After having spent most of last year in isolation and indoors, everyone was hoping that the New Year would bring back some normalcy, including in entertainment. Mercifully, 2021 was better for the movie industry as theaters across the globe started opening up even though many films shifted to a hybrid release strategy that included theaters and streaming platforms. Though many studios shifted their tent pole titles to the next year, there were still some major releases this year.
Here are our picks for the best Hollywood movies of 2021.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
A failed reporter is bonded to an alien entity, one of many symbiotic creatures who have invaded Earth. But the being takes a liking to Earth and decides to protect it. “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” stands head and shoulders above its prequel in every aspect. Director Andy Serkis has managed to hold the plot of the film, retaining the comedy from the original and making it better. The action in the film is well done and meets the requirements necessary for comic-book movie enjoyment. The cast includes Tom Hardy, who impresses with his performance. The sequel to the 2018 Marvel spinoff is entertaining, and more fun. Hardy’s bumbling sincerity is endearing in a world full of larger-than-life superheroes. If you liked the first movie, you will love the sequel.
It may have not turned out to be as successful as the rest of the Marvel films till date but it still remains as one of the best movies to come out in 2021. The film also does well by introducing a funny and tough Florence Pugh as Yelena, the Black Widow. The film tells the tale of Natasha Romanoff, who confronts the darker parts of her being when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Romanoff must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. This summer release has done incredibly well and is among the top grossing films of 2021. It is a great movie that exceeds expectations with a fast-moving adventure that finally gives Scarlett Johansson’s Avenger the solo chapter she deserves.
F9: The Fast Saga
The cast somewhat remains the same with the exception of Dwayne Johnson. The summer blockbuster was released in June 2021. Director Justin Lin is brought back to helm the sequel after having previously directed “Fast and Furious 6.” “F9” is way better than the “Fate of the Furious,” which was released in 2017. Justin Lin is responsible for correcting the course of the franchise, which had somewhat lost the plot with the sequel’s predecessor. For the first time, the story dives in to the past with some surprisingly compelling flashbacks to Dom’s teenage years. The film centers around Dom and the crew taking on an international terrorist who turns out to be Dom and Mia’s estranged brother. John Cena plays the villain, with the regular cast assembling again for the heavily action-and effects-laden film. “F9” will make you, as with the previous FF films, buckle up and enjoy the ride. Justin Lin, who directed installments 3 and 6, makes this non-stop action film work, handling it with a deft hand. “F9” is a high-flying adventure that will surely not disappoint fans of the series and is most definitely one of the top movies of 2021.
No Time To Die
The latest Bond film was one of the first major blockbusters to have to move its release date due to the pandemic. The wait was long and the release date kept shifting until the film finally was released across the world in October. The last film for Daniel Craig as the licensed-to-kill MI6 agent, the film was worth the wait. “No Time To Die” is a well-paced, action-packed film, and Daniel Craig delivers on all fronts. The stellar cast includes Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek, Jeffrey Wright, Ben Whishaw, Naome Harris, and Ralph Fiennes. The movie wraps things up in a very satisfying manner and is thoughtful and a befitting conclusion to Daniel Craig’s run as Bond. In this new edition, James Bond has left active service but his peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help. It leads Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. The film gets everything right, from the story to the high voltage action and makes it one of the must-watch films of the year.
Not just fun and entertainment, “Free Guy,” starring Ryan Reynolds, has its heart in the right place. This recently released film is emotional, witty and action-packed. The film is about a bank teller who discovers that he is actually an NPC (Non-Player Character) inside a brutal, open world video game. “Free Guy” is pure and unadulterated fun, mixing the worlds of reality and video-gaming and giving us one of the most entertainingly hilarious romantic comedies of 2021. Reynolds pours in his charisma to make this film one of the best to watch this year. It packs enough thrills and laughs and has a fair amount of emotional heft, too. This is definitely one of the best video game movies to be made and is one the great surprises of this year.
This saga is about the Eternals – ancient aliens living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. They come out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, the Deviants. The all-star cast includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and Kit Harington. If a movie is as good as its characters, then the superlative cast in “Eternals” makes the film a great movie. One of the late releases of this year, the film has had a good run at the box office across the world, feeding our hunger for
super-powered action. The director of the film Chloe Zhao, known for her award-winning dramas, such as “Nomadland,” adds a touch of drama to a comic book tale. With big special effects scenes, like any Marvel film, and plenty of action scenes, the film is one of the year’s most popular movies.
Godzilla Vs Kong
In March, during the short window between the waves of the coronavirus, when the theaters opened awhile, this mega movie was released. “Godzilla Vs Kong” reminded moviegoers of the big-screen movie-viewing experience everyone had mostly missed in the previous year. The classic big-budget blockbuster brings these mythic adversaries together in battle, while the fate of the world hanging in the balance. The epic clash between the two titans – instigated by unseen forces – is only the beginning of the mystery of what lies deep within the core of the Earth. “Godzilla vs. Kong” gives fans of these two legends everything they could want: lots of monster mayhem. The massive CGI battles of this spectacular monster movie is best experienced on the big screen but will still be enjoyable at home.
Another recently released popular film is Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.” The acclaimed director of “Blade Runner 2049” brings to the screen a great film. Why is it great? As entertainment, “Dune” checks all the right boxes. The story of the film revolves around the noble House Atreides that has been gifted control of the planet Arrakis, also known as “Dune,” the home of spice. Whoever controls spice production on Arrakis will become very rich indeed. The gift of Arrakis is definitely a test, and likely a trap, overseen by the Atreides’ powerful enemies. The first part of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking novel is visually stunning and exciting. With any ensemble cast, there’s an expectation that it will deliver, and it does. The performances are fantastic and the actors include Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, and Dave Bautista, all pulling their weight. Villeneuve’s film is easily the best adaptation of Frank Herbert’s novel of the same name. The epic movie should be watched on the big screen in a theater. The wait for the second part of the film will not be long, as “Dune: Part Two” is slated for release in October 2023.
Out of F9, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gets out of a giant Humvee and onto a boat instead. With Emily Blunt he is out for the adventure of a lifetime in Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” a rollicking thrill ride down the Amazon river. The film takes you on a fun, family adventure with plenty of laughs, vibrant images, and escapist fun for the whole family. It is unbelievable how Disney can just dig into its treasure trove of intellectual property and produce a blockbuster film, and probably the start of a profitable franchise. Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson are hilarious and their chemistry is insane. “Jungle Cruise” has got adventure, action and loads of humor. The film recalls elements of both the Indiana Jones films, and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” exploiting the best of these two films in making this summer blockbuster one of the best movies of 2021.
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
You get to see Salma Hayek after a long time in a Hollywood film. Isn’t that enough? Here she matches wits and brawn with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson in this thorough entertainer, a movie jampacked with funny situations and intense action set pieces. Director Patrick Hughes brings together Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson and adds in Salma Hayek in this amusing movie. The film narrates the story of the world’s most lethal odd couple – bodyguard Michael Bryce and hitman Darius Kincaid. Bryce is forced into action by Darius’s even more volatile wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid. As Bryce is driven over the edge by his two most dangerous protectees, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot, soon finding out that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman (played by Antonio Banderas). The film is entertaining, and Reynolds and Jackson are at their best. The film is a total blast – explosively funny and unapologetically outrageous.