Josh Kupecki’s Top 10 Films of 2021

Drive My Car

1) Drive My Car

No other film this year has enthralled, surprised, and moved me more. A wholly generous and unforgettable gift to cinema.

2) All Light, Everywhere

Mapping the flaws in our perception, and the ethically questionable uses of them, Theo Anthony's doc is eye-opening.

3) The Green Knight

"Great wonder grew in hall, at his hue most strange to see, for man and gear and all, were green as green could be."

The Souvenir: Part II

4) The Souvenir: Part II

A pitch-perfect, intensely personal transmutation of grief into art.

5) Ascension

The new gods of consumption have seized your devotion. Do you have enough influence to retrieve your life?

6) Titane

2021's most memorable love story, forged with a nihilistic energy that yields startling veins of compassion.

7) The Card Counter

As crisp and unpredictable as a freshly opened deck, Schrader once again deals an unforgiving hand.

8) The Humans

Familial browbeating brilliantly orchestrated to a vividly dreadful crescendo as the quotidian reveals the profound.

9) Zola

A winning and irrepressibly inventive tale that nimbly straddles comedy and nightmare with extremely entertaining results.

10) In the Earth

"People get a bit funny in the woods sometimes" is exactly what you want to hear at the beginning of a Ben Wheatley film.

Near Misses

Azor; C'mon, C'mon; Pig.

Most Overrated

The Beta Test, Last Night in Soho, Licorice Pizza.

Most Underrated

CODA, The Macaluso Sisters, Riders of Justice.

Wild Card

Viewers' inability to find closure in complete stories, spurring creators to return to the well/bank.

Acting Kudos (Male)

Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Richard Jenkins (The Humans), Simon Rex (Red Rocket)

Acting Kudos (Female)

Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Riley Keough (Zola)

Best Director

Roy Andersson (About Endlessness), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), David Lowery (The Green Knight)

Best Original Screenplay

Julia Ducournau (Titane), Andreas Fontana and Mariano Llinás (Azor), Anders Thomas Jensen (Riders of Justice)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and Takamasa Oe (Drive My Car), Stephen Karam (The Humans)

TV Series/Event

Can’t Get You Out of My Head: No one so artfully examines the rabbit warrens and Möbius strips of the modern world’s perpetual existential crisis than Adam Curtis.

Worst Film

Nothing was more tone-deaf or lazily inaccurate than the pandering addiction drama Four Good Days.

The Little Film That Could

It’s been a winding festival road for The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain, but it now has a streaming home at HBO (for now). A must-see.

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More Top 10s 2021
Top Austin Headlines of 2021: Killer Cop Faces Murder Charge
Top Austin Headlines of 2021: Killer Cop Faces Murder Charge
March 10: Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor is indicted for first-degree murder in the 2020 killing of Michael Ramos

Brant Bingamon, Dec. 17, 2021

Top Austin Headlines of 2021: Winter Storm Uri Wracks Austin
Top Austin Headlines of 2021: Winter Storm Uri Wracks Austin
Feb. 14: For the first time ever, the National Weather Service issues winter storm warnings for the entire state of Texas

Lina Fisher, Dec. 17, 2021

More by Josh Kupecki
The Good Mother
Searing drama set at the dawn of the fentanyl crisis

Sept. 1, 2023

Liam Neeson does the Liam Neeson thing, this time with exploding cars in Berlin

Aug. 25, 2023


Top 10s 2021, Film Top 10s 2021

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