Jessica Bruder's nonfiction book seemed unfilmable, but director Chloé Zhao and star Frances McDormand reconceived it as a magical, compassionate drama about people living without homes. In theaters Feb. 19.
A documentary? From Romania? Yes, it sounds deadly. But your jaw will drop within minutes as the film starts with a fire at a heavy metal concert, and it'll keep dropping as the corruption and betrayals pile up. Amazon, YouTube
A band teacher who dreams of being a jazz musician learns his purpose during a sweetly funny "It's a Wonderful Life"-like journey. Disney Plus
The year's finest ensemble cast will wow you in a tender drama that follows a Korean-American family on a quixotic quest to establish a small farm. In theaters after they reopen
'Let Him Go'
Diane Lane and Kevin Costner nail the details of a long-married couple who suspect their desperate plan to find their missing grandson is doomed. A smartly observed, quietly suspenseful drama. Amazon, YouTube
'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm'
Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova expand on the raucous laughs of the first "Borat." This time, it's political and surprisingly moving. Amazon
'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'
August Wilson's play is reconfigured for the screen, spotlighting a spectacular performance by Chadwick Boseman as a troubled blues musician. Netflix
'The Invisible Man'
Elisabeth Moss gave one of two ferocious movie performances this year (the other is in "Shirley," also worth seeing) in a smart remake that finds her trying to escape a husband whose invisibility makes him even more dangerous. Amazon, HBO Max, Hulu, YouTube
'News of the World'
Tom Hanks veers into "Paper Moon"/"True Grit" territory in an understated, touching adventure about a Wild West town crier's complicated relationship with an orphan girl he's charged with delivering to her relatives. In theaters when they reopen
'I'm Thinking of Ending Things'
Charlie Kaufman's tricky drama about missed opportunities spotlights Jessie Buckley in the flashiest movie performance of the year. Netflix