Year in review: 100 best movies of 2020

Written by:
December 18, 2020
Universal Pictures

Year in review: 100 best movies of 2020

2020 was a unique year for cinema. In a world that continues to be ravaged by the social, economic, and health-adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the film industry experienced its own share of difficulties in continuing production and releasing films set to hit theaters this year. Some studios chose to push new releases back until 2021 and beyond, others have shelved projects with indefinite release dates, and more recently, one studio has made the unprecedented decision to allow the entirety of its 2021 slate to go straight to streaming on HBO MAX next year.

However, many studios simply bit the bullet and chose to let their films go to streaming on either subscription-based platforms or for individual renting, premiere them at virtual film festivals, and/or opt for very limited theatrical releases. Despite theaters being mostly closed and festivals at a standstill, a whole host of films were still able to make it to audiences one way or another and find their own success.

Thus, in spite of the unparalleled struggles the film industry underwent this year, there still managed to be a slew of fantastic films from around the world ranging in subject matter from the coronavirus itself to the horrors of war, social and political justice, capitalism, cows, and…time inversion.

Stacker compiled data on all eligible 2020 movies to come up with a Stacker score—a weighted index split evenly between IMDb and Metacritic scores—to rank the top 100. To qualify, the film had to have an IMDb score, Metascore, and at least 1,000 votes. Ties were broken by Metascore, and further ties were broken by IMDb user rating. The data was acquired on Dec. 3, 2020.

At one point, it felt as if the film landscape for 2020 would be undoubtedly bleak, yet we have been treated to a cinematic banquet that beat the odds. Counting down from 100, here are the best films of 2020.

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1 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#100. Onward

- Director: Dan Scanlon
- Stacker score: 75.4
- Metascore: 61
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 102 minutes

The most recent family treat from Disney and Pixar Animation Studios follows two young elf brothers (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt), who attempt to embark on a magical quest to resurrect their long-dead father for one day. The film also features the voices of Octavia Spencer and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and it was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Song Written for Visual Media for “Carried Me with You.”

2 / 100
IBC Movie

#99. The Traitor

- Director: Marco Bellocchio
- Stacker score: 75.4
- Metascore: 64
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 153 minutes

This internationally produced crime drama surrounds the real life of Sicilian Mafia boss Tommaso Buscetta, who was eventually arrested by Brazilian police and extradited to Italy, where he became the first Sicilian Mafia boss to turn informant. The film was selected as Italy’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

3 / 100
Palamor

#98. The Life Ahead

- Director: Edoardo Ponti
- Stacker score: 75.4
- Metascore: 66
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 94 minutes

Starring screen icon Sophia Loren, this Italian drama follows an aging former prostitute and Holocaust survivor who takes in a Sengelese street child, forming an unlikely friendship. It is based on Romain Gary’s novel “The Life Before Us” and has sparked potential Oscar buzz for Loren, which would be her first nomination since 1965.

4 / 100
Revolution Films

#97. The Trip to Greece

- Director: Michael Winterbottom
- Stacker score: 75.4
- Metascore: 69
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Runtime: 103 min

Comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s fictionalized restaurant tours have seen the pair embark upon delightful, banter-filled journeys through northern England, Italy, Spain, and now, in their fourth installment, Greece. Brydon and Coogan have both confirmed that this fourth “Trip” film is meant to be the last in the series.

5 / 100
Golden Girl

#96. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

- Director: David E. Talbert
- Stacker score: 75.4
- Metascore: 69
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Runtime: 122 min

Starring Forest Whitaker, this family Christmas film follows a toymaker scorned by the decades-old betrayal of his former apprentice who discovers hope in the arrival of his adventurous granddaughter. The film also stars Madalen Mills, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, and Ricky Martin. It includes stop-motion and CGI elements as well as live action.

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6 / 100
Tilted Windmill Productions

#95. Standing Up, Falling Down

- Director: Matt Ratner
- Stacker score: 75.4
- Metascore: 70
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 91 min

Ben Schwartz and Billy Crystal lead this comedy about a failing stand-up (Schwartz) who’s forced to move back in with his parents, but finds an unlikely sort of kinship with a local alcoholic dermatologist (Crystal). The film made its U.S. premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and is the feature directorial debut of Matt Ratner.

7 / 100
Dharamsala

#94. Proxima

- Director: Alice Winocour
- Stacker score: 75.4
- Metascore: 71
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 107 min

In French filmmaker Alice Winocour’s fourth feature, a female astronaut prepares for a yearlong mission at the International Space Station while simultaneously trying to balance her work with raising her 8-year-old daughter. The film stars Eva Green, Matt Dillon, Lars Eidinger, and Sandra Hüller, and it was shot at the European Space Agency’s various training facilities.

8 / 100
Beijing Diqi Yinxiang Entertainment

#93. The Eight Hundred

- Director: Guan Hu
- Stacker score: 76
- Metascore: 64
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 149 minutes

Set in 1937 Shanghai, this Chinese historical war drama centers on the real-life Defense of Sihang Warehouse, which took place during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Battle of Shanghai. “Eight hundred” pertains to the 800 soldiers who were under siege by the Japanese army on the Shanghai battlefield. The film’s release was pushed back four times over issues regarding the portrayal of the events and an inability to pass censors.

9 / 100
Skellig Rock

#92. Family Romance, LLC

- Director: Werner Herzog
- Stacker score: 76
- Metascore: 68
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 89 min

German director Werner Herzog offers an offbeat drama in which a company that rents real human stand-ins is compromised when the owner is hired to stand in for a woman’s missing father. The film’s world premiere was held during the Special Screenings section of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

10 / 100
Netflix

#91. The Old Guard

- Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
- Stacker score: 76
- Metascore: 70
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Runtime: 125 min

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the film stars Charlize Theron as one of a group of immortal mercenaries whose fate is put into peril by a new member and a power-hungry pharmaceutical executive intent on exploiting their power. The film was directed by “Love & Basketball” director Gina Prince-Bythewood and co-stars KiKi Layne, Luca Marinelli, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Harry Melling.

