Movieman630 has written 6 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ during 2020.

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★★★

    Not much to add to the conversation here. This film holds up very well and, in addition to being a massive technical achievement, is simply a fascinating character study.

  • Unforgiven

    Unforgiven

    ★★★★★

    Unforgiven is a masterpiece. Easily the peak of Eastwood's directing career, this film is one of the greatest examinations of the genre that has ever been put to film. The degree to which the film de-mythologizes the genre, while simultaneously telling a wonderful story set within it is unparalleled. This film is a labor of love, a reflection from somebody who spent their life working in the "old west." As such, it is one of the strongest examples of how to modernize a genre without losing what made it special.

  • Da 5 Bloods

    Da 5 Bloods

    ★★★★★

    There are few young filmmakers who have nearly the same passion and energy that Spike Lee has more than three decades into his career. Like the filmmaker's other greats, Da 5 Bloods is messy, stuffed to the brim with ideas, and a tad unfocused. Also like his other greats, he somehow makes all of those things feel like strengths, not weaknesses. This is a film that gets across many thoughts about the modern day lives of Black Americans, but it…

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★★

    Man, this is truly one of the best films of the last few years, and honestly a perfect example of how to do an anthology film. All six of the short films presented here share some themes and a western setting, but they all tackle these themes in a different way. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a looney tunes esque broad comedy. Near Algodones is a more restrained comedy of errors. Meal Ticket is a misanthropic tragedy. All Gold…

  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★★★

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a film of beautiful minimalism and stark emotion. The film finds its romance not in big gestures and sweeping orchestra, but rather in looks and brief moments. These small moments are very effective at setting up the emotional connection between the characters, an speak to the unexplainable nature of love.

    The artistry of the film is absolutely fantastic. Barely any score music is used, instead the film revels in silence. The sound design…

  • 1917

    1917

    ★★★★★

    1917 is an incredibly powerful war adventure film that doesn’t forget to incorporate a human element into its carnage. The films focus is far less on battles, and more on the general horror war brings, and the determination required to survive it. The long unbroken takes add a sense of immersion, and prevent the audience from resting easy. The lack of cuts puts us right next to the characters, having to keep moving right along with them. Overall, it’s a brilliant example of pseudo-experimental filmmaking, and making a gimmick not feel like a gimmick.