2021 was a better year for films, with more releases coming to theaters and bringing back to some sort of normal. Although we are not yet back to the true traditional movie theater experience that I cherish so dearly, there were many movies this year that I loved and I enjoyed that we got to go back to the theaters for some. I usually do a top 10 list and comment on some TV shows, but truth be told my life got very busy this past year that prevented me from seeing certain shows and movies than I would have liked. Nonetheless, I have put together this list to rank some of the best of 2021. Most of these have individual reviews for them that you can check out on my site, and others I didn’t get a chance to do a formal review but I still think you should check out! A grade a movie received doesn’t necessarily mean a higher or lower score on this list, but I take into account longevity after my initial review. With all that being said let’s get started:
5. No Time To Die
Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond was a blast, one that honored his darker grittier take on the character and provided him with a more personal story. It’s a film that works well from all aspects, providing the right balance of emotion, espionage, and explosive set pieces to keep audiences engaged, excited, and on the edge of their seats. The action was confidently helmed, providing some great sequences and intrigue throughout. But this film also remembers that Bond is a vulnerable character and honors the attachments and relationships he has made with the rest of the cast and the legacy that will be carried through into the next generation of Bond. Where the franchise could go from here is exciting, but at this point I loved the finality they gave his character.
Dune took a while for me to truly grasp and take in its massive world and source material. However, once I was on board I was excited and enthralled with the world that Denis Villenueve had brought to life. There was depth to the characters and the machinations and manipulation happening behind the scenes was interesting to make invested in the conflict. From a directing perspective, the movie is nothing short of awe-inspiring. It’s a film that deserves to be seen on the big screen for its audio visual experience. Every decision made to this film to life was the best version of how it could have happened. It kept me engaged and even though it drops off just when things start to get really interesting, Dune Part Two is just around the corner to invite us back into the action. I for one, cannot wait to see what’s next.
3. A Quiet Place Part II
Doing a sequel right is hard, you need to build upon the foundations of the first film, tell your own individual story, advance the characters in new directions, and be bigger and bolder than what came before. John Krasinski easily rose to this challenge with his sequel. The movie retained the same themes and tension of the first film, while escalating the conflict to new directions that kept audiences engaged and yearning for more. I don’t think there was a movie this year where I was clenching my fists and on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what would happen to the characters. Splitting up the cast was an ambitious direction, but the justification to send the characters on separate journeys paired with additional new cast members made this film a true treat. You never got a second to breathe, and I can’t wait for the next film and see what the team comes up with next.
2. Zack Snyder’s Justice League
- After Zack Snyder was unfortunately screwed out of his vision and project, fans have been clamoring to see what his original vision would have been. A film that fans literally willed to life, Zack Snyder’s original vision is a triumph! It’s fantastic in every way, fleshing out the characters, getting us more invested in the central conflict, and delivering some knock out moments for comic book fans to munch on. It’s also just amazing that Snyder could finish his film and do whatever he wanted to do. It’s a film that honors his daughter’s legacy, and one I loved watching. I have seen all 4 hours about 3 different times this year and I always sit for the full time. Its an engrossing film, and the fact that he pulled it off and got what he wanted in the end should serve as a reminder to Hollywood to let directors carry out their vision.
- 1. Spider-Man: No Way Home
Did you think it was going to be anything else? Spider-Man: No Way Home delivered everything I wanted from the film and more. It completed Tom Holland’s origin story by giving him a perfect Peter Parker problem to solve, one that challenges his sense of morality and responsibility. With the addition of other past cast members, it only added to the experience, heightening the stakes and conflict, and delivered on crowd pleasing moments. It also happens to be one of the best solo films in the MCU, smartly stepping away from the Tony Stark and Avengers connections and focusing on Spider-Man going up against his own villains. Where the film sets him up to go next is an exciting and intriguing direction, one that makes me even more excited to see what happens.
Here’s to a great 2022 with great new films to come out!