Alvarez’s Top Five Films of 2020

(This article is part of our Best of 2020 series.)

2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, plain and simple. BUT, it was also proof that big budget movies can and do well straight to streaming services. Now I’m not saying I want to see movie theaters go away (even though I do kinda miss it) however, I do like that I can see more movies at home. Anyway, here are my five favorite films of 2020 in no particular order.


I get why Citizen Kane is is considered a great film, I just find it to be super fucking boring. So why would I want to watch a film about the guy who wrote it?? Well it’s Fincher so I’ll watch anything he makes. I will say that this is not a very typical Fincher film but yet it is. It’s slow paced and jumps around a lot, but Gary Oldman really shines in it and carries the film all the way to the end. I can’t wait to see what Fincher has in store for us with his new Netflix deal. Rosebud.

Bill and Ted Face The Music

Oh so many times a sequel has come out YEARS after the original(s) that it’s generally just a cash grab at some faint nostalgia. And yeah this is probably one of those films. But damn did I just find it super enjoyable and on par (if not better) than the first two (especially the second). the simple premise is this … The ruler of the future tells Bill and Ted they must compose a new song to save all life as we know it. But instead of writing it, they decide to travel through time to steal it from their older selves. But this time around their kids hop along for the ride and make for some enjoyable hijinks.

The Trial of the Chicago 7

I live in Chicago and I like Aaron Sorkin’s work so of course I was gonna watch this. I knew a little about the Chicago Riots, but not enough to discuss in conversation. I’m not sure this film helped much in that realm, but it was fun to watch nonetheless. Sacha Baron Cohen is fucking rock solid in this as Abbie Hoffman and he’s got a fantastic cast along for the ride with him. The film does a really good job of dramatizing real life events and mixing in real footage from the riots. And as always Sorkin’s dialogue is always on point. I’m not sure I would have actually seen this theaters if the pandemic didn’t close them and bump this to Netflix.

Sound of Metal

I basically know Riz Ahmed from Nightcrawler and Rogue One so when I heard he was playing a drummer in a metal band I was intrigued to see this flick. I was kinda expecting something along the lines of Whiplash, but I was wrong. Due to the years of playing loud music, suddenly Ruben begins to lose his hearing. Along with trying to remain sober, this puts a strain on him and his relationship with the other half of his band Blackgammon, his girlfriend Lou. The two live in an RV and travel the US playing gigs, but it’s clear they don’t have a lot of money to spare. I’ll leave things there so not to ruin anything. But I will say that Riz Ahmed’s performance is outstanding and you need to watch this film.


Ok, this movie confused the fuck out of me as I watched it a few weeks ago, yet it stuck with me in some crazy ways. I really enjoyed what I saw, but I didn’t know what the hell it was all about at first. Now that I have had some time to stew on it and accept it for what it was, I need to sit down and watch it again. I tried to get my wife to watch it over the holidays and she just wasn’t having it. Her damn loss if you ask me. Similar to Primer in the fact that the science lingo is wholly based in reality is where I initially got tripped up. Once I got past that things made a slight bit more sense to me. I like to think of it as Inception‘s older brother that went off to college and came home to visit for the holidays and talked to you about things you couldn’t have possible imagined in you prepubescent mind.

So yeah … those are my five favorite films of 2020. Runner-ups would probably be The Gentlemen, Underwater, The Lodge, Vivarium, and The King of Staten Island.

What do you think of my favorite films from the past year? Anything you think should have made my top five?

Author: K. Alvarez

A king without a throne.