10 best Netflix trailers of 2020

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No. 6: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Judging a trailer before a movie is released feels like a betrayal of sorts, especially when ranking the year’s best. But alas, awards season is when awards season is, and what trailer better to feature on our list prior to its Netflix drop?

The Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom trailer does an excellent job hyping up audiences with varying level of familiarity with the material. At first glance, it’s sure to be a down-and-out stellar showcase for Viola Davis as Ma and the late Chadwick Boseman as Levee. But those who know the prolific August Wilson play have reason to be enamored by the (apparently numerous) scenes that go outside the recording studio, suggesting dream sequences and/or similar artistic flourishes.

A roster of exceptional Black talent rounds out the cast and crew of this anticipated film, one that we certainly won’t miss when it drops on Netflix (and neither should you).

No. 5: A Love Song for Latasha

Everything about this trailer is majestic, graceful, and intriguing—I’ll go to the mat for A Love Song for Latasha. Sophia Nahli Allison frames this delicate documentary short as an ode to the life of Latasha Harlins, a confident, intelligent 15-year-old girl who was tragically shot and killed at a South Central LA store in 1992.

The film slots neatly into the terrifically structured BLM collection on Netflix, which gained much more visibility in light of the heated reactions to the killing of George Floyd (and countless other Black people) that dominated much of this year’s social and political discourse.

The trailer alludes to the short’s uses of rudimentary animation technique, reverse playback, voice-off, and VHS tape stylings that so perfectly illustrate the long-lasting effects of Latasha’s life and death within her social circles. It is at once enveloping and fascinating, rising above its anticipated perceptions of “Important Art” to evolve into a thing of grand beauty.

By far the most underrated Netflix content on this list, if not the year entirely, A Love Song for Latasha earns the 20 minutes of your undivided attention that it deserves.