Venice Film Festival: 2021 Movie Guide

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1. Dune (2021)

PG-13 | 155 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac

Votes: 47,904

2. Halloween Kills (2021)

R | 106 min | Crime, Horror, Thriller

47 Metascore

The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.

Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Judy Greer, Anthony Michael Hall

Votes: 637

3. The Last Duel (2021)

R | 152 min | Drama, History

61 Metascore

King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Clare Dunne

Votes: 431

4. Spencer (2021)

111 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

During her Christmas holidays with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, Diana decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.

Director: Pablo Larraín | Stars: Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Jack Nielen, Freddie Spry

Votes: 702

5. Scenes from a Marriage (2021– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama

Television drama miniseries which re-examines the original's iconic depiction of love, hatred, desire, monogamy, marriage and divorce through the lens of a contemporary American couple, played by Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain.

Stars: Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac, Sophia Kopera, Nicole Beharie

Votes: 1,815

6. The Card Counter (2021)

R | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama

79 Metascore

Redemption is the long game in Paul Schrader's THE CARD COUNTER. Told with Schrader's trademark cinematic intensity, the revenge thriller tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler haunted by the ghosts of his past.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, Willem Dafoe

Votes: 4,454

7. Last Night in Soho (2021)

116 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

67 Metascore

An aspiring fashion designer is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer. But the glamour is not all it appears to be and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something darker.

Director: Edgar Wright | Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, Diana Rigg, Matt Smith

Votes: 626

8. The Power of the Dog (2021)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Western

91 Metascore

Charismatic rancher Phil Burbank inspires fear and awe in those around him. When his brother brings home a new wife and her son, Phil torments them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.

Director: Jane Campion | Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Votes: 1,922

9. Old Henry (2021)

99 min | Western

65 Metascore

An action western about a farmer who takes in an injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse comes for the money, he must decide who to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a gunslinging talent calling his true identity into question.

Director: Potsy Ponciroli | Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins

Votes: 94

10. The Lost Daughter (2021)

R | 121 min | Drama

88 Metascore

A woman's beach vacation takes a dark turn when she begins to confront the troubles of her past.

Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal | Stars: Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Jessie Buckley

Votes: 206

11. The Hand of God (2021)

R | 130 min | Drama

75 Metascore

The story of a boy in the tumultuous Naples of the 1980s. Sorrentino's most personal film yet is a tale of fate and family, sports and cinema, love and loss.

Director: Paolo Sorrentino | Stars: Filippo Scotti, Toni Servillo, Teresa Saponangelo, Marlon Joubert

Votes: 180

12. Parallel Mothers (2021)

120 min | Drama

85 Metascore

The story of two mothers who give birth the same day.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Penélope Cruz, Rossy de Palma, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Daniela Santiago

Votes: 159

13. Official Competition (2021)

114 min | Comedy, Drama

74 Metascore

A wealthy businessman hires a famous filmmaker to help make a smash hit film.

Directors: Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat | Stars: Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Oscar Martínez, Nagore Aramburu

Votes: 150

14. Happening (2021)

100 min | Drama

81 Metascore

An adaptation of Annie Ernaux's eponymous novel, looking back on her experience with abortion when it was still illegal in France in the 1960s.

Director: Audrey Diwan | Stars: Anamaria Vartolomei, Kacey Mottet Klein, Luàna Bajrami, Louise Orry-Diquéro

Votes: 131

15. Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (2021)

106 min | Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller

67 Metascore

A girl with unusual powers escapes from a mental asylum and tries to make it on her own in New Orleans.

Director: Ana Lily Amirpour | Stars: Kate Hudson, Ed Skrein, Craig Robinson, Altonio Jackson

Votes: 107

16. Freaks Out (2021)

141 min | Fantasy, War

Matilde, Cencio, Fulvio and Mario are family when the 2nd world war hits Rome. Israel, the owner of their circus, disappears in the attempt to find a getaway overseas for them all. The four... See full summary »

Director: Gabriele Mainetti | Stars: Claudio Santamaria, Aurora Giovinazzo, Pietro Castellitto, Giancarlo Martini

Votes: 91

17. The King of Laughter (2021)

133 min | Biography, Drama

The biography of Neapolitan comic theater legend Eduardo Scarpetta.

Director: Mario Martone | Stars: Toni Servillo, Maria Nazionale, Cristiana Dell'Anna, Antonia Truppo

Votes: 236

18. 7 Prisoners (2021)

R | 93 min | Drama

79 Metascore

To provide a better life for his family in the country, 18-year-old Mateus accepts a job in a junkyard in São Paulo for his new boss, Luca, but becomes trapped in the dangerous world of human trafficking.

