Best and Worst Films of 2020, According to Ryan: Part Two

2020 was a truly bizarre year for film. Due to COVID-19, theaters were largely shuttered and many films got delayed releases. With there being a much smaller pool of films to review, I decided to go with a different format and make a single list of the best to worst movies. So, for your enjoyment, here are the movies from 2020 worth talking about — the good, the bad, and the ugly:

9. The Way Back

Bron Studios, Mayhem Pictures

An inspiring story about the road to redemption for one high school basketball coach, masterfully played by Ben Affeleck. It’s no Hoosiers, but still quite good. Emotional and authentic. 3/5 stars.

10. The Rental

Courtesy of IFC Films
Courtesy of IFC Films

The Rental is a basic horror screenplay, but quite well done. The main cast (Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, Jermey Allen White) is stellar and the initial storyline of a dysfunctional group spending a weekend together would have been a pretty good stand-alone concept for this movie. However, once the horror aspect comes in things really start to pop. This is Dave Franco’s directorial debut, a very promising start. 3/5 stars.

11. Love Birds

© Skip Bolen / Netflix

This is standard date-night fare, but the chemistry between the two main characters is what puts it over the top. Lots of fun humor and absurd situations. 3/5 stars.

12. Unhinged

Burek Films, Solstice Studios

I was very disappointed with the ending. The setting was perfect for a drawn-out, suspenseful finale but things concluded super fast. So many missed opportunities. With a powerhouse like Russell Crowe, this should have been a great film — but things just fell flat. 2/5 stars.

13. The Rhythm Section

Eon Productions Ltd.

Blake Lively turned in a great performance, but unfortunately it is wasted on a predictable screenplay. I’ve seen this film being compared to the James Bond series (it was produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, both key figures in the franchise since the 1970s), but it’s far too slow and incompetent to even come close. The best part of this movie is Sleigh Bells’ cover of Lead Belly’s version of Where Did You Sleep Last Night? — truly awe-inspiring. 1/5 stars.

14. The Hunt

Courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

This looked like fun, but ended up being an ultra-gory, trope-filled look at modern American politics. Utterly exhausting to sit through. This was the last movie I saw in-person before my local theater was shut down and, boy, talk about going out on a low note. 1/5 stars.

15. Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island

Courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

A jumbled mess with so many different genres it’ll make your head spin — melodrama, war drama, sex comedy, and horror. Extremely boring and a major disappointment, the production team really dropped the ball on this one. 0/5 five stars.

16. Wonder Woman 1984

Courtesy of DC Comics and Warner Bros.

My entire household had high hopes for this one, but we came away severely disappointed. Wonder Woman 1984 is only ten minutes longer than it’s 2017 predecessor, but it feels more like ten years. The pacing is terrible, the storyline absurd, and the saccharine ending truly inspires outrage. Also, when it comes to the ‘80s setting, filmmakers somewhat succeeded it making it seem authentic but also failed to a certain degree — I spotted at least one character wearing ‘90s-esque baggy jeans (ugh). The worst movie of 2020, by far. 0/5 stars.

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