To say this is going to be one weird as hell year for movies would be a massive understatement. Because covid has pretty much killed the theater business, this will be the year that determines whether or not they’ll continue to exist. Warner Brothers has already ditched them and if the House of Mouse follows suit, the entire industry will change. Or perhaps the huge influx of superhero and big blockbuster movies might be enough to turn it around. Time will tell but either way, we’re about to get flooded with a metric shit ton of movies. This list easily could been twice as long and I still would’ve had to have cut a bunch of shit.
These are My Top 25 Most Anticipated Films of 2021.
25. The Many Saints of Newark
Although divisive among fans, no one could argue that the ending to The Sopranos wasn’t conclusive. Whether you thought the ending was ballsy, poignant or anti-climactic, no one asked for more adventures of Tony Soprano after that. That fade to black is the end of his story but what about it’s origin? A prequel starring the late James Gandolfini’s son as a young Tony, as well as a supporting cast made up of Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, and Ray Liotta, The Many Saints of Newark has the potential to be a worthy successor to the show or a horrible embarrassment. Time will tell.
Release date: September 24
24. Psycho Goreman
From the insane visionary that made The Void and Leprechaun Returns, Psycho Goreman is another batch of WTFuckery that only Steven Kostanski could make. After unearthing a gem that controls an evil monster looking to destroy the universe, a young girl and her brother use it to make him do their bidding. Going based on the trailer, the director’s previous work and the title of the film, I’m assuming there’s going to be a ton of crazy action and a ton of gore. Sign me up.
Release date: January 22
23. Godzilla vs. Kong
If it wasn’t for Wingard’s terrible track record as of late, this would be much higher. I love his first couple of films but everything he’s done within the last five years has been either horrible or nigh unwatchable. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that the Wingard of films past comes back and delivers something great. All I want to see is a giant ape duke it out against a gigantic lizard for 90 minutes. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request. Gimme the action Wingard or so help me.
Release Date: May 1
22. The King’s Man
Instead of turning the Kingsman into the next James Bond, Matthew Vaughn has opted for the MCU approach. There’s going be both a third installment of the Kingsman franchise and a Statesman spin-off (audiences want more Tatum apparently) but before either of those films, we’re treated to a prequel set 100 years in the past. I can’t say I expected nor wanted this but after seeing the trailer and the cast on the poster, I’m down.
Release date: March 12
21. A Quiet Place Part II
Following the first film’s events, the Abbott family is forced to venture beyond the home they’d made for themselves. They realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path. The first film didn’t exactly light my world on fire and the trailer to this one didn’t exactly sell me on this one (goddamn are these bitches making a bunch of noise) but I’m cautiously optimistic that this one could right the ship.
Release date: April 23
20. Black Widow
Making a prequel to a character who famously died in Avengers: Endgame seems like a fool’s errand. It’ll potentially fuck up the timeline, confuse anyone not a die-hard and unless there’s a game changing revelation, feel like a huge step backwards from the last two entries. Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is long overdue for a solo film but it feels like this should’ve come out like fifteen entries ago. But on the upside, if it came out like six years ago, Florence Pugh and David Harbour most likely wouldn’t have been in it and they’re the only reason I want to see it, so good job Marvel. You did it again.
Release date: May 7
Although the plot seems very similar to the anime Lu Over the Wall (the story is a little boy named Luca who lives on the Italian Riviera and strikes up a friendship with another boy who is secretly a sea monster disguised as a human), Pixar is on an upswing after the release of Soul, so based on the goodwill of that alone, I’m super excited.
Release date: June 18
18. The Beatles: Get Back
There’s been about half a billion documentaries made about the Beatles released within the last decade but as good as they were, they weren’t directed by Peter Jackson, so who gives a shit. As much as I love old-school Peter Jackson, after They Shall Not Grow Old, I welcome his new transition into documentarian with open arms.
