The Best and Worst of 2021 in Film

It’s that time of year again! After another year of movies ranging from terrible to fantastic, it’s time for my yearly roundup of the best and worst of 2021’s films (based on their UK release date)!

Very quickly, the worst. ‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’. What a terrible sequel that was. Everything that was entertaining about the original sucked dry in a bland, horribly written follow-up. I was also not a fan of bland action flick ‘Snake Eyes’, the unnecessary ‘Home Sweet Home Alone’, and the ridiculous ‘Venom 2’.

Some of the great sounding 2021 films I have been unable to see include ‘Pig’, ‘Lamb’, ‘The Green Knight’, ‘C’mon C’mon’ and ‘Titane’; I hope I’m able to see them all soon. Additionally, some 2021 films that haven’t had UK releases yet include ‘Licorice Pizza’, ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’, ‘The Worst Person in the World’ and ‘Belfast’. I look forward to seeing them in the new year.

With that said, here are my top films of 2021!

Honourable Mentions
Great films that didn’t quite make my Top 10, seen here ranked in 20th-11th place.


10. Spencer (dir. Pablo Larraín)
Despite some repetitive elements, Spencer is a brilliantly executed film who’s greatest strength is presenting Diana’s plight as a psychological drama, rather than a ‘Crown-style’ period piece. Kristen Stewart disappears effortlessly into her performance as the People’s Princess, and is sure to have award nominations thrown at her.

9. No Time To Die (dir. Cary Joji Fukunaga)
A fitting and brilliantly entertaining end to Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond. Not everything in the story works, and Rami Malik’s villain is a little one-note, but the film more than makes up for this with stunning design, excellent performances and devastating emotional weight, all expertly directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.

8. Dune (dir. Denis Villeneuve)
Denis Villeneuve’s expansive vision once again triumphs in a hypnotic and entrancing sci-fi. Hans Zimmer’s booming score and a truly breathtaking scale make for epic blockbuster storytelling.

7. The Sparks Brothers (dir. Edgar Wright)
Edgar Wright delivers a smash hit documentary about the enigmatic titular band. A touching portrayal of resilience and artistic respect, it’s also hysterically funny and insightful for those familiar with Sparks, and those who are not. Another stunning addition to Wright’s filmography.

6. Bo Burnham: Inside (dir. Bo Burnham)
To call this a stand-up special feels mightily reductive for this introspective and highly experimental work of art. Exploring his slowly declining mental health during the lockdown, Bo Burnham writes, performs, films and edits a stunningly stylish piece of work with catchy songs and exposing lyrics.

5. tick, tick… BOOM! (dir. Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut is a stunning showcase of his ever-expanding list of talents. Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical is brought to life beautifully, with Andrew Garfield delivering a show-stopping performance.

4. West Side Story (dir. Steven Spielberg)
Spielberg’s musical debut is a roaring success, with breakout star Rachel Zegler delivering a stunning performance. Updated politics and additional scenes, blended with an expertly directed musical touch, all make for a spectacular new adaptation of the Broadway classic.

3. Nomadland (dir. Chloé Zhao)
A stunning example of raw, uncompromising filmmaking that is socially aware and quietly moving. Its 3 Oscar wins were richly deserved, with another stunning performance from Frances McDormand, and tone-perfect direction from Chloé Zhao.

2. The Father (dir. Florian Zeller)
A gut-wrenching and emotional drama about the rapid deterioration of a man suffering with dementia. Anthony Hopkins delivers the best performance of his career with a devastatingly empathetic portrayal.

1. Another Round (dir. Thomas Vinterberg)
At once an intoxicatingly entertaining film, and a deeply sobering portrayal of mid-life crisis. Vinterberg directs pitch-perfect performances across the board, and crafts a tone that is as comical and light as it is darkly harrowing. The end result is a phenomenal success.

And there we are! What were your favourite films of 2021? Did we share similar taste, or were you swayed a different way? I’d love to hear about it!

With all that said, Happy New Year and hope 2022 is great for you all! Keep watching!

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