Category Archives: 2020 Films

Reviews: Freaky (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Christopher Landon of the “Happy Death Day” series returns with a new gimmick up his sleeve and it’s a corker of a concept, one which gives us something we didn’t know we needed – Vince Vaughn getting his inner 17 year-old girl on.
  • [New] | Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Freaky is a total scream, in more than one sense of the word.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Not always 100% successful—the plot is easily predictable and contains zero surprises—it’s an effective, screwdriver-stabbing, corpse-sawing good time.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: Freaky’s success lies in its ability to create around [Vaughn’s] central performance and not simply rely upon its absurdity.

Reviews: Rebecca (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

Reviews: The Nest (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Nine longs years after his 2011 debut “Martha Marcy May Marlene” writer/director Sean Durkin returns with another unsettling film whose surface belies what lies beneath.
  • [New] | James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: Durkin exposes the danger of the allure of 80s materialism that was propped up as the American Dream by spotlighting the destructive potential of its cracks.
  • Matt Oakes @
    • Excerpt: This well-acted follow-up feature from Sean Durkin is a ruminant deconstruction of ambition at the cost of a family’s emotional well-being. ‘The Nest’s measured pace and subtle themes may leave some viewers wondering at its meaning but those willing to emotionally engage with Durkin’s work may find themselves helplessly dwelling on exactly that.
  • Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Reviews
    • Excerpt: A curious and disturbing family drama.

Reviews: Lucky Grandma (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: A relatively standard formula is used to add details in character and environment that ring true of underrepresented experiences, and it does so with a sly sense of humor. It’s a promising directorial debut from Sasie Sealy that gives Tsai Chin an opportunity to really shine.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: Wild sass, gentle comedy, shivs of poignancy, and instantly vivid characters add up to a wonderful riff on mob movies as a Chinatown granny faces off against gangsters. Tsai Chin is an absolute hoot.
  • Charlie Juhl @ Citizen Charlie
    • Excerpt: Presenting itself as oddball and left field, Lucky Grandma is not as wry as it thinks it is. Boilerplate plot and the laborious way it unfolds offsets the authentic Chinatown setting leaving the audience with only indifference by the end.
  • Eddie Pasa @ DC Filmdom
  • [New] | Andrew Wyatt @ The Lens

Reviews: Let Him Go (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • [New] | Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Texan Reviews
    • Excerpt: Grief, loss and bonds of family good and bad are the themes in Let Him Go, a sparse, quiet, moving film with three dynamic performances that push the film even higher.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …part old-fashioned Western, and, at its best, a slow burn senior relationship movie before it goes all “Devil’s Rejects” in a Dakota motel room at the beginning of its third act, its new fangled violent extremes at odds with its classicism.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: I haven’t seen a more gripping movie in 2020.
  • [New] | Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: This is western white hat versus black from start to finish, but also a bloody revenge thriller that’s unafraid of putting its heart front and center.

Reviews: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com
    • Excerpt: A Rabelaisian excursion into the absurd.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: …while Mikael Pence is never reached, plenty of CPAC attendees barely glance at Cohen beneath his full KKK regalia and Rudy Giuliani, who thought he’d escaped being made a mockery of, is now being investigated for his (really disgusting) behavior…
  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: Not as impactful as the first, but still incredibly funny. Maria Bakalova steals the show, delivering a brilliant and committed performance that led to some of the funniest moments.
  • [New] | James Jay Edwards @ The Big Smoke America
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: A lot has changed since the first movie. More of the same isn’t enough.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: A work of breathtaking audacity. This is as perilous as comedy gets, and it’s very, very funny, often shockingly so. Sacha Baron Cohen’s scathing cultural strikes land like extinction-level asteroids.
  • Simon Miraudo @ Student Edge
    • Excerpt: Bad news: there’s a pandemic on. Good news: Borat’s back. It’s the trade no one would make, but it’s the one we’re living with.
  • Matt Oakes @
    • Excerpt: Sacha Baron Cohen brings Borat back from the grave to confront 2020 America in ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’. The result is decidedly less iconic (and relies too heavily on scripted rather than unscripted material) but succeeds in delivering gut-busting laughs and Cohen’s brand of shock and awe comedy, while also moving the dial on what Cohen’s particular style of shockumentary is able to offer. Newcomer Maria Bakalova is a treasure.

Reviews: Love and Monsters (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: There’s a lot of fun to be had with this, from its humor to its engaging action sequences to the very charming and vulnerable lead performance from Dylan O’Brien.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @ FlickFilosopher.com
    • Excerpt: This pleasantly silly-sad apocalypse, melancholy with a dash of optimism, smashes clichés and finds fresh angles on the familiar. Dylan O’Brien has a self-deprecating charm; there’s a great dog, too.
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Love and Monsters is the perfect movie if you can’t decide whether you want a romantic-comedy or a horror flick.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: Love and Monsters proves itself a pretty well rounded adventure for both its target audience and those older looking for a bit of escape that’s still firmly rooted in reality.
  • [New] | Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Reviews
    • Excerpt: It’s silly but with some depth thrown in.

