Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Most anticipated movies of each month in 2021. Photo: Youtube


Directed by: Simon Stone

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, Johnny Flynn, Ben Chaplin

Opening on: January 15, 2021 (limited), followed by Netflix premiere on January 29, 2021

Archaeology is the means by which the past is resurrected in The Dig, a based-on-real-events drama about the famous 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo, which unearthed innumerable 6th-century Anglo-Saxon finds contained within an intact ship. Driven by the “hunch” of Sutton Hoo’s owner Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan), local excavator Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) searches for secrets buried in the mounds on her estate.

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Netflix

Working from Moira Buffini’s script (based on John Preston’s book of the same name), director Simon Stone crafts a supple portrait of our quest to revive yesterday through the investigations of today. As his film expands to address the impending threat of WWII, and the way in which it impacts the circumstances of Edith’s RAF-bound cousin Rory (Johnny Flynn) and the wife (Lily James) of a researcher (Ben Chaplin), it also becomes a poignant examination of life’s impermanence, and the importance of seizing – and cherishing – whatever brief moments of joy and love one can. Its exquisite visuals (often indebted to Days of Heaven) enhance its graceful storytelling, as do sterling performances from all involved, led by Fiennes in one of his most understated – and quietly moving – performances to date.

FEBRUARY: Nomadland

Directed by: Chloé Zhao

Starring: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn

Opening on: February 19, 2021 (following one-week virtual release on December 4, 2020)

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Breaking Asia

According to Thrillist, Chloé Zhao's film is both a travelogue of the West, displaying some of the most stunning vistas ever put to screen and a document of the innate hardness of American life under corporate structures. It's, above all, an immensely peaceful film, brimming with the kind of empathy that feels necessary and rare right now. Zhao, known for her docudramas, adapts a piece of journalistic nonfiction by Jessica Bruder, using some of Bruder's subjects, but anchoring the piece with a performance by Frances McDormand as her protagonist Fern, who lived with her husband in a small mining town known as Empire before the corporation keeping it afloat shut down and the zip code was rendered nonexistent.

Fern is living out of her van and taking shifts at Amazon when her friend Linda May tells her about the teachings of Bob Wells, a van life guru. What at first appears to be an aimless narrative, dotted with mesmerizing tracking shots in which McDormand strides across landscapes as parades of mobile homes move out in the distance, subtly reveals itself to be a purposeful journey. Patiently, Zhao and McDormand reveal how Fern's insistence on traveling is a means of coping with grief over the loss of her spouse. Nomadland is gorgeous but never glamorizing. Instead, it's a generous work of art.

MARCH: Coming 2 America

Directed by: Craig Brewer

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, KiKi Layne, Shari Headley, Wesley Snipes, James Earl Jones

Opening on: March 5, 2021, on Amazon Prime (formerly December 18, 2020)

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Screen Rants

John Landis directs Eddie Murphy again, with varying results. The premise is Eddie’s, his rich African prince traveling to the Big Apple to find a true queen and his own values amid the endless honking and fast food hell. Poor lad - his parents, until now, had virtually enslaved him in a world where voluptuous nymphs bathe the royal penis every morning, where rose petals precede every stride, and where elephants serve as pets, á cited by Empire Online.

It’s not up to the society-swap standards of Trading Places (which is sharply referenced in one scene), perhaps because its scope is so large – every scene seems to look for a laugh as it holds up Akeem’s nobility (of character here, not of blood) against the treacheries of the New World.

Motormouth Murphy is, of course, perfectly cast as the prince (as well as hilariously-drawn minor roles), whilst Arsenio Hall does a superb job as his wing-man and James Earl Jones brings some meat to the jilted father role. These three rescues the plot from its tiresomely predictable premises and help Landis turn out another guaranteed success.

