Best and worst movies

I can’t think of any­thing I’ve seen re­cent­ly that best rep­re­sents or epit­o­mizes the spir­it of our times as does Bo Burn­ham’s ex­tra­or­di­nary Net­flix spe­cial In­side, a one-man com­e­dy-mu­si­cal es­say that Burn­ham made while self-con­fined at home for months on end dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. In it, we see him dive into him­self and the in­san­i­ty of nowa­days, dis­sect­ing his cre­ative process and ex­pos­ing his own fears and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in a hi­lar­i­ous — al­beit ex­treme­ly mov­ing — de­sire to cap­ture the des­per­a­tion and lone­li­ness of some­one who’s been pushed too close to the crack­ing point by an ever-seg­re­gat­ing world.

What the man ac­com­plish­es is far be­yond the usu­al stand-up com­e­dy rou­tine. There are lay­ers and more lay­ers to the feel­ings he ex­plores and his views on mod­ern so­ci­ety, as he shoots, di­rects, stars in and ed­its the whole thing all by him­self and turns in the most bril­liant “film” we got to see in a year so full of doubt and un­cer­tain­ties — not just for the world but also for cin­e­ma in gen­er­al. As we con­tin­ue to drift along with­out know­ing when the pan­dem­ic is due to end, or what is even to be­come of movie the­aters in the fu­ture, let’s only hope 2022 will bring us more amaz­ing stuff like this to look for­ward to.

And as I did for 2020, here is a list of the best and worst movies that be­came avail­able to the pub­lic in 2021, across cin­e­mas, stream­ing plat­forms and on­line festivals.

THE BEST MOVIES OF 2021 (in order of preference):

  1. Bo Burn­ham: In­side (USA, 2021)
  2. Flee (Denmark/France/Norway/Sweden, 2021)
  3. Sum­mer of Soul (…Or, When the Rev­o­lu­tion Could Not Be Tele­vised) (USA, 2021)
  4. Dri­ve My Car (Japan, 2021)
  5. The Hand of God (Italy/USA, 2021)
  6. The Worst Per­son in the World (Norway/France/Sweden/Denmark, 2021)
  7. Wheel of For­tune and Fan­ta­sy (Japan, 2021)
  8. Mid­night Mass (Canada/USA, 2021)
  9. Marighel­la (Brazil, 2019)
  10. Benedet­ta (France/Belgium/Netherlands, 2021)

Best and worst movies

20 OTHER FILMS THAT DESERVE MENTION (in alphabetic order):

Bad Luck Bang­ing or Loony Porn (Ro­ma­nia, 2021)
Can­dy­man (USA/Canada/Australia, 2021)
The Fa­ther (UK/France, 2020)
Ju­das and the Black Mes­si­ah (USA, 2021)
The Killing of Two Lovers (USA, 2020)
King Richard (USA, 2021)
The Lost Daugh­ter (USA/UK/Israel/Greece, 2021)
Mi­nari (USA, 2020)
The Night House (UK/USA, 2020)
No Time to Die (UK/USA, 2021)
No­mad­land (USA/Germany, 2020)
North by Cur­rent (USA, 2021)
Old Hen­ry (USA, 2021)
Pe­tite Ma­man (France, 2021)
The Pow­er of the Dog (UK/Canada/Australia/New Zealand/USA, 2021)
Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Austria/Romania, 2020)
The Res­cue (UK/USA, 2021)
Spencer (UK/Germany/USA/Chile, 2021)
Stow­away (Germany/USA/UK, 2021)
Ti­tane (France/Belgium, 2021)

THE WORST MOVIES OF 2021 (in order of mediocrity):

  1. Spi­ral: From the Book of Saw (USA/Canada, 2021)
  2. Old (USA, 2021)
  3. Hal­loween Kills (USA/UK, 2021)
  4. Cry Ma­cho (USA, 2021)
  5. The Boy Who Killed My Par­ents (Brazil, 2021)
  6. The Girl Who Killed Her Par­ents (Brazil, 2021)
  7. The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia/France/Belgium/Germany, 2020)
  8. V/H/S/94 (USA/Indonesia, 2021)
  9. Don’t Breathe 2 (USA/Serbia, 2021)
  10. Oxy­gen (France/USA, 2021)

