2021 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For The 26 Best Films of 2021

Without further ado, here is the list that we’ve all been waiting for!  Here are my picks for the 26 best films of 2021!  Why 26?  Because Lisa doesn’t do odd numbers!

(Also, be sure to check out my picks for 201020112012201320142015201620172018, 2019, and 2020!  Wow, I’ve been doing this for a while!)

1. Nightmare Alley
2. Licorice Pizza
3. The Tragedy of Macbeth
4. Mass
5. Shiva Baby
6. Belfast
8. The Last Duel
9. The Power of the Dog
10. The French Dispatch
11. The Father
12. West Side Story
13. Pig
14. Dear Comrades
15. Another Round
16. Dune
17. Spider-Man: No Way Home
18. Val
19. Wild Indian
20. Romeo and Juliet
21. East of the Mountains
22. Summit of the Gods
23. A Quiet Place Part II
24. Passing
25. The Lost Daughter
26. Swan Song

Lisa Marie’s 2021 In Review:

  1. 10 Worst Films
  2. 10 Favorite Songs
  3. 10 Top Non-Fiction Books
  4. 10 Top Novels
  5. The Best of Lifetime
  6. 10 Good Things I Saw On Television

2021 In Review: 10 Good Things That I Saw On Television

I probably watched too much television in 2021.  Oh well, such is life!  Here are a few things that I enjoyed:

  1. The third and fourth seasons of Cobra Kai

Who would have guessed that The Karate Kid would eventually inspire one of the best shows on television?  The show’s mix of comedy and drama is nearly perfect and, for that matter, so are the performances of William Zabka, Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove, and Thomas Ian Griffith.

2. WandaVision

The Marvel television series have been pretty hit-and-miss for me but WandaVision was definitely a hit.

3. The Oscars

The Steven Soderbergh-produced ceremony was such a train wreck that it became oddly fascinating to watch.  To be honest, the entire ceremony felt like a wonderful example of hubris.  The ceremony was obviously designed to show the way to the future and, instead, it just made us long for the past.  In many ways, it was the perfect symbol for America in 2021.

4 & 5. Allo Allo and Yes, Minister

Discovering these classic British sitcoms on PBS was definitely one of the highlights of the year for me!

6. America’s Most Wanted

It didn’t last very long but the America’s Most Wanted revival featured some really cool CGI.

7. Gangs of London

This British crime show was complex but always compelling.

8. The Ultimate Surfer

This silly reality show featured a lot of good-looking people getting wet.  What more can you ask for?

9. The final season of The Walking Dead got off to a good start.

Everything has to end sometimes.

10. Dexter: New Blood

Dexter is back!  But for how long?

Lisa Marie’s 2021 In Review:

  1. 10 Worst Films
  2. 10 Favorite Songs
  3. 10 Top Non-Fiction Books
  4. 10 Top Novels
  5. The Best of Lifetime

In The Line of Duty: Siege at Marion (1992, directed by Charles Haid)

After bombing several Mormon centers in Utah, religious extremist and polygamist Adam Swapp (Kyle Secord) has barricaded himself inside of a farm house with his wives and supporters. The FBI, led by Bob Bryant (Dennis Franz), have the house surrounded and are trying to convince Swapp to peacefully surrender. Swapp, however, has no intention of going down without a fight.

In the 1990s, NBC did a whole series of made-for-TV miniseries about real-life law enforcement operations that inevitably led to the death of at least one of the officers involved. They made so many of them and they churned them out so quickly that NBC even aired a movie about the Branch Davidian stand-off while it was still going on. Siege at Marion, the fourth of the In The Line of Duty films, feels like a precursor to what was eventually happen in Waco. Just as happened in Waco and with the attempts to arrest Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge, critics claimed that the government came on too strong while the government claimed that they were merely enforcing the law.

Siege at Marion is the least interesting of all of the In The Line of Duty movies, mostly because the Marion siege was neither as mismanaged as what happened in Waco or as egregiously heavy-handed and disturbing as what happened in Ruby Ridge. Though based on a true story, Siege at Marion is a standard stand-off film with the only suspense coming from the film’s distasteful attempts to build up suspense as to whether it’ll be Dennis Franz, William H. Macy, or Ed Begley, Jr. who is killed in the line of duty. Since only one of them is given a backstory and a family, it’s easy to guess which one it will be.

The best thing about Siege of Marion is the cast. Dennis Franz was born to play cops and it’s interesting to see a pre-Fargo William H. Macy playing a non-nervous character. Kyle Secor is convincingly fanatical and unhinged as the messianic Adam Swapp. Secor would go on to star as Tim Bayliss on the much-missed Baltimore-set cop show, Homicide: Life on the Street. Speaking of classic cop shows, Siege at Marion was also directed by Charles Haid, who played Andy Renko on Hill Street Blues. As for the In The Line of Duty films, the last one was made in 1994 but they all live on in syndication.

2021 In Review: The Best of Lifetime

As chaotic as 2021 may have been, one thing remained unchanged!  Lifetime provided me with a lot of entertainment!  Below, you’ll find my picks for the best Lifetime films and performances of the past year!

(For my previous best of Lifetime picks, click on the links: 20142015201620172018, 2019, and 2020!)

