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#422 December 21, 2021

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    By Entertainer

    Matt writes: The writers at have submitted their picks for the best films of 2021. Our combined list features the films that turned up the most on our lists, and they were all topped by Jane Campion's acclaimed drama on Netflix, "The Power of the Dog." You can read our combined list here, our individual lists here and Monica Castillo's four-star review of Campion's film here. "The Power of the Dog" also received seven accolades at the Chicago Film Critics Association's 2021 awards ceremony, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Best Supporting Actor (Kodi Smit-McPhee) (you can find the full list of winners here). Also be sure to read publisher Chaz Ebert's own picks for the best films of 2021.


    Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022). Written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. Starring Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu. Synopsis: An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, where she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led. Debuts in the US on March 11th, 2022.

    The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window (2022). Created by Hugh DavidsonLarry Dorf and Rachel Ramras. Starring Kristen Bell, Michael Ealy, Appy Pratt. Synopsis: When a handsome neighbor moves in across the street, Anna a heartbroken, for whom, every day is the same, starts to see a light at the end of the tunnel. That is until she witnesses a gruesome murder - Or did she? Debuts on Netflix on January 22nd, 2022.

    Italian Studies (2022). Written and directed by Adam Leon. Starring Vanessa Kirby, David Ajala, Annika Wahlsten. Synopsis: A writer loses her memory. Adrift in NYC, she connects with a group of teenagers - in conversations both real and imagined - and searches for a way home. Debuts in the US on January 14th, 2022.

    The Lost City (2022). Directed by Aaron Nee and Adam Nee. Written by Oren Uziel, Dana FoxAaron Nee and Adam Nee. Starring Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Channing Tatum. Synopsis: A reclusive romance novelist on a book tour with her cover model gets swept up in kidnapping attempt that lands them both in a cutthroat jungle adventure. Debuts in the US on March 25th, 2022.

    The King's Daughter (2022). Directed by Sean McNamara. Written by Ronald Bass, Barry Berman, Laura Harrington and James Schamus (based on the novel by Vonda N. McIntyre). Starring Pierce Brosnan, William Hurt, Kaya Scodelario. Synopsis: King Louis XIV's quest for immortality leads him to capture and steal a mermaid's life force, a move that is further complicated by his illegitimate daughter's discovery of the creature. Debuts in the US on January 21st, 2022.

    You Won't Be Alone (2022). Written and directed by Goran Stolevski. Starring Noomi Rapace, Alice Englert, Anamaria Marinca. Synopsis: Supernatural Horror set in an 1800s isolated Macedonian mountain village. Debuts in the US on January 28th, 2022.

    Aline (2022). Directed by Valérie Lemercier. Written by Valérie Lemercier and Brigitte Buc. Starring Valérie Lemercier, Sylvain Marcel, Danielle Fichaud. Synopsis: The life story of Canadian singing sensation Aline Dieu. Debuts in the US on January 21st, 2022.

    Minamata (2021). Directed by Andrew Levitas. Written by Andrew Levitas, David Kessler, Stephen Deuters and Jason Forman (based on the book by Aileen Mioko Smith and W. Eugene Smith). Starring Johnny Depp, Bill Nighy, Akiko Iwase. Synopsis: War photographer W. Eugene Smith travels back to Japan where he documents the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in coastal communities. Now available in the US.

    Shattered (2022), red-band trailer. Directed by Luis Prieto. Written by David Loughery. Starring Cameron Monaghan, Sasha Luss, Ridely Asha Bateman. Synopsis: A rich divorcee Chris falls in love with a mysterious woman Sky where Chris, ex-wife and his child eventually gets trapped and a desperate fight for survival will most likely ensue. Debuts in the US on January 14th, 2022.

    Operation Fortune: Ruse de guerre (2022). Directed by Guy Ritchie. Written by Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies. Starring Jason Statham, Josh HartnettCary Elwes. Synopsis: MI6 agent Orson Fortune and his team of operatives recruit one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars to help them on an undercover mission when the sale of a deadly new weapons technology threatens to disrupt the world order. Debuts in the US on March 18th, 2022.

