Written by: Robin C. Farrell | December 20th, 2021
Below are my Top 10 films of 2021, in alphabetical order. This was a bizarre year, to say the least, and offered the chance for me to feel safe enough to venture back out to movie theatres. My list reflects a pretty even split of the smaller movies and larger-scale ones. The titles of the ones I reviewed are hyperlinked to those reviews; otherwise, they are linked to the movie’s website and I also provide a brief capsule of my thoughts. Enjoy!
- • Being the Ricardos (Aaron Sorkin)
- • Dune (Denis Villeneuve): Dune is loaded with problematic elements; a lot hangs in the balance for how Denis Villeneuve and Warner Bros. proceed with the forthcoming “Part Two” (here’s hoping they address the significant feedback). However, I, like so many others, was blown away by the experience of seeing this film in theaters. The sound design, cinematography, and overall film craft were on point throughout and it’s clear that this was very much a passion project for the director.
- • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Jonathan Butterell)
- • Free Guy (Shawn Levy): spoiler free review on my personal blog
- • In the Heights (Jon M. Chu): I was lucky enough to see a stage production of In the Heights in 2017 and was immediately enamored. This adaptation absolutely captures the spirit of the show and contains an abundance of energy and passion and heartfelt emotion. Musicals are back in a big way and In the Heights is at the top of that list.
- • India Sweets & Spices (Geeta Malik)
- • P!nk: All I Know So Far (Michael Gracey)
- • Raya and the Last Dragon (Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada/Paul Briggs and John Ripa): Stunning animation, beautifully crafted worldbuilding and themes, tremendous vocal performances … everything works seamlessly and brilliantly in this film. I was unprepared for such a moving subplot between father and daughter, however, so this one hit me in a particularly personal place. To be affected so deeply, though, just shows the breadth and skill on display. Here’s hoping for more of such ingenuity in the future of Disney Animation.
- • Scales (Shahad Ameen)
- • The Water Man (David Oyelowo)