Films 2020s

Is cinema dead? That’s the big question everyone is asking today and to be honest we don’t know. Certainly Netflix – and the dozens of streaming services that followed it – changed forever how we watch films. Gone are the day of cinema and then the wait – sometimes for years – to see a film again. Now it can be streamed into your home within hours of its release. The Big Screen may soon only be the home for films that demand the big screen experience – massive, Marvel-style franchise entries. Smaller films are increasingly finding a home in the corners of streaming. Let’s see what happens eh?

2020

Another Round – four depressed teachers decide to reinvigorate their lives through drinking. Mistake perhaps?Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang
The Assistant – an office worker in a Hollywood Production office has to turn a blind eye to the studio head’s behaviourDirector: Kitty Green
Cast: Julia Garner, Matthew Macfadyen, Makenzie Leigh
Calm with Horses – a former boxer works as an enforcer for an Irish gang, but begins to doubt his choicesDirector: Nick Rowland
Cast: Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar
The Dig – an amateur archaeologist uncovers Sutton Hoo – leading many to reflect on life and legacyDirector: Simon Stone
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Carey Mulligan, Lily James
The Father – a man suffering from Alzheimers struggles to know where and when he isDirector: Florian Zeller
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Rufus Sewell
Judas and the Black Messiah – the FBI forces a man to inform against Black Panther leader Fred HamptonDirector: Shaka King
Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya, Jesse Plemons
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – a jazz musician records a session while her trumpeter dreams of fameDirector: George C Wolfe
Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Glynn Turman
Mank – gorgeous film about the history of Citizen Kane, impossible to enjoy without a love of the originalDirector: David Fincher
Cast: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance
The Midnight Sky – after an environmental catastrophe, a scientist remains on Earth to warn a space missionDirector: George Clooney
Cast: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo
Minari – autobiographical film: in 80s America, a Korean family try to make a farm selling Korean food a successDirector: Lee Isaac Chung
Cast: Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Youn Yuh-jung, Alan Kim
Misbehaviour – the 1970 Miss World competition is disrupted by protests in this engaging social issues comedyDirector: Philipa Lowthorpe
Cast: Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley
On the Rocks – a father ‘helps’ his daughter investigate her husband’s possible infidelityDirector: Sofia Coppola
Cast: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans, Jessica Henwick
One Night in Miami – Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown share thoughts one nightDirector: Regina King
Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jnr, Eli Goree, Aldris Hodge
Promising Young Woman – a young woman provokes men to try and date rape her, to expose their vilenessDirector: Emerald Fennell
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown
Rebecca – lush but empty remake, that completely misses the point and fails to provide Gothic chillsDirector: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Lily James, Armie Hammer, Kristin Scott-Thomas
Rocks – a black teenager struggles to hold her family together in inner-city LondonDirector: Sarah Gavron
Cast: Bukky Bakray, Kosar Ali, D’angelou Osei Kissiedu
Sound of Metal – a drums player suddenly goes death and searches for an answerDirector: Darius Mardur
Cast: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff
Summerland – a misanthropic writer during WW2 takes on a refugee and finds herself opening upDirector: Jessica Swale
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Penelope Wilton
Tenet – a secret agent is hired by a secret organisation, in this undefinable mix of Bond and time travelDirector: Christopher Nolan
Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Kenneth Branagh
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – solid, crowd-pleasing film about the trial of Democratic activists in 1968Director: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Edjie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
The White Tiger – a poor Indian works as a chauffeur for a rich couple and is asked to take the blame for their mistakesDirector: Ramin Bahrani
Cast: Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra Jones, Rajkummar Rao
Wonder Woman 1984 – unfairly criticised sequel, in many ways more fun and engaging than the firstDirector: Patty Jenkins
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristin Wiig, Pedro Pascal

