Films in 2020 Review

Well about this time last year I posted about my year in film for 2019, in which I stated that year may be hard to top because of all the fantastic movie-related outings and travels I had. Sadly 2020 barely had any of the fun film ventures that I saw the previous year for obvious reasons, but hopefully, we get back to some normalcy within the new year, as I’ve sorely missed going to movie theaters for nearly a year now. Despite so many events being canceled or changed in 2020, such as the beloved TCM Classic Film Festival, I at least managed to do some fun things in the first couple of months of the year before virtually everything shut down, including seeing both TCM hosts Eddie Muller and Dave Karger in January (at the Noir City film festival in San Francisco and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, respectively) and squeezing in a trip to Disneyland on my birthday in March literally a week before the theme park closed indefinitely. And with even more time at home, I watched a ton, and I mean a ton, of movies, many of which I enjoyed watching, so the year wasn’t a complete loss in that respect. With all that said, I’ll break down my viewing habits and list all the new releases I saw and the movies I revisited in 2020 before fully moving on to 2021. You can take a look at all the movies I watched for the first time on my Letterboxd here, or go through my monthly entries here.

New-to-Me: 660

Re-Watched: 223*

*There were 5 movies that I watched twice in 2020, so I didn’t count them again in the grand total.

Total: 877*

*6 of my re-watches were also films I discovered in 2020, so they weren’t counted again in the grand total.

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1910s – 4
  • 1920s – 15
  • 1930s – 81
  • 1940s – 126
  • 1950s – 137
  • 1960s – 81
  • 1970s – 68
  • 1980s – 26
  • 1990s – 26
  • 2000s – 21
  • 2010s – 35
  • 2020s – 38

List of Films I Saw in Theaters (in italics marks a re-watch):

  1. 1917 (2019)
  2. Bombshell (2019)
  3. An American in Paris (1951)
  4. Panique (1946)
  5. Razzia (1955)
  6. Le doulos (1962)
  7. Any Number Can Win (1963)
  8. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)
  9. Parasite (2019)
  10. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

I was lucky to go to ten screenings between January and February before the pandemic impacted movie theaters, with the Noir City film festival helping up the number a bit. I only managed to see one 2020 release on the big screen; hopefully, that number is at least a little higher for 2021 releases (crossing my fingers for a safer return to theaters by the end of the year).

List of New Releases I Saw (ordered by release date):

  1. The Assistant*
  2. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
  3. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
  4. The Invisible Man
  5. Emma.
  6. Onward
  7. Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  8. Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind
  9. Shirley
  10. Da 5 Bloods
  11. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
  12. Hamilton
  13. First Cow*
  14. Palm Springs
  15. The Old Guard
  16. Mulan
  17. I’m Thinking of Ending Things
  18. Enola Holmes
  19. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  20. David Byrne’s American Utopia
  21. Rebecca
  22. The Witches
  23. On the Rocks
  24. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  25. The Life Ahead
  26. Mangrove
  27. Happiest Season
  28. Lovers Rock
  29. Sound of Metal*
  30. Red, White and Blue
  31. Mank
  32. Let Them All Talk
  33. The Prom
  34. Alex Wheatle
  35. The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
  36. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  37. Education
  38. Soul
  39. Wonder Woman 1984
  40. Nomadland**
  41. Minari**
  42. French Exit**

*first screened in 2019
**wide release in 2021

So obviously I didn’t get to go see new releases in theaters this past year (aside from one exception), but I still did my best to keep up between all the offerings from streaming services. I’m also glad cinemas and film festivals have adapted to the situation by going virtual, including Film at Lincoln Center and the New York Film Festival, so I still got to enjoy some screenings at home (including films that haven’t gotten a full, wide release yet).

List of Re-Watched Films:

