As we’re only just into a new year I thought I’d bring back Movie Mondays with a bit of a retrospective on the best movies of 2021. There are definitely some films that I have not gotten around to yet but will hopefully watch soon. Some of these movies that will not be included here but have received critical acclaim are; Spider Man: No Way Home, Judas and The Black Messiah, Liquorice Pizza, Another Round, Shiva Baby, Nomadland and Pig. These are all on my watch list and they will hopefully feature on future Movie Mondays posts. Anyway, here are my top 5 movies of 2021.
5. The Last Duel
An all-star cast and direction from the great Ridley Scott, The Last Duel was always going to be a must-watch. Admittedly I was very late to the party but having got round to it, I can say that this is a very captivating movie. Through a variety of different perspectives we see a tragic true story play out and an ensuing trial. The brilliant Jodie Comer plays Marguerite de Carrouges in a story that reflects much of the experience of women even today. Through constant objectification and abuse she remains strong and the film highlights a historical event that I had no prior knowledge of.
4.The Power of The Dog
A very interesting take on an old Western tale that centres around a homestead in the new world, The Power of The Dog holds a lot of surprise if, like me, you go into the movie blind. Taking on major themes of sexuality, alcoholism and gender roles in traditional American families all with a small cast of characters, the project was certainly never low in ambition. It is definitely a bit of a slow burner to start off but the story makes it worthwhile along with some great but relatively subtle performances from Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee.
3. The Green Knight
Another Dev Patel masterclass, The Green Knight is a highly surreal and beautifully shot fantasy movie that is based on a 14th-century poem. There are some overtly weird moments that definitely got a reaction out of me whilst watching and the whole movie really drew me in from the very beginning. A24 is a studio that knows how to make visually stunning movies that appeal to many film fans and this one was no exception.
2. Sound of Metal
Having already spoken about Sound of Metal in a previous post, I’ll keep this brief. This movie is so much more than I was expecting and I can’t think of any other film that utilises sound in such an integral way. Amazing writing and a highly emotional story set up the backbone of the movie but amazing performances all round really make it a special film.
One of the most stunning movies that I have ever seen, Dune is a true cinematic masterpiece. One of the original great sci-fi stories, the original Dune books were very popular but following an awful movie adaptation in 1984 and the overshadowing success of the Star Wars franchise, Dune seemed to fade into obscurity a bit. With the masterful direction of Denis Villeneuve, the story has been brought back to life for a new generation and I can’t wait to see what the next film holds. Dune is one of my favourite movies and I could speak about it all day, so I’ll just leave it here- make sure you watch this and watch it on as big a screen as possible.