Brian’s Sensual Top 10 List of His Favorite 2021 Films

Brian Top 10 2021 I feel like a broken record spewing the same sob story every year, but in calendar year 2021 I saw the least amount of movies ever in recent memories.  It was definitely a weird year.  COVID-19 still had impacts on box office releases, but that didn’t stop new movies from rolling in on other digital platforms.  Streaming juggernauts like HBO Max swung for the fences with same day Warner Bros. releases, Apple had plenty of representations and even Peacock got in on the action with the new Halloween movie.  So there were plenty of ways to ingest new film releases, but I opted to focus on experiencing life for a change of pace.  And what a rocket ride that was, but I digress.  I actually do have a Top Ten list of favorite 2021 flicks so I want to turn my focus there, but before I do…

I want to get off my chest the many disappointments I also experienced with movies this year.  I have a lot more than usual.  Is it because of the smaller sample size I ingested?  I’m not quite sure, but there were some huge stinkers for me.  The Warner Bros. releases on HBO Max were very hit or miss for me.  I was so hyped up for many of them and ultimately so let down by Godzilla vs. Kong, The Little Things, Mortal Kombat and the biggest shocker of them all to me…Suicide Squad.  Not even my beloved Harley Quinn could make that turd shine for me, and yes I know I am completely in the minority here.  I may not get what everyone loves about James Gunn’s DC effort, but I respect their opinions even if one of our reviewers put that as his favorite 4K UHD release of the year.  

Beyond the HBO Max releases there were more disappointments for me like Bob Odenkirk’s Nobody.  Wow!  I wanted to love that one, but couldn’t even manage to finish it.  Even franchise favorites like the new entries in the Fast & The Furious and Purge series sank to new lows with me.  What is wrong with me?  Are my tastes changing that dramatically?  I wasn’t even a huge fan of the new Spidey movie. And I can go on and on debating about that one.  Even Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead was a huge letdown to me.  Now that one sadly felt like a low budget Netflix movie.  And Matrix Resurrections…just upper-case UGH.  However, I digress again as it’s time to give my full attention to the ten films that I did like the most from 2021. 

There are a few titles like Last Night in Soho and Nightmare Alley that I wish I would have seen before compiling the below list, but whatcha going to do.  The Last Duel almost made it, but I felt it lacked some basic raw human emotion in the acting department and frankly the ending just felt flat.  I had high hopes for it!  Oh well…another Adam Driver movie ended up making it anyway.  All is forgiven, but mad props to the hair and makeup department in that one.  I believed in Matt’s mullet and Ben’s golden blond locks.  

So without further ado, please raise your glass in salute with me.  Here’s my very lackluster list of my Top 10 favorite films of calendar year 2021.  And here’s to hoping 2022 is much more fruitful in good movies.  There were just too many bad films and wig jobs (that latter one is for Aaron and Gregg) ruining things for me in 2021.  My tastes have evolved I guess, but I digress.  I realize there are probably many more films that deserve a place below, but alas I did not take them in.  My apologies for any that truly belong down below.





Never did I ever…LOL…think a film Megan Fox would ever make a Top Ten list of mine (I forgot about her since Jennifer’s Body).  But make no mistake!  Armed with her new BF the Fox is back! And she wants to be heard!  Till Death follows Fox’s character who wakes up handcuffed to her dead husband after a romantic evening at their secluded lake house. She’s trapped dragging her husband hilariously (and painfully) around everywhere and is isolated in the dead of winter.  Plus she has to fight off hired killers to escape her late husband’s twisted plan.  What’s not to like about all that?  Look.  It’s a fun/entertaining movie and that’s that!  Haha.  It also marks the directorial debut of S.K. Dale.  There are many worse movies out there this year that you could choose from.  Thankfully this one is not one of them!  Give Megan a second chance in your life!





I was initially excited for this one given the cast consisting of Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot plus the budget awarded in favor of this Netflix exclusive release.  However, upon launch the film got trashed and I couldn’t understand why.  I’m like Good God if it’s as bad as everyone saying it is, then life’s too short to waste on this one.  I mean at the time of this writing the film only holds a score of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes.  How can so many people be or get it wrong?  I think it was text from WSB reviewer Gregg Senko saying he liked the feature that actually gave me the “courage” to sit down and watch this one.  And I’m glad I didn’t listen to all the naysayers because I had an absolute blast with this one.  I watched it twice!  It reminds me of the cheesy 80’s action adventure movies I grew up on and who doesn’t want some more Rock versus Ryan Reynolds in their lives?  Sure Reynolds pretty much portrays his Deadpool/Hobbs and Shaw character personality, but I for one can’t get enough of it.  I want a sequel Netflix!  Make it happen!




