Undefended: Top 5 of 2021

licorice pizza

Happy New Year! At the end of December, it is customary for the FilmFisher team to compose “Best of the Year” lists. As 2021 comes to a close, our writers selected their favorite new releases.

Robert Brown

To date I’ve only seen ten 2021 releases, and of those I’d only pick three, in alphabetical order:

  1. Dune (dir. Denis Villeneuve)
  2. Pig (dir. Michael Sarnoski)
  3. West Side Story (dir. Steven Spielberg)

To round out the list, I recommend the following two 2020 releases I (and probably many others) didn’t see until 2021, also listed alphabetically:

  1. Minari (dir. Lee Isaac Chung)
  2. Wonder Woman 1984 (dir. Patty Jenkins)

dune 1

A.C. Gleason

Midnight Mass, except for the Buddhist nonsense at the end. That is all.

MIDNIGHT MASS (L to R) HAMISH LINKLATER as FATHER PAUL in episode 103 of MIDNIGHT MASS Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021

Travis Kyker

My slate this year is also rather small, but I quite admired David Lowery’s The Green Knight and Michael Sarnoski’s Pig.

pig

William Connor Devlin

2021 was a much better year for cinema than 2020, although I guess that’s to be expected. Here’s my favorites, in no real order, with the caveat that Spencer was my favorite film of the year.

  1. Spencer (dir. Pablo Larrain)
  2. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (dir. Josh Greenbaum)
  3. Malignant (dir. James Wan)
  4. Titane (dir. Julie Ducournau)
  5. The Worst Person in the World (dir. Joachim Trier)

For what it’s worth – Licorice Pizza, Dune, Drive My Car, Belle, and Matrix Resurrections were all in contention and just missed out.

malignant-annabelle-wallis-warner-bros-hbo-max

Timothy Lawrence

Dune would have been my #5 if Macbeth hadn’t pushed it out at the last minute.

  1. The Green Knight (David Lowery)
  2. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen)
  4. Titane (Julia Ducournau)
  5. The Souvenir: Part II (Joanna Hogg)

the green knight

Joel Bourgeois

  1. The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen)
  2. The Green Knight (David Lowery)
  3. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  4. Dune (Denis Villeneuve)
  5. Titane (Julia Ducournau)

tragedy of macbeth

Joshua Gibbs

  1. Spencer (Pablo Larraín)
  2. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
  3. The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson)
  4. Locked Down (Doug Liman)
  5. The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)

spencer

Tom Upjohn

I didn’t make it to the theaters enough this year to see more than a couple of good movies, both already mentioned by everyone, but season 3 of Succession was quite outstanding.

Timothy Lawrence

A graduate of the Torrey Honors Institute at BIOLA University, Timothy Lawrence teaches great books through Emmaus Classical Academy in Southern California. He writes essays and fiction and counts the Coen Brothers and George Lucas among his personal heroes.

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