Entertainment

A Look at The Most Anticipated Movies Set To be Released This Year

It’s been a tricky year, and a lot of buzz-worthy titles were pushed back, back, back. Finally, it’s time for some brand new releases! Films slated for 2021 are already getting plenty of attention, on and off the review pages. Fans can’t wait to see the creativity that was built up, all through 2020. There are never before seen stories, to be sure. There are also some of the hottest sequels in history, right on time.

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Image: Warner Bros.

From Marvel heroes to Indie heroines, no one is going to be bored for long. And with more ways to watch cinema than ever before, it will be impossible to say you missed the theater run. The magic of the movies begins, right now: Ready, set, click that flick!

Cruella — May 2021

It’s hard to let go of a screen villain like Cruella de Vil, with all that rage and dog murder on her mind. She has definitely been portrayed before, in animation and in live-action by Glenn Close in the 90s. But Disney decided it was time for an update. What new angle have they found here?

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This time, it’s the backstory. Wicked with a wardrobe to envy, Emma Stone acts out the years that made Cruella the vile poacher she eventually came to be. It’s a humanizing story if that is possible. And the mystery around that two-toned black and white ‘do? Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Crazylline.

Those Who Wish Me Dead — May 2021

For those who were aching for a new Angelina Jolie action movie, that time has arrived. Those Who Wish Me Dead is actually an action thriller based on a novel by Michael Koryta. Fire and assassins are the enemies here, simultaneously. Outrunning just one won’t be enough: That’s where Angelina comes in with a young companion, and the white-knuckling begins.

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Image: New Line Cinema

Nicholas Hoult, Aidan Gillen, Medina Senghore, Finn Little, and Tyler Perry are just some of the names that make this one a must-see. With so many forest fires setting California ablaze in recent years, it’s no wonder the concept inspired a movie. Will this pair escape the elements, too?

No Time to Die — September 2021

The never-ending James Bond franchise continues with No Time to Die, with a new mission and a new Bond girl. The 25th installment in the series will be Daniel Craig’s final film, apparently. Ana de Armas joins him as the flick femme. With recent press buzz mostly being Ben Affleck’s girlfriend, it’s a chance to stand on her own.

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What’s the mission this time? James is apparently recruited to rescue a scientist, kidnapped by a villain armed with dangerous technology. An old friend from the CIA asked him to sign on, but will he succeed? The odds are, yes. Bond always succeeds. The question is, of course, how?

Ghostbusters: Afterlife — November 2021

It all started in the 80s, but Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the newest version of the ghost franchise. The previous installment featured an all-female cast but did not get rave reviews. Fans are waiting to see if this mixed version can get a better rating. It’s a gamble. But spooky and funny is usually a winning combination!

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The film stars Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace, and Finn Wolfhard as newbies. Returning faces from the original include Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts. Sounds like the perfect fusion of old and new, for fans of that big marshmallow man. Will he make an appearance, too? Only time will tell, or specifically, November.

Top Gun: Maverick — November 2021

It’s been decades, but true Top Gun lovers always knew it would return in some form. Now, the details are out. Tom Cruise will star in Top Gun: Maverick and the word is, he will be doing his own stunts. At 58 years old, that might be worth seeing all by itself!

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There’s a ton of buzz around the fancy new crafts and aerial moves that are going to be a part of the update. Tom really is in those jets, and the film uses no green screens! Undoubtedly, these will be the most complicated stunts in his career. Fans can tune in for very real realism, whizzing onto screens this November.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage — September 2021

The hybrid is hideous. And it’s back, for more fun! While looking into the mysterious Life Foundation, Eddie the journalist stumbles onto some spicy human trials. The results are disgusting. And it’s time for moviegoers to see them on the big screen, in Venom: Let There Be Carnage this September.

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The movie is directed by Andy Serkis and stars Tom Hardy as both Eddie Brock and Venom. Woody Harrelson plays Cletus Kasady and Carnage, and Michelle Williams has a role, too. Anyone interested in symbiotic alien action can watch it all unfold soon. It’s gonna be gooey.

Above Suspicion — May 2021

Everyone loves a good based-on-a-true-story story, don’t they? Above Suspicion is a crime thriller inspired by real events from Pikeville, Kentucky. The screen version was adapted to the nearby Appalachian region for a little more intrigue. Its drama revolves around an FBI agent assigned to a small town, his affair with a local woman, and a PR disaster for the agency when he is accused of murder. Uh oh!

