Best movies of 2021

Listed in the order I saw them, noting that foreign releases get classified by their USA release year.  And sometimes you will find a review of mine behind the link.

The Dig.  Archaeology and British restraint, circa 1939.

Minari, Korean immigrant family in Arkansas.

Promising Young Woman, black comedy, wow, brutal.

Another Round, Danish film about alcohol.  Against it.

Sweat, fame, social media, and gender, but insightful rather than the usual b.s.

Old, Shyamalan, plot twists and conceptual thought experiments about the biomedical establishment.  Imperfect, but delivers in some significant ways.

Green Knight

Night of the Kings, Ivory Coast prison movie.

Nine Days.  If you were choosing who gets to be born and walk on the earth, which interview questions would you ask them and how would you evaluate their answers?

Ich bin dein Mensch” — should you date a robot?

The Many Saints of Newark

McCartney 3, 2, 1 (Hulu).  Self-recommending and consistently interesting, the best segment is when you get to hear just how much value Paul’s bass line added to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Lamb (Icelandic), one of my favorites for the year.


Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson.  Amazing and epic, my pick for best of the year.  And the whole world is responding.  And read this on the miracle of the production side.

Cinema is not back to where it used to be, but this list is way better than what last year was able to deliver.  And as always I will let you know if I see anything notable between now and the end of the year (notable films often cluster in December, though they tent not to be my personal favorites, furthermore the release schedule remains somewhat disrupted).

What else was there?


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