I still don’t know which words to use to describe the year of 2020.
But, I do know that I wouldn’t have been able to survive the work-from-home/lockdown order without the world of film. One of the silver-linings of the lockdown was being able to catch up on our list of “we gotta watch that” films. So, I asked Lena to reflect on her favorite films from the past year, and I did the same. We came together, we debated, and we curated this list to present to y’all.
Take a look at our top-10 favorite documentaries and movies from 2020!
Listed in no particular order, of course.
Mentions of sexual assault, suicide, the coronavirus and the pandemic, guns, and drug use will appear down below.
1. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet on Netflix
A broadcaster recounts his life, and the evolutionary history of life on Earth, to grieve the loss of wild places and offer a vision for the future.
2. Knock Down the House on Netflix
Four working class women run for Congress, overcoming adversity to battle powerful political machines in very different American landscapes.
3. Soul on Disney+
Joe is a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz–and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.
4. Coastal Elites on HBOmax
Five characters, living in either in Los Angeles or New York City, make confessions under quarantine that touch on their lives during the 2020 pandemic and living in a world of deeply divided politics.
5. Totally Under Control on Hulu
On 20 January 2020 both countries discovered their first cases of Covid-19. Since then, however, the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 220,000 Americans, while only claiming 447 lives in South Korea, at the time of publication. An in-depth look at how the United States government handled the response to the COVID-19 outbreak during the early months of the pandemic.
6. Onward on Disney+
Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father. Like any good adventure, their journey is filled with cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries.
7. Audrie & Daisy on Netflix
In two towns on different sides of America, two teenage girls are taken advantage of while passed out at high school parties. While unconscious, both are sexually assaulted by boys they call friends. In the aftermath, the girls each endure online harassment, both attempt suicide, and tragically, one dies.
8. John Lewis: Good Trouble on HBOmax
A documentary celebrating the life of Representative John Lewis. Using interviews and rare archival footage, this documentary chronicles Representative Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action fights for civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform and immigration.
9. Expecting Amy on HBOmax
This unfiltered three-part documentary shows the struggle, strength, and ambition that have made Amy Schumer one of the singular comic voices of all time. The docuseries takes viewers behind-the-scenes as Amy battles through an extraordinarily difficult pregnancy, while documenting the formation of her latest comedy special.
10. Euphoria on HBOmax (obviously not a movie or documentary, but oh well)!
Not your average group of high school students navigating love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and social media. Euphoria follows the troubled life of 17-year-old Rue, a drug addict fresh from rehab with no plans to stay clean. Circling in Rue’s orbit are Jules, a transgender girl searching for where she belongs; Nate, a jock whose anger issues mask sexual insecurities; Chris, a football star who finds the adjustment from high school to college harder than expected; Cassie, whose sexual history continues to dog her; and Kat, a body-conscious teen exploring her sexuality.