TAGGED AS: festivals, Film Festival, Sundance
The Sundance 2020 Movie Scorecard
Another year, another Sundance: Some event films of the 2020 edition included Miss Americana, the Taylor Swift documentary, and Zola, a Spring Breakers/Hustlers hybrid based on an infamous Twitter thread. Then there was The 40-Year-Old Version, about a New York playwright who becomes a rapper at 40, and Promising Young Woman, a raucous revenge thriller starring Carey Mulligan. Also featured: Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin’s return with a Peter Pan adaptation, Wendy. And if the wheelings and dealings of Sundance are your thing, Rebecca Hall ghost story The Night House sold for $12 million, while Hulu and NEON has snatched up Palm Springs for 17,500,00 dollars (American) and 69 cents, officially beating the previous high set by Birth of a Nation by less than a buck.
See every movie that got a Tomatometer at the festival with The Sundance 2020 Movie Scorecard! —Alex Vo
Adjusted Score: 113744%
Critics Consensus: Powerfully acted and directed, Never Rarely Sometimes Always reaffirms writer-director Eliza Hittman as a filmmaker of uncommon sensitivity and grace.
Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin, Skylar, travel across state lines... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101484%
Critics Consensus: La Llorona puts a fresh spin on the familiar legend by blending the supernatural and the political to resolutely chilling effect.
Alma is murdered with her children during a military attack in Guatemala, but when the general who ordered the genocide... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105617%
Critics Consensus: As entertaining as it is inspiring, Crip Camp uses one group's remarkable story to highlight hope for the future and the power of community.
A groundbreaking summer camp galvanizes teens who have disabilities.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106859%
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.
Directed by Alexander Nanau (TOTO AND HIS SISTERS), COLLECTIVE follows a heroic team of journalists as they uncover shocking, widespread... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99402%
Critics Consensus: Sensitively directed by Phyllida Lloyd and brought to life by co-writer Clare Dunne's starring performance, Herself charts one woman's journey with empathy and grace.
Single mother Sandra (Clare Dunne) escapes her abusive partner with her two young children, only to find herself trapped in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106932%
Critics Consensus: The Forty-Year-Old Version opens a compelling window into the ebbs and flows of the artist's life -- and announces writer-director-star Radha Blank as a major filmmaking talent with her feature debut.
A struggling New York City playwright finds inspiration by reinventing herself as a rapper.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99436%
Critics Consensus: The Dissident offers little catharsis in its unflinching look at a grisly murder -- and gives no quarter in its forceful reminder of the fragility of free speech.
When Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappears after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, his fiancée and dissidents around the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103366%
Critics Consensus: An absorbing and affectionate tribute to a unique individual, Mucho Mucho Amor should prove fascinating for Walter Mercado fans as well as first-timers.
Puerto Rican astrologer and psychic Walter Mercado discusses his life, career and post-fame seclusion.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97757%
Critics Consensus: An intoxicating blend of documentary and fiction, Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets surveys the bar-going life with a remarkably sober eye.
On the eve of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and on its final night before closing, a Las Vegas dive... [More]
Adjusted Score: 104485%
Critics Consensus: Dick Johnson Is Dead celebrates a life with bittersweet humor and grace, offering a deeply resonant perspective on mortality in the bargain.
A filmmaker and her elderly father stage his death in various ways to help them face his inevitable demise.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102829%
Critics Consensus: On the Record uses harrowing first-person accounts to powerfully and persuasively confront the entrenched sexism of an industry and its culture.
Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering examine the sexual assault allegations against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 111543%
Critics Consensus: Led by arresting performances from Steven Yeun and Yeri Han, Minari offers an intimate and heart-wrenching portrait of family and assimilation in 1980s America.
A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103961%
Critics Consensus: An illuminating and urgent call to action, Welcome to Chechnya portrays the horrors of the mass persecution of the LGBTQ+ community in the Chechen Republic with tenacity and tenderness.
Activists risk their lives to confront Russian leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his government-directed campaign to detain, torture and execute LGBTQ... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103404%
Critics Consensus: The Painter and the Thief uses the unlikely bond between a criminal and his victim as the canvas for a compelling portrait of compassion and forgiveness.
Czech artist Barbora Kysilkova develops an unlikely friendship with the man who stole two of her paintings.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 110308%
Critics Consensus: Led by stellar performances and artfully helmed by writer-director Florian Zeller, The Father presents a devastatingly empathetic portrayal of dementia.
