Yes, the coronavirus stacked the deck against new movies finding their way to us during the first half of 2020 — but quality still won out. Maybe not in theaters, which are still inching their way toward opening depending on what phase of re-launch your state is in. But even after multiplexes were shut down when the pandemic struck hard in mid-March, audiences found other ways to get their movie fix, thanks to video on demand and such streaming services as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney Plus. And there were a handful of films who made it into theaters just under the quarantine wire that, months later, we still can’t get out of head.
At the year’s halftime point, the fighting spirit of movies is alive and well — as these winners defiantly attest. From a war epic from one of our greatest living filmmakers to a documentary on hip-hop legends, a horror-movie classic tailored for our current moment to a cutting contemporary political satire, here are the 12 best movies of 2020 so far.