The Best Documentaries Of 2021

Documentary filmmaking over the years has been the arena of the burgeoning director. It’s a good genre to start out in — where craft and style can be honed through real-life experience without having to worry about actors. Some directors, like Frederick Wiseman and Ken Burns, make careers of it. But most filmmakers move on to feature films, where the money is. So it’s a precious thing to see established directors return to the documentary, lately. This year, Todd Haynes and Edgar Wright subitted music docs and they are each spectacular in their own ways. The collision of talent and subject jumps off the screen. World-class filmmakers making new documentaries? It’s like Bubba Wallace driving an Uber. Behold: the best documentaries of 2021.

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