Anticipated Movies to See This Year

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After a chaotic 2020, many are feeling optimistic about the 2021 year, and the entertainment industry is no different. Many entertainment companies decided to postpone many different films when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. However, in light of a new year, movie fans can show enthusiasm for the many releases coming out this year. In excitement for the return of hit movies, the Cougar Connection presents 2021’s most anticipated movies.
1. Minari
Genre: Drama
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, the movie follows a Korean family’s journey to achieving the American dream. The father of the house, Jacob (Steven Yeun) moves his family from Korea to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s. However, the story is told from the eyes of Jacob’s son, David (Alan S. Kim). It also highlights the struggles many Asian Americans face while immigrating to the United States. The film brings a realistic view of America without glorifying or tearing down its reputation as a free country. Definitely a movie for those who enjoy a heartfelt yet empowering message.
2. Judas and the Black Messiah
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Release Date: February 12, 2021
Why is it anticipated: The film tells the true story of Fred Hamption (Daniel Kaluuya), Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his betrayal by FBI Informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield). The trailer gave viewers a glimpse of the intensity of the film and the message behind it. The cast list also has an amazing group of actors with Oscar nominated Daniel Kaluuya, EE rising star nominated Lakeith Stanflied, and Emmy nominated Jesse Plemons.
3. Nomadland
Genre: Drama
Release Date: February 19, 2021
Why is it anticipated: “Nomadland” entails a story about Fern (Frances McDormand), a woman who lost everything in the Great Recession. Fern journeys through the American West as a modern day nomad. The beauty behind the film is its ability to capture America’s beautiful landscapes and the humanity still left in it, even though now that seems obsolete.
4. Raya and the Last Dragon
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Release Date: March 5, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Disney and Pixar Studios are excited to release another heroine into the world of Disney. Raya (Kelly Marie Tran), is a human, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, on a journey to find the last dragon to help her fight off sinister monsters–the Druun. The film takes inspiration from Southeast Asian culture to create the mystical world of Kumandra, which should bring an uplifting look at an amazing culture.
5. The Many Saints of Newark
Genre: Crime, Drama
Release Date: March 12, 2021
Why is it anticipated: This movie serves as a prequel movie to the hit HBO series “The Sopranos”. The movie will show the formative years of the big New Jersey gangster, Tony Soprano (Michael Gandolfini). The exciting part is the role of Tony Soprano being played by Gandolfini, who is the son of original Soprano actor James Gandolfini. Come to the theaters in March if you love a crime drama.
6. No Time to Die
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Release Date: April 2, 2021
Why is it anticipated: “No Time to Die” is set to be a hit movie in 2021 for many reasons. One, this will be Daniel Craig’s last movie as the infamous 007. Second, the plot of the movie will definitely make movie goers sit at the edge of their seats. Even though James Bond (Craig) is out of active duty, he becomes dragged back into one final mission when his old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) asks him for help against a new mysterious villain (Rami Malek).
7. Mortal Kombat
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: April 16, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Fan of the legendary game “Mortal Kombat”? Then this film adaptation is the movie to see in April. Not much on the actual plot has been released to the public but many of the star characters in the games will make appearances in the film, with Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, and Ludi Lin as Liu Kang.
8. A Quiet Place: Part II
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Release Date: April 23, 2021
Why is it anticipated: The sequel to the hit horror movie of 2018 “A Quiet Place” comes to theaters in late April. The events of the movie follow the Abbott family as they venture to the unknown outside their home. However, the family quickly realizes that the monsters of the film are not the only dangerous creatures in the world.
9. Black Widow
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Release Date: May 7, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Beloved Marvel character Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) finally gets her own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or MCU. The events of the movie take place during the time between “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Endgame”. Romanoff (Johansson) dives back into her past with her family in order to come to terms with who she was and what she has to do to finally bury her past.
10. Godzilla vs. Kong
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Release Date: May 21, 2021
Why is it anticipated: This great showdown between Kong and Godzilla finally arrives. A fight that has been in the making since the release of the first movie in the ‘Monsterverse’: “Godzilla” (2014). Come to theaters and see two icons battle it out on the big screen.
11. F9
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Release Date: May 28, 2021
Why is it anticipated: The ninth movie in the “Fast and Furious” movies is finally arriving in 2021. When trailers first came out in early 2020 fans were shocked when they saw the return of the famed character Han (Sung Kang), who was believed to be dead since the events in “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”. Because of this surprise return this film makes it a must see in 2021.
