Best films of 2021

2021 releases, in rough order of my favourites:


A fairly revelatory experience for me: I was blown away by every aspect, with the music and production design particular highlights. I’m very glad I got to see this in IMAX: it felt like being in another world.

Boiling Point

Unbelievably tense, hyper-realistic, and an astonishing feat of filmmaking: an actual single-take film set in a fast-moving kitchen. Genuinely faultless.

Red Rocket

There is absolutely no question that Simon Rex’s character in this is a gigantic piece of shit, yet he is so charismatic that you still (kind of) like him. Cemented Sean Baker as one of the best directors alive, in my mind.

C’mon C’mon

Sentimental in all the best ways, led by excellent performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Woody Norman (the latter is one of the best child actors I’ve ever seen).


A very beautiful and very funny film that still manages to be emotionally affecting. Virginie Efira is an excellent psychopath.

Older films I happened to watch and enjoy this year, in no particular order:

  • Akira
  • Persona
  • Dr Strangelove
  • Spring Blossom
  • Minari
  • Deerskin

Honourable mentions: The Power of the Dog; Licorice Pizza; Memoria; The Green Knight.

Waste of time and money: Promising Young Woman; The Afterlight; The French Dispatch; Belfast.

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