The best crime novels of 2021 (2023)

We went to the movies more this year than last year, or at least I did. It was amazing to be back in a theater. For me, there are few things as comforting as leaning back in an auditorium seat, wondering if I dropped my cell phone and nudged my boyfriend to keep me awake for a third of the movie that was playing.

This year saw several releases of films from last year, which were suspended from theatrical releases due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2021, we have a new James Bond movie, a newSitemovie, the firsttheremovie and possiblydoze(?) Marvel movies (the numbers keep coming). We have a new Wes Anderson movie, a new Paul Thomas Anderson movie,of thenew Ridley Scott movies, like four musicals and a masterpiece calledDrive my car.

drive my carmiliquorice pizzamiThe French officemithe green knightThey're my favourites, but there's been a ton of compelling and worthwhile movies coming out this year. (Looking at you, Maggie Gyllenhaalthe lost She is, which everyone tells me I have to see.)

Here are the rules for our selection. As usual, all films considered must be feature films, released (theatrically or on streaming services) in the United States during the 2021 calendar year. This list considers international and domestic films. And, as always, "crime" is defined quite broadly, to include all illegal activity, from robberies, murders, petty crimes, gangster shenanigans, to escape stories. This list is not ranked, as is all of our vacation content.

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Okay, roll-os.

Judas and the Black Messiah

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Shaka ReiJudas and the Black Messiahit was in the awards cycle last year, but it's a 2021 release! And it is more than worth your time. The fantastic LaKeith Stanfield plays informantBill O'Neal, sent by the FBI to infiltrate the Black Panthers and spy on President Fred Hampton. Daniel Kaluuya won an Oscar for his magnetic portrayal of Hampton in this more strict than uptight film that plays out like a police sting (facing all sorts of surveillance movie clichés, including *ambushes*) until he's no longer one. .

The French office

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Thanks to the final chapter of the film, titled "Police Commissioner's Private Dining Room" (which aims to capture a little-known phenomenon called "Police Kitchen"), we can safely call the work of Wes AndersonNew Yorker- fanfictionThe French officea crime movie, and thank God we can, because I want to praise it! The film chronicles the creation of the final issue of a magazine, "The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun," the French-based arts and culture supplement of a major American Midwestern newspaper that, for decades, delighted your readers with readers. with the most interesting journalism in the world. The film, as a whole, is a reflection on the narrative possibilities of multiple types of texts, in the face of unexpected emotional risks in large part thanks to the central story of this chapter: a hostage taking that can only be handled effectively by the Chief of the Police Station. That ischef, not boss.


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Zola meIt is the first film based on a story told over a series ofviraltweets(composed by A'Ziah "Zola" King). Directed by Janicza Bravo and co-written by Bravo and playwright Jeremy O. Harris, the film builds on that initial novelty by telling the hilarious, terrifying and revealing story of a black exotic dancer named Zola (Taylour Paige) who befriends a women. white female dancer named Stefani (Riley Keough) and agrees to take a weekend trip to Florida with her, her jerk boyfriend of hers (Nicholas Braun) and (unbeknownst to Zola) her controlling pimp ( the hypnotic Colman Domingo). The weekend spirals out of control in unpredictable (and predictable) ways, pushing the story into various themes of class, race, gender, sex, and capitalism and an explosive plot line that could only really happen in Florida but is emblematic of many things wrong. . all America.


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It is difficult to describe the performance of Leos CaraxAnnettein words, to the point that I wish I could approach this problem the way characters in the movie approach not having enough words to say something, which is to say, I wish I could sing in a stream of consciousness about it. Performed mostly by non-professional vocalists such as Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, this bizarre rock opera is a story of passion, murder, madness, music, family, and performance performed with all the oddities and substitutes for the wooden puppets ofHoffman's Tales(E.T.A. Hoffman's book and, well, Offenbach's opera). You know who would have loved this movie? freud

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or last duel

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My native Boston boss wouldn't forgive me if I didn't include this killer Ben and Matt collaboration, but there's no chance of that anyway. Directed by Ridley Scottor last duelis a truly excellent film, rendered throughRashomon-style perspectives, which tells the true story of a rape accusation in medieval France. After Marguerite (Jodie Comer), wife of knight Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), accuse her husband's friend, or squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), of rape, de Carrouges challenges Le Gris for a duel to settle the question. . Co-written by Ben and Matt and Nicole Holofcener, it takes the classic Hollywood historical epic to new heights through a deep empathy for its long-suffering female lead. Also, Ben Affleck is only as good as boring asshole.Pierre d'Alençon, casi duele.

