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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

2021’s films ranked

This ranking includes only new theatrical or VOD releases viewed for the awards year of 2021, for eligibility for the OFCS and AWFJ awards; some films released in the UK without US releases (and so ineligible for those awards this year) may also be included, for my own bookkeeping purposes.

Eligibility for the Academy Awards will likely be shifted because of the coronavirus pandemic, though dates are currently unknown.

Links go to my review. Numbers after each entry are Date First Viewed/US Release Date/UK Release Date; year is 2021 unless otherwise noted.

Films without theatrical releases are typically not eligible for year-end awards like the Oscars, but it’s likely that rules will be amended this year because of the shuttering of cinemas during the crisis, as they were in 2020. In the listing below, a film’s release was theatrical unless otherwise noted:

indicates a film originally scheduled for theatrical release but released direct to VOD

indicates a film originally scheduled for theatrical release but postponed

° indicates a film released direct to streaming


other yearly rankings:
2020
2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003


gagged smiley
my reaction under gag order for now

[none at the moment]

confused smiley
my reaction under consideration

[none at the moment]

green light
worth paying multiplex prices for

[5 stars]
Judas and the Black Messiah (02.09/02.12°/TBA)
My Rembrandt (01.07/01.06°/TBA)

[4.5 stars]
The Delivered (aka Fanny Lye Deliver’d) (10.12.19/01.15.21°/06.26.20)
I Blame Society (02.11/02.12°/TBA)
True Mothers (01.23/01.29/TBA)
Identifying Features (01.16/01.22/TBA)
Cowboys (02.06/02.12°/TBA)
Slalom (02.11/TBA/02.12°)
MLK/FBI (01.18/01.15/01.15°)

[4 stars]
Supernova (10.09.20/01.29/TBA)
Two of Us (01.30/02.05/TBA)
The Father (01.23/02.26/03.12)

[3.5 stars]
My Zoe (02.19/02.26/10.05.20°)

yellow for maybe
worth seeing, but wait for DVD, unless your favorite actor is in it

[3 stars]
#Like (01.26/01.26°/TBA)
A Glitch in the Matrix (02.04/02.05/02.05°)

[2.5 stars]
Little Fish (02.10/02.05/TBA)

red for no
give it a miss

[2 stars]
[none at the moment]

[1.5 stars]
[none at the moment]

[1 star]
The Exception (Undtagelsen) (01.22/TBA/01.22)
Bliss° (02.06/02.05/02.05)

[.5 stars]
[none at the moment]

[0 stars]
[none at the moment]

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