Stephen Graham, Stars: Marrying the handheld-centric realism of the Dardennes with the unnerving dreaminess of David Lynch, director Nyholm blurs the boundary between fantasy and reality until it vanishes altogether, with the nursery rhyme of the title (sung by Mog) and animated shadow-play sequences both contributing to a wicked storybook atmosphere. Nicolas Cage and H.P. Shot with bobbing, swaying gracefulness that’s in tune with its environment, it’s an evocative, empathetic and altogether unforgettable portrait of life on the fringe, where escape from reality is a constant—if self-destructive—desire, and solace is only found at the bottom of a glass, in the company of fellow drunks. Director: | Denis O'Hare, | Drama, Sport. Crucifixes and fire are twin motifs underscoring this gorgeously austere, bleak tale about intolerance, oppression, dehumanization and the scarring struggle to survive, which descends into darkness with its haunted eyes wide open. Jonathan Majors, In the fictional northeast Brazilian town of Bacurau, residents are puzzled to discover that their home has disappeared from all GPS maps, and their cell service has ceased. Helena Bonham Carter, R As we are already done with a few months of 2020, now is the time to get started with the Emerald Fennell From vast sights of the snow-capped Andes, to grainy on-the-street video footage of Pinochet tyranny, to introspective interviews with fellow artists, Guzmán’s film (the third entry in a trilogy that also includes Nostalgia for the Light and The Pearl Button) examines the catastrophic upheaval of 1973’s coup d’état, and the lingering scars it left on him and the country’s citizens. Director: 98 min Director: When a young mother's home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss. 113 min A nearly three-hour black-and-white odyssey through allegorical Holocaust horrors, Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird isn’t for the faint of heart. | | Gross: Here are the best, must-watch movies of 2020. $84.16M, PG-13 Framing characters amidst forest greenery or through constricting cabin windows, and setting its action to the serene sounds of its rural environment – snapping twigs, chirping birds, running water, human breath – it’s an empathetic vision of profound male friendship and perilous capitalist enterprise. | Tom Astor, Remi Weekes | Rose Byrne, $53.80M, PG-13 Regina King As envisioned by writer/director Eliza Hittman (Beach Rats), Autumn’s with-child circumstance leads to a harrowing ordeal of uncomfortable doctor visits, financial anxieties, and incessant indignities suffered at the hands of men, be it sexually harassing classmates, her drunk and uncaring father (Ryan Eggold), or a boy (Théodore Pellerin) she and Skylar meet on the bus to Manhattan. Stars: Driveways isn’t simply one of the late Brian Dennehy’s final performances—it’s also one of his finest. Sneaking swigs of booze, of course, has a predictable downside, and Vinterberg’s film (co-written by Tobias Lindholm) charts his protagonists’ revitalizing high and inevitable crash with compassionate attention to the malaise of middle age and the temporary bliss that comes from getting good and blitzed. Stars: Paul Sparks, Elizabeth Marvel, R | Action, Horror, Thriller. When a pill that gives its users unpredictable superpowers for five minutes hits the streets of New Orleans, a teenage dealer and a local cop must team with an ex-soldier to take down the group responsible for its creation. Keanu Reeves, Director: Aaron Sorkin | Director: Cristin Milioti, 120 min In a god-fearing small town in 1960s Oklahoma, bespectacled and reclusive teen Iris endures the booze-induced antics of her mother and daily doses of bullying from her classmates. Stars: Animation, Adventure, Comedy. | Rodrigo Santoro, PG-13 Dramas don’t come much bleaker than Beanpole, director Kantemir Balagov’s wrenching story about the damage caused by war, and the exceedingly high cost of survival. A guy relies on his newly-acquired gladiator skills to save his ex-girlfriend from kidnappers. That Buckley’s protagonist is referred to with various names speaks to her fuzzy, fragmented identity, just as the film’s blend of comedy and horror, as well as intricate dialogue and interior narration, speaks to its duality-centric nature. | When Cecilia's abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. On its surface, Nomadland is a simple story about a middle-aged woman named Fern (Frances McDormand) who, after losing her husband (to disease) and her home (to the closing of a plant and the town it supported), embarks on an itinerant life across the American plains. Josephine Decker Elisabeth Moss, Top movies 2020: News of the World • … The film’s gimmick is that said drinking establishment is actually located in New Orleans, and its patrons have been cast to play improvised versions of themselves—a formal approach that allows the directors to faithfully capture the entire spectrum of sloppy, joyful, self-pitying, antagonistic and regretful emotions that invariably materialize in (and define) such a joint. Christopher Renz Tell us what you think about this feature. Stars: Octavia Spencer, Votes: A dramatic account of the historic embezzlement scandal that engulfed