Guy At The Movies’ Top 20 Films Of 2021

2021 comes to an end tonight at midnight and thus it is time for the “best of” lists to roll out. After much consideration and review, here is the Guy At The Movies Top 20 Films of 2021.

20. The Night House

Photo from IMDb

“This is Bruckner’s best work behind the camera yet. The Night House is a pulsating supernatural thriller that only takes its foot off of the pedal for a moment in the middle before kicking it into high gear once again. Quite frankly, it is one of the most engaging experiences at the theater that I have had in quite some time.”

Read the full review here.

19. Eternals

Photo from CNBC

“Eternals is intimate, fun, and exactly what Phase 4 needed. It’s clear that we’ve only scratched the surface of this new corner of the MCU and I’m impatiently waiting, ready for more. I loved it.”

Read the full review here.

18. tick, tick… BOOM!

Photo from IMDb

“tick, tick… BOOM! is a musical for musical lovers, but also a thank you to the late Larson for the ushering in of the modern rock musical (Rent, anyone?). In his story, viewers will find motivation and hope, as well as comfort in the shared experience of pursuing one’s dreams. This is a truly special film.”

Read the full review here.

17. The Suicide Squad

Photo from IMDb

“The Suicide Squad shows that DC films are alive and well when they focus on their characters and not try to do too much. It is a comic book come to life and one of the very best action films in recent memory.”

Read the full review here.

16. A Quiet Place Part II

Photo from CNBC

“A Quiet Place Part II is without a doubt a masterclass in sequels and storytelling; Krasinski is one of the best in his craft. Satisfying the itch to know a little bit more about the creatures without completely shifting tone into a full-blown creature feature, the film maintains the focus on the family and the individuals we have come to know. Well worth the wait, A Quiet Place Part II is not only a fantastic sequel, but one of the best films of the year.”

Read the full review here.

15. The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Photo from IMDb

“Sony Pictures Animation is truly on a hot streak; their films have the unique ability to engage the entire audience and play with their emotions, from genuine belly laughs to tear-inducing curveballs. This is where The Mitchells vs. The Machines thrives, especially under the direction of newcomer Mike Rianda, for it takes on that heavy lift with a fresh approach, a beautiful product, and a perfectly cast set of voice actors.”

Read the full review here.

14. Kili Big

Photo from Deadline

“Kili Big shows that everyone can set a goal and work towards it, bucking what is expected of you and ultimately doing it for the most important person: you. I truly fell in love with each of these women while watching the film, the most connected I have felt to a documentary in quite a long time. Sometimes it’s not about the destination, but the journey. When watching Kili Big, you’re in for quite the exciting journey that will leave your heart full and your mind running as you think about what you want to accomplish.”

Read the full review here.

13. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Photo from Digital Spy

“…this is one of the most emotional MCU entries we’ve ever received, an unexpected turn for a trio of films that has been grounded in youth and comic fun. As has been an issue in previous Spider-Man films (namely Sam Raimi’s third entry), the concern here is in the balancing of all that the film attempts to pull off, but Watts knocks it out of the park. The story development is peppered with an extensive array of jaw-dropping action sequences. The cinematography and effects take No Way Home to the next level, aided by a dynamic score that represents a collision of the past and present. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I said “holy shiitake mushrooms” out loud multiple times. Spider-Man: No Way Home is an absolute blast from start to finish.”

Read the full review here.

12. Our American Family

Photo from Woodstock Film Festival

“Viewers will leave Our American Family feeling as though they have been put through the ringer, the family members having won you over with their brutal honesty and willingness to show the realities of generational addiction. The determination and love of the family’s matriarch in particular touch your heart and inspire. The film is a must-watch to better understand the complicated layers associated with the wide-sweeping disease, informed by those for whom it all is a part of life.”

Read the full review here.

11. CODA

Photo from IMDb

“CODA breaks barriers in the way in which it highlights a family dynamic never before seen in a film like this, evoking everything from heartbreak and tears to laughter and cheers. This is a family drama that must be seen.”

