We are three months into 2022, which means that we can look back at the movies of the previous year and decide which of them were the best. The Academy Awards have released their Best Picture nominations for the year of 2021 and many of those movies are held in high regard in the audience’s eyes. Even though 2020 and 2021 saw some of the lowest box office numbers in history, there were still many amazing movies released that deserve to be seen. Also, with streaming services becoming an integral part of the Hollywood engine and producing many of the best movies, you can find many of the nominated films available to watch on a streaming platform. Here are the 10 best movies of 2021, (in our humble opinion).
After a year of movie theaters being shut down and limited in capacity, Spider-Man: No Way Home crushed box office expectations and managed to become the sixth biggest film of all time at the international box office. No Way Home continues from where Spider-man: Far From Home left off. Mysterio exposed Peter Parker as Spider-man to the entire world and now Parker has to deal with the ramifications. Wanting his old life back, he seeks out help from Doctor Strange but things go terribly wrong, which forces him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man. This Spider-Man film is 100% a crowd pleaser and if you are any semblance of a Spider-Man fan, then you will have a great time watching it.
The film’s streaming date is TBD but it will first be available for streaming on Starz then Disney Plus.
Nicolas Cage is known for his wide range as an actor. However, in recent years, Cage has been better known for his ridiculous performances that have popularized many memes over the internet. For those expecting another meme-able performance in Pig, they will be sorely disappointed. Pig is about a truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregon wilderness and must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped. Cage’s performance in Pig reminds everyone why he is an Oscar-nominated actor and demonstrates the breadth of character that he can bring out when necessary.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon teamed up again to write the screenplay for and star in The Last Duel. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film was based on the book written by Eric Jager about one of the last officially recognized judicial duels in medieval France. The Last Duel is about a dispute between Knight Jean de Carrouges and his squire that King Charles VI declared to be settled by a duel. The film is a profound period drama that gives you a lot to think about.
CODA is a remake of the 2014 French film titled La Famille Bélier. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role. Directed by Sian Heder, CODA is a coming of age drama that follows a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults) girl, who is also the only hearing person in her deaf family. When the family’s fishing business is threatened, the girl finds herself torn between pursuing her love of music by wanting to go to Berklee College of Music and her fear of abandoning her parents. CODA tells a fresh coming of age story and is filled with terrific performances from the cast.
Will Smith is known to be an actor with plenty of talent and that can easily carry a film, but his last couple of films haven’t exactly been the best. However, King Richard looks to be a return to form for the Fresh Prince. Smith plays Richard Williams, the father of Serena and Venus Williams, in the movie and towers over the other cast members in the title role. King Richard takes a look at how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are after getting coached from their father Richard Williams. The film has been nominated for six Academy Awards and transcends typical sports biopics.
Kristen Stewart started out as the teenager from Twilight with muted expressions and little range as an actor. However, she has grown into a versatile actress with a slew of great films in her repertoire. Spencer is one of her more recent films that casts Kristen Stewart as the iconic Princess Diana. The film follows Diana Spencer who struggles with mental health problems and decides to end her decade-long marriage to Prince Charles during her Christmas holidays with the royal family. The film may be slow but it takes its time to depict an artistic introspection of Princess Diana’s spiraling mental health.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s popularity has been increasing exponentially after the release of Hamilton and he has finally made his directorial debut with Tick, Tick…BOOM! The film is about the life of Jonathan Larson, the creator of RENT, and is based on his autobiographical stage musical of the same name. The movie follows a young Jonathan Larson who works as a diner waiter in NYC while attempting to write what he believes will be the next big American musical. When the composer reaches thirty years old, he must confront an age-old question that all of us face at some point: What are we supposed to do with our time? Tick, Tick… Boom! is an emotional and impressive tribute to the late Jonathan Larson and the legacy he left behind.
This Japanese film is directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi based on the short story by Haruki Murakami. Drive My Car is nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture and Best International Feature. The movie is about a renowned stage actor and director who learns to cope with his wife’s unexpected passing when he receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya in Hiroshima. Drive My Car is a slow and meditative film that explores loss and love.
Slow, contemplative films are sometimes a hit or miss with audiences, but when they are done well, they can be some of the most powerful films around. The Power of the Dog is a slow-burn western that is nominated for twelve Oscars, which is more than any other eligible film. The movie is about a charismatic rancher that torments his brother’s new wife and son until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love. Jane Campion directed a powerful tour de force with The Power of the Dog that studies the traditional ideas of masculinity.
With ten nominations, Dune is only second to The Power of the Dog in the number of nominations a 2021 film has gotten. Dune is the first of a two-part adaptation for Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel with the same name. The movie is about a brilliant and gifted young man who is thrown into a conflict between malevolent forces and entrusted to protect the most valuable element in the galaxy. Dune has a star-studded cast of Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac. Denis Villeneuve created an immersive sci-fi epic with a sufficient amount of world-building along with a compelling narrative.
Although 2020 may have been a disappointment for film releases, many of the films scheduled to debut in 2020 were delayed until 2021. Because of this 2021 was a fantastic year for movies but still not a great showing for the box office. Despite box office performances, these ten films were some of the best that the year had to offer. Here’s to hoping that 2022 will be an even better year.
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