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11 / 100
Rhombus Media

#90. Possessor

- Director: Brandon Cronenberg
- Stacker score: 76
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 103 minutes

In a not-so-distant future, assassins are capable of completing their assignments by inhabiting the bodies of others. When overworked, corporate assassin Tasya Vos becomes far too connected to the mind of her host, her mission—and her own mind—are gravely endangered. From Brandon Cronenberg, the film stars Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, and Jennifer Jason Leigh and made its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

12 / 100
Secret Engine

#89. Blow the Man Down

- Directors: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy
- Stacker score: 76
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 91 min

In the wake of their mother’s death, two sisters are caught up in a crime that needs to be concealed, involving themselves with the seedy underbelly of their New England town. Premiering at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, it was the feature co-directorial debut of Danielle Krudy.

13 / 100
Blinder Films

#88. Extra Ordinary

- Directors: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman
- Stacker score: 76
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 94 min

This Irish horror-comedy follows a driving instructor with paranormal abilities who must use them to keep a man’s daughter from the clutches of a Satanic rock star (Will Forte) who means to sacrifice her. The studio made a promotional video game to coincide with its release.

14 / 100
Regency Enterprizes

#87. His House

- Director: Remi Weekes
- Stacker score: 76
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 93 min

In Remi Weekes’ directorial debut, a young refugee couple escapes war-torn Sudan to an English town, where a different kind of evil makes the adjustment to their new life all the more harrowing. The horror film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and stars Wunmi Mosaku, Sope Dirisu, and Matt Smith.

15 / 100
Film Produkcja

#86. Mr. Jones

- Director: Agnieszka Holland
- Stacker score: 76.5
- Metascore: 68
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 119 minutes

Based on real events, Agnieszka Holland’s bio-thriller follows Welsh journalist Gareth Jones (James Norton), who risked his life in the early 1930s to expose the truth about widespread, man-made famine in the Soviet Union. It won the Grand Prix Golden Lions at the 44th Gdynia Film Festival in 2019 and was selected to compete for the Golden Bear at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival. It co-stars Vanessa Kirby and Peter Saarsgard.

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16 / 100
Impact Partners

#85. Spaceship Earth

- Director: Matt Wolf
- Stacker score: 76.5
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 113 min

In 1991, eight individuals took up quarantined residence in a manufactured replica of Earth’s ecosystem for two years named Biosphere 2. This documentary explores the ups and downs of their quest to determine if life can be sustained on other planets. The film incorporates present-day interviews alongside archival footage.

17 / 100
See-Saw Films

#84. Ammonite

- Director: Francis Lee
- Stacker score: 76.5
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 120 min

In 1840s England, paleontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) is called to care for a man’s sick wife (Saoirse Ronan), and the two women develop a deep, passionate love affair. The film is loosely inspired by Anning’s life and was director Lee’s follow-up to his 2017 feature debut “God’s Own Country.” Its world premiere was held at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, where Winslet won the TIFF's Tribute Actor Award.

18 / 100
Universal Pictures

#83. The King of Staten Island

- Director: Judd Apatow
- Stacker score: 77.1
- Metascore: 67
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 136 minutes

A semi-autobiographical film based on the life of lead actor Pete Davidson, “The King of Staten Island” focuses on directionless Scott (Davidson) who lives with his mom and sister in Staten Island. But when his mom begins dating a firefighter—just like his late father—Scott’s case of arrested development becomes threatened. From acclaimed comedy director Apatow, the film features an ensemble cast including Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, and Steve Buscemi.

19 / 100
TriStar Pictures

#82. Happiest Season

- Director: Clea DuVall
- Stacker score: 77.1
- Metascore: 69
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 102 minutes

When Harper decides to bring her parentless girlfriend Abby home for the holidays, the couple have to contend with the last-minute revelation that Harper never came out to her family. This Christmas rom-com is the sophomore feature from actress Clea DuVall, the ensemble cast of which includes Mackenzie Davis, Kristen Stewart, Aubrey Plaza, and Alison Brie, among others.

20 / 100
Netflix

#81. The Boys in the Band

- Director: Joe Mantello
- Stacker score: 77.1
- Metascore: 70
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 121 min

The second film adaptation of this play of the same name stars the full cast of the 2018 Broadway revival, including Zachary Quinto, Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, and Andrew Rannells. The story involves the arrival of a surprise guest to a group of gay men at a birthday party in 1968 New York City and was directed by Broadway alum Joe Mantello.

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21 / 100
Working Title Films

#80. Emma.

- Director: Autumn de Wilde
- Stacker score: 77.1
- Metascore: 71
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Runtime: 124 min

Jane Austen’s classic story of lovely, charming, and rich Emma Woodhouse is adapted yet again in this film starring Anya Taylor-Joy as the heroine meddling with her friends’ and family’s love lives in Regency-period England. The period film serves as Autumn de Wilde’s feature directorial debut.

22 / 100
A24

#79. On the Rocks

- Director: Sofia Coppola
- Stacker score: 77.1
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 96 min

Sofia Coppola’s third collaboration with Bill Murray casts him as aging playboy Felix, who begins interfering with his daughter Laura’s (Rashida Jones) paranoid suspicions that her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) might be cheating on her. The comedy-drama’s premiere was held at the 2020 New York Film Festival.

23 / 100
Couzin Films

#78. Ghost Town Anthology

- Director: Denis Côté
- Stacker score: 77.1
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 97 min

After the death of a local teenager leaves a small Quebec town reeling, many of the residents begin to experience ghost sightings in this French-language Canadian film. The supernatural drama received 10 Prix Iris nominations at the 2019 Quebec Cinema Awards and two nominations at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards.

24 / 100
Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF)

#77. Shirley

- Director: Josephine Decker
- Stacker score: 77.1
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 6.2
- Runtime: 107 minutes

Loosely based on the life of horror author Shirley Jackson, this drama from director Josephine Decker weaves a frantic tale of the eccentric author, who finds inspiration for her next novel when she and her husband host a young couple. The film’s world premiere was held at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where Decker received a U.S. Jury Special Award for Auteur Filmmaking.

25 / 100
Tremolo Productions

#76. Miss Americana

- Director: Lana Wilson
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 65
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 85 minutes

The tumultuous life of a pop star is put on display in this tell-all documentary about Taylor Swift showcasing the influential young singer’s rise, fall, comeback, and everything in between. The film received critical acclaim upon its premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and has made many “best of 2020” lists.

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26 / 100
Pinball Party Productions

#75. Class Action Park

- Directors: Seth Porges, Chris Charles Scott III
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 69
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 90 minutes

The story of the infamously dangerous New Jersey amusement park “Action Park” is chronicled in this documentary featuring interviews with former attendants and employees, leading up to events surrounding the first death that occurred at the park. The film held its premiere virtually through the 2020 Florida Film Festival and is narrated by comedian John Hodgman.

27 / 100
Chicago Media Angels

#74. Come As You Are

- Director: Richard Wong
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 71
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 106 minutes

A nurse takes three men with disabilities on a road trip to a Montreal brothel to lose their virginities. The film stars Gabourey Sidibe, Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, and Ravi Patel and is a remake of the eponymous 2011 Belgian film based on the true experiences of co-writer Asta Philpot.

28 / 100
Fabula

#73. Ema

- Director: Pablo Larraín
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 71
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 107 minutes

This Chilean drama follows a young dancer couple who return their adopted son to their orphanage after he commits a heinous act, exploring themes of parenthood, grief, and sexual fluidity. Directed by Pablo Larraín and starring Gael García Bernal and Mariana Di Girolamo, the film had its world premiere held at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Golden Lion award.

29 / 100
Millennium Media

#72. The Outpost

- Director: Rod Lurie
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 71
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 123 min

Following the Battle of Kamdesh in the Afghanistan War, this film focuses on a unit of U.S. soldiers battling Taliban fighters while isolated at Combat Outpost Keating. The film stars Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood, and Caleb Landry Jones and is based on Jake Tapper’s 2012 nonfiction book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.”

30 / 100
Canderblinks Film and Music,

#71. Ordinary Love

- Directors: Lisa Barros D'Sa, Glenn Leyburn
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 6.6
- Runtime: 92 min

When a middle-aged woman receives a cancer diagnosis, her loving relationship with her husband of many years is put to the test through the challenges of dealing with her illness. The film features Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville in the leading roles and made its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

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31 / 100
Beyond C

#70. Children of the Sea

- Director: Ayumu Watanabe
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 111 min

A young girl meets two mysterious boys at the aquarium where her father works and realizes she shares the same supernatural connection to the ocean that they do. This Japanese anime film is based upon the manga of the same name and won the award for Best Animation Film at the 2020 Mainichi Film Awards.

32 / 100
A Private View

#69. Dirty God

- Director: Sacha Polak
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 75
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 104 min

After an acid attack leaves a young London mother with extensive facial scarring, she descends down a path of self-destruction from which she must emerge and take back control of her life. The film features the screen debut of lead actress Vicky Knight, herself a real-life burn survivor, and her performance earned her an award for BAFTA Breakthrough Brits at the 2019 British Academy Film Awards.

33 / 100
Walt Disney Pictures

#68. Black Is King

- Directors: Emmanuel Adjei, Ibra Ake, Blitz Bazawule, Beyoncé, Kwasi Fordjour
- Stacker score: 77.7
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 5.5
- Runtime: 85 minutes

Acting as a visual companion to Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift,” an album curated for the 2019 live-action remake of the Disney animated classic, this musical film tells the story of a young, exiled African prince who undergoes a journey of self-discovery following the death of his father. The film was shot in the U.S., U.K., Belgium, Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana, and in each setting, Beyoncé made a point of hiring diverse, local talent.

34 / 100
3B Productions

#67. The Truth

- Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
- Stacker score: 78.2
- Metascore: 75
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 106 min

From Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, this drama starring Ethan Hawke, Catherine Deneuve, and Juliette Binoche centers on the fraught reunion between a woman and her actress mother after the latter releases her memoirs. The film is Kore-eda’s first to not be set in Japan or spoken in his native Japanese language.

35 / 100
Avventurosa

#66. Martin Eden

- Director: Pietro Marcello
- Stacker score: 78.8
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Runtime: 129 minutes

Loosely based on Jack London’s 1909 novel of the same name, the story surrounds an illiterate sailor who becomes a writer to impress the bourgeois woman he falls for but ends up at the forefront of a social movement. This Italian-French drama was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival in 2019, where lead actor Luca Marinelli won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor.

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36 / 100
Film 4

#65. The Personal History of David Copperfield

- Director: Armando Iannucci
- Stacker score: 78.8
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 119 min

The most recent adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel stars Dev Patel in the lead role, chronicling the title character’s life from troubled childhood to navigating a career as a writer. The comedy-drama is from “The Death of Stalin” director Armando Iannucci and co-stars Peter Capaldi, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, and Ben Whishaw.

