Peter Medak's documentary about his ill-fated 1974 pirate comedy, The Ghost of Peter Sellers, is less bonkers tale of a production gone mad than therapeutic excursion into a traumatic memory.
Justin Pemberton's film version of Thomas Piketty's landmark book on the dangers of today's yawning income inequality, Capital in the 21st Century, is more TED Talk than documentary, but it's a handy summary nonetheless.
If a time traveler from the past wanted to learn how to subvert democracy for a few million bucks, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon would be a superb guide.
The organic growth of everyday American fascism and the understanding that pogroms are not a uniquely European phenomenon is rendered in stark and terrifying detail in David Simon's adaptation of Philip Roth's alternate historical novel, The Plot Against America.
Anna Wiener's Silicon Valley memoir, Uncanny Valley, reveals a piratical industry choking on its own hubris and blind to the cost of its destruction.
Anxiety about institutions' ability to provide security is at the root of a strong crop of nonfiction short subjects, which range from South Korea to Sweden, the suburbs of California to the city of St. Louis, in The 2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Documentary.
The Safdie Brothers' nervy ball of tension, #PMPick Uncut Gems, sends a hustler blasting recklessly through a city where everybody is on the make.
Damon Lindelof's over-plotted, over-anxious, daring, genre-hopping offshoot of Alan Moore's alternate-history graphic novel, Watchmen, is less a show about hunting down the bad guys than it is about the twisted turns and stubborn legacies of racist trauma in America -- and the resistance to atoning for it.
Cynthia Erivo's transcendent turn as Union spy, escaped slave, and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman shines through Kasi Lemmons' heroic but oversimplified biopic, Harriet.
In Robert Eggers' brutal but lyrical 19th century horror show, The Lighthouse, there is a lot of David Lynch in the looming soundtrack and the steam-powered, proto-industrial feel in the scenes of tending the lighthouse machinery.
Oren Jacoby's richly illustrated documentary on the ups and downs of modern Broadway, On Broadway, is all celebrations and no questions. Whether that's a problem depends on your level of theater mania.
Gavin Hood's thriller about British whistleblower Katharine Gun's attempt to stop the Iraq War, Official Secrets, is nothing special artistically, but its intense relevance burns the screen.
Starting as a personal look at the damages wrought by decades of China's one-child policy, One Child Nation exposes a deeper, baser level of national corruption.
Tarantino's surprisingly warm fantasy mash-up of California dreamin' and arthouse B-movie revenge fantasy, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, is dreamy but sacrifices coherence for the indulgence of changing history.
Lynn Shelton's lo-fi Southern satire Sword of Trust yokes historical artifacts, the quest for meaning, Civil War Truthers, and the devastation of addiction to a pleasingly ramshackle comic quest.
In Olivier Assayas' speedy, slightly wan dispatch from salon society, Non-Fiction (Doubles vie), Parisians have badly concealed affairs and argue loudly but inconclusively about books and society.
João Moreira Salles's melancholic documentary, In the Intense Now (No Intenso Agora) stitches together amateur footage of the riots of 1968 to create a riveting rumination on the glee and disillusionment of idealism.