This was truly an arduous task. I see a ton of movies. It's all art. It all hits me differently, for different reasons.
SO, how do you pick a Top 10?
I can tell you one thing. The criteria shifted from film to film. It just did. See opening statement.
There were some GREAT movies in 2021.....it's one of the great things we got out of an otherwise mediocre year.
I could've listed Dune below, or The Eternals, Stillwater with my main man Matt Damon. Ultimately they didn't make the cut.
The most surprising, even to me, is #10. I went this for my kids. PERIOD. I had NO interest. In fact, I prepared my wife for my nap as I had a busy day that day. Told her to nudge me if I snored.
Not only did I not sleep, I was impressed. The music was tremendous, I was singing along and cheering along. I fully expected Camilla Cabello to annoy me. She didn't. Not at all. She was so great. Billy Porter, Idina Menzel and Pierce Brosnan were also quite good.
Believe me or not. I put this in at #10 for a reason. It's solid.
Remember I said the criteria shifted with each film. This is THE example of that. I thought the movie was okay. It was slow, then rushed. I mean all this build up and build up and then it's like they had to get the kids to hockey practice and just hurried to get the flick over with.
HOWEVER, the performances were all remarkable. Lady Gaga and Jared Leto stole it for me. AND the story is outrageous. I had NO clue of any of that story.
Don't Look Up. Holy smokes, this was a rollercoaster for me. When I first saw the trailer, I'm thinking this is going to be my favorite movie of 2021. The cast. Adam McKay (Vice, The Big Short) directing.
It just didn't quite hit expectations. That said, it's at #8 on my list. It's good. It's worth seeing, especially since you don't have to leave the house. (It's on Netflix).
It got a bit TOO silly at times for me, which sort of ruined my engagement, BUT it ultimately brought me back through the story and the acting. Sadly, it very much reflects our current reality and how so much of humanity behaves.
Stick with it to the end, you will be rewarded. The ending saved it for me.
Without having daughters, I'd likely never see movies like this. But I'll just say this. Disney has perfected the art of the strong female character. Their "warrior Princesses" are just so good, like Moana, Merida and etc. And now, we have RAYA.
RAYA & The Last Dragon was an awesome story of believing in yourself. What got me directly in the heart is it was also about a very special kind of love and that is a Father / Daughter love.
Hahahahaha. I look at Ryan Reynolds' character and I just giggle. This movie was a TON of fun. In the past I've sought out and been drawn to the more serious performances and films. But I don't know, perhaps the weight of normal life these days has me connecting with more fun. This flick was an original concept and well executed. LOTS of video game and pop culture easter eggs, of course I'm not going to spoil any of that. But I loved FREE GUY.
This one got dumped on, largely. So many people I talk to thought it was "okay".
Our entire household loved BLACK WIDOW. ScarJo is one of the celeb loves of my life. LOL. She's just the best. Sure, yes, I'm a guy and I think she's hotter than bacon grease, BUT what I love about her is how down to Earth she is as a person and just how BAD ASS she is as Natasha.
AND now we have, Yelena. Played by the incredibly gifted Florence Pugh. We will be seeing more from this character and I can't wait.
The MARVEL Cinematic Universe needed strong new characters.
They got one in Shaun aka Shang-Chi. They established a great new sandbox for us to play in. Awkwafina is excellent as well.
After one watch, I thought it got a little messy, BUT after another watch it all clicked and I just wanted more. So I think I've seen it 4-5-6 times. Definitely more if you include watching parts of it.
KING RICHARD caught me by surprise. I didn't even know this movie was coming. Wanted to see in the theaters, but time didn't allow. However it's character driven and not a lot of affects so small screen is okay. It's on HBO Max.
Was NOT aware of this story. My jaw dropped. Want to talk about commitment from a Father?! Maybe too a fault, but if you've heard of Venus or Serena Williams, well you know his commitment paid off, big time.
I've been WAY over Will Smith for a LONNNNNNNG time, but I'm glad I didn't pre-judge him here cuz he's excellent. As are the kids.
This could've easily been #1. But I went with my heart.
This IS the best Spider-Man movie of all time, that much is definitive. I was not at all sure about Tom Holland at first, now I'd go see about anything he's in. Zendaya is amazing too.
Can't tell you anymore without spoilers.
This has all the MARVEL bits in it though. Heart-wrenching, frequently giggle worthy. Offers so much.
What can I say? I don't even feel a need to validate this one.
Just go see it and I will be validated.
The story is there. I smiled and giggled the entire way.
It reaches back to the past just enough while standing on it's own. You don't have to have seen the original or even been alive in the 80's to love this one.
THIS is how you reboot a movie franchise. Warning. You will laugh and you will cry. GHOSTBUSTERS AFTERLIFE has it all.
Perfect example. It's my #1 movie of the year and I'm quite certain my 9 year old daughter would agree.
Mckenna Grace is a super star. Paul Rudd is.....well Paul Rudd. I had NO clue who Logan Kim was before this, but he was a ton of fun.
That's as much as I can tell you without spoiling anything. Go see this. It's what a summer movie SHOULD be.