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Friday, February 18, 2022

Best Films of 2021

Below, find the annual list produced by Metacritic that reflects an aggregation of over 300 "Top 10" film critic lists for the year. Every year, I note this list to keep track of what I've seen and to provide my own tiered rankings of the films. I might add some comments especially if I've updated my rankings from my prior post on new films that I managed to see in 2021. 

Generally, I post this list in February (just to be sure the rankings are final) and I'll have typically seen about half of them -- thanks partly to a concerted effort in the new year to see them. 
Movie and Metascore# 1st Place# 2nd Place# OtherPoints
189 The Power of the Dog3123118.5257.5
291 Drive My Car232389.5204.5
390 Licorice Pizza202186188
474 Dune121267.5127.5
585 West Side Story10766110
685 The Green Knight71166.5109.5
796 Summer of Soul10561.5101.5
890 The Worst Person in the World81251.599.5
982 Pig7557.588.5
1094 Petite Maman864480
1191 Memoria1172976
1275 Titane634973
1374 The French Dispatch3447.564.5
1486 The Lost Daughter6239.561.5
1575 Red Rocket2343.555.5
1690 The Souvenir Part II2537.553.5
1775 CODA533152
1875 Belfast9220.551.5
1977 The Card Counter0638.550.5
76 Spencer3139.550.5
2182 C'mon C'mon233850
2281 The Mitchells vs. The Machines433149
2386 Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy5327.548.5
2491 Flee223343
2567 Annette322841
2688 Parallel Mothers123340
2785 Passing0039.539.5
2874 tick, tick...BOOM!052939
2974 Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn342037
3087 The Tragedy of Macbeth3024.533.5
Because we include some foreign publications, it is possible for a few titles to repeat from last year's list due to differences in USA and overseas release dates. 

have seen a few of these films to-date, but have plenty to go (22 of 30 listed). As I watch them, I'll highlight changes

Tier 1 These are top-notch Oscar-worthy films.

The Worst Person in the World 
The Power of the Dog
Summer of Soul
Licorice Pizza

Obviously, I would have selected Belfast over CODA for Best Picture. Summer of Soul was really entertaining and Licorice Pizza was fun. See The Worst Person in the World. 

Tier 2 These are very good films, but with some flaws. Some of them have received Oscar nominations. 

C'mon C'mon 
Red Rocket 
The French Dispatch
The Lost Daughter
The Card Counter
Pig (Hulu)
Dune (HBO Max)
The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Netflix)
Flee (Hulu)
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Drive My Car 

C'mon C'mon features a terrific kid actor and a solid performance by Joaquin Phoenix. And a Gaby Hoffman sighting. 

Red Rocket director Sean Baker makes really good films -- this one is about someone from the Boogie Nights porn scene returning to Texas in unexplained poverty. Bad decisions prevail, but character choices are limited by their context. 

The Card Counter turned out to be an Iraq film, which I didn't realize before viewing it. It's difficult to watch at times. Viewers likely expect to see a gambler succeeding (or failing) with life-altering consequences. Here, you get that, but also Abu Ghraib flashbacks. 

Frankly, the order of the first 6 of these Tier 2 films could be altered on any given day. 

Tier 3 These are likely good films, but with more flaws.

The Souvenir Part II
The Green Knight

None so far.

I typically don't need lower tiers for this list because it is comprised of the very best movies of the year -- at least according to film critics. 

Here's the alphabetical list of the 22 films that I have not yet seen (with some streaming info added):

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
Parallel Mothers
Petite Maman
tick, tick..BOOM! (Netflix)
West Side Story 
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

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