Tassone and his colleagues – most notably, assistant superintendent Pam Gluckin (Allison Janney) – Cory Finley’s film (based on Robert Kolker’s New York Magazine article) is a ruthlessly efficient and even-keeled affair about the intense pressures of suburban academia, where educational-ranking achievements and college acceptance rates are intimately intertwined with real-estate prices. Tyler Rake, a fearless black market mercenary, embarks on the most deadly extraction of his career when he's enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. There may be no more joyous 2020 cinematic scene than the closer of Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round, a sloshed dramedy about four Copenhagen teachers’ attempts to reinvigorate their moribund lives by testing psychiatrist Finn Skårderud’s theory that humans’ optimal blood alcohol content level is .5%. At the same time, his centerpiece sequences are models of formal precision and depth, as protracted shots across sprawling fields, through crowded gymnasiums, and in and out of cramped buildings create pulse-pounding tension while simultaneously conveying the propulsive flow and binding, interconnected nature of narrative storytelling itself. Even amidst such insanity, however, the filmmaker never loses sight of his characters’ humanity, nor their humorousness, be it Tommy Chong’s local squatter or Cage’s paterfamilias, a dork prone to fits of rage and weirdness – such as when he demonstrates the proper way to milk an alpaca. A famous horror writer finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple. Kornél Mundruczó No matter that her characters are plagued by malevolent supernatural forces, Natalie Erika James’ directorial debut is a thriller with grimly realistic business on its mind. Politics are chaotic, combative and undertaken by both true believers and amoral schemers—a state of affairs depicted in starkly microcosmic terms by Boys State. An immigrant worker at a pickle factory is accidentally preserved for 100 years and wakes up in modern-day Brooklyn. Eddie Redmayne, Stars: Matthias Schweighöfer, Director: | Forced to flee their native land by inter-tribal warfare, and then compelled to assimilate in a foreign environment where locals glare at them with suspicion and revulsion, the couple prove figuratively homeless no matter which way they turn. While we can’t celebrate them all, this year-long rundown has certainly tried to do justice to the finest that filmmakers had to offer. Ellen Burstyn, | Hunted by police captain Liu (Liao Fan), Diao’s protagonists are engaged in a deadly game that’s played in silence because they all inherently know the rules, and their sense of purpose is echoed by the film itself, which orchestrates its underworld conflicts with bracing precision. A nighttime race through Manhattan in an old-school sports car is the material’s comedic high point, and contributes to the warmth and affection that Coppola showers upon her metropolitan setting, here envisioned as a dreamy wonderland full of intrigue, adventure and alternately enervating and enlivening domesticity. 93 min 2020 Movies: A list of movies in theaters + released in 2020. The murderous threesome seems to have leapt to life from a painted music box coveted by the couple’s child, thereby casting the proceedings as a symbolic portrait of heartache as a never-ending predator intent on destruction. Gary Oldman, The battle against corruption and criminality—and for democracy—is an ongoing one, and as illustrated by Collective, it doesn’t always have a happy ending. Rachel Lee Goldenberg Biography, Drama, Mystery. In a countryside beset by an unknown plague, teenage Gretel (It’s Sophia Lillis) refuses to work as an old creepy man’s housekeeper, and is thus thrown out by her mother, forced to take her young brother Hansel (Sam Leakey) on a journey through the dark woods to a convent she has no interest in joining. The 16 Scariest Horror Movies of 2020 That'll Haunt You for the Rest of the Year. | Dónal Finn, Keeley Hawes, R What it instilled in them was a sense of self-worth, as well as indignation at the lesser-than treatment they received from society. Jeremy Strong, PG Maternal love is both a blessing and a curse in this ever-metamorphosizing enclave, and León and Cociña’s stunning imagery—combining hand-drawn, painterly, clay- and paper-mache-based animation—is a swirling wonder. Director: Jason Lei Howden From those who acted in movies and the stage, to sitcom stars, television hosts, reality show stars, musicians, writers, producers, and more, it was a rough year for losses in entertainment. 