  1. The Cotton Club (1984)
  2. An American in Paris (1951)
  3. Le doulos (1962)
  4. Five Easy Pieces (1970)
  5. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)
  6. Pain and Glory (2019)
  7. Parasite (2019)
  8. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
  9. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  10. Heaven Can Wait (1943)
  11. Adaptation. (2002)
  12. I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
  13. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)**
  14. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
  15. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
  16. It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
  17. The Last Days of Disco (1998)**
  18. Moonstruck (1987)
  19. Crime Wave (1953)
  20. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)
  21. La dolce vita (1960)
  22. Three Days of the Condor (1975)
  23. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
  24. Lost in Translation (2003)
  25. Her (2013)
  26. High and Low (1963)
  27. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
  28. Laura (1944)**
  29. Sitting Pretty (1948)*
  30. What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
  31. A Star Is Born (1954)
  32. Metropolis (1927)
  33. The Seventh Seal (1957)
  34. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
  35. North by Northwest (1959)
  36. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  37. Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (2015)
  38. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
  39. Mad Love (1935)
  40. Double Harness (1933)
  41. They Live by Night (1948)
  42. Casablanca (1942)
  43. Night and the City (1950)
  44. The Set-Up (1949)
  45. Red-Headed Woman (1932)
  46. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)**
  47. The Hustler (1961)
  48. Baby Face (1933)
  49. Victor/Victoria (1982)
  50. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  51. Rope (1948)
  52. Strangers on a Train (1951)
  53. Drive (2011)
  54. Claudine (1974)
  55. The Talk of the Town (1942)
  56. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
  57. Cover Girl (1944)
  58. Fallen Angel (1945)
  59. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
  60. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
  61. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
  62. Rear Window (1954)
  63. Mildred Pierce (1945)
  64. There Will Be Blood (2007)
  65. The Master (2012)
  66. The Crimson Kimono (1959)
  67. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
  68. Roman Holiday (1953)
  69. To Catch a Thief (1955)
  70. Cornered (1945)
  71. The Great Escape (1963)
  72. Funny Girl (1968)
  73. American Graffiti (1973)
  74. Paper Moon (1973)
  75. Dazed and Confused (1993)
  76. Cactus Flower (1969)
  77. A Kiss Before Dying (1956)
  78. Fly Away Home (1996)
  79. Jules and Jim (1962)
  80. An Unmarried Woman (1978)
  81. State Fair (1945)
  82. Murder by Contract (1958)
  83. Experiment in Terror (1962)
  84. The Glenn Miller Story (1954)
  85. Footlight Parade (1933)
  86. Underworld U.S.A. (1961)
  87. Before Sunrise (1995)
  88. Before Sunset (2004)
  89. Before Midnight (2013)
  90. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
  91. The Snake Pit (1948)
  92. My Cousin Rachel (1952)
  93. Jaws (1975)
  94. My Darling Clementine (1946)
  95. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
  96. The Music Man (1962)
  97. A Night at the Opera (1935)
  98. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  99. Harvey (1950)
  100. Pierrot le fou (1965)
  101. Kiss Me Kate (1953)
  102. Contempt (1963)
  103. Dirty Dancing (1987)
  104. Ghost (1990)
  105. The Breaking Point (1950)
  106. Hold Back the Dawn (1941)
  107. To Each His Own (1946)**
  108. All That Heaven Allows (1955)
  109. Written on the Wind (1956)
  110. The Strawberry Blonde (1941)
  111. Ball of Fire (1941)
  112. The Sting (1973)
  113. Giant (1956)
  114. The Women (1939)
  115. Peyton Place (1957)
  116. Magnificent Obsession (1954)
  117. Grand Hotel (1932)
  118. Dinner at Eight (1933)
  119. The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
  120. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
  121. Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
  122. Bugsy (1991)
  123. Reds (1981)
  124. This Property Is Condemned (1966)
  125. Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)
  126. Gypsy (1962)
  127. The Great Race (1965)
  128. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  129. Gone with the Wind (1939)
  130. The Heiress (1949)
  131. Now, Voyager (1942)
  132. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  133. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
  134. Sylvia Scarlett (1935)
  135. Purple Noon (1960)
  136. Le samouraï (1967)
  137. Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)
  138. Danger Signal (1945)
  139. Carmen Jones (1954)
  140. Bright Road (1953)
  141. Sun Valley Serenade (1941)
  142. The Virgin Suicides (1999)
  143. Repeat Performance (1947)
  144. Wild at Heart (1990)
  145. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
  146. Gilda (1946)
  147. They Won’t Believe Me (1947)
  148. Middle of Nowhere (2012)
  149. I Married a Witch (1942)
  150. Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
  151. The Racket (1951)
  152. The Thing (1982)
  153. The Stepford Wives (1975)
  154. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  155. Dracula (1931)
  156. Freaks (1932)
  157. The Search (1948)
  158. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  159. Destination Murder (1950)
  160. Dracula (1958)
  161. Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)
  162. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  163. Diabolique (1955)
  164. Macao (1952)
  165. Dead of Night (1945)
  166. House on Haunted Hill (1959)
  167. The Haunting (1963)
  168. The Innocents (1961)
  169. The Seventh Victim (1943)
  170. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  171. Crossfire (1947)
  172. Shampoo (1975)
  173. Too Late for Tears (1949)
  174. Dead Reckoning (1947)
  175. Pitfall (1948)
  176. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
  177. David Byrne’s American Utopia (2020)*
  178. Stop Making Sense (1984)*
  179. Nightfall (1956)
  180. In a Lonely Place (1950)
  181. Woman on the Run (1950)
  182. The Big Combo (1955)
  183. Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
  184. Charlotte’s Web (1973)
  185. Duck Soup (1933)
  186. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
  187. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)
  188. The Gangster (1947)
  189. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
  190. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
  191. Murder, My Sweet (1944)
  192. Out of the Past (1947)
  193. The Naked City (1948)
  194. Brute Force (1947)
  195. White Heat (1949)
  196. Crossing Delancey (1988)
  197. Citizen Kane (1941)
  198. Tomorrow Is Another Day (1951)
  199. Carol (2015)
  200. Little Women (1994)
  201. Never Say Goodbye (1946)
  202. Larceny, Inc. (1942)*
  203. Mr. Soft Touch (1949)
  204. White Christmas (1954)
  205. Babe (1995)
  206. The Burglar (1957)*
  207. Swing Time (1936)
  208. Desk Set (1957)
  209. The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
  210. We’re No Angels (1955)
  211. Lady on a Train (1945)
  212. Lady in the Lake (1946)
  213. Kiss of Death (1947)
  214. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
  215. It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947)
  216. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
  217. In the Good Old Summertime (1949)
  218. Holiday Affair (1949)
  219. Remember the Night (1940)
  220. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
  221. The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
  222. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  223. Detour (1945)
  224. The Court Jester (1955)*
  225. Holiday (1938)

*also a first-time watch in 2020
**re-watched twice in 2020

That’s about it for my 2020 in film. Despite the circumstances, I overall enjoyed all the movie-watching I did this past year, both seeing films for the first time and revisiting old favorites and ones I hadn’t seen in years. I’m especially grateful to have access to TCM and the Criterion Channel, which both had some really great programming in 2020.

I hope 2021 is a better year for all of us, but whatever this year has in store for us, I also hope it’s filled with some good movie-watching.

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