Lists · Movie Reviews

Top 5 Friday: Best Movies of 2021 So Far

Happy Friday, folks! Oh boy it’s been a tough old week. The UK weather gave us one final, freak heatwave that’s over now, and my little girl is having a hard time. She was born a few weeks after the school cut off so loads of her friends at pre-school left at the end of summer to start proper school, and she won’t start until next September. I feel so sorry for her.

But you’re not here for my rambles, are you? You’re here because it’s Friday, it’s time for another Top 5 list and this week I’m bringing you what I feel have been the best movies of the year so far. Yes, we’re well past the halfway point of the year, but the last quarter is when all the hard-hitter movies come out so this top 5 will doubtless look completely different by the end of the year.

So here you go, my Top 5 Movies of 2021 So Far!


#5 Oxygen – Well, this little Netflix release took me by complete surprise. I didn’t even know of it’s existence until it was there one day on my home screen. I’m so glad I gave it the chance though! If you’ve ever seen Ryan Reynolds in Buried (2010), then this is like the Sci-Fi version of that. Very claustrophobic, not relaxing in the slightest but it hooked me straight away and the twists and turns all surprised me.


#4 The Suicide Squad – If you told me at the start of 2021 that I’d be putting The Suicide Squad in a ‘Best of’ list, I would have laughed at you. Firstly because at the time it felt like we would never be getting big releases in cinemas, but secondly because, well…we all saw the first one, didn’t we? The reboot/sequel/whatever it is surpassed the 2016 version in every single away, apart from the soundtrack maybe. They’re both great but the original soundtrack was killer.


#3 Vivo – I’m still riding the Vivo hype train, listening to the soundtrack every single day, so just know that it took a lot for me to be sensible and not make this my number 1. Maybe it’s not the best animated movie out there (it isn’t even the only one in this list!) but I appreciate a family story and I’m a sucker for a musical, especially written and performed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Give it a go if you haven’t already, it’s on Netflix and while I can’t guarantee you’ll love it, I bet it’ll make you smile.


#2 Free Guy – I thought Ryan Reynolds was going to swoop in at the end of 2020 and save the day with Free Guy but the Delta variant had other ideas, and Free Guy got pushed back again into 2021. To say it was worth the wait is an understatement. I was expecting something generic and full of references, but something I would enjoy regardless and it ended up being so much more than that. It’s funnier than I ever thought it could be, and at it’s core it’s also a really great romcom!


#1 The Mitchells vs. The Machines – Still haven’t forgiven the name change, Connected was a perfect name. This is actually the only movie of the year so far I’ve given a full 5 stars to. Sony Animation are on a winning streak right now and I’m excited to see what they do next. The Mitchells vs. The Machines has such a great story at it’s heart, and somehow crosses into several genres without becoming too muddled. I’ve always appreciated animated movies so this will no doubt still be in my Top 10 at the end of the year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something knocks it off the top spot.


Top 5 Friday: Ryan Reynolds’ Comedy Roles

Happy Friday! Hope you’ve had a good week. I couldn’t exactly start a new series last Friday and then skip the next week, so although I’m writing this at quite short notice, I’m back again with another Top 5 list. After watching Free Guy (2021), a movie I’ve been waiting forever for, and being reminded why I fell in love with Ryan Reynolds in the first place, I thought I’d take a look through all the movies he’s in that I’ve seen and pick my favourite comedic roles of his.

Here are mine, and I’d love to know what yours are!


#5 Jerry Hickfang/Mr. Whiskers/Boscoe, The Voices (2014)

One of the more obscure Ryan Reynolds movies, I wish The Voices had a wider audience. Has it ever been on one of the main streaming platforms? Netflix would make this blow up, for sure. Ryan Reynolds plays Jerry, a mentally unhinged factory worker who’s trying to not be a murderer. Not only does Ryan play Jerry, he voices Jerry’s potty-mouthed cat and lovable dog, as well as a few other animals if I remember rightly.


#4 Chris Brander, Just Friends (2005)

If Just Friends isn’t on your list of Christmas movies to watch every year, then you really need to correct that. Ryan Reynolds plays Chris Brander, a guy who used to be fat and uncool in school but who’s now fit, confident and successful, and determined to win the girl of his High School dreams. You can make the fat kid fit, but he’ll always be a dork deep inside.


