This was clearly a year where the pandemic production delays began to catch up with Hollywood. There weren’t that many top tier movies this year.
10. LIGHTYEAR. A fun sci-fi adventure. I’m not a big Toy Story guy but this succeeds on its own merits.
9. CLERKS 3. Kevin Smith’s best film in years, though I was hoping for laughs and fewer tears.
8. BLACK ADAM. Pretty enjoyable, mostly for the Justice Society.
7. FANTASTIC BEASTS 3. I enjoy these movies and this was a great in depth look at Dumbledore and Grindlewald during this era. It even functions as a sufficient ending if we don’t end up getting the big war stories.
6. BULLET TRAIN. The biggest surprise of the year! I had zero expectations for this going in and had an amazing time. Inventive and hilarious with a huge cast of great characters!
5. THOR 4. There’s a great movie lurking in here but it rushes through too many major storylines too quickly and goes overboard on the comedy in a bad way. Jane-Thor and Gorr both needed a lot more time to shine.
4. EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE. Another massive surprise. This is a spectacular movie that gets truly weird, truly hilarious, and truly moving. It excels on every level.
3. DR STRANGE 2. “All At Once” is definitely a better movie, but the MCU will always come out on top for me and this was a hugely entertaining Sam Raimi funfest. I did not mind Wanda’s heel turn as I thought this was the logical extension of the ending of Wanda/Vision and it’s straight out of the comics. America Chavez is a great new character.
2. JURASSIC WORLD 3. Huge nostalgia hit. Seeing the two different casts team up was pure magic. We get more dino action than probably any other movie. I did not mind the locust storyline at all. It’s the inevitable endgame of the story of genetic tampering and it’s not like they took up a lot of screentime. The dino chase sequence in Malta is up there with any other sequence in the franchise.
1. AVATAR 2. James Cameron does it again. A stunning visual masterpiece (be sure to see it in High Frame Rate!) with better characters, better story, more originality. It’s definitely longer than it needs to be, but it’s so gorgeous I can’t quite complain.
Honorable mention goes to STAR TREK LOWER DECKS. It’s not an hour long drama but it just so much fun, so hilarious, and a glowing love letter to Trek.
10. HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. Entertaining but slow. Needs more action and more dragons.
9. MOON KNIGHT. It’s not a bad series, but it’s completely disconnection from the MCU just made it a fun curiosity with a distinct lack of Moon Knight actually appearing in his own show.
8. PICARD S2. Q! Guinan! Time travel! I definitely enjoyed this more than the first season but I did feel the story dragged at times and the ending was a little lackluster.
7. MS MARVEL. Love the character, did not love the uninteresting villains or the extremely anti-climactic ending.
6. RINGS OF POWER. As a lifelong massive LOTR nerd, seeing this story and these settings on screen is absolutely magic. That being said, story took too long to go anywhere, and the characters were not always terrible interesting. I’m sure S2 will be great though!
5. WILLOW. It’s very refreshing to get a fantasy series that’s allowed to be fun and have a sense of humor. I absolutely love the new characters and I’m having a great time.
4. STRANGE NEW WORLDS. I’m not a huge TOS fan so this was a big pleasant surprise. The characters and the gorgeous production values really shine and it is a nice change of pace to get standalone adventures these days.
3. SHE HULK. So much fun! So funny! Just sheer joy. I really wish this had been an old school 22 episode season because I just wanted more. The fourth wall shattering ending did really rub me the wrong way (what is reality then?!) but I loved everything else.
2. SW ANDOR. An instant Star Wars masterpiece with excellent writing, performances, and production values. This looked cinematic in a way that the Volume-made shows don’t quite manage.
1. SW KENOBI. But this takes the top spot for me because of the incredible importance to the larger franchise. The rematch between Obi-Wan and Vader is one of those moments I never thought I would ever see and it was amazing to get it. Getting Ewan and Hayden back after all these years was incredible. The series excelled on every level and had other great characters like Reva and Little Leia.
I’d list some BOOKS but I never remember what I’ve read or when it originally came out. I usually end up getting books years after their release date. In between new releases I know I read a metric ton of Trek Lit books this year and really enjoyed the vast majority of them. I did read the continuity ending Coda Trilogy and that was excellent. I would only rank the Destiny Trilogy by David Mack as being better.