You Can Watch the Best Films from 2020 Right Now
The cinemas might not be able to welcome you inside, but there are still lots of films from this year that you can watch from the comfort of your home. Whether it's Oscar-winning releases that are finally available to rent or more recent films that have made their way straight to on-demand.
The best new films releases of 2020 include modern adaptations of classic literature, a coming of age story that delivers an emotional sucker-punch, a zany black and white psychological thriller set on a remote island, and a dark comedy about class warfare in South Korea.
Whatever you fancy, all of these films will keep you so entertained you might just forget what's going on outside your front door. Wishful thinking? Watch these anyway.
The story of a black middle-class family living in South Florida shows how a fraught relationship between father and son can have devastating consequences. Breakthrough actor Kelvin Harrison Jr is electric as Tyler, a wrestler unable to accept what it means for his life when he sustains a serious injury. With a stirring soundtrack, vivid cinematography, and compelling performances, Waves will knock you off your feet.
Robert Eggers follows his brilliant film, The Witch, with this startling black and white fever dream about 19th-century lighthouse keepers Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) and Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson). The pair descend into madness as they go about their tasks on the rain-soaked rock, which forces them to confront their personal guilt and shame in a series of arresting and increasingly bizarre scenes.
Queen & Slim
A young couple go on the run after an altercation with a police officer in this modern remix of Bonnie and Clyde. When a video of the incident goes viral, the protagonists become symbols of the grief and pain people have suffered at the hands of the police. Both Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya, and his on-screen partner Jodie Turner-Smith, give arresting performances in this story about police brutality and a divided America that is most devastating in its quietest moments.
Korean director Bong Joon-Ho has made history earlier this year by becoming the first foreign-language film to win the 'best picture' Oscar. Parasite is a darkly comic story that weaves in ever-weirder directions as it progresses. In Parasite, teenage boy Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) cons Yeon-kyo (Yeo-jeong Jo) the wife of rich businessman Mr. Park (Sun-kyun Lee) into becoming their daughter's English tutor. Ki-woo then lines up jobs for his whole family to infiltrate their beautiful house: his sister Ki-jung (So-dam Park) becomes an art teacher, his dad Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song) a driver, and his mom Chung-sook (Hye-jin Jang) takes over as housekeeper until their greed takes a dark turn. A biting social commentary about wealth inequality, Parasite is a world of horrors that is already in front of us.
"Charming, handsome and clever", the eponymous heroine of Jane Austen's classic novel is brought to life by Anna Taylor-Joy in this whimsical adaptation from director Autumn de Wilde. If you weren't paying attention in GCSE English, the plot focuses on Emma's attempts at match-making and how their disastrous consequences reveal her stubbornness and vanity. De Wilde's Emma is a great addition to the long list of adaptations, with Wes Anderson color palettes, twee costumes, a sharp script, and brilliant performances from the likes of Bill Nighy and Josh O'Connor.
The first wave of films trying to grapple with the #MeToo movement and its abusers have taken different tacts in their focus on the abusers, with Bombshell pulling no punches in portraying Fox News CEO Roger Ailes as an odious monster. In The Assistant, Jane is an aspiring film producer who begins working as the assistant to an entertainment mogul she discovers is a monster with a culture of silence protecting him. The power Harvey Weinstein exerted over his employees is chilling despite us only hearing from the character meant to represent him during phone calls.
The Invisible Man
The boom in horror has meant cinema has been rich with smart horror films looking at complicated ideas like prejudice, grief, and trauma under the deceiving cloak of a scary story. Here, horror stalwart Leigh Whannell (Insidious, Saw) loosely adapts H. G. Wells’s 1897 novel of the same name to tell the story how a man terrorizes his ex-girlfriend Cecilia (Elisabeth Moss) after staging his suicide, touching on themes of gaslighting, anxiety and abuse.
StudioCanal and A24, the film studio behind recent celebrated horror films including Heredity and Midsommar, have teamed up with British writer-director Rose Glass for this story of a young nurse caring for a celebrated former dancer. Maud becomes obsessed with the idea of saving her soul, with her own past intervening to stop her righteous calling. Expect a unique look at loneliness and madness in this chilling tale.
Christopher Nolan has no troubling wrangling an all-star cast, with Tenet boasting the likes of John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Pattinson, Clémence Poésy, Michael Caine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Kenneth Branagh. The big-budget film is "an action epic revolving around international espionage, time travel and evolution", with the palindrome name, and teaser showing the title turning on itself, perhaps offering a hint of a world turned upside down. Tenet will be filmed in 70mm, 35mm and IMAX, with cinematography from Hoyte Van Hoytema, who did the spectacular visuals for Nolan's Dunkirk and Interstellar, and for Brad Pitt space drama Ad Astra.
No Time To Die
Years of uncertainty (lead actor, director, plot, title, release date – take your pick!) have clouded Bond 25, but that will make the final outing for Daniel Craig likely even sweeter when it finally comes. In No Time To Die we find 007 at a moment of personal crisis (he has been betrayed by the woman he gave everything up for), and global peril (sophisticated cyber terrorism is escalating at a rate that cannot be fought). There's also a mysterious villain, played by Rami Malek, who claims to be more like Bond than he might like to admit. With Hans Zimmer and Billie Eilish taking care of the score and song, Cary Fukunaga directing and Phoebe Waller-Bridge assisting with script duties, it's shaping up to be a very exciting outing for the assassin.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.