2020 was a strange and strained year in so many ways.

Every aspect of culture has had to adapt to shifting circumstances. But cinema in particular — an institution based on the idea of large groups of people sitting in a tightly-packed room for two hours — had to adjust.

Schedules for both production and release have been continually disrupted, and despite efforts to convince audiences that they can feel safe returning to theaters, most have stayed away — and they are right to. As a result, a lot of great movies fell through the cracks.

The critically acclaimed Minari, for example, only saw a limited digital release for one week, with a theatrical debut scheduled for March. And the much anticipated News of the World is currently screening in theaters — even though Tom Hanks was the first famous face of the coronavirus pandemic.

With that in mind, it was a strange year to review cinema, but these are the best movies that felt safe to see in 2020.

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