Sunday, December 4, 2022

The American Film Institute’s (AFI) Top 10 Films Of 2021

By Matt Neglia 

The American Film Institute (AFI) has officially announced their list of the Top 10 best films of 2021. Historically, their picks tend to line up with the nominees for Best Picture with somewhere in the 6-8 range, which I have outlined for you all down below. What films did they choose this year and which ones will go on to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture?

Click below to see the list.

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

Special Awards: BELFAST & SUMMER OF SOUL

Here are the other winners since the Best Picture field expanded to 10 nominees (and sliding after) and how many times the AFI 10 lined up with the Academy.


​AFI TOP 10 2009 (5 out of 10)

Coraline
The Hangover
The Hurt Locker
The Messenger
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
A Serious Man

A Single Man
Sugar
Up
Up in the Air


​AFI TOP 10 2010 (9 out of 10)

127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The Social Network

The Town
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone


​AFI TOP 10 2011 (7 out of 9)

Bridesmaids
The Descendants
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Help
Hugo
J. Edgar
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
The Tree of Life
War Horse


​AFI TOP 10 2012 (8 out of 9)

Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Dark Knight Rises
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Moonrise Kingdom
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty


​AFI TOP 10 2013 (7 out of 9)

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips

Fruitvale Station
Gravity
Her

Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf of Wall Street


​AFI TOP 10 2014 (6 out of 8)

American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood

Foxcatcher
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Nightcrawler
Selma
Unbroken
Whiplash

​AFI TOP 10 2015 (6 out of 8)
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies

Carol
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Room
Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Straight Outta Compton


​AFI TOP 10 2016 (7 out of 9)

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Silence
Sully
Zootopia


​AFI TOP 10 2017 (7 out of 9)

The Big Sick
Call Me By Your Name
Dunkirk
The Florida Project
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Wonder Woman


​AFI TOP 10 2018 (5 out of 8)

Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman

Eighth Grade
The Favourite
First Reformed
Green Book
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born


​AFI TOP 10 2019 (7 out of 9)

1917
The Farewell
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker

Knives Out
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Richard Jewell


​AFI TOP 10 2020 (6 out of 8)

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

A reminder that the top 10 films for the National Board Of Review were…

Licorice Pizza (Best Picture)
Belfast
Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
The Last Duel
Nightmare Alley
Red Rocket
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Belfast” was ineligible for AFI because it’s not an American production, but it did receive a Special Award, so let’s assume it replaces one of the AFI Top 10. And then you have “Don’t Look Up,” “Dune,” “King Richard,” “Licorice Pizza,” “Nightmare Alley,” “The Tragedy of Macbeth” & “West Side Story” all making both lists. That leaves two slots open. Surely, “The Power Of The Dog” will make it, leaving now just one more slot. Personally, I’m feeling better and better every day about “CODA” making it in there. Will “C’mon C’mon” get the final slot? Will Netflix score three Best Picture nominations in a single year for the first time with “Tick, Tick…Boom!?” Or will something else miss all together and make room for another film? I still think Nightmare Alley” & The Tragedy of Macbeth” are vulnerable but perhaps their craft nominations will carry them through to a Best Picture nomination in the end? It’s still a very fluid race for the year’s biggest prize with a lot of moving pieces still left to come.

So what are your thoughts? Which of these films do you think will be nominated for Best Picture? Let us know in the comments below or on our Twitter account.

You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture

Matt Neglia
Matt Negliahttps://nextbestpicture.com/
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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