I watched a lot of movies this May. There were a good amount of new releases, with films such as Spiral and Cruella hitting theaters. I didn't catch A Quiet Place Part II quite yet, so, hopefully, that will make an appearance in my June ranking. With that said, here is my ranking of all 13 movies I watched in May of 2021.
13. The Woman in the Window
It pains me to say this, but I was not a fan of The Woman in the Window. I did like the book a lot, but the movie offered a much more mediocre version of the book. While Amy Adams was fantastic, the rest of the movie was presented at surface level. None of the characters had enough screen time so they were all an arm's length away. While I appreciated the Hitchcock tributes and the loyalty to the book, I cannot say that I liked this movie.
12. Big Trouble in Little China
God. Big Trouble in Little China was not that good. It was one of the most generic, cringe-inducing fantasy movies I've seen. The dialogue was pretty much all cliche epic proclamations such as "I was born ready.". The story was paper thin and the characters were all pretty bland with the exception of Kurt Russell's Jack Burton. He's really the only redeeming thing about the film. The film is one hundred percent 80s B-movie cheese...and that doesn't work today.
I've seen people call Vertigo one of the greatest movies of all time. I can appreciate it and see how others could love it, but, like Big Trouble in Little China, this movie is definitely a product of it's time. I loved Rear Window, but the second film from Hitchcock that I watched was definitely not as good. The blend of romance and thrills is something I never could get behind. This is an artsy film, focusing more on craft than on actual entertainment. I didn't hate it, but I didn't really like it either.
10. John Wick
Another film that is surrounded by hype, John Wick was one of the weirdest phenomenons in recent cinematic history. People love this movie. And I do not get it. The film is essentially Keanu Reeves shooting people in the head for, like, no reason. The whole gimmick of the film is that he is exacting revenge on the people that killed his dog, but that is the dumbest gimmick ever. The action is exciting and the film at face value is fun, but the story is so dumb and played so straight that it's hard to give this movie a better rating.
9. The Full Monty
The Full Monty is one of those movies that you watch. After you watch it, you say "That was good.". Then you go on with the rest of your life without ever thinking about it again. I did enjoy the Brit-speak, with the characters saying stuff like "700 quid!" and "Cheerio, mate!". It's a decent film that was, for some reason, nominated for Best Picture. I don't think it was that good, but apparently the Academy did.
8. The Matrix
I'm not going to say that The Matrix is a bad movie. It's not. I like this movie. But I think it was revolutionary when it came out, and that's why everyone loves it. Obviously it's a great concept. The whole surrealist nature of the film is very cool. I think that the film works better when it is the mystery of what the Matrix is instead of the action movie where the world is in our heroes' hands. It's a cool movie that definitely is not as great as everyone says.
7. The Mitchells vs. the Machines
An early contender for Best Animated Feature, The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a well-made ride that is fun for the whole family. It has a great central dynamic between the Mitchell family. Everything that is set up early in the film has a big payoff in the climactic finale. I don't think that the villain is superb and the structure of the film can make it feel uneven at times, but The Mitchells vs. the Machines is a solid family movie that has comedy, emotion, and some great moments.
Nightcrawler almost feels like a prototype for Joaquin Phoenix's Joker. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a sociopath that does not know how to interact with other humans, making for a very uncomfortable and disturbing viewing experience. I am baffled that he didn't receive an Oscar nod for this film. This film depicts a side of the world that I haven't often seen in movies, and I thought that that was interesting. The film is very episodic in nature, without really having a story, so that bumps it back a little bit for me.
Cruella is definitely one of the best Disney live-action remakes. Emma Stone is wonderful in this. She gives us a Cruella de Vil that still has the sass and arrogance of the other versions, but also has a humane and sympathetic side to her. Emma Thompson's Baroness von Hellman is one of the most diabolical and disgusting Disney villains. It's tons of fun to watch this two together on screen. The script is a problem, though. The film is too long and there is too much fashion jargon that only people who are in to fashion design will understand. Otherwise, a visually dazzling origin story to one of Disney's most popular villains.
Logan takes the normal superhero template and tosses it out the window. Instead, we get a deep drama and character study of this mutant who is just waiting around to die along with the other mutants. As a conclusion to the X-Men and Wolverine franchise, Logan is fabulous. As a grisly action film, Logan works, too. On a quality scale, this film is one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. It's just so bleak and so unhappy that it lowers the entertainment value a lot.
Deadpool is almost the complete opposite of Logan. Wade Wilson's meta humor is great. The superhero satire is tons of fun to watch. Ryan Reynolds is amazing. This film is a nearly perfect superhero comedy. I do think that the tone is a little inconsistent. Whenever you go to the flashbacks and discover Deadpool's origin, it gets much darker than the present timeline. The story is also pretty generic and predictable, but that's really okay, because the plot is secondary to the uniqueness of this film.
2. Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Spiral is the only Saw movie I've seen. And it is terrifying. The traps are nasty and the gore is nauseating. I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked Chris Rock. I thought that the film worked really well as a sort of Se7en-like Saw movie. Maybe the twist is predictable and the story is a tiny bit familiar, but this new direction for the franchise is something that I cannot wait to get more of.
1. Good Will Hunting
I was debating whether to put Spiral or Good Will Hunting at the top of the list. I decided to go with Good Will Hunting. Quality-wise, this movie is pretty much perfect. It is a slow-moving drama, but when a movie is so good at everything, entertainment pretty much comes naturally. The screenplay is perfect. The acting is Oscar-worthy. The deep, complex relationships between each character make this movie have multiple layers. Matt Damon and Robin Williams carry this touching coming-of-age story. The emotions are high, the story is rich and inspiring, and everything is done with absolute perfection. So that's why I put it over Spiral.