The 10 most underrated movies of 2021

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These days, it is difficult to define exactly which films qualify as “underrated films” in 2021. With the first half of the year being engulfed by a pandemic, most films, even those that have been well received by criticism, were not disseminated to a large audience. This is because unless a movie finds its way onto a streaming service, most people don’t see it. With Warner Bros’ HBO Max hybrid release plan and Disney’s direct-to-Disney + strategy dominating the cultural landscape, many great films have been scrapped.

Although 2021 is not over, there are already a lot of great movies that have been released. These are films that deserve to be a bigger part of the cultural conversation. More importantly, these are movies that simply should be seen by more people and deserve a shout out. These are the most underrated movies of 2021.

10) the truffle hunters

Underrated Movies 2021

It’s common for many underrated movie listings to include documentaries, but 2021’s The truffle hunters is something really special. The film follows a group of older Italian men and their dogs as they hunt for Alba’s precious truffle. It’s a simple, niche premise that satisfies food lovers and dog lovers with lush cinematography and adorable characters. The exploration of the simple pleasures of life combined with crisp scene framing and vivid colors is intoxicating to experience. Plus, there’s a scene where the filmmakers tie go-pros to the dogs as they run through the woods and hunt for truffles.

9) Zola

Movies of 2021

Dazzling, shocking and surprisingly funny, Zola is a bold and furious film from director Janicza Bravo. Most people, however, know it as “that tweet-based movie.” Yet despite the questionable source material, the film is a visually daring and confident A24 comedy, as daring as it is daring. In lesser hands, this film could have been a disaster. However, Bravo’s skillful direction and willingness to exploit dark material for comedy leaves a lasting impression. Sadly, this movie only grossed $ 4.9 million at the box office, just under its budget. However, over time people will hopefully see Zola as one of the underrated big thrillers of 2021.

8) baby Shiva

Underrated Movies 2021

A bisexual Jewish woman in college attends a Shiva with her bossy parents. Also on the guest list are his successful ex-girlfriend, sugar daddy, sugar daddy’s wife and their relentless baby who keeps crying. What could possibly go wrong?

Often compared to Uncut Gems, Shiva Baby is a one-place anxiety comedy that explores the humiliation and discomfort that visiting your family can bring. Not only does the film primarily take place in a house, the film also takes place in real time. In other words, the events of Baby Shiva unfold without ever jumping in time. Far from being a gadget, this narrative technique creates an insurmountable anxiety that never relaxes.

The film’s soundtrack feels like a horror movie as the camera swings between stressful storylines and awkward interactions. However, what really sets Shiva Baby apart is its accessibility. There is a universality found in the uniqueness of its setting that manages to enlighten viewers about Jewish cultural practices and also be incredibly relatable.

7) Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Movies 2021

They say studio comedies are dead. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, however, argues that they don’t have to be. This Kristen Wiig / Annie Mumolo vehicle went largely under the radar when it quietly ditched its theatrical run and crawled on VOD. However, it eventually found a small worshiping audience and had the makings of a true cult classic.

Describing the film is difficult, although it follows the usual attributes of SNL-inspired comedy films like Austin Powers and Presenter. The film forgoes a plot and gets by in large part thanks to the margarita-soaked charisma of its protagonists and the scandal of jokes. With an aggressive eccentric sensibility and random dance numbers, Barb and star captures the spontaneity and silly, intelligent “why am I laughing” vibe that all blockbuster comedies share.

The unpredictability and surrealism of the film demands that you be on its wavelength or suffer. Its specific appeal and lack of marketing made it one of the most underrated films of 2021. However, with hope, it will gain a loyal fan base in the years to come.

6) Willy’s Wonderland

Underrated Movies 2021

A silent Nicolas Cage fights the animatronic rejections of Chuck E-Cheese in an abandoned entertainment center. Although it looks like a Five nights at Freddy’s fanfic, this movie really came out this year. Despite only making $ 445,211 in box office winnings, this wacky horror action comedy is fast becoming a cult following.

