From Matrix 4 to A Quiet Place Part II: The Best Movies to Watch in 2021
Much like books, movies have been our source of escape and entertainment during this pandemic. And in 2021, we can look forward to many more exciting movies, including several sequels to successful franchises and some book adaptations.
1/14 The Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad is back... except not all of them. This movie is intended to be a soft reboot and standalone sequel rather than a direct follow-up to the 2016 movie. Joker (Jared Leto) is absent; instead, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) will be headlining it together with Idris Elba as Bloodsport, John Cena as Pacemaker and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag.
The Suicide Squad follows the imprisoned convicts of Task Force X who have a new mission to Corto Maltese island in South America. They are tasked to destroy Jotnunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory that has political prisoners captive and conducted various kinds of experiment. While not a direct follow-up, fans of anti-hero team are definitely excited for this one.
(Related: 7 Netflix Shows to Watch in January 2021)
Dune, the upcoming science fiction movie by Denis Villeneuve, is the first of a planned two-part adaptation from Frank Herbert's 1965 eponymous novel. The stellar line-up consists of Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Chang Chen and Jason Moma.
Set in the far future, Duke Leto Atreides (Oscar Isaac) sends his son Paul (Chalamet) and other trusted advisers to Arrakis, a desert planet home to find "the spice", a drug that extends human life. The drug also grants you superhuman levels of thoughts and to travel faster than the speed of life.
Described as an "epic story", the movie is set to feature breathtaking cinematography and visual effects of the fictional planet.
3/14 Top Gun: Maverick
After 35 years, 1986's Top Gun finally has a sequel. Top Gun: Maverick boasts an impressive ensemble comprising Tom Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Lewis Pullman and Val Kilmer, with Cruise and Kilmer reprising their roles from the previous movie.
The movie centres around Pete "Maverik" Mitchell (Cruise), a stellar pilot and flight instructor for the Navy. His outstanding record puts him in charge of training a new squad of graduates. But the past catches up to him and he must prepare his students for a dangerous mission that may require them to make a sacrifice.
4/14 The Woman in the Window
This Netflix-exclusive movie stars Amy Adams as an agoraphobic psychologist, Dr Anna Fox, who befriends her neighbour. What started as a friendship soon descends into a thrilling case of disappearance which Fox believes involves foul play.
Those looking for something to exercise their mystery-solving skills will definitely want to check out this psychological thriller. It's based on the 2018 novel of the same name by A.J. Finn. Other members of the cast include Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Julianne Moore. The Woman in the Window was originally scheduled for release in 2019 but has been delayed to 2020 due to re-editing and then further delayed because of the pandemic.
Release date: TBC
5/14 Black Widow
After many years of waiting (and hoping), a Black Widow movie is finally coming. It will be the first movie in the Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and will take place after the events of Captain America: Civil War. In Black Widow, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) will have to confront the demons of her past. Faced with a dangerous conspiracy and chased down by a force that will do anything to bring her down, the highly trained assassin will have to deal with her past, before becoming an Avenger.
Johansson herself sees the solo movie as an opportunity to showcase Black Widow as an independent woman making her own choices. It'll certainly be an exciting movie for MCU fans out there.
6/14 Godzilla vs. Kong
Godzilla vs. Kong, the fourth movie in the MonsterVerse, will hit theatres in 2021. The movie has a spectacular cast including Millie Bobby Brown, Alexander Skarsgård, Shun Oguri (in his Hollywood debut), Jessica Henwick, Kyle Chandler and Rebecca Hall with some of the characters reprising their roles from other Godzilla and King Kong movies.
The previous movies, as well as the title, have all hinted at the two iconic monsters—Godzilla and King Kong—finally having the most-awaited legendary monster battle to settle, once and for all, who is the true king of the monsters. The clash of the two on the big screen is definitely one that will excite viewers. The story follows a squadron on a mission to unearth clues to the monsters' origins in the hope of saving mankind.
7/14 A Quiet Place 2
The long-awaited sequel to the 2019 sleeper hit A Quiet Place is dropping this year. John Krasinski directed the sequel with Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe reprising their roles. The sequel will pick up where the first movie left off, with the Abbott family venturing into the outside world. But they soon realise that the creatures who hunt by sound may not be the only monsters they should be scared of.
Given the plot of the first movie, the family is forced to live in silence while hiding from the monsters so there was a little to no dialogue but from the trailer of the sequel, we can definitely look forward to more dialogues. We can also expect some flashbacks before the monsters terrorised the planet including scenes with Krasinski, (spoiler alert!) whose character was killed in the first movie.