Read the full review here.

10. Not Going Quietly

Photo from Tribeca Film Festival

“Not Going Quietly reduced me to a sobbing mess on more than one occasion, partly because of the struggles Americans face in acquiring base healthcare and then due to Ady himself, for the depiction of his warm, caring nature and the visible decline witnessed throughout the film. Ady teaches each of us that we can take our circumstances and use them for good, to influence the conversation and to make real change that is so desperately needed. Bruckman gifts viewers with a passenger seat ride along with Ady over numerous years and it is not one that you will soon forget, beautifully capturing Ady’s humor, passion, and heart.”

Read the full review here.

9. The Perfect David

Photo from MUBI

“Both leads are flawless in their performances, commanding each scene and masterfully conveying each emotion. Aparicio’s choice to depict much of the film in darkness and shadows furthers the unsettling tone and is reflective of David’s increasingly troubled, enraged state of mind. The constant uneasiness carries through to the end as David’s infatuation with sculpting the perfect body only intensifies.”

Read the full review here.

8. Dune

Photo from IMDb

“Dune is an outstanding cinematic achievement featuring flawless performances, breathtaking visuals, and a Hans Zimmer score to rival his best. Denis Villeneuve has crafted one of the best science fiction films in recent memory, perhaps ever.”

Read the full review here.

7. Firebird

Photo from Screen Daily

“Director Peter Rebane has crafted a gay romance on par with some of the most commercially successful and accepted comparable films out there; the production value and intrigue is often unseen in the genre. While the events depicted take place in the Cold War era, it is important to shine light on the fact that the illegalities at the core of the film are once again in existence today in Russia. To be oneself in the country is near impossible and incredibly dangerous; lives are destroyed, torn apart, and even lost over it. Firebird is one of the very best films of 2021 and a standout amongst its peers.”

Read the full review here.

6. The Tender Bar

Photo from Variety

“Tye Sheridan and Lily Rabe both explore their characters with emotional range and strength, both giving exceptional performances, but it is Ben Affleck who steals the show. He spends most of the time behind the bar spewing advice and pouring drinks for a regular clientele, a strong father figure in J.R.’s life and an unsuspecting quarterback for the whole family. Affleck has a commanding presence in each of his scenes, balances heart and humor with precision, and absolutely must be considered in the Best Supporting Actor race.”

Read the full review here.

5. Belfast

Photo from The Hollywood Reporter

“Belfast serves as Branagh’s ode to the past, a revisiting of the events and people that shaped his childhood while also highlighting the role that cinema played in his life from early on. It never once feels revisionist, as many similar films do, and the film ultimately will resonate with all looking towards the future for an escape from their current conditions. Belfast exudes charm and is sure to be one of, if not the actual frontrunner for next year’s Oscars.”

Read the full review here.

4. Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Photo from IMDb

“An epic. There really is no other way to describe Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a superhero film flush with rich character development, stunning action sequences, and more heart that any DC film that has come before it.”

Read the full review here.

3. In the Heights

Photo from IMDb

“Make no mistake, In the Heights is pure joy from start to finish, an instant hit and the breakout film performance for star Anthony Ramos. In the Heights hits every note and will leave a lasting impact on all who see it.”

Read the full review here.

2. Mass

Photo from Variety

“The simplistic setting and camerawork, along with the lack of a soundtrack, further magnifies the gravity of each word spoken. For me, Mass joins recent films such as Marriage Story and Pieces of a Woman as genuine tales of necessity that, while not for everyone, leaves you better for having watched.”

Read the full review here.

Top Movie of 2021: Flee

Photo from MUBI

“The complexity of Amin’s experiences can not be understated with his family on the run, separated, and in constant fear. Filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen smartly allows Amin’s words to carry the film, elevated by the animated scenes for the privacy (and protection) of those involved. The result is Flee, a documentary unlike any you’ve ever seen before that packs a punch made up of all the feels and with a lesson for all to hear.”

Read the full review here.

What Do You Think?

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