There’s a tinge of sadness attached to the question as to what films we’re most excited about in the coming year. 2020 didn’t exactly deliver on its promises, so it’s difficult to think about 2021 films when we’re really still anticipating a lot of what was due last year. We’ve waited so long for some movies that we’ve practically learnt that we can live without them, while there are some on the horizon that spark our interests even more with every passing day.
Below is a list of twenty films that we’re still eager to see, along with their current intended release date (which might be as pointless as the scoring on Whose Line Is It Anyway? but you never know)!
High Ground (January 29, 2021… well, for Australia at least)
When Hollywood effectively went into lockdown last year, I found it turned into an unusual opportunity for my own country’s film industry to shine, and I’ve been even more eager to see and support homegrown productions. Whilst The Dry looks gripping, and Penguin Bloom seems to be a solid drama (with a cute little magpie at the film’s center), the one I’m most excited about is High Ground. Not only does the cinematography look gorgeous, but I always find the Australian western genre to be interesting, where a vast array of people from colonialists to the Indigenous all try to survive the harsh environment and each other. Not sure if it’ll make its way to the United States, but hey, that’s your loss, not mine! – Juliana Purnell.
Minari (wide release February 12, 2021)
A24’s newest upcoming drama is an intriguing one! A family of religious Korean immigrants move to the American south and struggle with integration. Maybe not the most complex premise but certainly one that opens opportunities to speak to our faith and how to live it out in an age of racial integration. – Tyler Hummel.
The Father (February 26, 2021)
After hearing how emotionally devasting this film is to watch, it almost feels masochistic to look forward to seeing it. There have been a number of films now dealing with the topic of dementia, though The Father has particularly made a name for itself during its film festival run last year due to its portrayal of the illness from the perspective of the sufferer. Apparently it’s harrowing, heart-breaking, and emotionally impactful for those that have been personally affected by the condition in some way. It might sound like a depressing experience, but I do appreciate films that open up windows to display and tell the stories of those that would otherwise be left unheard. – Juliana Purnell.
Chaos Walking (March 5, 2021)
Doug Liman is a weird and super interesting director! He gave us the wonderfully made Edge of Tomorrow in 2014, and he’s been a consistent workman director for decades now. His newest film is a science fiction movie set to star Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley. I’m on board! – Tyler Hummel.
Morbius (March 19, 2021)
Admittedly I don’t have a great deal of confidence this film will be any good, but I am excited to see a vampire film, and one that intends to approach this classic monster from a lesser-explored angle. Will this also be an example of Sony and the MCU working together? Who knows! I just want a vampire film that’s semi-decent. – Juliana Purnell.
Last Night in Soho (April 23, 2021)
Edgar Wright’s newest film and immediate follow up to Baby Driver was supposed to release in September of last year but got delayed. I can’t wait to see what he’s cooked up! The film is supposedly a psychological thriller in the mold of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, and I’m curious to see how that’s going to play out. – Tyler Hummel.
Black Widow (May 7, 2021)
Avengers: Endgame offered an epic conclusion to the largest cinematic universe ever committed to camera, with Spider-Man: Far From Home operating as an epilogue of sorts. With the pandemic inadvertently creating a substantial break between the end of Phase 3 and the start of the MCU’s Phase 4, I must say that my excitement to keep following has waned (even more so than it already had). Something about it all now just feels exhausting. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (July 9) could very well be another one of Disney’s thinly-veiled attempts to pander to a Chinese market, while The Eternals (November 5) makes me question whether I can be bothered to keep learning about all these new characters (for me at least) and if it’s worth investing the time into a whole new decade-spanning story arc. Black Widow is a little different. We already know about her. A film that explores her backstory feels overdue at this stage. Also, I just like the cast (I’m really loving Florence Pugh’s work). So this is one of the few movies where I’ll happily board the Marvel train at least until its next stop. – Juliana Purnell.
Godzilla vs. Kong (May 21, 2021)
The appeal is in the title. As a film critic, there are times when I really appreciate subtle slice-of-life dramas set in a foreign nation with a runtime extending over two hours, and then there are times when I just want to see a giant lizard battle a giant ape on the biggest screen available. Yes, it’s possible to like both, and you have no idea how much I just really, really, really want to see this battle between these two iconic characters, as stupidly glorious as it might be! – Juliana Purnell.