COMPLETE LIST OF FILMS SEEN IN 2021 (in alphabetic order):

  1. Alemão: Both Sides of the Op­er­a­tion, or Alemão (Brazil, 2014) — ****
  2. Alvo­ra­da (Brazil, 2021) — ****
  3. The Amuse­ment Park (USA, 1975) — ***
  4. An­nette (France/Belgium/Germany/USA/Japan/Mexico/Switzerland, 2021) — **
  5. An­oth­er Round, or Druk (Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands, 2020) — **
  6. As­sault on Precinct 13 (USA, 1976) — ****
  7. Baben­co: Tell Me When I Die, or Baben­co: Al­guém Tem que Ou­vir o Coração e Diz­er Parou (Brazil, 2019) — ***
  8. Bad Ed­u­ca­tion (USA, 2019) — ****
  9. Bad Luck Bang­ing or Loony Porn, or Babardeala cu bu­cluc sau porno bal­a­muc (Romania/Luxembourg/Czech Republic/Croatia/Switzerland/UK, 2021) — ****
  10. Bad Tales, or Favolac­ce (Italy/Switzerland, 2020) — ***
  11. Belfast (UK, 2021) — ***
  12. Benedet­ta (France/Belgium/Netherlands, 2021) — ****
  13. Bet­ter Days, or Shaon­ian de ni (China/Hong Kong, 2019) — **
  14. Black Wid­ow (USA, 2021) — **
  15. Blue Bay­ou (USA/Canada, 2021) — **
  16. Bo Burn­ham: In­side (USA, 2021) — *****
  17. The Boy Who Killed My Par­ents, or O Meni­no que Ma­tou Meus Pais (Brazil, 2021) — **
  18. Can­dy­man (USA/Canada/Australia, 2021) — ****
  19. Car­go (Aus­tralia, 2017) — ***
  20. Cé­sio 137 — O Pe­sade­lo de Goiâ­nia (Brazil, 1990) — ***
  21. Col­lec­tive, or Colec­tiv (Romania/Luxembourg/Germany, 2019) — ****
  22. The Con­jur­ing: The Dev­il Made Me Do It (USA/UK, 2021) — ***
  23. Crazy/Beautiful (USA, 2001) — ***
  24. Cruel­la (USA/UK, 2021) — **
  25. Cry Ma­cho (USA, 2021) — **
  26. Dagon (Spain, 2001) — ***
  27. Dan­ger­ous (USA, 1935) — ***
  28. Dark Vic­to­ry (USA, 1939) — ***
  29. Days, or Rizi (Taiwan/France, 2020) — ***
  30. Dear Com­rades!, or Doro­gie to­var­ishchi (Rus­sia, 2020) — ****
  31. Delete His­to­ry, or Ef­fac­er l’His­torique (France/Belgium, 2020) — ****
  32. DNA, or ADN (France/Algeria, 2020) — ***
  33. Don’t Breathe 2 (USA/Serbia, 2021) — **
  34. Don’t Look Up (USA, 2021) — ***
  35. Dri­ve My Car, or Do­raibu mai kâ (Japan, 2021) — *****
  36. Dune (USA/Canada, 2021) — ****
  37. Ed­u­ca­tion (UK, 2020) — ***
  38. Es­cape from New York (USA, 1981) — **
  39. Es­cape Room: Tour­na­ment of Cham­pi­ons (USA/South Africa, 2021) — ***
  40. Eter­nals (USA/UK, 2021) — ***
  41. Eu­ro­vi­sion Song Con­test: The Sto­ry of Fire Saga (USA/Iceland/Canada, 2020) — **
  42. The Evan­dro Case: A Dev­il­ish Plot, or O Caso Evan­dro (Brazil, 2021) — ***
  43. Eyes of Lau­ra Mars (USA, 1978) — **
  44. The Eyes of Tam­my Faye (UK/USA, 2000) — ***
  45. The Eyes of Tam­my Faye (Canada/USA, 2021) — ***
  46. The Fal­con and the Win­ter Sol­dier (USA, 2021) — ***
  47. The Fam­i­ly I Had (USA, 2017) — ***
  48. Farscape: The Peace­keep­er Wars (USA/Australia, 2004) — ***
  49. The Fa­ther (UK/France, 2020) — ****
  50. Feud: Bette and Joan (USA, 2017) — ****
