The Power of the Dog – Annette – Passing – Memoria – Dune: Part One – Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – Summer of Soul

2021: World Premieres
2021: U.S. Releases
2021: Still Left to See

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The Movies of 2021: World Premieres
 By Title // By Grade // By VOR Rating  (what's this?)

Full Listing of Films Screened

⑤  Indispensable to film fans, even if it's flawed

107 Mothers Dir. Péter Kerekes. Maryna Klimova, Iryna Kiryazeva B+
Annette Dir. Leos Carax. Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, Simon Helberg B
Ascension Dir. Jessica Kingdon. Documentary about labor and culture in China B+
Drive My Car Dir. Ryūsuke Hamaguchi. Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tōko Miura B+
Dune: Part One Dir. Denis Villeneuve. Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson B+
Licorice Pizza Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson. Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman B+
Memoria Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Tilda Swinton, Elkin Díaz B+
Parallel Mothers Dir. Pedro Almodóvar. Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit B+
Passing Dir. Rebecca Hall. Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland B+
El Planeta Dir. Amalia Ulman. Amalia Ulman, Alejandra Ulman, Chen Zhou B+
The Power of the Dog Dir. Jane Campion. Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst B
Prayers for the Stolen Dir. Tatiana Huezo. Ana Cristina Ordóñez González A–
Titane Dir. Julia Ducournau. Agathe Rousselle, Vincent Lindon, Garance Marillier B
West Side Story Dir. Steven Spielberg. Rachel Zegler, Ansel Elgort, Ariana DeBose B
What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? Dir. Aleksandre Koberidze B+
Whether the Weather Is Fine Dir. Carlo Francisco Manatad. Daniel Padilla A–

④  Good or bad, this is risky and original work

A Chiara Dir. Jonas Carpignano. Swamy Rotolo, Claudio Rotolo, Grecia Rotolo B
Amira Dir. Mohamed Diab. Tara Abboud, Saba Mubarak, Ali Suliman B+
Attica Dir. Stanley Nelson, Traci A. Curry. Documentary about uprising A–
Babi Yar. Context Dir. Sergei Loznitsa. Documentary about Ukrainian genocide B+
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn Dir. Radu Jude. Katia Pascariu, Claudia Ieremia B–
Benedetta Dir. Paul Verhoeven. Virginie Efira, Daphne Patakia B–
C'mon C'mon Dir. Mike Mills. Joaquin Phoenix, Woody Norman, Gaby Hoffmann B+
Come Here Dir. Anocha Suwichakornpong. Sirat Intarachote B+
Cusp Dir. Parker Hill, Isabel Bethencourt. Documentary about teen girls in Texas B–
Faya Dayi Dir. Jessica Beshir. Documentary about khat growers in Ethiopia B
The French Dispatch Dir. Wes Anderson. Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody B–
Great Freedom Dir. Sebastian Meise. Franz Rogowski, Georg Friedrich A–
The Green Knight Dir. David Lowery. Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Sean Harris C
Hit the Road Dir. Panah Panahi. Rayan Sarlak, Hasan Majuni, Pantea Panahiha B
The Humans Dir. Stephen Karam. Richard Jenkins, Jayne Houdyshell B
The Last Shelter Dir. Ousmane Samassekou. Documentary about migrants B
Lingui, the Sacred Bonds Dir. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. Achouackh Abakar B–
The Lost Daughter Dir. Maggie Gyllenhaal. Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley A–
Nightmare Alley Dir. Guillermo del Toro. Bradley Cooper, Rooney Mara C+
North by Current Dir. Angelo Madsen Minax. Documentary about troubled family B+
Paris, 13th District Dir. Jacques Audiard. Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba B
Petite Maman Dir. Céline Sciamma. Joséphine Sanz, Gabrielle Sanz, Nina Meurisse B–
Procession Dir. Robert Greene. Documentary about sexual assault survivors B
The Tragedy of Macbeth Dir. Joel Coen. Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand B
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy Dir. Ryūsuke Hamaguchi. Kotone Furukawa B+

