Every year, I present to you a series of rankings for movies, TV shows and books that I watched or read in the past calendar year. Today is the first one in said series talking about the best of the best (in my humble opinion) of 2021 in terms of films. I love to celebrate the things I enjoyed, so I hope you’ll either find something on here that you’ve liked as well or something you want to watch in the future.
To clarify, not all movies on my list were released in 2021, that is just the time frame in which I first watched them! I’ve only seen a really low amount of films in actual movie theaters (4 in total), so streaming services or video on demand will be heavily featured.
Lastly, before we get started on this ranking, if you enjoy my ramblings, please don’t hesitate to follow me on Letterboxd! It’s a platform where you can track the movies you’re watching, rate and review them or create watchlists. I’m not the most avid movie watcher, but I adore the platform and record all my activity!
10. The Map of Tiny Perfect Things
Last year, I put the movie Palm Springs on my list and this is basically a teen version of that exact movie. Or well … a time loop romance at least. I don’t know what it is about the renaissance of Groundhog Day-esque stories, but I enjoy a lot of them and I have fond memories of The Map of Tiny Perfect Things. The trailer thankfully didn’t give everything away.
9. The Mitchells vs. the Machines
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the unique animation style. Sometimes the movie was quite loud and flashy to a point that I can see being too much for certain people, but the story definitely held my attention. It was a lovely family tale in the midst of a robot invasion.
8. Hello Again – A Wedding A Day
*sorry, I didn’t find a trailer with English subtitles …*
Every other month or so I get this tightness in my chest and I really, really miss my life in Berlin. It absolutely made sense for me to move back to Vienna and I’m very happy with my life as is, but still … I do miss everything I had and did over there. So, I do these totally random German RomCom movie marathons and I absolutely ADORED Hello Again. I’m a fan of both leads and some of the other cast, so this was a real treat for me. (Also, I wanted to bring home the point with the time loop romance movies being a *thing* right now.)
7. Endings, Beginnings
I feel like this will be a controversial choice, because I know so, so many people who were just utterly disappointed by Endings, Beginnings. I think it came to me at exactly the right moment with lowered expectations, so that I could enjoy it for what it is. This movie lives off of vibes and loose ends. It really hit me in all the right spots though. (Yes, I watched this because of Sebastian Stan … let me be freaking predictable. My reading experiment with him was disappointing enough …)
6. Free Guy
A lot of the time, I wanted movies to make me fell better in 2021 and Free Guy was one of those that definitely delivered on that front. I don’t know how else to say this, but it was just fun? The cast was excellent and while it wasn’t entirely unpredictable, it was entertaining.
5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
I promised myself I would only post *ONE* single Marvel movie (or in later posts TV show) per list. So, this is my pick for the Marvel movie I enjoyed the most. I also posted an entire list with my thoughts and a ranking of all MCU shows and movies from 2021, which you can read here if you want to know more about all that stuff. Shang-Chi, to get back to the point, was just one of the best origin movies I’ve watched and I had so much fun.
4. Promising Young Woman
I feel like I was kind of late to this movie watching it back in January, but for the longest time, it was my favorite movie of 2021 entirely. The writing paired with the aesthetic and message of the movie was just perfection. It’s a heavy subject matter, but it was so well done and I absolutely have to commend them on the layers to it all. Especially the choices for the male cast was one of the best things I’ve seen!
Since this movie was released on Disney+, I’ve seen it in its entirety or clips and music videos from it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! I’m not even exaggerating when I say I’ve cried through the entire third act. But no more! After all, we don’t talk about Bruno. No, no, no.
This movie deserves ALL the awards and I’m glad to have seen it circulating and in conversation for some of it in the past months already. I cannot stress enough how well done, emotional and authentic this movie was made. The performances were amazing throughout and I know that a lot of people felt seen because of it.
1. Nine Days
Ever since I’ve watched Nine Days, it did not let me go. While I once again think that you have to be in the right mood for it, this movie will change your view of the world and give you new appreciation of life itself. I don’t even want to say more, but just watch it. Please.