Originally, this post was going to be the top 7 best movies of 2021. However, tomorrow night, I will be releasing a ranking of every 2021 movie I saw, so I decided not to do a best and worst movies post. Instead, I'm going to tell you a few of my other favorites of the year that I didn't do a ranking for.
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Sweet N' Sour End of Year Survey
So here's some of my other favorites of the year. Navigate the links below for a specific topic.
Best Director / Best Screenplay / Best Soundtrack / Best Song / Best Original Movie / The (Confirmed) Sequel I Am Most Excited to See / The Movie I Want a Sequel to the Most
Directors are a huge part of filmmaking. They compose every single shot in the movie to look exactly how they want it. They position the camera, the actors, decide which parts of the set to show, adjust the lighting, and so much more. A good director can make a great movie.
I had trouble, because there were a lot of good directors this year. I'm going to give my five nominees for my favorite director and then reveal. So my nominees for director of the year are:
John Krasinski (A Quiet Place Part II)
Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)
Jon M. Chu (In the Heights)
Nia DaCosta (Candyman)
Denis Villeneuve (Dune)
And my personal favorite director this year was Steven Spielberg for West Side Story. Spielberg is my favorite director of all time, and his handle over this movie was just breathtaking. The shots, the colors, the symbolism...all of it was amazing. I hope he wins Best Director at the Oscars. He was great.
Screenplays. The story. The dialogue. The character moments. They are a vital part of any film. Some of the best screenplays of all time are about absolutely nothing (Pulp Fiction), while some of them have deep, complex stories and rich themes about life and morality (The Truman Show). All of my nominees had great stories, but they all had a lot of funny moments that I thought were clever. Here are my nominees for screenplay of the year.
Don't Look Up
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Boss Level Raya and the Last Dragon
I was deciding between No Way Home and The Mitchells vs. the Machines. And I think I have to give this one to The Mitchells vs. the Machines. It combines a totally wonky concept of this dysfunctional family having their road trip interrupted by the robot apocalypse and makes it a hilarious but heartfelt animated sci-fi comedy that works for all ages. I think it's easily the funniest movie of the year, but also has some deep emotions and themes of family. It combines everything you want from a screenplay, and I would not mind if it got an Oscar nod.
This is a tough one. It's hard to compare normal films to musical films in terms of music, but I tried to do it here. I incorporated the soundtrack as a whole, and tried not to make this list entirely about the amount of good songs. If a movie has a great main theme, I included it. I'm going to say this right now: I did not include Dear Evan Hansen in my nominees. While the music is great, I thought that the movie did not do a great job of paying tribute to the great music from the original Broadway stage production. That said, here are my nominees.
West Side Story
In the Heights
And I've got to go with In the Heights here. As much as both Encanto and West Side Story have captivating music, I thought that the musical numbers in In the Heights were some of the best song/dance numbers in cinematic history. The scope of the songs and the choreography sure do contribute to my love of this music, but it's really Lin-Manuel Miranda's genius composition that does the trick. He's so good at writing music, and I love every single one of his soundtracks.
Another really tough one. I had to include seven nominees for this entry, because there are so many songs. And, with the bombastic release of so many musical movies this year, it was hard to pick and choose which ones to nominate. I tried not to take any choreography or anything into consideration, because some of these nominations are just movie themes without actual words. Here are my seven nominees for song of the year.
I Feel Pretty (West Side Story)
Main Theme (Halloween Kills)
96,000 (In the Heights)
In the Heights (In the Heights)
We Don't Talk About Bruno (Encanto)
Sincerely, Me (Dear Evan Hansen)
Helen's Theme (Candyman)
This may be surprising, but I actually am gonna go with "We Don't Talk About Bruno" from Encanto. I loved this song as soon as it started playing during the movie. It was so catchy and so good. I love a little spookiness in a song, and "We Don't Talk About Bruno" had that. I can listen to it over and over again and never get bored. Once again, it's the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Best Original Movie
Let me be clear when I say this: this is my favorite movie that is a completely original idea. Sequels? Goodbye. Remakes? Uh, no. Anything based off of a book or a musical? No Dune and no In the Heights here. This is an idea that popped up in someone's brain and was made into a movie. And I am basing this off of originality as well as quality. If there is an incredibly unique film that I don't like, it can still be here. As a matter of fact, I went Sour on one of my nominees. With that said, here are my five nominees for original film of the year.
Raya and the Last Dragon
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Don't Look Up Malignant
Last Night in Soho
This might be a boring pick, but I'm going with The Mitchells vs. the Machines again. Like I said before, this movie was just such a fresh blend of so many great things while also being totally different. The animation was about as unique as it gets. The story was just all kinds of crazy. But it kept this emotional balance, because it was a story about family. I do not love this movie. I gave it a Savory, not a Sweet. But it's a really good film that everyone should check out if they want an original movie.
Also, though, I'm going to shout out Don't Look Up and Last Night in Soho for being two of the most unique films I've ever seen. They will both shock you in different ways and give you experiences that you've never had before. I was negative on Last Night in Soho, but if you want a different type of movie, check that one out. Be mindful, though, because it's incredibly disturbing. And everyone should watch Don't Look Up. Don't ask why. Just watch it.
The (Confirmed) Sequel I Am Most Excited For
So I saw forty-one movies this year. About ten of them have been confirmed to have sequels. And I am only considering those ten. There have been rumors of sequels to Mortal Kombat and Justice League and Fear Street, but I don't count those. These have to have been confirmed to be in development by a studio, screenwriter, director, or actor. So here are the five confirmed sequels to 2021 movies that I am most excited for (that was a mouthful).
Untitled Spider-Man: No Way Home sequel
A Quiet Place Part III
Dune: Part Two
Untitled Free Guy sequel
I'm going with a tie here. I can't choose between Spider-Man 4 and Halloween Ends. The only reason I can't choose is because Halloween Ends comes out next year, while we know nothing about Spider-Man 4. So, yeah. I cannot wait to see how they finish off this new Michael Myers saga. I absolutely love the Halloween franchise. I think this Final Timeline is a great way to cap off the series. But the future of Tom Holland's Spider-Man...that's just different. I am dying to see what's going to happen to him after the end of No Way Home. So, there. Sorry I have a tie.
The Movie I Want a Sequel to the Most
These are movies that do not have confirmed sequels. But I want these films to get a sequel. I want them to either start or continue a franchise. All five of these movies could clearly have sequels, with four of them really even setting up sequels in their own films. Some of my nominees have had sequels rumored, but that's not confirmed, so that's why they are here. That said, here are my nominees for the 2021 movies that I want a sequel to the most.
The Suicide Squad
Zack Snyder's Justice League
And, while I am dying for sequels from all of these movies...I have to go with Zack Snyder's Justice League. This was one of the coolest things to ever happen in Hollywood. After the disgusting, slimy project that is 2017's Justice League, Zack Snyder finished his vision of the first part of the DCEU with Zack Snyder's Justice League, a four-hour epic that is lightyears ahead of its predecessor. I loved the central dynamic between the Justice League, and the multiple after-credits teased some very exciting things for the future. I would love to see a live-action adaptation of Injustice. I want to see Ben Affleck's Batman fight Jared Leto's Joker. Darkseid is a great villain, and he could be the next Thanos. A sequel to Zack Snyder's Justice League isn't necessarily Justice League 2. It's the continuation of Snyder's vision for the DCEU. Even though I hate Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, I think he could really have something special with this storyline.