10 Best Movies of 2021 According to Rotten Tomatoes

It was in 1998 that Rotten Tomatoes was born. Typically known if movies or performances were bad, you throw Rotten Tomatoes at the performers or movie. However, now Rotten Tomatoes is widely regarded as one of the best sources of movie ratings and reviews made by critics and the average movie fans alike. In this video, we have meticulously chosen through Rotten tomatoes and reviews of the critics we compile an awesome diverse list of the best movies of 2021. Maybe we can spark interests in different genres or maybe even add another movie onto your watchlist. Anyways, let’s jump right into it! So, relax and strap in for your next movie binge!

10. West Side Story

Beginning our list with number 10 is a classic that came back to life is “West Side Story.” A new look at the cult classic from our favorite director Steven Spielberg, we see the movie scoring high on the Tomatometer with a 92%. It’s a fresh take on the story of a tale as old as time where forbidden love forms between two rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. We see actors Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler give a stellar star-crossed lovers performance as Tony and Maria. And the music just lives up to its original production and possibly even better than before. A romantically tragic musical just ready to pull at anyone’s heart strings. 


Number 9 we see a coming of age story with a 17 year old girl named Ruby, played by Emilia Jones, who is the only one in her family who can hear. A life as the interpreter for her family, she finds something much more for her, the gift of singing. This comedy drama finds itself situated at 96% on the Tomatometer. It’s no surprise as we find how natural the story was told about a young girl with a passion for music and a family who does not understand that. We see that not everything is black and white with this beautifully written movie. It is refreshing to shed light on a group of people that are sometimes overlooked, the child of deaf adults, or “CODA”

8. The Power of the Dog

“The Power of the Dog” sits strongly at number 8 on our list with a powerhouse of a cast. We see Benedict Cumberbatch playing Phil Burbank, a man with a traditional masculine facade to hide away his fragility. We see him be absolutely cruel to Rose, a widowed woman played by Kirsten Dunst and her son Peter. We see Phil taunt and torture Rose and Peter more as George his brother takes Rose as his wife. There are multiple  twists and turns in this love triangle story with Phil also mentoring Peter. The question is Phil just pulling a cruel joke or is he trying to break free of his facade? A well-written slow burn is the best way to describe this movie and it hits a 94% on the tomatometer. 

7. Pig

Jumping into number 7 “Pig”, an American Drama directed by Michael Sarnoski. This movie stars the beloved Nicholas Cage, as Rob. A thriller taking place in the Oregon wilderness where Rob’s lives with his beloved foraging pig named Brandy. Coming in at a whopping 97% on the tomatometer, “Pig” resonated with its audience and left them mesmerized. The movie takes a wild turn as our main character finds that Brandy has been kidnapped and must revisit his dark past in Portland in order to find her. Despite it’s strange subject, this movie is beautifully shot with its dark and picturesque scenes. The dark undertones leave viewers on the edges of their seats as they learn of Rob’s culinary past and learn the hardship his passions have caused him. Rob will go to the edge of the world to find his beloved pig. This movie has a cult following because of its interesting storylines and the mystery and thrill when Rob takes on on his journey. Certainly a movie that leaves you fascinated. 

6. Summer of Soul

Next up is number 6 on our list is “Summer of Soul”, diving into the summer of 1969. This film was directed by American songwriter Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson as his debut into the movie industry. This documentary part music film highlights the Black history through its music and culture. Delving into the importance of the Harlem Cultural Festival, and showcasing unseen performances from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Stone, and much more. Very deserving of its spot on the list, this film is at a 99% on the tomatometer and rightfully so. This documentary is a tribute to the music of the time and the strength it contributed during times of unrest. Known for his time in the band “The Roots”, Questlove mixes his knowledge of music and encapsulates that art in the silver screen. We can only wonder if Questlove is able to be the next great rookie filmmaker and follow in the footsteps of Jordan Peele, Johan Hill, and others.

5. Spider-man: No Way Home

Now hitting the list in our number 5 spot is “Spiderman: No Way Home” directed by Jon Watts. Starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker, this is the first film in cinematic history to reveal the identity of spiderman. Struggling to balance the life of Peter Parker and Spiderman, we watch our beloved hero’s life flip upside down. As a highschool senior Peter has to balance college admissions and being the neighborhood friendly Spiderman. Now putting his loved ones at risk because of his naivety, Spiderman must now fix the state of the universe as he almost tears it in two. “No Way Home” cements its spot at number 5 with 93% on the tomatometer and wins the hearts of many as we watch our hero save the world once more. 

4. In the Heights

Situated at number 4 on our list is, “In the Heights” with a score of 94% on the tomatometer. Directed by Jon M. Chu, who directed Crazy Rich Asians, and the creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda set the scene in Washington Heights where the characters have dreams of a better life filled with music and no worries of the future. A musical filled with relatable struggles of the Hispanic experience in America. Usnavi de la Vega, played by Anthony Ramos, is the main lead saving pennies everyday just to revive a dream of his where he crosses paths. A fun fact about Usnavi, is his name is derived from the US Navy. This masterpiece is regarded as one of the best musicals since “Hamilton.”

3. The Father

The number 3 spot belongs to “The Father”, a heart-breaking family film directed by Florian Zeller. This touching commentary on the human condition scores a hefty 98% on the tomatometer. Anne played by Olivia Coleman, is the daughter of an 80 year old Anthony, played by the legendary Anthony Hopkins, is watching his grip on reality loosen as she struggles to find a carer for him. In this film Anne must cope with the loss of her father despite him still living and Anthony struggles to clasp on any piece of identity that he has left. This gut wrenching film depicts the poignant existence of humankind. This film will leave you feeling an overwhelming amount of sadness as you watch through Anthony’s point of view. 

2. Judas and the Black Messiah

A truly gripping movie, sitting at number 2 on our list is Judas and The Black Messiah. A historical biography on the Black Panther Party where an FBI informant named William O’Neal infiltrates the party to keep tabs on the leader Fred Hampton. This movie received a 97% on the tomatometer with its impactful perspective on the Black Panther Party. A powerful and gut wrenching movie that showcases many of the horrors of corruption, racial politics, and the act of “playing house”. Judas and The Black Messiah is a reminder of how much the past is still being felt today in resounding waves as the movie explores more about the ideologies of the Black Panther Party and how O’Neal navigates through the situation wondering whose side he should choose. 

1. Nomadland

Finally, introducing our number 1 movie on the list is Nomadland. Scoring at a 93% on the tomatometer is a movie placed during the time of the Great Recession. The cinematography captures the open desolate landscapes of this country marking the gray hopelessness of the era. It feels as if it was a distant memory, the turmoil and sadness of nothing left but living, or maybe it could be a prophecy for later in the future when there is nothing left for us. The hardships and troubles were beautifully captured as a woman travels through the American West trying to learn how to live again even though she had lost it all. The emotions and human perseverance are perfectly captured in this film by Chloé Zhao, which is why it received the top spot on our list!

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