Due to push backs and lack of theater releases 2020 was a pretty average year for movies. Thankfully the indie scene as always managed to save the year and provide some of the better films of the year (top 10 of 2020 coming soon!). In a way, though, this gives 2021 the chance to be a great year for movies as we have a nice mix of big and small releases. So this list is simply just what I’m most looking forward to in the next year. Normally I like to do an ordered list format but ultimately for this I’m just going to share the films I want to see most and not worrying about putting them in any kind of order. What I will say is that if half of these films meet my expectations then it’s gonna be a great year for film.
1. The Matrix 4
Of all the films coming in 2021 The Matrix 4 may be the one I am most intrigued by, as I honestly can’t even begin to imagine where Lana Wachowski is going to take this story. The Matrix is one of my favorite movies of all time and while the sequels didn’t live up to that film they are still solid enough to give me hope. For me much of the success of this film depends on how they go about it, if they are going in a modern Star Wars route and using the original cast to promote a new younger cast then it’s going to lessen my enthusiasm. Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss are both returning so hopefully we get a film about these two and not an all new cast. In an even more ideal world I would prefer for this film to be a one off and just be a further end to the story as opposed to the beginning of a new franchise but I’m probably hoping for too much. Regardless, I’m very excited to see what this film is going to be and remain hopeful that Lana Wachowski can go back to the greatness of the first film.
2. The Northman
Robert Eggers directed The Witch and The Lighthouse, two excellent films and to me is the most promising up and coming director. The Lighthouse contained some of the best dialogue of the last decade in film and I cannot wait to see what he does in the realm of a Viking revenge film. Eggers always strives for being accurate to the period of his films and here it seems like he’s venturing outside of horror, based on his past two films we are going to see something great and unlike anything currently being made. I’m so interested to see how he presents the Viking period and how he will tell a brutal revenge story.
3. Killers of the Flower Moon
It’s a film directed by Martin Scorsese starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Robert De Niro. I literally do not need to add anything else.
Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario, Arrival, Blade Runner 2049. It’s pretty safe to say that in his relatively short filmography Denis Villenuve has already established himself as a filmmaking master and I have no doubt in my mind that he is going to do complete justice to Frank Herbert’s epic Science Fiction Novel. Dune has the chance to really stand out as a mature epic although I worry that it won’t catch on with audiences due to the surreal source material. Everything shown in the trailer looks absolutely phenomenal and I don’t have a single reason to distrust this filmmaker so far.
5. Soggy Bottom
Another film by a master of his craft, Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers and here it seems he is going back to a tone more similar to Boogie Nights or Magnolia. The film will take place in the 1970s and center around the storylines of a Child Actor in High School played by Cooper Hoffman the son of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, A director/ Producer played by Bradley Cooper, and a Politician played by Benny Safdie. I am all for anything directed by PTA but this premise sounds especially great and it’s something completely different from his last film showing you just never know what this master director is going to do next.
6. Last Night in Soho
Edgar Wright has yet to make a bad movie and here it seems like he is looking to make a film unlike anything he has ever done before. The film has been described as a psychological horror film in the vein of Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now and seemingly involves some kind of time travel back to the 1960’s. Anya Taylor Joy who is one of the most promising recent actresses is in the lead role and it will be interesting to see how dark Wright goes here and how much of his trademark comedy will be in the film if any at all.
7. Mission Impossible 7
Normally a seventh instalment in a franchise is something to roll the eyes at but the fact is the Mission: Impossible franchise is the most consistent film series with the only dud in my mind being the second film. Many would argue Fallout is the best. Let’s face it, Tom Cruise just knows what he is doing and it’s likely he will be looking to top the grandiose set pieces of Fallout which in itself is a mouth-watering prospect. If the recent COVID rant showed us anything it’s that Cruise truly cares about getting this film made and I have no reason to doubt this will be another excellent entry in the franchise.
8. No Time to Die
Going from one spy franchise to another, here we have the final Daniel Craig Bond film which instantly makes it a must see if it already wasn’t. I’m excited to see if Craig goes out on a high note although I must say the trailers have given me mixed reactions. I know this will have the over the top action but I’m hoping we get some of the subtler character based aspects of Casino Royale to tie up the character arc. The Craig films have changed from the gritty nature of Casino to my disappointment but at the very least I hope we see a satisfying and conclusive end to Craig’s take on the character.
If there is a genre I truly love in film it’s the crime genre and here the Russo Brothers of Avengers fame are scaling things way back to tell the story of an army medic suffering from PTSD, who resorts to robbing banks to fund his opiate addiction. Instantly this tells me we are getting a gritty film that will be emotionally intense. Tom Holland plays the lead and I was so impressed by his performance in The Devil All the Time, so I fully expect him to possibly give a career best performance here and show his range as an actor. It’s nice to see some blockbuster filmmakers telling a smaller story and I fully believe the Russo’s are going to do something great here.
10. The French Dispatch
Again, this is a film where the director alone has me sold. If you like Wes Anderson’s quirky brand of filmmaking then you should already be excited for this film and this looks like he is going full blown unfiltered Wes Anderson. The trailers for the film look excellent, the cast is brilliant, it looks unique and very Anderson. As a fan there is nothing about this project that doesn’t excite me.
11. Untitled Jonathan Glazer Holocaust film
So yes, this film has yet to be named but the director Jonathan Glazer very rarely makes a film so it’s always one to watch when he does. The film is apparently about a Nazi officer who falls in love with the wife of a superior and struggles with the atrocities being committed. So yeah this all sounds like basic stuff but Glazer in his films Sexy Beast and Under the Skin has shown he is anything but standard in his approach so it’s likely this will be very different. The idea of following a Nazi officer struggling with morality is a risky choice and will possibly turn people away but if nothing else this will likely be an extremely thought-provoking film.
12. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Ok so when I explain to you the premise of this film you are going to roll your eyes or be completely on board with this film. The premise is Nicolas Cage plays a version of himself accepting an offer to attend the birthday party of a super fan billionaire. Upon discovering the said fan is a notorious drug lord, Cage must play versions of all his classical characters to escape and save his wife and daughter. Apparently, Cage will also be an informant for the FBI and get cast in a Tarantino movie. So yes this is one of the most insane and meta plots for a film I have ever heard and I cannot wait to see how this films plays out.
13. Candy Man
The original Candy Man is actually a very unique and truly unsettling horror film that actually had a lot to say and used an urban setting to create a new style of gothic horror. This new film seems to be using the story to create a social commentary on gentrification. The trailer looks really promising and it seemingly will be a very mature and character based horror film as opposed to a basic slasher flick.
14. The Many Saints of Newark
This is a film that doesn’t need to be made and could turn out to be awful but as a fan of the HBO series The Sopranos it’s only natural im intrigued to see what they do with this prequel. The original series writer David Chase is returning to write the script so I assume he genuinely has a story he wants to tell. The most intriguing aspect if the late James Gandolfini’s son is taking on the role of a young Tony Soprano so it will be interesting to see how he handles the role as he has big expectations to meet here.
15. Rebel Ridge
Not much is known about the film but it is described as a darkly humorous, high velocity action thriller that will explore social injustices in America. So, the idea so far sounds great add to that the writer director Jeremy Saulnier who is responsible for the films Blue Ruin and Green Room, two masterfully crafted thrillers. Saulnier makes thrillers in the vein of the 70’s in that they are lean, brutal and to the point, he is a master of suspense and always has a unique take on the genre and hopefully will provide more of this in Rebel Ridge. The film will also see Jon Boyega post Star Wars in the lead role, it will be interesting to see him do something different in what I assume will be an incredibly physical role for him.