Anthony (Academy Award Winner, Anthony Hopkins) is 80, mischievous, living defiantly alone and rejecting the carers that his daughter, Anne... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102563%
Critics Consensus: The Fight takes an engaging look at some of the people working on the front lines for the ACLU -- and makes a passionate case for the legal battles they wage.
At a defining moment in American history, a scrappy team of heroic ACLU lawyers battles for abortion rights, immigrant rights,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99423%
Critics Consensus: A cautionary tale on internet culture, Feels Good Man is a compelling look at an artist's journey to salvage his creation.
An animated frog becomes a symbol of hate.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100175%
Critics Consensus: Emulating the spirit of punk in form and function, The Go-Go's is a raucous celebration of the pioneering band and a stylistic knockout that will blow viewers' hair back.
The Go-Go's become the first successful, all-girl band to write their own songs and play their own instruments while making... [More]
Adjusted Score: 106678%
Critics Consensus: Relic ratchets up its slowly building tension in an expertly crafted atmosphere of dread, adding up to an outstanding feature debut for director/co-writer Natalie Erika James.
A woman links her mother's increasingly volatile behavior to an evil presence at their family's decaying country home.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 109604%
Critics Consensus: Strong performances, assured direction, and a refreshingly original concept make Palm Springs a romcom that's easy to fall in love with.
Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100264%
Critics Consensus: A romance for the ages, Sylvie's Love wraps audiences in the sweet embrace of its old-fashioned romance and celebration of Black love.
In Sylvie’s Love, the jazz is smooth and the air sultry in the hot New York summer of 1957. Robert... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100206%
Critics Consensus: A remarkable feature debut for director Heidi Ewing, I Carry You with Me finds universally resonant themes in a specific, richly detailed time and place.
Based on true love, this decades spanning romance begins in Mexico between an aspiring chef (Armando Espitia) and a teacher... [More]
Adjusted Score: 101806%
Critics Consensus: The Truffle Hunters explores a world most viewers will know nothing about -- with delightfully savory results.
A handful of men search for rare, expensive and delicious white Alba truffles deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93206%
Critics Consensus: Rounded out by a pair of satisfying performances, Dinner in America is a coming-of-age rom-com with infectious punk rock energy.
An on-the-lam punk rocker and a young woman obsessed with his band go on an unexpected and epic journey together... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98966%
Critics Consensus: A deft and illuminating journalistic investigation, Assassins depicts the mechanics of North Korean politics to a chilling effect.
The audacious murder of the brother of North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jon Un in a crowded Malaysian airport sparked... [More]
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection stands in the fault line between the cradle of tradition and tomorrow, defiantly insisting that one need not exist at the expense of the other.
An 80-year-old widow stands up to local officials who want to build a dam and resettle her village.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85115%
Critics Consensus: A fun, fast paced film for all, Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made celebrates the power of imagination with a delightful sense of humor and just the right amount of bears.
Eleven-year-old Timmy Failure and Total, his imaginary 1,500-pound polar bear partner, operate Total Failure Inc., a detective agency in Portland,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93950%
Critics Consensus: Save Yourselves! doesn't do anything unexpected with its one-joke premise -- but fortunately, that one joke turns out to be consistently funny anyway.
A young Brooklyn couple head to an upstate cabin to unplug from their phones and reconnect with each other. Blissfully... [More]
Adjusted Score: 69109%
Critics Consensus: Appropriately bold and ambitious, Tesla takes a number of risks that don't always pay off -- but Ethan Hawke's performance makes those flaws easier to forgive.
Visionary inventor Nikola Tesla fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition, then faces thornier challenges... [More]
Adjusted Score: 116659%
Critics Consensus: A boldly provocative, timely thriller, Promising Young Woman is an auspicious feature debut for writer-director Emerald Fennell -- and a career highlight for Carey Mulligan.
Nothing in Cassie's life is what it appears to be -- she's wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and she's living a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103204%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by outstanding work from Elisabeth Moss, Shirley pays tribute to its subject's pioneering legacy with a biopic that ignores the commonly accepted boundaries of the form.
A famous horror writer finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99220%
Critics Consensus: Led by an outstanding performance from Levan Gelbakhiani, And Then We Danced defeats prejudice with overwhelming compassion.
A male dancer and his partner have been training for years for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The... [More]
Adjusted Score: 103859%
Critics Consensus: Startling, upsetting, and overall absorbing, Boys State strikingly depicts American political divisions -- and machinations -- taking root in the next generation.
