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Patrick Howard’s Top 10 Films of 2020

Written by: Patrick Howard | December 29th, 2020

2020 has been a rousing year for how we consume media in the wake of a global pandemic. Sadly, this evolution came at a time of avoidable death tolls and poor government responses. As we examine the low points of 2020, it’s only fair that we examine the high points of 2020 that gave us genuine joy. Here are the top 10 films that helped make 2020 a positive year for me, in order of preference.

  1. The Invisible Man (Leigh Whannell): Elisabeth Moss and her grounding, sympathetic performance lends believability to the strong science-fiction elements of Whannell’s best film to date.
  2. Palm Springs (Max Barbakow): A great Groundhog Day-inspired comedy to watch in our new quarantine lifestyle.
  3. Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado (Cristina Costantini/Kareem Tabsch)
  4. Stage: The Culinary Internship (Abby Ainsworth)
  5. The Boys in the Band (Joe Mantello): A fascinating study of the complex and heartbreaking lives of seven gay friends living in New York City in the late 1960s. The performances by Jim Parsons and his fellow cast members are some of the best you’ll watch this whole year.
  6. Onward (Dan Scanlon): The first and second acts are filled with a fair amount of unimaginative jokes and visual cues centered on fantasy clichés in a modern setting. However, the third act is where the film meets the high standards of Pixar and then some.
  7. Birds of Prey (Cathy Yan): Some may be put off by the fact that this is more of a Harley Quinn film than a full fledge Birds of Prey romp. The real charm of the film lies in the chaotic and entertaining carnage left behind by Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor.
  8. The House of Cardin (P. David Ebersole/Todd Hughes)
  9. Soul (Pete Docter/Kemp Powers, 2020): A wonderful spiritual successor to Pixar’s Inside Out, Soulis an entertaining film for children and vital lesson for young adults.
  10. The Vast of Night (Andrew Patterson): An impressive send up to the works of Rod Serling. Even if the story doesn’t grab you, the sheer technical achievement of The Vast of Night should not be ignored.

Where I have previously reviewed the film, the title is hyperlinked to that review. Where I have not, I have written a short description of the movie to help explain why I chose it.


Patrick Howard has been a cinephile since age seven. Alongside 10 years of experience in film analysis and criticism, he is a staunch supporter of all art forms and believes their influence and legacy over human culture is vital. Mr. Howard takes the time to write his own narrative stories when he can.

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