40 Movies We Can't Wait To See in 2021

Most of these will actually come out, we swear.

a quiet place part 2
Emily Blunt hushes in 'A Quiet Place Part II' | Paramount Pictures
Emily Blunt hushes in 'A Quiet Place Part II' | Paramount Pictures

There's never been a more confusing time to look at a movie release calendar. After a chaotic year for the movies, where tentpoles bounced around the schedule and other projects skipped theatrical runs entirely on their way to VOD and streaming platforms, 2021 looks just as unpredictable. Even with the arrival of a vaccine, the pandemic will continue to upend the theatrical distribution business. At the same time, you might feel a little déjà vu: Many of the big movies on tap for 2021, like No Time to Die and Black Widow, were previously scheduled for 2020 but never actually came out.

ALSO READ: The best movies of 2021 (so far)

With the schedule already in flux, following MGM's January decision to push No Time to Die from April to October that led to a wave of release-date reshuffling, we'll be updating this list of upcoming movies, which range from superhero blockbusters to horror freak-outs to intimate Oscar hopefuls, all year. (In most cases, streaming release dates feel like locks.) Regardless of how the reality of the calendar pans out, here are all the movies we're looking forward to seeing (hopefully!) this next year.

ALSO READ: Netflix original movies and shows coming your way in 2021

without remorse
Amazon Prime

Without Remorse

Release date: April 30 on Amazon Prime
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Luke Mitchell
Director: Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado)
Why we're excited: Creed star Michael B. Jordan headlines this action thriller that's based on a Tom Clancy novel that explores the origins of John Clark, one of the author's most famous non-Jack Ryan characters. Director Stefano Sollima co-created the ultra-tense Amazon drug-trade drama ZeroZeroZero, so hopefully he brings some of that same energy here.
(Watch the trailer)

woman in the window

The Woman in the Window

Release date: May 14 on Netflix
Cast:  Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Anthony Mackie, Fred Hechinger
Director: Joe Wright (Darkest Hour)
Why we're excited: This adaptation of a controversial bestseller was shot in 2018 and originally scheduled to come out in October of 2019. Some combination of difficult test screenings, the Disney-Fox deal, and the pandemic caused a number of delays. Now it's coming to Netflix, so we can finally find out if it's a fun Hitchcock-ian mystery or a total mess.
(Watch the trailer)

spiral movie


Release date: May 14 in theaters
Cast: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw IV)
Why we're excited: Chris Rock came up with the idea for the latest entry in the ever-growing Saw franchise, which spawned eight previous movies, so you can expect it to be slightly different from the stomach-churning nü-metal horror of the series' peak. At the same time, director Darren Lynn Bousman helmed three previous Saw movies, known for their convoluted mythology and terrifying traps, and the original producers are still involved. And Samuel L. Jackson is in it. This could be a wild one.
(Watch the trailer)

those who wish me dead
Warner Bros. Pictures

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Release date: May 14 in theaters and on HBO Max
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Aidan Gillen, Jon Bernthal
Director: Taylor Sheridan (Wind River)
Why we're excited: Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan looks like he's firmly in his wheelhouse with this adaptation of a novel by Micahel Koryta, which tells the story of a teenager who witnesses a murder and goes on the run in a rapidly burning Montana forrest with a pair of assassins on his tale. Don't you hate when that happens?

(Watch the trailer)

army of the dead

Army of the Dead

Release date: May 21 on Netflix
Cast: Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Ana de la Reguera, Matthias Schweighöfer
Director: Zack Snyder (Man of Steel)
Why we're excited: While he was putting the finishing touches on the Snyder cut, the Justice League director was also shooting this Vegas-set heist movie for Netflix, which will return him to his zombie roots. Dave Bautista starring in an Ocean's Eleven meets Dawn of the Dead mash-up? Sign us up. 
(Watch the trailer)

a quiet place part 2
Paramount Pictures

A Quiet Place Part II

Release date: May 28 in theaters
Cast: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Cillian Murphy
Director: John Krasinski (A Quiet Place)
Why we're excited: 2018's A Quiet Place was the type of slick, efficient horror movie with a satisfying ending that doesn't really demand a sequel. The bare-bones "mythology" of the premise could be summed up in the goofy "What is the weakness?" question scrawled on a whiteboard in the background of the first movie. Still, unnecessary horror sequels can surprise you, and Emily Blunt is returning along with director John Krasinski. Maybe this one will be less quiet?
(Watch the trailer)

