The Best Movies of 2021, According To Us

The Best Movies of 2021, According To Us
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It’s been another blur of a year, but, believe it or not, some movies actually made it to cinemas in 2021. From Oscar winners like Nomadland to Marvel blockbusters and streaming hits, it’s actually been a pretty good year for movies, all things considered.

To celebrate the year in film that was, we’ve gathered the top picks from our team to create Lifehacker’s ultimate 2021 movie watch list. Obviously, we’re not quite at the end of the year yet so this list won’t include those December blockbusters that are yet to release (sorry, Spider-Man: No Way Home!).

If you haven’t caught these movies yet this year, make sure you do!

Lifehacker Australia’s Best Movies of 2021

Godzilla vs. Kong

The Best Movies of 2021, According To Us
Best movies of 2021. Image: Warner Bros.

I caught this one in the brief interregnum between Melbourne lockdowns. Not only was it a tender and nuanced character study, it was nice to slam back some popcorn and watch a big monkey throw haymakers at a radioactive lizard. – David Adams, Business Insider Australia.

Godzilla vs. Kong will be on Netflix Australia and Binge on December 23.


dune what to watch australia
Best movies of 2021. Image: Warner Bros

Dune (Doon): what a line up! Timmy, Javier, Zendaya (for, like, three seconds), Oscar Isaac. I watched this expansive Hollywood blockbuster on a laptop screen (as Denis Villeneuve intended) and it fulfilled everything I wanted from big-budget sci-fi; cool looking space stuff and wild names and a rich lore – none of which you actually need to understand to enjoy the film. Desert power. – Bianca Healey, Business Insider Australia.

Dune is in cinemas from December 2.

Last Night In Soho

LNIS_FP_005_R2 Thomasin McKenzie stars as Eloise and Anya Taylor-Joy as Sandie in Edgar Wright’s LAST NIGHT IN SOHO, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC
Best movies of 2021. Image: Focus Features

At the time I wasn’t sure I even liked the boundary-pushing, dazzling Edgar Wright trip back to the ’60s, but I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It’s got everything I love about a film (read: gore) and it definitely left an impact and filled the Quentin Tarantino void. – Asha Barbaschow, Gizmodo Australia.

Last Night in Soho is in cinemas now.


The Best Movies of 2021, According To Us
Best movies of 2021. Image: Disney

This is one of the few movies that have made me cry, and over sea monsters no less. The story warms my cold heart and makes me want to believe that true love and friendship exist. The overarching message of accepting people as they are is a useful one that everyone should learn. It gives me Call Me By Your Name vibes without the overt queerness, or rompy scenes, or a problematic lead actor, and they are sea creatures. Actually, it’s not really similar at all besides the fact both movies made me cry. Love that. – Ky Stewart, Lifehacker, Kotaku, Gizmodo Australia.

Luca is available to stream on Disney+.

Promising Young Woman

Promising young woman still
Best movies of 2021. Image: Promising Young Woman, Universal Pictures

Promising Young Woman has to be it for me. I found this revenge-fuelled film to be a much more difficult watch than I expected, but it is powerful and clever, and the story sat with me for a long time afterwards. Carey Mulligan’s performance as vigilante-type Cassie is incredible, too. The film is equal parts infuriating and heart-breaking, and it’s one I recommend everyone (especially men) go see. – Stephanie Nuzzo, Lifehacker Australia.

Promising Young Woman is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Vicious Fun

vicious fun best movies 2021
Best movies of 2021. Image: Shudder

Vicious Fun was probably the only film released this year that I remembered watching. It was heaps of fun and didn’t take itself too seriously, which is exactly what I needed from this Big Fat Stinker of a year. A dorky horror fan finding himself among actual murderers and trying to pretend to be one himself to blend in? What a silly concept! Was it the best movie I’ve ever seen in my life? No. But was it the most fun I had watching a new movie this year? Absolutely. – Ruby Innes, Kotaku Australia.

Watch Vicious Fun on Shudder.

Shang- Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

shang chi best movies 2021
Best movies of 2021. Image: Marvel Studios

This film is partly my favourite of the year because it was the first thing I saw on the big screen after lockdown, but man what a film to see. It’s no secret I’m a pretty big Marvel fan but Shang-Chi literally hit differently. It was phenomenal to see an Asian hero at the forefront with his own kick-ass brand of action and epic mythology (dragon!) to top it all off. – Lauren Rouse, Lifehacker Australia.

Watch Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on Disney+.

Those are our picks for the best movie in 2021, what’s yours? Let us know in the comments!

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