Best-Reviewed Foreign-Language Movies 2020

Our Teflon™ 2019 Oscar holdover, Portrait of A Lady On Fire, finds another win here for Best-Reviewed Foreign-Language Movie, as it was released after our cutoff for last year’s Golden Tomatoes. Among the list of foreign-language winners, we also have a pair of docs that are not to be missed: One that chronicles the lockdown in Wuhan, China, and another about political corruption that rivals All the President’s Men for drama. Our list was topped by a romance but there is plenty to love for genre fans, including the hilarious and gory revenge comedy Why Don’t You Just Die! and Guatemala’s entry for the 2021 Academy Awards, La Llorona.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of February 28, 2021. Scores might change over time.

#1
Adjusted Score: 113979%
Critics Consensus: A singularly rich period piece, Portrait of a Lady on Fire finds stirring, thought-provoking drama within a powerfully acted romance.
Synopsis: In 1770 the young daughter of a French countess develops a mutual attraction to the female artist commissioned to paint... [More]
Directed By: Céline Sciamma

#2

76 Days (2020)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: 104436%
Critics Consensus: A raw, fly-on-the-wall recounting of hospital life in Wuhan in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, 76 Days is an engrossing and potent documentary - and a surprisingly comforting portrait of humanity.
Synopsis: Health care workers and patients combat the COVID-19 outbreak during a lockdown in Wuhan, China.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Hao Wu, Weixi Chen

#3

Collective (2019)
99%

#3
Adjusted Score: 105385%
Critics Consensus: Collective presents a darkly effective overview of the cycle of political corruption and public cynicism that takes hold when government abrogates its responsibility to the people.
Synopsis: Journalists uncover health care fraud in the wake of a deadly nightclub fire in Bucharest, Romania, in 2015.... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Alexander Nanau

#4

Corpus Christi (2019)
98%

#4
Adjusted Score: 101540%
Critics Consensus: Led by an impressive performance from Bartosz Bielenia, Corpus Christi thoughtfully and engagingly examines questions of faith and redemption.
Synopsis: A reformed criminal is prevented from applying to the seminary after his release, so he dresses as a priest and... [More]
Directed By: Jan Komasa

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 100649%
Critics Consensus: A restless and riveting fable, Night of Kings sees writer-director Philippe Lacôte in full command of his craft.
Synopsis: A new arrival to an Ivory Coast prison is unaware that his storytelling skills will determine his life or death.... [More]
Directed By: Philippe Lacôte

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 101599%
Critics Consensus: A striking debut for writer-director Kim Bora, House of Hummingbird delicately captures a turning point in one young woman's life.
Synopsis: In 1994 Seoul when the Seongsu Bridge collapses, 14-year-old Eunhee wanders the city and searches for love.... [More]
Directed By: Bora Kim

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 102246%
Critics Consensus: A slow-burning descent into desperation, Identifying Features uses one shattered family's ordeal to offer a harrowing look at the immigrant experience.
Synopsis: A woman tries to find her son's whereabouts after he leaves Mexico to find work in the United States.... [More]
Directed By: Fernanda Valadez

#8

Vitalina Varela (2019)
98%

#8
Adjusted Score: 100580%
Critics Consensus: Rigorous and beautifully composed, Vitalina Varela is a quietly absorbing drama whose placid surface belies hidden depths.
Synopsis: A woman moves from Cape Verde to her deceased husband's shack on the outskirts of Lisbon.... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Costa

#9

La llorona (2019)
96%

#9
Adjusted Score: 99427%
Critics Consensus: La Llorona puts a fresh spin on the familiar legend by blending the supernatural and the political to resolutely chilling effect.
Synopsis: Alma is murdered with her children during a military attack in Guatemala, but when the general who ordered the genocide... [More]
Directed By: Jayro Bustamante

#10
Adjusted Score: 100290%
Critics Consensus: As wickedly smart as it is energetic, Why Don't You Just Die! should satisfy audiences in the mood for a gore-soaked good time.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Kirill Sokolov

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