Wrath of ManWRATH OF MAN

I don’t profess to be the biggest fan of Guy Ritchie films out there.   However, Wrath of Man had all the right ingredients to get my butt in a theater seat.  #1 it is COVID times so pretty much nothing else was playing and #2 it had been forever since (since Tenet in August 2020) that I had occupied a movie theater seat.  It was time!  And thank goodness Wrath of Man was not only a smart heist film, but also an action packed blast!  I mean come on you have the wild charisma and action chops of Jason Statham within a Guy Ritchie film.  Did you really think anything else was possible?! It is Ritchie’s fourth directorial collaboration.  There’s plenty of tension throughout with Jason having to say very little to get his point across. The film is actually separated into four parts, each circling back to one main event that sets everything off: A Dark Spirit, Scorched Earth, Bad Animals, Bad and Liver, Lungs, Spleen & Heart.  Interesting huh?





The Night House


On the surface The Night House kind of looked like another COVID-19 era film that is just something to watch to fill the void.  And so I did.  However, the movie quickly felt like so much more.  Sure Rebecca Hall did a great job in fulfilling her role, but also it was actually quite creepy too.  The scary moments grew and grew and you would see things on the screen, which my eyes didn’t believe.  I found myself vested in it and before I knew it I also found myself worried.  I was worried that the way this film was building up I felt apprehension that I would be disappointed in the movie’s resolve much like I was with another horror title I wanted to love…Old.  Much to my surprise though that did not happen.  When it came time for the feature’s twist it was so deep and I was not expecting that at all.  I was expecting something cliche or stupid, but instead it made me think.  It made me go back and revisit it to make sure I did not miss anything and also study the extras found on the Blu-ray release to make sure I got it all right.  That’s right ladies and gentlemen there is more than meets the eye with The Night House and I simply adore that!




House of GucciHOUSE OF GUCCI

Saving me from only have a Top 9 list in the 11th hour was House of Gucci!  I’ve always been a big Lady Gaga fan, but I can’t say enough about this overall cast.  Seeing this one was coincidental too as I just introduced my wife to Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals today.  And then we end up at this one.  I am very thankful though as it gave me something to write about as in good conscious I could not include The Last Duel or the new Spidey film as I had too many issues with them.  However, this one…well it’s an absolute gem.  Yes Lady Gaga knocks it out of the proverbial ballpark, but holy hell Jared Leto!  He’s unrecognizable in this one and as my wife said he had the most accurate Italian accent of them all.  He’s exceptional throughout, but really hats off to this stellar cast which also includes Salma Hayek, Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and more!  This one is also going to sound great at home courtesy of the rockin’ Dolby Atmos surround treatment it was given with an awesome soundtrack to boot.  Like most “inspired by a true story” films it gets a little rushed at the end, but the ride is well worth the price of admission.  I learned a lot about the Gucci family and brand today.  I also learned it’s too rich for my blood!





We have a joke amongst ourselves here at WSB where the reviewers know my tastes very well.  Usually Aaron Neuwirth is spot on with his predictions about whether or not I will enjoy a particular film.  I was warned against this one.  This one was billed as NOT a “Brian film.”  I couldn’t resist though as all the positive buzz and intrigue/curiosity I felt after watching the movie’s trailer just got the best of me.  When Best Buy offered this one up for less than $10 on the 4K Ultra HD format during Black Friday week I grew weak at the knees and gave in.  I said take my money and gimme, gimme, gimme!  I am so thankful that is how it all went down too because not only did I go into this one with very low expectations, but I came out unscathed and a fan of what I saw even though it’s very much not a traditional “Brian film.”  I lovingly dub this the mystical, medieval version of La La Land.  I think for those that have seen both features, they will get my sentiments.





No Time to Die was tough for me because of it being Daniel Craig’s last outing as the legendary 007 secret agent.  I had not been a fan of the previous 007 franchises, but something about the Daniel Craig series of films just resonated strongly with me.  And yes I have checked out the other Bond films, but Craig is still my favorite by a long shot and I’m very bitter sweet about this 5th and final entry.  While I have some minor issues with the plot I still love the bold direction they took with how they ended things here.  And no after two features I am still not convinced about Bond and his love interest here, but I digress.  The filmmakers DO make very sure this is our current incarnation of Bond’s last ride here.  I kind of love that despite the fact I know how it ends each and every time I watch it.  I need to keep my Kleenex nearby.  What?  Oops!  Thanks for the memories Daniel Craig and for making me a fan of the 007 franchise and lore.  I DO look forward to where they take this franchise next.  Here’s to Daniel Craig and his character’s favorite martini.  Cheers!  For my full review of this one check out my 4K Ultra HD coverage HERE.





I’ll admit that I have never checked out David Lynch’s iconic version of Dune before jumping into this HBO Max/theatrical release of Denis Villeneuve’s take on it.  And I’ll also admit that I still have not checked it out.  I really have zero interest.  I remember being bored on the long drive back from New Mexico two months ago and I found myself sitting in the backseat with a little over three hours to kill.  That was perfect!  I know many will cringe when they read these words, but my first viewing of this feature was on an iPad Pro with an Apple AirPod Pro Max headset to boot.  I was absolutely riveted by the presentation.  The sounds coming into my ears produced an audio orgasm.  They literally pulled me right into the presentation.  And that bass!  Wow!  Now my only complaint is that Dune feels a little incomplete to me.  It feels like a glorious demo reel to get the next chapter of the story financed.  I wanted more, but I will need to wait on that.  However, for now I’ll just have to enjoy that 4K Ultra HD Disc coming out soon to the fullest.  I’m really looking forward to that since I skipped seeing Dune in the theaters.