37 / 100
Tarantula

#64. Fire Will Come

- Director: Oliver Laxe
- Stacker score: 79.3
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 86 minutes

When a Galician man and notorious arsonist receives an unwelcome return from his prison stint, he goes to live with his mother in the mountains—but a new fire starts, and the blame is placed on him. After screening at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section, the film won the Jury Prize.

38 / 100
Annapurna Pictures

#63. Kajillionaire

- Director: Miranda July
- Stacker score: 79.3
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 104 minutes

This offbeat crime comedy follows a family of con artists who have been successful at scamming and swindling for 26 years, but things begin to unravel when the family allows a stranger to join their group. It stars Evan Rachel Wood, Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger, and Gina Rodriguez, and its world premiere was held at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

39 / 100
General Film Production

#62. Capital in the Twenty-First Century

- Director: Justin Pemberton
- Stacker score: 79.9
- Metascore: 70
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 103 minutes

This documentary details a history of wealth and income inequality dating back to the 18th century across the U.S. and Europe. The film is an adaptation of the 2013 bestseller of the same name by Thomas Piketty, a French economist, and it premiered in 2019 at the Sydney Film Festival.

40 / 100
Universal Pictures

#61. The Invisible Man

- Director: Leigh Whannell
- Stacker score: 79.9
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 124 minutes

A new iteration of the classic Universal monster movie—itself an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ eponymous novel—follows a woman who escapes the clutches of her abusive boyfriend after he commits suicide, only to be stalked by him when he’s able to render himself invisible. The film was originally intended as part of Universal’s plan for an extended cinematic universe of its monster properties, but after the critical and commercial failure of 2017’s “The Mummy,” the films have shifted to standalone stories.

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41 / 100
Basque Films

#60. The Platform

- Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
- Stacker score: 79.9
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 94 minutes

In a dystopian future, a prison’s inmates are inhumanely housed in vertical, alternating cells that allow those on the upper levels to eat while those below starve, causing inevitable conflict. The Spanish-language sci-fi thriller cast two comedic Spanish actors against type (Ivan Massagué and Antonia San Juan). Massagué lost nearly 30 pounds during the shoot in order to show his character’s physical decline.

42 / 100
Likely Story

#59. The Half of It

- Director: Alice Wu
- Stacker score: 79.9
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 104 minutes

When an introverted, straight-A girl begins helping a jock court his crush through ghostwriting a series of love letters, things become complicated upon the realization that both of them are in love with the same girl. The film is a loose, modernized retelling of the classic tale “Cyrano de Bergerac.” At the Tribeca Film Festival in 2020, the film received the festival’s top prize, the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature.

43 / 100
Awesomeness Films

#58. Spontaneous

- Director: Brian Duffield
- Stacker score: 79.9
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 101 min

Students at a high school begin to spontaneously combust for no discernible reason, and romance blooms between two seniors learning to cope with an increasingly uncertain future. The sci-fi rom-com stars Charlie Plummer and Katherine Langford and is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Brian Duffield.

44 / 100
Element Pictures

#57. The Nest

- Director: Sean Durkin
- Stacker score: 79.9
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.4
- Runtime: 107 min

Starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon, this thriller centers on an English entrepreneur in the 1980s who moves his American family from the U.S. suburbs to the unfamiliarity of the U.K. countryside. There, they must contend with a new life that poses financial and cultural difficulties. The film is director Sean Durkin’s sophomore feature, his first since 2011’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”

45 / 100
Netflix

#56. Circus of Books

- Director: Rachel Mason
- Stacker score: 80.4
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 92 minutes

This documentary tells the story of the eponymous bookstore in West Hollywood, which was bought by a Jewish couple in 1976 and became the United States’ largest distributor of gay porn. The couples’ daughter, Rachel Mason, directed the film, which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

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46 / 100
Arte France Cinéma

#55. The Wild Goose Lake

- Director: Diao Yi’nan
- Stacker score: 80.4
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 113 minutes

After mistakenly killing a police officer, the leader of a gang of motorcycle thieves goes on the lam from the cops and his mob enemies with a bounty on his head. The film is Chinese director Diao Yi'nan’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed “Black Coal, Thin Ice” and was selected for competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

47 / 100
El Ministerio de Cultura Y Deportes de Guatamala

#54. La llorona

- Director: Jayro Bustamante
- Stacker score: 80.4
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 97 min

The vengeful spirit of a native Mayan woman returns to torment the man responsible for killing her and her three children during a military attack 30 years ago in Guatemala. The film is spoken in Spanish as well as native Mayan-Caqchickel and Mayan-Ixil. It was Guatemala’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2020 Academy Awards.

48 / 100
Silver Screen

#53. The Painted Bird

- Director: Václav Marhoul
- Stacker score: 81
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 169 minutes

Based on the eponymous 1965 novel, the story centers on a young Jewish boy in war-torn Eastern Europe who wanders the land seeking shelter and struggling to survive. The film stars Udo Kier, Harvey Keitel, Stellan Skarsgård, Barry Pepper, and Julian Sands and is the first to feature the language known as “Interslavic.”

49 / 100
Rosetta Productions

#52. Beats

- Director: Brian Welsh
- Stacker score: 81
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 101 minutes

Two friends coming of age in 1994 Scotland are about to go down completely different life paths but are determined to attend an illegal rave before they have to part ways. The film was executive-produced by Steven Soderbergh, who approached director Brian Welsh after being impressed by an episode of “Black Mirror” that Welsh directed.

50 / 100
Likely Story

#51. I'm Thinking of Ending Things

- Director: Charlie Kaufman
- Stacker score: 81
- Metascore: 78+
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Runtime: 134 minutes

A young woman contemplates breaking up with her boyfriend while en route to dinner with his parents on their isolated farmhouse, but the evening grows stranger by the minute. Based on Ian Reid’s 2016 novel, the psychological thriller stars Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, David Thewlis, and Toni Collette.

