Posters and promotional images courtesy of Neon, A24, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Netflix.

If you’ve been debating over which new movies are worth the trip to the theater, The Museum of Modern Art is bringing back its annual series to narrow down the best of the year, from blockbusters to independent critical favorites. Starting in November and running through January 22nd, MoMA has announced the 2021 lineup of The Contenders, a curated series of films presented in the museum’s family film center, as well as online viewing options for those with a museum membership.

Featuring everything from major new releases such as Dune, Spencer, The French Dispatch, and Zola, as well as critically acclaimed independent and foreign releases chosen by the museum’s Department of Film, the series places a spotlight on the films you need to see as awards season approaches early next year.

As written on the official MoMA website, the lineup promises “influential, innovative films made in the past 12 months” that the curators believe “will stand the test of time.”


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Screenings Open to the Public

Several screenings will include a Q&A session with the directors and stars following the films. For the month of November, Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter), Rebecca Hall (Passing), Denis Villeneuve (Dune), Janicza Bravo (Zola), and Paul Schrader (The Card Counter) are among the directors who have announced they will be present at the screening for their respective films. Golden Globe-winning actor Oscar Isaac will also be featured on the guest panel during the screening of Dune and The Card Counter.

MoMa members of a certain museum membership tier will have early, complimentary access to tickets for the screenings two weeks before each date, as well as access to view the films online. Open ticket reservation access to the public begins one week prior to each screening. Tickets can be reserved on the Museum of Modern Art website or in person during regular museum hours. Screenings for December and January have yet to be announced, but you can view the lineup for November now on the museum’s website.

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