/Film’s Top 15 Films of 2020

Slashfilm Best Movies of 2020

Over the past week, we have published individual top 10 movies of 2020 lists representing each member of the /Film staff. And today, we present the grand climax of that endeavor: the site’s overall Top 15 Movies of 2020 list.

Peter Sciretta, Jacob Hall, Ethan Anderton, Ben Pearson, Hoai-Tran Bui, and Chris Evangelista all contributed to this feature, with their personal lists being used to determine what made this main list and what did not. Let’s say goodbye to 2020 by celebrating one of its few silver linings – the movies.

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Hoai-Tran Bui’s Top 10 Films of 2020

Hoai-Tran Bui Top 10 Movies of 2020

There’s the temptation every year to say, “This was a bad year for movies,” which is rarely ever the case. But 2020 certainly flirted with that idea, with the pandemic pushing many studio films to next year and making all other films nearly impossible to watch without a press badge at a film festival. More than anything, it was a weird year for movies, a year where entertainment became a safe haven from the horrors of reality and where we all flocked to films that either comforted us, or numbed us, or dared us to find the awful parallels in our entertainment and the real world.

For me, my top movies of the year were a mixture of all of the above. I was equally comforted and challenged by these movies, or at the very least, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Maybe that’s the kind of film that will define 2020, the one that captures that weird mixed bag of emotions that kept us going through the purgatory of quarantine.

Anyway, here are my top 10 movies of 2020.

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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Movie: Shirley

Where You Can Stream It: Hulu

The Pitch: Horror writer Shirley Jackson (Elisabeth Moss) finds inspiration for her next novel in the case of a missing college girl who disappeared off the campus where her husband (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a professor, and in the lives of the young couple (Logan Lerman and Odessa Young) who move in with them as the man prepares to start his job as a lecturer. But as Shirley gets more deeply involved in writing her novel, which would become Hangsaman, her descent into madness begins to pull the surrounding people down with her.

Why It’s Essential Viewing: No one plays a woman on the edge like Elisabeth Moss, but she might just outdo herself here, in Josephine Drecker‘s intoxicating homage to the Gothic horror genre. Very, very loosely based on Shirley Jackson’s life, Shirley is a chilling treatise on the monstrous nature of writing that turns the author into a character in one of her Gothic novels — though not as the guileless protagonist, but as the madwoman. But this time, the madwoman has been let out of the attic.

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Chris Evangelista’s Top 10 Movies of 2020

Top 10 Movies of 2020 Chris Evangelista

It’s been a very, very weird year. And the movie landscape was severely hampered by a pandemic that closed down most movie theaters and had studios shuffling release dates to and fro. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t great movies that found their way to screens big and small. Amidst all the chaos and confusion, wonderful movies arrived and – if they were lucky – found their audience. With the year now in the rearview, here are my top 10 movies of 2020, and here’s to 2021 – dear god, let it be better for everyone.

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Shirley

David, Devindra, and Jeff are joined by Joanna Robinson, senior writer at Vanity Fair, to talk about Devindra’s move across the country during a pandemic, Christopher Nolan’s chair ban, and Will Ferrell’s singing in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. For the feature review, the cast dives into Shirley, Josephine Decker’s film starring Elizabeth Moss.

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Best Movies Streaming Right Now Knives Out

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

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shirley trailer

How do you make a biographical drama about Shirley Jackson, one of the most renowned American horror writers of the past century? You cast Elisabeth Moss to do her best woman-on-the-edge performance yet, and turn the biopic into a horror movie. Shirley has received raves since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and genre fans eagerly anticipated its theatrical release. Sadly, because of the coronavirus pandemic, that theatrical release never came to be. But, as the newest Shirley trailer advertises, the film is now available to watch on digital platforms everywhere.

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shirley soundtrack

Shirley, a fictional portrait of The Haunting of Hill House author Shirley Jackson, is one of the year’s most fascinating movies, and it comes accompanied with an unconventional, hypnotic score courtesy of Tamar-kali (Mudbound). Ahead of Shirley‘s impending release, we’re debuting an exclusive track from the Shirley score. Hear it below. 

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shirley trailer

After already knocking it out of the park in The Invisible Man, Elisabeth Moss is back to wow us with yet another killer 2020 performance. The actress, who seems to specialize in playing women coming unmoored, stars as the troubled writer Shirley Jackson in Josephine Decker‘s Shirley. This is no by-the-numbers biopic, but rather a strange, haunting, and wholly unconventional attempt to take the viewer inside Jackson’s troubled mind. Watch the Shirley trailer below.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

tribeca 2020 line-up

The Tribeca Film Festival is coming in with a super-sized line-up of feature films, including a number of world premieres and critical hits from other festivals like TIFF, Sundance, and SXSW. The Trip to GreeceThe King of Staten Island, Shirleyand the TIFF hit Bad Education are among the movies featured in the Tribeca 2020 line-up, which includes 115 films from 124 filmmakers across 33 different countries. The annual New York City-based film festival runs from April 1526 and will, for the first time ever, also make its way to New Jersey.

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