#3 Mitch Planko, The Change-Up (2011)

This isn’t a well-loved movie and I’ll forgive you for judging me for even putting it in a Top 5, but The Change-Up is my comfort comedy movie, I’ve seen it so many times I could probably recite it word for word. Mitch Planko is a guy who just never grew up, despite everyone around him getting more responsible. He has all of the dry humour that Ryan Reynolds does best which is why I like it so much.


#2 Guy/Dude, Free Guy (2021)

It would be a pretty strange list if Free Guy never made it into the Top 5, wouldn’t it? I think if I watched it a second time I might actually bump my score up to 5/5, you know. Only Ryan Reynolds could play someone like Guy, a clueless NPC who loves his life. It’s the way he delivers his lines that makes him so funny, and I mean the dry quips as well as “FRIENDLY HAND GESTURE”.


#1 Deadpool, Deadpool (2016) & Deadpool 2 (2018)

There’s no other role that could take the top spot, is there? Sometimes I have to remind myself that Deadpool the character existed before Ryan Reynolds played him in the movie. It’s like the character was written for him. There’s only a few comic book castings this perfect in my mind, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.

Movie Reviews

Free Guy (2021)

free-guy-movie-review-poster-2021Director: Shawn Levy

Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 115 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Joe Keery, Taika Waititi, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Owen Burke, Channing Tatum, Matty Cardarople

Plot: Guy (Ryan Reynolds) is a bank teller in Free City, living each day just like the last, until he meets Millie, aka Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) who helps him discover he’s actually an NPC in a video game.

My Thoughts: I can’t even tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to this movie. Ryan Reynolds is my favourite comedic actor, and I’ve been a gamer since I was little so this movie was made for me. To get to see it 2 days early as part of my local cinema’s secret movie night was just the icing on the cake. It was so worth the wait!  I was expecting a half-decent comedy with lots of references, similar to Ready Player one (2018) and it was so much more than that. It somehow had quite an original storyline, and a decent romcom side plot too which I wasn’t expecting.

Yes, the references are great. World of Warcraft players will have a few big ones to laugh about. Just look up the cast on IMDB to find loads of huge voice cameos, too. There’s so much detail to Free Guy that I think you could watch it 5 times and still find new things to marvel over. I’m familiar with Jodie Comer (but she reminds me so much of someone and I can’t put my finger on who) but I loved her here. It’s a lot of fun seeing a character in real life and then comparing them to their game character in Free City. Honestly, fun is just the perfect word to describe everything about it.

I don’t want to discuss the bigger jokes in detail because there’s some really shocking cameos and surprises that are better to be witnessed without knowing about them. This is the kind of movie that demands to be seen in a cinema. The buzz, the crowd of people laughing out loud at even the smaller jokes, it was just such a great experience. I don’t know what’s around the corner but for now, cinema is back and I’m here for it.


Best Bit: *SPOILERS* Ask anyone their favourite moment and I guarantee most will have the same answer. Guy lifting up Captain America’s shield just at the critical moment, with the Avengers music blaring, followed by Chris Evans watching from his phone – BRILLIANT. The whole room absolutely lost it, in fact I haven’t seen a crowd lose it like that since that famous Captain America moment in Endgame! And then Dude. Just…Dude. What a character.

Worst Bit: The gamer in me can’t help but pick apart some of the logic here, I’m sorry. It was the only thing stopping me from giving it a full 5 out of 5. I know it’s for storytelling purposes that Guy couldn’t be stopped, but if that’s the case why show us that the staff have their own characters and can activate God Mode if they aren’t ever going to use it again?

Fun Trivia: Shortly after Guy dons the sunglasses, over his shoulder you can see a power-up on the floor entitled “Blatant Product Placement”, which appears in the shape of a gin bottle. This is likely a reference to Aviation American Gin, of which Ryan Reynolds (who plays Guy) had a stake in and maintains an ongoing ownership interest.

My Rating: 4 and a half cups of medium coffee, with cream and two sugars.