The A.V. Club's best films of 2021 so far

This list uses U.S. theatrical and streaming release dates only.

Right now, at the midway of 2021, a couple things are clear. One, that the first few months of this new year were basically an extension of the last one, at least in terms of how and what kind of films came out. And two, that even a global pandemic can’t stop worthwhile movies from being made and released. What follows, in order of when they come out (and followed by info of where they can be presently watched), is an unranked list of our 20 favorite films of the year so far—an eclectic group that includes thoughtful indies, daft Hollywood comedies, acclaimed documentaries, a musical, a horrifying revenge thriller,…

  • MLK/FBI
  • Some Kind of Heaven
  • Identifying Features
  • Saint Maud
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  • French Exit
  • Shiva Baby
  • This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection
  • Violation
  • Moffie
  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines
  • The Disciple
  • The Killing of Two Lovers
  • There Is No Evil
  • In the Heights
  • Slow Machine
  • No Sudden Move
  • Zola
  • Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)