The Most Disappointing Film’s of 2020
Here is a list of films that left me flat, disappointed, and downright sad that they didn’t meet the standard set for them. Some of that was on me and others by the studio or buzz-worthy social media. Either way, these ten films left me walking away let down over the experience and pondering where it all went wrong. Yes, Wonder Woman 1984 is not on this list, get over it.
10. Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art
Banks and the Rise of Outlaw Art is conceptually flawed as the key subjects incorrectly contribute the movement to their own doing. The film would have been stronger by concentrating on the original outlaws of the Bristol scene and didn’t retrofit it to the Banksy story that refuses to touch on the mystery of that identity.
9. The Midnight Sky
George Clooney’s directorial efforts have taken an odd decline and plateau since his auspicious debut, Good Night and Good Luck. That disappointing streak continues with The Midnight Sky (Netflix), a handsome-looking film with an evocative score, but these act as smokescreens for a major plot point that no global catastrophe could cover. The Midnight Sky could have been an epic achievement, but it was anything but.
The entire frustrating purpose of Jon Stewart’s Irresistible seems to be an exercise on how both sides can p**s into the wind without getting their pants wet.
7. The F*ck-It List
The F*CK-it List had an interesting premise but ended up as the equivalent of the adage that a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its shoes on. It’s a coming of age film that is incredibly disingenuous and out of touch with reality when it had an opportunity to do so much more with a generation known for its activism.
I’ll admit, watching Tom Hardy’s Capone walk across a patch of some sun-soaked Florida grass, draped in a bathrobe, while in a diaper, with a bright chunk of orange carrot protruding from his mouth, all while pumping his staff full of hot lead from his gold plated Tommy-gun, almost made it worth the polarizing first 90-minutes. There is a good film in here waiting to come out.
5. Spaceship Earth
My brother once told me it is hard not to make a good documentary. Well, I found one. Even more disappointing is the film that has such a fascinating and ingenious structure lacks a fascinating and ingenious structure. Spaceship Earth has a frustratingly straightforward narrative approach that runs stale. To make matters worse it also lacks a succinct point of view other than showing how goofy the subjects are and how Steve Bannon makes an appearance (yeah, that guy). A real let down by director Matt Wolf.
Films where lives hang in the balance in closed spaces like Buried, Locke, and even to a certain extent Wheelman, lend themselves to inherent suspense and white knuckle tension. The IFC Midnight production, Centigrade, had the makings of a film with those qualities, but its true story script ultimately falls flat. The issue is star Genisis Rodriguez, who is woefully miscast here, and whose performance never reaches the level of desperation the film sorely needed.
3. Pieces of a Woman
I have gotten abuse for this, but it was not the first time and definitely will not be the last (if you ever want the feeling of a public social media flogging, rank a beloved television classic’s entire catalog of episodes). Pieces of Woman (Netflix) had so much hype, but after a harrowing, beautiful, suspenseful, and heartbreaking first act, Kornél Mundruczó’s film is barely kept together with a string of melodramatic scenes that felt like each actor was campaigning on camera for their Oscar. A self-indulgent, highly irregular character study whose sole purpose seems to be awards bait.
It may be unfair to hinge your hopes of a mindless cinematic guilty pleasure to any film, but we needed a Gerard Butler action picture more than ever. What we got was Greenland (HBO Max), which has a remarkable combination of downright dullness and eye-rolling coincidences that made for, frankly, a boring experience. An opportunity to use even the smallest themes of classism, socioeconomic issues, and ethical dilemmas to build any type of suspense was ignored. We waited for Butler’s action spectacular since April and the long-awaited pandemic delay didn’t live up to the massive hype.
I am not sure what I watched and saw, but what I do know is that Tenet, as a film, is so convoluted and contains a plot twist so painfully obvious it becomes routine and even dull. Christopher Nolan’s film also has the added perplexing issue of being unbearably long and the feeling of being rushed. If there was ever an opportunity to label a film a*s-backward, this was it. The year’s biggest disappointment.
Runner’s Up for The Most Disappointing Films of 2020: Hillbilly Elegy, French Exit, Over the Moon, The King of Staten Island, The Truth
Thanks for reading M.N. Miller’s Film Year in Review: The Most Disappointing Films of 2020. For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?