Most anticipated movies of 2021

If 2021 stays somewhat normal, we should be in for a fantastic year in cinema. I don’t think I can only think of 10 either.

Let’s cut right to the chase; 2020 was mostly trash for many, many people. However, life goes on and it’s time to move forward to bigger and better things in 2021. I think this applies to absolutely everything in our lives, such as professional and personal relationships, goals, and even hobbies. For many, including myself, a big hobby is watching movies. 2021 is shaping up to be an incredible year in that department and I, for one, am extremely excited. So, let’s begin. Mind you, this is a pretty substantial list. I couldn’t just think of only 10 movies I’m excited about, so here’s 21 of them!

A quick side-note: these release dates are subject to change due to obvious reasons.

21. Candyman (Aug. 27, 2021)

If I’m being honest, I’ve never seen then original Candyman. Quite frankly, I just wasn’t into horror back then. But, during the last couple of years, the genre has definitely grown on me. I’m not sure if movies like IT, Don’t Breathe, Get Out, Us, and Halloween (most recent one) are considered complete horror movies since many of these have some different themes and elements involved in them, but I love those films. If the horror genre has always been like this, then I’m fully on-board with whatever comes next, including this new Candyman. I think Nia DaCosta is great and having Jordan Peele involved in anything nowadays seems like a no-brainer. The cast is also phenomenal, especially Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, who’s been a revelation in just about everything he’s done so far.

20. Luca (June 18, 2021)

So many years have gone by and Pixar keeps on rolling, delivering some of the best animated films in history. Soul was my absolute favorite film of 2020, so at this point, I’ll take anything they’re churning out, including the upcoming Luca. Details are still pretty minimal, but it’s set to take place on the Italian Riviera, and it tells a story about a childhood friendship. The big secret, however, is the young boy’s best friend is actually a sea monster from another world in the sea. What gets me excited about this as well is Pixar’s venture into introducing more representation from all walks of life. We saw the first African American lead in Soul, there’s the Mexican culture in Coco, and now, we’ll be seeing some Italian roots.

19. West Side Story (Dec. 10, 2021)

I’m a pretty big sucker for musicals. I still think La La Land should’ve won Best Picture, but I think it’s time to move on from that at this point. Regardless, I’m pretty interested in seeing what direction the great Steven Spielberg is going to take with this beloved classic. I can’t say I’m a die-hard fan of the original, but it’s still widely considered one of the greatest musicals of all time. Seeing it being remade for an entirely new audience is very intriguing and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Ansel Elgort’s singing chops as Tony.

18. The Little Things (Jan. 29, 2021)

This one sort of flew under the radar. I was aware a new Denzel Washington film was coming, but I never really looked into it. After seeing the trailer, I was completely sold. The cast of Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto is simply magic, considering they’re all Oscar-winning performers. The premise also seems very thought provoking. I’m a huge fan of psychological thrillers, and this seems it’ll tackle that head on.

17. The Matrix 4 (Dec. 22, 2021)

I’ll be the first to say I’m not the biggest fan of The Matrix series. I mean, I do like it. In fact, I love the first one and think it more than deserves the classic status it has gotten over the years. It was ahead of its time when it first released and some of its themes are even more relevant in today’s society. I think the sequels tried to do a bit too much and sort of strayed away from the simplicity of the first film, which made it special. However, I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store for this series. Plus, I’m always down for more Keanu on the big screen (or streaming on my TV through HBO Max).

16. Babylon (Dec. 24, 2021)

Damien Chazelle is one of my favorite directors working today. He’s been at the helm of three instant classics with Whiplash, La La Land, and First Man. I can’t help but be excited for his next project, Babylon. Although Emma Stone is no longer involved, rumors say Margot Robbie is replacing her, joining Brad Pitt, which is still an incredible duo. Being set in the ’20s is also an interesting place in time. Most importantly, it’ll discuss the transition from silent films to talkies, which I’m sure is a very important milestone in cinema.

