Saturday, January 1, 2022

Top 9 Best New Movies of 2021

According to: Selina

NOTE: These are the best new movies of the year that we’ve reviewed on Trust the Dice. If it wasn't reviewed on the site, it's not eligible.
9 Godzilla vs.Kong 

Reviewed on: April 16, 2021
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Length: 113 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 4
Cat’s Rating: 4
IMDb Blurb: The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another - the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong - with humanity caught in the balance.
Godzilla vs. Kong was gorgeous. The settings from scene to scene were as close to flawless as a film can get.
I’m, personally, not a fan of either of the kaiju starring in this flick and yet… I still found myself truly enjoying the watch-through. The fights were well-done and there was just enough actual plot to keep me from getting bored.
This movie took both series to a new level. It raised expectations.
8 The Queen of Black Magic 

Reviewed on: January 25, 2021
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 99 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 4
IMDb Blurb: Families were terrorized at the orphanage. Someone wants them dead, apparently with black magic that is very deadly. She has a grudge and she was also born because of the sins of the orphans who formed her into the Queen of Black Magic.
Back in January, when we first saw this film, I was absolutely convinced this was going to wind up being the best horror movie of the year. It wasn’t, but it was up there.
After a slow start, The Queen of Black Magic picked itself up and never slowed down again. Some of the scares were things I had never seen before, while some utilized tropes in ways that other flicks never have.
Granted, this was a remake, and I wasn’t aware of that when I first saw it. I have never seen the original, but this one makes me want to.
The Queen of Black Magic really got my hopes up for the state of horror films in 2021, and I wasn’t disappointed.
7My Little Pony: The Next Generation 

Reviewed on: September 29, 2021
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Animation
Rated: PG
Length: 90 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 4.5
Cat’s Rating: 5
IMDb Blurb: After the time of the Mane 6, Sunny--a young Earth Pony--and her new Unicorn friend Izzy explore their world and strive to restore Harmony to Equestria.
The My Little Pony series is actually pretty good. Although it’s for kids, there’s enough in it to keep adults entertained for days. It’s still goofy while being genuinely funny and heartwarming on a higher level than most kids shows. (Bluey not included. Bluey is forever the GOAT.)
I was a bit worried when I saw they were already moving on to the next generation with this film. I was worried they’d remove everything that made the series so good and turn it back into a kids-only production.
My worries were unfounded. If anything, My Little Pony: The Next Generation took everything up another level. It was everything the series was and then some. I laughed, I cried. It had no damn business being as good as it was.
Even if you have no kids, My Little Pony: The Next Generation should still be on your watch list.
6 Slaxx

Reviewed on: March 17, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 77 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 4
IMDb Blurb: When a possessed pair of jeans begins to kill the staff of a trendy clothing store, it is up to Libby, an idealistic young salesclerk, to stop its bloody rampage.
This movie was about a pair of pants that murders people. If you had asked me a year ago if it would make our Best New Movies of 2021 article, I would have scoffed.
To be fair, no one could have possibly seen this coming. We watch plenty of sentient object horrors, but most of them are ridiculous and awful.
Slaxx was a real movie. It had a message. It wasn’t overly obnoxious; the script didn’t make me cringe. I had to watch it three times just to get passed the shock of it not sucking. It wasn’t until the fourth watch-through that I realized just how good it was.
There would have been no way for me to write a Best New Movie article without mentioning this one. It just wouldn’t be complete.
tick, tick… Boom!

Reviewed on: November 19, 2021
Genre: Biography, Drama, Musical
Rated: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 4.5
Cat’s Rating: 5
IMDb Blurb: On the cusp of his 30th birthday, a promising young theater composer navigates love, friendship and the pressures of life as an artist in New York City.
Tick, tick… Boom! had that raw Rent (2005) feel that I’m sure Lin Manuel Miranda (Moana, In the Heights, Hamilton) was going for. That was to be expected. What I wasn’t expecting was how much it also felt like A Chorus Line (1985).
Learning about Jonathan Larson is a big deal for any fan of Broadway – and using the inspiration of some of the best Broadway shows was a stroke of genius. Allowing Lin Manuel Miranda to direct the whole thing, as the writer of one of the newest giants of live musicals, was also an amazing choice.
Tick, tick… Boom! is full of earworms and feels. Long before it dropped, it was bound to be on this list.

Reviewed on: June 18, 2021
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 87 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 3.5
IMDb Blurb: A new comedy special shot and performed by Bo Burnham, alone, over the course of the past year.
Bo Burnham’s Inside didn’t speak to everyone, but those of us that did relate to it, found it to be unforgettable.
As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, a lot of us were feeling various levels of cabin fever and hopelessness. We were watching our kids grow up in a world without playdates and with terror in schools. We were stuck in our homes with no escape from situations that might not be the best. We were trapped.
Bo Burnham (Promising Young Woman, The Big Sick, Eighth Grade) brought that spiral into depression into a comedy special in a way that no one could have expected. For those of us it applied to, it felt like someone was finally listening.
As good as Inside was, it was so much more than that. It was important.

Reviewed on: November 10, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 155 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 5
IMDb Blurb: Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.
This may not be the first adaptation of Dune, but it was the best by far.
Everything about this film was gorgeous. Not a single scene went by that wasn’t crafted to perfection. From the sands of the desert, to the light mist of spice that swirled just atop the surface, was evidence of significant talent behind the scenes.
Those in front of the camera did not let anyone down, either.
As adaptations in general go, Dune is one of the best out there.
2 In the Heights 
Reviewed on: June 11, 2021
Genre: Drama, Musical
Rated: PG-13
Length: 143 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 5
IMDb Blurb: A film version of the Broadway musical in which Usnavi, a sympathetic New York bodega owner, saves every penny every day as he imagines and sings about a better life.
Another Lin Manuel masterpiece falls on our list. In the Heights was an outstanding film. It had all the flavor you’d expect to hear in the music, with the strength of an honest New York setting. The characters were realistic, and the story was entrancing.
As amazing as the songs were, though, the cinematography rose above even that.
There were visuals used in some scenes that were completely fresh. I’ve dreamt about some of the camera angles and imagery.
Every choice made for In the Heights during production, was the right one.
1The Suicide Squad
Reviewed on: August 6, 2021
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 132 minutes
Selina’s Rating: 5
Cat’s Rating: 5
IMDb Blurb: Supervillains Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker and a collection of nutty cons at Belle Reve prison join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X as they are dropped off at the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese.
I’m aware that The Suicide Squad flopped in theaters, but I think that was because of marketing.
Right up until the movie started, I don’t think anyone had a handle on whether it was some level of reboot or a sequel. There were signs leading to both. It wound up being a soft sequel, which the production companies should have been more forthcoming about.
As a movie, though, The Suicide Squad did everything right.
It took all the bullshit from the first, sucked out the good parts, and threw the rest in the trash. With The Suicide Squad we got what we should have had the first time. It was absolutely hilarious and unexpected. It carried the feel of the comics, while offering a whole new view of the story.
I honestly don’t think you even need to be a fan of comics or comic book movies to enjoy this one.

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