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AFI reveals its picks for the 10 best movies and shows of the year

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog
(Image credit: Netflix)

The American Film Institute has revealed its picks for the top 10 movies and shows of 2021. The AFI's picks celebrate the best in American film and TV and usually point to the season's award frontrunners – this year, the streamers came out on top, dominating both lists. 

Three Netflix movies made it to the AFI's top 10: the satirical Don't Look Up, Jane Campion's The Power of the Dog, and Lin-Manuel Miranda's directorial debut Tick, Tick…Boom!, while two Apple TV Plus titles, the comedy drama Coda and Joel Coen's The Tragedy of Macbeth, made it to the list.

The other movies were sci-fi epic Dune, Will Smith-led biopic King Richard, Paul Thomas Anderson's Licorice Pizza, Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley, and Steven Spielberg's West Side Story remake.

Meanwhile, HBO came out on top when it came to the organization's list of top shows – four of the network's series were selected: Hacks, Mare of Easttown, Succession, and The White Lotus.

The rest of the top 10 featured the Taika Waititi-created Reservation Dogs, Netflix's Maid, Apple TV Plus' Ted Lasso and Schimgadoon!, Amazon's The Underground Railroad, and Disney Plus' WandaVision. 

This year, the AFI gave out three Special Awards – the honors went to Kenneth Branagh's historical coming of age drama Belfast, Netflix's hit South Korean series Squid Game, and the documentary Summer of Soul. 

While we wait to see which of these movies and shows will win big during awards season, look ahead to all the upcoming movies that should be on your radar. 

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.