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51 / 100
French Quarter Film

#50. And Then We Danced

- Director: Levan Akin
- Stacker score: 81.6
- Metascore: 68
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 113 minutes

The arrival of a new dancer jeopardizes Merab’s pursuit of joining the National Georgian Ensemble, as the charismatic fresh face becomes both Merab’s greatest rival and his love interest. This Georgian drama received a 15-minute standing ovation upon its premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival

52 / 100
Warner Bros

#49. Tenet

- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Stacker score: 81.6
- Metascore: 69
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 150 minutes

Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated sci-fi thriller follows a secret agent known only as “The Protagonist,” whose time-bending mission of international espionage aims to prevent the start of World War III. Starring Robert Pattinson, John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, and Kenneth Branagh, the film’s theatrical release was infamously delayed numerous times due to COVID-19.

53 / 100
Ghost Pictures

#48. Mystify: Michael Hutchence

- Director: Richard Lowenstein
- Stacker score: 81.6
- Metascore: 73
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 102 minutes

A look at the troubled life of INXS lead singer and songwriter Michael Hutchence, this documentary paints a touching portrait of an artist taken too soon. The film utilizes various media, including private home videos, rare archive footage, outtakes, and audio recordings from friends, family, and colleagues.

54 / 100
Berserk Films

#47. End of Sentence

- Director: Elfar Adalsteins
- Stacker score: 81.6
- Metascore: 75
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 96 minutes

Upon his release from a stint in prison, a young man undertakes a trip to scatter his mother’s ashes along with his estranged father. Though the two are set on never speaking again after the task is completed, the journey brings them together through unexpected means. The feature directorial debut of Elfar Adalsteins stars Logan Lerman and John Hawkes.

55 / 100
"Weathering With You" Film Partners

#46. Weathering with You

- Director: Makoto Shinkai
- Stacker score: 82.1
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 112 minutes

A high school student leaves his remote home for the hub of Tokyo, where he meets an orphan girl who has the power to manipulate the weather. The Japanese animated film was also released as a novel by director and screenwriter Makoto Shinkai and was Japan’s Best International Feature Film entry for the 2020 Academy Awards.

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56 / 100
40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

#45. Da 5 Bloods

- Director: Spike Lee
- Stacker score: 82.1
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 6.5
- Runtime: 154 minutes

Four Black Vietnam War veterans return to the country under the guise of a reunion—but with the intention of retrieving the lost body of their former squad leader and unclaimed riches hidden deep in the jungle. Their journey is impeded by the lasting trauma of their time spent in battle. Lead actor Delroy Lindo garnered critical acclaim for his performance in the film, with an impending Oscar campaign on the horizon.

57 / 100
Screen Australia

#44. Babyteeth

- Director: Shannon Murphy
- Stacker score: 82.7
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 118 minutes

An Australian teen diagnosed with cancer falls for a small-time drug dealer, and though her relationship with her disapproving parents becomes strained, she discovers a newfound zeal for life in the wake of her problematic romance. The feature debut from director Shannon Murphy is based on a stage play by the film’s screenwriter, Rita Kalnejais.

58 / 100
Aardman Animations

#43. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

- Directors: Will Becher, Richard Phelan
- Stacker score: 82.7
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 86 minutes

This standalone sequel to 2015’s “Shaun the Sheep Movie” follows the titular critter as he befriends an alien who crash-lands on his farm. The two must soon work together to keep the alien from being captured by a nefarious organization. The stop-motion animated film—based on the “Wallace and Gromit” spinoff television series—was nominated for Best Animated Film at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards.

59 / 100
Danish Film Institute

#42. A White, White Day

- Director: Hlynur Palmason
- Stacker score: 82.7
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 6.8
- Runtime: 109 minutes

An off-duty police chief whose wife recently died in a car accident begins to suspect that a local man may have been having an affair with her, and his determination to uncover the truth descends into unhealthy obsession. This Icelandic drama, though not nominated, was selected as Iceland’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2020 Academy Awards.

60 / 100
Bones

#41. My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising

- Director: Kenji Nagasaki
- Stacker score: 83.8
- Metascore: 70
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 104 minutes

Based on the popular manga series “My Hero Academia,” this second installment sees protagonist Deku and the other heroes in Class 1-A tasked with saving Nabu Island from the forces of a threatening villain. Though intended to be the last film in the series, a third film with a planned 2021 release has since been confirmed.

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61 / 100
HBO Films

#40. Bad Education

- Director: Cory Finley
- Stacker score: 83.8
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 108 minutes

Beloved Long Island superintendent Frank Tassone has spent his entire career working to craft an image of empathy, charisma, and achievement to maintain the prestige of his district. When a student journalist uncovers an elaborate embezzlement scheme, Frank must go to great lengths to cover it up. The film is based on true events surrounding America’s largest public school embezzlement scheme in history.

62 / 100
GED Cinema

#39. The Vast of Night

- Director: Andrew Patterson
- Stacker score: 84.4
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 6.7
- Runtime: 91 minutes

In the 1950s, two kids in a small New Mexico town discover a mysterious radio frequency, and their quest to find the source leads them to the potential presence of alien life. The sci-fi film premiered at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival, winning the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. It is based on actual reported experiences people claimed to have had with extraterrestrials.

63 / 100
Fresh Bread

#38. Beastie Boys Story

- Director: Spike Jonze
- Stacker score: 84.9
- Metascore: 74
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 119 minutes

In this Spike Jonze-directed documentary, Adam Horowitz, Mike Diamond, and the late Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys chronicle their lifelong friendship and musical collaboration. It received five nominations at the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards and was nominated for Best Music Film at the 2021 Grammys.

