The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has been damaging to pretty much every business but especially the global film industry. The theatrical experience, in particular, has ceased to exist and the shutters are likely to remain down for months to come.
While the future is grim, let’s celebrate theatrical releases while we can. Here are the best Hollywood films of the year so far.
Okay, this movie, distributed by HBO, went straight to television but since it was so good, it had to be included here. Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney play high-ranking school district officials who are entangled in an embezzlement scandal. They do their best to bury it, and yet the truth comes out.
This film was Vin Diesel’s first stab at superhero cinema. The film, helmed by VFX artist David SF Wilson, has Diesel starring as a marine who is revived by a team of scientists after being killed in action.
The character hails from a lesser-known comic book publisher Valiant Comics. Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer have penned the screenplay.
Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey was a sequel to 2016’s critically derided (though commercially successful) Suicide Squad and brought back Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. Though Harley is not a member of the Birds of Prey, traditionally speaking, thanks to Robbie’s winning performance and the popularity of the character, she headlined the movie. The film was witty, funny and entertaining.
Pixar’s animated feature Onward brings together two actors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. It revolves around two elf-brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who ’embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left out there.’
Gretel and Hansel
Based on the famous Brothers Grimm fairy tale, this Sophie Lillis starrer is a dark and compelling adaptation, even though it is not particularly scary.
The Call of the Wild
Starring Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Omar Sy, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford and Colin Woodell, this heartwarming film is about a dog called Buck who is stolen from his California home and sent to the Yukon, where he befriends Harrison Ford’s character.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Based on Sega’s iconic video game character, Sonic the Hedgehog has the titular speedster befriending a small-town cop and taking his help to evade authorities, especially Jim Carrey’s Dr Robotnik, who is hell-bent on capturing him. The film, after a few production struggles, turned out to be a fun and heartwarming ride for the audiences.
The Half of It: Netflix
This Netflix film deals with the platonic friendship between a boy and a girl. There is also an LGBTQ angle, but it is not sanctimonious and engages with the audience’s beliefs with gentle humour.
I dismissed this Kristen Stewart starrer by looking at the trailer, but it was actually a gripping movie with a claustrophobic, atmospheric setting and engaging performances. A true horror classic.
This well-written and clever Jane Austen adaptation, directed by Autumn de Wilde, stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Josh O’Connor, Callum Turner, Mia Goth, Miranda Hart and Bill Nighy.