The ten best films of 2020

New Statesman critic Ryan Gilbey chooses his top movies of the year. 

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Parasite (15)

dir: Bong Joon-ho

For once, the Best Picture Oscar really did go to the best picture: this witty, cunning upstairs-downstairs thriller.


Babyteeth (15)

dir: Shannon Murphy

Teenager with cancer falls for junkie ne’er-do-well. Moving Australian debut with a perfect cast.

[See also: The best films for Christmas 2020]


End of the Century (18)

dir: Lucio Castro

Time and memory play tricks during a gay hook-up. Think Last Year at Marienbad.


The Invisible Man (15)

dir: Leigh Whannell

Toxic masculinity goes unseen in an exemplary horror, with Elisabeth Moss at her terrorised best.

[See also: How Netflix changed the channel]​


Dark Waters (12A)

dir: Todd Haynes

Contamination and corruption, part one: Mark Ruffalo versus chemicals giant DuPont in a chilling conspiracy thriller.


Collective (15)

dir: Alexander Nanau

Contamination and corruption, part two: crusading journalists versus Romanian healthcare in a sobering documentary.


Portrait of a Lady on Fire (15)

dir: Céline Sciamma

Eighteenth century artist and sitter experience a brush with obsession.


Mank (12A)

dir: David Fincher

All is not Welles: the writing of Citizen Kane.

[See also: The ten best TV shows of 2020]


Lynn + Lucy (15)

dir: Fyzal Boulifa

Tragedy, blame and betrayal imperil the bond between two Essex school-friends in a controlled, disturbing drama.


His House (15)

dir: Remi Weekes

Highly original horror about south Sudanese asylum seekers trapped in a haunted house.

Ryan Gilbey is the New Statesman's film critic. He is also the author of It Don't Worry Me (Faber), about 1970s US cinema, and a study of Groundhog Day in the "Modern Classics" series (BFI Publishing). He was named reviewer of the year in the 2007 Press Gazette awards and is Film Critic in Residence at Falmouth University.

This article appears in the 11 December 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special

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