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Best Undistributed Films of 2019

Every year, we recognize those films that did not come out in theaters in the U.S. for a full theatrical run. All of the below films had no announced U.S. distribution at press time, but the spotlight awaits (and you can keep an eye out for more coverage in a future Film Comment...).

The top 10 entries for both our released and undistributed films feature original appreciations from our favorite critics. The full top 20 list also includes links to features, reviews, and interviews from across the year, as well as links to other work about the films and directors.

For the best films that received a theatrical run in the U.S. this year, here’s the Best Released Films of 2019 list.

Peruse the poll results of yesteryear.

And listen to our podcast discussing the results.


It Must Be Heaven

Elia Suleiman, France/Qatar/Germany/Canada/Turkey/Palestine

Just 6.5

Saeed Roustayi, Iran

Bird Island

Sergio da Costa and Maya Kosa, Switzerland

What We Left Unfinished

Mariam Ghani, Afghanistan/Qatar/USA

You Will Die at 20

Amjad Abu Alala, Sudan/France/Egypt/Germany/Norway/Qatar