Release date: August 27
Even though this has all the right ingredients (directed by Nia DaCosta, produced by Jordan Peele and it brings back Tony Todd), I was still on the fence about it till I saw the trailer. It seems like the film is more of a pseudo sequel/reboot than an outright remake and that has me more excited than anything. The film looks like it’s doing its own thing and that has me intrigued.
Release date: August 27
16. Untitled Spider-Man Sequel
I know Marvel is using this, the Doctor Strange sequel and the new Loki TV show to start creating alternate and parallel universes in order to start introducing the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU. But there’s a part of me that feels like this was only made to fuck over DC and their multiple Batmen concept for the Flash. It took less than two weeks after the Flash’s announcement for Marvel to reveal what this film is about. It’s pity and underhanded but that drama is more likely going to be more entertaining than this film.
Release date: December 17
15. Raya and the Last Dragon
Not much info besides the title and the cast (Kelly Marie Tran lends her voice to the title character and Awkwafina will provide the voice of the dragon) has been released but my gut is telling me that this one is going to be special.
Release date: March 5
Based on a short story called the Quiet Boy, Antlers is a supernatural thriller about a small-town teacher and her sheriff brother who find themselves in a waking nightmare when they discover one of her students is harboring a terrifying secret in his attic. While I’m cold on both the director (Scott Cooper) and the star (Keri Russell), I have to admit the trailer got me excited. In addition to having my boy Jesse Plemons in it, it looks to be an intense folktale instead of a straight horror and that has me really excited.
Release date: TBD
13. The Wanting Mare
Going on nothing but the trailer, The Wanting Mare could either be a mind-bending sci-fi acid trip or a pretentious heap of lyrical nonsense. All I can gleam from that trailer is that there’s a young woman, a bunch of wild horses and instructions from her mother to do nothing. There’s not enough for me to figure out if this will be any good but the fact that I have it higher on my list than some superhero movies or Uncharted or Mission Impossible 7 or even Willy’s Wonderland (a film in which Nicolas Cage battles evil sentient animatronics) goes to show how badly I want to piece together this puzzle.
Release date: February 5
12. Minari / Nomadland / The Father / Saint Maud / Judas and the Black Messiah
This slot is designated for every major film released last year that I didn’t get a chance to see. All of them save for Saint Maud are strong Oscar contenders, which pisses me off even more that I didn’t get to see them. I doubt I’ll like all of them (The Father looks ok and I’m not yet sold on Nomadland) but I can’t criticize the academy for fucking up if I don’t watch them first.
Release date: Various
11. The Suicide Squad
After a god awful first outing, DC wisely decided to slam the reboot button on its upcoming The Suicide Squad, continuity be damned. Is it a reboot? Is it a sequel? A hybrid of the two that doesn’t make any sense? Whatever it is, I don’t care because I’m only seeing this because James Gunn is in the director’s seat. He knows how to make fun movies and a lil bit of fun is what the DCEU desperately needs right now. Plus I really want to watch Pete Davidson get murdered in at least one movie before I die.
Release date: August 6
Much like his Oscar-winning La La Land, writer-director Damien Chazelle’s fifth film is another tribute to old Hollywood, this time literally. The story centers on the period of transition when the silent film era began to give way to the “talkies”. Movies like Singin in the Rain and The Artist have covered this subject extensively but this film has something neither of them did: Emma Stone and Brad Pitt. Judging from its extremely late release date, this already feels like it’s being set up to be an awards contender.
Release date: December 25
09. Nightmare Alley
Few directors get me as excited as Guillermo del Toro. He’s like an inconsistent Tarantino in that his love for genre film bleeds through into everything he does but since his output is hit or miss, every film feels like a gamble. Him tackling a noir masterpiece makes me feel like this is a bet worth taking.
