Holidays are back, so it's time to reflect on my personal favorite movies of 2021. Thankfully for those comfortable with going to the theaters, the jaw-dropping cinematic events are back. In alphabetical order, check out which films made the cut.
A Quiet Place II
A Quiet Place Part II (2021) - Final Trailer - Paramount Pictures www.youtube.com
The sequel to John Krasinski and Emily Blunt's horror movie is as amazing as the first one. The first gripping 15 minutes show how the apocalyptic world came to be, and the story instantly picks up where it left off. Cillian Murphy is a great addition to the cast plus he has some of the best action scenes throughout the movie. If viewers are paying attention, some plot devices are predictable. But with the effective jump scares and eerie atmosphere, "A Quiet Place II" is one of the best horror films of the year.
BELFAST - Official Trailer - Only In Theaters November 12 www.youtube.com
Directed by Kenneth Branagh with a personal touch, "Belfast" delivers an innocent, heart-warming story of a young boy and his family during the Northern Ireland conflict between Catholics and Protestants. The witty dialogue between Buddy (Jude Hill) and his grandparents (Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds) is hilarious, and the "Everlasting Love" scene is one of the best scenes of the year. This family drama is a crowd-pleaser with strong potential for awards season.
Dune | Official Main Trailer www.youtube.com
As one of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2021, "Dune" lives up to the hype. "Dune" in 2021 adds mystery with less dialogue and more stunning visual effects and editing. The story of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet) and his family in this sci-fi space epic gives the original 1984 movie adaptation a modern facelift.
The French Dispatch
THE FRENCH DISPATCH | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures www.youtube.com
Hot take: this might be the best movie from director Wes Anderson. The film is told as if the viewer is reading a magazine with sections and chapters. The stories told within "The French Dispatch" are colorful, charming and packed with a star-studded cast including Francis McDormand, Léa Seydoux, Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright and more.
MASS | Official Trailer | Bleecker Street www.youtube.com
"Mass" is the most underrated movies of the year. Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Ann Dowd and Reed Birney phenomenally play two sets of parents who had children involved in a school shooting. But one set of parents had a child who was a victim and another had a child who was the shooter. After watching the movie, viewers will need a moment to collect their thoughts because of how heavy yet necessary this movie was.
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
The Mitchells vs. The Machines | Official Trailer | Netflix www.youtube.com
This movie was one of the best surprises of the year. Katie (Abbi Jacobson) is a relatable film-loving student who brings vibrant life to the animated feature. The film is quirky with cute emotes and stickers placed throughout the scenes, and it certainly rivals other animation contenders for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. In a world that is overly connected with technology, it's nice to unplug and reconnect with family in this film.
SPENCER - Official Teaser Trailer - In Theaters November 5th www.youtube.com
"Spencer," directed by Pablo Larraín, is a work of art. Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana is a wonder to behold as she grapples with her mental health and the entire royal family. The cinematography is gorgeous, the score is haunting and the costume design is beautiful. The movie takes all its elements and more, leaving viewers with plenty of memorable scenes after the credits roll.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME - Official Trailer www.youtube.com
Is it fan service-y? Yes. But is it easy to eat up every moment? Absolutely. "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is the best movie for any Spider-Man fan. The personal stakes have never been this high for Tom Holland's Peter Parker, bringing more depth and emotion to his trilogy. The film is riddled with laugh-out-loud moments, stunning visual effects, cheerful surprises and plenty of reasons to celebrate what it means to be Spider-Man.
tick, tick ... BOOM!
tick, tick...BOOM! | Official Trailer | Netflix www.youtube.com
Andrew Garfield is phenomenal in "tick, tick ... BOOM!" as Jonathan Larson, the creator of broadway musicals "Rent" and "Tick, Tick... Boom!" The story's pacing is great as viewers see Larson's ups and downs as a struggling playwright, friend and boyfriend in New York. Lin-Manuel Miranda knocks it out of the park with this feature film directorial debut, and the music is a bop.
West Side Story
Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" | Official Trailer | 20th Century Studios www.youtube.com
Director Steven Spielberg brings a modern adaptation of the popular 1957 musical "West Side Story," a classic star-crossed lovers story surrounded by the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds in New York. Fans of the original musical and 1961 movie adaptation should find lots to love in this version. The music sounds as amazing as ever, the choreography and cinematography is breath-taking and Ariana DeBose kills her role as Anita.
Follow the reporter Samantha Incorvaia on Twitter at @s_incorvaia.