2021 Film Reviews
Escape the Undertaker (2021) Review - WWE and Netflix interactive film 'Escape the Undertaker' makes a mockery of WWE Studios releases, offering something actually joyful and well made. Mark Carnochan reviews.
No Time to Die (2021) Review - Daniel Craig says goodbye to the Bond franchise in Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'No Time to Die' (2021), co-starring Lashana Lynch, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux. Sam Sewell-Peterson reviews.
Ride the Eagle (2021) Review - Jake Johnson co-writes and stars in 'Ride the Eagle' (2021), the Trent O'Donnell film of a man reconnecting with his deceased mother and makes the most of Covid limitations. Review by Leoni Horton.
Delphine’s Prayers (2021) Open City Documentary Festival Review - 'Delphine's Prayers' (2021), from well regarded documentarian Rosine Mbakam, serves as a memoir by its subject, a Belgian immigrant with a traumatic, perspective-shifting story. Sam Sewell-Peterson reviews.
Songs for the River (2021) Open City Documentary Festival Review - Charlotte Ginsborg coronavirus pandemic documentary 'Songs for the River' highlights social and political issues from the perspective of a small London community. Sam Sewell-Peterson reviews.
Juste un mouvement (2021) Open City Documentary Festival Review - Inspired by the work of Jean-Luc Godard, Vincent Meessen's 'Juste un mouvement' (2021) documentary on Senegalese left-wing revolutionary Omar Blondin Diop, review. By Sam Sewell-Peterson.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2021) Review - The creative minds behind the "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" stage musical have adapted the story for the big screen in what may be 2021's best movie musical. Mark Carnochan reviews.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) Review - Marvel's first true martial arts film is endlessly thrilling, funny and heartfelt. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, starring Simu Liu and Awkwafina. Review by Sam Sewell-Peterson.
The Road Dance (2021) EIFF Review - 'The Road Dance', from filmmaker Richie Adams and adapted from the book by John MacKay, returns Scottish cinema to its roots, though makes for a frustrating experience. Mark Carnochan reviews.
Candyman (2021) Review - Nia DaCosta horror sequel 'Candyman' (2021), from producer and co-writer Jordan Peele, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, feels less organic and poised than the original. Kieran Judge reviews.
The Nest (2021) Review - 'The Nest' (2021), from 'Martha Marcy May Marlene' director Sean Durkin, features a career-defining Carrie Coon performance that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Charlie Gardiner reviews.
Mad God (2021) EIFF Review - Phil Tippett, the man behind visual effects on the likes of 'Jurassic Park', directs stop motion animation 'Mad God', nightmare fuel 30 years in the making. Mark Carnochan reviews.
Annette (2021) EIFF Review - Sparks and Leos Carax combine for the unique and interesting movie musical 'Annette', starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. Mark Carnochan reviews.
Mandibles (2021) EIFF Review - 'Mandibles' (2020/21), the latest film from French director Quentin Dupieux and starring Adèle Exarchopoulos, is a significant drop in quality from 'Deerskin'. Mark Carnochan reviews.
Here Today (2021) EIFF Review - Bolly Crystal writes, directs and co-stars with Tiffany Haddish in 'Here Today' (2021), a film that survives on the charisma and chemistry of its leading duo. Mark Carnochan reviews.
The Beta Test (2021) EIFF Review - Jim Cummings' newest offering, 'The Beta Test', is a 'Twilight Zone' shaped Hollywood rabbit hole filled with murder, mystery, manipulation, data harvesting, consumerism, greed and luxury stationery. Leoni Horton reviews.
Censor (2021) Review - 'Censor', the debut movie of Welsh filmmaker Prano Bailey-Bond, is a horror film set within the era of so-called "video nasties", a "captivating and original story". Mark Carnochan reviews.
Pig (2021) EIFF Review - Nicolas Cage offers one of the performances of his career in 'Pig', a debut film from Michael Sarnoski that defies all expectations. Mark Carnochan reviews.
Don’t Breathe 2 (2021) Review - Horror sequel 'Don't Breathe 2' (2021), starring Stephen Lang, is a movie that fans of horror may enjoy, but that the uninitiated may become inpatient with. Jacob Davis reviews.
Free Guy (2021) Review - Ryan Reynolds holds together the video game-inspired 'Free Guy' (2021), a blockbuster comedy that fans will return to time and time again, from director Shawn Levy. Charlie Gardiner reviews.
The Kissing Booth 3 (2021) Review - Netflix young adult rom-com 'The Kissing Booth 3', starring Joey King, Jacob Elordi and Joel Courtney, is a disappointing end to an already tedious franchise. Leoni Horton reviews.
