The list of 2020’s Best Movies has been published, determined by the votes of over a hundred critics from leading publications such as IndieWire, The Guardian and The New Yorker.
Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, NOMADLAND features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.
2) First Cow
A loner and cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee). The men collaborate on a business, although its longevity is reliant upon the participation of a wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow.
3) Never Rarely Sometimes
Inseparable best friends and cousins Autumn and Skylar precariously navigate the vulnerability of female adolescence in rural Pennsylvania. When Autumn mysteriously falls pregnant, she’s confronted by conservative legislation without mercy for blue-collar women seeking an abortion. With Skylar’s unfailing support and bold resourcefulness, money to fund the procedure is secured and the duo board a bus bound for New York state to find the help Autumn needs.
4) Da 5 Bloods
From Academy Award® Winner Spike Lee comes a new joint: the story of four African American Vets – Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) – who return to Vietnam. Searching for the remains of their fallen Squad Leader (Chadwick Boseman) and the promise of buried treasure, our heroes, joined by Paul’s concerned son (Jonathan Majors), battle forces of Man and Nature – while confronted by the lasting ravages of The Immorality of The Vietnam War.
Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother.
6) I’m Thinking Of Ending
Full of misgivings, a young woman travels with her new boyfriend to his parents’ secluded farm. Upon arriving, she comes to question everything she thought she knew about him, and herself.written by Academy Award winner Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Inspired by Iain Reid’s bestselling namesake novel.
7) Lovers Rock
A single evening at a house party in 1980s West London sets the scene, developing intertwined relationships against a background of violence, romance and music.
8) The Invisible Man
The film follows Cecilia, who receives the news of her abusive ex-boyfriend’s suicide. She begins to re-build her life for the better. However, her sense of reality is put into question when she begins to suspect her deceased lover is not actually dead.
9) The Trial Of The
In Chicago 1968, the Democratic Party Convention was met with protests from activists like the moderate Students for a Democratic Society led by Tom Hayden and the militant Yippies led by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, which led to violent confrontations with the local authorities. As a result, seven of the accused ringleaders are arraigned on charges like Conspiracy by the hostile Nixon administration, including Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers who was not involved in the incident. What follows is an unfair trial presided by the belligerent Judge Hoffman (No relation) and prosecuted by a reluctant but duty-bound Richard Schultz. As their pro bono lawyers face such odds, Hayden and his fellows are frustrated by the Yippies’ outrageous antics undermining their defense in defiance of the system even while Seale is denied a chance to defend himself his way. Along the way, the Chicago 7 clash in their political philosophies even as they learn they need each other in this fight.
1940. Film studio RKO hires 24-year-old wunderkind Orson Welles under a contract that gives him full creative control of his movies. For his first film, he calls in washed-up alcoholic Herman J Mankiewicz to write the screenplay. That film is “Citizen Kane,” and this is the story of how it was written.
Bacurau, a small settlement in Brazil’s remote backcountry, is shaken by the death of its elderly matriarch. But something strange is happening in the village, and there’s little time for mourning. The water supply has been cut off, animals are stampeding through the streets, and empty coffins are turning up on the roadside. One morning, the villagers wake up to find their home has disappeared from satellite maps completely. Under threat from an unknown enemy, Bacurau braces itself for a bloody, brutal fight for survival.
12) David Byrne’s American
Spike Lee documents the former Talking Heads frontman’s brilliant, timely 2019 Broadway show, based on his recent album and tour of the same name.
13) Palm Springs
While stuck at a wedding in Palm Springs, Nyles (Andy Samberg) meets Sarah (Cristin Milioti), the maid of honor and family black sheep. After he rescues her from a disastrous toast, Sarah becomes drawn to Nyles and his offbeat nihilism. But when their impromptu tryst is thwarted by a surreal interruption, Sarah must join Nyles in embracing the idea that nothing really matters, and they begin wreaking spirited havoc on the wedding celebration.
In a twilight world of international espionage, an unnamed CIA operative, known as The Protagonist, is recruited by a mysterious organization called Tenet to participate in a global assignment that unfolds beyond real time. The mission: prevent Andrei Sator, a renegade Russian oligarch with precognition abilities, from starting World War III. The Protagonist will soon master the art of “time inversion” as a way of countering the threat that is to come.
15) Dick Johnson Is Dead
The story focuses on Johnson’s father Richard, who suffers from dementia, portraying different ways some of them violent “accidents” in which he could ultimately die. In each scenario, the elderly Johnson plays along with his daughter’s black humor and imaginative fantasies.
16) Bad Education
A Long Island school superintendent and his assistant are credited with bringing the district unprecedented prestige. Frank is a master of positive messaging, whether before an audience of community leaders or in an office with a concerned student or parent. That changes when a student reporter uncovers an embezzlement scheme of epic proportions, prompting Frank to devise an elaborate cover-up.
Fox Rich is a fighter. The entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early 90s in a moment of desperation. Combining the video diaries Fox has recorded for Rob over the years with intimate glimpses of her present-day life, director Garrett Bradley paints a mesmerizing portrait of the resilience and radical love necessary to prevail over the endless separations of the country’s prison-industrial complex.
18) The Assistant
Follows one day in the life of Jane (Julia Garner), a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer, who has recently landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. Her day is much like any other assistant’s – making coffee, changing the paper in the copy machine, ordering lunch, arranging travel, taking phone messages, onboarding a new hire. But as Jane follows her daily routine, she, and we, grow increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her work day, an accumulation of degradations against which Jane decides to take a stand, only to discover the true depth of the system into which she has entered.
19) Vitalina Varela
Vitalina Varela takes its title from the name of its lead actress, a Cape Verdean woman who, as per usual with Costa’s non-professional actors, plays a fictionalized version of herself. Vitalina first appeared in an episode in the director’s previous film, Horse Money (Wavelengths 2015), wherein she recounted how her husband had left their homeland nearly 25 years ago to work in Lisbon – a separation that became permanent when she finally arrived on the continent, three days after his funeral. In Vitalina Varela, Costa refracts and expands that episode to place us firmly within his heroine’s stoic point of view, capturing her extraordinary strength and resilience as she navigates the scanty physical traces her husband left behind, discovers his secret, illicit life, and encounters the other lives that darken the shadows of the Fontainhas that once was.
Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz — and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.
21) Promising Young Woman
A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
22) The Father
A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
23) The Nest
Rory is an ambitious entrepreneur who brings his American wife and kids to his native country, England, to explore new business opportunities. After abandoning the sanctuary of their safe American suburban surroundings, the family is plunged into the despair of an archaic ’80s Britain and their unaffordable new life in an English manor house threatens to destroy the family.
24) City Hall
A look at Boston’s city government, covering racial justice, housing, climate action, and more.
In 2015, a fire at Bucharest’s Colectiv club leaves 27 dead and 180 injured. Soon, more burn victims begin dying in hospitals from wounds that were not life-threatening. Then a doctor blows the whistle to a team of investigative journalists. One revelation leads to another as the journalists start to uncover vast health care fraud. When a new health minister is appointed, he offers unprecedented access to his efforts to reform the corrupt system but also to the obstacles he faces. Following journalists, whistle-blowers, burn victims, and government officials, Collective is an uncompromising look at the impact of investigative journalism at its best.