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Image: Lionsgate Films

Based on a screenplay by Chris Gerolmo and a book on the subject, this film tells the tale with Emilia Clarke, Johnny Knoxville, Thora Birch, Jack Huston, Austin Hébert, Sophie Lowe, and more. The all-star cast aims to really bring the first-ever murder conviction of an F.B.I. Agent to life. Did they? Only moviegoers can confirm, in May!

West Side Story — December 2021

Every once in a while, people secretly crave a good musical. Steven Spielberg decided to bring an oldie but a goodie back for a contemporary crowd. His adaptation of West Side Story is getting a lot of attention! Too bad it’s delayed until December 2021. Both sharks and jets fans will just have to wait, for now.

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Image: 20th Century Studios

Fans might wonder what is so different about this version. Maybe it’s the inclusion of Sia dance girl all grown up, Maddie Ziegler. Or maybe it’s Oscar winner Rita Moreno who played the original Anita, coming back as a different character. Either way, a new twist on the colorful tale is coming to screens this winter. It was time for a little vintage finger-snapping, wasn’t it?

The Water Man — May 2021

The Water Man is actually a project of Oprah’s film company, Harpo Films. It is the big debut for director David Oyelowo, and received rave reviews at a Sundance showing. The supernatural thriller explores the existence of a ghost in the woods with special powers. Does it have the secret to immortality?

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Image: Harpo Films

The boy with a terminally ill mother certainly hopes so. Maybe his friend can help find that spooky man near the water. Themes of life and death are explored by this family-friendly movie, and the acting is done by very young talent: 16-year-old Amiah Miller and 13-year-old Lonnie Chavis star alongside veteran actress Rosario Dawson. Out in May.

Space Jam: A New Legacy — July 2021

Kids of the 90s loved Michael Jordan in Space Jam. There was nothing ever quite like it before: The fusion of the world’s best b-ball man with iconic cartoons is now legendary. Along with a catchy theme song, it’s at the top of Loony Toons history. Now, it’s time for a challenger. An update of the concept premieres in Space Jam: A New Legacy. Will it be?

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So far, seems so. 2D animation will be joined by modern 3D CGI effects. It wasn’t available in 1996, but it’s a no-brainer now. LeBron James as himself, and Don Cheadle, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Cedric Joe will appear as humans. Cartoons will be voiced by Eric Bauza and Zendaya, among others. The team is assembled, and it’s time to hoop!

Black Widow — July 2021

Black Widow is the name of the newest Marvel installment. Very well named, really. It follows the adventures of fan-favorite superhero Black Widow herself, in her long-overdue feature. Obviously, it stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff. Who else pops in, by her side?

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In this MCU installment, fans will see Florence Pugh, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, David Harbour, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz get in on the action. The story takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War in 2016. Nat is on the run and must confront her past. How will that go, this July?

A Quiet Place Part II — May 2021

A Quiet Place Part II is, predictably, the sequel to the 2018 film A Quiet Place. In the first movie, a family is forced to survive in a post-apocalyptic world filled with blind creatures. Unfortunately, they have a great sense of hearing. This tie, it’s the same problem. Still trying to navigate that hellscape, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, and Cillian Murphy are just a few of the famous names trying to make it out alive.

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It is unfortunate nothing has been resolved. Yet again, the Abbott family has to deal with monsters in their midst. Audiences can experience the terrors of the outside world with them as they venture into the unknown. As everyone knows, losing one sense means gaining a stronger one to compensate. Hunted by sound is no way to live.

Respect — August 2021

Jennifer Hudson makes her return to the big screen in a biopic about Aretha Franklin this year. The Queen of Soul had so many hits and entertained millions. Few of them ever knew what was going on in her life, in the days before social media. Isn’t it time to honor her story?

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The long-awaited movie shows Aretha’s evolution as a star, starting from singing in her father’s church. The significant figures in her life will be played by Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Tituss Burgess, among others. The all-star cast alone should be enough to tune in with a little respect. A little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, that is!

In the Heights — June 2021

In the Heights is actually a film based on a Broadway musical. The screen version is directed by Jon M. Chu, of Crazy Rich Asians. Anyone who saw his work might be curious about his creative range. Obviously, this is the perfect time to test that question.

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In the Heights explores the decision of an NYC bodega owner who has to close his shop. He has mixed feelings about it but goes to retire to the Dominican Republic. Why? Well, he has inherited his grandmother’s fortune! The cast here includes Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Olga Merediz, Melissa Barrera, Stephanie Beatriz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Dascha Polanco. Mucho dancing follows, obviously.

