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Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year

Posted on the 20 January 2021 by Shane Slater @filmactually
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year

There's a common notion that audiences naturally gravitate towards more optimistic movies during challenging times. But as I reflect on 2020's best films, the stories that stood out were ones which reflected our contemporary lives in a myriad of ways. Indeed, rather than turning to escapism, I was compelled by documentaries, true stories and naturalistic films that felt like real life. As the world looks to a post-COVID-19, post-Trump future, I believe these fine works of cinematic art will stand the test of time, acting as time capsules for one of the most significant years in our collective memories. Here are my picks for the Top 10 Films of 2020.

Honorable Mentions: Athlete A, Boys State, Premature and Wolfwalkers

Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year
10. Night of the Kings
(directed by 
Philippe Lacôte)
"When there’s so much stunning creativity and imagination on display, it’s almost impossible to avert your eyes from this visionary work of African art."
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year9. On the Record(directed by Amy Ziering & Kirby Dick)

""On The Record" expertly contextualizes their experiences as Black women within the music industry, giving insight into the immense courage required to speak out."

Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year8. The Way I See It
(directed by Dawn Porter)
"While Souza’s work does speak for itself, Porter further amplifies these snapshots of history with insightful archival footage and interviews with individuals directly and indirectly involved in the White House administration."
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year7. 40 Years a Prisoner(directed by Tommy Oliver)
"This eye-opening documentary chronicles the ordeal of Mike Africa Jr. and his incarcerated parents Mike and Debbie Africa, who were members of a persecuted group of primarily Black members called MOVE."
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year6. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom(directed by George C. Wolfe)
"Set in 1920s Chicago, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is a heartrending exploration of what can happen to a dream deferred."
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year5. And Then We Danced(directed by Levan Akin)
"At once a scintillating dance film and a heartfelt gay love story, this acclaimed drama points a metaphorical middle finger at the heteronormative establishment."
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year4. Dick Johnson is Dead
(directed by Kirsten Johnson)
"Much like her previous effort "Cameraperson", Johnson puts an innovative spin on non-fiction filmmaking with this deeply personal work."
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year
3. Time
(directed by Garrett Bradley)
""Time" stands as one of the most accomplished films of the year, with warm black-and-white cinematography, astute editing, affecting piano music and the inspiration of a family determined to make up for lost time."
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year2. Nomadland(directed by Chloe Zhao)
"In "Nomadland", Chloe Zhao takes audiences on a breathtaking journey into America's heartland, exploring the perspective of one woman and her newfound way of life."
Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year1. Collective(directed by Alexander Nanau)

 "Nanau lays out this trail of corruption in remarkable, engaging detail."

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