The tenth annual Letterboxd Year in Review is here! A decade on from its inception, our annual retrospective reflects the diverse tastes and passions of our more than five million members.
The other films in the top ten further bolster the list as a veritable mix of movie-watching tastes, and include Drive My Car, C’mon C’mon, Cleaners, The Worst Person in the World, Licorice Pizza, Dune and Judas and the Black Messiah. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune is also the year’s most popular film—and Villeneuve himself the most-watched director.
Over on Journal, we examine what your 2021 ﬁlm watching patterns say about humanity, art and the pandemic-stricken ﬁlm industry, while Yuni director Kamila Andini and Cleaners director Glenn Barit share their gratitude with the Letterboxd community for discovering and uplifting independent gems like theirs.
On the blockbuster front, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson have finally been dethroned as most watched actress and actor respectively; Zendaya and Willem Dafoe are now the reigning performance greats based on the volume of logged films they each appeared in—including, notably, Spider-Man: No Way Home.
On The Letterboxd Show’s Year in Review episode, author of Marvel's Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular, Matt Singer, points to top-tier fan service and stellar marketing for No Way Home’s success, saying, “The most interesting thing about this movie, especially in terms of this conversation, is that it’s highly rated and it’s crowd-pleasing. I’m trying to think of an example of another movie that was basically sold by not telling you the thing that’s in it—the thing that everyone’s going to want to see. It’s a fascinating exercise in audience psychology.”
(Also in the same episode, hear from Evangelion evangelist Juan Barquin, Yuni champion Bintang Lestada, along with Letterboxd’s senior editor Mitchell Beaupre and London correspondent Ella Kemp on their 2021 favorites.)
There’s so much more to read, watch and discover in our Year in Review, so before you get too far into 2022, take a moment to look back and celebrate the art of 2021.
Some important thank yous: to NEON for partnering with us to support this retrospective, to Ilya Milstein for 2021’s illustration, and to MUBI for supporting our personalized “wrapped” emails (heading to your inboxes shortly, if you logged ten or more films in 2021 and are opted-in to emails from us).
To all the filmmakers for taking us beyond our four too-familiar walls (special shout-out to Bo Burnham’s four most obsessively rewatched walls). And to all of you, for bringing a collective sense of joy to the pursuit of watching, and loving, movies.