Jungle Cruise (2021) Review - 'Jungle Cruise' (2021), starring Emily Blunt, The Rock and Jack Whitehall, is the latest Disney film based on a theme park attraction, but it isn't a sure-fire hit. Jacob Davis reviews.
Stillwater (2021) Review - A dark and powerful true-to-life drama packed full of emotion and featuring stand-out performances, Tom McCarthy's 'Stillwater' starring Matt Damon is one to watch. Charlie Gardiner reviews.
The Suicide Squad (2021) Review - James Gunn writes and directs 'The Suicide Squad' (2021) starring Margot Robbie, Idris Elba and John Cena, from DC and Warner Bros' comic book universe. Jacob Davis reviews.
The Sparks Brothers (2021) Review - Self-confessed music fanboy Edgar Wright makes for the perfect director of Sparks music documentary 'The Sparks Brothers' (2021), about Ron and Russell Mael aka The Sparks Brothers. Review by Mark Carnochan.
Wrath of Man (2021) Review - Director Guy Ritchie follows 'The Gentlemen' with 'Wrath of Man', a crime action ensemble film lead by 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' star Jason Statham. Tony Ruggio reviews.
Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) Review - Warner Bros return to 'Space Jam' for 2021 follow-up 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' starring NBA icon LeBron James and a whole host of famous characters. Jacob Davis reviews.
Deerskin (2019) Review - Jean Dujardin and Adèle Haenel lead Quentin Dupieux's dark comedy-horror 'Deerskin', about one man's obsession with the perfect jacket. Sam Sewell-Peterson reviews.
Black Widow (2021) Review - Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff finally gets her standalone Marvel Cinematic Universe movie in 'Black Widow', from director Cate Shortland. Review by Mark Carnochan.
The Tomorrow War (2021) Review - Amazon's big summer blockbuster 'The Tomorrow War', from the director of 'The Lego Batman Movie' and starring Chris Pratt, is "only clever if you've never seen a sci-fi movie before". Kieran Judge reviews.
Freaky (2021) Review - 'Freaky' (2021), from 'Happy Death Day' director Christopher Landon, and starring Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn, "is insanely fun". Mark Carnochan reviews.
In the Heights (2021) Review - 'In the Heights', the new musical from "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and 'Crazy Rich Asians' director Jon M. Chu, is likely to be the summer movie of 2021. Charlie Gardiner reviews.
F9: The Fast Saga (2021) Review - The 9th 'Fast and Furious' movie 'F9', starring Vin Diesel and John Cena, directed by Justin Lin, has some incredible moments but doesn't reach the heights of some franchise entries. Jacob Davis reviews.
Luca (2021) Review - Pixar's 'Luca', from director Enrico Casarosa, may not shoot for anything profound but it is their most summery and optimistic film in years. Sam Sewell-Peterson reviews.
Cruella (2021) Review - Emma Stone and Emma Thompson can't quite carry a relatively poor script in Disney's latest live-action adaptation 'Cruella'. Mark Carnochan reviews.
A Quiet Place Part II (2020) Review - How does 2021 John Krasinski film 'A Quiet Place Part II' fair amongst the best and worst sequels in cinema history? Mark Carnochan reviews.
Enfant Terrible (2021) Review - Cult filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder of the German New Wave is the subject of Oskar Roehler's Cannes entry 'Enfant Terrible'. Kieran Judge reviews.
News of the World (2021) Review - 'News of the World' (2021), from Bourne Series director Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks, nominated for 4 Oscars including cinematography, is "two hours well spent", but little more. Kieran Judge reviews.
My Octopus Teacher (2020) Review - 'My Octopus Teacher', the wildlife documentary phenomenon that has earned a nomination at the 2021 Oscars, isn't quite the runaway success of other documentaries in its genre. Katie Doyle reviews.
Two Distant Strangers (2021) Short Film Review - Oscar nominated live action short 'Two Distant Strangers', from Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe, starring Joey Bada$$ and Andrew Howard, tells of police brutality and murder in the United States.
Genius Loci (2021) Short Film Review - 'Genius Loci', the 2021 Oscar nominated Animated Short from Adrien Merigeau in conjunction with Brecht Evens, is a wondrous example of cinema's ability to connect on a deep level. Joseph Wade reviews.
Yes-People (2021) Short Film Review - Probably the most quirky of all the Animation Short Subjects nominated at the 2021 Oscars, Gísli Darri Halldórsson's Icelandic short film 'Yes-People' will lift your anxieties for 8 minutes at least.
