Reel Talk
Year 2021 Roundup

A look at four of our favourite films to end the year

REVIEWED BY Ashwini Vethakan

Since many of us weren’t able to enjoy the cinema experience this year, several production studios have opted to release their mega films in digital formats. While this has certainly worked in our favour, it’s been difficult to pick only one movie to review.

So here’s a review of four of our favourites to end Reel Talk for 2021…

THE GUILTY Jake Gyllenhaal is back in action and his new release is everything we’ve missed from Hollywood. Cue the panic and excessive swearing at your television screen. Much like Chris Evans’ early 2000 thriller Cellular, The Guilty takes viewers on an intense ride as we watch a 911 operator fight through the phone to save a hostage.

The entire film is presented in such a way that despite the crazy storyline, we only get to see Gyllenhaal react according to the feelings and angst he portrays. The phone only cast is impressive: Peter Sarsgaard, Riley Keough, Ethan Hawke, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Paul Dano all call in but Gyllenhaal is the whole show, and his irritable, driven and struggling character is one that deserves an award!

A QUIET PLACE PART II John Krasinski sure knows how to make our blood pressure spike to intense levels! The horror-thriller picks up from where we were left in the first movie back in 2018.

Emily Blunt reprises her role as the mother of three children in a post-apocalyptic world as they struggle to survive in a land with monsters that attack you when they hear you. And survival while handling a newborn baby is the calling.

This time around, the characters have discovered the monsters’ ultimate weakness and so begins the race of their lives, as they try to kill as many of them as possible in order to escape their state and finally live with what’s left of America’s human race.

We applaud the Krasinski-Blunt team in their ability to narrate a story purely through actions with no words being spoken. This time, we have a new hero joining in place of Krasinski’s character – and Cillian Murphy does not disappoint.

BLACK WIDOW Despite Scarlett Johansson suing Disney for the premature digital release of the movie, we’re glad that we got to watch it! Starting the next phase of the Marvel Universe with a bang, the movie finally shares S.H.I.E.L.D.’s special agent and assassin Natasha Romanoff’s (a.k.a. Black Widow) story.

With a cast so big, we gasped every time a familiar face popped up on our screen. The movie discusses the various elements that make up Romanoff’s mysterious character. At the end, the film lets us in on the new potential Black Widow for Phase 2 with Florence Pugh teasing the audience and we’re super stoked for what’s in store for 2022.

FREE GUY Thank you Ryan Reynolds for giving us a movie that’s funny. With a character that’s so Reynolds, and a story that’s hilarious and keeps the audience guessing, Free Guy was the ultimate comedy in 2021.

The plot is very similar to many movies released in Hollywood (such as The Matrix, Ralph Breaks the Internet and The Lego Movie) but the story is endearing and its cast is simply awesome.

So finally, we see Stranger Things’ Steve ‘The Hair’ Harrington sans his hair and in a new kind of role. With equal portions of laughter, romance and action, Free Guy gives us something to laugh about… despite having spent almost another year in lockdown!

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