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The Most Memorable Movies of 2021

Calling all movie buffs: we’ve put together a list of some of the most memorable movies of 2021.

There have been a ton of amazing flicks that hit the big screen this year. From horrors like Saint Maud to science fiction hits like Dune to arthouse favourites like The French Dispatch, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Check out the most memorable movies of 2021 below.

Minari

Directed by: Lee Isaac Chung

Minari follows a Korean-American family in the 1980s that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of the American Dream. Steven Yeun stars as Jacob Yi, a man who risks his family’s finances and his marriage on untapped soil. Dreamy cinematography and warm storytelling carry this A24 entry into the conversation for the year’s best films. – Scott Lewis

Dune

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

Previous attempts at bringing Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel to the big screen have resulted in a campy misfire (David Lynch’s Dune) and never fully-realized chaos (see: Alejandro Jodorowsky). Villeneuve ultimately split the novel into two parts, with rumblings of a trilogy on the way with Dune Messiah. Part Two was only recently greenlit, thanks to  Dune: Part One‘s stunning visuals and a successful stab at presenting the source material’s political, ecological, and cultural calamity. – Scott

Spencer

Directed by: Pablo Larraín

Pablo Larraín made waves this year with his Princess Diana biopic, Spencer. In the film, Kristen Stewart portrays Diana during a Christmas weekend in the ’90s when she was questioning her choice in marrying Prince Charles. “Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen,” Deadline reveals of the script, which is written by Steven Knight. – Chelsea Brimstin

The Green Knight

Directed by: David Lowery

The Green Knight follows Dev Patel as King Arthur’s nephew, Sir Gawain. Throughout the flick, Sir Gawain “embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men,” a synopsis explains. “Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger.” – Chelsea

The Beatles: Get Back

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Compiled from over sixty hours of unseen footage, Peter Jackson provides a never before seen intimate look at The Beatles during the making of their 1970 album Let It Be. For many long time Beatles fans, the new footage has challenged many of the myths surrounding the band and their break-up in 1970. It also provides an incredibly rare and immersive glimpse behind the scenes at the creative process of the most revered pop songwriters in history. – Dave Kennedy

 

Shiva Baby

Directed by: Emma Seligman

Emma Seligman’s perfectly cringy comedy, Shiva Baby, stars Rachel Sennot as Danielle, a young bisexual Jewish woman who attends a shiva with her family. Among other attendees at the shiva include her ex-girlfriend Maya (Molly Gordon), her sugar daddy Max (Danny Deferrari), and his wife Kim (Dianna Agron), so buckle in and get ready for a hilariously uncomfortable flick. – Chelsea

Bo Burnham: Inside

Directed by: Bo Burnham

Despite what has become somewhat of a cliché, Bo Burnham managed to create a “pandemic project” that captured the spectrum of experiences not only of the covid-19 pandemic, but also of his own mental health, his personal struggles as a burnt-out artist, and the absurdity of online culture. Shot entirely by Burnham himself, alone, inside his stylish but claustrophobic home studio.

 

Judas And The Black Messiah

Directed by: Shaka King

Judas and the Black Messiah is a biopic about Fred Hampton. The Daniel Kaluuya-starring film revolves around Hampton, the chairman of the Black Panther Party, who was assassinated by the FBI. The powerful film was directed by Shaka King and produced by Ryan Coogler and Warner Bros. Big name actors like LaKeith Stanfield, Ashton Sanders, Lil Rel Howery, Jesse Plemons, and Martin Sheen star alongside Kaluuya. – Chelsea

The French Dispatch

Directed by: Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson’s latest film, The French Dispatch, is definitely a must-watch. The movie takes place in a fictional French town in the 20th century. It revolves around a foreign outpost of an American newspaper called the Evening Sun. Ultimately, it tells the tale of the drama among the editorial staff of the paper. The French Dispatch boasts some huge names like Timothée Chalamet, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, and many more star. – Chelsea

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Directed by: Destin Daniel Cretton

Marvel’s “Phase 4” of its cinematic universe has introduced some of the media franchise’s more obscure characters, with results ranging from not-so-great (Eternals) to hella fun martial arts big screen blockbuster (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings). The MCU’s first Asian-led film works as a departure from the familiarity of the saga’s previous entries, while keeping the action cranked to 11. – Scott

Zola

Directed by: Janicza Bravo

A24’s Twitter saga-turned-movie, Zola, is a Spring Breakers-esque film packed with twists and turns. It’s based on the epic journey that was originally released as a 148 Twitter thread back in 2015. That thread was full of everything from stripping to violence and murder. The full movie is directed by Janicza Bravo. It stars Janicza Bravo alongside Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun, and Colman Domingo. Zola is sure to be a cult classic. – Chelsea

Saint Maud

Directed by: Rose Glass

Rose Glass’ debut film, Saind Maud, is a psychological horror. The movie follows hospice nurse Maud (Morfydd Clark), who recently converted to Roman Catholocism. Maud becomes obsessed with a former dancer (Jennifer Ehle) that she’s taking care of. The film then takes some chilling twists and turns, as Maud begins to believe that she has to save the dancer’s soul in any way that she can. – Chelsea

Godzilla vs. Kong

Directed by: Adam Wingard

The Monsterverse’s greatest heavyweights could never punch enough plot holes to take away from what this film accomplishes as a big, dumb spectacle. Like a big-time combat sports event, it’s all about a few furious blows exchanged by some brainless brutes. It’s utter nonsense, but let’s get ready to rumble nonetheless. – Scott

A Quiet Place Part II

Directed by: John Krasinski

The follow-up to John Krasinski’s 2018 thriller, A Quiet Place, came out this year. A Quiet Place Part II sees the return of Emily Blunt, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds as the Abbot family. together, they continue to fight for survival against some aliens that are hyper-sensitive to sound. The tense new film builds upon the terrifying original. “There are people out there. People worth saving,” Blunt teases in the trailer. – Chelsea

Licorice Pizza

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, Licorice Pizza, stars HAIM’s Alana Haim as Alana Kane and Cooper Hoffman as Gary Valentine. The movie is a coming-of-age film set in the 70s. “Licorice Pizza is the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973,” the film’s website says. It stars some big actors like Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper, Maya Rudolph, Tom Waits, and Benny Safdie. – Chelsea
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