We assembled some friends and colleagues to contribute lists of their favorite feature films of the year. Festival and international films from prior to this year were eligible if they were distributed in the United States in 2020.  2020’s festival and international films were likewise eligible, even if they have not yet reached distribution.

See our favorite Dark Side of the Screen picks here.


Wesley Caldwell | Producer

#10. YES, GOD, YES

#9. BIRDS OF PREY

#8. THE INVISIBLE MAN

#7. BLACK BEAR

#6. SWALLOW

#5. SPONTANEOUS

#4. SOUND OF METAL

#3. PALM SPRINGS

#2. SAINT MAUD

#1. SOUL

Favorite On-Screen Moments:

*****


Dave Cowden | Marvel Studios

#10. NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS

#9. SHE DIES TOMORROW

#8. FIRST COW

#7. BEANPOLE

#6. POSSESSOR

#5. SMALL AXE: MANGROVE

#4. SOUND OF METAL

#3. NOMADLAND

#2. TENET

#1. A WHITE, WHITE DAY

Favorite On-Screen Moments:

  • FIRST COW: a line forms to purchase oily biscuits
  • HIS HOUSE: Bol experiences the presence of Sudanese refugees in his home
  • THE NEST: Allison’s horse goes down
  • NOMADLAND: Fern’s entrance and exit from her former home
  • POSSESSOR: Tasya battles for dominance of mind inside her subject’s vessel
  • SMALL AXE: LOVERS ROCK: Janet Kay’s “Silly Games” fades out, and the dancers take lead in carrying the song
  • SMALL AXE: MANGROVE: the Mangrove opens its doors for business
  • SOUND OF METAL: Ruben wanders through a dinner party
  • TENET: the cold-open heist
  • A WHITE, WHITE DAY: a rural Icelandic plot of land is shown through the changing seasons

*****


Mike Dillon | CTVA 102 Instructor/Programmer

Honorable Mentions: THE ASSISTANT / BACURAU / BEANPOLE / NEW ORDER / NIGHT OF THE KINGS / ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI / THE OUTPOST / SOUND OF METAL / VITALINA VARELA 

#10. TRUE MOTHERS

#9. THE WOLF HOUSE

#8. THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION

#7. A SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE: FARMAGEDDON

#6. NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS [tie]

#6. SAINT FRANCES [tie]

#5. SMALL AXE: LOVERS ROCK

#4. FIRST COW

#3. NOMADLAND

#2. EXTRA ORDINARY

#1. ATLANTIS

Favorite On-Screen Moments:

*****


Daniel Love | Sony Home Entertainment

Honorable Mentions: ATHLETE A / BIRDS OF PREY / BORAT: SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM / THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY / COLOR OUT OF SPACE

#10. EMMA.

#9. THE FATHER

#8. THE CLIMB

#7. THE INVISIBLE MAN

#6. UNCLE FRANK

#5. DA 5 BLOODS

#4. I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS

#3. MANK

#2. THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS

#1. SOUL

Favorite On-Screen Moments:

*****


Aaron Neuwirth | Film Critic, Out Now with Aaron and Abe

Honorable Mentions: THE CLIMB / COLOR OUT OF SPACE / DEERSKIN / DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD / THE FATHER / I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS / THE INVISIBLE MAN / NOMADLAND / PALM SPRINGS / THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW

#10. BACURAU

#9. JALLIKATTU

#8. SOUL

#7. THE VAST OF NIGHT

#6. DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA

#5. THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD

#4. FIRST COW

#3. MANK

#2. DA 5 BLOODS

#1. the SMALL AXE series

Favorite On-Screen Moments:

*****

Michael Rousselet | Writer/Painter

#10. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

#9. PALM SPRINGS

#8. MANK

#7. DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD

#6. FIREBALL: VISITORS FROM DARKER WORLDS

#5. DA 5 BLOODS

#4. ZAPPA

#3. FIRST COW

#2. ANOTHER ROUND

#1. DEERSKIN

Favorite On-Screen Moments:

  • ANOTHER ROUND: the gang needs to get some fresh cod (and are wasted as fuck)
  • BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS: the camera captures the perfect moment of the one bar regulars eating shit in the background during a heart to heart conversation in the foreground
  • DEERSKIN: the jacket tells him his most cherished dream
  • DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD: the heaven sequence
  • FIREBALL: every line delivered by Herzog, especially about how some sleeping dogs on the street are too stupid to realize that an entire species was wiped out by a meteorite
  • FIRST COW: Cookie slangs his biscuits
  • MANK: Louis B. Mayer’s walk-and-talk about selling moments
  • THE PLATFORM: the main character wakes up on one of the lowest levels, tied up
  • SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: when Sonic gives the turtle a rush while Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” plays
  • ZAPPA: how deep they dig into his classical work for the Ensemble Modern

*****


Top 10 Documentaries | Compiled by Mike Dillon and Aaron Neuwirth

#10. CITY HALL

#9. MLK/FBI

#8. REBUILDING PARADISE

#7. THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF

#6. THE MOLE AGENT

#5. BEASTIE BOYS STORY

#4. COLLECTIVE

#3. BOYS STATE

#2. TIME

#1. DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD

*****