64 / 100
Hillman Grad

#37. The Forty-Year-Old Version

- Director: Radha Blank
- Stacker score: 84.9
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.2
- Runtime: 123 minutes

A playwright struggling to make her big break in New York City decides to pivot her artistic pursuits to rapping, as her looming 40th birthday makes her desperate to salvage her creative voice. The comedy is directed by, written by, and stars Radha Blank in a fictionalized version of her journey toward artistic fulfillment. It also serves as Blank’s feature directorial debut.

65 / 100
Easy Open Productions

#36. Saint Frances

- Director: Alex Thompson
- Stacker score: 84.9
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 101 minutes

This comedy-drama centers on a young woman who starts off her summer by getting an abortion and promptly follows it by beginning her stint nannying for the 6-year-old girl of a wealthy family, eventually forming a friendship. Upon premiering at the 2019 SXSW Film Festival, the film won the Audience Award and Special Jury Award.

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66 / 100
Zentropa Entertainments

#35. Another Round

- Director: Thomas Vinterberg
- Stacker score: 85.5
- Metascore: 72
- IMDb user rating: 8.1
- Runtime: 117 minutes

Four Copenhagen teachers decide to embark on a drinking experiment—one which involves drinking enough and for long enough to stay at a consistent, low-level of intoxication—to see how it affects their daily lives. The Danish-Swedish drama, starring “Hannibal” actor Mads Mikkelsen, was selected as Denmark’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the upcoming 2021 Academy Awards.

67 / 100
Roy Andersson Filmproduktion AB

#34. About Endlessness

- Director: Roy Andersson
- Stacker score: 85.5
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 6.9
- Runtime: 78 minutes

Inspired by the classic Arabric folks tales of “1,001 Arabian Nights,” this Swedish drama tells different stories of various everyday people in an attempt to capture the beauty and ugliness of human life and the nature of existence. At the 76th Venice International Film Festival, the film won the Silver Lion for Best Direction.

68 / 100
Aurum Film

#33. Corpus Christi

- Director: Jan Komasa
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 115 minutes

Upon his release from a juvenile detention center, a young delinquent, now reformed, seeks the opportunity to become a priest. When he’s prevented due to his criminal history, he dons the garments and becomes a charismatic new preacher in a small town. The film was nominated for numerous awards, winning 11 Polish Academy Awards and garnering a nomination for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Oscars.

69 / 100
Srab Films

#32. Les Misérables

- Director: Ladj Ly
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 104 minutes

Inspired by the Paris riots of 2008, this French drama follows a man who joins the Anti-Crime Brigade of Montfermeil, working alongside his unethical teammates and becoming privy to the mounting tensions between the different gangs within the district. The film won the Jury Prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and received a nomination for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.

70 / 100
Medieoperatørene

#31. The Painter and the Thief

- Director: Benjamin Ree
- Stacker score: 86
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 102 minutes

This documentary chronicles the blossoming of a unique friendship—one between a Czech artist and the man who robbed her two paintings. Over the course of three years, Barbora Kysilkova makes the thief the subject of her art while still searching for the work that he stole. The Norwegian film held its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Storytelling.

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71 / 100
Dreamworks Pictures

#30. The Trial of the Chicago 7

- Director: Aaron Sorkin
- Stacker score: 86.6
- Metascore: 76
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 129 minutes

The newest film from acclaimed director-screenwriter Aaron Sorkin details the infamous 1969 trial of seven organizers of an intended peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, one which turned violent and ended with them charged for conspiracy. The film features an ensemble cast including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

72 / 100
Exposure Labs

#29. The Social Dilemma

- Director: Jeff Orlowski
- Stacker score: 86.6
- Metascore: 78
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 94 minutes

This documentary-drama hybrid takes a look at the increasingly negative societal impacts of social media and its startling influence on everything from mental health to politics to conspiracy theories—including its exploitation of users via data mining and surveillance capitalism. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020 and features performances from Vincent Kartheiser, Skyler Gisondo, and Kara Hayward.

73 / 100
Ready Fictions

#28. Feels Good Man

- Director: Arthur Jones
- Stacker score: 86.6
- Metascore: 79
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 92 minutes

Matt Furie’s Myspace comic “Boys Club” was about a group of slacker anthropomorphic animal friends who pal around and live together. When one of the characters, Pepe the Frog, is co-opted as a hate symbol by the alt-right, Furie begins his too-late struggle to reclaim and redeem his character. The documentary won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

74 / 100
AR Content

#27. Beanpole

- Director: Kantemir Balagov
- Stacker score: 86.6
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 130 minutes

In post-WWII Leningrad, two women both uniquely afflicted by their time spent in the war struggle to return to their lives amid the death and wreckage that surrounds them. The Russian historical drama premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where director Kantemir Balagov won the Un Certain Regard Best Director Award. The film won the FIPRESCI Prize in the Un Certain Regard section for Best Film.

75 / 100
Escape Plan Productions

#26. Saint Maud

- Director: Rose Glass
- Stacker score: 86.6
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.1
- Runtime: 84 minutes

Uniquely traumatized, an impressionable young nurse named Maud seeks an ardently pious path. Charged with the hospice care of a cancer patient, Maud becomes intent on reforming the former hedonistic dancer to save her soul before death. The psychological horror film serves as director Rose Glass’ feature debut.

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76 / 100
Beech Hill Films

#25. A Secret Love

- Director: Chris Bolan
- Stacker score: 87.2
- Metascore: 77
- IMDb user rating: 7.9
- Runtime: 81 minutes

Female professional baseball players Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel have kept their love affair a secret from their families and finally come out seven decades later in this touching documentary. The film was produced by “American Horror Story” and “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy and executive-produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions.