There’s something very satisfying about the straightforward kills that populate the film’s quick runtime. Willy’s Wonderland is a film which knows exactly what it is and which has fun delivering what is promised: Nicolas Cage fights disturbed animatronic animals.

5) the green knight

Movies of 2021

The green knight is one of the most underrated movies of 2021 because it doesn’t keep its promises. Or, more importantly, the film doesn’t deliver what viewers expect from the fantasy genre. Instead of presenting action-packed scenes of heroism, director David Lowery did a deconstruction of the fantasy genre.

The film follows Sir Gauvain, King Arthur’s nephew. Gauvain is a coward who stumbles in an adventure that will lead to his death. The catch, however, was that the adventure was of her own choosing, in a desperate effort to prove herself.

The film balances a gripping atmosphere with fascinating existential questions about the nature of the hero’s journey. In a cinematic landscape that relegates the fantasy genre to children’s films, The green knight is a breath of fresh air.

4) Summer of Soul (… or, when the revolution couldn’t be televised)

In the summer of 1969, about a month before Woodstock was held, the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival was held at Mount Morris Park. A producer named Hal Tulchin recorded around 50 hours of footage, but never aired it on TV. The images were in a basement collecting dust until now.

The quick connection line for Summer of the soul may look like a standard documentary setup. However, film is a must for those who enjoy film restoration and the music of the era. In this documentary are some of the greatest performances of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, The 5th Dimension, Sly and the Family Stone, Mahalia Jackson and many more. The director completes the film with interviews. However, the film does not appear to be a self-congratulating “talking documentary”. Rather, it feels like a vital piece of history has been painstakingly crafted so that it can be preserved forever.

With tons of historical political backdrop, stunning performances that rival Woodstock himself, and emotional rhythms that feel deserved, Summer of the soul is one of the most underrated movies of 2021. Hopefully, with its release on Hulu, it will find the audience it deserves.

3) Censor

During the 1980s, a movement spearheaded by conservative activist Mary Whitehouse led to a classification system in Britain that sought to ban obscene horror films. These films, often low budget in nature, were compiled on a list called Video Nasty. Police raids on video clubs to confiscate these films have increased. As a result, Britain introduced legislation to impose strict censorship on films.

Taking place during the Nasty Moral Panic Video, Censor follows a woman who meticulously censors violent horror films. However, when her own past trauma bleeds into the movies she watches, she quickly loses touch with reality.

Censor is an intelligent mediation on the nature of moral panic and the claim that people cannot distinguish reality from entertainment. It is also one of the most original horror locations of recent years. With thoughtful characters, dizzying cinematography and a shocking finale, Censor is an admirable directorial debut that deserves more attention.

2) Shadow in the cloud

We are forgiven if they saw any trailers for Shadow in the Cloud and assumed it was a lame Chloë Grace Moretz vehicle. However, despite the odd marketing, Shadow in the cloud is a treat for B-Movie fans. It’s also one of the best full-length adaptations of an episode of Twilight Zone.

The film is a takeoff of Nightmare at 20,000 feet, the episode in which a man believes a gremlin is on the wing of his plane. Shadow in the cloud takes that premise and sets it in WWII, with a female pilot who ended up in an all-male fighter jet. With exaggerated action sequences that embrace cheese, Shadow in the cloud is a great time. Indeed, it is one of the most underrated movies of 2021.

1) Set Set

Together together

Together Together is a light-hearted comedy-drama that went unnoticed in 2021. The film follows a middle-aged man who hires a woman as a surrogate so he can have a child. While most films of this nature inevitably turn into a romantic comedy, Together together Refreshingly breaks the trend by delivering a touching story about boundaries and platonic friendship. With intimate and vulnerable performances by Ed Helms and Patti Harrison, the film delicately tackles a very sensitive subject with a soft touch and character-driven humor.


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