Gizmodo Movie Night: Send Off 2021 With These Feel-Good Flicks

Gizmodo Movie Night: Send Off 2021 With These Feel-Good Flicks
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia
At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW - prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

With 2021 drawing to a close, we can’t help but wait for this year of hell to be over. Christmas is over for the year, which leaves only tonight to remain… But what could we possibly watch? New Year’s Eve movies? The best movies of 2021? Nah, how about just some feel-good movies to ward off the evil of 2021 with.

We don’t need to stick to any strict rules with this Gizmodo Movie Night, just feel-good flicks without any of 2021’s wicked energy.

Also, hello! Ky usually writes Gizmodo Movie Night, but I’m stepping in for this one. Here are a bunch of movies worth watching if you’re after a comfort flick.

Catch me if you Can (2002)

Arguably the best Leonardo DiCaprio has ever acted, Catch me if you Can is based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr., a cunning conman who manages to trick his way across the world and get into a heap of trouble.

A story about duping the system, a feel-good thriller focusing on Frank and the detective pursuing him (played by Tom Hanks), Catch Me if you Can keeps you on your toes, surprising you at every corner.
If you’ve seen Catch me if you Can over and over, consider watching Leo’s new movie, Don’t Look Up – that being said, Don’t Look Up kind of encapsulates the energy of 2021, so maybe sit on that for now. Or don’t – you’re the master of your own chaos.

You can watch Catch me if you Can on Stan.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

My ultimate comfort movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales, a teenaged boy from Brooklyn, as he grabbles with becoming the next Spider-Man. It’s a movie animated with passion and love for its source material and is truly unlike any other movie out there.

Spider-Verse has an energy to it that movies often struggle to capture – the feel-good energy of becoming something bigger than yourself and taking a leap of faith, while sticking to a beautiful image pallet with memorable characters, laughs and scenes. I’ve probably watched it more than any other movie in recent memory. It’s an antidote to the chaos of 2021.

If you’re all Spider-Versed out, consider watching The Mitchells vs. The Machines. There’s also a sequel on the way for Spider-Verse.

If you’d like to stream Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you can find it on Netflix in Australia.

The Prestige (2006)

This one’s for the Nolan fans. Though The Prestige is often seen as one of the lesser films from legendary director Christopher Nolan (Inception, Interstellar, The Dark Knight), The Prestige is slightly toned down in terms of scope, focusing on two warring magicians.

Colleagues and friends at one time, the two go their own ways after tragedy strikes. The film builds tension in the ways that you can expect a Christopher Nolan movie to and is well worth a watch or rewatch. It also features Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as the lead roles.

You can stream The Prestige on Stan.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead is a comedy, masquerading as a horror flick. From Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Shaun of the Dead focuses on the aforementioned antagonist, a boring nothing retail worker whose life gets turned upside-down by the apocalypse.

Now, you might be thinking, how can a film with those themes possibly be feel-good and not carry the energy of 2021? Well, it’s a comedy and a brilliant one at that. “Just go with it” is all I can say.

While you’re at it, consider giving Hot Fuzz a watch. Both films can be found on Amazon Prime Video.

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

A movie focussing on the legendary Ford GT40 of Le Mans 1966 and the gripping rivalry between Ferrari and Ford at the time, Ford v Ferrari is an epic movie starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale as Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles. It’s based on the true story of the actual car and doesn’t pull its punches when detailing either Ford or Ferrari.

Do you need to be a car nut to appreciate Ford v Ferrari? Of course not, it’s just a brilliant film. It’s incredibly well-shot and isn’t too technical at all, being more of a drama-thriller than a fully-focused biographical flick.

For car nuts, however, it puts to the screen the story of one of the greatest cars ever built. As a life-long fan of the blue and orange bullet, this movie gave me so much joy when I went to see it.

You can watch Ford v Ferrari on Disney+.

That about wraps up our feel-good movies list to see off the evil spirits of 2021. Ky will be back next time, until then, have a happy and safe New Year. Bring on 2022.

Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of the column and check out our last one: Best Christmas Movies That Have Nothing To Do With Christmas.