Top 100 Best Films Of 2021 (#74-#50)

Hello again and welcome to part 2 of the best films of 2021 list! We are going to continue working our way up the list with even more fantastic films. This part I did switch around quite a few movies where is with last part I didn’t switch that much! But I hope you enjoy let’s get started!

74. Prisoners Of The Ghostland directed by Sion Sono

Obviously Prisoners Of The Ghostland is the weaker of the two Nicolas Cage movies that made the list (Willy’s Wonderland didn’t make the cut although I really liked it). However this film was absolutely bizarre that I couldn’t help but love it. Nicolas Cage gives tons of “Nicolas Cage moments” while also being genuinely really great as well. Sofia Boutella is also really fantastic as well, the film is such a nice blend of sci-fi, western, fantasy and action. The cinematography tells the story which is quite interesting and the costumes really standout, Prisoners Of The Ghostland is not for everyone but I couldn’t help but love this one!

73. Halloween Kills directed by David Gordon Green

Originally I had Halloween Kills in the Top 50, I still do think Halloween Kills is by far one of the best films of the franchise, but when compared to a lot of other films that came out in 2021 you see a difference. However I still absolutely loved it, Halloween Kills goes for something completely different with the franchise and focuses on the people of Haddonfield and how they are reacting to Michael Myers’s killing spree. It’s a much darker film with very brutal kills that end up being some of the best of the series, a lot of the choices the characters make while not smart make sense it’s a community in panic because of a unstoppable killer. It’s an overall really fun slasher film that gets a lot right! 

72. Plan B directed by Natalie Morales

While Plan B does feel a bit similar to Unpregnant it does things differently. As I said In my review Plan B is more on the comedic side but also balances that with some drama as well, it also does use some elements from Booksmart but manages to make it own’s thing. Kuhoo Verma and Victoria Moroles are what make this film, between their surprisingly raw performances and their chemistry you can’t help but get invested in. There’s a lot of touching moments as well that really do make this film. Natalie Morales does have another movie that’s on the list (that we will get to soon) that I do think was the better film. But Plan B is a fantastic showcase of Morales’s directing talent.

71. Nobody directed by Ilya Naishuller

Nobody was one of the biggest surprises of 2021, Naishuller who previously directed Hardcore Henry once again takes the action genre and does something completely different with it. Nobody is a hybrid of dark comedy with some very heavy action combined with brutal kills. Bob Odenkirk does such a fantastic job here combine that with some very well shot action scenes that you get so much detail and you have yourself such a badass film. It’s a type of film that knows how to entertain it’s audience and knows how to balance dark comedy with action, Nobody is truly a unique action film that is truly so much fun!

70. The Matrix Resurrections directed by Lana Wachowski

Although I’m not the biggest Matrix fanatic out there I can’t help but appreciate Resurrections. Seeing Keanu Reeves as Neo again is a beautiful sight, the visuals are some of the best of 2021, the writing is energetic and very well paced. The film itself reads as a film where Lana Wachowski just doesn’t care what anyone thinks and makes a film, which I actually found to be very inspiring. It’s a very bold blockbuster that truly hits with a lot of meta humor, excellent action and just an overall fantastic film.

69. Spiral: From The Book Of Saw directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Look I completely understand why some people wouldn’t like Spiral, however it completely worked at least for me. The film trades a lot of the gore that was in some of the previous films of the series for more of a structure. Which works in this case, it’s a interesting mystery that does keep you invested. Spiral manages to do it’s own thing without heavily relying on the other films, while it does use some of the classic Saw elements it never goes beyond on that. Spiral is a genuinely fun and investing film that does a great job of bringing more to the series!

68. The Strings directed by Ryan Glover

The Strings is a prime example of a film that uses music as a hauntingly beautiful element. Tegan Johnston gives a haunting but at the same time gorgeous performance. There isn’t a whole lot of dialogue however it’s replaced for cold cinematography and Johnston’s acting which does a fantastic job of telling the viewer how she feels and what they she is thinking. The music is beautifully done it captures the atmosphere that the film is going for, which is something I haven’t seen in too many movies as of late and that is the sense of loneliness. The film takes place in a remote cottage during the winter while it’s snowing, which is the perfect opportunity to use such a haunting atmosphere that really brings you into the film. Tegan Johnston also has a beautiful singing voice, her voice also captures the sense of loneliness type feel to it as well. The Strings is a film that combines many different type of elements to create a haunting but beautiful experience!

67. All Too Well: The Short Film directed by Taylor Swift

This is another exception I made for the list, it’s a short film that could be pretty much called a music video. However that doesn’t take away from the incredibly raw dialogue which although it doesn’t have a lot of it when it does it’s quite incredible, it captures a huge sense of realism and power that is captured within the song and what’s being shown. Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brian (who gives his best performance in a very long time) are both fantastic and do a really great job of showing tons of emotions. I’ve said this before but I truly hope Taylor Swift considers a directing career!