    Home Team (2022). Directed by Charles Francis Kinnane and Daniel Kinnane. Written by Keith Blum and Chris Titone. Starring Kevin James, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider. Synopsis: The story about New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton coaching his son's 6th grade football team, when Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season as a result of his role in the Saints' Bountygate scandal. Debuts on Netflix on January 28th, 2022.

    The Bad Guys (2022). Directed by Pierre Perifel. Written by Etan Cohen, Aaron Blabey and Hilary Winston. Starring Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Anthony Ramos. Synopsis: Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark and Ms. Tarantula hatch a plot to pull off the ultimate heist. Debuts in the US on April 22nd, 2022.

    Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022). Directed by Jeff Fowler. Written by Pat Casey, Josh Miller and John Whittington. Starring Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz, James Marsden. Synopsis: Sequel to the 2020 live-action feature film 'Sonic the Hedgehog'. Debuts in the US on April 8th, 2022.

    Notre-Dame on Fire (2022). Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Synopsis: A film relating from the inside the Notre-Dame de Paris fire of April 2019. Debuts in the US on March 16th, 2022.

    Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022). Directed by David Yates. Written by Steve Kloves and J.K. Rowling. Starring Eddie Redmayne, Mads Mikkelsen, Jude Law. Synopsis: The third installment of the 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' series which follows the adventures of Newt Scamander. Debuts in the US on April 15th, 2022.

    The Matrix Resurrections (2021). Directed by Lana Wachowski. Written by Lana Wachowski, David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon (based on characters created by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski. Starring Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. Synopsis: Return to a world of two realities: one, everyday life; the other, what lies behind it. To find out if his reality is a construct, to truly know himself, Mr. Anderson will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. Debuts in the US on December 22nd, 2021.

    The Now (2021). Created by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly. Starring Bill Murray, Dave Franco, Daryl Hannah. Synopsis: A man decides to turn his life around after learning that he is the third member of his immediate family to be suicidal. Now available on The Roku Channel.

    The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022). Directed by Tom Gormican. Written by Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten. Starring Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Neil Patrick Harris. Synopsis: A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan's birthday party, but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie. Debuts in the US on April 22nd, 2022.

    Thirtieth Anniversary of "Hook"

    Matt writes: I had the great pleasure of penning this epic retrospective commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of Steven Spielberg's 1991 cult classic, "Hook," featuring interviews with actors Dante Basco, Caroline Goodall and Charlie Korsmo, screenwriters James V. Hart and Malia Scotch Marmo and Hart's son, Jake, who came up with the film's bold premise. You can read the full article here.

    Panel on "It's a Wonderful Life"

    Matt writes: We are pleased to present the Smithsonian's recent History Film Forum panel on Frank Capra's beloved 1946 classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," featuring among its panelists our Assistant Editor Nell Minow. Watch the hour-and-a-half-long virtual chat in the video embedded above. 

    Free Movies

    Christmas Comes But Once a Year (1936). Directed by Dave Fleischer and Seymour Kneitel. Starring Jack Mercer, Mae Questel. Synopsis: At an orphanage, the children are sad because they received broken toys as gifts. Professor Grampy sees the children while passing by in his sled and has an idea on how to give them a merry Christmas.

    Watch "Christmas Comes But Once a Year"

    Frosty the Snowman (1969). Directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr. Written by Romeo Muller. Starring Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante. Synopsis: A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman's magic hat.

    Watch "Frosty the Snowman"

    A Christmas Carol (1971). Directed by Richard Williams. Based on the book by Charles Dickens. Starring Alastair Sim, Michael Redgrave, Michael Hordern. Synopsis: An old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when spirits visit him on Christmas Eve.

    Watch "A Christmas Carol"

    By: Matt Fagerholm
    Posted: December 21, 2021, 6:01 am


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