The Top 10 Best Films Of 2021

The Top 10 Best Films Of 2021

It’s New Year’s Eve, it’s time to look back at the past year in cinema and select the top 10 best films of 2021. We picked our favorites, so check out to see what we selected. To pay homage to filmmakers and actors, we don’t dare to rank them.

Abe Friedtanzer 


・Malcolm and Marie


・The French Dispatch



・Licorice Pizza

・How It Ends

・Together Together

・C’mon C’mon

2021 may not have been a typical year for the movies, but there was plenty to celebrate within it. I screened close to 300 films, and there were many great choices among them. CODA showed heart and individuality through its beautiful portrayal of people whose stories are far too often not told, seen, or heard. Malcolm and Marie positioned two excellent performers – Zendaya and John David Washington – opposite each other for a gripping night of couple drama. Belfast was clearly a deeply personal film for director Kenneth Branagh, one that shows through its aesthetics and a phenomenal showing from a cast led by Jude Hill, Caitriona Balfe, and Jamie Dornan. The French Dispatch embraced everything that makes Wes Anderson’s films fantastic and wondrous, presenting separate storylines that were inventive, offbeat, and an utter delight to watch. Encanto celebrated Colombian culture with music, magic, and love, bringing together winning ingredients and stellar animation for a fully pleasant and invigorating experience. Dune took on the daunting task of adapting a beloved novel and presented an awesome cinematic experience, one so grand in its scope and visual effects that it was entirely immersive. Licorice Pizza was an enthralling trip back in time, anchored by two equally superb young actors in their remarkably impressive debut performances, guided by the creative vision of writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson. How It Ends wasn’t a movie about this pandemic but instead a different scenario in which the world is doomed, peppered with playful and memorable characters all facing their impending collective demise. Together Together was an uplifting and intimate depiction of a great platonic friendship, led by warm performances from Patti Harrison and Ed Helms. C’mon C’mon traced the natural development of a warm relationship between a kid and his uncle, featuring striking cinematography and great turns from Joaquin Phoenix and true find Woody Norman.

Karen Butler 

・tick, tick…BOOM!

・ Spider-Man No Way Home

・Ghostbusters: Afterlife

・ Concrete Cowboy

・Many Saints of Newark

・The Harder They Fall

・In the Heights

・Don’t Look Up

・A Quiet Place Part II

・The French Dispatch

Nostalgia was a common theme that ran through most of the films I loved best in 2021. Spider-Man : No Way Home, Ghostbusters : Afterlife and Many Saints of Newark revived cherished characters I thought I’d never see again and set them on fresh, entertaining new adventures. tick, tick…BOOM! and In the Heights reminded me of why I love my native New York and — more importantly — the colorful, creative, hard-working people that make it such a special place. Concrete Cowboy and The Harder They Fall incorporated new faces and compelling stories into the western genre, one of my all-time favorite cinematic categories. Don’t Look Up and A Quiet Place Part II celebrated in their own weird ways what is most important in life — honesty, integrity, resourcefulness, family and courage — while cautioning what could happen if we don’t don’t heed our better angels. The French Dispatch isn’t perfect, but it is a hilarious, affectionate, appropriate eulogy for journalism that I and many of my reporter colleagues can relate to a little too we

