Swallow (Dir. Carlo Mirabella-Davis)
Swallow is a provocative psychological thriller about domestic life. With everyone having high-anxiety because of the pandemic, Carlo Mirabella-Davis knew that the most scariest things are always grounded in reality.
Another Round / Druk (Dir. Thomas Vinterberg)
If you wanna watch Hannibal get drunk, here’s the film. In this tragic-comedy, badass Mads Mikkelsen goes batshit crazy as an alcoholic having a midlife crisis. Or is it the other way around? This film is a riot.
Sound of Metal (Dir. Darius Marder)
Riz Ahmed play as a metal drummer going deaf. Two thumbs up for the sound design here. Who knew Riz Ahmed looked effortlessly cool wearing GISM, Rudimentary Peni and Youth of Today T-shirts?
#Alive (Dir. Cho Il-Hyung)
Zombie-flicks are very relevant in these pandemic-era. While #Alive is not as fun as Train to Busan, it is still an interesting and fun film. Forget about Peninsula, #Alive is hte best zombie-flick you can get this year.
His House (Dir. Remi Weekes)
Is a Haunted house horror with racism themes gonna be interesting? YES! A couple of husband and wife immigrants from South of Sudan seeks for asylum and safety, but all they found was horror and threat from their new house. Good ‘ol scary fun!
The Invisible Man (Dir. Leigh. Wannell)
After making cyberpunk horrror with Upgrade (2018), Leigh Wannell return with The Invisible Man. With a slight of modern touch, Leigh faithfully adapted H.G. Wells character into an enjoyable cinematic experience. His genius was making empty spaces in a lot of scene compositions, making the protagonist always feeling watched by the invisible killer. What a creepy stalker!
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Dir. Eliza Hittman)
Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a profound cinematic experience with a road-movie storytelling style. This female friendship and coming-of-age story is very authentic, almost looking like a documentary sometimes. This film is the realistic answer to Jason Reitman’s Juno (2007). Pure cinema.
Alone (Dir. John Hyams)
As opposed to boring-ass pretentious arthouse-film, this one keeps you on the edge of your seat all the time. A very straightforward thriller yet simple and effective in it’s execution. Thanks for the damn good time, John Hyams.
On the Rocks (Dir. Sofia Copolla)
Once again, A24 Studio gave us another interesting film. This is the Sofia Copolla & Bill Murray reunion that people are waiting for since Lost in Translation (Forget about the cringey A Very Murray’s Christmas). Yep, for me this is the true “spiritual sequel” for Lost in Translation. Minus Kevin Shields hair-raising soundtrack though.
Soul (Dir. Pete Docter)
Pete Docter’s Soul is released at exacly the perfect time in our lives. It’s joyful and hopefulness is a tone 2020 need so badly. Set against an often trippy visuals and a beautiful musical crescendo by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Soul is a feast for the eyes and ears. Maybe what we all need right now is a metaphysical dramedy Pixar movie, with existential themes about life, human nature, death and jazz music. Good job Pixar, for giving an existential crisis to 9 year olds.
The Devil All the Time (Dir. Antonio Campos)
A gothic-noir about the nature of violence that spans across generations, The Devil All the Time is a bleak high level filmaking. Look at these lowlifes character potrayed here: a couple of serial-killers, a pedophile priest, a dad with mental illness and a corrupt cop. Spiderman (Tom Holland), Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Batman (Robert Pattinson) make up the interesting ensemble cast here. An epic tale of instant karma, violent traditions and faith fanatism. This is not for everyone, but bravo Antonio Campos!
Mank (Dir. David Fincher)
After playing in the comfort zones of thrillers and horrors like Alien 3, Seven, Fight Club, Panic Room and Gone Girl, David Fincher return to the biopic drama territory like what he has succeeded with The Social Network. In the soundtrack department, Fincher gave the tasks to dangerous duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. This time they are making Hollywood golden-age era jazz score. With crisps black and white cinematography and mono soundtrack, this film feels like something from the 1940s era, where Mank poster can be put side by side with Casablanca poster.
Possessor (Dir. Brandon Cronenberg)
David Cronenberg is a horror film maestro (The Fly, Scanners, Crash), more often with the body-horror subgenre, a big influence for Junji Ito’s Uzumaki and Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. David’s son, Brandon Cronenberg comes with and ultra-gore Possessor, that tells the story of an assassin that can possess other people’s body using brain implants. A sharp and crisp visual, chilling music score and a precise cinematography supports the haunting atmosphere and gore that will put off some of the viewers. The Cronenberg genes are strong in this one.
Da 5 Bloods (Dir. Spike Lee)
First Cow (Dir. Kelly Reichardt)
Palm Springs (Dir. Max Barbakow)
Nomadland (Dir. Chloé Zhao)
The Assistant (Dir. Kitty Green)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Dir. Aaron Sorkin)
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Dir. Jason Woliner)
Minari (Dir. Lee Isaac Chung)
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