cruella movie
Walt Disney Pictures


Release date: May 28 in theaters and Disney+
Cast: Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Mark Strong
Director: Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya)
Why we're excited: We probably don't need a Cruella de Vil origin story. Still, we'll take Oscar-winner Emma Stone mugging about in fantastic costumes if that's what we're getting. This prequel set in the London 1970s punk scene is directed by I, Tonya's Craig Gillespie, adding a bunch more potentially intriguing question marks to the endeavor.
(Watch the trailer)

the conjuring
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Conjuring: Devil Made Me Do It

Release date: June 4 in theaters and on HBO Max
Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Ruairi O'Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook
Director: Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona)
Why we're excited: First of all, you have to respect the third Conjuring movie for ditching the classier numbered titling of its previous sequel and going with the much more fun Devil Made Me Do It subtitle. (One can only imagine what the devil will make them do!) James Wan won't be handling directing duties here, but stars Vera Farminga and Patrick Wilson are back to do some more creepy sleuthing as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.
(Watch the trailer)

in the heights
Warner Bros.

In the Heights 

Release date: June 11 in theaters and on HBO Max
Cast: Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera, Corey Hawkins, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Director: Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians)
Why we're excited: Lin-Manuel Miranda made his mark before Hamilton with this musical ode to the neighborhood where he was raised. Now it comes to the screen with rising star Anthony Ramos as protagonist Usnavi, the character Miranda played on Broadway. We're most excited to see Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu back in Step Up mode, filming intricately choreographed, massive dance sequences on New York City streets.
(Watch the trailer)


Release date: June 18 on Netflix
Cast: Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Melody Hurd, Anthony Carrigan
Director: Paul Weitz (Bel Canto)
Why we're excited: Kevin Hart hasn't gotten too many chances to show off his serious side throughout his career, but this drama, an adaptation of a memoir by the writer Matthew Logelin, should give the actor a chance to show his range as a father dealing with a painful loss. Director Paul Weitz, who co-directed 2002's Hugh Grant coming-of-age story About A Boy and directed 2015's charming comedy Grandma, clearly knows his way around stories of familial struggle.

f9 fast and furious
Universal Pictures


Release date: June 25 in theaters
Cast: Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Sung Kang
Director: Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6)
Why we're excited: The director of the greatest run of Fast & Furious movies is back for another round, as Dom Torretto and his crew team up once again to face off against his one weakness: his own family. Yes, we are expected to believe Vin Diesel and John Cena are brothers in this. Importantly: HAN IS BACK.
(Watch the trailer)

black widow
Marvel Studios

Black Widow

Release date: July 9 in theaters and Disney+
Cast: Scarlett Johanssen, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour
Director: Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome)
Why we're excited: Nearly 10 years after the Internet began clamoring for a standalone film featuring the MCU's first female Avenger, we're finally getting one. Judging from the trailers, Black Widow looks like a lot of shooty, kicky, punchy, Russian spy fun. Not to mention the story takes place between Civil War and Infinity War, so you might want to watch out for a familiar face or two you may not expect.
(Watch the trailer)

The Forever Purge

Release date: July 9 in theaters
Cast: Ana de la Reguera, Josh Lucas, Tenoch Huerta, Leven Rambin
Director: Everardo Gout
Why we're excited: The dystopian idea behind The Purge series is that there's one night a year where all crime, including murder, is legal. According to the title of the latest entry, the follow-up to 2018's brutal prequel The First Purge, the Purge now lasts… forever? That news does not sound good for the weary citizens for the Purge-verse, but it could make for a pretty intense movie.

