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12 Favorite Films of 2021 -- An Impossible Countdown

  I have watched over 50 films released in 2021. It's a pandemic. These were my 12 favorite--an impossible list to make and rank, given this was the best year for movies since 2017. I did my best! 12. The Last Duel (Oscar nominations: none) Rotten Tomatoes split: 85% Critics/ 81% Audiences I love watching Ben Affleck *act*, and in The Last Duel (like in the lovely, flawed The Tender Bar ), he gets to ACT. The three separate perspectives are written and performed with wonderful attention to detail. Jodie Comer is fantastic. Harriet Walter is perfectly cast, and I could watch her retire for the evening over and over again. One reason *this* film barely makes this list, in a year of very strong films, is that I was even exhilarated by the final title duel, instead of repelled as I had expected. For me to be engaged in a cinematic battle—that takes skill. Ridley Scott—you made it this one work. And it’s nice to see Matt and Ben writing again, and with the taste to invite * Nicol

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