Tag Archives: Decision to Leave

Top 25 Best Films of 2022

It’s time for me to present my (as usual very late) list of my favourite films of the year.

So far I’ve watched 78 movies from 2022, and I think I’ve seen most of the movies I wanted to watch. Still, there are some I didn’t get around to before making this list. So to cover all bases, here are some of the movies I haven’t seen yet:

  • Armageddon Time
  • Cha Cha Real Smooth
  • Emily the Criminal
  • The Menu
  • The Quiet Girl
  • The Wonder

Honourable Mention: Barbarian

barbarian-2022 (1)

Barbarian is best experienced if you go into it blind. This new horror movie is greatly written ans does well at making you feel unsettled from the start, with the strong atmosphere, suspense and feeling of dread. There’s even some surprising humour which fits into the movie and doesn’t take away from the tension. The performances are really good, including Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgard and especially Justin Long. Zach Cregger’s direction was great, with outstanding camerawork and cinematography, from the movements to the choice of lens. It’s not without some issues: the social commentary is a little muddled, the twists don’t hit as hard in the second half, some unexpected jumps in the narrative causes hiccups in pacing, and it would have benefitted from a longer runtime. Still, Barbarian is a solid, suspenseful, entertaining and well crafted horror movie, and one of the best horror movies of 2022.

My review of Barbarian

Some other Honourable Mentions:

  • Kimi
  • The Woman King
  • Argentina, 1985
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Vortex
  • Thirteen Lives

With the honourable mentions done, here are my favourite movies of 2022.

25. Elvis


I admit I’m one who wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the Elvis Presley biopic considering that I’m not always favourable on Baz Luhrmann’s movies, but I was surprised by his latest movie. As someone not familiar with the central subject, I liked it. It’s not a particularly complex biopic and it is very familiar and standard, but it does succeed for me because it tries to capture the spirit of Elvis and emphasizes the spectacle. The story is fairly engaging and has this consistent energy throughout, and the interesting choices (hit or miss) help to make it somewhat stand apart from other music biopics. There are also some great performances from the cast including Olivia DeJonge, Helen Thomson and Richard Roxburgh, while Austin Butler is fantastic as Elvis Presley, talking and singing like him but also capturing his essence incredibly well. Luhrmann’s style is in your face and while it didn’t always work for me in his other movies, it did here. It’s very chaotic and perhaps a bit overwhelming, but it was a real experience watching in the cinema, from the dazzling visuals to the sound and music. I do feel like it might not hit as hard on a rewatch, especially on a smaller screen. But from my first viewing, I really liked it.

My review of Elvis

24. Everything Everywhere All at Once


When I watched Everything Everywhere All at Once for the first time, I assumed that it would still be in my top 10 of the year. I will admit that this movie has gotten worse for me. On the second viewing, the very quirky humour felt more grating, random for the sake of being random, and it didn’t hit as hard this time. That being said, I still like the movie and it is impressive in some ways. It is sincere and heartfelt, and I even found the family drama to be more compelling than the actual multiverse part. The film is helped by the great performances, especially from Michelle Yeoh, Ke Guy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu. The Daniels (Scheinert and Kwan) directed this well, with a visually kinetic style and is energetic from beginning to end. The action is really entertaining, the editing is perfect, and the score is great. When I watched the movie, I was sure that Everything Everywhere All at Once wouldn’t be for everyone, and while there’s certainly others who understandably can’t get into this at all, it ended up being a hit and one of the most beloved movies of the year by audiences. In spite of my problems with it, I do at least like it.

My review of Everything Everywhere All at Once

23. Resurrection

One of the more overlooked movies from 2022, especially when it comes to horrors/thrillers. Resurrection is a slow building paranoia thriller about emotional abuse and trauma, which becomes more disturbing as more shocking revelations are presented. It’s effective in making you constantly anxious and stressed. For a while it’s hard to figure out what is happening, adding to the uncomfortable feeling. The sharp and unsettling tone is helped by the strong direction, striking cinematography and ominous score. It strongly benefits from some fantastic performances, including Tim Roth and Grace Kaufman. However the standout is Rebecca Hall, giving a phenomenal performance in the lead role. So much of the movie relies on her, and she conveys terror, trauma and guilt so well. Resurrection does get shaky as it approaches its third act and goes in a different direction compared to the otherwise grounded first two acts. Also, while I respect the vague and ambiguous ending, it’s still one I’m not sure about yet. Overall though, Resurrection is a tense, anxiety driven and unsettling psychological thriller that deserves more attention.

My review of Resurrection

22. Ambulance


Michael Bay’s latest film is one of his best, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. The story is straightforward, focussing on a heist and hostage situation taking place in an ambulance. It’s really over the top and implausible, and comparable to the action movies from the 90s. It comes with the sense of self awareness, yet remains one of Bay’s more emotional movies, mainly with the central three characters. It also benefits from the performances: the main trio with Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abduel-Mateen II and Eiza Gonzalez are all really good, especially Gyllenhaal in a wonderfully unhinged and energetic performance. While it’s comparatively restrained for Bay, it was still refreshing watching a modern action movie and being able to feel the director’s style throughout. The action is spectacular with wonderful destruction, and was excellently captured on screen, especially with the use of drones. This made it an action movie like none of the others from 2022. Ambulance was one of Michael Bay’s best movies and a highly satisfying cinema experience.

My review of Ambulance

21. All Quiet on the Western Front


There’s usually at least one or two war movies released every year. However of those, I think this most recent All Quiet on the Western Front definitely deserves all the acclaim. It’s a bleak and moving anti-war film from the perspective of German soldiers in World War 1. It humanizes soldiers on all fronts while capturing the worst of humanity. It’s really one of the only recent war movies I’ve seen which successfully conveys that there are no winners in war. The story isn’t particularly complex but it’s handled so well and the emotional beats hit hard. The acting is all excellent (especially from Felix Kammerer in the lead role), who all deliver devastating and raw performances. It’s also a film so carefully and immaculately crafted, it’s fantastic on a technical level and help to form an accurate picture of WW1 from the production design and environment to the brutal war sequences. All Quiet on the Western Front was a lengthy but impactful, brutally realistic and unsettling portrait of war. Not an enjoyable movie to watch, but one well worth watching.

My review of All Quiet on the Western Front

20. White Noise


From brief glances, White Noise looked a little weird and I didn’t pay attention to it much. Yet it’s one of the most interesting movies to come from 2022. It’s an ambitious film which takes a lot of risks and is firmly not for everyone. It initially starts out simple with an initial plot focussing on a family’s lives being disrupted by an airborne toxic event. However, that’s just the start, and the plot isn’t really consistent. I found it to be strange and perplexing initially, especially with the very strange and unnatural dialogue. However there was something intriguing and exciting about it that had me curious to see where it would go, and I quickly found myself wrapped up in this off kilter and multi genre movie. The film benefits from a strong cast who deliver in their roles, with Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig and Don Cheadle all being great. Even Noah Baumbach gives it a distinct style that adds a lot to the movie and gives the right tone through visuals alone. White Noise is a darkly humorous, absurdist, satirical, and wonderfully weird dramedy. I admit that there’s a lot that I didn’t understand and much of my liking of it comes from its boldness and uniqueness. I’m not quite sure I understood everything that it was going for, but I’m sure things will be clarified upon rewatch. Still, the end result just seemed to work for me.

My review of White Noise

19. Women Talking

Film Review - Women Talking

A very late entry on this list, Women Talking is fantastic and lived up to all its acclaim. It’s a self contained and dialogue heavy movie, but is handled in such a way that its not too stagey. It touches on heavy topics like rape and sexual assault, but handles them well. It’s very layered, has depth, and handles the subject matter with a lot of empathy and sensitivity. It’s a hard movie to watch, but in spite of the bleakness, it is hopeful by the end. There is an outstanding ensemble of performances, especially with Rooney Mara, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, and Ben Whishaw. It’s further helped by Sarah Polley’s strong direction, it is top notch on a technical front with great editing and cinematography, and has one of the best scores of the year from Hildur Guðnadóttir. It’s a riveting, sensitive and powerful movie, and well worth watching.

My review of Women Talking

18. RRR


My first venture into Indian and Tollywood cinema paid off. RRR is a well constructed movie which is a lot of things: part action, part romantic comedy, part historical drama. As a result it’s tonally all over the place, yet the combination works quite well. It’s an unabashedly wild movie with spectacular and over the top action and exhilarating musical numbers, yet has genuine heart and emotional stakes, especially with the central relationship between the characters played by N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan. It is a long movie at 3 hours, but I never once felt bored. RRR is an entertaining and visually gorgeous spectacle, and it’s not a surprise that it ended up being such a hit.

My review of RRR

17. Three Thousand Years of Longing


I admit I was skeptical from the looks of the movie despite George Miller directing and Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton starring. Yet it ended up being one of the most distinct and surprising movies of the year. The best way I can describe the movie is that it’s a subdued, endearing and existential fairy tale love story for adults, and a sincere character study about stories and the importance of them. Much of it is just one character recounting the many stories from his past and I found it all riveting. Helping this are the strong performances from Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, and George Miller’s direction, with stunning visuals and plenty of spectacular and creative sequences. Three Thousand Years of Longing is rough in parts from the CGI and some pacing issues towards the second half, however it’s great on the whole. It’s visually beautiful, director driven, sincere, and not afraid to be creative, weird or different. Definitely worth checking out if you missed it.

My review of Three Thousand Years of Longing

16. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio


While I didn’t watch the other two Pinocchio movies released in 2022, it seems Guillermo del Toro’s version is easily the best of them. It is also one of the best films of the year. It tells its captivating story incredibly well, and it is more complicated and complex than expected, with it being childlike, sweet and uplifting, yet heavy, emotional and unafraid to get dark (as expected for a movie set in Mussolini’s Italy). The voice performances are excellent and convey the characters incredibly well, especially David Bradley, Gregory Mann, Cate Blanchett, Ewan McGregor and Christoph Waltz. The stop motion animation is gorgeous and stellar, everything looks like a work of art, and the movements are flawless. The designs are great and the production designs are wonderful with so much detail. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a mature, charming, magical and wonderfully crafted film, with so much passion on display. I highly recommend it, it’s very likely the best animated film from 2022.

My review of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

15. After Yang


After Yang released earlier this year but seemed to have been forgotten, which is a shame because it is incredible. Despite its futuristic setting, at its core, it is about coming to terms with a potential death in the family. It’s a very contemplative and meditative movie with an intimate story about memory, losing time and what it means to be alive and in a family. The conversations are thought provoking and meaningful, and the film sticks with you long after watching. It certainly helps that the committed cast all give tremendous and powerful performances, especially Colin Farrell. Koganada unsurprisingly delivers with his direction, given his work on Columbus. It has this calming and dreamlike atmosphere as well as visually stunning, from the cinematography to the production design. After Yang is fantastic, an intimate, existential yet beautiful reflection on life, loss and humanity. It definitely deserves a lot more attention than it’s been receiving.

My review of After Yang

14. Aftersun

_eeb0feb9d68d110881d6406c3de746ad HERO

I admit that I was cautious going into Aftersun. Every time a slice of life or coming of age movie releases and reaches critical acclaim, I end up just liking it but finding it underwhelming and not being able to get into it, Aftersun was an exception. The plot is simple with a girl spending her last holiday with her father and not much happens. However, characters and details reveal themselves over time and I was invested. I found the subtle approach to be very effective, no dramatic outbursts or monologues to be seen here, it feels like we are right there with the characters in real life. It captures the feeling of childlike innocence but with an undercurrent of profound sadness. Charlotte Wells was amazing with her directorial debut. So much is conveyed from the story with visuals alone and the way things are filmed and portrayed. And of course, Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio are key to making the film work as well as it did, delivering some of the most believable and best performances of the year. Aftersun is a contemplative, quiet and moving film that snuck up on me. It only gets much better the more I think about it.

My review of Aftersun

13. Crimes of the Future


Crimes of the Future is a welcome return for David Cronenberg, delivering yet another bizarre film with great worldbuilding, a strange and interesting futuristic setting, and a unique vision of the future of human revolution. If anything, I wished that I could’ve seen more or even get a sequel. There’s also a lot happening thematically, including the fascination with the human body and how it evolves over time. The cast including Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux, and Kristen Stewart all deliver in their roles, and help to sell the strangeness of these characters, their actions and the world they live in. Cronenberg’s direction is stellar and on a technical level it’s fantastic on all fronts, the cinematography and production design help to convey this vision of the future. The effects are outstanding with all the CGI and makeup effects, mainly for the body horror, and said body horror is used to serve it’s concept and story instead of trying to provoke a reaction. Finally it has a fantastic score from Howard Shore that is among his very best work. Crimes of the Future was a welcome return to form for David Cronenberg; a thought-provoking dystopian horror neo noir.

My review of Crimes of the Future

12. Decision to Leave

Decision to Leave-2000-2000-1125-1125-crop-fill

Park Chan–wook’s latest movie was predictably great. It initially presents itself as a police procedural (relatively standard compared to his other films), but over time reveals itself as a romantic thriller, almost like a Wong Kar-wai film if it was made by Park instead. The first half of the story is engrossing and intriguing, filled with details, clues, and is layered with important subtleties. It all came down to the central relationship which is unconventional yet compelling and I was wrapped up in it. This is certainly helped by the performances from Tang Wei and Park Hae-il, who excellently portray the central compelling on screen relationship. Park’s direction is phenomenal, the cinematography is spectacular, the visuals are alluring, and the camerawork is incredibly inventive. It’s certainly one of the best films of the year on a technical level. The only reason this movie is not higher on the list is mainly because of a somewhat disappointing second half which I wasn’t as invested in outside of the ending. Beyond that, Decision to Leave is a phenomenal movie that deserved a lot more attention.

My review of Decision to Leave

11. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery


As a fan of the first Knives Out, I consider its sequel to be at the very least on the same level of quality, while trying enough different stuff that it’s a distinct enough film. Rian Johnson has delivered another snappy and sharp screenplay which doubles down on the twists, humour, social satire and more. While initially hard to follow where it was going, it was overall well plotted and not easy to predict, and the third act and conclusion was satisfying. Again a talented ensemble cast is assembled, including Janelle Monae, Edward Norton, and Kate Hudson. Also, Daniel Craig once again returns as Benoit Blanc in more of a lead role, and is delightful and entertaining to watch as ever. Glass Onion is thoroughly entertaining and was one of the most fun experiences I had with a movie in 2022.

My review of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

10. Tár


Tár is a great character study focusing on the rise and fall of a (fictional) esteemed conductor and composer, and is one of the best crafted films of the year. It’s riveting from beginning to end, the long stretches of dialogue are excellently written, and Todd Field’s direction is outstanding with a great and distinct visual style. It’s the performances which tie everything together, particularly with a career best Cate Blanchett. The lead character of Lydia Tár is already compelling, excellently crafted and put together, and Blanchett portrays her wonderfully. One of the year’s best films for sure.

My review of Tár

9. Bones and All


Bones and All is many things, a horror film, a romance, a roadtrip movie, and a coming of age story, and it succeeds at all of them. It’s certainly deranged and disturbing given that it’s a movie about cannibals, yet remains sincere, tender, and beautiful. The relaxed approach to the story pays off well and helps us get emotionally invested in the troubled central characters. Luca Guadagnino’s direction is amazing, capturing the 1980s Middle America time period and setting especially with the gorgeous cinematography and the great use of the different locations. The performances are all great with a strong cast including Mark Rylance, but it’s particularly Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet who stand out. Those two share believable chemistry and their endearing relationship is the heart and soul of the movie; the movie just wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if that didn’t succeed. Bones and All is a riveting, brutal, unique and beautifully made romantic horror film that I was very invested in from beginning to end.

My review of Bones and All

8. The Fabelmans


Steven Spielberg’s latest film is his most personal, and one of his best. A semi autobiography and coming of age story, it’s a heartfelt reflection on his own life that’s cleverly written and excellently directed (as to be expected). It showcases the passion of films and the pursuit of one’s dreams, and while it is a love letter to movies, it still highlights the cost and sacrifice that comes with pursuing said dream. It’s also a love letter to Spielberg’s family, as he recreates his childhood memories and personal struggles within his family life. The movie could’ve easily been self indulgent, but it’s authentic, genuine and compelling to watch. Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams and Paul Dano are fantastic and believable here but really everyone plays their parts well, including Seth Rogen and a memorable David Lynch appearance. The Fabelmans is an intimate, personal and earnest love letter to cinema and family, and its definitely one of the most ‘complete’ movies released in 2022.

My review of The Fabelmans

7. The Banshees of Inisherin


The Banshees of Inisherin is one of the most layered and complex films of the year. It’s initially simple as it focuses on a friendship fading away, but reveals itself as something more. It’s a tragicomedy with lots of levity, humour and witty dialogue, yet is a melancholic, existential and bittersweet movie at the heart of it, with a darker undercurrent. It’s Martin McDonagh’s most emotional, mature and layered film yet, focussing on loneliness, despair and inner turmoil. It exceeds greatly particularly because of its outstanding performances: Colin Farrell (potentially career best here), Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan are all amazing. The Banshees of Inisherin is a beautiful, layered, darkly funny and emotional tragicomedy. McDonagh’s latest film just might be his best yet.

My review of The Banshees of Inisherin

6. Nope


Nope is Jordan Peele’s most ambitious film yet, and it just might be my favourite of his. He has delivered a suspenseful horror spectacle which also works as a genre picture and love letter to sci-fi. While it’s his least scary movie, there’s a real sense of unnerving dread, eerie tension and atmosphere, and it even contains his most disturbing scene yet. At the same time, there’s effective comedy, whimsical moments that are reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s movies, and is entertaining throughout. As expected it’s thematically dense and layered with social commentary about exploitation, and turning tragedy and trauma into spectacle, making Nope a spectacle about a spectacle. The small but effective cast give great performances, with Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Kalmer, Steven Yeun and more bringing across their characters wonderfully. Jordan Peele delivers in his direction of his biggest movie yet. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the sky at different times of the day, the sound design is immersive, and the scenes of tension are effective, even the shots of clouds are unnerving. Nope is a spectacular and memorable sci-fi horror movie, and I’m looking forward to what Jordan Peele makes yet.

My review of Nope

5. Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick

I have watched Top Gun: Maverick more times than any other 2022 movie: twice in cinemas and on the third viewing at home, it was just as thrilling as the first two times. Maverick remains one of the biggest surprises of 2022 for me, considering I mildly enjoyed the first movie as a cheesy 80s classic. However, the sequel is a genuinely great blockbuster. Joseph Kosinski directs this excellently, it’s an incredibly well put together action film, from the cinematography to the editing and sound, and the aerial sequences are intense and fantastically done. The cast all deliver including Miles Teller and Val Kilmer, and Tom Cruise sells his role of Maverick, still the same character from the 80s but with an added emotional weight I wasn’t expecting. In fact, the most surprising aspect was the genuine and meaningful drama and an actually solid story. While it’s similar to the original in some ways, it’s executed better here, whether it be with more fleshed out character dynamics, or the sense of gravitas. Unlike the original it builds up to the climax and you feel the stakes leading up to it, giving each action sequence added weight and tension. It even does justice to the original with a mix of old and new; honouring the original while moving forward to do its own thing. It felt like there was a genuine reason for this sequel to be made, and is definitely up there as one of the best legacy sequels. It surpasses the first movie in every regard and is one of the best action movies of recent years. It is really worth watching even if you’re not a big fan of the original.

My review of Top Gun: Maverick

4. The Batman


The latest take on Batman by Matt Reeves was immensely satisfying. A murder mystery detective action thriller inspired by Se7en, it’s dark, bleak and grungy and I was invested throughout. It embraces the goofiness of the comics, while taking itself seriously. It also benefits from being self contained, not feeling that it needs to set up the next film or tie in any other characters. The cast are all wonderful in their roles, Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Andy Serkis, Colin Farrell, John Turturro and Paul Dano deliver great portrayals of their already iconic characters. Robert Pattinson as Batman is however the standout, who is thankfully another unique take on the Caped Crusader. As a reclusive Bruce who spends most of his life as Batman, Pattinson’s performance is mostly minimalist, but very fitting for this version of the character, and he conveys a lot physically and emotionally. The direction from Matt Reeves was excellent; the noir ambience and atmosphere from the stellar cinematography, to the lived in Gotham City (which may well be the best representation of that setting). I can say with certainty that The Batman is at least one of my favourite versions and portrayals of the character, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Reeves delivers next.

My review of The Batman

3. The Northman


The latest film from Robert Eggers may be his most accessible, but is still a dark, brutally and wonderfully weird film, and remains one of the best cinema experiences I’ve had. It may be a fairly straightforward simplistic revenge story, but it is riveting and immersive, and does well at depicting vengeance and the endless cycle of violence. As expected with this being an Eggers movie, it’s authentic to the time period, from the dialogue to all the other little details surrounding the movie. A large and impressive cast including Alexander Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nicole Kidman all deliver. The direction from Eggers was exceptional, more than delivering on the larger scale. The cinematography and visuals are outstanding, and the battle sequences are brutal and gnarly. It really helped you feel like he took you back to that time and place. Apparently Eggers had to make some compromises for this movie, but you wouldn’t know it from the fantastic end result. The Northman is a creative, ambitious and uncompromising hard R epics that we don’t get much of nowadays.

My review of The Northman

These next two are so close together, they could practically be tied for first place.

2. Avatar: The Way of Water


I used to be in the group of people that just wasn’t that into the first Avatar, but in rewatching it, I gained a greater appreciation. It held up very well over the years, and is crafted on such a high level compared to most of the blockbusters released today. That certainly enhanced my experience for the sequel, which improved upon the original in just about every way. James Cameron continues to build this world further and expand into new territory; with the level of detail in this world, you can really feel his passion for these films. Despite the larger scale, The Way of Water still feels intimate with the focus on characters. There is so much heart and sincerity throughout, even allowing for the middle hour of the film to be quiet and lacking with conflict so that we can just spend time with these characters. While the first movie felt a little trapped within a familiar plot structure, The Way of Water feels freer to follow its characters. And of course, it ends with a satisfying climax which is a blast to watch, especially in the cinema. James Cameron’s direction is on another level, and he delivers yet another amazing technical achievement, with the technology not only serving as a visual spectacle, but also helping to tell its story. The visual effects are outstanding, everything from the characters, the water, the creatures and more look so real, and the action is entertaining and well captured. Avatar: The Way of Water is spectacular, epic and beautiful. I would love to see more modern day blockbusters to have as much passion and craft put into it. With the expected success at the Box Office, it seems that we are definitely getting all of James Cameron’s planned sequels, and I am thoroughly looking forward to them.

My review of Avatar: The Way of Water

1. Babylon


When I first watched Avatar: The Way of Water, I thought that my favourite film of 2022 was locked in, yet a month later, a little movie called Babylon changed that. Damien Chazelle’s most ambitious work yet takes massive swings and is one of the more polarising movies of 2022. An epic covering the rise and fall of multiple characters involved in Hollywood in the 1920s, it’s chaotic yet coherent and I was enthralled throughout. It’s funny and entertaining with outrageous moments, while also being a sad and tragic story. It explores eras of cinema and how much film has changed, celebrating cinema while also serving as a hate letter to Hollywood. It helps that there’s a great and talented cast behind it, especially with Diego Calva and Margot Robbie delivering excellent performances. It’s phenomenally directed, bombastic and stylish, with stunning cinematography, frenetic energy from beginning to end, and the best score of the year. Babylon is ambitious and an enthralling and exhilarating experience. It isn’t for everyone but it worked perfectly for me.

My review of Babylon

What are your favourite movies from 2022?


Decision to Leave (2022) Review

Decision to Leave-2000-2000-1125-1125-crop-fill

Decision to Leave

Time: 138 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence, offensive language, sex scenes, suicide & content that may disturb
Tang Wei as Seo-rae
Park Hae-il as Hae-jun
Director: Park Chan-wook

A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains ends up meeting and developing feelings for the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Park Chan-wook is one of my all time favourite filmmakers and I was excited to see him direct another movie, especially since its been 6 years since his last movie (the excellent The Handmaiden). He did not disappoint with Decision to Leave.


On paper, Decision to Leave looks like a very standard police procedural thriller, the he plot following a detective investigating the death of a man and his mysterious wife. Surprisingly though, its more of a romance, its almost like a Wong Kar-wai film if it was made by Park Chan-wook. I loved the first half, I was engrossed and intrigued with the story. Its filled with detailed clues, deceit, and is layered with important subtleties. That mostly comes down to the central relationship that is unconventional and weird, yet incredibly compelling, and one which I was wrapped up in. The movie isn’t without its issues. Unfortunately, around halfway into the movie (without spoiling anything), there is a notable shift in the story, and I became less invested. There are points where the plot could also get a little too convoluted, more so in the latter part of the story. It’s a film that is deliberately paced across its 2 hours and 20 minutes, it was very appropriate and allowed things to naturally develop, especially with the central romance. However, I found that it could drag in parts (mainly the second half), and there are parts of the movie which could’ve been tightened a little bit. That being said, the film does end on a great and memorable note.


All the actors play their parts well, but it really comes down to the lead characters played by Tang Wei and Park Hae-il, both of whom are excellent. Their relationship is what kept me invested throughout the film; there is a lot of intimate tension between the two, and you feel that every gesture, glance and action are significant. The relationship felt believable, and the two definitely played a big part in the movie working as well as it did.


As to be expected, Park Chan-wook’s direction is phenomenal, and Decision to Leave is fantastic on a technical level. The cinematography is spectacular, and the visuals are alluring and vivid. Whether it is showing a mountain, an ocean, or anything else, it captures them beautifully. The camerawork is very creative and inventive, especially with its movement and focus. It is already one of the best shot movies of the year. The editing is energetic and fantastic too, with some particularly outstanding and smooth shot transitions. On top of all those is a hauntingly beautiful score from composer and frequent Park Chan-wook collaborator Jo Yeong-wook, which fits the film perfectly.


Decision to Leave is another fantastic film from Park Chan-wook. There are some issues I have with it, the second half particularly brings down the movie from being on the level of some of his very best movies. That’s a little disappointing, because everything else is amazing. It is stunning to look at, Park’s direction is outstanding, and for all the faults in the story, the central relationship is compelling and is performed beautifully by Tang Wei and Park Hae-il. Decision to Leave is not to be missed, and it is already one of the best movies of the year.

Top 40 Anticipated Movies of 2021


2020 was a weird year for film, mostly because much of the movies with release dates set for that year were pushed back through to 2021. In fact, a great number of the movies I had on my anticipated movies of 2020 list were pushed back at least a year.

2021 will very likely have the same issue with pushbacks, a number of these movies probably won’t come out this year. In any case, there’s a lot of exciting movies set for release in 2021 and I hope they deliver (provided they actually release this year).

40. Black Widow

After Avengers: Endgame, people are starting to drop off out of interest of the MCU, and I’ll admit myself as being one of these people. There have been talks for under a decade of a Black Widow movie ever since her on screen debut in 2010 with Iron Man 2. However, despite appearing frequently in the MCU movies, she’s never gotten her movie, until now that is.

A film about Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War.

There’s an undercurrent of feeling that this movie feels years too late, and it’s particularly frustrating that it takes place after Captain America: Civil War, because this just means that it should’ve been made 3/4 years ago (however I suppose it’s better than being yet another origin story). What makes matters worse is the fact that Black Widow in the MCU is now dead, so it almost feels in vain. The trailers look pretty good, rather standard Marvel movie stuff, but has enough intriguing bits to make me interested. I generally like Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in the movies, but I really do feel like she hadn’t been used to her fullest potential in her previous appearances. While I still don’t feel like the character would be used to her fullest potential here, at least this time she’ll be front and center, and not just a co-lead at most. Additionally, Black Widow has a solid supporting cast with Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Ray Winstone. I don’t necessarily know if it’ll be much better than the standard MCU level quality (the trailer certainly makes it look like it’s not much more than that), I can’t deny that I’ll watch it day one.

39. Untitled Spider-Man 3

Even though I liked the first two movies, my anticipation for the third Spider-Man movie in the MCU is relatively above average. With that said, some of the details about it that have been released recently, does have me somewhat interested.

While no plot details have been revealed, it will no doubt follow up on the ending of the last Spider-Man movie, in which Spider-Man’s identity is revealed and he is framed for murder. While it is building off from a cliffhanger, I’m not sure how much the third movie will actually pay off on that. You’ve got the actors from the previous Spider-Man returning with Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, and Marisa Tomei. What really has me interested however are some of the other confirmed casting. First there’s Benedict Cumberbatch who’ll return as Doctor Strange, and his involvement opens many possibilities as to what is going to happen in this movie. And then there’s the announced casting of Jamie Foxx as Electro (who played the role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and, Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus (who played the role in Spider-Man 2). With them, and possibly even more actors from the past versions of Spider-Man, things are seemingly leading towards a live action version of the Spider-Verse. I feel like it’ll either succeed really well, or be quite a mess, hopefully it’ll be the former. Either way, I’m at least interested.

38. The Suicide Squad


The Suicide Squad is a follow up to 2016 Suicide Squad, though it does seem to be more of a soft reboot than an actual sequel. There are parts of it that I’m interested in, and there are other parts that I’m not interested in.

Imprisoned convicts from Task Force X are sent on a new, sentence-easing mission to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory which held political prisoners and conducted experimentations.

Reprising their roles from the previous Suicide Squad are Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and Viola Davis. They were quite good in that first movie, I hope they also get a lot to do in this coming movie too. Additionally, there’s quite a number of great additions to the cast with Idris Elba, John Cena, Peter Capaldi, Sylvester Stallone, Pete Davidson, David Dastmalchian, Michael Rooker, Taika Waititi, and Nathan Fillion. One of the biggest selling points is James Gunn, mostly known for his recent work with the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, who’ll be the writer and director of the movie. His involvement is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. From the glimpses of behind the scenes and released footage, there are some parts of the looks that I like, and there are other parts I don’t like. The plot itself is a little more fitting for these characters, as at least from the initial description it doesn’t appear to have a world ending plot, which was a problem with the 2016 Suicide Squad. I also like how it is embracing an R rating fully, which will make sure it differentiates itself from the Gunn’s other comic book movies. I do like the GOTG movies but I’m not a massive fan of them or the style, so I’m only really mildly interested in the movie as opposed to highly anticipating it. I am rather mixed on some of what’s here, but I am interested enough to check it out in cinemas.

37. Prisoners of the Ghostland


I know of Prisoners of the Ghostland as being a movie with Nicolas Cage, and from the premise and some of the things I’ve heard of it, it has me quite interested.

A notorious criminal, Hero (Nicolas Cage), is sent to rescue the governor’s daughter, who has disappeared into a dark supernatural universe. To escape the nightmare world, Hero must break the evil curse controlling the mysterious Ghostland.

The cast list includes Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, and Ed Skrein, which is a pretty good lineup. I’ve not really seen any of director’s Sion Sono’s films, but from what I’ve heard he’s an incredibly unique filmmaker, with a lot of crazy movies. I think there’s something worth noting, and this ultimately is what sold me on the movie so much. Nicolas Cage has said that this is the wildest movie he’s done. Considering all the movies that he made, for him to say that, it’s something. Keeping that in mind as well as the director and the given premise, I think this will be one of the craziest and memorable movies of the year.

36. Sherlock Holmes 3


The last Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr. was released back in 2011. Its ending hinted at a coming sequel, but despite it being in development for quite some time, it seemed like it would not happen. However, as it turns out, the third movie is going to happen, with Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprising their roles of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

Not much is known about this movie as this time, except the returning leads as well as the director. With the third movie, it will be Dexter Fletcher who directs instead of Guy Ritchie, who made the past two movies. Ritchie’s work in the past movies was very distinct and stylistic, and I’m not sure other directors could really replicate that. With that said, I’ve seen Fletcher’s past movies with Eddie the Eagle and Rocketman, and his work on those have been good. So despite the long wait, I’m very much looking forward to check it out.

35. Occhiali neri


I’ve seen two of Dario Argento’s movies, Suspiria and Deep Red, but those two are enough for me to know him as a great director. The last movie he made was Dracula 3D all the way back in 2012, but now he’s making his directorial return with Occhiali neri. This alone has me quite interested in it.

Diana (Stacy Martin), a young woman who lost her sight, finds a guide in a Chinese boy named In. Together they will track down a dangerous killer through the darkness of Italy.

Suspiria and Deep Red are fantastically directed movies, and there’s plenty other of Dario Argento’s work I really want to see. With that said, I’ve not seen Argento’s more recent movies, and his later works with Dracula 3D and the like haven’t received the best critical response. Nonetheless I am curious to see him do another movie. Along with Argento directing, there’s also Stacy Martin in the lead role, Martin has delivered great performances in films like Nymphomaniac and Vox Lux. I’m looking forward to seeing the two working together. Beyond the lead and the director and the premise, there’s not a whole lot of information about the movie, the premise sounds decent enough. It’s enough to make me curious and pay attention to the movie.

34. A Quiet Place Part 2

A Quiet Place was one of the biggest surprises of 2018, a very effective horror movie, and it worked well for what it was. Because it was so successful, a sequel was greenlit with the same crew. While a sequel doesn’t seem necessary, I’m open to seeing what ideas they have in mind for the follow up.

The Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realise that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

John Krasinski returns to direct the sequel, which is good because he did a good job with the first movie. Along with the returning main characters with Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe as the family at the centre, you have the additions of Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou, both are very talented actors and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in this  movie. I don’t think A Quiet Place needed a sequel, it was fine as it is, but I’m hoping Part 2 proves me wrong and does something special.

33. The King’s Man

I’m a big fan of Kingsman: The Secret Service, it was something fresh and entertaining. I even liked The Golden Circle, even though it has its issues and wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. Now director Matthew Vaughn isn’t going straight into the third movie in that series, but instead directing a prequel about how the Kingsman came to be, and that’s actually something I’m willing to see.

As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man (Ralph Fiennes) and his protégé (Harris Dickinson) must race against time to stop them.

After some mixed reactions to The Golden Circle (even from those who liked the first movie), the idea of making a prequel was probably the best next move for the series. It’s definitely embracing the time period and seems different from the first two movies, yet you can clearly tell that it’s a Kingsman movie, and that it’s directed by Matthew Vaughn. The cast is large and great, with Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arteton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Daniel Bruhl, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Stanley Tucci involved. I am actually more confident in this movie than The Golden Circle, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t end up being fun at the very least.

32. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent


This is one of the most meta movies ever, if the prospect of Nicolas Cage playing himself in a movie sounds just as appealing to you as it does to me, this should be on your anticipated list too.

A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage (Nicolas Cage) agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan’s birthday party, but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie.

I think it’s pretty clear why I’m interested in this movie so much. Nicolas Cage is straight up playing a version of Nicolas Cage with his own name attached to the character. Cage (the real life Cage) has made a very insane and impressive legacy and career for himself, and the movie seems to be a homage to his very colourful history. It will also no doubt present him plenty of opportunities for him to really let loose (as he’s known for doing). Additionally, Pedro Pascal and Neil Patrick Harris are involved with the cast, both of whom I like. Now understand that the whole premise is what has me so looking forward to the movie, I’m not sure if it’s going to be any good or not. The director Tom Gormician has previously directed That Awkward Moment, which I’ve not seen but the reception of that movie seems to be a bit mixed. Whatever the case, I can’t see a situation where I don’t enjoy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent on any level.

31. After Yang


Columbus is a great and fantastically made movie that’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. That was the first movie from director Kogonada, and I was interested in seeing what he would next make. His next project happens to be a sci-fi movie, and I’m interested in it from his past work in Columbus alone.

In a world where robotic children are purchased as live-in babysitters, a father and daughter attempt to save the life of their robotic family member, Yang, who has become unresponsive.

Columbus was a visually stunning looking movie, with an incredible atmosphere from beginning to end. While based off the plot summary After Yang is going to be a different kind of movie, I’m interested to see how Kogonada will bring those elements from his first movie here. The cast involved are also good, including Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Haley Lu Richardson being part of it. I’m curious to see how After Yang is.

30. The Power of the Dog


I’m mainly interested in The Power of the Dog for the cast and the director. With that and the premise, I think it has some potential.

A pair of brothers who own a large ranch in Montana are pitted against each other when one of them gets married.

I’ve not watched anything from director Jane Campion but I heard that she had made some great work including Top of the Lake and The Piano. Additionally, the cast are good, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Thomasin McKenzie, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Adam Beach. I don’t have much more to say about the movie, there’s just a lot of talented people involved that I have to see how it turns out.

29. Don’t Look Up


I’ve generally liked the movies of Adam McKay’s that I’ve seen, but it’s his more recent films with the turn towards drama that captured my attention really, with one movie being about the financial crisis of 2007-2008, and the other being a biopic of Dick Cheney. He has a new movie coming out, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

A pair of astronomers try to warn everyone on Earth that a giant meteorite will destroy the planet in six months.

First of all, the cast is absurdly large, it’s kind of ridiculous. As of right now, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothee Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Himesh Patel, Kid Cudi, Matthew Perry, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman and Chris Evans are part of the cast. It really does feel like some of these would have to be cameos or something. Adam McKay writes and directs this, and with it being a political satire disaster film, it seems like it’s right in his wheelhouse. As previously said, I’m a fan of McKay’s more recent work in The Big Short and Vice even though I know a lot of people aren’t really fans of them. Despite Vice being a biopic, it definitely leaned into some political satire in some ways, so it’ll be great to see McKay go all out with that with Don’t Look Up.

28. Pinocchio


This is not the only movie from Guillermo del Toro on this list. I don’t think a lot of people are aware of his second 2021 movie from him, that being a Pinocchio movie of all things. Normally I wouldn’t be interested, but his name alone being attached to this project has me intrigued.

A darker version of the classic children’s fairy tale of a wooden puppet that transforms into a real living boy.

To clarify, Guillermo del Toro is co-directing with Mark Gustafson (who’s work I’m not familiar with), but del Toro being attached to it has me very interested. I haven’t seen any version of Pinocchio in movies (unless the one from Shrek counts). From what I understand though, the original story always has been a dark story, but it seems that the movie will be very dark, in the Del Toro way. With the likes of Hellboy movies, Pan’s Labyrinth and more, he’s definitely familiar with the dark fantasy genre. Pinocchio 2021 will also be stop motion animated, so I’m expecting that it will look quite unique and fantastic. There is indeed a voice cast that includes Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro and Burn Gorman. All things considering though, it’s Del Toro directing that has me interested most of all.

27. Bullet Train


With the director and the cast involved, it sounds like Bullet Train could be quite good, and one of the highlight action movies of the year.

Five assassins find themselves on a Japanese bullet train, realizing that their individual assignments are not unrelated to the others.

David Leitch is a pretty good action director, with his work from directing Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and Hobbs and Shaw, as well as co-directing John Wick. He’s definitely familiar with the genre, and with this premise I think that there’s a lot of potential. It’s not just that, Bullet Train has one of the best casts of 2021 with Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Joey King, Logan Lerman, Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz, Lady Gaga, Brian Tyree Henry, Karen Fukuhara and more. Plotwise I’m not really sure what to expect, but I think we are going to get an entertaining and well made action movie.

26. The Last Duel


Despite a lot of his movies being relatively hit or miss, I’m always interested to see what movies Ridley Scott is directing. One of his two 2021 movies is a historical drama thriller set in medieval times, which Scott is definitely familiar with. With him as director, and a great cast lined up, The Last Duel has a lot of potential.

In 14th-century France, best friends Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) are ordered to fight to the death after Carrouges accuses Le Gris of raping his wife.

Ridley Scott as a director has been a little all over the place in recent years, in the past 8 years he directed The Martian, Alien: Covenant and All the Money in the World, but he has also directed Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Counsellor. I have no idea which category The Last Duel will fit into, but I’m sure he’ll direct the movie well enough to make it worth watching at the very least. Then you also have a pretty solid cast with Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck. Additionally, along with Nicole Holofcener (who wrote the underrated Can You Ever Forgive Me?) writing the script, Affleck and Damon will be on board writing as well, making this their first writing collaboration since Good Will Hunting. Much of the movie looks great, the one problem is the premise, which is a bit iffy to say the least. To repeat, what causes the titular last duel is one main character raping the other main character’s wife. With the movie essentially having rape as a plot device, I can see how that would turn a lot of people off, even if it’s based on fact. Aside from that, everything else about the movie looks great and has the potential to be something good.

