‘Tis the Season: The Best Movies of Late 2021


Caroline Feagin

Memorable Movies: Late 2021 has brought us movies of all genres, and has showed us how the cinema experience truly is unbeatable.

Cinema may have been a declining force in the entertainment industry in the last couple of years, but this holiday blockbuster season proves that the film industry is still willing to fight for its seat at the table. With releases such as the action-packed, anticipated third Spider-Man movie “No Way Home,” and show-stopping musicals like “West Side Story,” there is a movie for everyone this holiday season. Here is a rundown of some of the best.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

No surprises here. With the movie grossing over 250 million dollars at the box office, it’s no wonder this movie ranks as one of Marvel’s best offerings in recent years. Following the previous movie in the trilogy, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” we are taken back into Peter Parker’s world, following him as he navigates this new cruel reality that is determined to shut him down at any turn. Luckily, he finds something that may help. Or does he? The return of (SPOILERS!) Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire as the iconic Spideys from their respective universe had fans literally screaming in excitement (at least in the screening this reviewer attended). It’s no wonder that people were so excited to see this film: the energy in the air was nothing short of electric!

West Side Story

I know what you’re thinking: another remake of a classic? Did we learn nothing from the horror show that was “Cats”? Don’t pull out your pitchforks just yet, though, because Spielberg has done it again. The streets of New York City come alive under his direction, painted colorfully in contrast to the dark and depressing tones from the original 1961 version. Though it is hard to beat Rita Moreno’s performance as Anita in the original, Rachel Zegler and Ariana Debose (Maria and Anita respectively) shine in this movie, giving a new voice to the storied characters of Hollywood past. Though everyone knows the Romeo and Juliet inspired plot all too well, the vibrancy that flows through the project, from the actors’ performances to the untranslated Spanish dialogue to the beautiful cinematography, will give even the most critical person a reason to enjoy a few hours in the cinema.

The Matrix Resurrections 

To be honest, I’m still grappling with the meaning of this movie; I can’t wrap it up in a bow for you. But I think that’s the point. Revisiting the Matrix concept on the big screen (and small, for those not looking to risk the omicron variant!) left movie-goers once again debating the nature of reality and the state of the world at the very moment. Though not as strong as the other contenders on the list, “The Matrix Resurrections” is nevertheless a fun and exciting way to step into the futuristic world again.


A surprising outlier movie from the list, but nevertheless a great one! Featuring strong performances from fan-favorite musical actors such as Stephanie Beatriz, “Encanto” is a blast to watch and has a lot of heart that was missing from recent Hollywood releases. Following the magical Madrigal family, “Encanto” tells the story of Mirabel trying to save the magic from danger. Though a surface-level idea at first, the movie’s true meaning is focused on family and the effect it has on each member. It’s perfect for those looking for a tearful but heartwarming story. 

Though the holidays are over and everyone must return to their everyday lives, this blockbuster season proved that Hollywood is still there to take us on journeys beyond the mundane. Hopefully with anticipated releases such as “The Batman” and “Scream,” cinema maintains (and builds on) this excellence. The gauntlet is thrown, and this reviewer hopes that the entertainment industry is back to stay!