With 2021 coming to an end, it’s time to look back and see what movies crack our top 5. Despite the pandemic continuing to complicate things, quality movies did not go away. And here at YEM, we’re sharing our picks for the Top 5 best, in no particular order.

1. Spider-man No Way Home

Our list would not be complete without Spider-Man, especially when it’s a film with this much built-up anticipation. Tom Holland is back as the web-slinger swings into a new adventure in Spider-Man: No Way Home. And this is one that will push Peter Parker unlike any film before, as he not only has to deal with the fallout from Mysterio exposing his identity, but also the return of several villains from the other films. Fortunately for the wall-crawler, though, he may not have to face them alone. 

2. In the Heights AND West Side Story

Musicals are always a hit for YEM, and ones as iconic as these two just cannot be ignored. Lin Manuel Miranda’s classic musical was bound to get an adaptation on the big screen, while West Side Story (which already had a 1961 adaptation starring Natalie Wood) gains new life under the helm of the legendary Steven Spielberg. Fans of both musicals and Broadway theatre in general do not want to miss these.

3. Luca

Disney and Pixar continue to amaze with this heartwarming coming-of-age fantasy about a young boy becoming friends with a sea monster taking the form of a human. While sadly never receiving a theatrical release (at least in countries with Disney +), this tale can still bring joy for the entire family, complete with beautiful animation that flawlessly captures the Italian summer landscape. A story of friendship and coming-of-age is right up the list’s alley, and this one captures that perfectly.

4. Kissing Booth 3

Elle Evans is back in this third installment of the popular Netflix trilogy based on a series of novels by Beth Reekles. Fans will see her make the ultimate decision regarding her relationship with Noah and Lee as she prepares for the transition to college. We here at YEM have already shown our appreciation for this series before and would be remiss not to include its final installment here.

5. He’s All That

A gender-swapped reimagining of She’s All That, He’s All That provides an exciting alternate take on the popular ‘90s film. Being able to do that without outright copying the original more than earns its spot on the list. Starring TikTok star Addison Rae, and even featuring She’s All That stars Rachel Leigh Cook and Matthew Lillard, this is a rom-com must. 

For more on the Best of 2021 Top 5 Lists, click here!