Netflix released over a hundred movies in 2020. With films that were either exclusively distributed or produced by them, several of Netflix’s movies happen to be some of the best of the year. Netflix’s reputation as a streaming platform continues to get better as they release new and refreshing content each year.
Following their success with the Academy Award campaign with The Irishman and Marriage Story, Netflix does not appear to be stopping from there as they continue to release quality movies on their platform. With the highest-rated movies ranked so far based on IMDb scores, Netflix has a diverse range of 2020 movies from animation and comedy to action thrillers and even a courtroom drama.
Updated on July 19th, 2021 by Kevin Pantoja: With 2020 officially in the rearview and 2021 more than halfway completed, more and more people have had the chance to check out Netflix’s releases from that year. Some of these are crowd-pleasing blockbusters on the streaming service, while others received good enough reviews to be nominated for several Academy Awards. A few are among the IMDb top movies of 2020.
15 Da 5 Bloods – 6.5
In the eyes of many viewers and critics, Da 5 Bloods was overlooked when it came time for awards season. The film tells the story of a group of Vietnam War veterans who return to the country to find the treasure they buried when they were there in their youth.
As usual, Spike Lee’s steady hand as director guided this to be something special, while the performances of the actors were all praised. Delroy Lindo was especially heralded for his efforts, as was Chadwick Boseman in one of his final roles.
14 I’m Thinking Of Ending Things – 6.6
While traveling with her boyfriend to meet his parents for the first time, a young woman contemplates breaking up with him. However, things do not appear as they seem as she goes through a series of unusual events around the town.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an unusual psychological horror movie, written and directed by Charlie Kaufman. Despite the ambiguous ending, critics praised the movie for its complex and breathtaking approach to the horror genre. Also, both Jesse Plemons and Jessie Buckley give outstanding performances as the main couple.
13 Enola Holmes – 6.6
While most people are aware of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, it appears that he has a younger sister who shares the enthusiasm for solving crimes. When their mother goes missing, Enola embarks on a journey to learn the truth about her disappearance in hopes of bringing her back home safely. However, her mission is complicated when she comes across a young lord whose life is in danger.
Based on the young adult novels by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes narrates new and revitalized storytelling of mystery and crime-solving in Baker Street. Millie Bobby Brown gives a remarkable performance as the titular character, presenting her youthfulness yet feminist personality as a young detective. Due to the huge response by viewers, Enola Holmes became the most-watched movie on Netflix during the first five days of its release and had the biggest first-day opening release on Netflix in 2020.
12 Hillbilly Elegy – 6.7
Hillbilly Elegy was one of the many movies in history that was panned by critics but seemed to do better with casual audiences. The film follows a Yale law student who must return home to Ohio due to a family emergency and is then faced with the history of the family.
Although the ratings on IMDb are solid, this is one of the most divisive movies in recent memory. For example, Glenn Close got nominated for both Best Actress at the Oscars and Worst Actress at the Razzies for the same role. The cast is rounded out by Amy Adams and Hayley Bennett.
11 The Old Guard – 6.7
When Andy and her team of mercenaries learn that someone knows about their immortal powers, they go on the run to protect their freedom before they become used for something more dangerous. While trying to hide, they discover a new member that also possesses the power, which complicates their mission.
Starring Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne, The Old Guard was Netflix’s big summer hit that had everyone talking. The action-filled movie ventured into a different concept of the superhero genre that left viewers wanting more. The superhero film was praised for its mind-blowing action sequences and performance by Theron.
10 Extraction – 6.7
In the middle of an international drug war between competing families, Tyler Rake is recruited on a rescue mission to save a kidnapped Indian boy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As the rescue mission does not go plan, Tyler is faced with the impossibility of actually succeeding in bringing the boy back home to his family.
Anthony and Joe Russo ventured onto a new project with Extraction, following their completion of the Marvel movies. With Sam Hargrave as the director, the team also reunited with Marvel actor Chris Hemsworth to create their latest action-thriller flick. Though the movie can be pretty violent at times, most viewers will agree that Extraction is perhaps the best action-packed ride of the year.
