Most anticipated movies of 2021

A look at what 2021 (possibly) has to offer

Now that 2020 has finally ended (thank all things holy), it’s finally time to talk about my most anticipated movies of 2021. Usually, what I do with these types of articles is talk about every movie that I’m looking forward to. However, if I chose to do so, we would most likely be here until the “Avatar” sequels come out. Because so many movies were pushed back as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I feel that it would be a better idea to simply talk about my Top 10 for this year. Let’s hope that we actually get to see them soon.

Before we get started, I’d like to point out that all of these release dates are subject to change. Some of them were pushed back while this article was still being written.

  1. “Old” – July 23

There aren’t many directors out there who can excite people for a film without letting them know what it’s about. In my opinion, M. Night Shyamalan is one of them. Unlike other famous directors, he’s very hit-or-miss. He’s made underrated gems such as “Unbreakable” or “Signs”, and he’s also made dumpster fires like “After Earth” or “The Happening”. Without a publicly-known premise or a trailer, it’s hard to tell which category “Old” will fall in. The only real clue that we have is that it’s inspired by a graphic novel called “Sandcastle”, in which a group of young people are trapped on a beach in which they begin to age rapidly. The premise is interesting enough, and it also doesn’t hurt that Shyamalan has assembled a cast filled with some of the most promising young actors working today. Although the current lack of information may keep some from being interested just yet, this might be something for us to keep our eyes on.

  1. “Last Night in Soho” – Oct. 22

It doesn’t matter that we don’t know much about this film. Take one look at Edgar Wright’s filmography, and you’ll understand why I’m excited. After making a name for himself with “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” and the unofficial Cornetto Trilogy, Wright made a splash at the American box office with “Baby Driver”, one of the best-received movies of 2017. After all of this, it should be no surprise that I have faith in “Last Night in Soho”, despite not knowing much about it. All we do know is that the film revolves around a young woman who magically enters the 1960s in order to meet her idol. As a result of her actions, the very fabric of time begins to fall apart. That’s it. However, Wright has put a very talented cast and crew together. He wrote the script with the help of Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who helped to write “1917”. The film stars Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Witch”, “Split”), one of the most talented actresses working today. With Wright’s flawless track record so far, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be another great movie from one of our best filmmakers.

  1. “Top Gun: Maverick” – July 2

This may come as quite a surprise to those who know me well enough. I’m not a huge fan of the original “Top Gun”. It’s well-acted and the dogfight scenes are amazing, but there just wasn’t enough there from a narrative perspective. However, the long-awaited sequel has a lot going for it, and that’s mainly due to the involvement of its director and star. Tom Cruise has proven to us all just how insane he truly is by dangling from the tallest building in the world and hanging from the sides of airplanes, all while pushing 60 years old. There’s no doubt that he will pull another rabbit out of his hat with this film. What really has me intrigued is the hiring of Joseph Kosinski as director. Although I didn’t like “Tron: Legacy” at all, I thought “Only the Brave” was a very good film, and “Oblivion”, which also stars Cruise, might be one of the most underrated films out there. As long as the writers lock down the story and provide a reason for this film existing, “Top Gun: Maverick” has the potential to be a truly great film and further proof that Hollywood’s biggest star won’t lose a step anytime soon.

  1. “No Time to Die” – Oct. 8

If this is truly Daniel Craig’s last film as James Bond, let’s hope he goes out with a film as good as “Casino Royale” or “Skyfall”, and not one as disappointing as “Quantum of Solace”. Despite the varying quality of the four Bond films Craig has been a part of, I’ve always found him to be great as 007. Hopefully, we’ll be able to finally watch “No Time to Die” a full year after it was supposed to come out (thanks, COVID). Aside from Craig, what is so special about this film? The majority of the cast is already returning, which was already loaded in the first place. Something tells me that after winning an Oscar, Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) wouldn’t have chosen this film unless he knew it was special. According to Malek himself, his villainous character, Safin, sees himself as just as heroic as Bond. If this is true, and if this character reaches its full potential, we could see a truly great villain. However, it’s not just the new cast members that should have us excited. It’s who’s behind the camera. Cary Fukunaga made a name for himself after directing the first season of “True Detective”. Linus Sandgren is one of the best cinematographers working today, and my favorite composer of all time, Hans Zimmer, has practically done it all at this point. If the script is good enough, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be a Bond movie for the ages, and a fitting send-off for one of its best stars.

  1. “Mission: Impossible 7” – Nov. 19

After the first three installments, which were average at best, the “Mission: Impossible” franchise seems to have finally found sure footing, and that’s mainly due to the involvement of Christopher McQuarrie, who has written and directed the last two films. After the sixth film, “Fallout”, was labeled by many as one of the best action movies ever made, it’s clear that McQuarrie and the rest of the cast and crew have quite a task of following it up. However, McQuarrie and Tom Cruise erased all doubt in my mind on the first week of shooting, when a stunt involving Cruise, a BMX bike, a ramp and a parachute went viral. Now, will this film be better than “Fallout”? Most likely, no. However, I don’t doubt that it’ll be another great film from a duo now in the process of making their fourth film together.

