Annette to Spencer: Best Hollywood Theatrical Releases of 2021

Looking at the best Hollywood theatrical releases of 2021 one can only say that irrespective of anything, the heart of a cinephile cannot be stopped, not even by a pandemic. With struggles and too many postponed dates, there were still an ample amount of films that made us land in theatres, be it for their visual charm or impeccable storytelling. However, not all of them were good. Thus, to give you a consolidated option to decide on the best pictures that graced the screens in 2021, let us take a look at this list!

Best Hollywood Theatrical Releases of 2021 That Made Cinema Feel Real

Dune: Part One

Frank Herbert’s legendary science fiction novel Dune finds itself an adaptation that does justice to the literature it is based on. After the epic failure of David Lynch’s Dune, the golden director Denis Villeneuve brings us the same film, only done astronomically better. Essentially telling the story of Paul Atreides and how he sits in the middle of a crusade, the film stars an ensemble cast that includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, David Dastmalchian, Chang Chen, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, and Javier Bardem.

You can read our review for the 2021 film Dune: Part One by clicking here.

Licorice Pizza

Boogie Nights’ acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, brings to us another genius piece from his box- a coming of age story about Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up and falling in love in the 1970s. Actors Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman take up the lead roles in the film making this movie a rather special and fresh release amongst the rest of the list.

Spencer

The 2021 Pablo Larraín film Spencer did tell the story of Princess Diana, but the way we know it. Historical fiction with elements of psychological horror, this film retakes the episode of the three-day visit of Princess Diana at the Sandringham House for Christmas festivities and what happened there. Kristen Stewart stars in the titular role and gives us an Oscar-worthy performance.

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C’mon C’mon

Mike Mills’ black and white drama, C’mon C’mon stars Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann, Scoot McNairy, Molly Webster, Jaboukie Young-White, and Woody Norman. The film shows the emotional journey taken by an uncle and his nephew as they travel around the world and discover themselves and each other in ways unimaginable.

The Last Duel

Based on the 2004 book The Last Duel: A True Story of Trial by Combat in Medieval France by Eric Jager, Ridley Scott directs this historical epic that shows you the true shades of betrayal and vengeance. The film stars Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Jodie Comer in pivotal roles. The premise tells the story of a knight who challenges his squire after his wife accuses the squire of raping her giving us three sides of one coin.

Pig

The directorial debut piece by Michael Sarnoski tells the story of a truffle forager whose beloved truffle-finding pig is stolen. A story of love and loss riddled with varying emotional notes, Nicholas Cage stars as the protagonist in the film and delivered a praiseworthy performance that even earned him the nomination for Best Actor at the 27th Critics’ Choice Awards.

No Time To Die

The last in Daniel Craig’s James Bond franchise, No Time To Die does what none of the previous James Bond films was brave enough to do- give closure to the iconic character and make him more humane than ever. Produced by Eon Productions and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga the film tells the story of the British MI6 agent’s last expedition to save the world from a villain and his bio-weapon. The film is the fourth highest-grossing film of 2021.

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To read the review for No Time To Die, click here.

The Mauritanian

The true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian citizen detained at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp without charge adapted into a legal drama screenplay by writers M.B. Traven, Rory Haines, and Sohrab Noshirvani and directed by Kevin Macdonald is an emotionally challenging film to sit through. The film stars Tahar Rahim as the protagonist along with Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Zachary Levi in supporting roles.

Nightmare Alley

Guillermo del Toro’s neo-noir psychological thriller, Nightmare Alley is based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. Even though the film has not soared well financially, it still remains one of the most intriguing films of 2021 with visuals that stun and background score and performances that make it worth your while. The film has an ensemble cast including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.

Annette

If you think a musical and psychological drama don’t usually go hand in hand, Annette is just the pick for you to decide otherwise. We see the life of a stand-up comedian and his opera singer wife changed after their first child comes into the picture. Headlined by Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, the film had its opening at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, where Leos Carax won the award for Best Director.

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The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun is Wes Anderson’s 2021 American anthology comedy film written, directed, and produced by the man himself. Anderson conceived the story with Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness, and Jason Schwartzman portraying three different narratives to come to the final issue of the Kansas Evening Sun newspaper. The ensemble cast of the film includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and others.

Last Night In Soho

Edgar Wright’s psychological horror also has elements of being a slasher film. Starring Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Michael Ajao, Terence Stamp and Diana Rigg, the film has applaudable cinematography, production design and background score. It tells the story of an aspiring fashion designer who mysteriously is able to enter the 1960s, but ends up witnessing the dark side in the life of a dazzling wannabe singer.

The Green Knight

An epic medical fantasy directed, written, edited and produced by David Lowery, The Green Knight is about the journey of Gawain, a nephew of King Arthur, to test his courage and face the Green Knight. Dev Patel leads the film along with Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, and Ralph Ineson in supporting roles.

Some of these theatrical releases have later found their place at OTT platforms like HBO Max, MUBI and Amazon Prime Video, you can watch it there, in case you have missed these releases in theatres. Meanwhile, let us know in the comments below which is your favourite release of 2021!

Also Read: The Wheel of Time Finale Review: Moiraine and Rand Finally Confront the Dark One

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