In alphabetical order…
Da 5 Bloods
Spike Lee’s story of four veterans who return to Vietnam to recover the body of a fallen brother and retrieve a buried treasure is one of the year’s most stunning and impactful films. Performances by an incredible ensemble cast — including Delroy Lindo and the late Chadwick Boseman — make it one of this year’s must-see films.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
August Wilson’s Tony-nominated play about a fictitious recording session with the “Mother of the Blues” is brought to the big screen by producer Denzel Washington and director George C. Wolfe. While you never quite forget that you’re watching a play, the film’s remarkable ensemble — led by almost unrecognizable Viola Davis and Boseman in an electric final performance — make it one of this year’s best films.
Frances McDormand may be bound for Oscar gold again for her portrayal of a widow who takes up a transient life in her van after the Great Recession wipes out her town. The film is a beautiful and lonely look at a forgotten segment of American society.
Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey hit a high note with Pixar’s boldest and most adult endeavor yet. Tackling life, death and eternity, the story of a middle school band teacher who learns what it means to truly live — after his soul is separated from his body — is filled with heart, humor and brilliant imagination.
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Writer/director Aaron Sorkin and another stellar ensemble make this retelling of the events leading to the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the subsequent trial riveting entertainment and freakishly relatable for contemporary audiences.