A raucous journey into the heart of democracy captures an unusual rite of passage: 1,100 teenage boys from across Texas... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97065%
Critics Consensus: The Climb uses the complicated bond between two friends to dissect male friendships in engaging -- and frequently funny -- fashion.
Two lifelong pals test the boundaries of their friendship when a woman comes between them.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107983%
Critics Consensus: Like a pageant winner walking across the stage, Miss Juneteenth follows a familiar path -- but does so with charm and grace.
A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the "Miss Juneteenth" pageant.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 102825%
Critics Consensus: Whether you see Kajillionaire as refreshingly unique or simply bizarre will depend on your cinematic adventurousness -- and fans of writer-director Miranda July wouldn't have it any other way.
Two con artists have spent 26 years training their only daughter to swindle, scam and steal at every turn. During... [More]
Adjusted Score: 107818%
Critics Consensus: Further refining his provocative vision, writer-director Brandon Cronenberg uses Possessor's potentially over-the-top premise as a delivery mechanism for stylishly disturbing thrills.
Tasya Vos, an elite, corporate assassin, takes control of other people's bodies using brain-implant technology to execute high-profile targets.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 96511%
Critics Consensus: Led by Rebecca Hall's gripping central performance, The Night House offers atmospheric horror that engages intellectually as well as emotionally.
Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built... [More]
Adjusted Score: 97282%
Critics Consensus: Miss Americana provides an engaging if somewhat deliberately opaque backstage look at a pop star turned cultural phenomenon.
Pop singer Taylor Swift reveals intimate details of her life while showcasing backstage and onstage concert footage.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83875%
Critics Consensus: Whirlybird might have benefited from a more patient approach, but it remains a fascinating -- and often thrilling -- look at what goes into making the news.
Flying high above Los Angeles in a whirling news helicopter, husband-and-wife team Marika Gerrard and Zoey Tur (then known as... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95639%
Critics Consensus: Leap of Faith may not offer hardcore Exorcist fans much new information, but its behind-the-scenes anecdotes are enlivened by William Friedkin's magnetic charm.
A lyrical and spiritual cinematic essay on The Exorcist, Leap Of Faith explores the uncharted depths of William Friedkin's mind's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 99157%
Critics Consensus: Warm and funny, The Mole Agent offers audiences a poignant reminder that it's never too late to forge new connections and embark on new adventures.
An 83-year-old man poses as a resident in a Chilean nursing home to see if he can find signs of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98577%
Critics Consensus: A fascinating look at the creative intricacies of show business, Black Bear is a provocative, mind-bending experience -- and finds Aubrey Plaza at the top of her game.
A filmmaker plays a calculated game of desire and jealousy in pursuit of a work of art that blurs the... [More]
Adjusted Score: 79326%
Critics Consensus: Featuring an exceptional performance from Shirley Chen, Beast Beast thoughtfully places its young protagonists on center stage in a conflicting coming of age story.
Three interwoven stories of youth navigating identity, first love, petty crime, and gun violence in a Southern, American town. Brimming... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93631%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully filmed and powerfully acted, Ema puts a thoroughly distinctive spin on its story of emotional trauma and self-discovery.
After a shocking incident upends her family life and marriage to a tempestuous choreographer, Ema, a reggaeton dancer, sets out... [More]
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
A woman struggles after having an affair with one of her workers.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 68211%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
The autumnal mountains of southern Appalachia hold a haunting power within which Cole Freeman (Philip Ettinger FIRST REFORMED), maintains an... [More]
Adjusted Score: 108135%
Critics Consensus: Led by a powerhouse performance from Julia Garner, The Assistant offers a withering critique of workplace harassment and systemic oppression.
Jane, a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer, just landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a... [More]
Adjusted Score: 98388%
Critics Consensus: Zola captures the stranger-than-fiction appeal of the viral Twitter thread that inspired it -- and announces director/co-writer Janicza Bravo as a filmmaker to watch.
"Y'all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out? It's kind of long but full... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95088%
Critics Consensus: A knockout feature directorial debut from Edson Oda, Nine Days is an ethereal and evocative film about the meaning of life - elevated by a phenomenal performance from Winston Duke.
A man interviews five unborn souls to determine which one can be given life on Earth.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95704%
Critics Consensus: A message movie admirable for its subtlety as well as its execution, The Perfect Candidate faces oppression and powerfully advocates for change.
