Need it be said that 2020 has been an especially odd year for film?
The coronavirus threw the entire spring and summer movie calendar into disarray. Blockbusters we’d been looking forward to for years were delayed. Indies saw their carefully planned rollouts cut short. Crowdpleasers pivoted from traditional theatrical rollouts to VOD-only ones. Theaters were shuttered, while drive-ins made a comeback. And even now that cinemas are starting to open back up again, it’s unclear when things will return to “normal,” or what “normal” might look like.
But amid all that chaos, great movies continued to grab our attention. These films came from storied franchises and first-time directors, featured big-name talents and total unknowns. They reflected our times or provided a welcome distraction from them, shocked us into awareness or comforted us with their familiarity. They did, in short, what cinema has always done and always will, no matter what else is