2021 films expectations versus reality

Last year, I ranked 56 films expectations so it’s time to review it. I watched 30 (!) of these films and almost all of them legally. Twelve have been delayed to 2022 (two were already listed for the 2020 films: Morbius and Top Gun: Maverick).
I only missed 14 of them, some because of the closed cinemas but most of them for lack of desire (F9 and Venom 2, I’m looking at you).

On every review, next to the title, I indicate the predicted rank and the evolution with the final rank.


  1. Luca 16

After Soul last year, Pixar continues to deliver great movies but with a totally different feeling. I don’t understand how I could rank it so low last year, maybe the down-to-earth story didn’t excite me. But I was touched by the simple story. I loved the character design of Giulia. Some tracks make me melt.

  1. West Side Story 10

I lost Steven Spielberg after Ready Player One, hence my ranking, but I’m more than pleased to see him back at the top.
Beautiful, stimulating and very well directed musical even if I’m not a fan of all numbers.

  1. The Mitchells Vs. The Machines 12

I was scared the film coming after Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse would not deliver but it’s a great and fun adventure. The ending is so exhilarating! that is why I love animation.

  1. The Mauritanian 23

I didn’t know what to expect, except a good cast, and that’s maybe a good recipe to enjoy a film. Guantanamo is a primordial and horrible issue and the film finds an unexpected warm and joyful side.

screenshot of The Matrix Resurrections
screenshot of The Matrix Resurrections
screenshot of The Matrix Resurrections
screenshot of The Matrix Resurrections

  1. The Matrix Resurrections 2

The first trilogy is a cornerstone in the making of my imagination. Matrix and Matrix Reloaded are perfect films for me.
So expectations were through the roof. Simply put, this addition to the trilogy is, disappointed. Mostly by the action and fight scenes that are average, at best.
But I’m still thinking and talking a lot about Resurrections because it contains plenty of smart material. I loved the scene with the song White Rabbit (Alice again, everything is connected) by Jefferson Airplane and yet it does not look like Matrix at all.
The whole word changed in twenty years and Lana Wachowski is in a totally different situation now, you can see it in this movie.

screenshot of Last Night in Soho

  1. Last Night in Soho 4

Very good soundtrack, I was so happy to rediscover Happy House by Siouxsie and the Banshees, this track was a perfect bridge between the two periods of the film. I enjoyed the story and the end.
Like expected, Edgar Wright delivers a solid and gorgeous film but its subject (giallo, London Sixties) doesn’t resonate with me.

screenshot of Soul
screenshot of Soul
screenshot of Soul
screenshot of Soul

  1. Dune 1

Nice audio-visual trip to experience in cinema. I liked to see the doomed destiny of Paul Atreides again after reading the book but my expectations were higher. Discovering the "part 1" in the titles left a bad taste in the mouth. I’m hoping the second film will be more daring, even if the art direction is unexpectedly dry for a blockbuster, I already forgot the music and most of the production design.

screenshot of The Last Duel
screenshot of The Last Duel
screenshot of The Last Duel
screenshot of The Last Duel

  1. The Last Duel 11

Nice surprise. I didn’t expect anything from the late Ridley Scott but I was pleased by the screenplay structure. I loved the crazy hairstyles and Adam Driver is always scary impressive. Funny to see Scott coming back to a duel story after his first film The Duellists.

  1. Promising Young Woman 14

The trailers were very good and the film is in the same vein. The message is clear and well delivered but I liked even more all the nuance in the main character writing and the romance that could have felt out of place.Kudos to Carey Mulligan and Bo Burnham.

  1. Don’t Look Up 8

Adam McKay, an all-star casting and a hot topic put the expectations high but with some apprehension as well. I was scared of too many stupid meta comments, like in The Big Short but there is, maybe, just one, which is weird but welcomed. It was personally too infuriating, being too close to reality, to be funny all the time but the film is still pleasant to follow thanks to colourful characters.

  1. Vivo 17

It looks more like a classic Sony Pictures Animation production with a fun adventure and songs. Some tunes are catchy and part of the story is touching. But it’s not visually exciting and there is a big problem with the character design: no one is lovable.

  1. Kaamelott - Premier volet 3

Being a fan of the TV show, I would have loved to love the film. I spent a great time laughing in the cinema, seeing again most of the characters but the story is a bit weak and it looks cheap for a feature-length format.

  1. Raya and the Last Dragon 15

Nice but the humour is not my cup of tea, at all. Good Samurai Jack vibes. It should use more slow cinematic shots to enjoy the decor and the fights choreography. Weird choices for other art styles flashbacks and inserts.

