Sound of Metal (Darius Marder, 2019)

Heavy metal drummer Ruben Stone is one half of a metal duo known as Blackgammon. The other member is his girlfriend Lou – the vocalist of the group. They live in an RV, performing gigs while travelling across the United States. Unfortunately for Ruben, a sudden bout of hearing loss puts a damper on their plans. Upon visiting the doctor, it is determined that he can only make out twenty to thirty percent of words being spoken to him. Cochlear implants may save his hearing, but they are not covered by his insurance. The doctor then asks him to do the unthinkable: eliminate all exposure to loud noises to save the scant hearing he has left.

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Judas and the Black Messiah (Shaka King, 2021)

In the year 1968, a seventeen-year-old criminal William “Bill” O’Neal has just been arrested in Chicago for his unsuccessful attempt to impersonate a federal officer with the intent to hijack a car. Shortly thereafter, he finds himself in the company of FBI Special Agent Roy Mitchell. If convicted, Bill faces lengthy prison sentence, but Roy has a proposition for him. He is to infiltrate the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party and get as much information about its leader, Fred Hampton, as possible.

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Nomadland (Chloé Zhao, 2020)

In the wake of the Great Recession of 2008, the US Gypsum plant in Empire, Nevada was forced to close. One of the workers there, Fern, is among those affected. With her husband having passed away recently and her livelihood gone, she decides to sell most of her belongings and purchase a van to live in, seeking out seasonal work to make ends meet.

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The Father (Florian Zeller, 2020)

Anthony is an 80-year-old Welshman who is frequently visited by Anne, his daughter. Anne questions if he is capable of living in his flat – especially after displaying an abrasive attitude with a recent caretaker. Anthony insists that he doesn’t need help, although with his surroundings inexplicably changing right before his very eyes, Anne finds herself at wit’s end.

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Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell, 2020)

Three men spot a drunk woman in a bar. After being dared by his friends, one of the men attempts to socialize with the woman with limited success. Realizing her complete lack of lucidity, the man offers to accompany her home. However, the man instead takes advantage of the situation and arranges for the driver to escort them to his own house. There, he invites the woman for drinks before proceeding to strip the woman. The man is caught flatfooted when he learns the woman was merely pretending to be drunk. When she arrives home, she draws a tally mark in a secret journal.

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Mank (David Fincher, 2020)

The year is 1940 and a young, promising new talent by the name of Orson Welles has been given complete creative freedom by RKO Pictures to craft his debut feature. To form a screenplay, Orson enlists the help of one Herman J. Mankiewicz, a prolific screenwriter who made a name for himself throughout the 1930s during the rise of talkies. Herman is currently in a bad way, having just survived an auto accident with a broken leg. Nonetheless, he is determined to work with Orson to make the up-and-coming director’s passion project the best it can possibly be. As he does, he reminisces about what brough him to this point.

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The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin, 2020)

In August of 1968, eight people, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, David Dellinger, Lee Weiner, John Froines, and Bobby Seale, prepare to protest the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. After five months, all eight of them are arrested for attempting to incite a riot. Attorney General John N. Mitchell appoints Tom Foran and Richard Schultz to prosecute the eight defendants for what he believes to be a conspiracy against American values.

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Minari (Lee Isaac Chung, 2020)

The Yi family are Korean immigrants who have moved from California to a new plot of land in Arkansas. There, the father, Jacob, hopes to grow Korean produce to sell to vendors in Dallas, Texas. He and his wife Monica also work sexing chicks at a nearby hatchery to make ends meet. Because of the demanding nature of their jobs, they arrange for Monica’s mother, Soon-ja, to travel from South Korea to live with them and watch over their kids.

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