The 5 Best and 5 Worst Movies of 2021 so far
We're now six months into the year, so time to see how the movie world is shaping up so far...
We're now up the end of June, so to celebrate the half-year mark, we figured we'd look back over the best and worst movies we've watch in 2021 so far.
Since cinemas haven't really been open since December until quite recently, you might be forgiven that there haven't actually been all that many movies to choose from, but you'd be wrong! The movies have still be arriving thick and fast, and below you'll find the best and worst of them all.
Before we get to the countdown proper, here are some movies that missed out on the lists:
Worst Honourable Mentions: Tom & Jerry, Coming 2 America, Pixie, Awake, Spiral: From the Book of Saw.
Best Honourable Mentions: Nobody, I Care A Lot, Judas & The Black Messiah, Minari, Sound Of Metal.
Now, on with the tops and the bottoms of the half-year, starting with...
5TH WORST - THE HITMAN'S WIFE'S BODYGUARD
One of the first movies to arrive on the big screen after that six-month forced hiatus, this was a very quick reminder that not every movie needs a sequel. Sure, the 2017 original was a surprise box office hit, but it wasn't very good. Were there Reddit threads and endless hashtag campaigns for a sequel to The Hitman's Bodyguard that somehow passed us by? No. But at least the poor critical and commercial reaction to this one means we won't be getting, I dunno, The Hitman's Wife's Poolboy's Bodyguard in 2025.
Clip via Lionsgate
5TH BEST - A QUIET PLACE PART II
And we go straight from one movie that helped re-open cinemas didn't need a sequel, to another movie that definitely DID need one. As Cillian Murphy himself put it (see interview below), A Quiet Place Part II might have been the BEST movie to help us get reacquainted with cinemas. A handsomely made, incredibly-well-acted horror that demands your attention - and your silence - we'll have to wait and see if it holds up come December, or if we were just hyped about seeing a very good new movie on the big screen.
4TH WORST - OUTSIDE THE WIRE
Admit it: you'd already forgotten this movie ever existed. The problem with cinemas not being open, and Netflix still churning out their product, is that they'll end up taking more and more of these top slots (Netflix movies have four of these combined ten entries). This sci-fi action-thriller starring a charm-free Anthony Mackie was aiming to be District 9 but with aliens replaced by androids. The trailer showed us an interesting idea, but an idea that the movie couldn't follow up on.
Clip via Netflix
4TH BEST - THE FATHER
We might never stop crying because of this movie. Anthony Hopkins delivers a career-best performance (in a career overflowing with career-best performances) as a man who tries to remain as independent as possible, even in the face of impending dementia, rejecting assistance from his daughter (Olivia Colman). Hopkins deservedly won the Best Actor Oscar for this, but please do listen to our warning: You. Might. Never. Stop. Crying.
Clip via Lionsgate
3RD WORST - THUNDER FORCE
As we said in our longer review, Melissa McCarthy needs to stop letting her husband direct her movies. This is the fifth time he's helmed one of her films, and this is the fifth time they've been bad. And Thunder Force brings down the incredibly-likeable Octavia Spencer with them! For shame! Listen, we get it, you want to cash-in on the Darkly Comic Superhero Subgenre that appears to work so well for Deadpool and The Boys and Invincible. The difference between those and this, and that all of those had good scripts. This did not.
Clip via Netflix
3RD BEST - PALM SPRINGS
Who would've thought that this Andy Samberg-starring Groundhog Day rip-off would actually be the Ultimate Pandemic Movie? Trapped in a day that seems to repeat itself over and over, nowhere to go, talking to the same people over and over, left questioning your own existence... If that all sounds a bit heavy, don't worry, because Palm Springs is actually very, VERY funny, with Samberg and co-star Cristin Milioti making for one of the best rom-com pairings in a long time.
Clip via Prime Video
2ND WORST - LOCKED DOWN
Too. Soon. That might have been the biggest complaint about this pandemic-set heist movie, if it wasn't for the fact that this had some incredible people involved in it - Oscar-winning leads, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, and the director of some great action movies - and it ended up feeling like a smugly conceived way for some famous people to kill some time until they could get back to making movies properly again. Did we need to see famous people on glitchy Zoom calls, while we're still in the middle of the pandemic? No. No we did not.
Clip via HBO Max
2ND BEST - PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
The best, most-entertaining movie we never want to watch again. A pitch-black attack of comedy on toxic males and revenge thrillers. Writer/director Emerald Fennell (who we chatted to below) delivers a scalpel-sharp incision into modern cinema, thanks to being paired with a screen-burning performance by Carey Mulligan. The film is so funny, so intelligent, filled with so many iconic scenes and talking points... but it is also so dark we're not sure we'll ever be in the proper mindset to watch it again. Ask us again in December to see if we're ready to give it another go.
1ST WORST - THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
An acclaimed director adapting a hit bestselling thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Woman on the Train. An all-star cast, all clearly excited about working on this generation's answer to the best in Hitchcock's CV. Truth be told, we've no idea how the finished product ended up being THIS BAD. All the pieces were in place, the movie clearly had a healthy budget, but it is an absolute mess of conflicting performances, clashing tones, and garish directorial and editing choices. An absolute train-wreck of a film, so probably worth watching for that reason alone.
Clip via Netflix
1ST BEST - THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES
Yes, Netflix provided us with the worst movie of the year so far, but they've also been home to 2021's best yet. Writer/director Michael Rianda (who we chatted to below) teamed up with the folks behind The LEGO Movie and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and together they delivered a comedy where the primary complaint is there are too many jokes. Relentlessly funny and inventive, with some all-timer one-liners and supporting characters, with levels of comedy aimed at every demographic and age group watching it. It'll take something truly special to knock this from the top spot by the time December rolls around.