Our top films of 2020 – movie review

Well, that was a year! With everything that went on in 2020, movies proved both a comfort and a hope for better times. The big story of the year was the rise of streaming as a genuine alternative to (and in some cases, a replacement for) traditional cinemas. Those changes played out elsewhere, and we in Australia had little option but to ride the wave. That said, our country’s relative success in dealing with the year’s many traumas has seen the industry here return to something approaching normality.

With cinemas so disrupted, it was no surprise that some of the biggest names in the movies appeared on the small screen, either bypassing theatres altogether, or for only a limited run. They included “name” directors like David Fincher (Mank) and Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods); and big stars like Charlize Theron (The Old Guard), Tom Hanks (Greyhound) and Mark Wahlberg (Spenser Confidential). Pixar’s new movie Soul went straight to streaming; as did early Oscar darling Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. But slowly films have begun creeping back into cinemas. Things aren’t anywhere near back to where they were, but signs of life are emerging.

As a result, our top tens of the year aren’t restricted to movies in theatres, but include films that premiered on streaming platforms in 2020. Perhaps due to the slowdown in Hollywood releases, foreign language films have found a more prominent place this year.

So without further ado, here are our critics’ lists of the top 10 films of 2020



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