We’re ten (ten!) months into 2020, and despite the pandemic circumstances still (still!) throwing life as we know it upside down, the movies persist. Well, some of them. Theaters may be closed in some states, but a small crop of films headed straight for digital or streaming releases (sometimes earlier than expected) has made its way into our quarantines over the past months. From Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom drama to Miranda July’s return to feature films to a Borat sequel, here are the best movies Vulture has seen and (for the most part) reviewed so far, according to critics Angelica Jade Bastién, Bilge Ebiri, David Edelstein, and Alison Willmore.
(A reminder about methodology: This list is restricted to films that have had their first official release in 2020 — so no Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which had a brief run in 2019 — and we will continue to update it throughout the year.)
Choosing a movie to watch isn't a fraught decision if you know who to trust. That's the simple idea driving this list, which will be consistently updated and meticulously rearranged throughout the year. With some films getting their release days moved and others premiering early on VOD because of the ongoing global pandemic, this is already a strange, challenging year for the movie industry. But, like last year, we'll still do our best to keep you in the loop on the explosion-filled blockbusters you can't miss and the more intimate smaller films you must seek out. If it's good, we want it on here.
From skin-crawling horror movies to hard-hitting documentaries, there should be something on this list to satisfy your highly specialized cinematic cravings as the year goes on. We recognize that you're busy and there's a lot of forces fighting for your attention at the moment, so we pledge not to waste your time. These are the best movies of 2020.