77 / 100
Optec

#24. Vitalina Varela

- Director: Pedro Costa
- Stacker score: 87.2
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 124 minutes

The titular Cape Verdean arrives in Lisbon after the funeral of her husband, whose secret double life makes itself more known to her the longer she stays there. This Portuguese drama film stars non-professional actor Vitalina Varela telling the real story of her life.

78 / 100
Jigsaw Productions

#23. Totally Under Control

- Directors: Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan, Suzanne Hillinger
- Stacker score: 87.7
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 123 minutes

This documentary takes a look at how two different countries handled the coronavirus pandemic—the United States and South Korea. Both discovered their first cases on Jan. 20, 2020, but the former has lost hundreds of thousands of lives since, while the latter lost 447. After a friend of his died from COVID-19 and the other was put on a ventilator, co-director Alex Gibney wanted to make a film to express how he felt the U.S. had failed its people.

79 / 100
Ancine

#22. Bacurau

- Directors: Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho
- Stacker score: 87.7
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 131 minutes

Following the death of the beloved matriarch of a Brazilian village, the villagers begin to experience a series of strange events, including their village disappearing from online maps. The arrival of a group of foreigners reveals that the villagers are not all that they seem. At the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, this “weird western” was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or and ended up winning the Jury Prize.

80 / 100
CinemaWerks

#21. Driveways

- Director: Andrew Ahn
- Stacker score: 87.7
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 83 minutes

A young boy and his mother go to the house of his late aunt to spend the summer cleaning out her things. Having difficulty finding friends his own age, he forms an unlikely bond with the Korean War veteran who lives next door. The drama stars Hong Chau, Brian Dennehy, and Lucas Jaye and was nominated for Best First Screenplay and Best Female Lead at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

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81 / 100
Limelight

#20. Palm Springs

- Director: Max Barbakow
- Stacker score: 87.7
- Metascore: 83
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 90 minutes

On the day of her sister’s wedding, reluctant maid of honor Sarah (Cristin Milioti) grits and bears the Palm Springs ceremony, where she meets goofy, devil-may-care Nyles (Andy Samberg). But when Sarah accidentally steps through the portal of a time loop, she learns Nyles has been stuck the whole time, and the two are now trapped living the same day together. The rom-com held its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020, where it was sold to Hulu for a record-breaking price.

82 / 100
Sixteen Films

#19. Sorry We Missed You

- Director: Ken Loach
- Stacker score: 88.3
- Metascore: 82
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 101 minutes

A family’s uphill battle following the 2008 financial crisis takes a positive turn with the purchase of a new van and the chance to run a self-employed delivery service, but when husband and wife are pulled in opposing directions, tensions reach their limit. From “I, Daniel Blake” director Ken Loach, the drama was selected for competition of the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

83 / 100
Turbine Studios

#18. Small Axe: Red, White and Blue

- Director: Steve McQueen
- Stacker score: 88.8
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.4
- Runtime: 80 minutes

The third installment in director Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology series tells the true story of London Metropolitan Police officer Leroy Logan (John Boyega), who witnesses his father’s brutal attack by police and attempts to reform the corrupt organization from the inside. It premiered alongside installments “Lovers Rock” and “Mangrove” at the 2020 New York Film Festival.

84 / 100
A24

#17. First Cow

- Director: Kelly Reichardt
- Stacker score: 88.8
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.0
- Runtime: 122 minutes

In the 1820s Northwest, two lonely travelers converge by chance and bond over their dreams of finding fortune in the United States. But when their dreams become reality through the illicit means of milking a landowner’s dairy cow, their success relies solely on being able to hide their secret. The film’s coveted “oily cakes” became popular among fans of the film, who have attempted to make their own versions.

85 / 100
Netflix

#16. Mank

- Director: David Fincher
- Stacker score: 89.4
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 131 minutes

For his first feature since 2011’s “Gone Girl,” director David Fincher takes a look at the weeks leading up to the finalization of the script for “Citizen Kane” by screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, viewing 1930s Hollywood through the eyes of the droll alcoholic. The film features the talents of Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance, Lily Collins, and Tuppence Middleton.

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86 / 100
Concordia Studios

#15. Boys State

- Directors: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss
- Stacker score: 89.9
- Metascore: 84
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 109 minutes

A thousand teenage boys come together at Boys State in Austin, Texas, a camp where they are made to build their own representative government. There, they navigate the unique challenge of participating in politics, as the documentary depicts the divisions already forming in the next generation. It won the U.S. Documentary Competition Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020.

87 / 100
Actual Films

#14. Athlete A

- Directors: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk
- Stacker score: 90.5
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 7.7
- Runtime: 103 minutes

This harrowing documentary follows the Indianapolis Star reporters who exposed Dr. Larry Nassar’s rampant sexual abuse of young female gymnasts, including interviews with the gymnasts themselves. The film premiered on Netflix in June after its world premiere at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival was canceled due to COVID-19.

88 / 100
Disclosure Films

#13. Disclosure

- Director: Sam Feder
- Stacker score: 91.1
- Metascore: 80
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 108 minutes

Taking a look at depictions of transgender people in Hollywood, this documentary follows how such portrayals have influenced both audience perceptions of trans people and affected the lives of trans people themselves. The film features interviews with a number of trans celebrities such as Laverne Cox, Chaz Bono, Trace Lysette, MJ Rodriguez, and Lilly Wachowski.