  51. Flee, or Flugt (Denmark/France/Norway/Sweden/Netherlands/UK/USA/Finland/Italy/Spain/Estonia/Slovenia, 2021) — *****
  52. The Founder (USA/Greece, 2016) — ****
  53. Fram­ing Brit­ney Spears (USA, 2021) — ***
  54. The French Dis­patch (USA/Germany, 2021) — ***
  55. Friend­ly Beast, or O An­i­mal Cor­dial (Brazil, 2017) — ***
  56. Friends: The Re­union, or The One Where They Get Back To­geth­er (USA, 2021) — ***
  57. The Girl Who Killed Her Par­ents, or A Meni­na que Ma­tou os Pais (Brazil, 2021) — **
  58. Hal­loween Kills (USA/UK, 2021) — *
  59. The Hand of God, or È sta­ta la mano di Dio (Italy/USA, 2021) — *****
  60. Hawk­eye (USA, 2021) — ***
  61. Hid­den Away, or Vole­vo Nascon­der­mi (Italy, 2020) — ***
  62. Hill­bil­ly El­e­gy (USA, 2020) — *
  63. House of Guc­ci (USA/Canada, 2021) — ***
  64. I Car­ry You with Me (Mexico/USA, 2020) — ***
  65. In the Mouth of Mad­ness (USA, 1994) — ***
  66. Ju­das and the Black Mes­si­ah (USA, 2021) — ****
  67. The Killing of Two Lovers (USA, 2020) — ****
  68. King Richard (USA, 2021) — ****
  69. Lamb (Iceland/Poland/Sweden, 2021) — ***
  70. The Let­ter (USA, 1940) — ****
  71. The Lost Daugh­ter (USA/UK/Israel/Greece, 2021) — ****
  72. Lost High­way (France/USA, 1997) — ****
  73. Ma Rainey’s Black Bot­tom (USA, 2020) — ****
  74. Ma­lig­nant (USA/China, 2021) — ****
  75. Man in an Or­ange Shirt (UK, 2017) — ***
  76. The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia/France/Belgium/Germany/Sweden/Turkey, 2020) — **
  77. Marighel­la (Brazil, 2019) — ****
  78. The Ma­trix Res­ur­rec­tions (USA, 2021) — ***
  79. The Mau­ri­tan­ian (UK/USA, 2021) — ****
  80. Mid­night Mass (Canada/USA, 2021) — *****
  81. Mi­nari (USA, 2020) — ****
  82. Mon­i­ca in Black and White (USA, 2002) — ***
  83. My Best Fiend, or Mein lieb­ster Feind (Germany/UK/USA, 1999) — ***
  84. My Oc­to­pus Teacher (South Africa, 2020) — **
  85. My Son (UK/France, 2021) — **
  86. Near Dark (USA, 1987) — ***
  87. The Night House (UK/USA, 2020) — ****
  88. Night Stalk­er: The Hunt for a Se­r­i­al Killer (USA, 2021) — ****
  89. No Time to Die (UK/USA, 2021) — ****
  90. No­body (USA/Japan, 2021) — ****
  91. No­mad­land (USA/Germany, 2020) — ****
  92. North by Cur­rent (USA, 2021) — ****
  93. Of Hu­man Bondage (USA, 1934) — ***
  94. Old (USA, 2021) — *
  95. Old Hen­ry (USA, 2021) — ****
  96. One Night in Mi­a­mi… (USA, 2020) — ****
  97. Over the Moon (China/USA, 2020) — **
  98. Oxy­gen, or Oxygène (France/USA, 2021) — **
  99. Palm Springs (USA/Hong Kong, 2020) — ***
  100. Par­al­lel Moth­ers, or Madres Para­le­las (Spain/France, 2021) — ****
  101. Pass­ing (USA/UK/Canada, 2021) — ****
  102. Penin­su­la, or Train to Bu­san Presents: Penin­su­la, or Ban­do (South Ko­rea, 2020) — *
  103. Pe­tite Ma­man (France, 2021) — ****
  104. Pieces of a Woman (Canada/Hungary/USA, 2020) — **
