dir: Bong Joon-ho
For once, the Best Picture Oscar really did go to the best picture: this witty, cunning upstairs-downstairs thriller.
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.
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.
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.
This article appears in the 08 Dec 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special