Let’s face the truth for a moment. 2021 was not the year that some of us had hoped it would be. I was personally looking forward to a year of music festivals, all-you-can-eat buffets, and movies. I am very thankful that I did get to experience some of those things. I’d like to take a moment to share with you my official favorite films of 2021 list now that we are one month into 2022.
5. Prisoners of the ghostland
Prisoners of the Ghostland is a post-apocalyptic western starring Nicholas Cage and directed by the acclaimed Sion Sono. Nicholas Cage plays Hero, a bank robber who’s just been released from prison. The Mayor of Samurai Town is a Yosemite Sam type of character played by Bill Moseley. The Mayor dresses Cage up in a suit that will self-destruct in 5 days unless he finds and delivers the Mayor’s “granddaughter”. Prisoners of the Ghostland is like a smorgasbord of a VHS collector’s prime tapes. The aesthetic of this film is like a mashup between Mad Max and Kill Bill.
4. The French Dispatch
Wes Anderson has spent his career earning our trust with film after film of high-quality entertainment. It seems that anything he touches has a certain palatability no matter what subject matter he is throwing at us. The French Dispatch is roughly based on stories from the New Yorker magazine. The film follows an anthology format that lends itself to Anderson’s strengths for a series of hilarious and heartwarming yet thought-provoking segments all wrapped up in a perfect package.
3. The Green Knight
The Green Knight is a unique take on the idea concept of heroes. It’s kind of a dry flick that has a great payoff and leaves you thinking about how we view characters like King Arthur. I usually don’t enjoy movies about knights but I think that’s just because they are not green. Didn’t Kermit the Frog dress up like a knight occasionally? Anyways…
2. Licorice Pizza
Out of all of the Paul Thomas Anderson movies that I’ve seen, Licorice Pizza is leaps and bounds above the others. It’s a romantic comedy starring Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman and includes performances by Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Benny Sadafie, and the kitchen sink. One of my favorite castings in this film is Mary Elizabeth Ellis (the waitress from ‘It’s always sunny in Philadelphia) as the mother of one of the main characters. I really can’t say enough about this film.
1. Wrath of Man
It should come as no surprise that my favorite film of 2021 is directed by Guy Ritchie, after all, The Gentlemen was my favorite film of 2019. Wrath of Man is a heist flick loosely based on the 2004 french film, Cash Truck. This film has sort of a revenge thriller vibe that puts me in mind of movies like The Departed and Edge of Darkness. Wrath of man is certainly not for everyone but if you love a good violent action thriller this picture will deliver.
I hope this list was helpful. All 5 of these movies helped me get through all 365 of my days last year. I’m not sure what 2022 will be like when it’s said and done but hopefully we will get to see some more great movies.
About Nathan Conrad:
He’s best known as the Nashville-based Hip Hop/Indie Pop emcee Spoken Nerd, but this isn’t your typical rap project. He rhymes playfully at times, singing and/or rapping, juxtaposing his style with real-life situations and subject matter. Occasionally Spoken Nerd will find inspiration in films and will put it into song. With eight full-length albums into his career, the rapper has built a healthy catalog of music, which doesn’t include the number of EPs and singles released.