The Father (2021) Review - 'The Father', the feature directorial debut of Florian Zeller starring Anthony Hopkins in a career standout performance, "is a deeply unsettling depiction of how memory can betray a person". Peter Charney reviews.
Sound of Metal (2021) Review - 'Sound of Metal', from screenwriter-director Darius Marder, is a triumph for Best Actor nominee Riz Ahmed who is utterly dazzling from the moment he arrives on screen. Leoni Horton reviews.
The Present (2021) Short Film Review - Set at one of the West Bank's many border crossings between Palestinian territory and Israel, 'The Present' is a thought-provoking film nominated for Live Action Short at the 2021 Oscars.
Do Not Split (2021) Short Film Review - 'Do Not Split', the Oscar nominated Documentary Short Subject from the frontlines of Hong Kong's protests against the CPC by Anders Hammer, reviewed by Joseph Wade.
Hunger Ward (2021) Short Film Review - Hunger Ward - Oscar nominated for Documentary Short Subject, Skye Fitzgerald's unflinching look at the Yemen food crisis caused by its conflict with Saudi Arabia is unmissable. Review by Joseph Wade.
Greyhound (2021) Review - Tom Hanks writes and stars in Apple TV+ movie 'Greyhound', co-starring Stephen Graham and nominated for Sound at the 2021 Oscars. Charlie Gardiner reviews.
Godzilla vs Kong (2021) Review - 'Godzilla vs Kong', from Legendary's Monsterverse and directed by Adam Wingard, "will leave any Kaiju fan in need of power tools to remove the smiles from their faces". Sam Sewell-Peterson reviews.
No Ordinary Man (2020) Review – BFI Flare - When jazz musician Billy Tipton died, it was discovered he was biologically female. Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt direct documentary 'No Ordinary Man', reviewed by Annice White.
Fugitive Dreams (2020) Review – MANIFF - 'Fugitive Dreams', from director Jason Neulander, is a strange road movie, but one you'll be able to appreciate the sheer filmic beauty of. Sam Sewell-Peterson reviews.
Promising Young Woman (2021) Review - Emerald Fennell filters every bubble-gum pink detail through a boldly cinematic narrative, exposing the real-world judgemental attitudes surrounding rape in 'Promising Young Woman' (2021). Leoni Horton reviews.
Rebel Dykes (2021) Review – BFI Flare - 'Rebel Dykes' is a hugely entertaining and unique documentary about a rebellious lesbian movement that was born out of London's punk scene in the 1980s. Annice White reviews from BFI Flare.
My First Summer (2021) Review- BFI Flare - Capturing first love through the female gaze and in an LGBTQ+ setting, 'My First Summer' has real potential to become a cult classic. Annice White reviews.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) Review - 2021's Zack Snyder's Justice League may be the best film you could expect from such a mess of a situation. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman come together for this HBO Max original reviewed by Joseph Wade.
Cherry (2021) Review - Apple TV Plus exclusive 'Cherry', from 'Avengers: Endgame' directors The Russo Brothers, and starring Spider-Man himself Tom Holland, is a shallow drama. Cole Clark reviews.
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (2021) Review - With 'Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry', director R.J. Cutler constructs a mesmerising treat that will make a fan of musical sensation Billie Eilish out of any viewer. Leoni Horton reviews.
The Winter Lake (2021) Review - 'Game of Thrones' alum Michael McElhatton and 'Sex Education's' Emma Mackey star in 'The Winter Lake', a gnarly drama dealing with trauma from debut director Phil Sheerin. Kevin Woodley reviews.
Moxie (2021) Review - 2021 Amy Poehler movie 'Moxie', available on Netflix and starring Hadley Robinson, had a great opportunity to explore feminism through the lens of Gen Z. Did it succeed? Annice White reviews.
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Review - The first wholly original Disney film in years, 'Raya and the Last Dragon' starring Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina is likely to become a sure-fire animation classic. Review by Mark Carnochan.
Coming 2 America (2021) Review - In 1988, Eddie Murphy and company captured lightning in a bottle for comedy classic 'Coming to America'. Could they do it a 2nd time for sequel 'Coming 2 America'? Scott Z Walkinshaw reviews.
Surge (2021) Review – GFF - Headlined by an unforgettable and unrecognisable performance from Ben Whishaw, 'Surge' has a "wild, kinetic energy" that evokes comparisons to 'Joker' and 'Falling Down'. Jack Cameron reviews.
Cowboys (2021) Review – GFF - Anna Kerrigan writes and directs Steve Zahn and Jillian Bell in the Tribeca award winning family drama 'Cowboys', about a trans boy and his family relationships. Jack Cameron reviews.
