagal’s body-double is offered his own action movie… a low-budget “Die Hard” clone.  Then imagine that Seagal needs his body double on a shoot in Kyrgyzstan, so they have to re-cast the film at the last minute.  The only person available is Ruby Rose, a second-rate Angelina Jolie, with no discernable acting talent.  Then imagine Jean Reno has run out of money… and takes this clichéd bad-guy role to pay off his debts to Luc Besson. That’s “The Doorman”.

0.7 / 10

She Dies Tomorrow

A 3-minute short film is stretched out to 85 minutes in this blisteringly dull, pretentious pile of trash.  Vast swathes of cinematic screen time creep by at a snails pace.  I felt like this film was playing a prank on me, duping me out of an hour and a half of my life.  I would rather die tomorrow than watch this hate-filled piece of crap ever again.

0.2 / 10

Hunter Hunter

To earn a flat ZERO… a film has to be the rare combination of incompetent and morally reprehensible.  This vile piece of filth will only appeal to those in the mood to see a family get slaughtered for no explained reason, and a distraught mother get orgasmic torturous revenge while listening to thrash metal.  This is one of the more despicable efforts of all time. 

0.0 / 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).

“Bad Boys for Life”
The last time we saw this pair, it was a disaster.  I have no desire to re-live that.

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