Matthew Monagle’s Top 10 Films of 2021


1) Pig

Nic Cage remains a generational talent.

2) C'mon C'mon

Movies about family that aren't also about parenthood are a rare and wonderful breed.

3) The Green Knight

Dev Patel's ability to subvert his own stardom onscreen is reaching Jake Gyllenhaal levels.

4) The Last Duel

Even in his 80s, Ridley Scott has lost none of his urgency as a storyteller.

5) Raging Fire

Watch this, then weep for a generation that only knows Marvel movie action scenes.

6) Malignant

With a single movie, James Wan moves horror nostalgia into the Nineties.

7) Limbo

May we someday make Ben Sharrock's bittersweet refugee dramedy an artifact of the past.

8) Dune

Turns out all I needed to finally start reading Frank Herbert's novel was Rebecca Ferguson.

The Power

9) The Power

I truly cannot wait to see what director Corinna Faith decides to do next.

10) The Power of the Dog

There are so many layers and ideas worth exploring here; bravo, Jane Campion.

Near Misses

The French Dispatch, House of Gucci. West Side Story, Passing.

Most Overrated

Licorice Pizza, Werewolves Within.

Most Underrated

Limbo, Raging Fire.

Wild Card

Saint Maud is a great film, but COVID award season upheaval caused it to get lost in the 2020-2021 shuffle.

Acting Kudos (Male)

Dev Patel (The Green Knight), Nic Cage (Pig), Amir El Masry (Limbo)

Acting Kudos (Female)

Rebecca Hall (The Night House), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Niamh Algar (Censor)

Best Director

David Lowery (The Green Knight), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Rebecca Hall (Passing)

Best Original Screenplay

Mike Mills (C’mon C’mon), Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola (The French Dispatch), Michael Samoski, Vanessa Block Pig

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Rebecca Hall (Passing), Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon (The Last Duel)

TV Series/Event


Worst Film

The financial success of The Hitman’s Bodyguard was a fluke of multiplex scheduling. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard never should’ve existed.

The Little Film That Could

Another nod here for Limbo, which tackles complicated subject material with aplomb.

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More Top 10s 2021
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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

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Top 10s 2021, Film Top 10s 2021

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