Just like in Till Death up above never did I ever think I would be producing a Top 10 list with a movie about tennis in it.  I remember hearing about this same day theatrical/HBO Max release and thinking to myself what the hell is a King Richard?  Just the title of the film sounded stupid to me.  However, I heard so much positive buzz about this, read countless clickbait headlines saying it’s one fo the year’s best and heard the chants that this one finally secures an Oscar for Will Smith.  After watching it I really hope he gets it.  He was great in it and his character really frustrated me, which means it got under my skin in a very good way.  This one has so much heart, bravery and inspiration that it’s almost a Rocky-like tennis story to me.  I dug every minute of it.  I also learned a lot about Serena and Venus.  And now I have a whole new appreciation of both them and the game itself.  I’m still not sure about the title of this film, but I know a good thing when I see it.  If you have any reservations about checking this one out, I highly encourage you to overcome them.





I can’t believe this was actually released.  I remember rolling my eyes at all the online petitions and tweets from the fans begging Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder to release his version of Justice League.  I know the Joss Whedon version is not the best film, but I liked it well enough.  There were enough good things to geek out on.  However, if someone told me there was a version with Darkseid and that it contained over two plus hours of unseen footage that wasn’t just garbage/throwaway deleted scenes, I would have never believed them.  I would have called them liars and vehemently looked the other way.  Now truth be told when this became a reality this was the main reason why I subscribed to HBO Max and kept it as long as I did.  The funny thing though is I secretly wanted nothing to do with sitting through a 4-hour movie.  I remember trying to get through an extended cut of the first LOTR film and that still gives me nightmares, but days after its HBO Max release and many positive reviews later I finally gave Zack Snyder’s vision a chance.  Four hours went by quicker than I could ever imagine thanks to the fact that the movie was pretty much a brand new film.  Sure it shares the same story line of its predecessor, but the way its told, the way its cut and the enormous amount of new footage (some two plus hours) made it a brand new film.  And if you’re keeping score, this version is also billed as a 2021 release and because of that it’s my favorite feature of the year.  Thank you Zack and Warner Bros. for simply allowing this to exist.  I’m forever grateful.


Thanks so much for reading!  I really appreciate you all taking the time to do so.  Please feel free to leave me any comments of hate or praise down below.  And last but not least a very Happy New Years to you and your family!

Brian Top 10 2021


6 Responses to “Brian’s Sensual Top 10 List of His Favorite 2021 Films”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Well, it’s your list. Time to lighten up and have more fun Big Bri. Focus on the stuff you like. Nice to see The Green Knight land on here, since it rules. Not sure which is the most sensual film, but it’s probably Wrath of Man. Lots of King Richard love coming in apparently. Certainly a well-acted film, and nice to see it’s your number one film originally made for 2021 🙂

  2. Brian White

    The sensual part is kind of a joke as my attempt to make this somewhat fun and poke fun at my lackluster list. I just don’t consider this the quality of a critic to be publishing so kind of embarrassed by it, but I appreciate your comments. 2021 was a year of trying to figure out who Brian is and I think 2022 will be much the same with at least Batman in my life and hopes the villain is not a giant starfish. Ugh.

  3. Gregg

    JL at the top!! How could I hav forgotten about this?? I guess I didn’t consider it a new release but should have. It is essentially a different film from its original theater release counterpart with the full Snyder version being superior in every way. Gucci was good but started to lose my interest a bit somewhere in the middle.

  4. Brian White

    I sought Aaron’s permission to include JL in my Top 10 list. He approved, but ultimately said it was my list. Snyder’s JL is billed as 2021 release so I went with it. As I was telling someone on FB before there were so many films I was looking forward to that I just auto pencilled in on my Top 10 list and had to remove because I either hated them completely or had some issues with them where they felt weird having on my Top 10 list so this list is comprised of only films I liked. Missing would be A Quiet Place 2 and Old, which the latter falls apart at the end but given the cool concept I really have no idea where they could have gone with it TBH.

  5. Brandon Peters

    Your list reminded me that I still need to check out The Night House!

    Your 6-10 is quite interesting, whether I’m in agreeance or not, its unique! Your top 6 is rock solid and yeah…the Snyder Cut was great. While I got tired of the gross way the fandom went about demanding it, the final product was pretty impressive to me.

    Overall, I’m really just happy you were able to participate and put out a list whether you felt confident about being up to snuff to do one or not. Its your year in review, not the entirety of cinema’s. And like I commented on Gregg’s, boast what you loved, leave the stuff you didn’t care for in the dust. No need to focus on that, as it only continues to highlight something you didn’t want highlighted. Be happy, you saw some terrific stuff this year and got to do so with a terrific person…your awesome WIFEY!

  6. Brian White

    Wow! Brandon wins for comment of the year!
    Thank you for all your kind words sir!