Films like 'The Way Back,' 'Birds of Prey,' and 'The Lovebirds' will all be released early because of COVID-19. The director’s striking black-and-white imagery invites investigation and rumination about these familiar creatures, whose experiences and motivations are at once uniquely beastly and poignantly relatable, the latter of which comes to the fore in a finale of confused anguish and desperation. 50 best movies to watch on Netflix right now. Latest Stories Red Mendoza-December 30, 2020… Kiyoshi Kurosawa conjures an atmosphere of humorous dislocation and acute fear with To the Ends of the Earth, the story of a travel TV show host named Yoko (Atsuko Maeda) who’s on assignment with her all-male crew in Uzbekistan. A descendant of Jan Švankmajer and the Brothers Quay, Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña’s The Wolf House is a mesmerizing stop-motion storybook fable about a young girl named Maria who flees her Chilean-situated German colony (based on the notorious real-life Colonia Dignidad, formed by ex-Nazis) and, to protect herself from a predatory wolf, takes refuge in a house in the woods. The tension between them, however, is only one facet of this semi-improvised drama, which also features a clandestine accord struck by Alice’s beloved nephew Tyler (Lucas Hedges) and her new agent Karen (Gemma Chan), both of whom are on the ship, the latter covertly. Email. Some Animated movies made decades ago are still among the best-animated movies for viewers and such have made it to our 2020 list of the all-time best. Writer/director Bryan Bertino once again takes a simple premise and maximizes it for unbearable tension, drawing out white-knuckle suspense from Louise and Michael’s efforts to grapple with tragedy (and impending loss) while simultaneously reckoning with unholy forces beyond their comprehension or control. Here’s how to watch the Marvel movies in release date order. Cruel blackmail soon proves to be Masha’s means of coping with loss, but healing is in short supply in this ravaged milieu. 3 All the Songs That Need to Be on Your NYE Playlist. At one point, January’s Bad Boys for Life hitting Certified Fresh seemed like that was going to be the craziest story of the year. 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. Dec 28, 2020… Its formal structure intrinsically wedded to its shocking story, Neulinger’s film reveals its monstrous particulars in a gradual bits-and-pieces manner that echoes his own childhood process of articulating his experiences to others. Moreover, he imparts a sense of the vital role that dialogue plays in fostering change, and uniting dissimilar people. 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. David Cronenberg’s writer/director son Brandon proves himself a chip off the old body-horror block with Possessor, a twisted sci-fi thriller about a near future in which assassin Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) carries out her hits by hooking herself up to a face-hugger-style machine and “entering” another person’s mind and body, whom she then manipulates like a puppet. The Best Horror Movies To Watch On Amazon Prime. The mythic quality of the Cordillera – the towering eastern stretch of the Andes mountains that serves as both a protective and isolating barrier for the city of Santiago – is harmonized with the grand, destructive illusions of Chile’s Pinochet regime in The Cordillera of Dreams, documentarian Patricio Guzmán’s personal rumination on his homeland’s tumultuous history, and his relationship to it. Lee holds nothing back in recounting this sprawling tale, employing different aspect ratios and film stocks, plentiful Marvin Gaye tunes, flashbacks, shout-outs to Black Lives Matter, denunciations of President Trump, and references to notable (but largely forgotten) African-American trailblazers. For wide releases (of which there were significantly fewer this year, as you can imagine), the minimum number of reviews is 80. Plummeting down a rabbit hole of confusion, longing, regret and grief, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a film of careening left turns. Thumbnail: Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection.). Teaming with his former production designer Juliano Dornelles, director Kleber Mendonça Filho (Neighboring Sounds, Aquarius) delivers an allegory of zonked-out weirdness with Bacurau, which quickly has locals engaging in a do-or-die battle with a pair of interloping São Paulo bikers and a group of murderous Western tourists (led by a hilariously peculiar Udo Kier) who’ve traveled to South America to partake in a variation of The Most Dangerous Game. That Garbus doesn’t let Mari off the hook for her own mistakes, while nonetheless casting a reproachful gaze at the individual and systemic failings that allow such crimes to occur – and go unsolved – only strengthens her cinematic case for compassion and togetherness as the bulwark against tragedy. From Netflix originals to big-screen horror films, these stood out. 