Best Picture: Just What The Doctor Ordered

Best Director: Jeff Hare for Just What The Doctor Ordered

Best Actor: Eric Roberts in Just What The Doctor Ordered

Best Actress: Lauren Lee Smith in Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story

Best Supporting Actor: Jonathan Stoddard in The Wrong Prince Charming

Best Supporting Actress: Joely Fisher in Girl In The Basement

Best Screenplay: Just What The Doctor Ordered

Lisa Marie’s 2021 In Review:

  1. 10 Worst Films
  2. 10 Favorite Songs
  3. 10 Top Non-Fiction Books
  4. 10 Top Novels

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions for January

Well, here we are. Another awards season is wrapping up. Almost all of the regional critic groups have announced their picks for the best of 2021. The Guilds have spoken. The front runners have emerged. Both Don’t Look Up and Being the Ricardos have weathered bad reviews and become probable Oscar nominees. If nothing else, I’ll have something to complain about for the next three or four months. At the same time, Power of the Dog has emerged as the critical favorite. Belfast seems to be the populist favorite. West Side Story is the big production that has to be nominated, even though no one seems to feel particularly strongly about it one way or the other. Dune is the blockbuster that the Academy is hoping will cause people to tune into the ceremony, especially now that it appears that the Spider-Man Oscar campaign has fizzled. Don’t Look Up is the “Let’s piss off the cons” nominee. Being the Ricardos is this year’s “Wow, our industry really is the best” nominee. Personally, I’m going to view tick, tick….Boom! as being the most likely dark horse to pull off an upset.

So, with all that in mind, here’s my last set of 2021 Oscar predictions.

Looking at the list below, I have to say that we certainly have a good race this year. It’s interesting that, this year, only films that were released between March and the end of December were eligible for the Oscars. 2021 was a very good year for movies! Not only do we have the nominees below but we also had films like The Father and Judas and the Black Messiah, both of which are 2021 films as far as I’m concerned.

(Consider this. If the Oscars had kept the eligibility window the same last year instead of extending it to accommodate films delayed by the pandemic, Anthony Hopkins would probably be the Best Actor front runner right now and the Academy probably would have given Chadwick Boseman a posthumous Best Actor award last April. I also imagine that Jesse Plemons would have a better chance of picking up a supporting actor nomination if the members of the Academy were currently screening both The Power of the Dog and Judas and the Black Messiah at the same time.)

To see how my thinking has evolved,  check out my predictions for March and April and May and June and July and August and September and October and November and December!

The Oscar nominations will be announced on February 8th. Below are my predictions!

Best Picture

Being The Ricardos
Don’t Look Up
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
The Power Of The Dog
Tick, Tick….Boom!
West Side Story

Best Director

Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog

Adam McKay for Don’t Look Up

Lin-Manuel Miranda for tick, tick …. Boom!

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve for Dune

Best Actor

Nicolas Cage in Pig

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield in tick, tick….Boom!

Will Smith in King Richard

Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Nicole Kidman in Being the Riacardos

Kristen Stewart in Spencer

Best Supporting Actor

Bradley Cooper in Licorice Pizzia

Ciaran Hinds in Belfast

Troy Kostur in CODA

Jared Leto in House of Gucci

Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress

Caitriona Balfe in Belfast

Ariana DeBose in West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis in King Richard

Ruth Negga in Passing

2021 In Review: Lisa Marie’s 10 Top Novels

Be sure to check out my picks for 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011!

  1. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino
  2. Verity by Colleen Hoover
  3. The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
  4. Widespread Panic by James Ellroy
  5. Last House on Needless Street by Diane Chamberlain
  6. Back in the Burbs by Avery Flynn and Tracy Wolff
  7. Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  8. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
  9. Nothing’s Ever Easy by Amanda Lee Dixon
  10. Red Thorns by Rebel Hart

Lisa Marie’s 2021 In Review:

  1. 10 Worst Films
  2. 10 Favorite Songs
  3. 10 Top Non-Fiction Books

2021 In Review: Lisa Marie’s 10 Top Non-Fiction Books

Be sure to check out my previous picks for 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013!

  1. Come Fly The World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am by Julia Cooke
  2. The Babysitter: My Summers With A Serial Killer by Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan
  3. Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood by Danny Trejo
  4. Brat by Andrew McCarthy
  5. Shooting Midnight Cowboy by Glenn Frankel
  6. Mike Nichols: A Life by Mark Harris
  7. The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt For A Victorian-Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb
  8. Dress Codes: How The Laws of Fashion Made History by Richard Thompson Ford
  9. Hollywood Eden by Joel Selvin
  10. Rock Me on the Water: 1974-The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television, and Politics by Ronald Brownstein

Lisa Marie’s 2021 In Review:

  1. 10 Worst Films
  2. 10 Favorite Songs

2021 In Review: Lisa Marie’s 10 Favorite Songs of the Year

Every January, I list my favorite songs of the previous year and, every January, I include the same disclaimer.  My favorite songs are not necessarily the favorite songs of any of the other writers here at the Shattered Lens.

With that in mind, here are my favorite songs of 2021!  Also be sure to check out my favorite songs of 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011!

10) It’s All Happening by Saint Motel

9) U Are My High by DJ Snake x Future

8) Cry About It Later by Katy Perry

7) Traps by Bloc Party

6) It Gets Better by Swedish House Mafia

5) Hypnocurrency by Deadmau5 & REZZ

4) The Darkness That You Fear by The Chemical Brothers

3) Don’t Wait Up by Shakira

2) Slow Clap by Gwen Stefani

1) I Want to Dance by Adi Ulmansky

Lisa Marie’s 2021 In Review:

  1. Lisa Marie’s 10 Worst Films of 2021

Music Video of the Day: Tinoretto, It’s For You by Destroyer (2022, dir by ????)

Today’s music video of the day is the atmospheric video from Destroyer!  This video has a kind of You’ve-Been-Up-For-3-Days-On-Dexedrine feel to it.  I used to very much enjoy wandering around in the middle of the night so this video brought back some memories for me.