The AFI Top 10 of 2021

The American Film Institute top 10 is always a momentous occasion. It’s not the Cahiers du Cinéma, where a avant-garde television show can make the list, but a more streamlined version of that. In fact, there’s usually over 50-60% of the Best Picture nominees listed in the top 10

Here are the AFI top 10:

CODA
DON’T LOOK UP
DUNE
KING RICHARD
LICORICE PIZZA
NIGHTMARE ALLEY
THE POWER OF THE DOG
tick, tick… BOOM!
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
WEST SIDE STORY

Notes: Belfast missing here is because only American films are considered for the list. The big miss is Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardo’s, which continues to have a rough week after the embargo dropped to sour reviews.

Thankfully, Joel Coen’s Shakespeare adaptation of Macbeth gets the nod and gives itself some much needed juice after missing nearly everywhere else. Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story gets the nod, too. He’s having a strong week with the premier getting thunderous applause from critics. Lastly, Lin Manuel Miranda scores a major win landing tick, tick…BOOM! on the list. That film’s Oscar chances are quickly rising. And lastly, CODA, as an indie and critics darling, is having a meteoric rise and starting to build momentum.

Looking back at 2020, six of the 10 AFI picks landed in the Beat Picture category. Including the eventual winner Nomadland. Earning a nod here is one of the bigger hurdles for Oscar perspective films and now the field really starts to shape.


AFI TOP 10 2020
Da 5 Bloods
Judas and the Black Messiah
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami…
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7


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