15. Raya and the Last Dragon (March 2021)

Disney’s next animated feature is Raya and the Last Dragon, and based on the first teaser, it’s going to be a visual spectacle fans of these kinds of films can’t miss. Disney always seems to reinvent themselves with each film. I can’t say the company is perfect, but when it comes to these animated features, most of them are hits rather than misses. What intrigues me is the premise and the voice cast. Details are still pretty scarce, even in the teaser. However, I’m excited to see more.

14. Eternals (Nov. 5, 2021)

I think I’d be a bit more excited for this if there was more information or footage of it. In fact, it was supposed to release back in 2020, but COVID-19 delayed it. But, let’s hope it sticks its new release date this time around. It’s hard not to want to see it though, especially with the cast involved, including Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Kit Harington, to name a few. It’s also great to finally see some new characters and stories being told in the MCU after the Infinity Saga.

13. Godzilla vs. Kong (May 21, 2021)

This has been a long time coming. The reception for the three films prior to this one (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters) were mostly mixed, to say the least. Although I enjoyed all of them for some things, I do understand that each one is flawed in its own way. That being said, I can’t see a world where a Godzilla vs. Kong movie is completely terrible, unless it pulls a Batman v Superman, of course. Regardless, seeing these two clash in the modern era of cinema should be a joy. I’m just hoping some decent character development is included with all the mayhem.

12. Encanto (Nov. 24, 2021)

It shouldn’t be surprising to see another Disney animated feature on this list, but I’m extremely excited to see this one. Not only will it be a Colombian film, which is great to see some more Hispanic representation coming from the company, but Lin-Manuel Miranda will also be involved. Seeing what he did with Moana and the rest of his career, the musical side of Encanto should be in good hands. The final product should be worthwhile.

11. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9, 2021)

Another new IP from Marvel Studios is on the way with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. From my knowledge, I’m not sure the MCU has gone into the realm of Kung Fu just yet, but with Shang-Chi being the master of the art, we can expect plenty of Kung Fu action in this one. I’m also very much looking forward to seeing the true form of the Mandarin rather than the trash version we received in Iron Man 3. Much like the Eternals, Shang-Chi will be another hero joining the universe and I’m excited to see Simu Liu bring him to life.

10. A Quiet Place Part II (April 23, 2021)

I remember already having tickets to go see this one. Then, the pandemic canceled those plans. I was pretty disappointed, but I’m hoping I’ll finally be able to see this in just a few months. I thought A Quiet Place was an extremely original concept, which worked well in almost every aspect. The ending also left me with a ton of questions as to how they were going to move forward with a story. Most importantly, I think it showcased a very different side of John Krasinki’s talent, being that he directed this film while also starring in it. This movie is a year late, but the anticipation for it hasn’t dwindled one bit.

9. The Suicide Squad (Aug. 6, 2021)

I’ll be the first to say 2016’s Suicide Squad is a disaster. I think it’s one of the worst superhero films of the last 10 years. The whole movie is a mess from top to bottom. The only saving grace is some of the characters, and it’s a shame they were placed in the wrong movie. The best thing that could’ve happened to this set of characters is James Gunn taking the reins. After seeing what he did with Guardians of the Galaxy, I think he’s the perfect choice to create a new, original story. It looks pretty wacky and the time period caught me a bit off-guard, but I completely trust Gunn to do the Suicide Squad justice with this new film.

8. Last Night in Soho (April 23, 2021)

I often think Edgar Wright doesn’t receive the credit he deserves for how talented he truly is as a director. Although the Three Flavour’s Cornetto trilogy has become somewhat of a cult classic, and Scott Pilgrim is adored by many, Wright really sold me with Baby Driver. I’m still waiting on the sequel, but I definitely want to check out Last Night in Soho. The cast looks great and the style seems very similar to that of Baby Driver. If it’s anywhere near as good as that one, then it might end up being one my favorites of the year.

