Movies I Watched in 2021

Here’s my list of movies that I watched in 2021! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many movies in a year, haha. Be sure to check out my accompanying YouTube video, dropping this week!

All spoilers are prefaced with a spoiler warning.

1. Burning

  • Beautifully-shot film but I found myself Googling lots of things afterwards
  • I like Steven Yeun so it’s weird to see him as a villain/murderer at worst, and a creepy guy at best
  • I knew that there would be layers of metaphor and symbolism but I didn’t feel like most of it was immediately clear… and I feel like I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it was executed a little bitter / if the parallels were just a little more obvious

2. Martha Marcy May Marlene

  • Saw that this was on David’s to-watch list on HBO Max and we watched it together
  • I really liked Elizabeth Olsen already so I was drawn to this…. also I’m super fascinated by cults, so there’s that, too
  • I kind of like that it starts with Martha escaping from the cult, and that the story deals mostly with the aftermath / PTSD, because so often media will explore what happens inside of the cult but we don’t really get to see what happens to former members afterwards, and how deeply it affects them
  • Some people think that the last scene is a delusion that Martha has and that they’re not actually being followed, but I don’t think there is anything that happened earlier in the movie to show that Martha is an unreliable narrator, so I think they were probably actually in danger at the end
  • The way that female members of the cult encouraged the disgusting initiation ritual to become official members of the “family” reminded me of the J*ffrey Epst*in sex ring :/

3. Tenet

  • Like Burning, I found myself Googling things and watching YouTube explanation videos right after the film
  • It was unfortunately too convoluted, in my opinion
  • I think I asked David a question every three minutes and his answer to most of my questions was “I dunno”
  • I love Robert Pattinson tbh
  • The audio was so messed up and I really had no idea what people were saying 80% of the time

4. 12 Years A Slave

  • Wow
  • Really powerful and at times extremely difficult to watch
  • I found myself, while watching scenes with Benefit Kumquat (Benedict Cumberbatch), thinking to myself, “Oh this is a good white man” except……. no he’s not?? He was still a slave owner?? Really made me wonder how often we tend to give white men the benefit of the doubt and highlight the best in them when they really don’t deserve it looooooool
  • Amazing performances by everyone all around
  • Also remembering that unfortunately, this isn’t even the worst of what happened… I honestly wish that we were taught more about the horrors of slavery during our schooling and I wish I could shake people and say “HEY RACISM IS REAL AND STILL VERY BAD NOW” because UNFORTUNATELY people can’t even AGREE ON THAT

5. Isle of Dogs

  • So wholesome and cute and well-done
  • I’m always super impressed by stop motion films
  • Political allegory too?? Nice
  • May have shed single tear when Chief became Atari’s new dog

6. The Little Things

  • I really wanted this to be a lot better than it was
  • The whole “it’s the little things” thing was so corny lol
  • Jared was definitely very creepy in this
  • Denzel’s and Rami’s characters made so many stupid decisions in this
  • Overall disappointing

7. BLACKPINK — THE SHOW

  • I wasn’t originally planning on watching this live at midnight but I was up anyway and it was so much fun!!
  • The girls looked and sounded amazing (mostly lol… there were a few costumes I wasn’t a fan of)
  • I really don’t like that they did Sour Candy (which was mostly choreography over Lady Gaga’s pre-recorded vocals) instead of Ice Cream (which would have been a lot easier because Selena’s lines are more intertwined with theirs in the song, so someone could have covered for her and it wouldn’t have been noticeable)
  • I liked the way “Love To Hate Me” sounded acoustically, but I kind of wanted it to be a banger… also, I don’t like “You Never Know” and I was mad that they cut “Love To Hate Me” (the song I think might be the best track on The Album), combined it with “You Never Know,” and then performed ALL of “You Never Know”..
  • Poor Jisoo can’t ever get a noteworthy solo stage… at least Lisa performed something from 2020
  • I couldn’t understand Jennie’s new “SOLO” rap as I was watching it but I watched it again later with subtitles and I really like the new lines
  • Rosie’s solo… ❤❤❤ I’m so proud of her
  • I get that they had to go all out for D4, but I wasn’t vibing with all the male energy in the room lol I would have preferred it to just be the four of them or all girls
  • I’m being very critical I KNOW but I genuinely did enjoy it a lot

8. Malcolm & Marie

  • Very strong performances
  • Definitely saw more range in JDW than I saw in Tenet lol
  • I liked the direction and the choice in music but it just felt a lot like them trying to emotionally obliterate each other with monologues
  • Feeling kinda weird that it was written and directed by a white man when the n-word was said fairly often…

9. The New York Times Presents “Framing Britney Spears”

  • FREE BRITNEY
  • justin timberlake’s apology… was ok but also who wrote that for him lol
  • ugh this was worse than I thought it was
  • I LOVED Britney growing up and I still love her now… she was the first celebrity I looked up to (and totally had a crush on lol)

10. To All The Boys: Always and Forever

  • ok i cried a lot more than i thought i would
  • i think i liked the way this ended
  • something is different about how noah looks?
  • lana condor is so beautiful omg how do i become friends with her

11. I Care A Lot

  • i don’t like the feeling it gave me
  • i hate mistreatment of the elderly
  • was not rooting for the lead
  • yeah i know the old lady may have been involved in shady things but she seemed to be minding her own business??
  • i mean i like that there were casually 2 gay leads and they didn’t make a big deal out of it #representation
  • tbh kinda glad she died at the end?
  • i think i would have liked if fran chose to leave marla after she almost died and marla continued to make bad decisions to drive home the point that she greedy af

12. Peninsula

  • Uhhhh
  • It was like… not a zombie movie
  • It was a movie and zombies were part of it
  • All the emotional parts fell flat
  • I’m sorry but this was Not Good and I’m pretty disappointed

13. Judas and the Black Messiah

  • wow wow wow
  • STONED MATT DAMON
  • very intense and very good
  • absolutely amazing performances
  • I really want to learn more because I know so little about the Black Panthers
  • the last scenes of Fred and Deborah were so heartbreaking

14. Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal

  • This was… WILD
  • I cannot believe the dialogue in this was LIFTED FROM RECORDED CONVERSATIONS and just edited for brevity and clarity???
  • I keep going back and forth between how I feel about the kids who were involved.. because when I was their age, I would do whatever my parents wanted me to do, too??

15. Misery

  • I had been wanting to watch this movie for soooooo long and I’m so glad I finally got to
  • Kathy Bates was amazing in this and she deserves all the praise she got for this role
  • I like scary movies that aren’t SO scary and this was the perfect amount for me
  • I kept thinking about how the protagonist is the dad from Elf hahahaha

16. In The Heights

  • This was a fun watch!
  • I felt like the story was a little all over the place and we were kind of bouncing back and forth between characters with no super clear storyline for most of the movie, but I like the way that things came together in the end
  • Also apparently things were moved around from how they were in the stage production so idk
  • Music was great, actors were great, everything was nice

17. Raya and the Last Dragon

  • Also a very fun watch
  • Somehow Awkwafina kinda fit as the dragon lol
  • This cast lineup is CRAZY: Kelly Marie Tran, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, Daniel Dae Kim, etc… DANG
  • The story/main point of the movie are not as strong as I would have liked them to be (Raya just has.. trust issues?), and I have to admit that I don’t really understand Sisu dying and coming back, but overall enjoyable

18. Fear Street Part One: 1994

  • First of all, queer leads in a horror film? Love the representation
  • Really interesting expository first movie in the trilogy
  • The end got REAL GORY REAL FAST—there are some images I will never get out of my brain and I wish I could

19. Black Widow

  • I liked this way more than I thought I would, and I’m not even a big ScarJo fan
  • What I will complain about though is the fact that they had so many years to give Natasha character development and depth, yet the entire movie I was excited to see the other members of her family more than her
  • This article is great food for thought regarding the treatment of Natasha’s character, especially in the last few phase 4 movies