25. Halloween Kills


I liked 2018’s Halloween, it was a good follow up to the original movie. I also thought it was a good conclusion for the series and characters. Unfortunately, they decided that this movie would be the first in a trilogy, with Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends acting as the second and third movies. Even though they should’ve stopped the series at this point, I can’t deny that I’m at least somewhat interested in seeing what they have in store for the next instalments.

The saga of Michael Myers (Nick Castle) and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.

David Gordon Green did a really good job at directing the last movie, it wasn’t that scary to me, but it was handled so well on the whole, so I’m glad that he’s returning for this movie. Additionally, you have the main cast from the previous movie returning, with Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak and Nick Castle reprising their roles. Despite my disappointment that the last movie didn’t conclude the whole series after all, there is one thing I’m confident about, and that’s the fact that they actually planned out 2 movies, with the last literally being titled Halloween Ends. This means they actually have a plan for the story arc, it’s much more contained, and aren’t going to just release more sequels (until they inevitably reboot yet again in the future). While I can certainly see how things could go wrong, I have enough confidence in the people involved to deliver another solid movie.

24. Spiral: From the Book of Saw


While I am still catching up on watching all the Saw movies, it seems many of the movies in the series were on repeat, even if they do have a continuing and twisting plot throughout. A lot of elaborative traps, disposable 1-2 dimensional characters, and a whole lot of gore, all are to be expected from each Saw movie. With Spiral: From the Book of Saw however, it seems to be quite different, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner William Schenk (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly trapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.

For some context, Spiral came about when Chris Rock (who’s a fan of the Saw movies) pitched an idea to Lionsgate. This movie is the outcome of that, with him being an executive producer and story writer. Director Darren Lynn Bousman made Saw 2-4, someone who’s clearly familiar with the series, however from the trailer at least it seems to be quite a different movie. The trailer shows hints of the plot, no hints of Jigsaw, not a big emphasis on traps or gore. It seems more like a murder mystery then… well a Saw movie, and at this point I think that’s a good thing, with it being a refreshing instalment to the long running series. I’m interested in seeing how this movie will tie into the other Saw movies as well.

23. Candyman


The original Candyman from the early 90s is a horror classic for sure. It did receive a couple of sequels which I hadn’t watched myself, but from what I heard wasn’t quite at the level of the first movie. I am very curious about this new Candyman movie just entitled Candyman, which is meant to be a direct ‘spiritual’ sequel to the first movie. It’s looking pretty great so far.

A “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror film ‘Candyman’ that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.

Again, the fact that this new Candyman movie will be a spiritual sequel to the original is good, it is at least a step above being a remake. Nonetheless, not sure what the movie will be about just yet. The lead will be played by Yahya Abudul-Mateen II, and we also have Tony Todd returning, and I assume that he’s reprising his role as the Candyman. If he is, then that’s great, because he’s fantastic in that role. The trailer makes the movies look good, especially on a visual level. I’m really interested in checking it out.

22. No Sudden Move


I’ve not seen most of Steven Soderbergh’s movies, but I generally like them, and I’m paying attention to whatever he makes next. His new movie No Sudden Move will indeed be another heist movie, but it’s not Oceans Fourteen, and looks like it will be quite an enjoyable movie.

Set in 1955 in Detroit, No Sudden Move centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

Steven Soderbergh is a very good director, among the highlights of the work I’ve seen from him include Traffic, Unsane, Side Effects and Contagion. I’ve heard that some of his other work is not great, but the premise of No Sudden Move sounds like something that Soderbergh would excel at. It’s not just that, the ensemble cast that Soderbergh is working with is incredibly impressive. This cast includes Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Ray Liotta, Kieran Culkin, Noah Jupe, Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, and Julia Fox, that’s an impressive lineup. Them, and the director come together to form a potentially really good movie.

21. Godzilla vs. Kong


I liked the MonsterVerse movies, with the two recent Godzilla movies and Kong: Skull Island. Now their incarnations of Godzilla and King Kong will be clashing after years of build-up. There are some concerns that I have, but no doubt it’s something that I’m really looking forward to seeing on the big screen.

In a new world where man and monster now coexist, Monarch must lead the way to a prosperous future alongside the Titans, keeping humanity in check. However, rival factions that want to manipulate the Titans for war begin to rise under the guise of a nefarious conspiracy, threatening to wipe out all life on the planet. Meanwhile on Skull Island, strange seismic activity draws the attention of Godzilla and Kong alike.

I’ve seen some of the older King Kong and Godzilla movies (outside of Peter Jackson’s King Kong), including one of the movies where the two have fought each other. I can’t wait to see these modern incarnations of these titans clashing, especially with the fantastic visuals today. In addition to Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler returning from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, you have Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Eiza Gonzalez, Jessica Henwick and Demian Bichir being added to the cast list. I’m aware that the human characters aren’t particularly anything special in the MonsterVerse movies, but that’s nonetheless a pretty good cast. This movie is directed by Adam Wingard, who made You’re Next, The Guest, and Death Note (the latter of which wasn’t all that good), and I’m interested in seeing what he has planned for this movie. Despite the concerning amount of delays (even before the covid delay in 2020), I’m sure it will at least be something spectacular to see on the big screen.

20. The Matrix 4


The Matrix was a massive hit upon its release and made a huge impact on film and pop culture on the whole. It was so successful it received two sequels in 2003 with Reloaded and Revolutions, making a trilogy. There have been talks of a sequel for a while, however it seemed unlikely that it would actually happen. As it turns out, there will be a 4th instalment to the series under a couple of decades since the last entry. While I admit I’m not a massive fan of the trilogy (though I do like them), I am curious to see what will happen next in the story.

As of this time, nothing about The Matrix 4’s story has been revealed, but I am curious about what direction it will go in. Lana Wachowski returns to direct, after co-writing and co-directing the previous Matrix movies with her sister Lilly. I’m glad at least one of the sisters will be directing, I can’t imagine any of the Matrix movies being made by anyone else. Of the cast from the original movies, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne-Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith will be returning and will be great to see back (though the lack of Laurence Fishburne is noticeable). Also, newer additions to the cast include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, all of whom are also really good performers and will no doubt be good additions to the cast. I’m really not sure what to expect from The Matrix 4, but I’m interested in it for sure.

19. Eternals

As I said when talking about Black Widow, I’ve been growing less interested in the MCU. While I’m going to watch all of their upcoming movies, it will take some new places and characters to make me particularly interested in their newer instalments. Thankfully, it looks like The Eternals is going to be one of the MCU movies I’m actively looking forward to.

In a story spanning over 7000 years, the Eternals, an immortal alien race created by the Celestials, protect humanity from their evil counterparts the Deviants.

I don’t really know anything about the Eternals from the comics, what little I know is that they are a powerful race of cosmic beings who’ve been around for millions of years. Most of the MCU protagonists are human, or at least start as such, so to immediately start off and take place in this kind of world, it sounds exciting. You also have a great cast, with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Barry Keoghan, Gemma Chan and Kit Harington. The director is Chloe Zhao, and while I haven’t seen The Rider, her work on Nomadland is nothing short of spectacular. If she really was given as much creative freedom as she said, then this has the potential to be something incredible. Most MCU movies are decent at least, and I’m sure that the Eternals will be good too, but I also think it has the opportunity to be one of the most unique entries in the series.

18. Soggy Bottom


Paul Thomas Anderson is a great director, his movies range from being good to absolutely masterful. So, I’m naturally interested in whatever he makes, no matter what the premise is. Not quite sure what to expect from his next movie Soggy Bottom (if PTA is really going to stick with this title), but I know that I’m going to watch it day one.