Karen Benardello

  ・Nightmare Alley



  ・The Power of the Dog

  ・The Night House


  ・Clifford the Big Red Dog



  ・ Heart of Champions

The most compelling films of 2021 feature emotionally relatable, complex protagonists who try to find their rightful place in society. Nightmare Alley, is driven by Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of the ultimate homme fatale who seeks validation from the women in his life. Pig marks a major comeback for Nicolas Cage, who battles grief in his portrayal of the self-isolating protagonist. Stillwater stars Matt Damon as a father who’s intent on proving his daughter’s innocence after her wrongful murder conviction. The Power of the Dog is driven by the protagonists’ psychological complexities as they contend with their life circumstances. The Night House thrives on the grief of Rebecca Hall’s protagonist as she uncovering her late husband’s secrets. Antlers highlights the underlying social issues that are currently plaguing America through Keri Russell’s distressed protagonist. Driven by Darby Camp’s heartwarming lrsf performance, Clifford the Big Red Dog is a compelling reminder that people can overcome their difficulties through absolute faith in themselves. Vortex is a grounded and poignant exploration into the difficulties faced by a family that’s caring for its elderly matriarch, who’s in declining health. Demonic features a complex, strong-willed female protagonist played by Carly Pope, who will do whatever it takes to defeat her inner evil. Heart of Champions features an ensemble cast led by Alexander Ludwig and Alex MacNicoll, who play diverse collegiate athletes who learn how to bond and succeed as a team.

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

・The Hand of God

・The Father 

・ Luca 

・The Man Who Sold His Skin 

・True Mothers 

・Truman & Tennesse: An Intimate Conversation 

・King Richard 

・The Last Duel 

・The Power of The Dog

・Becoming Cousteau 

The second year of pandemic has influenced our sensitivity towards the fruition of motion pictures. In my selection the theme of family certainly comes up repeatedly, with The Hand of God, The FatherTrue MothersKing Richard and The Power of The Dog. Friendship, is another subject matter that strongly reverberated through the fictional story of Luca or the inspiring relationship between two literary giants, as seen in Truman & Tennesse: An Intimate Conversation. The well-being of our home, planet Earth is definitely something that was enlightened by a film like Becoming Cousteau. Ultimately another topic that was extremely relevant in this period of isolation was reflecting upon the nature of our perception. How reality is created first and foremost in our minds, and then moulded by societal norms and trends, is brilliantly shown in The Last Duel and The Man Who Sold His Skin.

Matthew Schuchman 


・Last Night in Soho

・Licorice Pizza

・Old Henry

・Nightmare Alley

・The Novice

・The Power of the Dog

・The Tragedy of MacBeth


・Werewolves Within

2021 has had some great films that are getting a lot of recognition, but it also had some real gems that need to be further up in the conversation. It was early in the year, and not a serious drama–so people are bound to overlook it–but Werewolves Within was the first great movie of the year, and is still one of the best. While it took some getting used to at first, by the time Annette ends and the point fully comes across, it is hard to deny just how clever and well done the film is as a whole. The Novice is now only being released for audiences to see, but as first time films go, Lauren Hadawa’s debut effort is top notch. I didn’t really expect to love Titane as much as I did. I really was unaware of where the film was heading and was beyond pleased with the route it took. While Agathe Rousselle is already garnering praise for her performance, I also think Vincent Lindon should be in the talks about supporting actor nods. Speaking of supporting actor nods, the fact that only a few critics circles have given her the proper accolades, Kathryn Hunter in The Tragedy of MacBeth should be the only choice for best support actress in any awards talk.

Nobuhiro Hosoki

・C’mon, C’mon

・tick, tick…BOOM!  


・Not Going Quietly 


・Locorice Pizza

・Drive My Car


・The Rescue


C’mon, C’mon, I was enthralled by what could be a mundane life, but beautifully captured in black and white, and very moving in the end. tick, tick…BOOM!, the film really take us inside the mindset of Jonathan Larson, who created the musical, Rent. Belfast, was a love letter to Belfast, where director Kenneth Bragnah grew up. Not Going Quietly was a triumphant message from Ady Barkan, who diagnosed ALS. Mass was the best assemble cast film about aftermath of a violent tragedy that affects the lives of two families. Licorice Pizza, Paul Thomas Anderson made an endearing film about two kids going through an adolescent to adulthood. Drive My Car was carefully driven script from start to finish, left me wondering how you cope with the death of someone who close to you. Vortex, it was really scary depiction of dementia between a couple. The Rescue, it’s an amazing reenactment of what was really happening in Thai cave rescue in 2018. Annette, it felt like a Shakespearean play except everything taken place in the world of your own, which is like Globe Theatre in a way.

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