This year has been a great one for films, despite the still-looming presence of the global coronavirus pandemic. Cinemas opened back up, which meant we all got more opportunity to enjoy releases the way they were intended: on the big screen.

Which of these five films will take the win? / Picture Credits (l-r): Marvel Studios, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures Studios, Pixar, Netflix

Which of these five films will take the win? / Picture Credits (l-r): Marvel Studios, New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures Studios, Pixar, Netflix

Despite the many great films we’ve seen in 2021, there can be only one winner among the five nominees we've selected for Movie of the Year. Who will win? It's time to find out...

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 

Marvel’s Shang-Chi was definitely one of this year’s standouts. The introduction of new characters combined with stunning cinematography made it an incredible watch. 

The story followed Shang-Chi (Simu Liu); a man with a dark past that comes back to haunt him in the form of his grief-stricken father. This film introduced us to a unique character whose bravery and humour goes almost unmatched. 

Shang-Chi's story was told in such an amazing way with flashbacks and real, raw emotion which was mixed with incredible shots, thrilling action scenes and a deep, heartfelt atmosphere. This film is a must-watch, whether you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or not. 


Horror films are always going to pique the interest of audiences, but James Wan’s Malignant was one that stood very tall against other films of this genre released throughout 2021. 

Malignant sees Madison (Annabelle Wallis) - wife of an abusive husband - become the victim of her own mind as a deadly and disturbing secret rears its ugly head. This film combined an 80s horror atmosphere with incredible musical scores and outstanding camera shots, as well as a more modern perspective. 

It brought genuine fear out of audiences, all whilst delivering a fresh, new view on what horror can be. 

A Quiet Place Part II 

The sequel to 2018’s A Quiet Place was released earlier this year and was met with intense praise and adoration from fans. 

A Quiet Place Part II followed the Abbott family after the events of the previous film. The family look for solace, and their search takes them to a familiar face... 

The tension, stress and outstanding filmmaking that made the first movie so great was more than present in the sequel, with the stakes raised and the horror increased: another must-watch feature. 


An oddball nominee for Movie of the Year, perhaps, but Disney and Pixar’s Luca told such an incredible, beautiful story that was filled with genuine brotherly love and adoration. 

This animated adventure follows Luca (Jacob Tremblay), a young sea monster who wishes to head to the surface and beyond in order to explore the world up above. When he meets Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer), however, both their lives change in the best of ways. 

While all Disney films highlight an important or meaningful lesson, Luca felt different. The plot of two boys discovering the world above them is magical in itself, but they teach each other how to live, and how to be happy with who they are. This film was an enchanting journey of pure love and aspiration. 

Army of the Dead 

Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead was an outstanding entry into the films of 2021. It was a zombie film like no other, and showed the iconic villains in a brand-new light. 

The movie followed a group of strangers who are tasked with entering Las Vegas, where the zombie apocalypse has been contained, and break into a safe that contains millions. 

This film was a standout for many reasons, but the way in which Snyder portrayed the iconic undead was incredible. There was a hierarchy within the zombie population, and seeing them think, feel and even fall in love was outstanding. 

It was a thrilling, action-packed feature with a lot of thought and care put into it: another must-watch. 

And the winner is... 

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 

Simu Liu as Shang-Chi in our winning movie of the year! / Picture Credit: Marvel Studios
Simu Liu as Shang-Chi in our winning movie of the year! / Picture Credit: Marvel Studios

In the midst of a great selection of releases, Shang-Chi stood a little taller than the rest. Marvel really created a masterpiece here, and Liu was cast perfectly for the titular role. His emotional range was excellent, his fight scenes were outstanding, and the film was the perfect way to move away from characters we’ve known in the MCU for years, and get to know brand-new ones. The story was well-paced and had some awesome characters, as well as being filled with so much love. 

A well-deserved win. 

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal