It has been one heck of a movie year.

I always struggle with assembling my best-of list when it comes to a year’s film offerings. There’s the fact that I often haven’t seen some of the most anticipated/acclaimed movies due to their year-end release dates – just off the top of my head, I can name PTA’s “Licorice Pizza,” Steven Spielberg’s upcoming “West Side Story” remake, Guillermo Del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” and, of course, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” as movies that likely would have a real shot at this list. There’s also plenty of stuff that I simply haven’t seen – there’s a LOT out there.

Even so, I’ve watched and reviewed something like 130 films so far in 2021 – I probably won’t get to 150, but it could be close – so I like to think that this is a decent list. Granted, it’s also a list that could be different depending on the day – I’m leaving off some worthy movies. In addition, this list is simply one person’s opinion. If your favorites don’t appear here, that’s no condemnation of your taste.

Now, if your favorites appear on my worst-of list – don’t worry, it’s coming in the next week or two – then there might be a tiny bit of condemnation.

So here you are – my top 21 films of 2021, listed in more or less alphabetical order. Please note that the total includes my honorable mentions.

Published in Cover Story


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