This year seems to be looking like the year of sequels and follow-up instalment of many successful franchises. Joining the party is F9 or also known as Fast & Furious 9. The ninth instalment in the Fast & Furious franchise welcomes back the crew—Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris Bridges, John Cena Nathalie Emmanuel and Sung Kang. Many other cast members from other Fast movies will also be returning.
If the previous movies were set on Earth, this one will be taking you into outer space, according to Rodriguez and as teased by Diesel. The story will pick up after the events of the previous movie. Dominic Toretto (Diesel) and his crew will come face to face with his younger brother, Jakob (Cena). A deadly assassin, Jakob is working with Cipher, Toretto's old enemy. As with any Fast movies, expect cars, action and maybe some explosions.
Release date: May 28, 2021
9/14 Raya and the Last Dragon
Raya and the Last Dragon is the highly anticipated animated movie from Disney. Many are looking forward to the Southeast Asian influences of the movie including the debut of the first-ever Southeast Asian Disney princess. The story set in Kumandra, inspired by the cultures of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Laos. For their research, the production team travelled to the countries except for Myanmar and Malaysia.
Kelly Marie Tran will be voicing the titular Raya, the warrior princess training to become a Guardian of the Dragon Gem. Joining her is Sisu, voiced by Awkwafina, the last dragon in existence who can also transform into a human. Raya will be tasked to track down Sisu to stop the Drunn, the sinister monsters destroying Kumandra.
10/14 Death on the Nile
If you can't get enough of cinematic universes, put your seatbelt on for this one. Director and actor Kenneth Branagh is considering the possibility of more movies based on Agatha Christie's novels, eventually creating its own cinematic universe. Death on the Nile is a follow-up of the 2017 movie Murder on the Orient Express—both movies are adapted from Christie's novels of the same name.
Bringing Christie's signature mystery novel to life, the movie follows Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot (Branagh) enjoying a glamorous honeymoon aboard a river steamer. The almost perfect escape soon turns into a search for the murderer of a young heiress. The title of the movie already hints at it but expect to see sweeping scenes of the Egyptian vistas in addition to a lot of betrayals.
11/14 Matrix 4
Much to the surprise (and joy) of fans, Matrix 4 is happening. The movies in the Matrix franchise is one of the best science fiction movies of all time and was considered ahead of its time when it was released considering technology or visual effects then wasn't as advanced as it is now.
Lana Wachowski—who co-directed and co-wrote the previous three movies with her sister, Lily—is back in the director's seat with Keanu Reeves reprising his iconic role as Neo. Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity), Jada Pinkett Smith (Niobe) and Daniel Bernhardt (Agent Johnson) will also be back.
The plot of the movie has been kept under wraps and with the third movie wrapping up the main plot, fans and critics alike are coming up with theories as to what the story will be.
(Related: The Best Classic Movies To Binge-Watch On Netflix)
12/14 No Time to Die
James Bond is back with No Time to Die which also marks Daniel Craig's final portrayal as the British MI6 agent. The 25th instalment in the James Bond series is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and will follow Bond after leaving service. His friend and CIA officer, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), needs his help to look for a missing scientist, Valdo Obruchev (David Dencik). Upon learning that the scientist has been kidnapped, Bond will face a villain that will threaten the lives of many.
Considering that the movie is Craig's last outing as the famous spy, long-time fans of the series are definitely watch before another Bond actor closes the chapter.
(Related: A New Omega Seamaster Diver Model Will Be Seen On James Bond in the Upcoming Movie, No Time to Die)
Jordan Peele is waving his magic hand at yet another horror movie, but as its writer instead of director. Candyman is directed by Nia DaCoasta and will serve as a direct sequel to 1992's Candyman. The supernatural slasher movie is also the fourth movie in the Candyman series.
Set a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were demolished, Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) moves into a luxurious loft in present-day gentrified Cabrini. After an encounter with an older resident, McCoy learns of the story behind the word-of-mouth supernatural killer, Candyman. Desperate to maintain his reputation as a visual artist in Chicago, Anthony takes inspiration from the legend as a base for his paintings which eventually affects his own sanity.
The plot of the film is reminiscent of Peele's former movies and viewers can expect a similar tone and vibe.
14/14 In the Heights
Crazy Rich Asians' director, Jon M. Chu is helming the musical drama, In the Heights based on the 2007 stage musical of the same name by Hudes and Lin-Manual Miranda, prior to his Hamilton days. The movie is set in Washington Heights and follows Usnavi de la Vega, a bodega owner who is kindly taking care of his ageing Cuban neighbour. Viewers will be joining in de la Vega's journey—from his feelings about closing his store to whether he will be retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother's fortune.
The musical movie will also showcase the vibrant and tight-knit community at Washington Heights. It stars Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace and Stephanie Beatriz.