Top 10 Best and Top 3 Worst Movies of 2021

I haven’t watched many movies this year. There were many I wanted to watch and some I did watch but haven’t had the time to review. This year I’ve been writing two different novels and have been helping my grandmother who needs me to help with chores and I’ve been handling a reporting job. That being said, I had a lot of fun with so many of the movies I saw this year, hence how I could only come up with three movies I truly disliked. Next year I hope to be able to watch at least one new movie a week and hopefully make it one time or another to two, while also maintaining my book reviewing that I equally love.

10. Free Guy

I actually was not a fan of the first Deadpool. I like it more now, because I now realize how much Ryan Reynolds is a charming and passionate actor. He carries Free Guy far while poking fun at the impossible worlds of video games and their culture without condescension.

9. A Quiet Place Part II

I wasn’t sure what to make of this anticipated sequel at first. The predecessor I ended up really liking but it had a few logical flaws and was very slow for the first half hour. The latter is true here. But its expansion of the universe and marvellous tension made it a huge winner long before the grand finale. I can’t wait for Part III slated for release in 2023.

8. Army of the Dead

I’ve been wary about Zack Snyder since the disastrous slog that was Batman v. Superman. I’ve heard nothing but praise about his uncut four hour Justice League but I haven’t had it in me to watch it yet. When I get paid for movie reviewing, then we’ll see. Still, I always say to give a filmmaker another chance and I did with Army of the Dead. And I was shocked how much it was willing to have fun but also ground it in a mission that goes drastically wrong. Like Rogue One, it reminds us that not every action story, in movies and in real life, can end without some serious scars.

7. Red Notice

I am a big fan of the combination of Ryan Reynolds and adventure buddy comedies. The first Hitman’s Bodyguard was on my Top 10 Best list in 2017 and the sequel was nearly on this list as well. Red Notice is more than A-list faces flirting with and annoying each other. …Actually, no, that is pretty much all this is. At least we have thrill rides like this as we await the next Indiana Jones. Some critics didn’t like this, but I’d say director Rawson Marshall Thurber, who at this point has made pictures I’ve only found okay, has beaten George Lucas and Steven Spielberg at their own game.

6. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

It seems most movies on this list have something in common, in that there’s a lot of gleeful violence. I was a huge fan of the first Venom and I was pleased with this follow-up. It may have been able to add another 30 minutes and developed the antagonists more, but what I was primarily hoping for was the retainment of Eddie and Venom’s love-hate relationship with an edge of iffiness for being a mainly villain movie. And it retained the attitude, heart, rudeness and fun of the first.

5. Don’t Breathe 2

This was by far one of my most anticipated movies of the year, and I was all ready to love it or hate it. Let me put it this way. The first Don’t Breathe crippled me. My heart was pumping more than any superhero movie had been able to do that year. Now we’re in the shoes of a character I to this day hate. I was still against him in this movie too. But as he’s tortured and on death’s door, we realize it’s like watching your uncle or aunt’s killer realizing he’s forever doomed. It’s both satisfying and strange, turning this brutal bloodbath into a movie I liked even more than the first Don’t Breathe.

4. The Forever Purge

I’d only seen one other Purge movie I didn’t like before deciding to give the franchise another go, so maybe it feels stale at this point to some goers. But pretty much nothing rang false to me in The Forever Purge. I bought there’d be a group who felt powerful enough to abuse the system, I tell people everywhere about the dangers of extremists with white superiority complexes, and I loved seeing my true fears come to life.

3. Cruella

I am a big fan of movies showing villains in a different light than just the foil for the heroes. When we realize a conflict is not so black and white, we wonder who the hero truly is and how for the “villains”, the heroes are the bad guys. I expected to at least moderately like Cruella because I love Emma Stone. And this is not the same Cruella who is fine with skinning dalmations for the perfect accessories. This is someone who will probably be hard to work with growing up, but seeing how she’s had to grow up and survive, we understand her plights a lot better than The Devil Wears Prada, which clearly has a lot of inspiration from. It was a Disney film with some attitude and naughtiness we’re not used to from the mouse house, and I loved it.

2. No Time To Die

When it comes to James Bond, I am not always the most enthusiastic fan. The fun of spy stories for me is the stealth, disguises, technology and imagination, and Skyfall and Spectre felt lacking in that. Heck, they were even rather slow without having us fully invested. But I was happy with Spectre ending the franchise, with Bond having a keeper. Now we have No Time to Die – and it is the most humanitarian and heartfelt 007 I’ve seen so far. It’s everything I’ve wanted from Bond since I first started watching the movies. We may have had to wait over a year and a half, but it delivered. We’ll miss you in the role, Daniel Craig.

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

I was infuriated when Spider-Man was going to be written out of the MCU over contract disputes between Sony and Marvel, because I knew we would miss out on a movie like this. When he was back in, I knew there was potential for one of the best superhero movies ever seen after that cliffhanger in No Way Home, as well as the fact superhero movies are starting to get stale. We didn’t need four different Marvel movies out this year. And from beginning to end, No Way Home sings. It presents a brand new issue in a bloated genre, encouraging empathy and understanding, with Easter Eggs that are pure celebration rather than pasted on, and it has an ending that I will be thinking about for a very long time. If this is the last time we’ll have Tom Holland in the role, even though it’s a somber ending, I will be satisfied. No Way Home is art, filmmaking at its finest even if snobs say superhero movies aren’t like that.

So those are my 10 best. Here are my three worst.

3. Halloween Kills

The problem with stretching this into three movies while strictly sticking to a formula, especially one that grows as old as this one, is we watch knowing what to expect as well as the fact the bad guy has to be able to survive for one more. I tried to like this brutal and sometimes imaginative and honouring second chapter in the new Halloween series, but by the end it wasn’t able to justify its existence as not a final part to the story.

2. Dune

This is on many best lists of the year, and it’s undeniably a beautiful film. Definitely better photographed than the 1984 original, of the story that supposedly inspired a lot of Star Wars. But for me, taking out the ironic humour with no alternative and slowing it down to a prelude, a version of the first 80 minutes of the original but twice as long, was recipe for a snoozefest, especially taking place in the desert where everything looks the exact same. I am often okay with a movie risking being longer to properly tell its story and not rush through, but this movie has a smugness of almost knowing we have really wanted this movie for ages that we don’t care if it will keep our attention or not because it must! …Right? Well, correct for a lot of people, but it had the opposite effect on me.

1. Space Jam: A New Legacy

I gave this movie a D+, and a lower grade to Dune. But to be honest, this is the film with the most misjudgment I’ve seen this year. I mean, I’ve heard of other movies that would probably be much worse. But I’m glad to put Space Jam: A New Legacy at the top because it has everything I don’t like about Hollywood moviemaking. It completely misses the mark about what made Space Jam a cult classic and shamelessly brags whenever it can about all the properties Warner Bros owns, giving the impression it’s out to prove its might in the industry to get more contracts rather than have a true movie. Its sadness fakeout is so lame they just shouldn’t have bothered, everyone is either under or overacting, and it assumes kids these days aren’t interested in a good story and only love being told it’s okay being addicted to your phone. A sequel to Space Jam was dreamed of for years, and they should’ve hired some actual fans in the writing department.

So those are my Top lists in movies this year! I’d love to hear what some of your favourite and least favourite movies have been! I’ll see you next year in about four hours!!! And if you had a differing opinion on any of these flicks, I’d love to hear your response! Happy New Year!

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