20. Bo Burnham: Inside

  • This was sadder than I expected it to be
  • I feel like at a certain point in the middle, I realized how depressed he was and started to feel more concerned about him than anything
  • Like, I did not feel comfortable laughing at his jokes halfway through because I just felt like I wanted to help him

21. Old

  • This was Weird and Not Great
  • I do love Thomasin McKenzie though, and Alex Wolff & Eliza Scanlen were great
  • I made Alex come see this with me and David and he had no idea what he was going to watch LOL after the movie he was like “why did you think I would be interested in this”

22. Luca

  • So wholesome
  • I loved how Massimo became Alberto’s adoptive father :’) may or may not have shed a tear LOL
  • I don’t know why some people had Italian accents when others didn’t but I shall suspend reality and logic for the sake of enjoying this film
  • I really liked it

23. The Suicide Squad

  • I liked this a lot more than I thought I would!
  • I didn’t watch the first movie but I’m kind of glad I didn’t because apparently it was trash and this one was actually a lot of fun
  • Love Margot Robbie even though she scares me sometimes lol
  • I hate gore but the gore in this movie was so cartoonish that I was mostly okay with it

24. Fear Street Part 2: 1978

  • I didn’t love this one as much as I enjoyed the first one, but I like how things started to come together and make a little more sense
  • SADIE SINKKKKKKKKKKK
  • Yeah I don’t have much to say about this movie, it was overall just kind of alright
  • Was definitely sad at the end with the sisters :’(

25. Free Guy

  • A little long, but a lot of fun–I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did
  • There are a couple of really amazing cameos that bring me joy every time I think about them!!
  • Definitely recommend this movie if you want a fun watch

26. Respect

  • I found myself thinking about this movie nonstop for a week
  • Aretha was such a strong, incredible woman and I wish I appreciated her when she was alive
  • I had no idea how many struggles she had been through and I admire her so much

27. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

  • I saw this movie twice, back to back—actually felt more emotional the second time because I was just taking everything in the first time
  • It definitely felt a little long, but I’m really glad this story got the attention it deserved
  • I feel like Tony Leung’s character is one of the best, if not the best, Marvel villains in recent memory, and I found myself trying to send him so much love through the screen because I felt so bad about how deeply he was hurting!! But I think ultimately it’s a really powerful story that’s partially about the different paths grief can take you down (Shang-Chi vs. Xialing vs. Wenwu) and the strength that can arise from tragedy like that
  • I can’t wait for Shang-Chi 2 and I’m so proud to be Asian American

28. Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed

  • I had a phase early in quarantine where I would just watch lots of Bob Ross before bed so I was very interested in this
  • The second half of this movie made me really sad because of how commercializing Bob’s gift really ruined a lot of things for his family
  • As much as I want Bob Ross merch, I know not to buy it from Bob Ross Inc. because it’s run by people that his family really didn’t want involved with his name
  • I hope more people can know his story and can become aware of what really happened towards the end of his life/how his name and legacy are being used for greed now :(

29. Dear Evan Hansen

  • …well, this was something
  • I know that this story is overall problematic and this movie in particular had a lot of controversy surrounding it, but I was so curious to see how this movie would actually turn out
  • I honestly didn’t think it was THAT bad, and the one GLARING negative aspect of this movie was, unfortunately, Ben—which is bad because apparently this movie wouldn’t have been made if Ben didn’t star in it, so..
  • It was just so painful, how much he was overacting and how clammy and OLD he looked the whole time
  • I loved Kaitlyn Dever in this movie though, and prefer her renditions of Zoe’s songs over the original Broadway recording a lot of the time
  • Also Amy Adams and Julianne Moore were great
  • I have to admit that I did cry lol the climax of “You Will Be Found” will always get me no matter what, and the part where Connor’s dad finally breaks down and cries really punched me in the gut