Director: Alexandre Moratto | Stars: Josias Duarte, Cecília Homem de Mello, Vitor Julian, Christian Malheiros

Votes: 58

19. On the Job 2: The Missing 8 (2021)

208 min | Action, Crime, Drama

This sequel to On the Job (2013) focuses on corruption and media censorship now that a new strongman, Duterte, is in power in the Philippines.

Director: Erik Matti | Stars: John Arcilla, Isabelle De Leon, Dennis Trillo, Christopher De Leon

Votes: 56

20. Il buco (2021)

93 min | Drama

70 Metascore

The extraordinary adventure of the young members of the Piedmont Speleological Group who, having already explored all the caves of Northern Italy, changed course in August 1961 and went South to explore other caves unknown to man.

Director: Michelangelo Frammartino | Stars: Paolo Cossi, Jacopo Elia, Denise Trombin, Claudia Candusso

Votes: 96

21. Sundown (2021)

83 min | Drama

76 Metascore

A wealthy man attempts to abandon his life while vacationing in Acapulco.

Director: Michel Franco | Stars: Samuel Bottomley, Mónica Del Carmen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Henry Goodman

Votes: 105

22. Lost Illusions (2021)

149 min | Drama, History

An adaptation of Honoré de Balzac's novel "Lost Illusions".

Director: Xavier Giannoli | Stars: Benjamin Voisin, Cécile de France, Vincent Lacoste, Xavier Dolan

Votes: 93

23. True Things (2021)

102 min | Drama

62 Metascore

It follows a young woman living on the fringes of society who becomes intoxicated by a stranger who overwhelms her quiet life.

Director: Harry Wootliff | Stars: Ruth Wilson, Tom Burke, Hayley Squires, Elizabeth Rider

Votes: 56

24. America Latina (2021)

90 min | Thriller

30 Metascore

Massimo Sisti is the proprietor of a dental surgery that bears his name. Professional, courteous and calm, he has attained everything he could have desired: a villa in a peaceful setting ... See full summary »

Directors: Damiano D'Innocenzo, Fabio D'Innocenzo | Stars: Elio Germano, Astrid Casali, Sara Ciocca, Maurizio Lastrico

Votes: 369

25. Leave No Traces (2021)

160 min | Drama

Poland, 1983. The country is shaken by the case of Grzegorz Przemyk - a high school student beaten to death by militia. Jurek - the only witness of the beating, overnight becomes the number one enemy of the State.

Director: Jan P. Matuszynski | Stars: Tomasz Zietek, Sandra Korzeniak, Jacek Braciak, Agnieszka Grochowska

Votes: 98

26. Land of Dreams (2021)

113 min | Comedy

Land of Dreams is a political satire set in the near future where America has closed its borders and become more insular than ever. The story follows Simin, an Iranian American woman, on a ... See full summary »

Directors: Shoja Azari, Shirin Neshat | Stars: Sheila Vand, Matt Dillon, William Moseley, Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 39

27. The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic (2021)

82 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Jaakko and Sirpa have never met face to face but used to talk on the phone every day. When he heard about her declining health, he decides to go meet her in another city ,and when he saw he was blind and paralyzed from the chest down.

Director: Teemu Nikki | Stars: Petri Poikolainen, Marjaana Maijala, Samuli Jaskio, Hannamaija Nikander

Votes: 111

28. The Box (2021)

90 min | Drama

82 Metascore

A Mexican teenager sets out to collect his fathers remains, only to be sucked into the underbelly of the manufacturing industry.

Director: Lorenzo Vigas | Stars: Elián Gonzalez, Hernán Mendoza, Hatzín Navarrete, Cristina Zulueta

Votes: 86

29. The Catholic School (2021)

106 min | Drama

In late September 1975, a renowned Catholic school in Rome for sheltered, upper middle class boys is attacked in what became known as the Circeo Massacre. The film examines what triggered the violence.

Director: Stefano Mordini | Stars: Valeria Golino, Riccardo Scamarcio, Jasmine Trinca, Valentina Cervi

Votes: 42

30. Costa Brava, Lebanon (2021)

106 min | Drama

78 Metascore

A couple decide to leave the toxic pollution of their home city of Beirut, hoping to build a utopian existence in a pristine home in the mountains.

Director: Mounia Akl | Stars: Nadine Labaki, Saleh Bakri, Yumna Marwan, Ceana Restom

Votes: 44

31. Captain Volkonogov Escaped (2021)

120 min | Drama, Thriller

82 Metascore

Fast-paced story of pre-death repentance marathon for the Captain of the National Security Service (NKVD) Fedor Volkonogov set against the backdrop of 1938 political persecutions in USSR.

