The best films of 2020… so far

Already released

  • Little Women review: Greta Gerwig emancipates Louisa May Alcott’s spirited sistersRestructuring Alcott’s beloved New England coming-of-age story into layers of memory and nostalgia, writer-director Gerwig’s astute adaptation liberates its Civil War-era sisters without taking liberties, says Nikki Baughan.

  • Thursday 2 January 2020
  • Uncut Gems first look: the Safdies chase Adam Sandler’s gambler into the discomfort zoneJosh and Benny Safdie’s new movie is another compelling and grisly NYC pulp crime thriller, with a career-best Adam Sandler as a wheeling and dealing jeweller taking a steep bet against fate, writes Tom Charity.

  • Tuesday 17 September 2019
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield review: Armando Iannucci gives Dickens a radical, rollicking twistDev Patel makes for an energetic lead in Armando Iannucci’s inspired and fast-paced adaptation of a literary classic, writes Tom Charity.

  • Tuesday 10 September 2019
  • The Lighthouse review: Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson square off in a weatherbeaten two-handerRobert Eggers directs this 1890s horror with an ear for vintage sea-slang and an eye for early cinema, but there’s more texture than substance in this salty tale, writes Samuel Wigley.

  • Thursday 30 January 2020
  • Parasite review: Bong Joon Ho’s masterfully designed crime caper comes laced with satirical venomThis remarkable film sees a family of have-nots insinuate themselves into a wealthy family’s elegant mansion, whose very structure conceals secrets and illustrates the brutality of the class divide, writes Trevor Johnston.

  • Tuesday 4 February 2020
  • A Paris Education review: ardent young film lovers test their dreams in black and whiteParisian students earnestly debate their theories of the cinema but struggle with life and the realities of movie production in Jean Paul Civeyrac’s bittersweet drama about youth and hope, writes Jonathan Romney.

  • Thursday 13 February 2020
  • Little Joe review: Jessica Hausner’s floral Frankenstein horrorEmily Beecham and Ben Whishaw play scientists cultivating a mood-altering plant in this eerie psychodrama of lost identities and emotional sterility, writes Catherine Wheatley.

  • Wednesday 19 February 2020
  • Midnight Family: patrolling Mexico City in a private ambulanceLife-or-death healthcare comes at a high price in a city where life can be stranger than fiction, as Luke Lorentzen’s gripping fly-on-the-wall documentary reveals, writes Demetrios Matheou.

  • Wednesday 19 February 2020
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire review: Céline Sciamma’s thrilling, erotic story of women in loveNoémie Merlant plays an artist hired to paint a woman, Adele Haenel, who refuses to be painted, in this chamberpiece of shapes, textures and female solidarity, writes Catherine Wheatley.

  • Wednesday 26 February 2020
  • Dark Waters review: Mark Ruffalo takes up weary arms against a malicious multinationalThere’s something deadly in the water in Todd Haynes’s bleak but subtly powerful David-versus-Goliath legal thriller, writes Adam Nayman.

  • Wednesday 26 February 2020
  • Vitalina Varela review: Pedro Costa’s operatic poem of a widow in memory’s underworldThe Portuguese master continues his serenely singular filmmaking project, turning his mytho-poetic powers to reincarnate the experiences of the Cape Verdean widow first encountered in his previous film Horse Money, writes Jonathan Romney.

  • Friday 6 March 2020
  • And Then We Danced review: finding a new rhythm as a gay man in GeorgiaRadical choreography, queer resistance and national identity combine in Levan Akin’s sophisticated and rich drama about a young performer fighting to express himself on and off the dancefloor, writes Ben Walters.

  • Thursday 12 March 2020
  • Bacurau review: a tough and timeless Brazilian frontier westernKleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’s potent genre transplant depicts an isolated idyll besieged by yankees with bloodlust to slake, writes Nick Pinkerton.
    Friday 13 March 2020

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