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. A sweeping story about a self-made man who transforms himself into an empty vessel, it’s a caustic critique of the sorts of annihilating ideologies that run far too rampant today. At four-and-a-half hours, the legend’s latest sociological investigation paints a sprawling portrait of the work that goes into maintaining, and improving, a metropolis, especially when said locale is undergoing a significant demographic transformation (55% of Boston is now non-white), and its economic inequality is complicated by a host of racial, gender and class-related issues. Oz Perkins is a horror lyricist fixated on grief and female agency, and both factor heavily into his atmospheric reimagining of the classic fairy tale. The darkness is all-consuming, as is despair over a lost past and future, and a purgatorial present, in Vitalina Varela, Pedro Costa’s aesthetically ravishing true tale of its protagonist, a Cape Verde resident who returns to Portugal mere days after her estranged husband’s death. Round and round the romantic entanglements go, not only for these three characters but a host of others that de Wilde and screenwriter Eleanor Catton faithfully delineate in clean, bright brushstrokes. It’s been a wild year on Netflix. The way in which nature, history, dreams and myth intertwine is a central focus here, as Herzog expresses how he and his subject were kindred spirits bonded by a shared fascination with ancient knowledge and a habit of embellishing facts in order to get at a deeper “ecstatic truth.” Though the director employs considerable archival material, its footage of his own journeys – set to Ernst Reijseger’s eclectic score – that really gets to the heart of Chatwin as an itinerant artist drawn to life’s far corners, and enduring mysteries. It’s an acute snapshot of the American democratic process as filtered through an alternately inspiring and horrifying Lord of the Flies lens. 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. Best movies on Amazon Prime Video to watch now. Sharply incorporating closed-captioning into its storytelling, it’s a quiet-LOUD-quiet portrait of finding peace in the present stillness. However, many movies, television series, and documentaries debuted in 2020, and most were available to stream on-demand. Marder evokes Ruben’s condition through an expertly calibrated soundscape that vacillates between harmonious, crystal-clear atmospherics and the low, scary dullness that now besets Ruben. As intimate and up-close-and-personal as non-fiction cinema gets, Victor Kossakovsky’s Gunda documents the life of a mother pig and her newborn brood on a farm. Oldman is magnetic as the dissolute scribe, and Seyfried is even better as the not-as-dumb-as-you-think blonde starlet. Martin Eden is a superb period piece that also exists out of time and is directly attuned to our perilous present. We came into it knowing we’d be getting new films from filmmaking heavyweights like Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), and Greta Gerwig (Little Women), and their efforts did not fail to live up to the hype.The year was also filled with its share of surprises from names both … Subscribe to unlock some of our best suggestions. And you can watch them right now. NYE Hairstyles That'll Give 2020 the Middle Finger. What it instilled in them was a sense of self-worth, as well as indignation at the lesser-than treatment they received from society. Early in 2020, we saw the likes of The Invisible Man, Emma., and Birds of Prey connect with critics. In a 1945 Leningrad still recovering from the end of WWII, lanky Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko), aka “Beanpole,” works as a nurse even though her military service has left her with a condition in which she becomes temporarily frozen. The anime, which has already become one of the top-grossing films in Japan, centers on two teens who meet and form a close bond with each other. At the center of this guilt- and fury-driven tale, a magnificent Dafoe exudes inner torment and a yearning for salvation, as well as a self-loathing that feels destined to land him on a cross. Even boutique streamer Shudder had the year’s viral hit with quarantine-shot Host. Repeatedly shouting out to both crime movies and Westerns – even its title and central conceit feel like references to Lauren Bacall’s iconic To Have and Have Not line of dialogue – the director orchestrates his action with slippery subtlety and droll humor, and he continually surprises on his way to an expressively non-verbal finale of light and music. Acting doesn’t come much bolder and more blistering than in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, George C. Wolfe’s adaptation of August Wilson’s 1982 play about a 1927 Chicago recording session by real-life blues legend Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) and her backing band, comprised of trombonist Cutler (Colman Domingo), bassist Slow Drag (Michael Potts), pianist Toledo (Glynn Turner) and trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman). At once an alternately joyous and distressed confrontation of mortality and impending grief, not to mention a celebration of the cinema’s (illusory, and yet magical) capacity to combat time and fate, Johnson’s follow-up to Cameraperson is a uniquely warts-and-all portrait of facing the inevitable with courage, creativity and devotion. 