House in Gucci

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for what you loveSuccessionbut do you wish it was a little more trashy and full of crazy Italian accents?Children,hI have a movie for you!


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"Derek, who has my pig?" God. As an animal-loving human being who would be more than happy to care for a pig if it wasn't a violation of the New York health code and my building rules, I can't even express to you the effect.Pighad on me Nicolas Cage gives the best performance of his career as a truffle hunter who just wants to take care of his pig, and when it's stolen, he'll go to the ends of the earth to try and get it back. Can't. I pathetic andinsectof this movie Please excuse me for a moment.

last night in soho

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de Edgar Wrightlast night in sohois a historical time-bending horror film about a young London college student named Ellie (Thomasin McKenzie) who discovers that, at night, her apartment has the power to transport her back to the 1960s. She always wanted to experience the glamor of the last decade. ; As she wanders through central London, following a glamorous starlet named Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), she feels that she is finally where she belongs. But things are not what they seem, and when the past and the present (and reality and the world of dreams) begin to blur, she finds herself heading towards a dangerous and terrifying denouement: the discovery that it might be the 1960s. They weren't so wonderful after all. .

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wrath of man

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¿Has visto a Guy Ritchie?wrath of man? You must. It's tough and sophisticated, a heist thriller calibrated with excellent action sequences that revolve around the mysterious identity of a man namedH (Jason Statham), a security guard at a cash-transport company in Los Angeles with the kind of fighting skills that definitely get some people's attention. It's an excellent thing to put on the night of December 27th when you're tired of sitting around and doing nothing and exactly what gets you out of it is eating macaroni and cheese in your pajamas while watching a cat-and-car chase through the streets of Los Angels. You know the feeling! Give it to yourself!

the power of the dog

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Jane Campion's 1925 New Western (available on Netflix) is a raw, surprising and refreshing western. I have been thrown from horses many times and watching this movie reminded me of the time I was knocked off a galloping horse into a wall. That's all I'll say.


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There is nothing, nothing likeTitanium, Julia Ducournau's delirious French body horror film, in which a psychopathic woman (who was in a car accident in her youth and now lives with a titanium plate on her head) has sex with a Cadillac and becomes pregnant by its baby and also becomes a serial killer. There are many elements that need to come together to do this.golden palmwinning cinematic work, but they all do their job as well and with as much skill as if they had been designed by Maserati.Titaniumit will hit you, and you too will feel transformed. (Or it could be literally throwing up.) (WARNING: Do not watch this movie if you have a weak constitution;Nothrow him a bone.)

no sudden movement

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not enough people talking aboutno sudden movementto my liking; is the most interesting heist movie released in some time, the story of several petty criminals who team up to steal a mysterious document in 1954 Detroit. The cast is a real talent killer - Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, Jon Hamm, David Harbour, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Ray Liotta - and the plot is a really cool story of a robbery gone wrong, done in such flair. to feel completely right.

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west side story

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Listen, dad! What's New From Steven Spielbergwest side storythe adaptation is just as vibrant and exciting as its predecessor, while still managing to stand on its own. This version, endorsed by Stephen Sondheim before his death and written by theater legend and screenwriter Tony Kushner, places a central metaphor on the demolition of the West Side neighborhoods where the film takes place to make way for the construction of the Mecca of performing Arts. Lincoln Center (one of the sinister anachronisms associated with the 1961 film after the fact). He sold me from the start. That and the casting of the great Ariana DeBose as Anita. LifeHE CANbe brilliant in america what you know.

card counter

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This year, bet on Paul Schraderrevenge thrillerThe Card Counter.The film is about an ex-military man (Oscar Isacc) who tries to prevent a young man, determined to take revenge on a man from his past, from carrying out a violent plan. And it's a straight flush.

nightmare alley

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The main reason for the new adaptation of Guillermo del Toronightmare alleyis on this list is for youbrightphotography and art direction, and an incandescent Cate Blanchett as a deliciously evil femme fatale.

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