Voice of Silence (2021) Review – GFF - Screenwriter-director Hong Eui-jeong announces himself as a talent to look out for in the future in his feature debut 'Voice of Silence', an off-kilter South Korean film starring 'Burning' actor Yoo Ah-in. Jack Cameron reviews.
Sweetheart (2021) Review – GFF - Marley Morrison British seaside holiday film 'Sweetheart', featuring the debuting Nell Barlow, is a nuanced exploration of sexuality and a modern twist in the realm of British film. Leoni Horton reviews.
Enemies of the State (2020) Review - Is Matt DeHart a liberating whistleblower in possession of incriminating evidence against the US government or just trying to escape prosecution for heinous crimes? 'Enemies of the State' explores, Jack Cameron reviews.
Tom and Jerry (2021) Review - Is Tom & Jerry the best new comedy of 2021, or exploitation of nostalgia for profit? Is it worth getting a HBO Max subscription for? Chloë Grace Moretz stars, Jacob Davis reviews.
Bliss (2021) Review - 2021 Amazon film 'Bliss', from 'Another Earth' filmmaker Mike Cahill, starring Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek, is a throwback to turn of the century suburban dramas. Joseph Wade reviews.
Riders of Justice (2021) Review – GFF - Mads Mikkelsen stars in the latest black comedy from Danish writer-director Anders Thomas Jensen, 'Riders of Justice', a movie about probability. Jack Cameron reviews.
The Mauritanian (2021) Review – GFF - Tahar Rahim steals the show in the star-studded court drama 'The Mauritanian', about a man incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay following the 9/11 attacks. Jack Cameron reviews.
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché (2021) Review – GFF - Marianne Elliott-Said, aka punk pioneer Poly Styrene of the X-Ray Spex, is the subject of her daughter's documentary 'Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché' (2021), reviewed from Glasgow Film Festival by Leoni Horton.
Creation Stories (2021) Review – GFF - Directed by Nick Moran, Creation Stories - about music studio founder Alan McGee - is a mildly offensive, egotistical mess, and we can only hope Liam and Noel Gallagher never see this film. Leoni Horton reviews.
Jumbo (2021) Review – GFF - Starring Portrait of a Lady on Fire’s Noémie Merlant, 'Jumbo' is a surefooted yet strangely erotic adrenaline ride through the wildest depths of sexual fantasy. Leoni Horton reviews.
Penguin Bloom (2021) Review - Naomi Watts shines in Netflix's latest biopic about tragedy, family, and the unique relationship between a woman and an injured magpie, in 'Penguin Bloom' from Glendyn Ivin. Sophie Cook reviews.
Minari (2021) Review – GFF - Lee Isaac Chung's semi-autobiographical Sundance home run manages to be "both quietly poignant and thunderously profound". Leoni Horton reviews from Glasgow Film Festival.
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) Review - 'Judas and the Black Messiah' tells the astonishing true story of Chairman Fred Hampton's assassination. Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield star. Click to read Sophie Butcher's review in full.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever (2021) Review - Netflix Original 'To All the Boys: Always and Forever', starring Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, is a satisfying, teary-eyed end to the sickly-sweet franchise. Leoni Horton reviews.
Malcolm and Marie (2021) Review - 'Euphoria' creator Sam Levinson directs John David Washington and Zendaya in Netflix Original 'Malcolm & Marie', a shallow and emotionally vacant lockdown drama. Sam Sewell-Peterson reviews.
Greenland (2021) Review - 2021 extinction event blockbuster 'Greenland', starring Gerard Butler and directed by Ric Roman Waugh, is "an unmissable event". Joseph Wade reviews.
The Dig (2021) Review - Ralph Fiennes and Carey Mulligan star in 2021 Netflix Original British drama 'The Dig', a "based on true events" look at existence and legacy. Review by Joseph Wade.
Assassins (2021) Review - From the director of Netflix docuseries 'The Keepers' comes 'Assassins', a 2020/21 documentary on the assassination of the first son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Rory Doherty reviews.
Away (2019) Review - Gints Zilbalodis delivers a calming, sensory experience in his feature animation debut 'Away', a film without dialogue that draws comparisons to the work of Studio Ghibli. Tommy James reviews.
Pieces Of A Woman (2020) Review - 2021 Netflix drama 'Pieces of a Woman', from director Kornél Mundruczó, "taps into the idiosyncrasies of womanhood, of loss, of motherhood". Vanessa Kirby and Ellen Burstyn star, Leoni Horton reviews.