Sony Pictures


Release date: July 16 in theaters
Cast: Camila Cabello, Billy Porter, Minnie Driver, John Mulaney
Director: Kay Cannon (Blockers)
Why we're excited: Camila Cabello playing a modern musical Cinderella with Pose breakout star Billy Porter as her Fairy Godmother? Not to mention Minnie Driver playing a queen and John Mulaney—yes, John Mulaney—as a mouse footman? Sounds absolutely bonkers. We love it.

the night house

The Night House

Release date: July 16 in theaters
Cast: Rebecca Hall, Sarah Goldberg, Stacy Martin, Evan Jonigkeit
Director: David Bruckner (The Ritual)
Why we're excited: This unsettling haunted house tale, which follows a widow (Rebecca Hall) grieving her husband in a sleek home he designed himself, was one of the creepier movies at Sundance back in 2020. Director David Bruckner, who helmed Netflix's sturdy hike-gone-wrong thriller The Ritual, knows how to make a movie like this tick.
(Watch the trailer)

space jam a new legacy
Warner Bros.

Space Jam: A New Legacy 

Release date: July 16 in theaters and on HBO Max
Cast: LeBron James, Sonequa Martin-Green, Don Cheadle, Bugs Bunny
Director: Malcolm D. Lee (Night School)
Why we're excited: While we're not getting the version of a Space Jam sequel directed by avant-garde filmmaker Terence Nance, which sounded very cool, we're still ready to slam with this new saga of basketball starring LeBron James and the Looney Tunes. Welcome to the jam, indeed.
(Watch the trailer)

old movie


Release date: July 23 in theaters 
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung
Director: M. Night Shyamalan (Glass)
Why we're excited: The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan looks like he's tackling a great micro-genre here: the "there's something creepy about this beautiful beach" movie. A family shows up on a seemingly idyllic spot of sandy land and find that it makes them age rapidly. Wanna bet there's a twist?
(Watch the trailer)

jungle cruise
Walt Disney Pictures

Jungle Cruise

Release date: July 30 in theaters
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramirez
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra (The Commuter)
Why we're excited: Based on Disneyland's beloved river cruise theme park ride, the Jungle Cruise movie brings the tale to life, dumping Emily Blunt and The Rock in the middle of the Amazon, where they must fight off dangerous wild creatures and a supernatural threat. Intrigued to see how Jaume Collet-Serra, the director of tense thrillers like The Shallows and… Orphan… handles this. 
(Watch the trailer)

the suicide squad
Warner Bros.

The Suicide Squad

Release date: August 6 in theaters and on HBO Max
Cast: Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Joel Kinnaman
Director: James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Why we're excited: No, you're not experiencing superhero movie déjà vu. There was a movie from 2016 called Suicide Squad, which starred Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto as the Joker. Robbie returns as Harley Quinn, who she played in the recent Birds of Prey movie, but most of the rest of the original movie's cast is gone and writer/director David Ayer has been replaced with James Gunn, who will hopefully find a take on these characters that doesn't require another "soft reboot" in five years.
(Watch the teaser)

free guy
20th Century Studios

Free Guy

Release date: August 13 in theaters
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Joe Keery, Lil Rel Howery
Director: Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum
Why we're excited: This frenzied-looking action-comedy chronicles the existential challenges of an NPC (Ryan Reynolds) in an open-world video game called Free World. Will Grand Theft Auto and Zelda obsessives want to leave the house to see Deadpool wisecrack his way through a Ready Player One-like scenario they can't play themselves? It could be a tough sell. Still, the mix of snarky gags and goofy adventure worked for both the Jumanji movies in recent years, so it might work here.
(Watch the trailer



Release date: August 13
Cast: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, Marlon Wayans
Director: Liesl Tommy 
Why we're excited: Jennifer Hudson was chosen to star in this Aretha Franklin biopic by Franklin herself, which must account for something. Directed by Liesl Tommy, a renowned theater director making her first foray into feature films, we can't wait to see how the Oscar-winning Hudson interprets one of the greatest musicians of all time. 
(Watch the trailer


Release date: August 20 in theaters
Cast: Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, Samira Wiley, Laura Harrier
Director: Miguel Sapochnik (Repo Men)
Why we're excited: "Last man on Earth" narratives have grown a bit stale in the last decade, but here's a twist: What if the guy was played by Tom Hanks? Now you're on board, right? The Cast Away star plays an inventor who creates a robot to travel the country in this science-fiction tale, which comes from Miguel Sapochnik, the director behind some of the biggest and best episodes of Game of Thrones.