66. The French Dispatch directed by Wes Anderson

The French Dispatch is a clever film that tackles the anthology film genre very very well. There’s a great variety that isn’t present in a lot of anthology films. The acting from the cast is quite fantastic, the direction from Wes Anderson is once again phenomenal and the writing is filled clever humor that’s genuinely hilarious. Some segments are definitely better than others however that doesn’t stop each of the segments from being very interesting and having a lot to say, the final wrap up of all the segments is very touching and I’m sure a lot of journalists could relate to!

65. The Harder They Fall directed by Jeymes Samuel

I’ve said before that westerns do not much for me, but films like The Harder They Fall take the genre and do a lot more with it. The cast are absolutely incredible they all work together really well, have great chemistry and play as a lot of badass characters. The editing is energetic and beautifully done which gives some very strong action scenes that truly deliver on every single level. I could also go on how absolutely insane the opening scene is, from the music, to the acting it’s truly incredible. Guns Go Bang is also a fantastic song!

64. The Guilty directed by Antione Fuqua

The Guilty is a rare instance where I actually don’t mind that it’s a shot for shot remake. Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance is absolutely incredible, the guy is a seriously talented actor and he displays that here quite well. His performance feels incredibly raw and his reactions to the situation at hand feels incredibly powerful and quite human, he is basically what sells this film and rightfully so. Second reason is the lighting, while in some films I feel like I don’t need to point that out because it doesn’t really impact the story in most cases, but here it definitely impacts the story and really gives the movie this haunting and thrilling look to it. It adds to the anxiety this film gives the viewer as well as making you wonder what’s about to happen next. Then there’s the thrilling atmosphere…which is just flat out incredible, it adds a lot of anxiety to the viewer and perfectly captures what it would be like to be in the situation that Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal) is in. The film also does a wonderful of build up throughout its running time, it slowly but surely builds up until it releases a huge amount of thunderous scenes that leave an impact on the viewer.

63. Finch directed by Miguel Sapochnik

Finch is honestly something I did not expect to make this far on the list let alone be on the list in general. It was by far one of the most surprising films of 2021, it’s a story of three life forms a human, a dog and a robot, their interaction with each other, how they feel and so on. It’s a very heartwarming film that looks and is quite beautiful. One thing I did not expect going into Finch was to cry but it happened, which is mainly due to how raw the storytelling really is. A fantastic sci-fi film full of heart and soul!

62. The Amusement Park directed by George A. Romero

Here’s another example of a lost film that was recovered and released, The Amusement Park was produced back in 1972 but was lost for years. I’ve decided that this film qualifies for the list because it never got a release and plus I’ve been wanting to find an excuse to talk about lost films so there’s that! Anyway the film itself is quite disturbing, it feels like as if it’s one of those disturbing PSAs from the 90s and early 2000s except turned into a 53 minute feature. It deals with very heavy subject matter (elder abuse), the film is very experimental and just leaves you wondering “what on earth did I just witness?” It’s also one of those disturbing films that gets more and more disturbing as it goes on.

61. Luca directed by Enrico Casarosa

Luca is another film I originally had much higher up on the list, but I will admit I do think I overhyped it a little too much. However I still absolutely love it and it’s this high up for a reason. It uses the theme of “being who you are” or “hiding your true self” in such a beautiful and clever way that really makes the film. The animation is stunning, the characters are lovable and the story is just beautifully told in every single way possible.

60. Language Lessons directed by Natalie Morales

Language Lessons is how you do a film about the pandemic, Natalie Morales does such a beautiful job both acting in and directing this film, Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales have beautiful chemistry between one another, everything about this film feels natural. There’s no “#relatable!” garbage humor like there was in a few other pandemic movies, there’s no forced plotlines. It’s a simple straight forward film about two people, their emotions, how they feel about the pandemic and so on. Truly a fantastic film and I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing what Natalie Morales does next!

59. Zack Snyder’s Justice League directed by Zack Snyder

I’m going to keep this rather short because at this point you already know the drill about this one. Talk about a difference, Snyder’s Justice League vastly superior to the movie that was released in 2017 in every single way possible. From far more character moments and development, far better writing (as well as acting) and just an overall far more enjoyable film that’s much more in depth. The film gives a ton of more context that make a lot more sense than what was released in 2017, I said in my review that the 2017 movie feels like a bunch of scenes out of context. While this film makes much more sense and actually tells a story, It’s great seeing Cyborg and The Flash get the character moments they deserved since the beginning. Snyder did a fantastic job with this one!

58. Oxygen directed by Alexandre Aja

Oxygen is another huge surprise from 2021, what could have ended up being another terrible Netflix sci-fi film that would be quickly thrown away ended up being a claustrophobic nightmare that despite being a sci-fi film it is very raw. There’s a ton of great character bits for Mélanie Laurent’s character to grow and we learn quite a bit about her. The writing is overall really strong and ends up giving a very thrilling atmosphere that wraps the film quite nicely!