③  Try to make time, but don't cry if you miss it

Any Given Day Dir. Margaret Byrne. Documentary about mental illness B
At the End of Evin Dir. Mehdi and Mohammad Torab-Beigi. Mahdi Pakdel B–
Being the Ricardos Dir. Aaron Sorkin. Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Tony Hale B–
Brother's Keeper Dir. Ferit Karahan. Samet Yıldız, Nurullah Alaca, Mert Hazir B
CODA Dir. Siän Heder. Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant C–
Don't Look Up Dir. Adam McKay. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence C
Encanto Dir. Jared Bush, Byron Howard. Voice of Stephanie Beatriz B–
Flee Dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen. Documentary about gay Afghan refugee B
A Hero Dir. Asghar Farhadi. Amir Jadidi, Sahar Goldoust, Mohsen Tanabandeh B–
Hive Dir. Blerta Basholli. Yllka Gashi, Çun Lajçi, Aurita Agushi, Kumrije Hoxha B
I'm Your Man Dir. Maria Schrader. Maren Eggert, Dan Stevens, Sandra Hüller B
In the Heights Dir. Jon M. Chu. Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera C+
Instructions for Survival Dir. Yana Ugrekhelidze. Documentary about asylum case B
Judas and the Black Messiah Dir. Shaka King. Lakeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya C+
King Richard Dir. Reinaldo Marcus Green. Will Smith, Saniyya Sidney B
The Last Forest Dir. Luiz Bolognesi. Documentary about an imperiled tribe C+
Madeleine Collins Dir. Antoine Barraud. Virginie Efira, Quim Gutiérrez B
The Many Saints of Newark Dir. Alan Taylor. Alessandro Nivola B–
Mascarpone Dir. Alessandro Guida, Matteo Pilati. Giancarlo Commare B+
Mass Dir. Fran Kranz. Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton B
The Matrix Resurrections Dir. Lana Wachowski. Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss C–
No Sudden Move Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro C+
No Time to Die Dir. Cary Joji Fukunaga. Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek C
Pig Dir. Michael Sarnoski. Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff, Adam Arkin, David Knell C+
Plan B Dir. Natalie Morales. Kuhoo Verma, Victoria Moroles, Michael Provost C+
Potato Dreams of America Dir. Wes Hurley. Hersh Powers, Sophia Mitri Schloss C
Red Rocket Dir. Sean Baker. Simon Rex, Suzanna Son, Bree Elrod, Ethan Darbone C+
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Dir. Destin Daniel Cretton C+
Skál Dir. Cecilie Debell, Maria Tórgarð. Documentary about young Faroese couple C+
The Souvenir, Part II Dir. Joanna Hogg. Honor Swinton Byrne, Tilda Swinton C
Spencer Dir. Pablo Larraín. Kristen Stewart, Jack Farthing, Sally Hawkins C
Summer of Soul Dir. Questlove. Documentary about Harlem music festival B–
tick, tick...BOOM! Dir. Lin-Manuel Miranda. Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp B–
The Tsugua Diaries Dir. Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes. Crista Alfaiate B–
The United States vs. Billie Holiday Dir. Lee Daniels. Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes B–
The Velvet Underground Dir. Todd Haynes. Documentary about the alt-rock band B
Wandering Heart Dir. Leonardo Brzezicki. Leonardo Sbaraglia B
White Building Dir. Kavich Neang. Piseth Chhun, Chinnaro Soem, Sovann Tho B
The White Tiger Dir. Ramin Bahrani. Adarsh Gourav, Rajkummar Rao B
The Worst Person in the World Dir. Joachim Trier. Renate Reinsve C+

②  Even if it's good, it's hardly groundbreaking

Acts of Love Dir. Isidore Bethel. Documentary about a search for connection C+
Belfast Dir. Kenneth Branagh. Jude Hill, Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan C
Bergman Island Dir. Mia Hansen-Løve. Vicky Krieps, Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowska C–
The Card Counter Dir. Paul Schrader. Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Tiffany Haddish C–
Cruella Dir. Craig Gillespie. Emma Stone, Mark Strong, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry C–
Down in Paris Dir. Antony Hickling. Antony Hickling, Jean-Christophe Bouvet C+
Eternals Dir. Chloé Zhao. Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek D
The Eyes of Tammy Faye Dir. Michael Showalter. Jessica Chastain C
Friends and Strangers Dir. James Vaughan. Fergus Wilson, Emma Diaz B
The Gravedigger's Wife Dir. Khadar Ayderus Ahmed. Omar Abdi B–
The Hand of God Dir. Paolo Sorrentino. Filippo Scotti, Teresa Saponangelo D–
Language Lessons Dir. Natalie Morales. Mark Duplass, Natalie Morales B–
The Mauritanian Dir. Kevin Macdonald. Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster C–
The Rescue Dir. Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin. Documentary B–
See You Then Dir. Mari Walker. Pooya Mohseni, Lynn Chen, Danny Jacobs C+
Silent Land Dir. Aga Woszczyńska. Dobromir Dymecki, Agnieszka Żulewska B–
Stillwater Dir. Tom McCarthy. Matt Damon, Camille Cottin, Abigail Breslin C–
Swan Song Dir. Benjamin Cleary. Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Glenn Close C–

①  Low ambition, little originality, easy to forget

Boulevard!: A Hollywood Story Dir. Jeffrey Schwarz. Documentary C
Boy Meets Boy Dir. Daniel Sanchez Lopez. Alexandros Koutsoulis C+
Firebird Dir. Peeter Rebane. Tom Prior, Oleg Zagorodnii, Diana Pozharskaya C–
The Guilty Dir. Antoine Fuqua. Jake Gyllenhaal, Riley Keough, Ethan Hawke D+
House of Gucci Dir. Ridley Scott. Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Al Pacino D–
Nobody Has to Know Dir. Bouli Lanners. Bouli Lanners, Michelle Fairley C
Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero of Black Filmmaking Dir. Francesco Zippel C+
Respect Dir. Liesl Tommy. Jennifer Hudson, Marlon Wayans, Forest Whitaker C
The Tender Bar Dir. George Clooney. Tye Sheridan, Ben Affleck, Lily Rabe C–