The year 2020 was a tumultuous one for cinema. One of the worst ever, if you ask me. Although movies came back in force after the pandemic, many of them weren’t exactly the best. Take a look at the lists of the best and worst movies of the year.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally been haunted by the endless stream of bad movies that kept popping up on my radar throughout the year. I couldn’t help but compare each new offering to some of the greatest classics from the past. This is more than just a hobby for me, as I’m also a movie critic for a renowned magazine, but compared to other critics’ lists, my top five will almost certainly differ.

The Best

Before we get to the top five, let’s discuss the criteria I used to rank the entries. First off, I had to take into consideration the quality of the material, acting talent, and overall impact the film had on me. Additionally, many of the movies were tied for first place on my list. For example, if one of the films was an excellent action-packed spectacle and the other a solid piece of psychological horror, then I had to pick one of them.

5. Pavarotti

Pavarotti is about an opera singer who is determined to overtake the throne of the most famous opera house in the world. It’s kind of like Goya’s The 3 Princesses of Spain or Frederick’s Dreams of Greatness, with the odd addition of a super-villain villain. It’s an utter mess, but a glorious one.

The movie is actually based on the true story of Luciano Pavarotti, the famed tenor. It was a phenomenal achievement to capture the essence of a legend in such a short amount of time. Director Francis Ford Coppola needed to cut a lot of corners to make it happen, but he managed to pull off a miraculous feat. Despite being a critical and commercial flop upon its release in 2017, Pavarotti has gained a cult following ever since. Most notably, it was cited as one of the best films of the year by the New York Times and other publications for its authentic portrayal of Luciano Pavarotti and the genius of its editing.

4. The Farewell

The Farewell is a coming-of-age story about a group of friends who gather to bid farewell to their friend (and the patriarch of the family) George. It’s essentially a drama about friendship and the passage of time. It’s a touching story told in a beautiful style, with exceptional performances from the cast. The story is inspired by the 1924 novel, George’s Great Adventure, by H. Bedford-Jackson. The novel was based on the author’s friendship with author George MacDonald, and was first published in 1898.

One of the greatest things about The Farewell is how it effortlessly weaves together two separate narratives into one cohesive whole. It begins with a story about a widowed father looking for male heirs, and it then shifts to the story of a group of friends as they navigate their way through coming-of-age stories of their own. This is a hallmark of a truly great film. The result is a movie that is both heartwarming and thought-provoking, with an overall sense of nostalgia that lingers long after the closing credits roll.

3. The House of Gucci

The House of Gucci is the story of a family-run business, Gucci, that becomes a byword for luxury and class in the early 21st century. It’s the third collaboration between the Oscar-winning duo of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Set in Florence, Italy, in the mid-2000s, the movie paints a panoramic picture of the luxurious Italian lifestyle and high-end fashion world. The result is a sumptuous feast of a movie, filled with gorgeous costumes, elegant settings, and sumptuous food. It’s one of the best movies of the year so far.

The House of Gucci is a grandiose tale of style and stardom, centered around the extravagant Gucci fashion house. It charts the rise of Gucci from a small family business to a worldwide brand and the transformation of its founder, Georgio Gucci (Leonardo DiCaprio). After learning the ins and outs of the luxury industry from his father, Gucci decided to set up his own company, specializing in women’s wear. The company soon became extremely successful, and Georgio opened his first store in Turin, Italy, in 1932. In the course of the next 80 years, Gucci expanded to London and New York, setting up further stores in each market. The brand became world-famous for its lavish parties and social gatherings, which were often centered around beautiful women.

What makes The House of Gucci so exceptional is how it weaves these two narratives together. This is more than just a case of one plotline bleeding into the next – the movie is effectively one long continuous narrative, with occasional scene-setting and character introductions. This seamless storytelling technique is something of a rarity in modern cinema. The result is a movie that flows effortlessly from one scene to the next and does not lose the audience (which, at times, can be a challenge). What is more, Scorsese and DiCaprio’s team approach to cinematic storytelling is on full display, with lots of close-ups, extreme long shots, and seamless editing that further intensifies the movie’s visual aesthetic.

2. The Irishman

The Irishman is a biopic about the notorious gangster, James “Ginger” Cagney, who was instrumental in paving the way for organized crime in Chicago in the early 1900s. The film was directed by [title]: [named]: [year]: [month]: [day]: [director’s name]: [director’s name].

In addition to being a crime boss, Cagney was also a professional gambler, which served as the inspiration for his character. Cagney’s role in the formation of Chicago’s organized crime scene is depicted in an authentic and comprehensive manner. The film also examines the impact of the Great Depression on Cagney and his family, which led to him becoming involved in illegal activities.

One of the great things about The Irishman is how it presents a complete and accurate picture of Chicago’s infamous gangsters in the early 1900s. As I’ve already mentioned, Cagney was a criminal who was instrumental in shaping crime in Chicago. Some of his underlings were also brutal, with one of them murdering a man in front of Cagney. The movie therefore has some genuinely gruesome scenes, which in turn makes it immensely difficult to sit through. Yet it’s precisely these scenes that keep The Irishman from being a mere historical curiosity. There is also an interesting thematic element to the movie, with some critics pointing out that it draws upon the archetypes of the Oedipus and Electra complexes.

1. Once Upon a Time in China

Once Upon a Time in China is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Chinese folklore festival, the Shanghai Spring Festival (or, as it is known in English, the Shanghai International Festival). The film was directed by [name]: [year]: [month]: [day] and features an [actress]: [actress]: [actors]: [actors]: [lead actor]: [lead actor]. An exceptional mix of fantasy, romance, and traditional Chinese culture, Once Upon a Time in China is the director’s take on the classical Romeo and Juliet tale. It tells the story of Zhu Xiao (Mahershala Ali), a free-spirited American college student who falls in love with Wen Shuai (Constance Wu), a loyal and determined young woman who dreams of one day being a doctor.

The setting of the festival and the nature of the plotline combine to create a truly unique cinematic experience. It is therefore unsurprising that the movie has achieved cult status among audiences and critics alike. While the festival does serve as a bit of a MacGuffin, it is not the main event of the movie; rather, it is used as a symbol for Zhu and Shuai’s budding romance and its eventual tragic end. The story is deeply emotional, telling of the power of love and the fragility of the human heart.