By Adam Ray Palmer
The 2021st year is up, and that means one thing… yep, another one of those “end of year list things” that people obviously flick through to see what’s at number one.
Cineroom, and I, are no different – and I’ve decided to chuck my two pence in on what I think have been the five best films of last year… let’s get to it…
HONOURABLE MENTIONS (reviewed in a word)…
Promising Young Woman: Important
Tick, Tick… Boom: Powerful
What a film, what a documentary, what a fifth place. The exhilarating and revealing TINA is one helluva rollercoaster docu-movie. The intensity and the transparency really takes your breath, and helps you to better understand the legend that is Tina Turner’s story.
Tina, the movie, is as raw as a documentary can get when telling a “warts and all” rock n roll story. Tina, the legend herself, leaves no stone untoned with some sequences being quite difficult to witness. It’s a fascinating film from start to finish, and you’re left so much better off for giving two hours of your time to the Proud Mary icon.
Read our 5-star Tina review here.
We had to wait nearly 18 months after Covid delayed this beauty, but NO TIME TO DIE prevailed and hit cinemas to delight audiences.
This is a Bond film for the ages. It has absolutely everything. No Time To Die is in keeping with the emotion of 2012’s Skyfall whilst continuing the high stakes of 2015’s Spectre; and this makes for the perfect send off for the outgoing Daniel Craig. It has the stunts you come to expect, the sentiment you now resonate with the broken spy, and performances to rival any of the previous Bond films combined. Inject this beast.
Read our 5-star No Time To Die review here.
Céline Sciamma… she just makes great films. And even more impressively, it only took her 70 minutes to create a masterpiece in PETITE MAMAN.
As we watch the exploration of the important moment when a child transitions to adolescent-hood, the delicate narrative is told in such a poetic fashion from the director. Sciamma is at the top of her game and Petite Maman shows just what elevation she can bring to a layered feature film. The framing and stylish cinematography by Claire Mathon is beautifully welcoming, capping off a gorgeously made picture.
Read our 5-star Petite Maman review here.
SECOND PLACE (only just)...
This is arguably a cruel runner up, because perhaps in some other years I have done this feature, SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME would scoop the big gong.
The main reason as to why this Spider-Man movie in particular nearly tops this list, and may I add my favourite Marvel movie of all time, is solely down to its depth. When you go into a theatre for a comic book film, you expect action, a couple of twists and a strong love/friendship at the heart of the narrative. But where No Way Home goes deeper is the themes of darkness and to an extent, the backdrop of dealing with mental health struggles. There are certain scenes and character moments that were met with tears in the screening I was in, and that is so rare.
No Way Home hits deep in the feels, and you leave so fulfilled and warm. It’s arguably a new blueprint for when it comes to producing a superhero film.
FIRST PLACE, WINNER, CHAMPion...
Our winner has been chosen, and it’s a movie I went blindly into, knowing nothing about it. Sometimes though, diamonds are found that way, and our 2021 winner was discovered just like that…
LANGUAGE LESSONS is a swift 90-minute joy. The thing that really gets me about the movie is its soul. It’s often humourous but the heartening and encouraging depiction of platonic love is one that is so pure, and to be honest, rare on the big screen. The film is poignant, intimate, and tender from start to finish, showcasing Morales’ and Duplass’ skills as actors, but also their impeccable screenwriting. Morales as a director is also important to note here – a bold and challenging debut that clearly shows she is a filmmaker on the rise.
For a movie that follows two “strangers” who simply connect with each over the Spanish language, and the internet – I simply adore it. Go seek it out.
Read our 5-star Language Lessons review here.
And there you have it, we hope you had a decent 2021, and here’s to an incredible 2022! Go check out these movies if you haven’t already and Cineroom will be back soon!