Just when it looked like things were getting back to normal with theaters reopening across much of the country, the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic struck and the country was once again quarantined.
As we say goodbye to the middle of 2021, it’s time to take stock of all the great movies released this year, whether in theaters or streaming. Still, you’ll find that 2021 has been a pretty good year for Hollywood movies so far.
Here are our picks for the best Hollywood movies of 2021 so far. The list is ranked from best to worst.
1. The Mitchells vs. the Machines
The Netflix animated film featured a distinctive visual style, a fun story, intelligently written, and a lot of heart. Produced by the dream team of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, one of Hollywood’s most creative writer-directors today, The Mitchells vs. the Machines is the best non-Pixar animated film of recent years.
2. Godzilla vs. Kong
In the short window where cinemas were open in India, Godzilla Vs Kong reminded moviegoers what a supreme movie watching experience on the big screen can be. The best part was that it didn’t require a lot of brain power to take advantage of it. It was the classic popcorn snacking blockbuster that a lot of people craved.
Pixar’s latest wasn’t the animation studio’s best, but it came close. A heartwarming story about two friends and their secret identities (which many believed to be a metaphor for a same-sex relationship) set in a quaint little town on the Italian Riviera, the film was both meaningful and fun to watch in true style. Pixar.
Written and directed by Corinna Faith in her feature debut, The Power is a rare horror film that is both entertaining and also offers social commentary, albeit in a subtle way. Rose Williams’ first night on the job turns out to be a terrifying ordeal as she confronts a supernatural spirit as well as the more everyday evil of misogyny.
This French thriller, released on Netflix, was more than a sci-fi remake of Ryan Reynolds’ Buried as it seemed at first glance. It was a fast-paced thriller that, like its hapless protagonist, gradually distributed information, each more meaningful than the lost one. The result was a compulsive watch.
6. Zack Snyder Justice League
People have extreme opinions about Zack Snyder and his cinema. But most agree that his version of the 2017 DC Team Justice League movie is infinitely superior. At least he doesn’t have the famous mustache-gate. It’s not perfect but it’s a visually stunning experience with a much larger scale and, to seal the deal, Darkseid in all its glory.
This HBO film chronicles the behind-the-scenes negotiations that preceded the first of the Oslo accords between Israel and Palestine and their immediate consequences. While based on one of the greatest global conflicts of our time, the film is not about politics per se, but rather focuses on the warmth of human relations and their role in international relations.
8. Batman Along Halloween, Part 1
Even though this was the first half of a story, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One was a pretty solid movie. He deftly told a dark story with a dark enough vibe and a dash of ironic humor to boot. The vocal cast was excellent, especially Jensen Ackles in the lead role.
9. Raya and the last dragon
This Disney animated film takes place in a fantasy world in which evil has reappeared after hundreds of years, and only a dragon, the last remaining dragon, can stop it. It is up to Raya, a warrior, to find the dragon and save humanity. The film, billed as a mid-range product (unlike Frozen) had beautiful visuals, great world-building, humor, and an overall enjoyable story.
10. Mortal combat
Warner Bros. video game adaptation often bordered on the ridiculous, but for fans, it was a godsend. Due to its source material, it contained an abundance of richly crafted and performed action scenes, and was a visual treat, but was disappointed with a useful story.