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Formulaic Yet Heartwarming
There's nothing wrong with making a predictable and formulaic film, as long as you succeed in producing the emotion and reaction out of your audience. You can see where CODA is going, but it's so effective at what it does. There's a few laugh out loud moments (which I didn't expect) and the 3rd act is just as moving as films like Almost Famous and Sing Street, both movies with similar music/dream themes. There's something about those types of stories that appeal to me more than most people.


Spider-Man: No Way Home

Monumental Achievement for the MCU
Ending a trilogy is typically a monumental task, but what No Way Home accomplished is nothing short of miraculous. What they kept from audiences successfully, the technical feat, the story they put together and most of all the brilliant performances, should be commended for years to come. It's hard to argue with people that this is the best Spider-Man film to date. I still need more time. All I'll say is, 2021 is the most consistently great year Marvel has ever had and we should never doubt their ability ever again.


King Richard

Oscar Caliber Turn From Smith
Being a family man myself, I love films that put the importance of family at the center. Combine that with the element of sports and a brilliant performance from Will Smith, King Richard is easily one of the best films of the year.


The French Dispatch

Not for Me
I've only ever walked out of 2 movies out of the thousands I've seen in theatres. The French Dispatch was the 2nd. Wes Anderson just isn't for me. I hope many of you feel different.


Pleasant Yet Overrated
A film that reminds you of the great moments in Lady Bird and JoJo Rabbit, with a coming of age arc at the center of a movie about what "home" means. But it doesn't quite live up to either story overall. Belfast is a well done film however, it also may be the years most overrated.



Brilliantly Different Film for the MCU
A vastly different entry into the MCU but one that took me for a ride. It's impressive feat to take on a 10 lead character based film, it's another thing to make you care about every single one of them. Chloe Zhao has already shown us her talent with smaller films, and it's even more telling on a massive MCU scale that she's here to stay. It's hard to say what the best 2021 MCU film is at this point but Eternals has certainly made it's stamp on me. I had a blast.


No Time to Die

Final Ascent
There's never been a more emotionally impactful Bond film and likely, there never will be again. No Time to Die doesn't have the best villain of the series, nor the best "Bond girl", nor the best action set piece, but it DOES have the most emotionally resonant story. This film does things with the Bond lore that I never thought would be tackled and it was beyond thrilling. Daniel Craig deserved one final bow as James Bond and he got that and more. I can't believe I'm saying this but after a few weeks of sitting on it, No Time to Die is my favorite Bond film of all time, and it's undeniably one of the best.


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Future of the MCU
Shang Chi was nowhere near the top of my most anticipated MCU films over the years but it just about surprised me more than any of their films to date. Loaded with pulse pounding action (most in camera for once), a friendship turned possible romance you genuinely care about, and a lead that you can absolutely see taking the place of someone like Chris Evans as the "face" of the MCU for years to come. What an absolutely brilliant work of art.


Jungle Cruise

The perfect combination of old school and modern filmmaking
It's hard to find a bigger fan of Emily Blunt than me, and as far as his movie career goes - same with The Rock. I've been looking forward to Jungle Cruise for years and seeing it this summer in theatres did not disappoint. I know it got hit hard with some critics but I found their chemistry to be electric and the whole aesthetic and feel to this film was unlike anything else theatres had to offer this year. Old school in style but has modern flare. I would love to see a sequel down the line.


Black Widow

Better Late than Never
Black Widow is about 7-8 years overdue as this should've happened post-winter soldier era MCU to me however, that doesn't diminish this film as a solid entry in a 25+ film saga and certainly one Scarlett Johansson deserved as a proper send off. Funny, action packed when it needs to be, and rewatchable Black Widow made it's mark on the genre this summer. I wish it would've done better at the box office.


Raya and the Last Dragon

Raya and the Last Dragon is the type of Disney animated film we'd get in the mid 90's. Heartfelt, at times heartbreaking, but most of all an achievement in animation that instantly makes you want to revisit the story shortly after. Oh, and it's also perfect for young children who want to be entertained and adults who look for life lessons hidden in these films (unlike most of Universal's animation).



Just Entertain Me
As if the franchise couldnt get ridiculous enough, going to space was the next thing F&F felt it needed to do to top the last installment. At any rate, I don't take these movies seriously at all so returning to a packed audience to see F9 after months of empty theatres felt pretty dang good back in June.