APRIL: Mortal Kombat

Directed by: Simon McQuoid

Starring: Joe Taslim, Ludi Lin, Mechad Brooks, Lewis Tan, Elissa Cadwell, Ng Chin Han, Max Huang, Josh Lawson, Jessica McNamee, Hiroyuki Sanada, Sisi Stringer

Opening on: April 16, 2021 (formerly January 15, 2021), with a simultaneous release on HBO Max

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: IGN

Mortal Kombat, produced by Todd Garner and Aquaman's James Wan, begins with a crucial piece of lore from the original games: the blood feud between the clans of Hanzo and Bi-Han (Warrior's Joe Taslim). The 10-minute opening sequence kicks off in feudal Japan, long before these fighters wielded supernatural abilities as Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and it ends in "a pretty nasty hand-to-hand combat" between the two, McQuoid says. It's why the first-time feature filmmaker cast Sanada and Taslim, two actors known for their martial arts prowess. "[Hanzo's] the leader of a ninja clan and he's strong, but also… at the beginning, he's a peaceful family man," Sanada says. "It is like a family drama with excitingly brutal fighting. That's the image of this movie for me," he adds.

That brutality carries over to the present, where we meet Cole Young, a wholly new character to the Mortal Kombat world played by actor and martial artist Lewis Tan (Wu Assassins, Into the Badlands), someone who prides himself on performing his own stunts despite the aches and pains that come along the way from training, EW cites.

MAY: Black Widow

Directed by: Cate Shortland

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz

Opening on: May 7, 2021 (formerly November 6, 2020)

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Comic Book News

Theresa Russell is a mysterious woman who makes a specialty of marrying and murdering rich men (Sami Frey, Dennis Hopper, Nicol Williamson). Debra Winger's the dogged investigator on her trail. It's sort of a female version of The Stepfather without any of the suspense and a lot less of the satire.

The two stars are very good, doubtless enjoying their high fashion outfits, and the script has one clever plot reversal in the third act, but it really could have done with a few more thrills (the motives for the killings lead to necessarily slow plot development), either in the murder or the sexual perversity departments. Directed by Bob Rafelson, with a rare acting cameo from playwright David Mamet.

JUNE: The Conjuring - The Devil Made Me Do It

Directed by: Michael Chaves

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard

Opening on: June 4, 2021, with a simultaneous release on HBO Max

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Youtube

The Conjuring universe has been expanding rapidly since James Wan kicked things off with the 2013 original. And now Patrick Wilson's Ed Warren and Vera Farmiga's Lorraine Warren are back with a third main film, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, and there's a first look at the latest entry online in a featurette about the various arms of the franchise.

With Michael Chaves in the director's chair, *The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It* reveals a chilling story of terror, murder, and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga return to reprise their roles as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in this third chapter of the original Conjuring franchise, focusing on a real case they investigated in which a murder suspect invoked demonic possession as a defense for his crimes. Michael Chaves, who directed 2019’s Conjuring-adjacent spinoff The Curse of La Llorona, takes the reins as director, while James Wan remains attached to the film as a producer.

READ MORE: 5 best Christmas movies to stream on Disney Plus

JULY: Minions: The Rise of Gru

Directed by: Kyle Balda, Brad Abelson

Starring: Pierre Coffin

Opening on: July 2, 2021

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Youtube

We last saw the minions wreaking havoc in 1960s England before they met up with a young Gru. Perhaps their next adventure will be their first with him. Whatever shenanigans the yellow ones, voiced by Pierre Coffin, get up to, expect them to be at it again for Minions 3 and Minions 4 and so on: the first Minions movie made more than $1.5 billion globally and helped the Despicable Me franchise become the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time.

AUGUST: The King's Man

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Harris Dickinson, Ralph Fiennes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Gemma Arterton, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Daniel Brühl, Stanley Tucci, Djimon Hounsou

Opening on: August 20, 2021 (formerly March 12, 2021)

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Twitter

20th Century Fox has released a new trailer for the upcoming spy thriller The King’s Man, a prequel to the Kingsman films. The trailer reveals more of the story’s World War I setting, as well as a few glimpses of the movie’s evil villain Rasputin, played by Rhys Ifans.