Directors: Aleksey Chupov, Natasha Merkulova | Stars: Yuriy Borisov, Timofey Tribuntsev, Aleksandr Yatsenko, Nikita Kukushkin

Votes: 60

32. Another World (2021)

96 min | Drama

79 Metascore

An executive manager, his wife and his family, at the point when his professional choices are about to overturn all their lives. Philippe Lemesle and his wife are separating, their love ... See full summary »

Director: Stéphane Brizé | Stars: Vincent Lindon, Sandrine Kiberlain, Anthony Bajon, Marie Drucker

Votes: 41

33. The Accusation (2021)

138 min | Drama

A young man is accused of raping a young woman.

Director: Yvan Attal | Stars: Ben Attal, Suzanne Jouannet, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Mathieu Kassovitz

Votes: 35

34. Promises (2021)

98 min | Drama

A story that revolves around Clemence who's in the final stage of her political career as a Mayor of Parisian suburbs.

Director: Thomas Kruithof | Stars: Naidra Ayadi, Jean-Paul Bordes, Soufiane Guerrab, Isabelle Huppert

Votes: 81

35. Inu-oh (2021)

98 min | Animation, Fantasy, Music

84 Metascore

A fictionalized depiction of the life of Inu-oh ("King Dog"), a 14th-century Japanese performer of music drama at the time of its transition from the folk art of sarugaku ("monkey music") into the formalized traditions of Noh and kyôgen.

Director: Masaaki Yuasa | Stars: Avu-chan, Mirai Moriyama, Kenjirô Tsuda, Yutaka Matsushige

Votes: 42

36. Amira (2021)

98 min | Drama

Amira, a 17-year-old Palestinian, was conceived with the smuggled sperm of her imprisoned father, Nawar. Although their relationship since birth has been restricted to prison visits, he ... See full summary »

Director: Mohamed Diab | Stars: Tara Abboud, Ali Suliman, Saba Mubarak, Suhaib Nashwan

Votes: 67

37. Reflection (2021)

125 min | Drama

Ukrainian surgeon Serhiy is captured by the Russian military forces in the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine and while in captivity, he is exposed to horrifying scenes of humiliation, violence and indifference towards human life.

Director: Valentyn Vasyanovych | Stars: Roman Lutskyi, Stanislav Aseyev, Oleksandr Danyliuk, Vasiliy Kukharskiy

Votes: 70

38. The Inner Cage (2021)

117 min | Drama

The last remains of a prison, guards and a few inmates, are waiting to be transferred and gradually the rules seem to make less and less sense and the waiting men become a new fragile community.

Director: Leonardo di Costanzo | Stars: Toni Servillo, Silvio Orlando, Fabrizio Ferracane, Salvatore Striano

Votes: 69

39. Pilgrims (2021)

92 min | Drama, Thriller

Indre and Paulius travel to the small town where a gruesome crime was committed and they learn it is not as easy as expected to revisit the past.

Director: Laurynas Bareisa | Stars: Gabija Bargailaite, Jolanta Dapkunaite, Zygimante Jakstaite, Giedrius Kiela

Votes: 45

40. The Hole in the Fence (2021)

100 min | Drama

Exposes the fault lines and schisms of contemporary Mexican society.

Director: Joaquin del Paso | Stars: Rafael Ayala, Dante Carrillo, Giovanni Conconi, Apolinar Nájera Contreras

Votes: 74

41. The Great Movement (2021)

85 min | Drama

A symphony of the city in the heights, the illness of a worker, the nightmare and his redemption.

Director: Kiro Russo | Stars: Francisa Arce de Aro, Israel Hurtado, Gustavo Milán Ticona, Julio César Ticona

Votes: 49

42. The Other Tom (2021)

111 min | Drama

A mother may lose custody of her son because she refuses to medicate his ADHD.

Directors: Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo | Stars: Leah Miller, Jorge Castro, Julia Chavez, Israel Rodriguez

Votes: 40

43. Anatomy of Time (2021)

118 min | Drama

One level a deeply felt story of a woman, and on another, that of a country's tragic past and its exploited people.

Director: Jakrawal Nilthamrong | Stars: Sorabodee Changsiri, Prapamonton Eiamchan, Thaveeratana Leelanuja, Wanlop Rungkumjad

Votes: 53

44. Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song (2021)

115 min | Documentary

63 Metascore

This feature-length documentary explores the life of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen as seen through the prism of his internationally renowned hymn, Hallelujah.

Directors: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine | Stars: Leonard Cohen, Nancy Bacal, Steve Berkowitz, Jeff Buckley

Votes: 32

45. White Building (2021)

90 min | Drama

SAMNANG, 20, faces the demolition of his lifelong home in Phnom Penh and the pressures from family, friends, and neighbors which arise and intersect in this moment of sudden change.

Director: Kavich Neang | Stars: Piseth Chhun, Chinnaro Soem, Sovann Tho, Jany Min

Votes: 32