The Top Ten Best Films of 2021

From left: Caitriona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Judi Dench, Jude Hill, and Lewis McAskie in Belfast. (Rob Youngson/Focus Features)
2020 was a rough year for the film industry, but things picked up a bit in 2021.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F ollowing moviegoing’s worst year in its history, during which many high-profile releases were postponed, 2021, you might have expected, would be an exceptionally strong follow-up. Alas, much-touted films originally slated for 2020, such as Dune, No Time to Die, and West Side Story fell short of expectations, but unexpected treasures turned up regularly. Here are my favorites:

10. C’mon C’mon. Mike Mills’s touching black-and-white road movie follows a middle-aged uncle (Joaquin Phoenix) and his young nephew (Woody Norman) across a malaise-infected, perpetually frightened iteration of the contemporary U.S. The kid’s inventive imagination and generally forward-looking personality suggest an antidote to the

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