Paul Thomas Anderson has directed some incredible movies, including There Will Be Blood, Phantom Thread and Magnolia. So we already that it will be very well shot and made, and pretty much perfect on a technical level. There’s also a good cast involved, including Bradley Cooper and Benny Safdie. The lead is even played by the son of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Cooper Hoffman. From early reports, Soggy seems to be about a high school student (played by Cooper Hoffman) who becomes a famous child actor in the 1970s. That idea sounds decent, if a little underwhelming, given that it’s the next movie from PTA. Then again, I remember being particularly uninterested going into his last movie Phantom Thread based off the premise, and it ended up being one of my favourite movies of that year. So I’m open to see how the film turns out when it releases.

17. Those Who Wish Me Dead


Taylor Sheridan showed himself to be a good writer, and then director with Wind River, so I’m generally interested in what he does next. His next film certainly sounds like it could be another solid film from Sheridan, and there’s a lot of talented people involved.

A female-driven neo-Western set against a wildfire in the Montana wilderness. A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert (Angelina Jolie) tasked with protecting him — and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.

Again, Taylor Sheridan is a big reason why I’m so interested in this movie. This is not the only neo-Western that Sheridan has written with Hell or High Water and Wind River, the latter of which he directed. He’s great at this sort of sub genre, and so I’m pretty confident that the writing and directing side will be top notch. On top of that it has a talented cast with Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Tyler Perry, Jon Bernthal, and Aiden Gillen. My excitement is all just based off the talent involved, and I hope it all pays off well.

16. Gucci


Like what I said with my bit on The Last Duel, I’m always paying attention to what Ridley Scott is making, even if he can be hit or miss with much of his movies. Gucci has a pretty good premise at it is, and if done right could be among Scott’s best recent movies.

The story of how Patrizia Reggian (Lady Gaga)i, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), plotted to kill her husband, the grandson of renown fashion designer Guccio Gucci.

I know pretty much nothing about Gucci, however just the premise alone has me quite interested, it could be something quite great. Ridley Scott is a great director, and this is one of his most interesting projects that he’s signed onto, definitely more so than The Last Duel at the very least. Additionally the cast in this is quite talented with Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jeremy Irons and potentially Al Pacino and Jack Huston. The premise and talent involve have me paying attention to this movie.

15. The Lost Daughter


The Lost Daughter will be Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut. That, the premise and the cast involved has me quite interested.

A woman (Olivia Colman), while on a summer holiday, finds herself becoming obsessed with another woman and her daughter, prompting memories of her own early motherhood to come back and unravel her.

The Lost Daughter is based on a book of the same name, which I’m not familiar with. The premise does sound interesting, enough to get me on board with it to watch. Also, I’m interested to see how Gyllenhaal does as a director. Another large reason I’m interested in the movie is the cast, which is massively talented consisting of the likes of Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Olivia Jackson-Cohen and Ed Harris. The premise and talent involved alone has me on board to check it out.

14. Don’t Worry Darling


Don’t Worry Darling has me mainly interested with the people involved with it, both with the director and actors. Additionally with it being a horror and psychological thriller with a premise with potential, it does interest me quite a bit.

An unhappy housewife (Florence Pugh) in the 1950s is discovering a disturbing truth, while her loving husband (Harry Styles) hides a dark secret.

I will say that I was unfortunately one of the only people who didn’t like Booksmart, but I thought that Olivia Wilde’s direction in it was good, and was looking forward to seeing what she did next. The prospect of her directing a psychological thriller has me very interested in seeing what he does with that. Then there’s the actors involved. First of all you have Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in the lead roles, Pugh has been on fire with plenty of great performances recently, and while I haven’t seen a lot from Styles, his performance in Dunkirk does show him to be a solid actor. The rest of the cast also includes Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne and Wilde herself, and they’ll no doubt provide a good supporting cast for the movie. There seems to be a lot of secrecy surrounding the movie, and with that and the talent involved, I am very curious about this movie.

13. The French Dispatch


I had been catching up on Wes Anderson’s whole filmography recently. While I’m not sure I’d call him one of my favourite directors, I really do like his movies and I love The Grand Budapest Hotel. I definitely appreciate him as a filmmaker, and I’ll for sure check out any future movies he puts out. I’m not exactly sure what The French Dispatch is supposed to be at this time, but I’m getting the feeling that it’ll really surprise me.

A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch” magazine.

Whether you love, hate or are indifferent to Wes Anderson, you can’t deny that he makes movies like no other director. I’m not really sure what to expect with the given premise but I’m interested to see what he does, especially with his distinct style. As per typical of Anderson, he has a phenomenal cast, and it’s actually overwhelming how large it is. Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Timothee Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, Benicio del Toro, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Kate Winslet, Elisabeth Moss, Willem Dafoe, Christoph Waltz, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman are just some of the names involved in the cast of this movie. With that cast and Wes Anderson directing, I’m looking forward to watching The French Dispatch whenever it comes out.

12. Decision to Leave


While I haven’t watched as many Chan-wook Park as I would like, he’s definitely a great director, whose work I’m interested in checking out. Decision to Leave will be his first movie since The Handmaiden, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s doing next.

A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains meets the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.

From what I can tell, Decision to Leave will be a romantic murder mystery, and I’m interested in seeing Chan-wook Park’s take on this. From watching Oldboy, The Handmaiden, Thirst and I’m a Cyborg but That’s Ok, it’s clear that he’s a masterful filmmaker, and his involvement alone has me looking forward to his latest film.

11. Blonde

While biopics can be very typical and usually end up being just a display of some good acting at best (at worst its failed Oscar bait), the upcoming film about Marilyn Monroe sounds like it’ll be very interesting. The talent involved is difficult to ignore, and the story and movie on the whole seems like it’ll be anything but conventional.

A fictionalized take on the life of Marilyn Monroe (Ana de Armas).

Andrew Dominick is quite a talented filmmaker, with Chopper and Killing Them Softly, but of course he’s known for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which was masterful. For him to take on this story, I’m definitely intrigued. Ana de Armas has been a rising star these past years, with the likes of War Dogs, Blade Runner 2049 and more recently Knives Out. Now she’s in the lead role as Marilyn Monroe, and just from the set pictures, she at least looks the part, and I have no doubt that she’ll also bring it on the acting side too. You also have Adrien Brody, and Bobby Cannavale in supporting roles. A great director and cast could still result in a typical biopic, however, the source material its based off is quite unique. Blonde is based off the historical novel of the same name, and according to the author, it’s a work of fiction that shouldn’t be regarded as a direct biography of Monroe’s life. I haven’t read the book myself, but it does sound like there’s potential there for an interesting movie. Also, according to Dominik (who wrote the script in addition to directing) “the script contains little dialogue and he has described the film as being an avalanche of images and events”. I’m all for unconventional biopics, and Blonde could end up being a complete surprise.

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth


The story of Macbeth has been told so many times, and that also means plenty of adaptations on the big screen. The last major on-screen adaptation I’m aware of was 5 years ago, and so naturally the idea of yet another Macbeth movie sounds rather tired. However, there’s something special with the latest adaptation, that being the involvement of the Coen Brothers (or rather one Coen Brother), that alone has me incredibly looking forward to it.

After being convinced by three witches, a Scottish Lord sets out to become the King of Scotland.

The Tragedy of Macbeth will be the first film directed by just one Coen Brother, in this case Joel Coen. The writing and direction by the Coens are great and truly unique, and the idea of Joel Coen taking on the classic story of Macbeth does interest me quite a bit. Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand will play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respectively, both of them are powerhouse performers who will no doubt be great in their parts. Brendan Gleeson, Corey Hawkins, Harry Melling and Ralph Ineson are also part of the cast, they are good actors too who will no doubt deliver too. I’m not expecting the story to change that much, but I’m nonetheless interested to see how it is done by Coen.

9. Old


M. Night Shyamalan’s comeback has been really great to see. After returning to his roots with The Visit, and continuing strong with Split and Glass (the latter two being amongst his best work), it’s pretty clear he’s still got it as a director. Very little is known about his next movie titled Old at this time, but I’m already on board with it.