114 min 106 min Henry Cavill, | Tom Hanks, Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Dan Scanlon The vivid footage that comprises the entirety of Nelson’s non-fiction portrait is downright stunning, be it of soldiers crouched behind sandy dunes upon arriving at Iwo Jima, or aerial dogfights that are depicted via the POV of fighter planes’ gun turrets. Director: Helmed with playful menace by Leigh Whannell, whose camerawork and compositions constantly tease subtle action in the corners of the frame, this slick genre effort finds Elisabeth Moss trying to convince anyone who’ll listen that she’s not crazy, and really is being hunted by her supposedly dead abusive boyfriend. | 270,542 Stranger still is the 1950s-style UFO zooming around the sky – perhaps a hallucination invoked by the psychotropic drugs the townsfolk have ingested? “Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, … No matter its conventionality, however, Parkes’ heartfelt performance as Crichlow, a man who wanted to realize a dream and came to understand that he’d created a vital hub for his community, is so enraged and aggrieved that, alongside Letitia Wright’s turn as Altheia Jones, it invigorates this legal affair. Jurnee Smollett, Votes: Helena Zengel, Presenting its story through fractured plotting and dreamy monologues, the Portuguese master’s latest is a series of tableaus of lovelorn grief concerning not only Vitalina but also an aged priest in spiritual crisis and another young man poised to endure his own tragedy. Paddy Considine, PG-13 Stars: Rarely has a film expressed so much bountiful love for its subject as Kirsten Johnson’s Dick Johnson is Dead does for its center of attention, Johnson’s elderly father Dick, a career psychologist who in 2017 begins suffering from the same sort of mental deterioration that consumed his Alzheimer’s-afflicted wife. Willem Dafoe gives a raw, unvarnished performance as a proxy for Abel Ferrara in the writer/director’s Tommaso, the story of an American filmmaker named Tommaso now residing in Rome with his young wife and child. | | Crime, Drama, Thriller. Cristi’s playing-both-sides predicament is complicated by his relationship with Gilda (Catrinel Marlon), an alluring beauty whose femme fatale status is underlined by her famous noir name, and Porumboiu fractures his narrative so that chronology, like the various dialects employed by his characters, comes across as intricately coded. Since said predator isn’t visible to the human eye, however, that’s not an easy task. | Utilizing a variety of disguises to mask his (fictional) identity – because everyone, by now, recognizes him on-sight – Borat reaffirms his status as cinema’s clown prince of pranksterism, culminating with a Rudy Giuliani interview that has to be seen to be believed. Stars We've Lost in 2020. | Jason Woliner Steve Carell, Sarah Snook, Director: Drama, Horror, Mystery. Marinelli’s performance is similarly fraught, his gargantuan presence as entrancing as it is intimidating. 95 min It’s an acute snapshot of the American democratic process as filtered through an alternately inspiring and horrifying Lord of the Flies lens. These are the phenomenal films that helped us overcome a challenging year and you can watch them right now. Chris Pine, One of five features included in 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” compilation, Mangrove dramatizes the real-life story of the Mangrove Nine, a group of Black British West Indians from Notting Hill who were charged with inciting a riot after they marched in protest against police harassment and brutality – all of it centered around Frank Crichlow’s (Shaun Parkes) The Mangrove restaurant. That the Russian-controlled state is on a genocidal mission to “cleanse the blood” of the nation by exterminating its homosexual population is a terrifying reality brought to light by France, who details the efforts of these brave souls to use subterfuge to sneak at-risk individuals to safer European enclaves. Comedy. An opening scene in which Yoko fails to catch a mythical big fish in Aydar Lake – and then has her femininity blamed for this letdown – serves as a gentle metaphor for her ensuing search for purpose, freedom and confidence to face a strange world that seems intent on menacing her, be it police officers whose questions and demands she doesn’t understand, or an amusement park ride that spins her into near oblivion. 102 min It’s Young, however, who holds the hothouse material together as the self-actualizing Rose, whose journey mirrors that of the missing girl Jackson is writing about, and who serves as the beating heart of this slyly furious film. | Grief is a monster that you can neither fight nor flee in Swedish director Johannes Nyholm’s Koko-di Koko-da, a surreal nightmare about a married couple (Leif Edlund and Yiva Gallon) that, in the aftermath of their daughter’s unexpected demise, goes on a camping trip in the woods. Those jaw-dropping sights alone make Nelson’s latest a must-see. Beginning with those infants’ births, the film—from a startlingly close proximity that exudes tenderness and empathy—captures animal life in all its drudgery and beauty, full of struggle, nurturing, conflict, exploration and abandonment. Norm Lewis, R Ivan Massagué, Christopher Nolan Anxiety about mortality turns out to be more pronounced than ever, particularly via Coogan’s Ingmar Bergman-esque dream sequence, which is related to dismay over his father’s failing health. | That domicile is in a constant state of transmutation, as is Maria and the two pigs she finds inside, which she transforms into her de facto children. Ryan’s powerhouse performance as the fiercely determined Mari is the nucleus of this dispiritingly bleak tale, in which there are few concrete answers to be found, but plenty of blame to pass around. 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