Thursday, January 6, 2022

Top Ten of 2021

 This year I'm keeping things short for this list as I plan on doing a podcast episode of Chapters with my friend Ben Malcomson in which I'll go into much more detail about this list. If you follow my page on Facebook (and if you don't, please do, I mean, why not? What's liking a page going to hurt? I swear I only post updates a handful of times a month), I'll share the link to the show when it happens (we haven't set a date just yet). I'm going to keep this list to a single sentence for each movie. And here's my yearly reminder that I consider these to be my favorite movies of the year, not the objectively best movies of the year.

Note: I still haven't seen Spider Man: No Way Home or Licorice Pizza. I point these two out because everyone seems to love Spider Man, so maybe I will, too (but I'm still in the midst of some severe Marvel fatigue), and Paul Thomas Anderson is my favorite working director (they just haven't released Licorice Pizza anywhere near me yet). When I see these films, if they blow me away or something, I may come back and amend the list. 

1. The Last Duel

Ridley Scott still makes classic historical epics, and I love them, especially when they are this compelling.

-The Last Duel is available for purchase or rental.
    2. Pig

    This is the once-every-decade reminder that Nicolas Cage isn't a fucking joke.

    -Pig is available on Hulu.

    3. The Green Knight

    A trippy, beautiful adaptation about what it means to be a hero. Full review here.

    -The Green Knight is available for purchase or rental.

    4. Riders of Justice

    This film about grief was full of surprises, most notable the surprise that a film about such a depressing subject could be so funny and enjoyable.

    -Riders of Justice is available on Hulu.

    5. Dune

    If this was a five hour adaptation of the entire novel, it would probably be my number one; I still loved every minute of this first half.

    -Dune is available for purchase and will likely be back on HBO Max soon.

    6. The Card Counter
    Paul Schrader makes such serious films these days, and I love them, especially when they feature a perfect Oscar Isaac.

    -The Card Counter is available for purchase and rental.

    7. The Tragedy of MacBeth

    The first solo Joel Coen movie is a dark take on the play that is reminiscent of Orson Welles's classic adaptation, but better.

    -The Tragedy of MacBeth is in theaters and will debut on Apple TV+ on January 14.

    8. The French Dispatch

    At this point you're either with Wes Anderson, or you're against him; I'm still with him.

    -The French Dispatch is available for purchase and rental.

    9. CODA

    This film does such an amazing job (through both writing and performance) at creating characters you care about.

    -CODA is available on Apple TV+.

    10. Malignant

    I typically don't care one way or another about most modern horror films, but this one was so surprisingly fun and goofy that I loved it.

    -Malignant is available for purchase and rental and will likely be back on HBO Max soon.

    Honorable Mentions

    Zack Snyder's Justice League - Look, I dig Zack Snyder's DC shit, especially his director's cuts, so this one hit a sweet spot for me.

    Nightmare Alley - I just enjoy the world del Toro created with this film.

    Disfluency - A realistic and touching portrayal of a horrible situation and all the feelings associated with it.

    Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time - Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers, and this film made me feel like I knew him.

    The Suicide Squad - I dig James Gunn's shit, especially when it's a comic book movie that doesn't require homework to understand.

    The Matrix Resurrections - I thought I hated this the first time I watched it (and maybe I still do), but upon a rewatch I can't think of any other way to make this; it really is a kind of miracle that Lana Wachowski and the other writers came up with a premise that made any kind of sense (the straight-up boring action kept this off the main list).

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