Fetch’s Favourite Movies of 2021

Andrew Buckle,

Join us as we take you through the movies that entertained, inspired, challenged and enthralled the editors at Fetch in 2021.

How do these lists compare to your favourite movies of the year?

Adam

  1. The Father
  2. CODA
  3. Another Round
  4. Nomadland
  5. Pig
  6. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  7. Shiva Baby
  8. Minari
  9. The Power of the Dog
  10. A Quiet Place Part II

I can’t imagine many would claim 2021 as the greatest year in film, but in terms of the film landscape, it was unlike any other. Cinemas barely opened, release windows collapsed, movie premieres took place in your living room via streaming services or On-Demand platform’s like Fetch.

We’ve never seen anything like it, and it has no doubt forever changed how we approach movies.

For me, there were a couple of major standouts that oddly didn’t seem to fit on the above Top 10 list. They felt more like “experiences” than movies, but nevertheless shaped my 2021.

Bo Burnham: Inside was maybe a movie, maybe a special, but whatever it was, it did nothing less than define the pandemic for me. The humour, the sadness, the surreal nature of all things.

The Beatles: Get Back was an 8 hour nightmare for naysayers, but a dream come true for anyone (like me) who has lived and breathed this band for so long.

On my list, The Father was more than a film of great performances, it was a unique experience where we were put into the actual mental state of a man suffering. CODA reminded me how great (and how needed) a feel-good movie can be for the soul, Pig added another compelling chapter to the ever-insane Nic Cage oeuvre, while Shiva baby and especially the wacky Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar gave me the laughs I craved.

As for honourable mentions, this year it’s not a list of movies, but a genre – the “Music Documentary”. Everyone seems to be doing one these days and I say bring it on. The Go-Go’s was a fun retrospective, Tina was an overdue celebration and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry was a fascinating first hand look at a star about to explode.

Andrew

  1. Bo Burnham: Inside
  2. David Byrne’s American Utopia
  3. The Father
  4. The Power of the Dog
  5. Pig
  6. Another Round
  7. Shiva Baby
  8. The Harder They Fall
  9. In the Heights
  10. The Empty Man

In another COVID-affected year, viewing habits have been wildly shaken up yet again. With major streaming services releasing original films at the rate of cinemas, the sources have never been as broad.

Though technically a Netflix Special, I have decided to include Bo Burnham: Inside on this list. We honoured it in our half year list and this is purely an editorial decision that may not be replicated by my colleagues.

While James Wan’s Malignant was the talk of the town for the horror buffs, and rightfully so because that movie is bonkers, it was the underrated (and undersold) The Empty Man that presented the most thrilling experience of 2021. Pig was perhaps the most surprising movie of the year, a fascinating character study that echoes the unique career trajectory of star Nicolas Cage.

I’m not really a musicals appreciator, but the adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda’s emotionally-soaring In the Heights really captured me. As a Talking Heads fan I was always going to enjoy American Utopia, but this live concert movie under the direction of Spike Lee sparked even more joy than I could imagine.

Shiva Baby was cringe-comedy at it’s finest. Just great from end to end. The Harder They Fall is the super stylish (the soundtrack!) neo-western we absolutely needed, while Jane Campion’s acclaimed frontier drama, The Power of the Dog, is gorgeously photographed and tells a subtle but deeply affecting story driven by the perception of masculinity.

Anthony Hopkins’ performance in The Father is truly extraordinary and he was understandably rewarded the Best Actor Oscar. Interestingly, this year’s Best Picture winner Nomadland (this could have been The Father, honestly) wasn’t considered here, though very good, because I watched it in the cinema just prior to Christmas in 2020.

Overall, my viewing volume was probably at it’s lowest in about a decade. With a depleted slate of blockbusters, and not being able to catch some of the big indie premieres at the International film festivals that pepper the calendar there were just fewer appealing options. But, there were still some great films scattered around and I am confident you’ll find some winners in this list.

Drew

  1. Spider-man: No Way Home
  2. The Last Duel
  3. Malignant
  4. Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings
  5. Old
  6. The Little Things
  7. A Quiet Place Part II
  8. Free Guy
  9. Cherry
  10. Pig

With another year spent in the company of our screens and not much else, we were lucky we had the movies we did to keep us entertained. From intense dramas that show perspective is everything like The Last Duel, to strange eerie thrillers like Old, there was something for everyone.

The year ended on a high note with the cinema release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which made the top of my list, and with a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes I wasn’t the only one. As a fan of video games (and Ryan Reynolds) Free Guy grabbed my attention. With many pop culture references and ample humour, it made for a nice, lighthearted watch. 


Collective honourable mentions include: Mitchells vs. the Machines, Boiling Point, The Dig, Werewolves Within, The Kid Detective, Let Them All Talk, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Card Counter, The Man in the Hat, No Time to Die, Passing and No Sudden Move.

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