What makes for a great overlooked movie in a year in which everything is on the same playing field? This crazy pandemic time has us watching more through streaming than ever before, and without the imbalance that comes with theatrical we can basically watch whatever we want when we want. Sure, most of the giant blockbusters that would’ve eaten up 4000 theaters have moved to 2021, but the smaller films that might’ve gotten 100 theaters are much easier to find.
So that does make this list a little bit harder, but not impossible. Of the movies on this list, some received a theatrical release to coincide with a digital one, and in the case of The Broken Hearts Gallery it was the first to do so after a long lockdown. The result? Nobody went to see it, and who can blame them? When going outside can cost you your life, who can say that venturing to the multiplex to catch a flick is a wise idea? But it was a wonderfully charming movie with another stand-out performance by Geraldine Viswanathan that would be worth seeing no matter what the global situation.
What I tried to do, both here and in my best of the year list which is coming up soon, is to avoid movies about…well, the damn pandemic. Maybe I’m alone in this but I’m sick to death of films trying to capture this moment. We’re in the middle of living it. How about we get through it, get some distance, and reflect on this shared experience later?
Anyway, here are my picks for 10 great overlooked movies of 2020. You should seek them all out, and if you do, hit me up and tell me what you thought.
Directors: Alex Huston Fischer & Eleanor Wilson
Cast: Sunita Mani, John Paul Reynolds, John Early, Jo Firestone, Amy Sedaris
The Vast of Night (review)
Director: Andrew Patterson
Cast: Sierra McCormick, Jake Horowitz
The Outpost (review)
Director: Rod Lurie
Cast: Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Orlando Bloom
The Swerve (review)
Director: Dean Kapsalis
Cast: Azura Skye, Bryce Pinkham, Ashley Bell
Cagefighter: Worlds Collide (review)
Director: Jesse Quinones
Cast: Alex Montagnani, Jon Moxley, Gina Gershon, Jay “Christian” Reso, Chuck Liddell
Director: Nick Sarkisov
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Darren Mann, Elizabeth Reaser, Donald Faison, Colin McKenna, Saïd Taghmaoui
The Broken Hearts Gallery (review)
Director: Natalie Krinsky
Cast: Geraldine Viswanathan, Dacre Montgomery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Molly Gordon, Phillipa Soo, Bernadette Peters
Directors: Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion
Cast: Lulu Wilson, Kevin James, Joel McHale, Amanda Brugel
Director: Carlo Mirabella-Davis
Cast: Haley Bennett, Austin Stowell, Elizabeth Marvel
Director: Annie Silverstein, Amber Havard, Yolanda Ross
Cast: Rob Morgan