Before we get started, this is by no means a comprehensive list of the best movies coming out next year (2021). Unfortunately, some films may not have made the list – there are 2,481 movies being released in 2021. The list will focus on a select few movies that are exciting for the reasons listed. Additionally, many of the films which we looked at did not have trailers, plots, casting, or directors, and may have not made the list due to a lack of information. Furthermore, there may be some movies that are coming to streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney) which may be missing due to difficulty compiling an all-encompassing list.
Here are the Best Films Coming Out in 2021:
Not all the movies contain trailers* – some movies do have interview or breakdowns.
1. The Batman (10/21)
This is the most popular movie coming out in 2021, well according to IMDB, and for good reasons: it’s gritty, it’s dark, it’s violent, it’s vengeance. Aside from the visual style and tone of the film, you also have the writer of The Town (2010) – hopefully, they can duplicate that authenticity. First, Robert Pattinson looks good in the trailer; like scary good. Next, Some of Pattinson’s recent performances, The Devil All the Time (2020) and The King (2019), have demonstrated his range as a serious actor.
In addition, there are some serious supporting actors in this film, Paul Dano is one of the best character actors around. Honestly for a villain like the Riddler you need an actor that can walk a tight rope between inordinate and believable – which… pick a Paul Dano film the guy literally does that every time: Swiss Army Man (2016), There Will be Blood (2007), Prisoners (2013). Furthermore, Colin Farrell has re-established himself as a serious actor, I think the work he has been doing in recent years is outstanding and its good to see him in “Blockbusters” again. Finally, If the trailer is any indication this will be one of the best movies of the year.
2. Venom: Let There be Carnage (6/21)
Director: Andy Serkis
Writer: Kelly Marcel
Actors: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Woody Harrelson
While we don’t know much about the plot. However, the full cast list is available. Naomie Harris is listed as “Shriek (rumored),” if this is true the plot of the film could be based on the 1993 Marvel Spider-man series “Maximum Carnage.” Check out the description of the comic: “since the alien symbiote to which he was bonded was destroyed during his capture, Cletus Kasady is presumed powerless and jailed at Ravencroft Asylum. However, the symbiote mutated his blood prior to its destruction, enabling Kasady to generate a copy of the symbiote and break out. During his escape, Kasady (Carnage) frees fellow inmate Shriek.”
In fact, this series is a 14-part crossover involving numerous Marvel Characters, including Morbius, which Sony owns the rights and is releasing a movie. So, depending on the success of both of Sony’s movies it may look to do a crossover. WIth Tom Hardy rumored as a candidate to take up the James bond mantle from Daniel Craig, a crossover may be tough. Additionally, Sony does still own the movie licensing rights to Spider-man, but not the merchandising – It seems that they’ve been trying to keep Spidey in a bubble. I think the cast and crew speak for themselves, the writer is the same as the last film. Finally, I really like Andy Serkis as director and think that he will do a great job leading this cast and respecting the art of CGI.
3. Blonde (2021)
Director: Andrew Dominik
Writer: Andrew Dominik (Screenplay)
Actors: Ana da Armas, Adrien Brody, Bobby Cannavale, Garret Dillahunt
“Blonde is a bestselling 2000 historical novel by Joyce Carol Oates that chronicles the inner life of Marilyn Monroe. Oates insists that the novel is a work of fiction that should not be regarded as a biography. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (2001) and the National Book Award (2000). Oates has said that Blonde is one of the two books (along with 1969’s them) for which she thinks she will be remembered.” The novel explores the real-life relationship of Monroe though uses abbreviations to denote famous historical figures, possibly leaving just enough space to paint this as a fictionalized retelling of Marilyn Monroe’s life.
Though I imagine portions may be heavily dramatized [this is Hollywood afterall] it shouldn’t need too much after-all Monroe lived an interesting life and could hold weight without any embellishment. The most intriguing part, for me, is Ana de Armas who is dominating the industry in the past several years with films like Blade Runner 2049 (2017); Knives Out (2019); No Time to Die (2020). The other actors involved are phenomenal and will definitely support her as the lead. And, Andrew Dominik, wrote and directed The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007). That film is so good, and it’s the same weirdly unique genre as Blonde. If Blonde is anything like his prior film, he should be looking at an Oscar for best picture or best director.
4. Killers of the Flower Moon (2021)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writers: David Grann, Eric Roth
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro
As of right now only Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio are signed on to this Martin Scorsese film. To start, Alexandra Tanner summarizes the books subject matter, “In Killers of the Flower Moon, writer and journalist David Grann offers an intimately detailed account of a little-known but devastating chapter in American history: the Osage Reign of Terror, officially recognized as a period of five years from 1921 to 1926 during which upwards of twenty Osage Indians were murdered in cold blood for access to their valuable shares of oil money.”
This film will be in association with Apple TV and Paramount Pictures. Moreover, the studio has hired a number of high-level behind the scenes folks set directors, editors, composers, art directors. (it’s a who’s who of industry talent) Many of them have worked on high budget films over the past decade. So, this film looks like it has a huge budget for Scorcese to work with.
5. Macbeth (2021)
Director: Joel Coen
First, what is not to love about this cast and director. One half of the Coen Brothers – Joel teases that Macbeth is a ticking-clock thriller. Macbeth is one of the great classics. I guess I should put this in case your not familiar with Macbeth… Spoiler Ahead:
A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.
While, Denzel Washington is signed on to play Macbeth and the play and film are called Macbeth any theater nerd worth his salt can tell you that the main character is Lady Macbeth, played her by Frances McDormand [who is actually married to Joel Coen]. I cannot wait to see these two actors take on the roles, I mean this will be a film will likely be a studied in master acting. Secondly, the cast is supported by another number of great character actors such as Brandon Gleeson and Harry Melling [who was amazing in The Devil All the Time (2020)].
