Top Ten Movies of 2021

It’s that time once again when we look back at the highs and lows of the film year and celebrate greatness (and in another post, the worst as well). This year has been an odd one with cinemas only finding their feet once again around September when a certain secret agent returned to the screen. Yet we have got there and so I have managed to find a selection of films that I think are the best of the year.

Going through the list of the best of the years, these are the films that just missed out of the top ten. I enjoyed each and everyone of them:

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, No Time To Die, Palm Springs, Nobody, Last Night In Soho, Time, Promising Young Woman, Another Round, Collective, Spencer.

10. West Side Story

Steven Spielberg’s spectacular version of the classic musical captures the same level of energy that the original had, along with managing to make it relevant today. The songs still have the power to emote and the set pieces are enough to make you fall in love with musicals again.

9. Spider-Man: No Way Home

We all need a slice of fun at this time and this certainly delivered that in huge doses. Tom Holland’s third solo movie as the web-slinger is his best, as he brings back a host of characters from the past as we enter the multiverse. Great to see Willam Dafoe and Alfred Molina returning.

8. Titane

From the director of Raw, this is like watching a nightmare. A body-horror that manages to be funny and tender with a story that will shock. Terrific performances from the two leads but Julia Ducournau is a director to keep your eye on. Horrific yet brilliant.

7. The Sparks Brothers

Edgar Wright hugely entertaining documentary about Ron and Russell Mael, as the film explores the band’s history. At 2 hours and 30, it never outstays its welcome and is full of famous fans singing their praises. Yet it’s the Mael’s who bring the humour and will make you all an instant fan.

6. Sound of Metal

Riz Ahmed was robbed of the Oscar for best actor, as he gives a powerhouse performance as a punk drummer who loses his hearing. One of the many events that brought the deaf community to the forefront this year, this was a heart-felt and emotional rollercoaster that will make Ahmed a name to watch.

5. The Dissident

Shocking documentary about the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared in Istanbul and the investigation into what happened. Cleverly playing out like a detective story, this is both gripping and utterly shocking as the truth comes forward. A must see.

4. Nomadland

This year’s Oscar-winner is a gentle tale of a woman roaming America. That’s it. There’s nothing else to it. Except the brilliant direction from Chloe Zhao, only the second woman to win the best director award and Frances McDormand giving a wonderfully understated performance. Classy.

3. Dune

Denis Villeneuve managed to do what David Lynch failed to do: bring Frank Herbert’s epic novel to the screen. A visual and audio treat as the tale of the sand planet comes to life in a massive way. The starry cast is perfect in a film that is just awe-inspiring. Part two is just around the corner.

2. Petite Maman

Proof that films don’t have to be 2 hours plus to tell a tale in such an incredible manner. A tale of grief as seen through the eyes of a child, who discovers a connection with a mysterious girl in the forest behind her grandmother’s house. Charming, warm and just wonderful. A triumph.

1. Summer of Soul

1969 was a year for music, with Woodstock and The Stones but no one remember the Harlem Cultural Festival, until now. Questlove’s extraordinary documentary about this forgotten music festival with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Nina Simone to name a few is both magical and totally relevant today. If you love soul music, this is a must-see. Simply magnificent.