Ahmed plays Ruben Stone, a heavy metal drummer, who plays in a band and lives in a tour bus with his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke). Quickly after meeting the couple, we witness the touring musician drastically losing his hearing. As recovering addicts with little financial means, they soon run out of options. Lou desperately wants to prevent Ruben's relapse into addiction and so she helps him retreat to a deaf community group home, run by the illustrious Joe, a truly amazing character played by the equally amazing Paul Raci, himself the hearing son of deaf parents. There is something deeper going on though: the question of what disability is, and how, despite how it drastically changes Ruben's life, it might not be his biggest problem. In addition to the stellar acting and delicate writing, we experience his condition through the incredible sound design used by director Darius Marder, complete with muffled conversations, garbled noises, and piercing silence. This is a movie to be taken in completely. Above all, it's about Riz Ahmed's performance. He learned to play drums, sign language, and studied deafness ahead of the shooting, and he does not strike a wrong note.
Find the best movies and show to watch from the year 2020. These handpicked recommendations are highly-rated by viewers and critics.
Julia Roberts first small-screen role is that of Heidi Bergman, a woman working as a caseworker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center, a facility that helps war veterans return to civilian life. Her boss Colin Belfast, superbly played by Bobby Cannavale, is a busy and eager man with questionable motives. Four years on, Bergman no longer works for the mysterious facility, when a visitor forces her to confront what she has been telling herself about her past.
Created by Sam Esmail, who also brought you Mr. Robot, this is mysterious sci-fi at its best. A haunting vibe, heart-stopping cinematography, and a slew of stellar supporting actors like Shea Whigham and Stephan Janes make Homecoming a gripping and breathtaking experience. With each episode clocking in at about 30 minutes, you will frequently be left hungry for more.
Georgian dance has cut-throat competition: the art form is dying even within Gerogia, and to make it, dancers compete to join the one duo that represents the country. The chance finally comes and the spot opens up, igniting the hopes of performers from around the country. Mervan is one of them, a young dancer from a poor background who takes food from his restaurant job to feed his family. His main competition is a newcomer, Irakli, who also comes from a difficult background and hopes to secure the spot to provide for his ill father.
When their lives hang on them competing against one another, Mervan and Irakli fall for each other.
And Then We Danced is full of incredible dance sequences that add to the beauty of the romance at its center; but it's also a heartbreaking exploration of unfulfilled ambition.
This stagelike historical drama is about a meeting between Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Muhammad Ali, the night Ali became world champion and announced he became Muslim.
And here is the thing: Malcolm X and Muhammed Ali have been portrayed many times in film, but never with this much nuance. Their relationship with each other is often frictional and their relationship to their faith is recognizable: they're not always sure about it, and they take breaks.
Ali smuggles alcohol without Malcolm knowing, Malcolm is accused of being obsessed with celebrity (and later of colorism), Jim Brown is insecure about being an actor, and Sam Cooke wishes he wrote a Bob Dylan song.
The simple premise of this series, about real couples going to therapy, shouldn’t feel as revolutionary as it does. And yet, Couples Therapy feels like radical reality-TV, a focused and coherent undertaking.
Couples of different histories, ages, races, and sexual orientations walk into Dr. Orna Guralnik’s New York office. Their problems are as diverse and unique as they are, but there is also a painful universality to them. Couples Therapy becomes a portrayal of human partnership period, a TV show in which to see oneself at times and to learn from the different webs couples get tangled in over time.
Never before has reality TV been the best vehicle to portray something so serious.
This impressive body of work defies any classification: it’s a collection of five films that have been put together into a miniseries. Director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) collected a timeless set of stories set from the ‘60s to ‘80s about London’s West Indian community and their struggle with rampant racism.
The first film, Mangrove, bears the name of the restaurant at the center of the story. As a sanctuary for the community, the restaurant quickly becomes the target of a racist police division that employs various tactics to disrupt its popularity. The local chapter of the Black Panthers and its charismatic leader (played by Letitia Wright) get involved.
Mangrove and Lovers Rock, the next episode, were in the selection of the Cannes Film Festival that got canceled because of the pandemic.
Herself tells the story of Sandra (Clare Dunne), a single mother who runs away from her abusive husband to start a new life with her children. When welfare and charity prove to be insufficient with their help, she takes things into her hands by building a house of her own.
This Irish movie, co-written by star Clare Dunne, may be small in scale and budget, but it is affecting in big and powerful ways. Despite what girlbosses might tell you, chasing full independence isn't always as easy or even empowering as it looks, especially when you're stuck in the lower rungs of society like Sandra; Herself takes the honest approach by showing us the unglamorous side of making it on your own. It also has meaningful things to say about marriage and divorce, so if you were moved by Marriage Story or Kramer vs Kramer, you may feel the same about Herself, which references the latter two's iconic courtroom scenes.
You’ll recognize more than a few faces in Uncle Frank. There are no mega-stars but the caliber of acting in this 70s story is truly impressive.
Beth is an 18-year-old in rural South Carolina who grew up admiring the family member she could relate to the most: her uncle, a college professor living in New York.
When she finishes high-school, she makes the move to the city her beloved uncle told her so much about. Once there, she discovers that he has been living a double life which he kept a secret from the family.
This is the perfect holiday movie for those looking for a story that’s not about the actual holidays. It’s sweet, often funny, and packs a heartfelt and genuine story without being too predictable.
Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis (Homeland) star opposite each other as a prosecutor and a billionaire suspect in this well-crafted drama. Axe is a venture-capitalist who lost his business partners in 9/11 and who is widely appreciated in the public eye for his charity work. He comes under scrutiny from a ruthless and unusual public prosecutor (Giamatti) after allegations of insider-trading. The two alpha-male types go head-to-head which makes for an immensely watchable fight.
Hanna the movie was the perfect mix between a coming-of-age story and a Bourne-Trilogy-type thriller. It was suspenseful, edgy, and so original.
How to make these attributes stick when the movie is stretched to a TV show? As it turns out, more of the same does the trick.
The majority of events have been imagined especially for the show, and it doesn’t stop there. The series is packed with great new talent who bring their uniqueness to the story. Hanna herself is played masterfully by British actress Esme Creed-Miles. Her father - much more present in the show than the movie - is also amazingly played by Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman (you may recognize him from House of Cards or The Killing).
High production value and incredible suspense make Hanna an enjoyable and prolonged thrill ride. It’s even more fun if you’ve never watched the movie, as all plot developments will be new to you.
Hailed as one of the best shows of the year, Gangs of London is a big and brutal account of a gang war that takes place in modern-day London.
It’s big both in terms of scale and budget, but also risk. Each episode runs a long 90 minutes, and the violence is truly exceptional. The first scene will tell you everything you need to know.
This satire takes place in the year 2033 when it’s possible to “upload” oneself to a specific software-powered afterlife. In the variety of afterlives possible, there is no heaven or hell. Instead, class struggles persist: ads are everywhere, you have to pay for data, and there are many levels of luxury available.
Created by Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation), Upload is an easy and funny show with an interesting and relevant premise. If you liked The Good Place, Silicon Valley, or Black Mirror, you will surely love this.
Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck star in this comedy-drama as a small-town couple, one of whom gets diagnosed with a terminal illness. Their best friend (Jason Segel) puts his life on hold and moves in with them, picking up the husband when he faints at the hospital, shaving his head in solidarity with the wife, and even taking care of the dog who also gets sick.
It might seem like just another terminal illness drama, but Our Friend is based on a true story, and it’s as much about the illness as it is about how to be there for people, and reversely, the power of people being there for you.