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. At the center of his tale is Maxim Lapunov, whose release from a Chechnyan torture chamber—and resultant knowledge of the government’s monstrous activities—turns him into the state’s Enemy Number One. When Will Ferrell and David Dobkin wrote and directed, respectively, a peculiar ‘70s-set musical comedy for Netflix’s 2020 docket, you can bet we put it on our list of must-watch fare. Stranger still is the 1950s-style UFO zooming around the sky – perhaps a hallucination invoked by the psychotropic drugs the townsfolk have ingested? 1. For more movies to watch, check out our rankings of Best Horror Movies of 2020 , Best Action Movies of 2020 , and our favorite movies from 2019 . Shane O'Brien. Diao’s neo-noir follows a gangster named Zhou Zenong (Hu Ge) who, after killing a cop in a criminal enterprise gone awry, partners with a “bathing beauty” prostitute named Lu Aiai (Gwei Lun Mei) in order to reunite with his estranged wife Yang Shujun (Wan Qian), all so she might collect the reward on his head. Werner Herzog is non-fiction cinema’s foremost philosopher poet, and with Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, he pays reverent tribute to his celebrated writer friend Bruce Chatwin, who passed away from AIDS in 1989, and whose 1980 novel The Viceroy of Ouidah was the basis for Herzog’s 1987 film Cobra Verde. Good luck making coherent heads or tails of the film’s convoluted story about a CIA agent known only as the Protagonist (John David Washington) who teams with a shadowy colleague (Robert Pattinson) to discover the origins of bullets that, thanks to entropic “inversion,” can travel back in time. That proves to be an arduous state of affairs given that his wife Abbie (Debbie Honeywood) is a home care nurse who works long hours (also for “herself”), and their son Seb (Rhys Stone) is a school-skipping, graffiti-spraying teen who – having seen the incessant, back-breaking toil and anxiety that comes from his parents’ chosen paths – has opted instead for delinquency. Subdued and melancholy, Jack’s journey is a familiar one, and yet O’Conner and Affleck – the latter turning in an expertly modulated, interior turn – shrewdly locate their protagonist’s alcoholism as the self-destructive byproduct of regret, resentment, fury and hopelessness. Romanian director Corneliu Porumboiu once again melds his interests in language and genre filmmaking with The Whistlers, a neo-noir about a police officer named Cristi (Vlad Ivanov) who travels to the Canary Island of La Gomera to learn an ancient whistling language that doesn’t sound anything like a human form of communication. Cookie and King Lu’s attempt to rise above their socio-economic station through a criminal scheme, and the potential disaster that awaits them, is the suspenseful heart of this tranquil quasi-thriller, which – awash in redolent faces, gestures and customs – imparts an understated impression of the forces propelling its characters, and the pioneering nation, forward. While … At the head of that impressive pack (which also includes Bill Nighy) is Taylor-Joy, whose Emma exudes just the right amount of playful cockiness and ambition – qualities ultimately undercut by her realization that no amount of manipulations can change what the heart wants. 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. A gentle film that radiates overpowering compassion for its characters and their plights, writer/director Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari charts the 1980s endeavor by Korean husband/father Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun) to make something of himself by starting a farm in rural Arkansas – an American dream that worries his wife Monica (Han Ye-Ri), and poses challenges for his daughter Anne (Noel Kate Cho) and son David (Alan Kim), the latter of whom suffers from a potentially fatal heart condition. That’s as arduous a job as Tolontan’s quest to speak truth to power, and the film traces both of their efforts during an election year in which the reforms they seek are threatened by an old guard that wants to return to the crooked past. Many of us are stuck inside due to … Dick Johnson is Dead is a daring masterpiece about the loss of loved ones, and of memory, and the movies’ ability—and, also, inability—to make the impermanent permanent.