I used to go to my local cinema 90 times a year before Covid hit, this year I’ve been less than 30 times. Here is the list of 15 Best Films Watched in 2021. Also check out my list of 10 Best Films Watched in Cinemas in 2020 underneath.
Here is the list of 15 Best Films I Watched on Amazon Prime in 2021. I’ve reviewed some of them in my previous posts. Check out my other lists for the year, for best films I’ve watched on Netflix, Mubi, HBO Go, and at the cinemas. Have you seen and loved any of them? Or maybe you didn’t like some of them? Let me know in the comments and if you wish, add me on Letterboxd too.
Here’s the 20 best films I’ve watched on HBO Go in 2021. You can find reviews for some of them on here. If you’d like me to review any of the others, please comment below. This is a list I’ve created on my letterboxd, and thought I’d also paste it in here, just like last year.
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Don’t Breathe 2
When the villain becomes the protagonist. Don’t Breathe (2016) was an excellent entry to the home invasion genre with an amazing twist. Then The Quiet Place (2018) came out which followed some of the same patterns and everyone seemed to forget about Don’t Breathe. The sequel also has a crazy twist and is almost equally as brilliant. I’m devastated there won’t be another one.
I understand the pressure of being the kid who has to translate for their parents who don’t speak the language. Your family’s livelihood depends on you. It angered me when Ruby kept staring at her phone instead of interpreting for her dad. I know this is supposed to be a coming of age, teen movie, but the love plot was unnecessary. I was waiting for them to turn the sound off, and when they finally did, it was very much effective. Also, we all love Joni Mitchell, but Both Sides Now is not an audition song.
We’ve all seen that Amanda Knox documentary on Netflix and just by watching the trailer for Stillwater we can agree this is a rip off of her story. As shocking as Amanda’s story is, the film is even more unbelievable. They wanted to make it seem like a different story, by changing the location from Italy to France to start with and ended up going too far.
How is this not… a new instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise? If you’re in the UK, go see it at Odeon and don’t forget to pick up your A3 poster. It’s the nicest one they’ve had in a while.
I could watch 10 hours of 6 year old Amelie’s adventures. Also, I’ve never noticed the ASMR in the opening credits before. Maybe Youtube isn’t as useless as I thought? The cinematography is beautiful, but the subject matter is too light for me to find the film to be of essence. Watch Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Veronique instead.
Mary and Max
Two lonely people from the opposite sides of the world become best friends. I haven’t had a pen pal since I was twelve and now I really want one. The ending is soul crashing.
‘You are my best friend. You are my only friend. Your American pen pal, Max.’
A Silent Voice
I don’t believe the bully could ever become friends with the bullied, but all the talk about suicide is what makes this animation wonderful.
O Brother Where Art Thou
This reminded me of The Defiant Ones (1958) with Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis and it was funny at times, but why was Holly Hunter in only 2 scenes?
Captivated The Trials of Pamela Smart
An HBO documentary about the first televised trial. This girl clearly didn’t understand she could go to prison for hiring someone to murder her husband. I’ve always loved Gus Vant Sant’s To Die For starring Nicole Kidman and never knew it was loosely based on Pamela Smart’s story.
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I’ve only owned orange cars and that orange Volkswagen is hella pretty. According to IMDB, it’s the exact same car used in So I Married an Axe Murderer. The fact that only 3 of Sidney Poitier’s films are available on my services is a crime. Nonetheless, I’ll watch all 3 this week.
The Other Guys
I recognised Ice T’s voice straight away, and he’s not even credited for his narration. Foo Fighters’ My Hero plays as Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock jump to their deaths in the only interesting scene in the film.
The Mitchells vs The Machines
This was cute, but… furbys are not evil. They were the must-have toy of the late 90s and the film’s portrayal is disappointing. On the other hand, the film has an LGBT character, so all is forgiven.
‘You’ve inspired me to follow you on Instagram.’
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
A few years ago I attended the Security Awards in London and the ceremony was not even remotely as eventful as what is shown in this film. The IMDB page for Kevin James says his trademark is being ‘chubby, but athletic’. I guess this series is the proof of that? There are two reasons why I watched not one, but both Paul Blart films. The first one is that I watched all 9 seasons of King of Queens back in the day, and the second one is that I spent 8 years of my life working in security. I’ve met a lot of police academy drop outs who thought they were saving the world, when in reality they were all very much replaceable.
The Briefing (original title Odprawa)
A camera follows medical students as they learn their profession by making decisions, dealing with difficult patients, talking with patients’ families and fighting exhaustion. The ending is very abrupt and accompanied by annoying sound design. I feel like this could have been something if it was a bit longer.
‘Each one of you will have their cemetery, that’s for sure.’ (oryginal: Kazdy z Was bedzie mial swoj cmentarz, to jest pewne)
Cousins fall in love and feel they’re being punished when a tragedy strikes. Rachel Griffiths is superb as always in a supporting role.
All Good Things
I didn’t realise this was based on Robert Durst’s wife’s disappeareance. I watched Lifetime’s version of events in ‘The Lost Wife of Robert Durst’ just last week. All Good Things is definitely a step up, but it’s still not a good movie.
I have never heard of this musical, but ‘Keep it Gay’ and ‘I Wanna Be a Producer’ are really good musical songs. Will Ferrell is the perfect weirdo for his role.
The War of the Roses
The first half of the film is a generic romcom, but the other half is Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner trying to kill each other and that is super fun!
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As glad as I am that this movie is a continuation of the 1992 film and not a remake, Candyman could really use another bonfire. I’m glad Tony Todd was in this one too, I was worried they had replaced him. I’m disappointed in myself for not figuring out the twist until the hospital scene.
The Night House
This may be the most tense cinema experience I’ve had in years, since Insidious probably. It’s scarier if you can’t see it. I liked the main concept, but the ending, although original, is a let down. On the other hand, the idea of a family member going to all that trouble to protect you is reassuring.
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy Blache
If you’re a filmmaker or a film buff, you need to watch this asap. I will now go watch everything directed by Alice Guy-Blaché I can get my hands on.
Frances is a typical millennial who wants to spend her 20s in New York, pursuing a creative career, but having to take various odd jobs to support herself. Frances Ha is a bigger love letter to New York than a Woody Allen film.
Holly Hunter stars as a 20s woman in love with an old man. Her family do not seem to mind the age difference, but they sure hate his personality. I loved the idea of projecting old family videos on a baby bump.
A story of Japanese teenagers forced to kill each other on a remote island. If you liked The Hunger Games, you have to watch this!
An Iranian girl got into an acting school, but her parents disapprove of such profession. Jafar Panahi is asked to help. I’ve been putting this one off since January, and finally found the time to watch it. The channel I DVR’d it from no longer exists too. I have now seen all of Jafar Panahi’s feature films and Crimson Gold is the only one I didn’t like.
Beautiful set design to a very average fantasy film. With long hair, Tom Cruise looks exactly like Camilla Belle.
Little House: The Last Farewell
What a depressing ending to the series. I wish they brought Harriet, Nellie or Mary back for the final episode/movie. Yes, my family did spent the entire summer rewatching nine seasons of The Little House on the Prairie.