In the Heights (June 18, 2021)
I have vague memories from high school of being in a staged version of this musical as the audio tech, but I have too many blocked memories to fully remember what it’s about. That said, it’s from the creator of Hamilton and I’m eager to see how this translates to film! – Tyler Hummel.
The Green Knight (July 30, 2021)
I reviewed the famous Welsh poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in early 2020 in anticipation for this awesome looking adaptation. David Lowry seems to be taking quite an interesting edge to this classical story of gallantry and courtly love, and I’m dying to see what he’s cooked up! – Tyler Hummel.
Death on the Nile (September 17, 2021)
Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express was one of the surprises of 2017! It was a huge cast with a great story and wonderfully silly performances captured perfectly by a director who’s made his career adapting great works of literature! His immediate sequel to that is a film I’ve been hotly anticipating! – Tyler Hummel.
Dune (October 1, 2021)
No major studio film right now has me hyped quite like Denis Villeneuve’s epic adaptation of the famously unfilmable novel Dune! Such a project has been a massive undertaking the previous three times it’s been tried to mixed results. If anyone can pull it off though, the director of Blade Runner 2049 has a chance! – Tyler Hummel.
Halloween Kills (October 15, 2021)
The immediate sequel to 2018’s reboot of the Halloween franchise was another film set to release in 2020 only to get the boot for a whole year. While I don’t know what to expect, I’m sure we’re in for more classic Michael Myers action! – Tyler Hummel.
The Last Duel (October 15, 2021)/Gucci (November 24, 2021)
Ridley Scott has two new films slated for release in 2021, and I’m fascinated to see if that slate holds. The first covers a medieval knight story and the second is a mobster film. – Tyler Hummel.
Untitled Elvis Presley Project (November 5, 2021)
This film’s seemingly always in the news due to its various shooting schedule setbacks, so I guess I’m now just really curious to see how this one turns out! But of course, there’s also the Baz Luhrmann factor—a director I admire because he has a strong stylistic presence that he isn’t afraid to downplay, and because I find his desire to bring the stage to screen an interesting goal. The idea of Baz bringing Elvis’ huge persona to life on the silver screen does entice me, and I’m intrigued as to how the director will work with a humble and self-contained actor like Tom Hanks as well. – Juliana Purnell.
Untitled Spider-Man Sequel (December 17, 2021)
Spider-Man is one of the most iconic Marvel characters ever created. The previous two films in the MCU have been fun, light-hearted adventures and they’ve kept me wanting more. Teasing a return of J.K. Simmons is just the icing on the cake. I may not be committed to the MCU as a whole, but I am genuinely curious as to what the next step is for Spider-Man. – Juliana Purnell
The Matrix 4 (December 22, 2021)
I’m both simultaneously excited and worried about the existence of a fourth Matrix movie. The Matrix was one of my favorite films of all time, which meant the subpar sequels were a huge disappointment (although I’ve come to appreciate them in the years since). I’m hoping the only reason this trilogy is being turned into a quadrilogy is because there’s a story worth telling, much like what happened with Rambo and Rocky Balboa, and not a case like Live Free and Die Hard (or even worse, A Good Day to Die Hard) where they just didn’t know when to quit. – Juliana Purnell.
Babylon (December 25, 2021)
The plot of Damien Chazelle’s next feature is still under wraps, although there are rumors the movie will be a Hollywood period piece. He’s a director that’s mastered quiet, contemplative pieces and he has crafted some brilliantly tense scenes of dramatic conflict as well. So I’m always keen to check out Chazelle’s newest film, and with stars like Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Tobey Maguire attached, then I’m definitely buying a ticket! – Juliana Purnell.
Saint Maud (Sometime this year, hopefully!)
A 2019 release in film festivals, Saint Maud has been delayed in the States several times in 2020, which is a real shame because it’s been repeatedly lauded as a phenomenal horror film. A psychologically taut narrative, apparently it’s thematically rich and dares to give a serious analysis of Christian fanaticism. With luck, maybe we’ll get to see it someday soon! – Juliana Purnell.