Your Name Engraved Herein is a melancholy and emotional film set in 1987 just as martial law ends in Taiwan. The film explores the relationship between Jia-han and Birdy, two boys in a Catholic school who are in a romantic relationship. The movie tackles homophobia and social stigma in society which evokes a bleak and rather depressing atmosphere, emphasised by the movie's earthy aesthetic. There is a rawness in the film’s narrative and dialogue, topped off by the lead actors’ successfully raw performances. Your Name Engraved Herein is tender as well as heartbreaking, occasionally depicting the joy of youth.
Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2020. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.
This slow Italian drama tells the true story of Mafia boss Tommaso Buscetta, who became the highest-profile Mafia informant at the time of his arrest in the 1980s.
Tommaso, while supervising a criminal network in Sicily, moved to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to attempt a more legal and quieter life. His role catches up with him and he is quickly arrested.
As a biopic, it rarely depicts violence or glorifies organized crime. Instead, it attempts to document the life of a Mafia boss more realistically: a life of always looking over one's shoulder and of constant loss. Eventually, the movie focuses on what it would take for a man like Tommaso to flip, and what that would cost him.
The Mafia topic might feel overdone, but watching this, it's startling to realize how few thorough character studies have come out in film.
Hailed as one of the best shows of the year, Gangs of London is a big and brutal account of a gang war that takes place in modern-day London.
It’s big both in terms of scale and budget, but also risk. Each episode runs a long 90 minutes, and the violence is truly exceptional. The first scene will tell you everything you need to know.
Two misfits, an immigrant and a traveling cook, team up to start an unlikely enterprise in this slow but captivating drama. The story, set in 19th century Pacific Northwest, evolves around the arrival of the first cow to that part of the world. This presents a unique opportunity that the two main characters try to benefit from.
First Cow is a mix between a Western and a modern-day plot-less indie drama. It has likable characters, stunning scenery, and a fascinating look into how social outcasts lived back then.
The drug trade is international, but it is rarely portrayed as such on TV. Drug thrillers often take place in one country and in one or two languages (usually Spanish and English) - but in reality, there are producers, buyers, and sellers, all based in different parts of the world. So a show depicting the drug business in a realistic way should also move around the world. ZeroZeroZero is that. It’s a fast thriller set in many countries: The U.S., Italy, Mexico, Senegal, and Morocco to name a few. The stunning cinematography bounces between contexts seamlessly, telling a nihilistic yet thrilling story of a conflict that starts within the Italian Mafia.
This fun comedy-drama is about Bridget, a 34-year-old who hasn't quite got it all figured out, but at least she’s trying: after terminating an accidental pregnancy, she gets herself a summer gig as a nanny for a fearless six-year-old by the name of Frances.
Tackling a myriad of "taboo" topics including abortion, menstruation, and depression, the movie visually normalizes human experiences that remain underrepresented in mainstream cinema. And writer Kelly O’Sullivan, who also plays Bridget, has a screenplay that manages to do it all without feeling didactic.
Love & Anarchy is a raunchy and poignant series that mainly follows Sofie (Ida Engvoll ), a middle-aged consultant whose steady, predictable life is forever changed when she befriends the office temp, Max (Björn Mosten).
Sofie and Max take turns daring each other to do unconventional things in public, from walking backward at work to role paying at a function, and what begins as a thrill-seeking exploit soon evolves into a serious relationship that has them and their colleagues questioning their bigger ambitions and desires in life.
With each only eight episodes per season, each of which runs at more or less 30 minutes, Love & Anarchy is a sure-fire easy and worthwhile binge.
Gunda offers an empathetic look at the lives of farm animals with its minimalist approach to the nature doc. Director Victor Kossakosvsky films without a sentimental score or voice-over narration, and shoots in a sparse yet striking black and white. This decision gives the film an intimacy often missing from more traditional modes.
We watch a sow named Gunda, her piglets, and a few other animals through their daily routines. Long natural sequences allow the viewer to sink into the zen of the animals’ natural rhythms. The result is an astounding and bittersweet film that hints at the brutalities of factory farming without ever stepping foot in a slaughterhouse.
This lovely comedy-romance from Ireland is about a closeted gay teen and his lesbian schoolmate who pretend to be in a relationship to avoid being bullied at their school.
This premise makes Dating Amber an original story in a genre in which that's increasingly rare. This is added to the setting, in 1995 rural Ireland, which is executed to gorgeous perfection in everything from the clothes to the music.
Dating Amber ends up being more coming-of-age than a comedy-romance. It's a tale of friendship and self-acceptance.
This HBO docuseries is about NXIVM, a multi-million dollar personal development coaching company whose leader was arrested for sex and human trafficking, branding his followers, and other serious crimes. New levels of insanity unwrap at every episode in a smart and engaging way: the show follows the progression of the story as it happened and makes you wait for its biggest revelations. It becomes a come-for-something-stay-for-something-else kind of deal, since even without the sex cult angle, the show dissects the manipulation tactics that led many successful people to be part of the organization, and later on to recruit others like them.
Though it primarily revolves around the conservative, anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly (portrayed as a fascinatingly contradictory character by Cate Blanchett), Mrs. America is a true ensemble drama. Each episode becomes a primer for a different significant figure in the movement for women's rights in the 1970s, but it also emphasizes how difficult it was for this movement to cohere. As these wildly different perspectives clash, the need for a truly inclusive and intersectional coalition begins to arise. Blanchett is brilliant as always, but the miniseries also showcases stunning work from Rose Byrne, Uzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, Tracey Ullman, and many more.
This earnest documentary is about filmmaker and actress Maryam Zaree's journey to unravel the truth about her birth. Her parents are part of a generation of Iranian revolutionaries who were jailed, many executed, and now have taken exile in Europe. The torture and difficult prison conditions they experienced are cause for so much trauma that Maryam, born in prison, has not been told anything about her birth. Her mom, now Germany's first foreign-born mayor, cannot get past tears to tell a story that Maryam is determined to know.
Her mom is not the only one who is unable to tell the story, as Maryam's quest uncovers more silence. In the end, Born in Evin is as much about the question of "is the truth worth getting told?" as it is about the truth itself. It's a heartfelt exploration of trauma, both for the generation that experienced it and for the generation that follows.
This stirring peek into the final days of a shuttering Las Vegas dive might be one of the finest odes to American bar culture yet. It also serves as a powerful portrait of a particular moment deep into the disastrous Trump years, yet right before the pandemic struck.
Directors Bill and Turner Ross capture the good, bad, and ugly, allowing conversations to unfold naturally. The colorful hues of the bar create a cinematic canvas for the patrons, who awash with booze and nostalgia, uncertainty, fear, and love, spend their last day together. If there was ever a film for those who miss the rough and tumble nightlife of the pre-Covid world, this is it.