Spike Lee's crisp concert film of David Byrne's Broadway show, American Utopia, embraces the hopes and anxieties of the present moment.
Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.
Armando Iannucci veers sharply from pitch-black satire to a more upbeat comedy with The Personal History of David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel as a hero who would have been eaten alive in Veep.
Erik Nelson's gorgeously restored Pacific War color footage in Apocalypse '45 makes a dramatic backdrop for his revealing interviews with veterans who survived the brutality of "a war without mercy".
Laying the everyday experience of Black life in 1950s America against Cthulhuian nightmares, Misha Green and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country suggests intriguing parallels that are often lost in its narrative dead-ends.
By comparing the American race-based class system to that of India and Nazi Germany, Isabel Wilkerson makes us see a familiar evil in a different light with her latest work, Caste.
In Dave Franco and Joe Swanberg's hipster horror flick The Rental, the looming threat surrounding a vacationing foursome feels less crucial than the lies they tell each other.
Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.
Christian Brose's defense-nerd position paper, The Kill Chain, inadvertently reveals that the Pentagon's problems (complacency, inertia, arrogance) reflect those of the country at large.
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.