My Top 10 Movies of 2021

Adrian Todd Zuniga
6 min readJan 5, 2022


Last year, my Top 10 Movies of 2020 list featured only THREE films from 2019 or later. This year, I feasted on 2021 films, and out of the 128 movies I watched, none released before 2020 made this year’s list. (I should note that It’s a Wonderful Life, which I watch in complete awe every December, would be in my Top 3 every single year, so I don’t put it on these lists).

There are a handful of films I’ve yet to see that I know would’ve had a shot at this list: Mass; Drive My Car; Coda; The Worst Person in the World; The Humans; A Hero; Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn. But they’ll have to wait until next year.

Enough with all this adieu! Here are the 10 best movies I saw in 2021:

#10. THE POWER OF THE DOG (2021)

The fact that I’ve put this film in the #10 spot is an immediate self-own that conveys that neither I, nor this list, has any credibility. Campion’s latest is an absolute masterwork that is arguably perfect. The only flaw is Benedict Cumberbatch’s American accent —and I still think he could (should?) win the Oscar for Best Actor. I’m so grateful to have seen this on the big screen.

#9. DON’T LOOK UP (2021)

The fact that this movie has a 50 on Metacritic is proof of just how doomed we are as a species, and how unwilling we are as a society to confront the realities of climate change. Don’t Look Up is hilarious, confronting, unsettling and ultimately alarming. Jonah Hill’s performance is the one most people are celebrating, but Mark Rylance and Cate Blanchett’s characters were the standouts for me.

#8. C’MON C’MON (2021)

Last summer I entered what I call my “Mike Mills Period.” Since then, I have mined my personal experiences for screenwriting and…



Adrian Todd Zuniga

is an award-nominated author (Collision Theory), award-winning director/screenwriter (HOLD ME, DON'T TOUCH ME) and the creator and host of Literary Death Match.