warner bros. pictures

 Edited by alexis wilson

halfway through the year, here are a few of the movies that have wowed ew's leah greenblatt in 2021. 

10 best movies of 2021... so far

warner bros. pictures

in the heights

It took 13 years for Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning In the Heights to go from stage to screen in the vibrant musical.

macall polay/warner bros.

Director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) brought the Latinx-centered story to life with bright colors, larger-than-life musical numbers, and a young cast that's easy on the eyes.

jonny cournoyer/paramount pictures

a quiet place ii

The film was originally set to be released in 2020, but improving COVID-19 numbers made way for its proper theatrical release in May. With an estimated $48 million debut, its release was the largest of the pandemic era to date.

jonny cournoyer/paramount pictures

A follow up to John Krasinski's 2018 apocalyptic thriller, A Quiet Place II is a "family horror" sequel full of aliens and rooted in real relationships between a mother (Emily Blunt) and her two resourceful children (Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe).



The summer tale of two boys frolicking in the Italian countryside reminded many of Call Me by Your Name, but director Enrico Casarosa was sure to clarify that the movie is about friendship, not romantic relationships.


Set in a seaside town, Luca is a coming-of-age story about Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) and Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer), two best friends that are sea creatures that take on human forms when walking on land.



Janicza Bravo's dark comedy tells a story that is kind of long but full of suspense.

anna kooris/a24 films

Zola is about what happened when Zola (Taylour Paige) meets fellow stripper Stefani (Riley Keough), who has a plan to get rich quick. Adapted from a series of viral tweets in 2015, Zola is a brightly colored tale of a tumultuous new friendship gone wrong.

glen wilson/warner bros.

judas and
the black messiah

Daniel Kaluuya's Oscar-winning performance steals the show in the Shaka King biopic.

glen wilson/warner bros.

Telling the story of slain Black Panther Fred Hampton, Judas and the Black Messiah made history at the Oscars as the first Best Picture nominee with all Black producers.

read the rest of our 2021 picks!

macall polay/warner bros.