This year has been a year of twists and turns for the film industry.
At the start of the year, we had no idea what would be released and what would be pushed back due to the pandemic. While many films were inevitably delayed, many gems were released.
Here are six great films that you should definitely give a watch (or a rewatch).
- Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings features the first Asian-American superhero in a mainstream film.
Inspired by old martial arts movies from the 70s, the film features a wide display of exhilarating action sequences, beautiful cinematography and a compelling narrative.
Simu Liu does a brilliant job portraying Shang-Chi, a fighter who must confront the troubled past that he ran away from. The characters are all compelling from Shang-Chi’s estranged sister Xialing to his father, the villainous Wenwu.
- Judas and the Black Messiah
Judas and the Black Messiah stars Daniel Kaluuya in a biopic about Fred Hampton, the leader of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s.
It tells the story of how the FBI instructed petty criminal Bill O’Neal, played by Lakeith Stanfield, to infiltrate the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party by befriending its leader, Fred Hampton.
It was released in February 2021, so may have not received the audience that it deserved in cinemas worldwide.
Judas and the Black Messiah was highly praised by critics and was nominated for six Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards including the Best Picture nomination. Kaluuya managed to win the Best Supporting Actor award.
- Malcolm and Marie
Malcolm and Marie stars and was produced by Zendaya and John David Washington.
The film was the first to be completely written, filmed, financed and produced during the pandemic.
It follows the titular characters, Malcolm and Marie, as their relationship reaches boiling point on the night of the premier of Malcolm’s movie release.
The film is presented entirely in black and white and the fact that the whole film takes place in various rooms of the same house could appeal to fans of theatre productions.
The acting is brilliant as the power dynamics repeatedly shift back and forth between the two characters as new revelations unfold.
- No Time to Die
At one point it seemed like No Time to Die would never be released. However, in October, fans of the James Bond franchise had their patience rewarded.
This was Daniel Craig’s fifth and final performance as Bond and he did not disappoint.
The film features a retired Bond being called back into action to rescue an MI6 scientist from the clutches of a powerful enemy.
No Time to Die also stars Lashana Lynch making history as the first ever female 007.
- The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad is an insanely fast paced, violent and hilarious subversion of the superhero genre.
Director James Gunn takes the film in a different direction than David Ayer did with the 2016 version. Instead of being gritty and edgy, this film is fun and positively goofy.
It features a group of villains who are sent on a mission to destroy government evidence. The cast is superb with Idris Elba’s serious mercenary Bloodsport, hilariously clashing with John Cena’s pretentious idiot Peacemaker.
But the film’s real achievement is providing heart to characters that seem like throwaways at first glance.
- Boxing Day
If anybody is trying to get into the Christmas spirit this year, Boxing Day could be the film for you.
The film is a rare black-British rom-com that could hopefully pave the way for more in the future.
It is directed by Aml Ameen who also stars in the lead role playing Melvin, a British author who returns to the UK with his new fiancée after living in America.
Their relationship is put to the test when they meet his parents- and his superstar ex-girlfriend.
The film has a predominately black-British cast which includes Leigh-Anne Pinnock from girl band Little Mix making her acting debut.
If you enjoy Christmas rom-coms such as Love Actually and Last Christmas then Boxing Day could be just what you are looking for to shake off the winter blues.