ScreenAnarchy Top Films of 2020
One of the great advantages of ScreenAnarchy's global writing staff is that our individual end-of-year lists always have a least a few titles that the rest of us have not only not seen, but likely haven't heard of. And I'm guessing that we haven't had a year with more titles than 2020.
This has been a f**ker of a year, to say the least, and we've all had our personal and professional trials (but also a few triumphs, I hope). We're happy to report that our beloved Managing Editor, Peter Martin, is on the road to recovery. The switch of many film festivals to an online platform has meant we've covered fests that we otherwise would not have been able to. With 20 of our writers reporting in with over 130 films, there are more than enough great films for us, and you, to enjoy in the coming months (which will hopefully have some sort of festival or official release in your part of the world).
While we might have been lacking in quantity, we have certainly not lacked in quality. 2020 has been another banner year for cinema; perhaps better than normal, in that the lack of blockbusters taking up both big and small screens has given smaller indie films a chance to shine.
As always, our top 10 selection comes from any new release film that our writers have seen, be it a festival screening or official release. That means that some titles from last year's list end up on this year's, as the films get released at different dates around the world (and no doubt some from this year will make next year's list). Overall, our top 10 and honourable mentions cover a lot of ground, with new, mid-career, and veteran filmmakers represented, and an emphasis not only indie films, but films on the weird and scary side (and possibly the first time the top film has been from this particular country).
Ryland Aldrich, Kwenton Bellette, Matt Brown, Dave Canfield, Joshua Chaplinsky, Dustin Chang, Brian Clark, Zach Gayne, Jaime Grijalba Gomez, J Hurtado, Martin Kudlac, James Marsh, Peter Martin, Niels Matthijs, Ernesto Zelaya Miñano, Jim Tudor, Benjamin Umstead, Mel Valentin and Ard Vijn contributed to this story.
Da Five Bloods (Spike Lee, USA, 2020)
Uncut Gems (Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, USA, 2019)
Sound of Metal (Darius Marder, USA, 2019)
Shirley (Josephine Decker, USA, 2020)
City Hall (Frederick Wiseman, USA, 2020)
La Llorona (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala/France, 2019
Minari (Lee Isaac Chung, USA, 2020)
Ghost Tropic (Bas Devos, Belgium/The Netherlands, 2019)
Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell, UK/USA, 2020)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin, USA/UK/India, 2020)
Soul (Pete Docter, Kemp Powers, USA, 2020)