Release date: December 25
08. The Eternals
The MCU is at its most exciting when it takes a chance on a new property. Phase 4 only has a couple of new properties announced so far but they seem to be making all the right moves. They kept Waiti on board for Thor 4, brought on Raimi for Dr. Strange 2, hired the director of Candyman to do Captain Marvel 2, brought back Gunn for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and took a chance on the director of Nomadland for The Eternals. Since that film is most likely going to win every Oscar imaginable this year and seeing how this has arguably the most eclectic cast of any Marvel movie to date, it seems like their chance paid off. I have no idea what this film is going to be like but it seems weird and out there and that’s far more interesting to me than a bunch of spider-men in the same movie. Just saying.
Release date: November 5
07. The Green Knight
Based on the 14th century Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, this medieval fantasy adventure written and directed by David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, The Old Man & the Gun) appears to be injected with nightmare fuel and I’m here for it. Lowery is hit or miss to me but if he nails this, he’ll be instantly added to my list of directors to be excited about. That’s how much I love that trailer.
Release date: July 30
06. Matrix 4
We all have unpopular cinematic hills we’d die on. Some people think George Lazenby is the best Bond, others passionately argue Michael Bay’s status as an auteur and there are even some lunatics that consider Adam Sandler to be a comedic genius. But all of those opinions pale in comparison to defending the Matrix sequels. Everyone hates them and I’ll never understand why. They’re live action anime movies. The plots are indecipherable, the mythology is overly convoluted, both are filled with nonsense gobbledygook but they’re action packed and ambitious as hell. The Wachowskis created a weird ass universe that we were all obsessed with for a minute. Now they’re back (well, more accurately, one is back) with another trip down the rabbit hole and I couldn’t be more excited. Good or bad, it’s got my ticket.
Release date: December 22
05. The Northman
Following The Witch and The Lighthouse, Robert Eggers’ third film is a Viking revenge saga set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century. Starring Alexander Skarsgård, Willem Dafoe, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Claes Bang, and Björk as a witch. If those two things don’t get you super excited, then we obviously like different things.
Release date: TBD
04. No Time to Die
Just like Sean Connery, Daniel Craig has some of the highest highs and lowest lows in the franchise. Casino Royale and Skyfall are easily in the top five, while Quantum of Solace and Spectre are towards the bottom. They’re not the worst by any stretch but they’re definitely forgettable. Since they alternate between good and bad with each sequel, logic dictates that this one would follow suit. Which gets me doubly excited because this could be the first last film in an actor’s run to be good.
Release date: April 2
03. Last Night in Soho
Written and directed by Edgar Wright, Last Night in Soho, stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a woman who manages to slip back in time to the 1960s. But not just any 1960s, a blood soaked, Giallo inspired 1960s. It’s like Midnight in Paris but with moida. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what the fuck this is about. This could be 90 minutes of Edgar Wright doing his taxes and I’d still watch it.
Release date: April 23
Based on one of the most famous sci-fi novels of all time, Dune will bring the book into a new light with a major film adaptation starring Timothée Chalamet, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista and many more. As important as this novel is and as good as that cast is, neither one of those things is the reason I’m excited. I don’t give a fuck about that book (I tried reading it multiple times and it bored me to tears each time) but the fact that it’s being adapted by Denis Villeneuve is an automatic ass-in-the-seat event. I still wish we got Jodorowski’s version but it’s hard to complain when the best director working today is making this one.
Release date: October 1
01. The French Dispatch
Since he’s my favorite living director, it should come as no surprise that any film from Wes Anderson would rank extremely high on a list of the most anticipated films. I look forward to his films like most do Marvel movies. Since there’s always a three year period between each film, each release feels like a mini event. And speaking of Marvel movies, I don’t think there’s been a cast this stacked since the last Avengers. I love Bond, I can’t wait to see Wright finally do a proper horror and I’m super excited for Dune but The French Dispatch was my most anticipated last year and if gets delayed again, it will most likely be my most anticipated next year. That’s how bad I want to see this.
Release date: TBD
Check out the rest of the SAW team’s most anticipated movies of 2021 here.