  1. “Judas and the Black Messiah” – Feb. 12

As far as I can remember, there’s always one movie that you don’t notice until you see the trailer for it. My tactic for deciding what films to watch is very simple, as I like to go through the release calendar and see what’s coming out. However, this tactic isn’t without its flaws, as I had no idea “Judas and the Black Messiah” even existed before its brilliant first trailer popped up as I sat down to watch “Tenet”. It’s very rare for me to be blown away by a trailer, but with this and “The Batman”, it’s clear that Warner Bros. knows what they’re doing when it comes to marketing, and it’s even clearer that this film could be an Oscar contender once awards season officially rolls around. Daniel Kaluuya has already received Oscar buzz for his performance as Fred Hampton, and Lakeith Stanfield, who co-starred with him in “Get Out”, seems poised to deliver a star-making performance. The tale of a movie that failed to live up to its trailer is one that has been told more times than I would care to count, but I think “Judas and the Black Messiah” might be able to live up to the hype it has already received.

  1. “Dune” – Oct. 1

It’s very rare for a filmmaker to be allowed to make whatever they want, but Denis Villeneuve has definitely earned that right after making five straight films that I gave a B+ or better. Despite the fact that “Blade Runner 2049” didn’t do very well at the box office, Warner Bros. clearly liked it enough to give Villeneuve the reins to another blockbuster, and he responded by assembling the best cast that I’ve seen in years. Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) stars as Paul, the son of Duke Leto Atreides, played by Oscar Isaac. Leto has gained control of Arrakis, one of the most valuable planets in the universe due to its large amounts of “the spice”, the most valuable substance known to man. However, the gift of Arrakis soon turns out to be a trap, and Paul and his mother must figure out how to save the rest of their family from their bitter enemies, the Harkonnens. Based off of one of the most successful sci-fi books ever written, this film has endless potential. Shot by Greig Fraser (“Rogue One”) and scored by Hans Zimmer, who seems poised to have an excellent 2021, the film is going to be technically masterful. That much is obvious. Having seen Villeneuve’s excellent track record, I have high hopes for “Dune”, and I just hope that it’s as good as its trailer suggests.

  1. “The King’s Man” – March 12

The two “Kingsman” movies that have been released are so strange to me. The first film is one of my favorite action movies, and the second is just a complete mess. Every right decision that the first movie made wasn’t continued by its sequel. However, I can’t deny how well-directed both of them are, and the fact that Matthew Vaughn is returning to direct “The King’s Man” gives me some hope that this film will take after the first “Kingsman” movie, and not the second. Instead of taking place in the present day, this film takes place during the First World War and details the origins of the Kingsman organization, led by the Duke of Oxford, played by Ralph Fiennes. That’s right. Lord Voldemort himself is an action hero, and he seems to have done the majority of his own stunts, a requirement for any and all actors in the Kingsman franchise. We can expect some insane action sequences and the same insane humor that populated the first two films. I just hope that this film has a much better story, or this will be another blown opportunity by Hollywood.

  1. “A Quiet Place Part II” – April 23

As I was writing this, I realized that “A Quiet Place Part II” made my list of most anticipated movies for 2020 as well, written two months before the entire world shut down. In fact, we went into quarantine just a week before this film was supposed to hit theaters. As a result, I won’t believe that I’ll get to see it until I’m sitting in the theater on opening night, which will undoubtedly happen. The first film was a huge surprise to just about everyone, and it proved that John Krasinski isn’t just that guy from “The Office”. He’s also a great director, and just from the looks of the first trailer, which premiered a full year ago, he might’ve outdone himself. Although I felt that the first movie didn’t require a sequel when it first came out, I welcome the opportunity to see how this apocalypse began in the first place, and to see how these characters are able to fight back against a threat which might not just include the monsters. Don’t let me down, Halpert.

  1. “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” – March

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if you had no idea what this is. Didn’t “Justice League” come out three years ago? The answer to that is both yes and no. Yes, a movie called “Justice League” was released in 2017. No, it wasn’t the movie that director Zack Snyder (“300”, “Man of Steel”) wanted you to see. After leaving the film due to his daughter’s tragic suicide, Warner Bros. hired a new director to rewrite and reshoot the entire film in the hopes of making it funnier and lighter. It was thought that by doing so, DC could finally compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The result was obviously terrible, and one of the worst theater experiences that I’ve ever had. However, it didn’t take long for fans of Snyder and the characters that the studio had butchered to react. The hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut seemed to trend almost every week as a result, showing Warner Bros. that the fans deserved to see what they were promised. Now, over three years later, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is finally being released on HBO Max. Just from the two-and-a-half minute trailer that was released in August, the film already looks light-years better than the theatrical cut. Now, unlike other fans on the Internet, I’m not expecting this to be the greatest film ever made. I’m not expecting it to be the cinematic equivalent of the Second Coming of Christ. To me, the fact that this movie is actually being released is a miracle in itself, and it’s proof that a group of people can actually accomplish something. If it’s actually good, that would just be an added bonus.