2021

After Love – a Muslim convert, finds out after her husband’s death that he had a second family; poetic tearjerker Director: Aleem Khan
Cast: Joanna Scanlan, Nathalie Richard, Talid Ariss
Being the Ricardos – difficulties pile on top of each other during one week of the making of I Love LucyDirector: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, JK Simmons
Belfast – a twelve-year old Branagh in 70s Belfast, is unable to understand why his parents are considering leavingDirector: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Jude Hill, Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds
Black Widow – half-hearted prequel, that exists to give its star a payday in the sun and introduce her replacement.Director: Cate Shortland
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz
Boiling Point – one terrible night of service comes to a head in a restaurant in this superb one-shot filmDirector: Philip Barantini
Cast: Stephen Graham, Vinette Robinson, Alice Feetham
The Courier – true-life drama as a Russian spy and his British courier work to save the world from Cuban Missile crisisDirector: Dominic Cooke
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan
Don’t Look Up – a meteor heads towards Earth – but the politician don’t want to hear about it: shrill satireDirector: Adam McKay
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep
Drive My Car – a mourning actor stages a multi-lingual production of Chekov and bonds with his driverDirector: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Cast: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tōko Miura, Masaki Okada
Dune: Part One – superbly atmospheric adaptation of a dense, pompous sci-fi novel, light years ahead of previous versionsDirector: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac
Eternals – God-like Aliens have guided mankind for millennia – but what if they are the baddies? Complete messDirector: Chloé Zhao
Cast: Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie
The Eyes of Tammy Faye – a Christian evangelist in the 80s gets wrapped up in scandal in this bog-standard biopicDirector: Michael Showalter
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones
House of Gucci – broad true-life crime drama which doesn’t quite become the cult classic it could beDirector: Ridley Scott
Cast: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jared Leto
King Richard – Richard Williams pushes his daughters to better themselves by becoming tennis superstarsDirector: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Cast: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton
The Last Duel – in Medieval France, two men fight a duel after one is accused of raping the other’s wifeDirector: Ridley Scott
Cast: Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, Ben Affleck
Licorice Pizza – in the 1970s two young people fall in love, but won’t admit it because of an awkward age gapDirector: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Bradley Cooper
The Lost Daughter – on holiday in Greece, a woman is forced to confront her failures as a motherDirector: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Cast: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson
The Matrix Resurrections – a failed attempt to relaunch the franchise, although much better than the other sequelsDirector: Lana Wachowski
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Mothering Sunday – self-consciously arty film about post-WW1 grief: outstays its welcomeDirector: Eva Husson
Cast: Odessa Young, Josh O’Connor, Colin Firth
Munich: The Edge of War – Neville Chamberlain flies to Germany to make peace in this so-so spy dramaDirector: Christian Schwochow
Cast: George Mackay, Jannis Niewöhner, Jeremy Irons
Nightmare Alley – a mesmerist is tempted into dark schemes that corrupt him furtherDirector: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara
No Time to Die – final Craig Bond, a mixed bag of action, world-building and self-importance, way too longDirector: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Cast: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek
The Power of the Dog – thought-provoking, challenging but engrossing drama about a bullying rancher with a secretDirector: Jane Campion
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Kodi Smit-McPhee
Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – the estranged son of a war lord, searches for answers about his familyDirector: Destin Daniel Cretton
Cast: Simu Liu, Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Tony Leung
Spencer – naive and sentimental biopic of Princess Diana, focusing on one disastrous Christmas c. 1991Director: Pablo Larrain
Cast: Kristin Stewart, Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins
Spider-Man: No Way Home – fabulous Marvel crossover event, heartwarming funDirector: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch
Tick… Tick… Boom – Jonathan Larsen worries his chances of making his mark are fading, in this loving musical tributeDirector: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús
The Tragedy of Macbeth – glorious, imaginative and compelling version one of the best Shakespeare filmsDirector: Joel Coen
Cast: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins
West Side Story – vibrant and dynamic remake that places Puerto Rican culture more at its heartDirector: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, Mike Faist

2022

The Batman – another relaunch, Batman as a PI chasing down a serial-killer in a rain-soaked, noirish GothamDirector: Matt Reeves
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano, Jeffrey Wright
Death on the Nile – second big-budget Branagh Poirot, better than the first but with some of its Operatic flawsDirector: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – cross dimensional light horror; fails to deliver on its promiseDirector: Sam Raimi
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Rachel McAdams
The Duke – cosy true-ish crime caper: an eccentric Brit steals a painting of Wellington for his social campaignDirector: Roger Michell
Cast: Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, Fionn Whitehead
Everything Everywhere All At Once – all realities are going to end: and only a disillusioned woman can save itDirector: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan
Good Luck to You, Leo Grande – a widowed woman hires an escort; theatrical but not enlightening enoughDirector: Sophie Hyde
Cast: Emma Thompson, Daryl McCormack
Jurassic World: Dominion – very, very tired retread of a host of ideas from the other filmsDirector: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum
Nope – horror, science fiction and media satire combine in Peele’s distinctive but not always satisfying filmDirector: Jordan Peele
Cast: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun, Brandon Perea
The Northman – a Viking warrior goes out for blood-soaked revenge in this distinctive twist on HamletDirector: Robert Eggers
Cast: Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy
Operation Mincemeat – failed wartime spy drama, bogged down in fake details and a love triangleDirector: John Madden
Cast: Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald
Thirteen Lives – the astonishing rescue of a group of boys from caves in Thailand brilliantly dramatisedDirector: Ron Howard
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Joel Edgerton, Tom Bateman
Thor: Love and Thunder – smug, unfunny, self-satisfied adventure, takes all the wrong lessons from RagnorakDirector: Taika Waititi
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale
Top Gun: Maverick – Tom Cruise flies again in this much-better-than-the-original sequelDirector: Joseph Kosinski
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jon Hamm