  1. Encanto 18

Most of the songs are great and the plot is original for a Disney but it didn’t click with me. Too many characters, a story that unfold too easily and weird aesthetic choices for some numbers.

  1. Finch 5

I imagined a desolated post-apocalyptic world with dramatic score from Gustavo Santaolalla but the film is way more boring and forgettable. The best part is the robot Finch who reminded me the best movie droids (Chappie, K-2SO in Rogue One). The rest feels cheap and nothing but innovated.
From here on starts the list of films with problems that I would not recommend.

  1. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings 19

I will remember the bus fight scene that is surprisingly decent. The other action scene in the scaffolding is, of course, inspired by the masterpiece Bloodshot. Like many Marvel films, the third act is ugly and boring.

screenshot of No Time to Die
screenshot of No Time to Die

  1. No Time to Die 7

I’m usually enjoying a James Bond film for the stunts, the cars, the cinematography and the smirky spy.
The last episode for Daniel Craig is trying to change a lot of things in the 007 format, I’m not against it, but it fails on every level.
The cold open is lazy, the story continues to be uselessly convoluted, James Bond is retiring, again (!), and I still don’t believe in his love with Madeleine Swann.
Moving the focus to Bond’s emotions didn’t work for me.
But really, this music from Hans Zimmer is bad.

  1. Eternals 13

Poor marriage between Superman and Three of Life. The floating camera turning around characters during boring dialogue is just annoying.
Disappointing CGI and music. On Disney+, the Imax ratio is changing way too often.
I liked the characters and the storyline but, once again, the villains are uninteresting. Gemma Chan is captivating and other actors are good but the overall tone is not working.

  1. Chaos Walking 20

Right where I expected it. The project has just enough fresh ideas (men’s toughs are visible by everyone) to make it a bit special; otherwise the film unwinds without surprise.

  1. The Suicide Squad 6

I gave credit to James Gunn because of the funny Super and the first Guardians of the Galaxy. However the magic is running out. Without being as terrible as the previous Suicide Squad, this remake is full of useless and non-charismatic characters.

screenshot of Black Widow

  1. Black Widow 21

Exactly as expected, it’s a strange project, Black Widow feels like a useless and poorly planned film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I would remember the funny and cynical character played by Florence Pugh.

  1. Free Guy 23

As dumb as a broomstick. Inconsistencies. Lack of world-building of the virtual universe. No subtlety: every plot element is repeated three times. Uninspired visual effects despite the possibility of playing with glitches and debugging tools.
Too many useless guest stars and pop culture references.
The story is a pseudo "fighting the system" tale with few surprises.

  1. Cruella 28

I don’t expect much from live-action Disney films but I was intrigued by Emma Stone.
Meh! It’s too long, too cartoony with a cheap British rebellious vibe. No actors stand out. Directing is poor. CGI terrible. The world is not believable. The soundtrack is too predictable besides Gettin’ Out by The J. Geils Band that I recommend.

  1. Red Notice 22

A bad live-action adaptation of Lupin the Third. The adventure looks fake, action scenes and the numerous drone shots look bad and Gal Gadot’s acting looks missing. Weirdly, the first act is the worst, if you are really curious.
We don’t feel the adventure when everything is in bad CGI.
What a waste of money ($200 million)!

  1. The Tomorrow War 9

Stupider than the stupidest Philip K. Dick’s adaptation. My enthusiastic expectations have been cruelly crunched.
Time travel is not totally controlled and used. They reused a lot of sci-fi tropes just to make a plain boring story.
What a waste of money ($200 million)!

  1. Cherry 24

Expectations could have been high with Apple putting money in this project from the Avengers makers but it didn’t smell good. The result is so pretentious and shallow at the same time.

screenshot of Mortal Kombat

  1. Mortal Kombat 25

A complete failure. The new main character sucks, fight scenes are scarce and poorly filmed. The final is happening in a hexagon in a gym, hard to do less epic. Music is very bad. Special powers and nods to the game are awful. There is not even a tournament.
Hiroyuki Sanada, as a guest, is the only thing to save.

  1. Godzilla vs Kong 27

I’m not fond of Godzilla or King Kong so I was not really expecting this film. Result: I forgot about it just after seeing it. It’s neither epic, nor easy on the eye.

screenshot of Monster Hunter

  1. Monster Hunter 29

I was not expecting anything from Paul W. S. Anderson but I was still surprised how dreadful was the editing. The story is so bad the film stops before the end. Another terrible video game adaptation.

  1. Coming 2 America 26

A comedy film that did not make me laugh and affords itself, in addition, to reach an unequally level of lethargy. Sad.