89 / 100
Higher Ground Productions

#12. Crip Camp

- Directors: James Lebrecht, Nicole Newnham
- Stacker score: 91.6
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 106 minutes

Beginning in 1971, this documentary chronicles Camp Jened, a facility in upstate New York for teenagers with disabilities, as well as those campers who eventually went on to become disability rights movement activists. The film won the Audience Award upon its premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was produced by Barack and Michelle Obama for their Higher Ground Productions company.

90 / 100
BBC Films

#11. Never Rarely Sometimes Always

- Director: Eliza Hittman
- Stacker score: 91.6
- Metascore: 91
- IMDb user rating: 7.3
- Runtime: 101 minutes

A teenage girl in rural Pennsylvania finds herself seeking an abortion for an unwanted pregnancy, and this drama chronicles her and her sister’s harrowing journey to New York City to get the care that she is unable to find in her conservative town. The film won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 70th Berlin International FIlm Festival and the Special Jury Award for Neo-Realism at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

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91 / 100
Big Mouth Productions

#10. Dick Johnson Is Dead

- Director: Kirsten Johnson
- Stacker score: 92.2
- Metascore: 89
- IMDb user rating: 7.6
- Runtime: 89 minutes

With her father quickly approaching the end of his life, filmmaker Kirsten Johnson decided to cope through an unusual means—staging and filming his death in a variety of humorous fashions. In this offbeat documentary, Johnson explores mortality and celebrates the life of her father by confronting his death head-on. At the 2020 Critics' Choice Awards, the film won Best Documentary Feature, while Johnson won the Best Director award.

92 / 100
BBC Storyville

#9. Welcome to Chechnya

- Director: David France
- Stacker score: 92.7
- Metascore: 86
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 107 minutes

Exploring the rampant LGBT oppression in the Russian republic of Chechnya, a group of activists risk their lives to expose and confront the atrocities being conducted on LGBT people by Russian leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The documentary was shot in secret using various forms of hidden cameras and used groundbreaking facial replacement techniques to protect interviewees’ identities.

93 / 100
Cedar Creek Productions

#8. Rewind

- Director: Sasha Joseph Neulinger
- Stacker score: 93.3
- Metascore: 87
- IMDb user rating: 8.0
- Runtime: 86 minutes

This shocking autobiographical documentary uncovers director Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s childhood sexual abuse by going through home videos and reconstructing that which he fought to repress. It won the Special Jury Mention at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and the Documentary Jury Prize at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.

94 / 100
Orwell Productions

#7. The Dissident

- Director: Bryan Fogel
- Stacker score: 93.9
- Metascore: 85
- IMDb user rating: 8.3
- Runtime: 119 minutes

The 2018 assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi led his fiancée and others around the world to try to make sense of his brutal death at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, part of the country’s effort to control international dissent. Streaming platforms such as Amazon could face angering Saudia Arabia further by hosting the film.

95 / 100
Turbine Studios

#6. Small Axe: Lovers Rock

- Director: Steve McQueen
- Stacker score: 94.4
- Metascore: 94
- IMDb user rating: 7.5
- Runtime: 70 minutes

In 1980s West London, a fictional reggae house party takes place where friends, enemies, and everyone in between converge for a night of passion, music, and love. The film serves as the second installment of Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” anthology and premiered as an opening night film for the 58th New York Film Festival.

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96 / 100
Turbine Studios

#5. Small Axe: Mangrove

- Director: Steve McQueen
- Stacker score: 96.1
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.2
- Runtime: 127 minutes

The first installment of McQueen’s “Small Axe” series follows the real-life events surrounding the West London restaurant The Mangrove, and the Mangrove Nine, a group of Black activists charged with inciting a riot during a protest against police treatment of The Mangrove in 1970. The film stars “Black Panther” actress Letitia Wright, who portrays the leader of the British Black Panthers and Mangrove Nine defendant.

97 / 100
Cor Cordium Productions

#4. Nomadland

- Director: Chloé Zhao
- Stacker score: 97.8
- Metascore: 97
- IMDb user rating: 7.8
- Runtime: 108 minutes

Frances McDormand stars as a woman who loses everything to the Great Recession and takes on the life of a nomad in order to survive. The film follows her travels by van through the western U.S., meeting other communities of nomads and learning to live sustainably. The drama is based on Jessica Barder’s nonfiction book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century,” and features a host of real, non-actor nomads.

98 / 100
Walt Disney Picures

#3. Hamilton

- Director: Thomas Kail
- Stacker score: 98.3
- Metascore: 90
- IMDb user rating: 8.6
- Runtime: 160 minutes

The original Broadway production of the acclaimed revisionist-historical musical finally makes its debut on film, telling the story of Alexander Hamilton, first treasury secretary of the United States. Starring the iconic cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr., and Jonathan Groff, it was the most-watched streaming movie of 2020.

99 / 100
40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

#2. David Byrne's American Utopia

- Director: Spike Lee
- Stacker score: 98.9
- Metascore: 93
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 105 minutes

This Spike Lee-directed concert film takes you up close and personal to a live recording of David Byrne’s hit Broadway musical “American Utopia,” a unifying performance featuring Byrne alongside a group of 11 international musicians. The show is an adaptation of Byrne’s “American Utopia” album and includes a number of other songs from his career, including those from his time in Talking Heads.

100 / 100
Alexander Nanau Production

#1. Collective

- Director: Alexander Nanau
- Stacker score: 100
- Metascore: 95
- IMDb user rating: 8.4
- Runtime: 109 minutes

In the aftermath of a devastating fire at a Romanian nightclub, health care fraud and hospital mismanagement is uncovered by journalists when survivors of the fire begin dying from non-life-threatening wounds. The film blows the whistle on mass health care corruption not only in Romania but the rest of the world. The documentary was selected as Romania’s entry for Best International Feature Film for the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards.

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