Reviews: Synchronic (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: I wouldn’t consider it to be one of the better efforts of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, but it still showcases a lot of the skill and creativity that made them such exciting filmmakers in the first place.
  • Brent McKnight @ The Last Thing I See
    • Excerpt: Ambitious and weird and unlike anything you’re likely to encounter anytime soon.
  • Jared Mobarak @ The Film Stage
    • Excerpt: Where I could forget the genre element in [previous films] to latch onto the people therein, the opposite proves true here. While still objectively enough, I [did want] more.
  • [New] | C.H. Newell @ Father Son Holy Gore
    • Excerpt: There could’ve been compelling arguments made in this film about how a Black man can’t escape racism from one era of history to another, but Synchronic never makes a lasting impression in this respect.
  • Matt Oakes @
    • Excerpt: Sci-fi indie filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead have done it again with the trippy, drug-fueled time travel experiment ‘Synchronic’, which benefits from a strong leading man and an arresting balance of body horror and temporal experimentation.
  • Eddi Pasa @ DC Filmdom
    • Excerpt: Synchronic is one of the best films of the year, another corker of a sci-fi thriller from writing/directing duo Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson.
  • Dennis Schwartz @ Dennis Schwartz Reviews
    • Excerpt: Superficial.
  • Gregory J. Smalley @ 366 Weird Movies
    • Excerpt: The characters are likable, their situations dramatic and relatable, and they’re all set up for a speculative blast that will blow the hinges off. The problem is that when the sci-fi twist arrives, it’s basic and contrived, and not weird enough to compensate for its unbelievability.

Reviews: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: This momentous cultural event from the end of the turbulent 60’s is apt to floor those unfamiliar with the case given the uncanny similarities with events today… The film features a dynamic, sprawling ensemble, one of the best of the year.
  • [New] | Herman Dhaliwal @ Cinema Sanctum
    • Excerpt: For better and for worse, all of Aaron Sorkin’s idiosyncrasies on full display. It is elegant, energetic, and entertaining, but I also found the film and its messaging to be hollow.
  • [New] | Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: No argument that Aaron Sorkin is great at writing courtroom dramas, but the jury is still out on his skills as a director.
  • [New] | Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
    • Excerpt: Even if a couple of the characters get short shrift, the film’s examination of the impact of protest is both fascinating and eerily timely.
  • Jared Mobarak @ JaredMobarak.com
    • Excerpt: It’s a project tailor-made for Aaron Sorkin [that] was surely catnip to write. No wonder its 129-minute runtime flies by like nothing.
  • [New] | Matt Oakes @
    • Excerpt: ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ showcases both Aaron Sorkin’s great skill and his great shortcomings. Telling the true story of a rambunctious American kangaroo court trial, Sorkin’s script is as precise and laser-honed as one would expect but his developing skill as a director still keeps audiences arm’s reach from the emotional core of the material.
  • [New] | Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: Aaron Sorkin’s sophomore effort in the director’s chair – after 2017’s Molly’s Game – is just as compelling, erudite, and masterful as his first. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is one of the best movies of the year so far.

Reviews: The Glorias (2020)

Here are review links for this film submitted by our members:

  • Sarah Boslaugh @ TheArtsSTL
    • Excerpt: Presenting both Steinem’s life and times in a single film thus presents particular challenges, but Julie Taymor and Sarah Ruhl are more than up to the challenge in The Glorias, an unconventional film that is part traditional biopic and part wild experiment, ticking off key events of Steinem’s life (even the adoption of her famous aviator glasses) while engaging in flights of fancy and mixing time periods so that the Glorias of different ages are able to interact with each other.
  • Andrea Chase @ KillerMovieReviews.com
    • Excerpt: From the first frame we are put on notice that this will be a film in which the emotional truth of her life is given equal weight with the factual truths that, while, accurate, cannot hope to convey the same power
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: What can one say about a Gloria Steinem biopic in which she tap dances in a Black barbershop as a child or meets a cutesy couple of Harley enthusiasts in a diner who gush in admiration of her feminism? Corny, say I.
  • RIch Cline @ Shadows on the Wall
    • Excerpt: Refreshingly, the script refuses to pull punches, facing big issues head-on while keeping the story personal
  • [New] | Amir Siregar @ Amir at the Movies [Indonesian]
    • Excerpt: Though feels like a highlight reel at times, the movie never loses its focus and its powerful grip on the viewer’s emotions. Glorious.
  • Josh Taylor @ www.forgetfulfilmcritic.com
    • Excerpt: Once we get to Steinem kicking the patriarchy’s ass – which began when she wrote an undercover piece about the awful working conditions of the “bunny” cocktail waitresses at New York’s Playboy Club in the 1960s – the movie sabotages its own momentum by doubling back to one of the less interesting segments.