The Year of 2021 has now ended. Most people are breathing a sigh of relief. But the “Year of Living Pandemically” has shown that movie theaters and Hollywood are (in general) not to be counted out. The biggest problem for the Theaters is “The Rise of the Streamers”. The next biggest issue for Hollywood is the lack of originality.
Which movies stood out in 2021?
First off — what is the best way to determine what was most popular in 2021? The normal way of checking the Box Office numbers is not going to help. These numbers are going to be skewed so badly that it would be only a guide to some movies released this past year. It does not account for the “Streamer-only” release. It does not take into affect the ‘Day and Date’ release option. Some Streaming services would have new releases in Theaters and on the service on the same day. Sometimes, this came with an extra fee, and other times it did not.
Going only by movies released in theaters, and based on the Box Office receipts — one thing is clear. Hollywood has run out of creativity and originality. Of the Top Fifteen in the Box Office listing this past year, only 2 of those movies can be considered ‘original’. That is, Movies that were not a sequel, part of a series, a remake, or based on a different property (book, magazine article, Disneyland ride, or like that).
Here is a list of some Movies from 2021 that should not be overlooked:
Actually released in 2020 for Oscar nominations — then widely released in early 2021. This is a simple tale of a Korean-American family and how they came together in adversity.
“Yes, “Minari” is not an action-filled adventure or a twisty reveal of class warfare, but this slowly-paced movie is a very interesting way to show the real lives of Korean immigrants.”
Original release from 2020 was postponed, like many others. This is a follow-up to the original “A Quiet Place” released in 2018. It is an intense movie about survival during a worldwide attack by aliens who attack based on sound. The first one was ground-breaking, and this new one has the same intensity.
“That is why this movie is poised to open up in movie theaters around the world and, quietly, become a roaring success.”
This movie has an unusual origin, being based on a large number of Tweets about a wild trip to Florida. It is raunchy and social-media driven, but the goofiness of the story and the way it is told is quite amusing.
“‘Zola’ is a quick dive into a deep pool of human debauchery. It is played as truth laid out bare, with an emphasis on the ‘bare’.”
This is a remake that redid an earlier version, with a few of the original actors from the first attempt.
“‘The Suicide Squad’ has been a unique take on the Superhero genre. They have special abilities, but they are normally up to no good. In this movie, the nasty and despicable nature of this group of people is placed into a spectacular light.”
Original release from 2020 was postponed, like many others. This is Daniel Craig’s final time playing James Bond.
“The things that make a ‘Bond’ movie special are all on display, such as fantastic action sequences, beautiful locations and beautiful women. But there is also large tinge of sadness, like a final passing of an era.”
A movie in which the truth is in the telling of the tale, that is, the retelling from three different viewpoints.
“‘The Last Duel’ tells a true tale of a 14th century betrayal and rape, and how the woman would not let the culprit get away with it. She tells her story and wants to start a ‘Medieval Me Too-eth Movement’.”
This is a ghost story wrapped up in a Swinging Sixties London based romp, where things are not as they seem.
“Edgar Wright has created a lovingly crafted postcard from a recent bygone time, with all the sights and sounds from a Hip and Swinging Era. But for all the fun soundtrack songs and for all the glowing neon – there is a darker secret that lies in the midst of the party atmosphere.”
The movie is a cautionary tale that is morality play dressed up as a carnival sideshow with creepy characters.
“‘Nightmare Alley’ is a throwback to the story and style of the ‘film noir’ movies. It is beautifully done, even if the total sum is just a little less than all of it parts…
Yes, it is much a part of a larger story, but it is a fun example of how to do an epic story correctly.
“Mainly, the idea of previous movie series versions of the ‘Spider-Man’ world being combined into this movie is a mind-blowing concept. But the way that it is seamlessly done in this movie is work of art. This is a true ‘Chef’s Kiss’ of Superhero Action.”
“The Truffle Hunters”
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
“West Side Story”
This is not a full and compressive list. It is not even really a ‘Top Ten’ list. But it is a list of 2021 Movies that you might want to check out. Some are still in theaters, so that is available. Some have been release to Video-on-Demand, or possibly on Streaming services. In any case, be on the look out for these little gems.