The movies you absolutely need to see from the past 12 months.
2020 may have been a very different year for cinema and indeed the world at large, but film lovers nevertheless weren’t left wanting for quality experiences no matter the size of the screen available to them.
If the past 12 months unavoidably delivered a lower blockbuster quotient than usual, the gap was firmly plugged by an avalanche of high-quality “prestige” dramas and well-crafted genre films alike.
Many directors birthed the most creative and daring works of their careers up to this point, while countless actors saw themselves elevated to the upper echelons of the industry through their career-best performances.
Of the last year, these are the 20 films which best offered up ambitious dramatic storytelling, sharply drawn characters, and tightly-wound entertainment.
It goes without saying that theatrical’s loss was streaming’s gain in 2020, and no matter your subscription services of choice, you had your pick of exceptional content to choose from.
And so, poring back over the entire year’s worth of film, these are the projects which most captured the heart, fed the soul, and got the pulse racing…
Spike Lee’s unforgettable, unconventional war film may have been rough around the edges and perhaps a touch too long, but it was also a deeply visceral, upsetting film about institutional racism, trauma, and seemingly never-ending cycles of violence.
Delroy Lindo’s performance as PTSD-afflicted war vet Paul is the easy standout here, but the entire ensemble cast is spectacular, enough that even when Da 5 Bloods sees Lee at his most excessive and over-reaching, it’s still an eminently enthralling picture.
Though certainly not as varnished or “crowd-pleasing” as something like BlacKkKlansman, this is nothing if not a film that perfectly captured the present moment, releasing mere weeks after the death of George Floyd as it did.
Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.
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