Fast & Furious 9 — June 2021

Fast & Furious 9 is happening, folks. Some may have thought three, four, or five installments were excessive. But no, it was just the beginning. Directed by Justin Lin, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is back to headline this story. What is he up to, at this point?

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Well, it seems he just wants to lead a quiet life and stay off the grid. If that were possible, no movie would be made about it. Danger always lurks right around the corner, and Dom is going to have to confront it, yet again. He may want to live a quiet life with his young son now, but that’s absolutely too bad!

Luca — June 2021

Luca is a computer-animated movie produced by Pixar Animation Studios. The best of the best know just what Disney wants, and this coming-of-age fantasy and comedy movie has all the right voices, too. Adults may recognize Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan behind some of the adorable faces. And it all takes place in the Italian riviera. What’s not to love?

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Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Set in a beautiful seaside town, a totally unforgettable summer filled with pasta and gelato looks great in 3D. Two best friends share scooter rides while snacking and sharing secrets. One claims to be a sea monster. Audiences will have to tune in to find out the truth.

The French Dispatch — July 2021

The full title is actually The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun. But for PR purposes, The French Dispatch would do just fine. The visually gorgeous film is the expected stylistic choice of director Wes Anderson. He again attempts the comedy-drama, this time co-written with all his buddies: Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Hugo Guinness. What’s the plot?

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According to Wes: “The story is not easy to explain, [It’s about an] American journalist based in France [who] creates his magazine. It is more a portrait of this man, of this journalist who fights to write what he wants to write. It’s not a movie about freedom of the press, but when you talk about reporters you also talk about what’s going on in the real world.” Cryptic, but that’s exactly how Wes Anderson fans demand it!

Jungle Cruise — July 2021

Jungle Cruise is a fantasy adventure film based on a Disney theme park attraction with the same name. It stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Emily Blunt, Paul Giamatti, and a few other recognizable faces along the way. What’s the plot, and where is everyone cruising to?

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Around the turn of the century, a boat ride into the jungle takes place. A captain named Frank offers to take a scientist and her brother on a trip to find the Tree of Life. This special plant allegedly has healing powers. But they’re not the only ones after it: A competing German party is looking for the same thing, in the same place. Plus, the wild animals don’t make the search any easier.

Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard — June 2021

It’s time for a reunion of the best sort: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek team up again om the sequel to The Hitman’s Bodyguard in 2017. This time, it’s called The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. What are they up to, in this switcharoo?

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A few years after the events in the original film, bodyguard Michael is taking a break. But that doesn’t last long, because Sonia, the wife of friend and hitman Darius, rescues him from a sudden assassination attempt. The mayhem never ends, but audiences won’t complain. It’s the whole point of an action-comedy series, after all.

The Green Knight — July 2021

The Green Knight is a medieval fantasy film because it just seemed time for another one of those. The neglected genre will get a little deserved press, thanks to Dev Patel, of Slumdog Millionaire. It’s been a while since audiences have seen him, hasn’t it?

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Based on the legend of King Arthur, the movie tells the story of Sir Gawain, the king’s nephew. He goes on his own quest to confront a giant with green skin. If that sounds hard to imagine, perhaps it’s just time to buy a ticket. Out in July, the adventure begins!

PAW Patrol: The Movie — August 2021

PAW Patrol: The Movie is an upcoming computer-animated adventure comedy. Director Cal Brunker has brought the kids’ television series PAW Patrol to the big screen, off the small screen. This time, the pups are summoned to Adventure City to save it from destruction. Who voices this mission? Excellent question.

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The original voices from the show will be there, of course. But a slew of celebs have also signed on for doggie roles: Kim Kardashian, Dax Shepard, Jimmy Kimmel, and Tyler Perry. PAW Patrol: The Movie has entertainment for kids, moms, and dads alike. The best cartoons always do.

The King’s Man — August 2021

In 2017, viewers loved Kingsman: The Golden Circle. As a follow-up, it’s time for The King’s Man, a prequel. With plenty of Ralph Fiennes, a bit of Tom Hollander, and a touch of Daniel Brühl, no one need worry. The Oscar-nominated actor brings his acting chops to this story about the origins of the first independent intelligence agency. How did that come about, anyway?

