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The Best Movies of 2021, So Far Movie Review

The Best Movies of 2021, So Far Movie Review
Following a year that seemed never-ending, it's crazy to think that 2021 is now half over. It feels like we are still living in some sort of pandemic purgatory, as we wait for "the return to normal" to feel real. Perhaps it does for some, but it will likely take longer for others.

Audiences seem to be tip-toeing their way back into movie theaters; it has been encouraging to see movies like "A Quiet Place: Part II" and "Godzilla vs. Kong" bringing people out. Independent films seem to be going the way of streaming or VOD still, but hopefully by fall they will have more of a theatrical life. Smaller movies need theatrical word-of-mouth to build momentum, especially in the realm of awards season.

The year has offered some fun and memorable movies, especially in the early months when optimism was in short supply. The rest of the movie calendar looks surprising, and hopefully the constant shifting of release dates are behind us and we can truly start anticipating some exciting movies down the road.

Making lists is always a fun game to play when writing about movies, and the lines continue to blur of what "counts" as a movie and what doesn't. Though some critics are willing to blend all types of entertainment on their lists, I am far too stubborn for that. But, I do want to mention two of my favorite pieces of work this year, both available on Netflix. Martin Scorsese's seven-part conversational piece "Pretend It's a City" reunites him with Fran Lebowitz (after their 2010 HBO documentary "Public Speaking") to discuss everything from New York City to culture writ large. Lebowitz is a fascinating person to spend a series with because she relishes in having a platform to complain, but does so with wit and insight while being pointed and hilarious. Lebowitz has become synonymous with the great city of New York and she makes for a captivating tour guide.

Comedian Bo Burnham stopped doing stand-up and shifted his focus to filmmaking and acting, but surprised his fans with "Inside," a new special that recently dropped on Netflix. Though I continue to be weary of pandemic art, Burnham's observational humor always manages to strike a nerve. He filmed the special by himself entirely in one room, and it's filled with his trademark humor and songs. It's hard to call "Inside" a stand-up special, though that may be the easiest way to put it, and it feels like a reckoning for Burnham and his audience. "Inside" is funny, for sure, but Burnham is never afraid to bring us to dark places, especially as he navigates how he felt through the past year. It's a brilliant piece of work.

Now, on to the movies. The five best movies of 2021, so far, alphabetically are:

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar: Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (who co-wrote "Bridesmaids") wrote and star in this wild and weird comedy, which finds two lifelong friends trying to shake-up the mundanity of everyday life. They decide to take a trip to Vista Del Mar and wackiness ensues. "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar" is a sunny escape, which came out earlier in the year when an escape was greatly needed. Also, it's hilarious from start to finish.

In the Heights: It's a shame that this movie didn't take off at the box office (or on HBO Max, apparently) because it's sheer onscreen joy. Based on the Broadway show by Lin Manuel Miranda (before his "Hamilton" fame), "In the Heights" takes us to the hot summer streets of Washington Heights in New York City. It's a celebration of culture and community, bursting with energy in every frame. The entire ensemble gets their moment, but star Anthony Ramos becomes a leading man right before our eyes.

The Mitchells vs. the Machines: Michael Rianda's animated film stands out in a year with plenty of good animation offerings ("Luca" and "Raya and the Last Dragon" are both worthy titles). The visual style is inventive and fun, while the message about family and finding your own identity will hit home to just about anyone who watches it. It's available on Netflix and worth catching up with on family movie night if you haven't seen it yet.

A Quiet Place Part II: It seemed nearly impossible to follow-up the lightning in a bottle response to the first "A Quiet Place" but director John Krasinski manages to continue the story in equally thrilling fashion. While the sequel doesn't hold the same novelty and element of surprise, it continues to be a frightening and deeply emotional story of a family who will do anything to protect each other.

Shiva Baby: Emma Seligman's "Shiva Baby" will have a deeper effect on those who understand the cultural specificities in the story, but the hilarious and unbearably uncomfortable comedy is one of the year's big surprises. Rachel Sennott is great in the lead role, as a college student trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Everything comes to a head when she has to attend a Jewish funeral service and a series of wonderfully cringe-inducing events occur. In one of my favorite performances of the year, so far, Polly Draper offers a great supporting turn as her mother.

Here's to the rest of the year at the movies! Let us know what you've liked so far in the comments below.

The Best Movies of 2021, So Far Movie Review By Matthew Passantino
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
The Best Movies of 2021, So Far Movie Review The Best Movies of 2021, So Far Movie Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Saturday, July 24, 2021 Rating: 5

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