When Maryam, a hardworking young doctor in a small-town clinic, is prevented from flying to Dubai for a conference without... [More]
Adjusted Score: 81769%
Critics Consensus: Charm City Kings falls shy of more effective similarly themed coming-of-age films, but strong direction and engaging performances make its flaws easy to forgive.
Growing up in West Baltimore, teenage Mouse (JAHI DI'ALLO WINSTON, Queen & Slim, Proud Mary, The Upside) feels the fierce... [More]
Adjusted Score: 100568%
Critics Consensus: An effective pairing of period setting and timeless themes, The Nest wrings additional tension out of its unsettling story with an outstanding pair of lead performances.
An entrepreneur and his family begin to unravel after moving into an old country manor in England in the 1980s.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 94409%
Critics Consensus: Spaceship Earth achieves liftoff as an engaging behind-the-scenes record of an audacious experiment -- and settles into orbit as poignant proof of the power of a shared dream.
In 1991 eight visionaries embark on a two-year experiment to quarantine themselves inside Biosphere 2 -- a self-engineered replica of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80617%
Critics Consensus: Wander Darkly's risks don't always yield rewards, but strong work from Diego Luna and Sienna Miller helps this romance remain consistently alluring.
A traumatic accident leaves a couple in a surreal state of being that takes them on a disorienting journey through... [More]
Adjusted Score: 93786%
Critics Consensus: The Courier delivers a rousingly effective old-school spy adventure elevated by a thrilling fact-based story and Benedict Cumberbatch's nervy central performance.
THE COURIER is a true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited into... [More]
Adjusted Score: 95763%
Critics Consensus: Led by Andrea Riseborough's layered performance, Luxor empathetically surveys the crossroads between trauma and recovery.
When British aid worker Hana returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she meets former lover Sultan. As she wanders,... [More]
Adjusted Score: 105536%
Critics Consensus: Time delivers a powerful broadside against the flaws of the American justice system -- and chronicles one family's refusal to give up against all odds.
Entrepreneur Fox Rich spends the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is... [More]
Adjusted Score: 91224%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Once prosperous, the village of Congo Mirador now rots away. At the center are two women on opposing sides of... [More]
Adjusted Score: 90356%
Critics Consensus: A thoughtful look at the intricacies of girlhood in the modern age, Cuties is a coming-of-age film that confronts its themes with poignancy and nuance.
A talented 11-year-old girl joins a hip-hop dance troupe.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77415%
Critics Consensus: If its chilly sense of dread never quite becomes spine-tingling terror, Amulet remains smart, solidly disquieting fun for genre fans seeking slow-building horror.
Terror strikes when a former soldier takes a job to help a young woman and her housebound mother.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 86638%
Critics Consensus: Smart, well-acted, and suitably chilling, Scare Me uses its familiar horror setting as the backdrop for a fresh deconstruction of standard genre ingredients.
Two strangers tell scary stories in a Catskills cabin during a power outage.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 53538%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Rodrigo is a solitary teenager, a king in the private world he shares with his mother. Things change when her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 68378%
Critics Consensus: The Nowhere Inn may be a clever concept in search of substance, but the results are often oddly appealing.
From real-life friends Annie Clark (a.k.a. GRAMMY award-winning recording and touring artist St. Vincent) and Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia, Sleater-Kinney) comes... [More]
Adjusted Score: 83183%
Critics Consensus: Despite glossing over some of the darker events in the subject's life, Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren & Stimpy Story is an engaging look at a groundbreaking show.
Filmmakers Ron Cicero and Kimo Easterwood explore the rise and fall of the groundbreaking animated series "Ren and Stimpy" and... [More]
Adjusted Score: 32628%
Critics Consensus: Largely lacking the fairytale magic it seeks to conjure, Come Away is an initially intriguing fantasy that never really takes flight.
Eight-year-old Alice and her mischievous brother Peter journey to London to sell a treasured heirloom. Returning home, Alice seeks temporary... [More]
Adjusted Score: 77100%
Critics Consensus: Raw yet rewarding, Lost Girls overcomes uneven storytelling with powerful performances and a willingness to resist easy catharsis.
Determined to find her missing daughter, a desperate woman launches a personal investigation that leads police to the unsolved cases... [More]
Adjusted Score: 71223%
Critics Consensus: Joe Keery's magnetic screen presence can't disguise Spree's shallow critique of social media culture -- although that lack of depth may be precisely the point.
