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Licorice Pizza named best movie of 2021 by National Board of Review

Cooper Hoffman in Licorice Pizza
(Image credit: Universal)

Licorice Pizza has been named the best movie of 2021 by the National Board of Review.

Over 200 movies were up for selection and the winner was picked by a group of film enthusiasts, professionals, academics, and filmmakers. Previous winners of the award include Green Book in 2018, The Post in 2017, Manchester by the Sea in 2016, and Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015. 

Paul Thomas Anderson's '70s-set coming of age flick stars Cooper Hoffman (the son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, a frequent collaborator of Anderson's), Alana Haim, and Bradley Cooper. Hoffman's character is loosely based on movie producer Gary Goetzman, who started his career as a child actor and produced a range of movies from The Silence of the Lambs to Mamma Mia!.

"In a moment of transition and uncertainty, there is nothing like Licorice Pizza to remind us of the joy, hope and exhilaration that great cinema can inspire," the organization's president Annie Schulhof said in a statement.

Anderson was also selected for Best Director, while Hoffman and Haim were both picked for Best Breakout Performance. Meanwhile, Will Smith won Best Actor for his role in King Richard and Rachel Zegler picked up the Best Actress title for West Side Story

Licorice Pizza currently has a limited theatrical run in the US, before releasing nationwide on December 25 and following to UK screens on January 7. While we wait, check out our list of the other upcoming movies to get excited about in 2021 and beyond.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.