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It’s hard to say without spoiling the story. No one likes a spoiler! According to the Duke of Oxford in the film: “We are the first independent intelligence agency, preserving peace and protecting life. Refined, but brutal. Civilized, but merciless.” Whatever that means, the truth will be out in August. Be prepared, gentlemen.

Coming 2 America — March 2021

He was the kind of stand-up, already. He could have rested easy. But offstage, Eddie Murphy gained even more comedic following for one quirky film. Who could resist an African royal experiencing culture shock in Queens, NY? Coming to America was a fan favorite, and it’s time for the 30 year anniversary. Prince Akeem of Zamunda returns in the aptly named Coming 2 America.

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This time, Prince Akeem of Zamunda visits his father’s deathbed and learns he must go find his own male heir. Although he thought he only had daughters, it turns out that old trip to Queens is a bit more fruitful than he thought. Arsenio Hall is back for the sequel and faces like Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, and Leslie Jones join in for laughs. The future of Zamunda depends on them!

The Suicide Squad — August 2021

James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad does have a suspiciously similar name to David Ayer’s Suicide Squad in 2016. There are ven familiar faces: Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman, and Margot Robbie. But there are differences, never fear! What is the synopsis?

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The studio explains: “Welcome to hell — a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst Super-Villains are kept and where they will do anything to get out — even join the super-secret, super-shady Task Force X.” It’s a secret, obviously. But Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Savant, King Shark, and Harley Quinn are confirmed as part of the madness. As they should be.

Dune — October 2021

Dune is an upcoming science-fiction story directed by Denis Villeneuve. It is the first of a two-part adaptation of the novel, written way back in 1965. Bringing the concept to life, the cast will include Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stephen McKinley Henderson, David Dastmalchian, Zendaya, and more. Whew.

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In the far future, humankind tries to live on the dangerous desert planet Arrakis. Some call it Dune. It’s the source of a special spice that extends human life, and it has a monopoly on the stuff. Naturally, there is conflict to control access. How will it all play out? The answer is coming soon, in October 2021.

Halloween Kills — October 2021

It’s ominous, and that’s exactly how fans like it. The upcoming horror sequel to Halloween will be Halloween Kills, directed by David Gordon Green. The classic needed a new installment, given its cult following. Alums Jamie Lee Curtis and Kyle Richards will be returning to the story, as well as Andi Matichak. It’s yikes, in the best way.

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According to the director: “It’s about the creation of fear. It’s one thing to be afraid of the Bogey Man, to have someone who might be in the closet, under the bed, creeping around your house…but we wanted to explore next was confusion, misinformation, and paranoia. What happens when fear goes viral? You can’t just stick your head under the covers anymore.” In the theater, of course, that’s never an option anyway.

Spiral — May 2021

For anyone who wanted to see comedian Chris Rock in a horror flick, that dream is about to occur in Spiral. It’s a follow-up to Saw, and that says it all. In May 2021, he will star as Detective Zeke Banks alongside his police father, played by Samuel L. Jackson. A grisly series of murders have taken place, and he needs to investigate. What happens can only be described as mayhem. Delightfully so!

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Chris will get trapped in a morbid game by the killer himself. But that is exactly what makes this film worth watching. Yes, Mr. Rock’s discomfort is the audience’s pleasure here. Perhaps it’s a welcome change for the standup star, who loves sees a crowd of smiles. This time, it’s all gasps.

Spider-Man: No Way Home — December 2021

Spider-Man: No Way Home will be out in the winter, for anyone who needs a cozy superhero pick-me-up. Directed by Jon Watts, this installment will star stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker. Zendaya, J. B. Smoove, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Jacob Batalon, and Alfred Molina will be joining. Benedict Cumberbatch, too!

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However, like so many Spidermen who came before him, Tom isn’t sure he wants to stay in the franchise for long. According to the actor: “I don’t want to be stuck to one character. I think that’s what can happen when you take on a superhero movie. So every conversation I have with my agent is, “What have you got for me? What’s next? Who can I play?”’ Check him out this fall, while you still can.

Death on the Nile — February 2022

Death on the Nile is a mystery thriller, and it’s high time for another one of those. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, a 1937 novel by Agatha Christie is brought back to life. In fact, due to the buzz around this film, an entire franchise of her novels is being discussed. Could be consistently mysterious.

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An all-star cast looks great in linen, which includes Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, and far too many talents to name. Kenneth Branagh himself is a character. Together, all tell the story of a murder on a closed vessel. Which passenger is the killer? Both the detective and audiences can only know for sure in February 2022. Whodunnit?