9 The Boys In The Band – 6.8
Based on the 1968 play by Mart Crowley, The Boys in the Band focuses on a house party among gay friends. However, things take a turn when a game leads to each person revealing their true feelings to the people around them.
Alongside the brilliant direction by Joe Mantello, producer Ryan Murphy brings to light a compelling movie with a story filled with surprises and highlights the movie’s central plot to modern times. With high regard from critics and audiences, the great performances by an exclusively gay cast strengthen the movie’s emotional story.
8 The Half Of It – 6.9
In this teen drama, Ellie Chu gets through high school by making money for doing other student’s homework. Eventually, Ellie is hired by the school jock to write love letters to his crush. However, her world turns upside down when she realizes that she also loves the same person.
The Half of It is another coming-of-age drama that narrates a tender, sharp, and compelling story of a young girl’s experience in love at first sight. Several critics noted the movie for its fantastic direction and great performance of the young cast, including breakthrough actress Leah Lewis.
7 Mank – 6.9
When it came time for the 93rd Academy Awards, no film received more nominations than Mank. It makes sense given that the entire premise seemed like just the kind of thing that the Academy loves. Filmed in black and white by the talented David Fincher, Mank tells the tale of how the screenplay for Citizen Kane came to be.
The screenplay was actually written years ago by David Fincher’s late father Jack. Though it was well-received and racked up the nominations, it only won for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design.
6 Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – 7.0
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a film adapted from a 1982 stage play of the same name. This period piece is set over the course of one day as influential blues singer Ma Rainey attempts to record music in Chicago while also clashing with her aspiring bandmate.
That band member is played by Chadwick Boseman, in what was his final film role. Boseman and Viola Davis both earned Academy Award nominations for their stellar efforts in this tremendous movie that grips you on an emotional level.
5 Pieces Of A Woman – 7.1
There was something of a mixed response for Pieces of a Woman upon its release. Some viewers were left disappointed with some of the plot elements, including how the trailers alluded to a major trial regarding the death of a newborn, only for that to barely be part of the story.
However, almost every other aspect of the movie was praised. Director Kornél Mundruczó put audiences through the wringer with a lengthy home birth scene to open the film, while Vanessa Kirby and the rest of the cast delivered expert performances.
4 The Devil All The Time – 7.1
The Devil All the Time focuses on a series of characters in a small but corrupted town. While they all live separate lives, each of their stories will eventually converge to one, especially for a young man who seeks vengeance for his loved ones and lives with tragedy.
This psychological thriller is based on the novel by Donald Ray Pollock. Despite the movie being slow-paced and dark, viewers were impressed by the performances of the ensemble cast, particularly of Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland.
3 The Forty-Year-Old Version – 7.2
When a 40-year-old playwriter has not reached the success that she anticipated, she works on a mixtape to share her message to the world. However, whether her new career as a rapper will finally change the course of her life remains the ultimate question.
Radha Blank starred, directed, wrote, and produced the critically acclaimed movie. Viewers complimented the movie for its refreshing and breathtaking story of a struggling woman who changes the trajectory of her lifestyle into something different and rewarding.
2 Ludo – 7.6
This might be the least widely known movie to be a critical darling in 2020 on Netflix. It may not have a ton of ratings on IMDb but it’s worthy of the high score it was given. Ludo is an Indian anthology crime comedy with some truly zany stories among the four tales it tells.
Those stories include a murder case, a treasure hunt, and a sex tape, just to name a few. They all tie in together in wild fashion by the end of this hilarious romp. It was so well received that there’s already talk of pulling off a sequel.
1 The Trial Of The Chicago 7 – 7.8
In this court drama, seven people are charged by the federal government after a riot took place at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. While their defense team attempts to prove their innocence, they also face a biased and unjust system that moves further away from their favor.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 became one of the most-talked-movies of the year, particularly with the story’s real-life parallelism to today’s political environment. Critics and audiences alike praised the film for its brilliant screenplay and direction by Aaron Sorkin, making it a deserved frontrunner at the Academy Awards. Most importantly, the performances by the actors such as Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne were the highlights.
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