In the clip, Ralph Fiennes plays the posh, highly skilled Duke of Oxford, a member of a secret organization that takes action “while governments wait for orders.” He recruits a new member of the team, played by Harris Dickinson, and teaches him the art of fighting (as well as how to use a new-fangled invention called a parachute). The action-packed trailer promises a lot of fights, explosions, and some very well-tailored suits.

SEPTEMBER: The Boss Baby: Family Business

Directed by: Tom McGrath

Starring: TBD

Opening on: September 17, 2021 (formerly March 26, 2021)

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Syfy Wire

According to People, it looks like Boss Baby is getting a sequel and it is called Family Business. This movie is going to be set in the near future, so the babies are all growing up now. Tim and Ted, the two adorable brothers are now grown and leading their own independent lives. Tim is now a successful businessman, but he has a wife and a daughter who is 7.

The peaceful home changes when Tim’s daughter, Tabitha, gets a new baby sister, Tina. It seems the letter “T” is very important to this movie. Tina is revealed to be a secret agent spy who is sent to work at Tabitha’s school to look into the mysterious founder. Eva Longoria is going to be playing Carol Templeton, Tim’s wife, and this is a special role for Eva because Carol sets a great example. Carol is a working mom and she is the breadwinner of the household, and Eva said that she is a great role model for her two children in the film. This movie looks like it is going to be the event of the year.

OCTOBER: Morbius

Directed by: Daniel Espinosa

Starring: Jared Leto, Jared Harris, Adria Arjona, Matt Smith, Tyrese Gibson

Opening on: October 8, 2021 (formerly March 19, 2021)

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Youtube

The first true test of Sony’s break with Marvel over Spider-Man and the various characters related to him will come in the form of Morbius, based on the Spidey villain who suffers from a rare blood disease and inadvertently turns himself into a vampire in a misguided attempt to cure himself. Jared Leto, who sparked a lot of online chatter with his portrayal of the Joker in 2016’s Suicide Squad, plays the title character. Like F9 and Ghostbusters: Afterlife, this film was pushed back from its original 2020 release.

NOVEMBER: Eternals

Directed by: Chloé Zhao

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kumail Nanjiani, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Brian Tyree Henry

Opening on: November 5, 2021 (formerly February 12, 2021)

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: The Direct

The second film of Marvel’s Phase 4 goes cosmic again with the Eternals. Much of the cast was announced in bits and pieces, with a big reveal at Comic-Con 2019 and a key addition made in August. In brief, the Eternals are powerful immortals who helped shape humanity and history on Earth, and the cast includes a lot of big names, from Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek to Kumail Nanjiani and a couple of Game of Thrones kings, Richard Madden and Kit Harington. Plus, director Chloé Zhao is no slouch herself; she had one of 2018’s best-reviewed films in The Rider. We’ll just have to see how well she makes the transition to big-budget, special effects-driven blockbusters.

DECEMBER: The Matrix 4

Directed by: Lana Wachowski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, Lambert Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nei Patrick Harris, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, Priyanka Chopra

Opening on: December 22, 2021 (formerly April 1, 2022), with a simultaneous release on HBO Max

Top 12 Most Anticipated Movies for 12 Months in 2021
Photo: Youtube

Somehow, someway, Neo and Trinity are set to return to the world of The Matrix, as Lana Wachowski is set to bring us another sci-fi action-adventure set in the world digital world she helped create way back in 1999. We won’t get Agent Smith or Morpheus this time around, but people like Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, and Priyanka Chopra are joining the cast, so that’s exciting. The film was already delayed once to 2022 after it was originally slated to open in May of 2021, and now it’s been moved back up again to a very competitive Christmas weekend.

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