77 Years of Movies: The Defining Film of Each Year From 2021-1945

Through the power of filmmaking, Hollywood has created some of our most powerful memories, social trends, and pure entertainment. All of these classic films — and those soon to be known as — defined the year in which they were released, creating a decades long filmography of triumphant artistry.

2021 — CODA

The most memorable Hollywood moment related to the films of 2021 belongs to Will Smith, his open hand, and Chris Rock’s face. And while that wild moment from the 2022 Oscars will overshadow all of the films that were being recognized that evening, it doesn’t mean fantastic films weren’t released in ’21. The year is home to some great movies including King Richard (starring Smith), The Power of the Dog, Drive My Car, West Side Story, Belfast, Dune, and Netflix’s Don’t Look Up. Ultimately, however, we believe CODA is the defining film of the year.

The movie tells the story of a girl named Ruby — the only hearing person in her deaf family. As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Ruby feels as if she is trapped in her hometown — incapable of leaving due to her apparent need to help her family communicate with others. CODA is a true coming-of-age tale. As Ruby battles with her decision to stay with her family or pursue her dreams, the family similarly fights to prosper in their community while also embracing Ruby’s passions. The feel-good film won three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor — with Troy Kotsur (Ruby’s father) becoming the first deaf actor to win an Oscar.

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