7. No Time to Die (April 2, 2021)

With this being another delayed movie, it’s also one which I haven’t lost any interest in. It’s safe to say the last Daniel Craig James Bond film was a bit stale and doesn’t really compare to the great ones, like Casino Royale and Skyfall. However, this is Craig’s final time stepping into 007’s shoes, and I’m sure he wants to go out with a bang. Cary Fukunaga is also a phenomenal director, known for critically acclaimed projects such as True Detective and Beasts of No Nation. The star-studded cast really rounds this one out and it has the potential to be the best Bond in years.

6. Top Gun: Maverick (July 2, 2021)

Top Gun is a classic and for many, it’s Tom Cruise’s best film. It’s also one of the many movies responsible for propelling him to the icon he is today in the industry. This sequel is probably long overdue, but it’s one fans have wanted for a long time. The trailers I’ve seen look incredible and I honestly believe a film like this is better suited for this generation with all the new technology there is available. From what I’ve seen, the flying sequences are mesmerizing and it’s crazy to think most have only seen a fraction of what the entire movie will offer. Miles Teller being in it is a definite plus also.

5. Black Widow (May 7, 2021)

I’m hoping Black Widow gives Natasha the proper send off she deserves. This doesn’t mean her farewell in Endgame wasn’t well done, but I do feel she deserved to be in the big battle against Thanos. Regardless, although Black Widow is a prequel, I do believe we’ll be in for some surprises about where it takes place in the MCU timeline. The feel of the movie is giving me plenty of The Winter Soldier vibes, which so happens to be one of my favorite MCU movies. I’m also excited to see the debut of Taskmaster, along with Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Robert Downey Jr’s final appearance in the MCU (unless you’re counting the What If? series).

4. Dune (Oct. 21, 2021)

I’m pretty disappointed this was delayed an entire year. Denis Villeneuve is probably my favorite director currently working and I’m sure I’m not alone. I absolutely love Prisoners, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049. All those films are visually stunning and it seems he’s bringing the same flair to Dune. There’s no denying he’s taking on an unusual and difficult challenge, though. The first Dune is somewhat of a cult classic, but it was a box office failure. I fear the same result may happen with this remake coming up, considering it’s coming straight to HBO Max on release day. Yes, it’ll still be in theaters, but only time will tell whether or not people will feel more comfortable returning to movie theaters by then. It’s looking like a can’t-miss experience though, especially with the ensemble cast and the visual effects.

3. Mission Impossible 7 (Nov. 19, 2021)

In my opinion, the Mission Impossible franchise has gotten better and better with every new release. The only odd one out is the 2nd one, which is mostly forgettable. But, just about every other one is great, especially my personal favorite one, Fallout. If this next ones builds off of that, then I’m convinced this may be the best MI movie yet. Tom Cruise is arguably the greatest action star of all time and he doesn’t seem to skip a beat, no matter how much older he’s getting. I’m expecting another action film mixed with another entertaining story. Christopher McQuarrie is probably the best thing that ever happened to this series as well, offering something new and original every time he gets back behind the camera.

2. In the Heights (June 18, 2021)

This was my most anticipated movie last year. Unfortunately, it was delayed, and it was a huge letdown for me. However, at least it’s only about 6 months away. I’ve been a fan of In the Heights since it first premiered on Broadway and received critical acclaim from basically everyone who watched it. It’s also Lin-Manuel Miranda’s introduction to the world. Being Hispanic and having family who was raised in New York, this film will definitely have a nostalgic and more personal attachment to me. I also never got to experience this on stage, and although a video release of it was never released like Hamilton, at least I’ll be able to see it as a movie. I’m sure it’s heavily inspired by the original while also adding on some new details.

1. Spider-Man 3 (Dec. 17, 2021)

Other than Infinity War and Endgame, at least recently, I can’t remember being this excited for a movie. It looks like it’s finally happening. We’re getting a live-action Spider-verse if all the rumors end up being true. This is so exciting in so many ways. Growing up watching Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, it would be a dream come true for him to return alongside Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. Let’s not forget all the other characters who are already confirmed to return, including Alfredo Molina’s Doctor Octopus, Jamie Foxx’s Electro, and so much more we probably don’t even know about yet. This has the potential to be a superhero fan’s dream if done properly. I believe the first two films delivered in many ways and this one will continue to do so.

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