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.

Adjusted Score: 111.794%
Critics Consensus: A singularly rich period piece, Portrait of a Lady on Fire finds stirring, thought-provoking drama within a powerfully acted romance.
Synopsis: France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the... [More]
Directed By: Céline Sciamma


76 Days (2020)

Adjusted Score: 103.603%
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: This documentary captures the struggles of patients and frontline medical professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan.... [More]
Directed By: Weixi Chen, Hao Wu

Adjusted Score: 103.73%
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: Directed by Alexander Nanau (TOTO AND HIS SISTERS), COLLECTIVE follows a heroic team of journalists as they uncover shocking, widespread... [More]
Directed By: Alexander Nanau

Adjusted Score: 101.65%
Critics Consensus: Led by an impressive performance from Bartosz Bielenia, Corpus Christi thoughtfully and engagingly examines questions of faith and redemption.
Synopsis: Corpus Christi is the story of a 20-year-old Daniel who experiences a spiritual transformation while living in a Youth Detention... [More]
Directed By: Jan Komasa

Adjusted Score: 101.18%
Critics Consensus: A restless and riveting fable, Night of Kings sees writer-director Philippe Lacôte in full command of his craft.
Synopsis: A young man is sent to "La Maca," a prison in the middle of the Ivorian forest ruled by its... [More]
Directed By: Philippe Lacôte

Adjusted Score: 101.16%
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: Set against the backdrop of a rapidly expanding Seoul in 1994, a lonely 14-year-old Eun-hee moves through life like a... [More]
Directed By: Kim Bora

Adjusted Score: 101.276%
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: Magdalena sets out on a journey in search of her son, who disappeared en route to the US border. Travelling... [More]
Directed By: Fernanda Valadez


Vitalina Varela (2020)

Adjusted Score: 99.771%
Critics Consensus: Rigorous and beautifully composed, Vitalina Varela is a quietly absorbing drama whose placid surface belies hidden depths.
Synopsis: Vitalina Varela, 55-year-old, Cape Verdean, arrives in Lisbon 3 days after her husband's funeral. She's been waiting for her plane... [More]
Directed By: Pedro Costa


La Llorona (2020)

Adjusted Score: 100.086%
Critics Consensus: La Llorona puts a fresh spin on the familiar legend by blending the supernatural and the political to resolutely chilling effect.
Synopsis: Indignant retired general Enrique finally faces trial for the genocidal massacre of thousands of Mayans decades ago. As a horde... [More]
Directed By: Jayro Bustamante

Adjusted Score: 99.475%
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: Matvey has just one objective: to gain entry to his girlfriend's parents' apartment and kill her father Andrey with a... [More]
Directed By: Kirill Sokolov

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