57. Loki directed by Kate Herron

The final MCU and Disney+ series on the list! To keep this short like the other MCU series on the list the performances here were phenomenal. Tom Hiddleston is at his best as Loki here, Owen Wilson gives a surprisingly charming and hilarious performance and then there’s Sophia Di Martino who steals the show whenever she’s on screen. The writing is overall very strong it balances the drama, action and humor very well. One doesn’t out match the others which is exactly what more MCU films need to do and I hope they do in the future.

56. Gaia directed by Jaco Bouwer

Gaia is a huge mix of The Last Of Us (the video game), The Blair Witch Project, In The Earth and parts of The Green Inferno all mixed into a very interesting movie! It’s use of body horror was really great and slowly gets under your skin as the film progresses. The acting from Monique Rockman was really great and the writing gives this creepy feel as well. Combine that with the atmosphere and you have yourself a genuinely haunting movie that is very effective, especially when the writing is cleverly written! The location and the filming is also another one of this film’s strong points, combing them both gives beautifully haunting results that end up being intimidating and creepy as well!

55. Coming Home In The Dark directed by James Ashcroft

Another pretty disturbing film that has some very brutal kills that definitely catch you by surprise, it doesn’t hold back at all really. The atmosphere is what makes this film, Ashcroft absolutely nails it with the haunting and suspenseful atmosphere that really gets under your skin!

54. The Sparks Brothers directed by Edgar Wright

The Sparks Brothers is truly something special, I went into this documentary back at Sundance 2021 knowing next to nothing about the rock band Sparks and I walk out knowing so much about them. That in my opinion is when a documentary is very successful, with that said that’s not all. Edgar Wright puts in his style in the documentary such as using a ton of beautifully creative animation, black and white interviews that really add a lot to the documentary and he brings so much energy and humor into it as well. Edgar Wright really makes this his own.

53. I Care A Lot directed by J Blakeson

I Care A Lot is a very wild film that’s seriously fantastic, Rosamund Pike gives such a fantastic performance and absolute nails everything the film is going for. The film isn’t afraid to show unfortunate situations that do happen to senior citizens, the film shows those moments and calls them out very well. A common discourse about this film was that the film “supports this because Pike is the protagonist” I said this in my review and I’ll say it again here. Being the protagonist does not mean the person is “good” or the audience has to like them. All protagonist means is said character is the main character nothing more and nothing less. The film itself makes it quite clear that these situations are gross and calls them out very well. I Care A Lot is a very wild experience that truly delivers!

52. Profile directed by Timur Bekmambetov

Profile is one of those screen life movies you know like Searching, the Unfriended movies, The Den and a few others. This one is definitely one of the more realistic movies of the genre, the performances here incredible especially Valene Kane and Shazad Latif both of which give raw performances that sound like actual people interacting over the internet, the film does a good job of showing how certain social media platforms such as Facebook can be used as a dangerous weapon when wanting to commit horrible horrible crimes. It actually gets quite disturbing as the film goes on which is the type of disturbing that is definitely effective! Timur Bekmambetov does an incredible job with Profile, he gives the film a haunting atmosphere that gives the viewer the feeling of anything could happen and makes them wonder what’s going to happen next. Profile is also based on a true story which is an incredible read that I do recommend reading!

51. Beans directed by Tracey Deer

Beans was most definitely a hard hitting film, it takes the coming of age genre and does something different with it…being set in the Oka crisis of 1990. Which builds the characters quite well and really establishes each of the characters thoughts. The film itself is semi-autobiographical meaning it’s showing historical events that the director Tracy Deer herself lived through as a child. Deer does a fantastic job of showing the viewer what she experienced, how her friends and family felt and acted through it and so much more. The film really hits you like a truck as it goes on, it starts out pretty normally but quickly evolves into a very sad but personal experience that I’m seriously glad Tracy Deer told, the writing feels incredibly raw and only adds to the film and how personal it really feels.

50. The Night House directed by David Bruckner

The Night House takes a simple concept and turns into a nightmare in the best way possible, Rebecca Hall is brilliant in the leading role, she gives one of the best performances from 2021 and truly shows how talented she is as an actress. The dialogue from Rebecca Hall is chilling there are scenes where dialogue actually makes the viewer quite uncomfortable, due to how strong her performance really is. The writing is quite fantastic, it’s effective of telling a interesting story and takes you into the film’s world with some very powerful and interesting dialogue! Combine that with what is one of the best things about this film…the atmosphere! The film relies on the atmosphere to scare the viewer which it works quite well, the atmosphere also leads to some jumpscares that are surprisingly effective! The Night House is one of those movies that gets jumpscares right, a lot of the time in other movies jumpscares are very predictable, lazy and aren’t effective at all. The Night House has the atmosphere, the build up and it’s strong camerawork to make the jumpscares work, all of those elements combined together create several genuinely terrifying scenes that scare the viewer. The Night House is also surprisingly sad and can be depressing at times, it’s mainly due to the plot and it really works here. The film balances the horror and the sadness it’s really interesting to see the two together

And that is for part 2 of my best list! Stay tuned for part 3!!

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