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!

top-5-movies-2021-oxygen

#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.

top-5-movies-2021-suicide-squad

#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.

top-5-movies-2021-vivo

#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.

top-5-movies-2021-free-guy

#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!

top-5-movies-mitchells-machines-2021

#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.

Movie Reviews

The Suicide Squad (2021)

the-suicide-squad-movie-review-poster-2021Director: James Gunn

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 132 Minutes

Main Cast: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Daniela Melchior, Sylvester Stallone, David Dastmalchian, Peter Capaldi, Jai Courtney

Plot: A group of super villains are recruited by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to destroy the evidence of Project Starfish. If any of them refuse or stray from their mission, the kill switch is hit and they’ll be terminated.

My Thoughts: So I guess Warner Bros are taking a page from Disney’s book and remaking all their movies, huh? Maybe if they just got things right in the first place we wouldn’t be here but in this instance I’m grateful, because this is the Suicide Squad movie we all wanted back in 2016. It’s loud, it’s dumb, it’s funny, it’s gory, and it has a surprising amount of heart that I absolutely wasn’t expecting. No introductions needed, this movie throws us straight into the action and we’re barely minutes into the runtime before the body count starts. Heck yeah!

Margot Robbie slays it as Harley Quinn as always. What does a girl have to do to get a Gotham City Sirens movie, y’all?! Idris Elba was an excellent addition to the squad and has some of the more heartfelt moments as well as the funniest. Plus, he’s delicious. Sorry. King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) was destined to be a fan favourite after his moments in the trailer and he doesn’t disappoint. One of the best cinematic moments ever is when he gloriously picks up a man and tears him in half. That felt epic just to type! The characters who surprised me most were Ratcatcher 2 and Polka-Dot Man. Who would have thought I’d be caring so much for a girl who controls rats and a guy who throws polka-dots?!

Basically, what I’m trying to say here is this cast rocks. Even John Cena delivers, and that’s saying something. It’s just such a shame that Warner Bros handle everything so badly, because it’s tainted the run-up to the movie for me. I can’t wait to watch it again, though. It has everything I want from a comic book movie, or any movie really.

the-suicide-squad-idris-elba-john-cena

Best Bit: It’s basically impossible to pick just one moment. Bloodsport and Peacemaker slaughtering a village and making obscene gestures at each other. TDK and…that. Harley Quinn saving her own damn ass and not needing anyone’s help. Nom nom! Idris Elba just existing. The options are endless!

Worst Bit: I’m nitpicking now because I enjoyed the movie so much. But I adore Viola Davis and when all the other characters were so fleshed out, hers is one dimensional and I’d have loved to have seen what it is that drives her to be the cold-hearted agent that she is. Also, the end-credits scene was a bit meh, but that’s really all I can fault!

Fun Trivia: James Gunn wasn’t refused permission to use any character he wanted. However, he purposely chose to use mostly lesser known characters. In a tweet Gunn wrote, “I considered many more well-known heroes and outlaws but I wanted to stick with Ostrander’s original vision of mostly second-rate antagonists.”

My Rating: 4 and a half starfish which, you know, is slang for butthole…

the-suicide-squad-starro-starfish-villain