30. No Time to Die

  • Another movie that I liked more than I thought I would!
  • I didn’t watch any of the other Daniel Craig movies because 007 is overall misogynistic in nature and I didn’t want to support that—I really thought this would just be the same storyline just with different villains and different women
  • But I think what helped me in this movie though is the scenes with Ana de Armas, in that even though I did want to see more of her character, I think it was fun that she was just completely uninterested in seeing Bond naked and was just there to help
  • I don’t really like the addition of the new 007 and I feel like even though it’s a win for a Black woman to play such a large role in any Bond film at all, it still kind of sucks because she is ultimately overshadowed by a white man >:(
  • But other than that, I really enjoyed watching the women in this movie handle guns and kick butt!! and they were beautiful at the same time!! they may not have been strong characters but at least they weren’t just treated like pieces of meat

31. Dune

  • I feel like I would have appreciated this more if I… knew what was going on
  • Like if I HAD to explain it to someone, I could in very poor terminology
  • Visually stunning and I’m glad I saw it in theaters but I was on Wikipedia the whole time trying to figure out what was happening
  • I saw it with Hanna who said the worms reminded her of the Alaskan Bull Worm from Spongebob and I died
  • I also tweeted this after and tagged Timothee Chalamet LOL

32. Last Night In SoHo

  • This was JUST the right amount of scary for me—I’m really not one for jump scares and thankfully this only had one or two
  • Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy are ELECTRIC
  • Some of the hallucinations/ghosts are literally what my nightmares feel like lol
  • The big twist at the end made me gasp and I thought it was pretty well-done
  • I think I liked it overall!

33. Attack of the Hollywood Cliches

  • A fun, casual watch at home on a random Saturday
  • I love movies (clearly) so this was easy and nice

34. Eternals

  • Wayyyyyyy too long but not as bad as people said it would be
  • I think the twists and turns were interesting and entertaining in the moment but I don’t think I would watch this again lol
  • THE POST-CREDIT SCENE EEEEEEEE
  • I don’t really think Gemma’s character had much depth and maybe the appeal of Gemma is that she’s kind of sweet and gentle and quietly strong, but I didn’t really root for her character or care about her character all that much?
  • Angelina Jolie is a Goddess Walking Among Us

35. Spencer

  • Kristen Stewart was so good in this
  • I did not really think this would be a scary movie but there were some scenes that were truly dark and claustrophobic and suffocating, which to me means that the movie did its job
  • The scenes with Anne Boleyn were SCARY
  • I wish I could just give Princess Diana a big hug :(
  • also I really like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle together

36. Love Hard

  • OKAY I know people are giving this movie flack but can we just give it up for my man Jimmy O. Yang for carrying this movie???
  • People did not like that they got together at the end but I’m personally okay with it because they both did apologize and seem genuinely remorseful, and they got together after actually spending time in person and realizing that they really enjoyed each other’s company

37. Waitress

  • Loved this
  • So offbeat and quirky but it was really enjoyable to see my favorite Broadway show in its original form
  • I didn’t realize how much of the script for the show was lifted directly from the movie
  • I kind of like that Jenna and Dr. Pomatter kind of fell in love and really became friends in the movie, which made the decision to choose Lulu over everything more powerful in the end
  • Ogie was definitely way more creepy and unappealing in the movie lol ew
  • Gosh I love Waitress

38. tick, tick…BOOM!

  • I didn’t really know anything about Jonathan Larson prior to this movie and I never liked Rent, but despite him being portrayed as a jerk for most of this movie, I liked the final act where he turned things around after finding out his best friend was HIV-positive
  • Andrew was good in this!! I liked everyone in this and honestly, Vanessa Hudgens is probably the one problematic celebrity that I just can’t help but enjoy even though she is problematic hahahahaha
  • I am definitely sad that he never got to see the success of Rent but I am also torn between those feelings and new feelings I developed a week ago when I was reading about how Jonathan Larson allegedly plagiarized a lot of his stuff..

