It’s currently January of 2023, and while I can provide you with a list of some of the most critically acclaimed films of 2021, as well as some of the most popular films of that year, it’s difficult to say which films will be considered the “top 20” until the end of the year.
2021 was a year of great films, despite the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many films were delayed or released on streaming platforms instead of in theaters, but audiences were still able to enjoy a wide variety of films from different genres.
One of the most critically acclaimed films of the year was “Nomadland”, directed by Chloe Zhao. The film, which starred Frances McDormand, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and has since been nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film tells the story of a woman who becomes a modern-day nomad after the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada.
Another highly acclaimed film was “Minari”, a semi-autobiographical drama film directed by Lee Isaac Chung. The film, which tells the story of a Korean-American family trying to establish a farm in rural Arkansas, won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. It was also nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
In the realm of horror films, “Saint Maud” directed by Rose Glass was well received by critics, The film follows a pious nurse who becomes obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient. It was highly praised for its psychological depth and strong performances.
“Promising Young Woman” directed by Emerald Fennell was another notable film released in 2021. The film stars Carey Mulligan as a woman seeking revenge for a past trauma, and it was praised for its feminist themes and Mulligan’s powerful performance. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
The year also saw the release of some highly anticipated blockbusters. “Dune” directed by Denis Villeneuve was one of the most anticipated films of the year, and it did not disappoint. The film, which is based on the classic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert, was praised for its stunning visuals and strong performances.
“No Time to Die” directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga was another highly anticipated film of 2021. The film is the 25th James Bond film and it was praised for its action sequences and strong performances, particularly that of Rami Malek as the villain.
“A Quiet Place Part II” directed by John Krasinski was also a highly anticipated film of the year. The sequel to the 2018 hit film, “A Quiet Place”, was praised for its tension-filled story and strong performances.
“The Suicide Squad” directed by James Gunn was another highly anticipated film of the year. The film is a sequel to the 2016 film “Suicide Squad” and it was praised for its strong performances and its unique take on the source material.
In the realm of animated films, “Soul” directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers was a highly acclaimed film. The film tells the story of a middle-school band teacher who has a profound encounter with the universe and it was praised for its animation, storytelling, and themes.
“The Mitchells vs. the Machines” directed by Mike Rianda and Jeff Rowe was another animated film that was well received by critics. The film is about a family road trip that becomes an epic journey to save humanity from robots.
Zeller was a notable film in the realm of drama. Starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, the film tells the story of an aging man struggling with dementia and the impact it has on his relationships. The film was praised for its honest and emotional portrayal of the disease and the performances of its lead actors.
2021 was a great year for films, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. From indie dramas to big-budget blockbusters, audiences were treated to a wide variety of films that explored a range of themes and genres. While it’s hard to determine the “top 20” films of the year until the end of the year, these films are a great representation of the outstanding films that were released in 2021, and are definitely worth checking out.