Films watched and reviewed in January 2021

I kicked off 2021 by watching Casablanca for the first time; it fully met my expectations. Other films watched this month included the Oscar-nominated Pieces of a Woman, Da 5 Bloods and The White Tiger, as well as the BAFTA-nominated The Dig.


Casablanca (1942) – A great film worthy of its acclaim. ★★★★ [Full review]
Demolition Man (1993) – Very daft, but actually quite witty in places. Almost feels like a spoof. ★★½
Wild Target (2010) – Very British humour: likeable cast headed up by Nighy and Blunt, and laugh out loud funny in places. ★★★
The Untouchables (1987) – Strong performances, especially from Connery and De Niro, but let down, in my opinion, by quirky camera angles and out of place soundtrack. ★★★½
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) – Enjoyable film; Grant is as charming as always with some comedic one liners and fun exchanges with Melvyn Douglas. ★★★½
Hope Gap (2019) – Strong performances from the leads but may prove quite forgettable. ★★★
Pieces of a Woman (2020) – Powerhouse performance from Kirby but unnecessarily melodramatic. ★★★½ [Full review]
Toc Toc (2017) – Quirky and entertaining Spanish film with interesting characters. ★★★
Da 5 Bloods (2020) – Raw and powerful, hurtling you straight into the action: strong performances and clever camera shots. ★★★★
Mission: Impossible II (2000) – Far too over the top with copious amounts of slo-mo and reliance on stunts. ★★
Mission: Impossible III (2006) – Much, much better than M:I II: intense, action-packed and bringing more depth to Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. ★★★½
The White Tiger (2021) – A strong film but is let down by a slow pace, uneven thirds and rather anticlimactic ending. ★★★½ [Full review]
Timbuktu (2014) – A powerful film from Mauritania that achieves its greatness by delivering moments of quiet resistance through heartfelt performances rather than intense action. ★★★★ [Full review]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) – As always, action-packed from the first scene. Renner and Patton are good additions to the cast, and great to see Pegg in a larger role. ★★★½
Ponyo (2008) – A complete joy. A wonderful film to start my Studio Ghibli journey with. ★★★★★ [Full review]
To Catch a Thief (1955) – Solid performance from the ever-charming Grant, but very nearly tipping falling into the trap of style over substance. ★★★½
The Dig (2021) – An enjoyable film that starts off measured and gentle before losing its way. ★★★½ [Full review]
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) – Three stars mostly for the intense action sequences and Ferguson’s strong performance. However, I felt my attention wander repeatedly and feels as if it is trying too hard to be clever. ★★★


Dredd (2012) – Action-packed from the get go, Urban makes an excellent Judge Dredd. ★★★★
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) – A very enjoyable film that builds on the fun of the original. ★★★★
The NeverEnding Story (1984) – I had forgotten that I had already seen this before… Not sure I’ll watch it again. ★★½
Mission: Impossible (1996) – The original and best: slick and clever from start to finish. ★★★★

Total: 22

Since 01/01/21 

1st timers: 18
Rewatches: 04
Total: 22

4 thoughts on “Films watched and reviewed in January 2021

Add yours

  1. Hi Claire, great recap. So fun seeing you balancing classic + contemporary movies of all genres. I dunno if I wanna see Pieces of A Woman – ‘powerhouse performance from Kirby but unnecessarily melodramatic’ sounds like what I think of it when I watched the trailer.

    I’m a big fan of MI movies and I think it gets better and better. I LOVE Ghost Protocol mostly because of Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson, glad to see she’s become a regular. Are you gonna watch MI: Fallout soon? That’s a good one as well.

    1. Thanks, Ruth! Yes, I’m being much more eclectic with what I watch and I’m trying to watch new (to me) films instead of rewatching old favourites.
      Ah, so yes, I watched Fallout recently too. I’ve drafted a round up post on the Mission: Impossible series ready to go out soon.

  2. I think I am going to start talking about the films I have seen. I so agree with you about MI2. The motorcycle sequence justmafe me laugh. How many broken bones would he actually have? The girl irritated the hell out of me . I love Hitchcock but I see what you meN with To Catch a Thief but I still give it 4 stars. Casablanca is gold and dredd. I love Mr. Blanding especially the scene where Loy describes the colours she wants in each room.

    1. Yes, exactly! Seriously, Ethan’s bones must have been replaced by Wolverine’s adamantium or something.

      That is a lovely scene in Mr Blandings. It’s nice to have a gentle, fun film like it every now and again.

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