My Most Anticipated Films of 2021 Review

As I expected with COVID-19 still being very much out there and continuing to kill and disable, there were quite a few films pushed to 2022 and beyond. However, this was a much better crop of movies than what we got in 2020. Below are just brief thoughts and links to the full reviews of movies I saw. Then we have the ones I haven’t seen yet split into “will eventually” watch and “not likely” piles. These all come from the Most Anticipated Films of 2021 (2) posts made last year.

Nightmare Alley (*** 1/2) – Grateful this movie introduced me to the original. Very good remake.

C’mon C’mon (****) – Mike Mills just keeps becoming a better and better filmmaker.

Minari (*** 1/2) – Good performances from everyone, I just didn’t find the plot very engaging, sort of predictable.

Nomadland (****) – Chloe Zhao just shoots stunning film, putting herself in position to be the next Malick (poetic moviemaker).

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (** 1/2) – I didn’t think it would be as bad as it was. CG Harold Ramis drove it over the edge for me, one of the most craven things I’ve seen in a movie.

Last Night in Soho (***) – Technically it’s spectacular, Edgar Wright is a fantastic cinematographer. Storywise…incredibly muddled and not satisfying.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (*) – I hate Marvel. They sapped all potential from the one movie of theirs I was excited about this year. Overblown CG, devoid of genuine human emotion.

Old (**) – At this point, I’m just watching M. Night movies to see how much more crazy he’s become. This one isn’t his worst, but extremely far from his best.

The Suicide Squad (****) – By far, my biggest surprise of 2021. Leave it to James Gunn to save this franchise from the garbage heap. Let’s hope Warner Bros. can keep it going in 2022.

Candyman (*** 1/2) – So visually satisfying and the cast is fantastic. The biggest problem with this film is the script which feels very unclear by the finale.

Dune (*** 1/2) – Extremely well made adaptation that manages to fix some of the pacing/exposition problems of Lynch’s. I am more looking forward to Part 2, as it is where the story gets really good.

Annette (*** 1/2) – Very weird, but extremely satisfying. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Leos Carax and Sparks. The best scene is the finale in prison where our title character delivers an incredible singing performance.

The Card Counter (****) – Paul Schraeder is making great movies these days. This one continues exploring similar themes as Taxi Driver but with a much more nuanced character.

Don’t Look Up (*** 1/2) – These days, satire works best as a full hand slap across the face. The Dr. Strangelove of Climate Change movies. It’s no surprise the media don’t like this one.

The French Dispatch (****) – Wes Anderson is just so good and here he stretches himself with a series of short pieces. Few directors today know how to block a scene or use production design as well as Anderson.

The Green Knight (**** 1/2) – One of the best Arthurian adaptations. It doesn’t just retell the story, but finds interesting new ways to explore it’s themes from a modern viewpoint.

Licorice Pizza (**** 1/2) – P.T. Anderson never fails to delight. This return to the Valley is full of familiar shades with a strange love story and a love letter to the 1970s.

Zola (**** 1/2) – The best portrayal of communication on the internet we’ve ever had. This takes a Twitter thread and elevates it to a level of cinema that feels so refreshing.

Didn’t See, But WillDidn’t See, Probably Won‘t
Red Rocket
The Souvenir Part II
No Time To Die
In the Earth
The Woman in the Window

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