Universal Pictures


Release date: August 27 in theaters
Cast: Yayha Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo
Director: Nia DaCosta (Little Woods)
Why we're excited: Nia DaCosta's spiritual sequel to the 1992 horror classic comes with a script co-written by Jordan Peele and a trailer that will definitely freak you out. (Don't say his name!) This is one of the most anticipated movies of last year that got bumped because of the pandemic, and we remain really pumped to see how DaCosta and company have translated this story about racism and gentrification for the 21st Century.
(Watch the trailer)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Release date: September 3 in theaters
Cast: Simu Liu, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy)
Why we're excited: It's about time for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have its first Southeast Asian superhero on the silver screen, and there are few better heroes to pick than Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, who has the power to duplicate himself into multiple Shang-Chis, as well as the knowledge of nearly every martial art. The Avengers have no idea what's coming.
(Watch the trailer)


Release date: September 24 in theaters
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O'Brien, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson
Director: Antoine Fuqua (The Equalizer 2)
Why we're excited: Mark Wahlberg re-teams with Shooter director Antoine Fuqua for this action thriller about a troubled guy who discovers his hallucinations are actually "visions from his past life." The movie is based on a novel titled The Reincarnationist Papers, which would've made for a much less generic title than Infinite, but we won't hold the boring title against it.

The Many Saints of Newark 

Release date: September 24 on HBO Max and in theaters
Cast: Alessandro Nivola, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Leslie Odom Jr.
Director: Alan Taylor (Terminator Genisys)
Why we're excited: The Many Saints of Newark is the long-awaited Sopranos prequel movie from writer David Chase, the creator of the original series, and it reportedly focuses on Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola), the father of Michael Imperioli's character Christopher. It's always a little dicey when a writer or director returns to a beloved set of characters years later—and, obviously, prequel stories can be hit or miss—but, come on, we can't wait to see this. Plus, it gives us an excuse to mention that Chase's last movie, 2012's Not Fade Away, remains an underrated gem.

Venom: Let there Be Carnage 

Release date: September 24 in theaters
Cast: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson
Director: Andy Serkis
Why we're excited: Tom Hardy gave one of the most unhinged, wonderful performances in any superhero movie ever in the first Venom, so we can't wait to see him back as Eddie and his Symbiote pal in this installation with an objectively funny subtitle. Maybe he'll eat another live crustacean.

dune movie
Warner Bros.


Release date: October 1 in theaters and on HBO Max
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa
Director: Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049)
Why we're excited: One of the greatest space operas ever written is being adapted into a movie (again), and from what we've seen, it looks pretty cool—especially if you like big space worms. Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the son of a noble house ruling in the far future over the spice planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, where, after a catastrophe shakes his family, he must journey out into the sand to find his destiny. Oscar Isaac, sporting an impressive beard, plays Paul's dad and Rebecca Ferguson plays his mother, and pretty much every supporting role is filled by a famous face. 
(Watch the trailer)

no time to die

No Time to Die

Release date: October 8 in theaters
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation)
Why we're excited: It's been a rough road to Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond. First Danny Boyle left the project, and then production had to be shut down midway through after Craig suffered an injury. Then the movie's release got delayed multiple times by a global pandemic. But Fukunaga, best known for the first season of True Detective, is an inspired choice of a director, and the franchise is adding some necessary new blood, like Lashana Lynch as a fellow super spy and foil for the main man.
(Watch the trailer)

halloween kills
Universal Pictures

Halloween Kills

Release date: October 15 in theaters
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Anthony Michael Hall 
Director: David Gordon Green (Halloween)
Why we're excited: The perpetually unkillable Michael Meyers returns in this sequel to 2018's Halloween, which served as a direct sequel to John Carpenter's 1978 classic. Jamie Lee Curtis will also return as Laurie Strode, who truly cannot catch a break. Hopefully this sequel is just about her taking a peaceful vacation—she's earned it.
(Watch the teaser)

