Trace Sauveur’s Top 10 Films of 2021

Licorice Pizza

1) Licorice Pizza

PTA does coming-of-age in a way only he can. Hilarious, perceptive, and achingly real.

2) The Souvenir: Part II

Joanna Hogg astounds with her continuing self- reflexive investigation of her personal and artistic past.


3) Titane

A radical body-horror spectacle to totally melt your face off.

4) Red Rocket

Simon Rex gives a bravura performance as a down-and-out porn star who returns to his Texas hometown.

5) Dune

The Hollywood spectacle blockbuster manifested as something filled with existential, brutalist dread and fatalism.

6) Malignant

James Wan channels everything from Basket Case to The Matrix in the most joyously bonkers movie this year.

7) The Green Knight

This Arthurian adaptation is gorgeous to look at and full of exhilarating mystery. Dev Patel is a star.

8) The French Dispatch

Anderson at his most Andersonian: melancholic, beautiful, and with a murderer's row of great performers.

9) Spencer

A subversive and surprising take on the biopic formula. Part biography, part ghost story, with a dazzling performance from Stewart.

10) Benedetta

Verhoeven hasn't missed a beat in this deeply funny, sharp, and thoughtful nunsploitation riff.

Near Misses

C'mon C'mon, Pig, The Card Counter.

Most Overrated

The Power of the Dog; tick, tick... BOOM!; The Suicide Squad.

Most Underrated

Old, The Voyeurs, V/H/S/94.

Wild Card

Two insane performances in Ridley Scott films: Ben Affleck in The Last Duel and Jared Leto in House of Gucci.

Acting Kudos (Male)

Simon Rex (Red Rocket), Cooper Hoffman (Licorice Pizza), Nicolas Cage (Pig)

Acting Kudos (Female)

Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Agathe Rousselle (Titane), Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir: Part II), Julia Ducournau (Titane)

Best Original Screenplay

Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch (Red Rocket), Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Nicole Holofcener (The Last Duel), Vanessa Block and Michael Sarnoski (Pig)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Stephen Karam (The Humans), David Lowery (The Green Knight), Denis Villeneuve and Jon Spaihts (Dune)

TV Series/Event

Season 2 of I Think You Should Leave. “YOU GOTTA GIVE!”

Worst Film

Malcolm & Marie, a pretentious, vapid, and actively hostile temper tantrum. Unbearable.

The Little Film That Could

The Humans, which turns a Thanksgiving family dinner into the stuff of nightmares. Six actors, one apartment, totally compelling.

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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

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Top 10s 2021, Film Top 10s 2021

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