The Circuit’s 2021 Film Awards
With the year 2021 now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look back at the year in film and hand out some awards! From Favorite movies to least favorite movies and the individual performances in between, check out my film awards for 2021!
To be clear, this is not an Oscars awards predictions list. I will save my predictions until the nominations come out. This is a personal awards list of my favorite (and least favorite) movies and performances of 2021!
Full Disclaimer: There are a handful of films I haven’t seen this year that I think would be in some of these categories. (I promise I’ll watch them at some point!) That list of films includes:
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Last Night in Soho
10 Favorite Movies of 2021:
1- Spider-Man: No Way Home
This film is incredible. Not only does it continue the story of the MCU, but it ties a bow around 20 years of Spider-Man in film. This film had countless surprises and made countless dollars at the box office. This was hands down my favorite movie not only of 2021, but of the last three years.
I had not read Dune when I went to see this movie, but that didn’t matter at all. I thoroughly loved this film; it was stunningly beautiful, and the acting performances were incredible.
While this isn’t an Oscars piece, this film is one I am rooting for hard at the Oscars. Garfield was sensational, and the songs were amazing.
4- Don’t Look Up
This might be the greatest cast ever assembled. This movie not only made me laugh over and over, but hit on a lot of poignant truths about our world, which made it that much more powerful of a movie.
5- The Suicide Squad
Holy shit this was a trip. Infinitely better than the first Suicide Squad, this film was aces in the humor department and James Gunn went hog-wild in the visual department, almost flawlessly.
This was probably the most divisie film of 2021. A lot of people loved it, a lot of people hated it. I fell in the former. A Marvel movie that focused more on pathos and ethos rather than punching and fighting was intriguing to me, and it introduced enough cool concepts to hook me from the beginning.
7- A Quiet Place Part II
This to me will always be the movie that brought us back to the theaters. While I did go a couple times in the fall of 2020, this movie in March was packed and I have gone most weekends since. But that emotional impact aside, this movie lived up to the lofty expectations from the first one, even without Krasinski.
8- Being the Ricardos
As a fan of I Love Lucy, this movie had me incredibly intrigued. Admittedly I don’t know much about the life of Lucille Ball outside of my television screen, but Nikole Kidman portrayed her in such a raw and authentic way that I feel like I know everything about her. The acting in this biopic is phenomenal, and had me far more emotionally attached than I anticipated.
9- In The Heights
This film is so much fun! Now if you aren’t a fan of musicals, I really don’t see you enjoying this movie at all. Every 2 minutes there’s a new number, but personally I’m here for it. The music was great, and the acting was on point. This might be the most fun musical I’ve ever watched, and it also carried a lot of emotional weight.
I’ll admit, I was skeptical heading into this viewing. I am a fan of some of Cage’s work, but lately he’s gone a little too far off the reservation for my taste. But in this film he is incredible, with such a reserved yet poignant performance. This is the best Cage has been in years, and it’s a truly touching story about a man and his… well, pig.
5 Least Favorite Movies of 2021:
1- Halloween Kills
Wow. I hated this film. Was this the worst movie I saw in 2021? No. But it was undoubtedly the most disappointing. The 2018 Halloween reboot is one of my favorite horror movies ever, and I love the original, so I had extremely high hopes for this movie and it fell so far short.
2- Space Jam: A New Legacy
This was the worst movie I saw in 2021. This was IP vomit from Warner Brothers just for sake of IP vomit. While I believe LeBron is better than Jordan, there is no doubt MJ made the better Space Jam movie.
3- Mortal Kombat
I just don’t like gore, and this movie is essentially only gore. This movie was not great by any stretch, but I didn’t think it was all that bad necessarily. But I never played the games and just don’t care too much for the material.
4- Dear Evan Hansen
I LOVE this soundtrack. Ben Platt is a phenomenal singer. Amy Adams is a legend. This movie is not good. First, Ben Platt is too old to play a high schooler and it shows. If they were stuck on using Platt, which I don’t disagree with, they should have updated the story and put him in college. Him playing a 22 year-old senior in college is much more believable than a 15 year-old in high school. The Frankensteinian CGI to make Platt look younger really hurt this movie, and the best song in the whole damn movie was cut short.
