Joe’s Top 10 Favourite Movies of 2021!

Hello Interwebs! I watched a lot of movies this past year– some fantastic, others less so. But which were my 10 favourites? Read on to find out.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a list of the 10 BEST movies I watched in 2021. There is no judgment of quality here– just what I liked most.

10. Free Guy

The best video game movie ever made? Debatable. The best I’ve seen? Most definitely. Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer’s charming lead performances were easy to root for. And the story contained an infectious positivity. Free Guy was good fun and a great summer blockbuster!

9. The Last Duel

It hurts me that this one bombed… Bad marketing campaign aside– TLD was a timely and well-told story which deconstructs notions of “chivalry”. It examines how social power and bias conspire to manipulate the truth. TLD also shows us that, while society’s social order has progressed a good deal, Medieval notions of rape are still unnervingly prevalent. Films like this which stick with me after viewing, and which make me think critically about the world and my place in it deserve to be recognized for their effects.

8. No Time to Die

Daniel Craig was the first James Bond I ever watched. And he remains one of my favourite actors to don the title 007 (second only behind Sean Connery). NTTD was a fitting send off for Craig’s version of the character. It felt the most “Bond-like” of all his films too! Great action and an emotionally satisfying story made for a memorable outing to theatres. It’s the only film of 2021 which made me cry…

7. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

I’ve followed the MCU since 2008, and seen all their movies. Shang-Chi is one of the best they’ve ever done! Of special note was its rare balance between humor, action, and plot. I also appreciated the East Asian influences in Shang-Chi’s direction. These helped the film stand out from most other blockbusters this year, both visually and tonally. But the real reason Shang-Chi made this list: it contained some of the best choreographed action sequences I’ve witnessed in 2021.

6. Zack Snyder’s Justice League

This was a long-time coming. I signed the petitions, spread the good word, and hoped beyond reason for this film to release. And so it did! More importantly it was good!!! Oh– how the comic book movie fan in me rejoiced for a good Justice League movie… Snyder’s distinctive style stands apart from any other comic book film on the market. He knows how to create a feeling of epicness like few others in Hollywood. And this time he had a solid script to work from as well! Basically– everything came together for him. I want to see more comic-book films with this level of creative freedom. Let these things get crazy!

5. Judas and the Black Messiah

You know what I like just as much (if not more) than movies which entertain me? Movies which teach me something. And no other film of 2021 taught me so much as Judas and the Black Messiah. This is a history I never learned about in school. With racial tensions continuing to grow– this anecdote about HOW such issues escalate shows us how we might stop things from getting worse. ‘Cause constant retaliations (regardless of who fired the first shots) only prolong and intensify the problems. Movies like this allow me to examine new perspectives (to me), alter my stance based on new information, and grow as a human being in the process.

4. In the Heights

I didn’t see this one till later in the year, but it blew me away! In the Heights is a moving film about the bonds of community and Latinx immigrant experiences. This is another film which resonated with me beyond simple entertainment. It allowed me to enter a world I’ve never been and learn new things about cultures with which I’ve had little exposure. This film uplifted me and

3. Dune

This made #2 on my list for sheer filmmaking craft alone. Dune is the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen! I said so in my review and I stick by that sentiment. Denis Villeneuve crafted this thing with love, and it shows in every single shot. The story is epic as well! Dune only loses points for telling half the adventure. There’s still lots to go. But this adaptation inspired me to buy the original book, so that’s a success in itself!

2. The Suicide Squad

I freaking loved this movie! It’s still the most pure enjoyment I’ve had watching a movie this year. THIS was the Suicide Squad film I wanted to see in 2016. DC finally let this concept live up to its potential with endearing characters, an actual sense of stakes, fun action, and sheer insanity. They made me care about freaking Ratcatcher 2 and Polka Dot Man! The Suicide Squad is one of my all-time favourite comic-book films but couldn’t quite crack the top spot…

1. Spiderman: No Way Home

In Number 1 is the Friendly Neighbourhood webhead we all know and love! Wouldn’t you know it? Here we got a superhero film where the main goal is to SAVE people instead of merely overcoming badguys. Spidey is one of the best heroes of all time for a simple reason: he’s the every-man. Most of his moral decisions blow up in his face, but he chooses them anyway because they’re right. That’s inspiring stuff to me! Spider-Man’s kind of morality has helped guide my life since I was a kid, and will do so for years to come.

So yeah– No Way Home contains solid action, great performances and a healthy dose of nostalgia– but it tells one of my all-time favourite stories well. Stories– as I’ve said in this blog multiple times– are at the core of my identity. They define me and are some of the most important things in my life. And seeing the story of Spider-Man done such justice brings me a joy no other movie of 2021 could replicate.

NOTE: I will not be writing a “Top 10 Worst Films of 2021” list. I believe in spreading joy and celebrating positivity, not arbitrarily tearing apart the hard work of others (especially if I’ve already voiced my criticisms).

What were your favourite films of 2021? Is there anything you recommend I check out (NOTE: Check out my Reviews list for an idea of what I’ve already watched)? If you have any ideas for future articles, or any questions, let me know. Also be sure to Like this article on Facebook and share if you enjoyed!

Till next time,

Joe Morin

By Joseph Morin

Joe's passion for film and entertainment began at 7 years old when his younger brother demanded to watch Duel of the Fates every day for weeks (on DVD). Joe admired the sequence so much, he decided to dedicate his life to film-making and storytelling. He has a degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University. Joe loves DC superheroes (especially Superman), the first six Star Wars movies, and arguing about media with anyone who will listen.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *