• Jack Aling

London Film Festival 2020 Ranked


In October 2020, Escape Film Club attended BFI's London Film Festival to experience the most exciting upcoming independent and major releases. Here's our ranked list of every film we saw at the 2020 festival and links to our full reviews. List and reviews by Jack Aling.


32) A COMMON CRIME

Achingly tedious, I was taken back by how little this had to say. It may have an intriguing plot but frustratingly does nothing with it making for a painfully dull experience. READ THE FULL REVIEW



31) SIBERIA

Starting off with a calm and soothing narration from Willem Dafoe quickly dissolves into utter chaos leaving me to attempt to figure out what the hell I just watched. READ THE FULL REVIEW



30) CICADA

There are obvious real-life experiences which adds to the authenticity and honesty of the story, I just wish it was more engaging to do the story justice. READ THE FULL REVIEW




29) STRAY

We are allowed to peer into people's lives from a different perspective, letting the stray dogs decide their own path in this natural and beautifully shot documentary. READ THE FULL REVIEW




28) UNDINE

A mysterious and romantic love story with haunting performances that despite it's best efforts suffers from style over substance. READ THE FULL REVIEW





27) BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS

Through slurred conversations, there's an oddly comforting feel to this shockingly honest look into a Las Vegas dive bar during its final day. READ THE FULL REVIEW




26) THE REASON I JUMP

An immersive look into a mind that cannot be defined by words, this is such an important documentary that changes the conversation about autism. READ THE FULL REVIEW




25) FAREWELL AMOR

A reunited family's different motives clash as they have to attempt to reconnect with something that they never truly connected with in the first place. READ THE FULL REVIEW




24) SHIRLEY

Forcing you outside of your comfort zone with every cast member grasping for control, this mischievous and intimidating piece creates an unsettling atmosphere that you won’t soon forget. READ THE FULL REVIEW



23) WILDFIRE

With two haunting lead performances and a focus on political divides and mental health, though well-meaning, ultimately misses the mark. READ THE FULL REVIEW





22) THE INTRUDER

This psychological thriller pulls you in with subtle tricks of the mind but as it approaches the final act it gets carried away and begins to lose its footing. READ THE FULL REVIEW




21) AFTER LOVE

Aleem Khan's feature debut impressively recounts the feeling of love and loss in a modern and multicultural society which is elevated by strong performances and honest filmmaking. READ THE FULL REVIEW




20) ONE MAN AND HIS SHOES

A tale of two halves, this energetically edited documentary tells the untold story of Air Jordans, the insanity of the marketing behind them, and the devastating real-world effects that high demand can have.

READ THE FULL REVIEW



19) ROSE: A LOVE STORY

A fascinatingly subtle and off balanced horror disguised as a love story that uses colour, darkness, and claustrophobia to its advantage. READ THE FULL REVIEW





18) RELIC

A disorientating slow burn, Relic does a great job of building dread but loses itself by overcomplicating and ultimately watering down its metaphorical themes. READ THE FULL REVIEW




17) TIME

Capturing a family's journey over twenty years, this deeply intimate documentary tells a passionate and frustrating story of loss and love. READ THE FULL REVIEW




16) HONEYMOOD

Your wedding day is supposedly the happiest day of your life, but this hilarious and warming piece shows the evening can be wildly unpredictable. READ THE FULL REVIEW



15) NEW ORDER

Through the screams and wails, though this is not for the faint-hearted, it is a surprisingly well-crafted look at the horrific lengths people will go to for power. READ THE FULL REVIEW




14) LOVERS ROCK

Steve McQueen has created a piece of escapism with a gloriously upbeat soundtrack that can only be described as a harmonious time capsule. READ THE FULL REVIEW





13) KAJILLIONAIRE

Miranda July writes and directs a bittersweet piece that focuses on the importance of human connection and the effect that can have on a person. READ THE FULL REVIEW



12) AMMONITE

Arguably the most romantic episode of Time Team I've ever seen, this is a quiet and restrained love story fuelled by two enthralling performances. READ THE FULL REVIEW





11) WOLFWALKERS

Ripped straight from the pages of a storybook, this stylish and beautifully animated film took me completely by surprise. READ THE FULL REVIEW




10) MOGUL MOWGLI

An intimate piece that faces reality rather than pushing it aside, through claustrophobic and surreal filmmaking paired with an achingly personal story. READ THE FULL REVIEW




9) DAVID BYRNE'S AMERICAN UTOPIA

Even with very limited knowledge of the discography, it made for an exceptionally immersive experience utilising every element of the live performance. READ THE FULL REVIEW






8) SUPERNOVA

A devastating experience that packs an emotional punch with two heartfelt and vulnerable performances at its core from Firth and Tucci. READ THE FULL REVIEW




7) ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI...

For a film like this, it would've been very difficult to escape its stage show roots. But Kemp Powers' script is so dialogue rich that it would have been a disservice to do it any other way. READ THE FULL REVIEW



6) HERSELF

Clare Dunne escapes her abusive lifestyle and tries to build, literally and figuratively, a new life for herself and her daughters in a story that restores hope even through challenging circumstances. READ THE FULL REVIEW




5) POSSESSOR

A mind melting dystopian nightmare which is full of creativity, vivid colours and just a small pinch of extreme graphic violence. READ THE FULL REVIEW





4) NOMADLAND

A soothing ride through Midwest America this affectionately told story of independence is a reminder to not waste your time, to see the world, and to keep moving forward. READ THE FULL REVIEW




3) ANOTHER ROUND

Fun at heart yet serious in execution, this sobering piece uses alcohol as the tipping point to tell a story about aging, stagnating, and wanting more from life. READ THE FULL REVIEW




2) MANGROVE

There is such anger and passion in this true story that puts the injustice in the spotlight throwing you into the centre of the conflict. READ THE FULL REVIEW





1) SOUL

The perfect film to release as the world tries to continue after such a debilitating pandemic - a reminder of the beauty of everyday living and the small things that makes life so special. READ THE FULL REVIEW


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