5- Black Widow
This is less of a reflection on how I felt about the movie and more a reflection of how long it took to give Black Widow her own film. This felt like 5 years too little, too late, and it impacted my viewing experience.
5 Favorite Performances from an Actor:
1- Andrew Garfield- Tick…Tick…Boom!
Spider-Man can sing!?!? I have always felt Garfield was an underrated actor, but this performance blew me away. His vulnerability and his explosive charisma, his neurotic and loveable tendencies all contributed to what was by far my favorite performance by an actor in 2021.
2- Leonardo DiCaprio- Don’t Look Up
3- John Cena- The Suicide Squad
4- Tom Holland- Spider-Man: No Way Home
5- Nicholas Cage- Pig
5 Favorite Performances from an Actress:
1- Nikole Kidman- Being the Ricardos
I now desperately want a remake of I Love Lucy starring Nikole Kidman and Javier Bardem. This film was great, and Nikole Kidman delivers a jaw-dropping performance. This was not just my favorite performance from an actress in 2021, but my favorite in a very, very long time.
2- McKenna Grace- Ghostbusters Afterlife
3- Rebecca Ferguson- Dune
4- Rachel Zegler- West Side Story
5- Jennifer Lawerence- Don’t Look Up
Superhero Film of the Year:
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Musical Film of the Year:
Horror Film of the Year:
A Quiet Place Part II
Sci-Fi Film of the Year:
Comedy of the Year:
Don’t Look Up
Biopic Film of the Year:
Being the Ricardos
Little-Known Streamer of the Year:
Action Film of the Year:
Chazz Reinhold Award
Jonah Hill- Don’t Look Up
This award is for a character that is barely in the game, but lights up the scoreboard in their limited playing time, much like Will Ferrell did in Wedding Crashers. In Don’t Look Up, Jonah Hill is in maybe 10 minutes, but boy is he phenomenal. In a very funny movie, Hill delivers all the best lines and steals all his scenes.
Christopher Nolan Award
Denis Villeneuve- Dune
This award goes to the director who made the best looking movie, not necessarily the best movie. Steven Speilberg did a wonderful job with West Side Story, but Villeneuve delivered something special with Dune. This was the most visually stunning film I have ever seen, and for that he wins this award.
Best Newcomer Award
Thomasin McKenzie- Last Night in Soho, Old
This award goes to the actor or actress that I had never heard of before the year started, and by the end of the year they became a star. While I don’t care all that much for Old, or particularly for her performance in that film, Thomasin McKenzie crushed it in Last Night in Soho (again I haven’t seen the film, but from trailers and reviews it seems she was great). And regardless of how I feel about her, there’s no doubt she has become a star in 2021, and given I didn’t know she existed last year, by definition she wins this award.
The Trinity Award
Florence Pugh- Black Widow
This award goes to the most badass female in movies in 2021, much like how Trinity was a badass in The Matrix back in 1999. Florence Pugh came into the Marvel universe and stole the show in Black Widow, and proved she can be a badass action star for years and years to come.
2021 MVP in Film
Andrew Garfield- Tick…Tick…Boom!, Spider-Man: No Way Home
This award is pretty self-explanatory; who was the most valuable actor/actress in 2021? For me it was Andrew Garfield. He was an absolute star in Tick…Tick…Boom!, a role for which I think he will be nominated for an Oscar and might win. He was good in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and of course he stole the show in *SPOILERS* Spider-Man: No Way Home. I have always felt Garfield was underrated, but this year he really broke through and took Hollywood by storm.
There you have it! Those are my 2021 Film awards, recognizing my favorite (and least favorite) movies and performances of the last calendar year. Stay tuned for my Oscar nominations, predictions & reactions! And make sure to check all of our other great content here at The Circuit!