39. Adrienne

  • So, so sad but a beautiful tribute to Adrienne and her life
  • I really cried a lot watching this lol
  • I just felt so indebted to this woman for the hope and wonder that Waitress has given me for the past few years, and I am so sad for her family
  • I thought it was definitely powerful for her widowed husband to go through this process of sharing her story with the world, and trying to find justice for her all those years ago when she died, and MEETING WITH HER MURDERER IN THIS MOVIE???
  • Probably can’t watch again just because of how sad it is but it was really beautiful

40. Encanto

  • Fun!
  • I am so glad Stephanie Beatriz is getting lead roles YES GIRLLLLL
  • While I did enjoy watching this movie, I felt like as everything was resolving at the end, there were a lot of plot holes that I noticed and questions that I had (specifically regarding the lore and the candle and the gifts and everything)
  • I feel like the main conflict is between Maribel and Abuela so why did the second vision that Bruno had have to do with Maribel and Isabela?? that was one out of a few things that just didn’t really make sense to me
  • Animation was great and a lot of the jokes were really funny
  • I did cry a little bit lol

41. House of Gucci

  • FATHER SON AND HOUSE OF GUCCI
  • Ok I understand why people were mixed on this—it’s really long, the tone is inconsistent sometimes, some of the characters were absurd and silly—but I REALLY enjoyed this
  • I had so much fun watching it and felt really entertained and engaged the whole time
  • Lady Gaga is so good at being scary and just thinking about how her face/mannerisms changed from the beginning of the movie to the end… wow
  • Adam Driver is also really good in this
  • This is a bonkers story

42. Spider-Man: No Way Home

  • Soooooooooo good I cried so many tears
  • Definitely the best out of the Tom Holland movies
  • I don’t think it’s Best Picture-worthy or better than Infinity War / Endgame like some people think but definitely pretty good

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE REST OF THIS MOVIE REVIEW

  • I cried so hard when Andrew Garfield caught MJ… I don’t think I felt more during a Spiderman movie than when Andrew couldn’t catch Gwen and the redemption was so perfect
  • I could definitely feel how long the movie was but it was still enjoyable throughout
  • I LOVED seeing Andrew and Tobey back in their Spider suits
  • I actually really liked the storyline of Aunt May reminding Peter to see the humanity and brokenness in people (like the villains), and the way he was trying to help them—I think the feeling I got was similar to how I felt watching the first Wonder Woman where one might not think that certain people are “worth saving” but there’s just something about giving them a second chance that is so beautiful
  • I was really sad for Peter at the end because he already lost Tony, and then Aunt May, and now everyone he loves HAS FORGOTTEN HIM
  • WHAT IS GONNA HAPPEN IN THE NEXT MOVIES IF NO ONE KNOWS PETER???

43. Nightmare Alley

  • This was.. good? I felt like it was a little too dark and disturbing for me, and it left me with a feeling I didn’t like when I left the theater
  • But all the performances were really good and Bradley in particular really shined—I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a role like this before and there were a lot of scenes towards the end where I even questioned if it was still him playing the role because he had really morphed into this character
  • I don’t have much to say about this except I do think the concept was interesting but I don’t know if I would watch it again just because of how it made me feel

44. Being the Ricardos

  • Not many people know this, but I’m a huge I Love Lucy fan!!
  • I was skeptical about casting Nicole Kidman/Javier Bardem but they did a great job
  • I don’t know how Nicole got the voice just right but she really did, and you could also see how magical Lucy and Desi were a lot of the time despite the struggles they faces together
  • The way everything came together in the end.. it was so riveting
  • I really liked this

Thank you for reading! Can’t wait to watch lots more movies in 2022 :)

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Lover of Jesus, music, and people. Discovering how to better analyze and appreciate music one track at a time.

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Cat Cheng

Cat Cheng

Lover of Jesus, music, and people. Discovering how to better analyze and appreciate music one track at a time.

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