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The Best 2020 Films On Netflix

By Kristy Puchko | Film | December 31, 2020 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | December 31, 2020 |


With the end of the year approaching and award season heating up, movie lovers across the nation are looking to catch up on the great cinema they might have missed. Good news: A LOT of it is now streaming. So much in fact that we couldn’t fit them all in one article! So here is the first in a series.

Join our writers by checking out the movies we loved this year, as well as the ones we are watching before cementing our Top Ten lists.

First up: Here are the best 2020 films now on Netflix:

Da 5 Bloods Dir. Spike Lee
Critics roared with praise when this unusual heist film hit last summer. Delroy Lindo is gathering buzz as a Best Actor contender. He stars alongside Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Chadwick Boseman in a drama that follows Vietnam War veterans back to the land where they lost so much, and seek to dig up some buried treasure.

Dick Johnson Is Dead Dir. Kirsten Johnson
This documentary explores the father-daughter relationship between its director and its eponymous subject. When Dick Johnson begins to experience dementia, his daughter Kirsten not only takes him in but also tries to imagine how it might feel to lose him. So, together, they act out a series of death scenes. It’s strange yet deeply humane.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga Dir. David Dobkin
Take it from someone who has watched this film 7 times so far: it is perfect. Will Ferrell introduces the annual European song contest to American audiences with the plucky tale of an Icelandic duo (himself and a crackling Rachel McAdams), who dreams of Eurovision victory. It’s sweet, strange, and funnier every time. Plus, Dan Stevens co-stars as an outrageous Russian pop star who loves braiding hair and stirring the pot.

The Forty-Year-Old Version Dir. Radha Blank
Written, directed, and starring Blank, this cutting comedy centers on a playwright who was once considered The Next Big Thing. At 40, she’s seen as a has-been. In between teaching creative writing to snarling teens and trying to get her next play mounted without a million compromises, Rhada finds comfort and inspiration in trying her hand at rapping. Blanks’ snappy script is getting buzz for Best Original Screenplay.

Hillbilly Elegy Dir. Ron Howard
Look, to be honest, we hate this movie. It engages in poverty porn. It’s based on a book whose “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” ideology is GOP drivel. However, it is potentially a contender in the Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress race because of Glenn Close and Amy Adams. The Academy loves histrionics paired with a glow-down. So, who cares if “neutral Terminator” means nothing?

I’m Thinking of Ending Things Dir. Charlie Kaufman
Based on an Iain Reid novel, Kaufman’s latest polarized critics. Some found it profound; others found it baffling. That means it’s unlikely for this surreal journey about a young woman visiting her beau’s farm-living family to snag major Oscar notice. However, there is a chance that the adapted screenplay and the lead performances by critics’ darlings Jesse Plemons and Jessie Buckley could get some guild honors.

His House Dir. Remi Weekes
Haunted house horror took a unique and harrowing turn here by exploring the trauma experienced by refugees. Sope Dirisu and Wunmi Mosaku star as a refugee couple living in England but haunted by the ghosts of their past. Brace yourself for horror that hits hard and authentic.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Dir. George C. Wolfe
This is already being eyed as the movie that might earn Viola Davis her second Oscar and Chadwick Boseman a posthumous win. Based on August Wilson’s play, this passionate drama throws audiences into the tense recording session where trailblazing blues diva Ma Rainey threw down a smoking hot track. Egos clash, seductions spark, and big moments pop like the top of a Coca-Cola bottle. Coming December 18.

Mank Dir. David Fincher
Inspired by a controversial (and widely debunked) Pauline Kael essay, this bombastic biopic follows 43-year-old screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) as he pours his angst and anger at newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst into the script for Citizen Kane. While critics are divided on this one, Amanda Seyfried is getting plenty of praise for her sparkling yet sharp portrayal of the long-maligned Marion Davies.

The Old Guard Dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood
One of Steven’s picks for the best of 2020 is the Charlize Theron-fronted superhero movie that left many of us with our jaws dropped and craving more. KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, and Luca Marinelli co-star as a band of immortal mercenaries, who trek through the ages trying to fight for mankind, but they’re losing faith along the way.

Over The Moon Dir. Glen Keane and John Kahrs
Inspired by Chinese lore, this musical adventure centers on a little girl (Cathy Ang) who dreams of flying a rocket to the moon to meet its glowing goddess (Phillipa Soo). Full of colorful characters, imaginative backdrops, and bopping songs, this one is a totally charming romp that’s sure to please kiddos and parents alike.

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon Dirs. Will Becher and Richard Phelan
The latest from the Wallace and Gromit franchise pulls inspiration from the comedy stylings of silent cinema as well as a slew of science-fiction films to offer an adventure that’s out of this world. When a curious critter crashlands onto Mossy Bottom Farm, Shaun becomes its protector from a sneering organization that’d make it an experiment.

The Willoughbys Dirs. Kris Pearn, Cory Evans and Rob Lodermeier
Based on Lois Lowry’s book, this animated outing is absolutely bonkers, focusing on a quartet of kids who try to kill their neglectful parents via an outrageous trek round the world. Yet there’s a sweetness underneath the macabre humor that makes this one a real treat.

Did we miss an amazing 2020 movie on this platform? .

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Netflix