6. Wicked (2021)
Director: Stephen Daldry
There has been a lot of excitement surrounding the adaptation of this Broadway Musical to film. The plot of the musical: “The musical is told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz; its plot begins before and continues after Dorothy Gale arrives in Oz from Kansas, and includes several references to the 1939 film and Baum’s novel. Wicked tells the story of two unlikely friends, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) and Galinda (whose name later changes to Glinda the Good Witch), who struggle through opposing personalities and viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-interest, reactions to the Wizard‘s corrupt government, and, ultimately, Elphaba’s private fall from grace.”
While we don’t know much more than this based on the writer and director it looks like the film will have a theater feel and be heavily reliant on elements like music and costume, rather than star power. But with Universal Studios on board as the distributor, you never know who may be the cast. Especially with so many young actresses with singing and acting careers.
7. Pinocchio (2021)
Director: Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson
Writers: Carlos Collodi (novel), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), Gris Grimly (screenplay), Patrick McHale (screenplay), Mathew Robbins (screenplay)
Actors: Cate Blanchett, Ewan McGregor, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Ron Perlman, Finn Wolfhard, John Turturro…
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio shaping looking like it will be an amazingly dark Netflix Original. The movie will be filmed in stop-motion animation [think The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)] and will be a musical. While we are all thinking of Disney’s Pinocchio (1940) as a story of a puppet becoming a real boy, the book way darker. Expect del Toro to capitalize on that. Additionally, the writers assemble for the screenplay have a catalog that ranges from horror to 80’s fantasy to the cartoon show Adventure Time (2010) [no joke]. I am envisioning Pan’s Labrynith (2006) meets Labyrinth (1986) meets a random 80’s Horror Film meets Adventure Time (2010). Plus, Ewan McGregor as the Cricket! I mean seriously the cast is outstanding.
8. The Many Saints of Newark (2021)
Director: Alan Taylor
Writers: Lawrence Konner, David Chase
Actors: Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, John Magaro, Billy Magnussen, Ray Liotta, Cory Stoll, Michael Gandolfini…
Okay, this is the “Soprano’s Film.” It’s a prelude to the HBO TV series The Soprano’s (1999). It will cover Tony Soprano’s formidable years and include a host of actors playing young versions of the classic characters from the television series. From the cast list, it will include, Silvio, Paulie, Junior, Dickie Moltisanti, and possibly Tony’s Parents. The film is set against the backdrop of the 1960s in Newark, New Jersey, and looks to explore the historical context of that time with Italian Americans, with the ongoing Civil Rights Movement and the 1960 Newark Riots.
The piece of nostalgia is that Tony Soprano will be played by the late James Gandolfini’s son Michael Gandolfini. Also, Alan Taylor directed 9 episodes of The Sopranos.
9. Sherlock Holmes 3 (2021)
First, Guy Ritchie is not directing on the third film of the trilogy. Unfortunately, the project had been stalling for nearly a decade due to Robert Downey Jr.’s Marvel Cinematic Universe filming schedule. But, now that Downey is free, well…Guy Ritchie is busy with two new films, including Man of Wrath (2021). Dexter Fletcher is signed on to direct, you may remember him as “Soap” in the Guy Ritchie classic “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” – if not that’s okay. Maybe you’ll recall Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) or Rocketman (2019) both of which he directed. While this is only Fletcher’s 5th time in the director’s chair, he boasters an incredible 109 acting credits. We’ll see if Fletcher’s experience so far will translate to action films, and whether he can give the same directorial quality and inventive cinematography we came to expect from Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock.
The above-named actors are the only ones signed on as of yet. But, reports indicate the nemesis will be an American, Senator Cornelius Guest, who is obsessed with stealing gold. And, the character is speculated to be a physically strong character that could best sherlock in a fight.
10. Morbius (3/21)
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writers: Matt Sazama (screenplay), Burk Sharpless (screenplay), Art Marcum (Screenplay), Matt Holloway (Screenplay)
Stars: Michael Keaton, Jared Leto, Adria Arjona,
Morbius is based on the Marvel comic “Morbius, The Living Vampire.” The general origins of the character is “Michael Morbius attempts to cure his life-long blood disease with experimental vampire bat science. In the process, he turns himself into a living vampire, tortured by his life-sustaining thirst.” Morbius fits into the Spider-Man marvel comics but became a spin-off anti-hero, much like Venom. Again, there are similar licensing issues between Marvel owned by Disney and Sony who owns the movie licensing rights to Spider-Man and Venom.
But if Venom: Let There be Carnage (2021) and Morbius (2021) are successful look for Sony to explore cross-over movies in the future and replicate the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe [MCU] movies.
11. Wrath of Man (1/21)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Ivan Atkinson (Writer), Nicolas Boukhrief (motion picture “Le Convoyeur”), Marn Davies (Writer), Guy Ritchie (Screenplay)
Actors: Niamh Algar, Jason Statham, Laz Alonso, Josh Hartnett, Scott Eastwood, Jeffery Donovan
This should be a classic, Guy Ritchie, shoot’em up, funny, high-octane film. But, this is probably the reason Ritchie was unavailable for Sherlock Holmes 3 (2021). The plot details only state “follows H (Jason Statham), a cold and mysterious character working at a cash truck company responsible for moving hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles each week. In fact, Statham and Ritchie have worked together on a few projects before including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Revolver (2005), and Snatch (2008).
Best Movies Coming Out Next Year Honorable Mentions:
The King’s Man
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
The Little Things
The Unbelievable Weight of Massive Talent
The Card Counter
Untitled Elvis Presley Project
George Williams | Actor