Jackass 4

Release date: October 22
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Dave England, Ehren McGhehey
Director: Jeff Tremaine (Jackass)
Why we're excited: It's been over a decade since Jackass 3D launched itself into theaters and almost two decades since the first movie drove a shopping cart into the American imagination. Time flies when you're making your buddies throw up. Somehow, these guys are still punishing their bodies for our collective amusement. We can't wait to see what fresh trouble they've been getting into.

last night in soho
Focus Features

Last Night in Soho

Release date: October 22 in theaters 
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie
Director: Edgar Wright (Baby Driver)
Why we're excited: A time-travel romance between a fashion designer and a 1960s crooner directed by Edgar Wright? We love everything about that sentence.


Release date: November 5 in theaters
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Kit Harington
Director: Chloé Zhao (Nomadland)
Why we're excited: With one of the most stacked casts in Marvel history, and one of the coolest-sounding plots (a bunch of immortal beings who have influenced Earth's major events throughout history must reunite to save themselves from a bunch of people called deviants sounds sick), Eternals will very likely bring the heat to the movie theater come fall.

ghostbusters afterlife
Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters: Afterlife 

Release date: November 11 in theaters
Cast: Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon
Director: Jason Reitman (The Front Runner)
Why we're excited: To be honest, the idea of living through another Ghostbusers movie release press cycle is not terribly exciting. But, if the movie franchise gods insist that there must be another Ghostbusters movie for some reason, at least this one has Paul Rudd. Funny guy, right? Hopefully he gets to interact with Slimer, along with new sensation Muncher
(Watch the trailer)

top gun maverick
Paramount Pictures

Top Gun: Maverick

Release date: November 19 in theaters
Cast: Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm
Director: Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion)
Why we're excited: Do you feel the need... the need for speed? After years of flying helicopters, racing motorcycles, and leaping off of buildings in the increasingly adrenaline-obsessed Mission: Impossible series, daredevil movie star Tom Cruise returns to the cockpit of a fighter jet for this long-rumored sequel to his 1986 Tony Scott flight school adventure. Miles Teller will play Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Anthony Edwards' Goose from the original, so expect lots of life lessons, barroom sing-alongs, and, yes, some beach volleyball. Take us back to the danger zone, ASAP.
(Watch the trailer)

west side story
20th Century Studios

West Side Story

Release date: December 10 in theaters
Cast: Rachel Zegler, Ansel Elgort, Ariana DeBose, Rita Moreno 
Director: Steven Spielberg (Ready Player One)
Why we're excited: Remaking what is widely regarded as one of the greatest movie musicals of all time is a risky proposition, but West Side Story warrants an update. The original, albeit a classic, was filled with insensitive brown-face and actors who didn't sing. Now, Steven Spielberg is taking a stab at it, with an updated book written by Tony Kushner and new choreography from ballet star Justin Peck. We're ready to mambo.
(Watch the trailer)

Spider-Man: No Way Home 

Release date: December 17 in theaters
Cast: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina
Director: Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Far From Home)
Why we're excited: It's going to be hard for this movie to be as entertaining as the casting rumors about this movie have been. Turns out the Marvel Cinematic Universe is bringing back tons of players from past Spider-Man movies, like Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina in what appears to be an attempt to conjure the multiverse. Previous Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will most likely reprise their roles, too. Sounds wild.

the king's man
20th Century Studios

The King's Man

Release date: December 22 in theaters
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Harris Dickinson
Director: Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Secret Service)
Why we're excited: With its cartoonish gunplay and blunt sense of humor, the world of the Kingsman series, drawn from the pages of the comic franchise created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, can be a little off-putting, and the last sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, felt a little overstuffed. This prequel will hopefully serve as a slightly pared-back return to form, with Ralph Fiennes stepping into the starring role.
(Watch the trailer)

Matrix 4

Release date: December 22 in theaters and on HBO Max
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick
Director: Lana Wachowski (Jupiter Ascending)
Why we're excited: How could we NOT be excited to return to the Matrix after all these years?? We have no idea what the plot of this movie is going to be, but we suspect it may have something to do with a guy nicknamed "The One," and perhaps an evil computer program, and perhaps a lot of fight scenes where people lean really, really far backwards.

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