Grant Hodges has written 42 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2021.

  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

    The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

    ★★★★

    The songs are catchy, the humor is solid, and the not-so-subtle references to The Odyssey are actually pretty clever. It's nothing groundbreaking but it's very hard to deny this is a ton of fun.

    4 Stars

  • Let the Right One In

    Let the Right One In

    ★★★★

    Not only had I somehow never seen Let the Right One In, but until today I actually had no idea what it was even about. And, yeah, it wasn't at all what I expected. But it was really, really good.

    It's weird. The focus on friendship above all else almost makes this feel like a Pixar movie... just with a handful of really disturbing scenes thrown in. I love how the story is told pretty much entirely from the POV…

  • Oculus

    Oculus

    ★★★★

    I don't care what anyone says. This is one of the greatest horror movies of the last decade. The story is creative (with some genuinely great transitions between the past/present), the characters are spectacularly realized (both in terms of writing and acting), and (perhaps most importantly) it's creepy as all hell.

    It's certainly not flawless. There's a bombardment of exposition in the opening act, the relationship between Kaylie and her fiance is fairly underwritten considering how big a role it…

  • The Lego Movie

    The Lego Movie

    ★★★★

    The LEGO Movie should've been a disaster. In fact, in the hands of literally anyone but Phil Lord and Chris Miller, it surely would have been (just look at the mediocre sequel and spin-offs that completely lack their involvement if you need further evidence).

    But instead of feeling like a giant advertisement for LEGO and every other property Warner Brothers could get their grimy hands all over, this movie has heart. Sure, it technically still IS an hour and a…

  • About Time

    About Time

    ★★★★

    About Time is one of those movies that nails its ending so hard it's easy to forget about so many of its shortcomings. Because, thinking about it, the film is far from perfect. Tim is a pretty unlikeable protagonist (nearly cheating on his wife... not to mention laying an altogether dishonest foundation to their relationship in the first place), the relationship between him and his father isn't perhaps quite as fleshed out as it should be, and the time-travel mechanics…

  • Ida

    Ida

    ★★★★

    This is a heavy watch, but between the condensed runtime and absolutely gorgeous cinematography, it's an easy recommendation. I love how the action is almost exclusively kept in the bottom third of the frame (making every shot one I'd be more than willing to sit and admire in a museum). I love how the black-and-white color palette and 4:3 ratio harken back to the Polish cinema of the era in which this is set. I love how subtle the script…

  • The Orphanage

    The Orphanage

    ★★★★

    The Orphanage is the most Guillermo Del Toro film made by someone other than Del Toro. I know he served as an executive producer on the film (apparently doubling the budget and shooting schedule) but I seriously can’t imagine this film without his influence. That’s not to say J.A. Bayona’s talent is not on full display (my only prior experience with the director was in the abysmal Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - but even there it was clear he excelled behind the…

  • Under the Silver Lake

    Under the Silver Lake

    ★★★★

    Under the Silver Lake is one of those movies that I love but absolutely cannot explain why. Yeah, there's a lot I don't understand here. Things like the "dog-killer" (while I have my theories) seem to exist almost entirely as red herrings, pitstops along the way to uncovering the real mystery. But I think even they serve a purpose in leading us down an impossibly deep rabbit hole - thereby making us feel as lost as our protagonist.

    Speaking of…

  • Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

    Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem

    ★★★★

    I honestly know very little about Daft Punk... but after watching this, I might have to get more into them. It's not necessarily a movie I'd just sit down and watch (one could barely even call it a movie, to be honest, it's more of a feature-length music video), but I can definitely see myself just chilling with this on in the background. The animation is great, the wordless storytelling is legitimately impressive, and the music is catchy as all hell. Would recommend.

    4 Stars

  • Luca

    Luca

    ★★★★

    Wow, I liked this one a lot more than I thought I was going to. Of course, part of that is the fact that it's queer-coded af, but I also love how light-hearted and small-scale it is. It's one of those movies that I can see myself putting on in the background, watching over and over again.

    I know it's nothing groundbreaking, but I hardly think it's a tired formula either. Even if I knew the broad strokes of what…

  • Another Round

    Another Round

    ★★★★

    This has quickly become one of my favorite films of the last year. The performances, cinematography, score are all immaculate. And it boasts one of the most fun and inventive premises I've seen in a while - that being four middle-aged men testing the hypothesis that maintaining a constant blood-alcohol level would improve their lives. I do believe the film falters a bit in the latter half (mainly due to it turning its focus to some majorly underdeveloped relationships) but…

  • A Night to Remember

    A Night to Remember

    ★★★★

    While I knew there’d be some similarities between this film and James Cameron’s Titanic (both being centered the sinking of that “unsinkable” ship), I didn’t expect to discover that the latter film is basically a remake of this one. Of course there’s no Jack and Rose (A Night to Remember is focused far more on the actual passengers of the ship), but a huge amount of shots, musical choices, and lines of dialogue are ripped straight from this version. 

    As for…