Thirsty for a following, a rideshare driver has figured out a deadly plan to go viral.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 76259%
Critics Consensus: Uneven yet engaging, The Glorias honors the work of a pivotal American activist without quite capturing her trailblazing spirit.
The story of Gloria Steinem -- from her childhood in 1940s Ohio to her leading role in the women's liberation... [More]
Adjusted Score: 84139%
Critics Consensus: Uncle Frank finds writer-director Alan Ball still untangling the modern American family dynamic, aided by standout work from Paul Bettany and Sophia Lillis.
In 1973, teenaged Beth Bledsoe (Sophia Lillis) leaves her rural Southern hometown to study at New York University where her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 85481%
Critics Consensus: It isn't as hard-hitting as one might expect, but Worth remains a powerfully performed and rewardingly complex dramatization of real-life events.
Following the horrific 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Congress appoints attorney and renowned mediator Kenneth Feinberg... [More]
Adjusted Score: 64011%
Critics Consensus: Run Sweetheart Run's heavy-handedness blunts the effectiveness of its message, but this remains a wily, unpredictable thriller.
Initially apprehensive when her boss insists she meet with one of his most important clients, single mom Cherie (Ella Balinska)... [More]
Adjusted Score: 65382%
Critics Consensus: The Last Shift doesn't quite reach the potential of its premise, however a powerful performance from Richard Jenkins makes it worth the watch.
Calling it quits after 38 years, an aging fast-food worker trains his young replacement on the graveyard shift at Oscar's... [More]
Adjusted Score: 67558%
Critics Consensus: Bad Hair's unwieldy ambitions are easy to respect -- even if the film's tonal jumble and uneven execution are impossible to ignore.
Terror strikes when a woman's new hair weave seems to take on a life of its own.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 50222%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
On the cusp of the year 2000, Colombian brothers Carly (Mateo Arias) and Mateo (Moises Arias) prepare to move to... [More]
Adjusted Score: 78111%
Critics Consensus: Jumbo might be more compelling as an idea than a complete viewing experience, but whatever this strikingly unusual love story lacks in narrative finesse, it makes up in originality.
Jeanne, a shy young woman, works at night in an amusement park. Fascinated with carousels, she still lives with her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 70389%
Critics Consensus: As messy and complex as the relationship at its center, Falling's repetitive nature can be taxing, but its heart is clearly in the right place.
FALLING follows John (Viggo Mortensen) who lives with his partner, Eric (Terry Chen), and their daughter, Mónica (Gabby Velis), in... [More]
Adjusted Score: 48471%
Critics Consensus: Wendy dares to do something different with its classic source material; unfortunately, the movie's breathtaking visuals are at odds with a flawed take on the story.
Lost on a mysterious island, a girl fights to save her family, her freedom and the joyous spirit of youth.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 80561%
Critics Consensus: Discomfiting by design, Surge will wear some viewers down -- but Ben Whishaw's mesmerizing performance keeps the action gripping even when it's hard to take.
Joseph (Ben Whishaw) is trapped in a soulless job, living a life devoid of emotion and meaning. After an impulsive... [More]
Adjusted Score: 73838%
Critics Consensus: Horse Girl proves unwilling or unable to explore the deeper themes it addresses, but this unusual drama is anchored by Alison Brie's committed performance.
A woman's surreal dreams affect her perception of reality.... [More]
Adjusted Score: 88830%
Critics Consensus: Skillfully directed by Kim A. Snyder, Us Kids is a stirring portrait of hope that prevails in the face of tragedy.
Us Kids is an insightful, rousing coming-of-age story of youth leaders determined to fight for justice at a critical time... [More]
Adjusted Score: 50081%
Critics Consensus: Fittingly named for a remake whose charms are dwarfed by its superior source material, Downhill is frequently -- and frustratingly -- less than the sum of its talented parts.
A woman starts to have second doubts about her husband after he runs away from an approaching avalanche, leaving her... [More]
Adjusted Score: 57657%
Critics Consensus: Four Good Days struggles to bring authenticity to its tragic source material and strands its talent in a bland melodrama.
In an emotional journey based on a true story by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post writer Eli Saslow, 31-year-old Molly begs... [More]
Adjusted Score: 7704%
Critics Consensus: It'll be the last thing most viewers want, too.
When she helps her father broker an arms deal, a reporter becomes involved in the story she's trying to break.... [More]