  105. The Pow­er of the Dog (UK/Canada/Australia/New Zealand/USA, 2021) — ****
  106. Prince of Dark­ness (USA, 1987) — ****
  107. Promis­ing Young Woman (UK/USA, 2020) — ****
  108. The Quar­tet, or O Qua­tril­ho (Brazil, 1995) — **
  109. A Qui­et Place Part II (USA, 2020) — ***
  110. Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina/Austria/Romania/Netherlands/Germany/Poland/France/Turkey/Norway, 2020) — ****
  111. The Res­cue (UK/USA, 2021) — ****
  112. The Roads Not Tak­en (UK/Sweden/Poland/Spain/USA, 2020) — *
  113. Run (USA/Canada, 2020) — ***
  114. Saint Maud (UK, 2019) — ****
  115. The Salt of Tears, or Le Sel des Larmes (France/Switzerland, 2020) — **
  116. Se­duced: In­side the NXIVM Cult (USA, 2020) — ****
  117. Sertâ­nia (Brazil, 2018) — ****
  118. Shang-Chi and the Leg­end of the Ten Rings (USA/Australia, 2021) — ***
  119. A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Far­maged­don (UK/France/Belgium/Ireland/USA, 2019) — ***
  120. Slalom (France/Belgium, 2020) — ****
  121. Some­one’s Watch­ing Me! (USA, 1978) — ***
  122. Spencer (UK/Germany/USA/Chile, 2021) — ****
  123. Spi­der-Man: No Way Home (USA, 2021) — ***
  124. Spi­ral: From the Book of Saw (USA/Canada, 2021) — *
  125. Sput­nik (Rus­sia, 2020) — **
  126. The Star (USA, 1952) — ***
  127. Stow­away (Germany/USA/UK, 2021) — ****
  128. The Sui­cide Squad (USA, 2021) — ****
  129. Sum­mer of 85, or Été 85 (France, 2020) — ****
  130. Sum­mer of Soul (…Or, When the Rev­o­lu­tion Could Not Be Tele­vised) (USA, 2021) — *****
  131. Sys­tem Crash­er, or Sys­tem­sprenger (Ger­many, 2019) — **
  132. tick, tick…BOOM! (USA, 2021) — ****
  133. Time (USA, 2020) — ****
  134. Ti­tane (France/Belgium, 2021) — ****
  135. The Tri­al of the Chica­go 7 (USA/UK/India, 2020) — ***
  136. Un­dine (Germany/France, 2020) — ***
  137. Un­learn­ing to Sleep, or De­sapren­der a Dormir (Brazil, 2021) — **
  138. V/H/S/94 (USA/Indonesia, 2021) — **
  139. The Vel­vet Un­der­ground (USA, 2021) — ****
  140. Ve­neno (Spain, 2020) — ****
  141. Wak­ing the Dead (USA/Canada, 2000) — **
  142. Wan­daVi­sion (USA, 2021) — ***
  143. The Ward (USA, 2010) — **
  144. Wheel of For­tune and Fan­ta­sy, or Gûzen to sôzô (Japan, 2021) — *****
  145. When I Was Alive, or Quan­do Eu Era Vivo (Brazil, 2014) — ***
  146. The White Tiger (India/USA, 2021) — ***
  147. Wolfwalk­ers (Ireland/UK/Luxembourg/France, 2020) — ****
  148. The Woman in the Win­dow (USA, 2021) — ***
  149. The Woman Who Ran, or Do­mangchin yeo­ja (South Ko­rea, 2020) — ****
  150. The Worst Per­son in the World, or Ver­dens ver­ste men­neske (Norway/France/Sweden/Denmark, 2021) — *****

Pre­vi­ous years: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

1 COMMENT

  1. Tudo a lista, ami­go. Igualz­in­ho a gente fazia in­for­mal­mente no pas­sa­do. Amei seu top, não vi quase nada dos bottoms.

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