2020 Top 10 Movies

The golden age of streaming-funded movies and series continues uninterrupted. My sampling of the deluge was significant but not complete (who can afford all the platforms?). These ten treasures stand out (one them rated, believe it or not, at 10/10, the rest rated 9/10):

I Am Greta was documentary perfection that called out to me (my current focus is clear – four on this list tackle the climate emergency), Both humanizing and humbly lauding Greta Thunberg by traveling with her over recent years, Nathan Grossman has created a compelling classic.

What grips the viewer throughout Season 5 of Shetland is the galvanic intensity of Douglas Henshall in the role of DI Jimmy Perez. The final season of a wonderful murder mystery series.

Stunning performances by Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever, and Toni Collette also propel Unbelievable, a nitty-gritty police procedural about hunting a serial rapist, from ordinariness to greatness.

Aaron Sorkin employs brilliant, focused storytelling and a stellar cast in portraying the aftermath of a Chicago riot during the 1968 U.S. presidential election. The Trial of the Chicago 7 mesmerizes and is so pertinent.

Witness statement about the climate emergency, distilled from David Attenborough’s decades of nature reporting … action message … A Life on Our Planet is essential viewing today, not tomorrow.

Juice, made by Tyson Culver and narrated by author Robert Bryce, extols electricity in the here and now, but also for the future. I can argue with some of their prescriptions, but the sparkling narrative of electric power is an exemplar of storytelling.

Season 4 of Cardinal is the grimmest one yet, so it’s just as well that it is the finale. A fraught tale underpinned by unforgettable acting.

Alice Winocour’s Proxima is “realistic” sci-fi, a movie about astronauts, but more than that, Eva Green’s stunning star role shines a light on motherhood.

Utterly unexpected and beguiling was the violent yet lyrical Giri/Haji, a unique tale of the Yakuza in London.

Sasha Snow’s incendiary, stately doco on Roger Hallam, The Troublemaker, is divisive but compelling. An invitation, really, one not to be ignored, to join Extinction Rebellion. So well made!

Take a look also at these honorable mentions (one rated at 9/10, the rest at 8/10): the “nature docos” of Chasing Coral and My Octopus Teacher; Staged, a lockdown meta film; wacky comedy in Medical Police; three thrillers/mysteries: Bosch Season 6, Killing Eve Season 3, and The Gentlemen; two superb dramas: Sorry We Missed You and Years and Years; and Call My Agent Season 3.

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