The Best Movies of 2021: Catch Up this Christmas - The Gloss Magazine

The Best Movies of 2021: Catch Up this Christmas

It’s Christmas – so what have you missed?

The year sped past us, as if it was itself enthusiastic to distance itself from 2020. In the blur of it all, you could be excused for failing to keep up with the latest movie releases, especially as most disappeared to streaming services before we could hack booking cinema tickets.

But now, it’s lovely cosy Christmas, and you’re at home, in need of a good flick to pair with your post-Chrimbo turkey sandwich. If you are scrolling around for that list of Movies I Need to See, that you keep in the messy Notes app of your phone, don’t bother – here’s a comprehensive checklist of the best movies of 2021.

1. The Last Duel

Based on the true story of France’s last trial by combat in the Middle Ages, this Ridley Scott epic tells the tale of Knight Jean de Carrouges’ (Matt Damon) challenge to his former friend Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) to a duel, after Jean’s wife Marguerite (Jodie Comer) accuses Le Gris of rape. In an innovative method of narrating, the story is told in multiple “Rashomon-style” points of view. Thrillingly, The Last Duel was partly shot in Ireland, so watch out for familiar landscapes styled as the French countryside. Indeed, it was during the filming of this movie that Matt Damon became so acquainted with Dalkey village

Watch The Last Duel now with your Disney+ subscription.

2. Tick, Tick… Boom!

On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City. Stars Andrew Garfield, Vanessa Hudgens, and Joshua Henry join director Lin-Manuel Miranda to put a spotlight on the multilayered adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical. While movie-musicals are hardly a crowdpleasing genre, Garfield is wonderfully watchable, and it makes for the perfect uplifting afternoon watch.

Watch now – and don’t sing along – on Netflix.

3. Dune

Costing $165 million to produce and featuring some of the most visually-appealing people on the planet (Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac), everything about Dune is jaw-dropping. This feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic 1965 science fiction novel is about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy. It’s so beautiful that it won’t matter if you get lost in the sci-fi jargon. Definitely one of the best movies of 2021.

Watch at home on AppleTV, GooglePlay or YouTube for €17.99.

4. No Time to Die

Bond is back, baby! A possibly foolish choice to include for the purposes of this particular list, seeing as its unlikely you didn’t catch it in cinemas, but a stunner of a rewatch all the same come Twixmas. No Time to Die is a surprising edition of the iconic character, but doesn’t disappoint on the central Bond trappings: big blasts, cool cars, exotic locations, and evil villains. We thank you, Daniel Craig, for your service.

Watch at home on AppleTV, GooglePlay or YouTube for €17.99.

5. Cruella

If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will… An origin story for the villain of the Disney classic, 101 Dalmatians, Cruella is delight to watch, and ticks a lot of boxes for a cosy Christmas movie. With a gleaming cast – Emma Stone plays the titular role with Emma Thompson supporting as Baroness, her steely fashion director boss – and a cool setting (1970s punk London), it’s an ideal family-friendly choice.

Watch at home now on Disney+.

6. WeWork or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn

WeWork: Or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn is a documentary, written and directed by Jed Rothstein, about the lofty success and swift crash-and-burn of coworking property rental startup WeWork. WeWork founder and likely narcissist Adam Neumann, who was ultimately forced out of the company not long after raising an eye-watering amount of investment (see movie title) appears only in archived footage, always in character as Himself. An apt snapshot of toxic startup culture, the documentary is an amusing ride through a compelling story. Watch to feel better about not being at work.

Watch at home now on Hulu.

7. Promising Young Woman

Promising Young Woman is really about revenge, and although it looks and sounds sweet, Emerald Fennell’s excellent debut starring the fascinating performance of Carey Mulligan packs a punch. Mulligan plays the enigmatic Cassie, whose aim throughout the movie is to avenge a friend, Nina, who was once raped. While the topic it handles so well is delicate, it is nonetheless a gleeful experience – Mulligan makes the mission fun and Fennell’s experience handling female rage as a writer and showrunner on Killing Eve stands out.

Watch at home now on NowTV.

15 more of the best movies of 2021, for the festive season…

1 The French Dispatch

2 Passing

3 West Side Story

4 Gagarine

5 Herself

6 CODA

7 Malcolm & Marie

8 The Last Letter From Your Lover

9 The Woman in the Window

10 Petite Maman

11 The Power of The Dog

12 The Lost Daughter

13 Spiderman: No Way Home

14 Titane 

15 Judas and the Black Messiah

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