12. In the Heights
Genre: Drama, Music, Musical
Release Date: June 18, 2021
Why is it anticipated: “Hamilton” writer Lin-Miranda Manuel and “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu teamed up to bring a musical based in the NYC town the Washington Heights. An area that is heavily populated by Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans. The film gives an intimate approach to show the world the culture that thrives in the community.
13. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Release Date: June 25, 2021
Why is it anticipated: The sequel to “Venom” the Spider-Man villain gets his second movie in the Sony Pictures’ Marvel Universe. This time Eddie Brock/Venom (Tom Hardy) faces his nemesis Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) or better known by comic book fans as Carnage — yet another person who is infected with an alien parasite just like Venom.
14. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: July 9, 2021
Why is it anticipated: After a year of not producing any movies, Marvel Studios is kicking back into making hits. The MCU is now in its Phase Four of movies, most of these films include the next generation of superheroes following the closing of the Avengers; Shang-Chi is one of those heroes. The ten rings that are a major point in the plot have already been seen in the MCU before–they were the organization that kidnapped Tony Stark in “Iron Man”.
15. Space Jam: A New Legacy
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Release Date: July 16, 2021
Why is it anticipated: The long awaited sequel to the iconic first “Space Jam” movie is coming to theaters in July 2021. Although much of the plot is not known, besides LeBron James teaming up with Bugs Bunny, who would want to miss such an iconic film?
16. Jungle Cruise
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Release Date: July 30, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Based on the Disneyland ride Jungle Cruise, comes an adventure movie starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. The movie will mainly be based on the story that the ride itself is based upon. Of course the movie will have more elements and plot, but that makes another reason to see this movie.
17. The Suicide Squad
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: August 6, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Fan of the Suicide Squad? Then prepare for the stand alone film “The Suicide Squad” directed by James Gunn. However, fans must know that this film is not a sequel to the 2016 film “Suicide Squad” directed by David Ayer. The plot for this film is not connected to the DC Extended Universe timeline at all, but still has all the same characters and actors.
18. Candyman
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Release Date: August 27, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Fans of horror films should be excited for this adaptation of the famed legend of the Candyman. When trailers came out many became ecstatic about the film since it is a “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 orginal film “Candyman” according to director Nia DaCosta, along with horror specialist Jordan Peele taking the position as one of the writers.
19. Dune
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Release Date: October 1, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Four months ago when the first “Dune” trailer dropped, instantly the trailer became a trending topic. Many fans became excited over hit stars Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet playing the main characters of Chani and Paul Atreides. Come to theatres this October to see one of this year’s top picks.
20. Morbius
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Release Date: October 8, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Sony Pictures’ Marvel Universe is ready to introduce its next Spider-Man super villain — Morbius. Inspired by the “Morbius the Living Vampire” form Marvel Comics, the movie will tell the story of Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) and his journey to try and cure his rare blood condition that ultimately turns him to a form of vampirism. Morbius’ release comes after Sony Pictures’ success from their first Marvel villain film “Venom”.
21. Halloween Kills
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Release Date: October 15, 2021
Why is it anticipated: Sequel to the 2018 adaptation of “Halloween” comes “Halloween kills”. Actual plot details are unknown except for the Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney) and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) saga which will continue on in this series of “Halloween” films.
22. West Side Story
Genre: Crime, Drama, Musical
Release Date: December 10, 2021
Why is it anticipated: The Classic 1957 musical will appear on the big screen this December in a remake musical-movie. The plot is to remain the same as the original which explored the themes of forbidden love and rivalry. The film will star Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as the leading lady and gentleman which has brought the film a number of fans in anticipation for the release.
23. Untitled Spider-Man 3
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Release Date: December 17, 2021 (Expected)
Why is it anticipated: After the scare of not getting a third Spider-Man movie in the MCU, especially after the cliffhanger in “Spider-Man: Far From Home”, Spider-Man fans can rejoice for the completion of the trifecta.. While many aspects of the film remain unknown, the movie’s predecessors have done amazing at the box office, so instantly the untitled sequel becomes an anticipated movie in 2021 — possibly even most anticipated. There are a number of rumors going around about the movie, such as former Spider-Men actors Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield making an appearance in the movie, along with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange being a part of the plot.