The 11 best TV shows and movies released so far in 2021

With summer in full swing, we are now in the second half of the year and there are still some brilliant TV shows and movies to enjoy.

Fortunately cinemas in Ireland are open and I hope they remain the case, but with such a fragmented year in terms of operations and distribution, chances are some gems may have escaped your notice.

On that note, we’ve picked 11 TV and movie titles that are definitely worth watching.

We’ll start with the TV shows …

Easttown mare

Plot: Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) is a detective from a small town in Pennsylvania who investigates a local murder as life crumbles around her. The mystery of the murder slowly unfolds as the dark side of a nearby community and Mare’s family life slowly crumbles. Can tragedy define our present?

Watch it because: Without a doubt, it’s the best TV show of the year and one of the greatest series that HBO has made. This is saying a lot. Available on Sky and NOW.


Summary: Okay, it originally aired in 2020, but Irish audiences got to see it on RTE this year and it’s a treat. Based on the internationally watched “Submarine Affair”, the drama closely follows Jens Møller (Søren Malling), the head of homicides, and his team in search of the truth. In the hope that they can provide the prosecutor (Pilou Asbæk) with solid evidence in order to create a compelling case and give loved ones the certainty they deserve, the team uses methodical, unusual and technical work tactics.

Watch It Because: If you feel like the real detective genre has become formulaic or a little sensational, it’s the 99% antithesis of movies and TV shows in the genre. Respectful of the dead and incredibly engaging, it is unique in its reality. Available on RTE Player.

Coaching Britney Spears

Summary: Its rise has been a worldwide phenomenon. His downfall was a cruel national sport. Relatives of Britney Spears and lawyers linked to her guardianship are now reassessing her career as she battles her father in court over who should be in control of her life.

Watch it because: she may be one of the most famous faces in the world, but it’s a heartbreaking and intriguing life about her life hidden in the shadows where the pop star’s freedoms have been taken away. Available now.


Plot: The classic Marvel TV and Marvel Cinematic Universe mix in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) – two overpowered beings living an idealized suburban life – begin to suspect that all is not as it seems.

Watch it because: it brought all of the best elements of the MCU – action, characters, Easter eggs, and shared world – to the small screen, but it also felt fresh, inventive, and genre-changing. Available on Disney +.

It’s a sin

Plot: It’s a Sin follows the story of the 1980s, the story of AIDS, and traces the joy and sorrow of a group of friends over a decade in which everything changed.

Watch it because: heartbreaking, maddening, and joyful in equal measure, once you’ve watched an episode you won’t stop. Available on All4.


The cinema is back and while we can not wait to see titles like Black Widow, Candyman, Dune, Old, Jungle Crusie, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Many Saints Of Newark, No Time To Die, The Matrix 4 , Spider-Man: No Way Home and countless others this year, those movies all left a lasting impression too …

Palm springs

Synopsis: Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over again.

Watch it because: funny, heartfelt, and inventive, the romantic comedy directed by Andy Samberg already has an instant cult classic feel to it. It’s available on Amazon Prime and it’s such a nice and easy watch.

The father

Plot: Anthony (Academy Award Winner, Anthony Hopkins) is 80, mischievous, lives lonely with suspicion, and rejects the caregivers his daughter, Anne (Academy Award and Golden Globe Winner, Olivia Colman), encouragingly presents.

However, help also becomes a necessity for Anne; she can no longer make daily visits and Anthony’s grip on reality is crumbling. As we experience the ebb and flow of his memory, what part of his own identity and his past can Anthony cling to?

Watch It Because: Vibrant, heartbreaking, and uncompromising, it will truly resonate with anyone who has had to watch a loved one fall ill. Anthony Hopkins rightly won an Oscar for his performance. It has received a theatrical release and expects it to be available online soon.

Promising young woman

Synopsis: Nothing in Cassie’s life is what it seems – she’s wickedly intelligent, incredibly cunning, and she leads a secret double life at night. Now an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs of the past.

Watch It Because: A revenge thriller that’s not really a revenge thriller, it boasts a brilliant performance by Carey Mulligan and there’s a sense of unease and mystery that goes with you throughout. It’s available on Sky and NOW.

Carey Mulligan as “Cassie”

A quiet place: part two

Plot: Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight to survive in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they soon realize that the creatures that hunt by sound aren’t the only threats lurking beyond the sandy path.

Watch It Because: Like all good sequels, it picks up the best bits of what you liked about the original while expanding the world and developing the characters. Krasinski is a brilliant director at creating tension and thrill while the addition of Cillian Murphy is welcome. A perfect cinema experience that you can watch in any theater now.

The sound of metal

Synopsis: During a series of adrenaline-filled overnight concerts, traveling punk-metal drummer Ruben (Riz Ahmed) begins to suffer from intermittent hearing loss.

When a specialist tells him that his condition will quickly worsen, he thinks his musical career – and with it, his life – is over.

Watch it because: Visceral, impactful and innovative, there is no such thing. Ahmed’s performance is a tour de force. Available on Amazon.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Plot: Young Katie Mitchell embarks on a road trip with her proud parents, younger brother, and beloved dog to begin her freshman year in film school. But their plans to bond as a family are soon halted when the world’s electronics come to life to stage an uprising. With the help of two friendly robots, the Mitchell’s must now unite to save each other – and the planet – from the new technological revolution.

Watch it because: funny, sweet, and something the whole family will love, the Netflix cartoon has a lovely ’80s throwback vibe.