A somewhat shorter list this year because I didn't see as many newer movies as usual, partly because cinemas were closed for a lot of the year (and even when they reopened I felt like I might as well wait until I get vaccinated before seeing movies in theatres again) and partly because I didn't watch as many movies this year in general. It was just very stressful all round, and if I wanted to relax at the end of a day fretting about how bad the pandemic could get, video games ended up being my go-to entertainment option for much of 2020.
As such I find it pretty hard to gauge what kind of year it was for cinema. There were certainly some really good films released this year, in whatever form that ended up taking, but everything felt so disjointed and scattered. Everything felt impermanent and ephemeral, with nothing to moor all the movies that got out into the ether of VOD and streaming. Was 2020 a good movie year? Was it even a year? Who can say.
Anyway, these were the films that made a mark on me this year, and all but one of them could probably have the addendum "I wish I'd seen this in a movie theatre" attached.
Before we get to the good stuff, let's indulge in a bit of negativity. Easily my least favourite film of the year was David Fincher's Mank, which I found to be a terribly dreary and affected bit of filmmaking about filmmaking that was hamstrung by a terrible Gary Oldman performance and a tin-eared, obvious script. It's not a bad film, but it was a terrible disappointment and I can't think of any film this year that had more going for it that so categorically failed to delivery on its promise.