While we don’t know anything about the plot of Old itself, we do know that it will be a thriller, and that it will be based off a graphic novel named Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy. Apparently “The events are set in motion when a group of people find a dead body on a beach and slowly realize there is something unnatural happening on that beach.” The story has been described as an existential horror story about the inevitability of death, and I’m interested in seeing how Shyamalan handles that. Old however apparently won’t be a straight adaptation, which is why it’s merely inspired by Sandcastle rather than being based on it outright, nonetheless it does have me intrigued. On top of the director and premise, there’s also a great cast in Eliza Scanlen, Rufus Sewell, Thomasin McKenzie, Alex Wolff, Vicky Krieps and Abbey Lee. With all of these factors being considered, I’m really interested in how Old will turn out.

8. Mission Impossible 7


The Mission Impossible series has been continuously improving with every instalment (with the exception of Mission Impossible 2). Even then, Mission Impossible: Fallout released back in 2018 caught me off guard by how great it was. It was an engaging action movie, with incredibly practical action sequences, for sure one of the best action movies released in recent years. With the same team returning for the 7th instalment, I am looking forward to immensely.

I remember being a little disappointed that Fallout would be directed once again by Christopher McQuarrie after making Rogue Nation, breaking the conventions of a different director for each entry in the series. However after Fallout, I’m on board with him doing plenty more movies in the series. We are already know the stunts are going to be great, with every instalment featuring some particularly impressive practical stunt. Fallout was full of them, and I’m looking forward to the exciting set pieces that the 7th film will have. We’ve also got Mission Impossible cast members returning in Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby and Angela Bassett. Additionally there’s Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham and Esai Morales who have been added to the cast, I’m looking forward to seeing their parts in the story too. It’s really hard to imagine the 7th film topping Fallout, but if it’s anyone where that level at all, I can’t wait for it.

7. Army of the Dead

Zombie movies don’t excite me immensely, there’s only a select number of them that I particularly like a lot. One of those is Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead, and with Army of the Dead he’ll be returning to that genre, and with it being a zombie heist film, I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with that.

Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

Zack Snyder’s debut film Dawn of the Dead really stood out among modern zombie movies and it was mostly to do with his direction. 17 years later, I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll bring to his next zombie movie. It seems that Netflix are all in with this movie too, given that they have already planned some spin-offs. It was announced that a prequel film and anime television series are in development to expand the franchise. That shows the level of confidence that Netflix have in it, they clearly figured that they have a hit on their hands and that has me even more excited. I’m not expecting it to be groundbreaking, but I get the feeling that it’ll be something fun at the very least.

6. The Green Knight


I’ve liked the movies I’ve seen from director David Lowery, with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon and especially A Ghost Story. So I’m open to seeing any new movies from him, and his latest movie with The Green Knight looks like it could be one of his best movies, certainly one of the most exciting films of 2021.

A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel) and the Green Knight.

David Lowery is a very talented director as shown in his previous movies, so he’s definitely got a good handle of this movie. The Green Knight also has a pretty good cast, with Dev Patel, Barry Keoghan, Ralph Ineson, Alicia Vikander, Kate Dickie, and Sean Harris involved. The story is apparently based of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is apparently a classic tale, but I’m not familiar with that. I was originally just interested in the movie because of the talent involved. However with the brief trailer that was released, I’m really loving the vibes and look of the movie, and I get the feeling I’m going to love this movie.

5. No Time to Die


No Time to Die will be the final film with Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond (who is by far my favourite version of the character), so it’s quite a big movie. Add on top of that the talent involved, and it seems like it could be something special.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain (Rami Malek) armed with dangerous new technology.

There is a lot of talent involved with this movie. Along with Daniel Craig, you have returning Bond actors with Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear and even Christoph Waltz reprising their roles from the past movies. The new cast are also good, with Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Billy Magnussen and Rami Malek, the latter of whom will be playing the main villain. However that’s not all that excites me, the director of this is Cary Fukunaga, I have seen his work on Maniac. While I haven’t seen his work on True Detective Season 1, Beasts of No Nation or Jane Eyre, I’m aware that he’s a very talented filmmaker. For him to take on a James Bond film, I can only imagine how incredible it’ll be. The trailer itself certainly indicates that the movie has a lot of promise. I remember having some issues with Spectre, mainly for the mix of old and new Bond. However it seems like No Time to Die has the right level, having the right amount of Bondisms, as well as having a dark, character driven and genuinely great story. From the talent involved to the looks that we had of the movie, it looks great and I can’t wait to see how it turns out, despite all the delays.

4. Last Night in Soho


I generally like Edgar Wright, I love his Cornetto trilogy and I liked Scott Pilgrim and Baby Driver a fair bit. However there’s something about the brief descriptions about Last Night in Soho which has me particularly excited for it. From the talent involved and the premise, it looks like it could be something truly special, and potentially Wright’s best film.

A young girl (Thomasin McKenzie), passionate in fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer (Anya Taylor-Joy). But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.

First of all, you have a great cast involved. Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie are in the lead roles, both of whom are some of the most exciting actors working today, and I can’t wait to see their work here. The supporting cast including Matt Smith, Terrence Stamp and Diana Riggs are also good. Edgar Wright has proven to be a very talented filmmaker, known for his very snappy and sharp style that works well. Last Night in Soho would be something new from him however, a psychological horror, and it’s said to be inspired by other horror films like Don’t Look Now and Repulsion. That excites and intrigues me immensely, and I can’t wait to see it.

3. Nightmare Alley


I’m a fan of Guillermo del Toro’s, and naturally I’m interested in whatever he’s working on. His next movie, since the Oscar winning Shape of Water, sounds very intriguing, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with this.

An ambitious carny (Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is.

No trailer or footage has been released so far, but the set pictures and the premise does have me very interested. The cast is great with Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Willem Dafoe, Ron Perlman, Richard Jenkins, Toni Collette and many more, I’m interested to see their work. Guillermo del Toro’s direction is great in all his movies, and while Nightmare Alley won’t be a horror movie, it will be a psychological thriller, and I’m looking forward to his take on that. I’m expecting another great film from Del Toro.

2. Zack Snyder’s Justice League


The Justice League movie released back in 2017 was one of the most disappointing movies I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty clear what happened behind the scenes, Joss Whedon took over for Zack Snyder as director and completely changed everything, with bad reshoots and editing. Even before the director’s change though, there was pressure on Snyder from WB to change certain elements. Ever since the movie’s theatrical release, people have been calling for the Snyder Cut to be released. It seemed like it would be one of those things that would never happen beyond a documentary about what could’ve been. However in March it actually was confirmed that it would come, and I am incredibly excited for it.

Following the death of Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Batman and Wonder Woman recruit the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg to form the Justice League and protect the world from Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons, who seek the three Mother Boxes.

It’s known that Zack Snyder’s directors’ cuts are much better than the theatrical cuts. However, this new cut is not just a new cut, but a completely different movie in itself. It’s a large scale epic, with a huge amount of world building, character development and the like. This means that Zack is able to go back and change things to how he wants, and complete his uncompromised vision. This even means being able to revert the villain Steppenwolf’s design back to the original design, changing Superman’s suit to black (like he wanted to), and being able to release not a 3 hour cut, but a 4 hour cut. I can’t wait to see what Snyder has in store for his Justice League.

1. Dune


Dune was my most anticipated movie of 2020 and was unfortunately one of the movies that were pushed back. I’m not familiar with the source material, I only know Dune from watching David Lynch’s own attempt at adapting the source material. But from the trailer, combined with the fact that Denis Villeneuve is directing it, I couldn’t be more excited for it.

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

You’ve got a truly excellent cast involved, with the likes of Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellen Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, David Dastmalchian and more involved. And let’s not forget that Villeneuve is directing this, he’s one of the best filmmakers working today. He already took on the daunting task of directing a sequel to Blade Runner, one of the most iconic sci-fi movies of all time. Now he is taking on adapting a highly significant and influential sci-fi novel. From the trailer that was released, it looks great and on such a large scale. This movie will cover roughly the first half of the Dune story, which is good as this means that the story gets to be spread across two movies, but will be a problem if this movie doesn’t do well enough to get a follow up. I do sincerely fear that this movie won’t do well with audiences, as most people don’t even know what Dune is. Whatever the case, the prospect of a Denis Villeneuve directed Dune just sounds overwhelmingly amazing, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

What are your most anticipated movies of 2021?