Ultimately, I'm not looking for much story-wise out of the Dom Toretto centric films, I just want to be entertained. F9 is undeniably entertaining and you could even make the case that it's the 5th best of the franchise, not that it's saying much.

Give me F10 & F10 pt 2 now, right now.


In the Heights

Not For Me, But 96,000 is a Hit
Knowing that Hamilton wasn't necessarily my jam last summer, I was hopeful but hesitant about In the Heights. While I think the big screen, to showcase set pieces and big musical numbers, is a much better way to show off Lin-Manuel Miranda's talents, I still found myself complaining about the runtime, uninterested in a few plot points, and wanting more with a few of the numbers. But most people will have a great time with this one.



Pleasant Surprise
A surprise for the ages. Cruella is stylish, fun and full of life - a sentence I surely didn't expect I'd be saying this year at all for yet another Disney re-imagining. Containing twists and turns, along with a fantastic few lead performances, it's hard to not fall in love with many aspects to Cruella. As far as I'm concerned, this is up there with Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Jungle Book as the best live-action adaptations.


Friends: The Reunion

The Reunion
In all my years of Friends watching, I never let myself get excited about a potential reunion show/episode because the cast and creators had always said it's never going to happen. However, the idea of an unscripted "get back together" episode is probably the best of both worlds. The gang re-enacted a few scenes, reminisced about the early days, revealed old anecdotes, and just made us feel back at home with the crew once again. It may not be for everyone, but I couldn't have really asked for much more out of this experience.


A Quiet Place Part II

Not as Good as Part 1, But a Clever Addition to the Franchise
Although not as polished nor as filled with heart as Part 1, A Quiet Place Part 2 is a welcomed return to the theatre-going experience with a tremendous amount of tension and another clever horror adventure from John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.


My Best Friend's Wedding

Perhaps a morally questionable but undeniably sweet premise, My Best Friend's Wedding is a 90's charmer like no other. Consistently funny and one of Julia Robert's better early performances, I had a blast with this one. And for the record, the ending is the only fitting way to cap off this story.


Godzilla vs. Kong

It is What it is
The films in this new monster universe haven't impressed me much at all thus far, but the action does seem to be consistently entertaining. With Godzilla vs Kong, it's no different. Do I care about a single moment of human characters during this film? Absolutely not. Is the action exceptionally good? 100%. And that's just how these films go unfortunately. Take that for what you will.


Pieces of a Woman

Beginning with a truly remarkable "one-r" long take to the powerhouse performances from Vanessa Kirby and Ellen Burstyn throughout, Pieces of a Woman is a tough watch, but a worthwhile one that provides a heartwrenching tale of a woman trying to move on after an unspeakable tragedy.


Sound of Metal

A Win on All Accounts
A must see movie without spectacle or pizazz, but it contains true heart and earnestness, The Sound of Metal is one of the best films to be released this past Oscar season, and by far the most unique.



It's Fine
A film that is undeniably unique and well crafted, but also one that should have no business winning best picture, at least according to me, Nomadland is a perfectly fine film, and one that I will almost certainly never revisit.


Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Oscar Worthy Performance from Boseman
A powerhouse final performance from Chadwick Boseman along with a wonderfully adapted script based on August Wilson's play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom will be one of the more unique films you'll see, but you'll go home thinking about Boseman's monologue that absolutely rips your heart out in style.


One Night in Miami...

What if?
An old school sit down drama where 4 actors battle it out for who has the best monologue and who can have the best reactions to said monologue? I'm in. But in all seriousness, there's something so impressive about the way Regina King directs this tight "what if?" drama about the possibility that Malcom X, JIm Brown, Muhammed Ali, and Sam Cooke all hung out and discussed life one night. No matter what really happened, this film happened, and it was fantastic.


The Day After Tomorrow

Ahead of It's Time
In terms of the subgenre 'end of the world' bombastic drama thrillers, The Day After Tomorrow seems to be ahead of of most later films with CGI quality and even plot development, but there's no denying this film is mostly for the audiences that like to turn their brain off at the theatre. Even still, there's fun to be had here.


In & of Itself

A work of art that will hit you right in your soul while at the same time challenging your brain like no other. Go in blind and leave the film without the temptation of looking up the answers your looking for, just let your mind work it out yourself. In and Of Itself is a magical experience.


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