best movies of 2021 - west side story remake
best movies of 2021 - west side story remake

The best movies coming out in 2021 and how to watch them

27 Jan 2021 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Luxury London

From Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch and Top Gun: Maverick, to sci-fi epic Dune and The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, 2021 might still prove a blockbuster year yet

Last year was a write-off where movies were concerned. With cinemas shut and film studios postponing release dates in response to the coronavirus pandemic, cinephiles were forced to satisfy their blockbuster fix by binge-watching series on the small screen (luckily, there were plenty of first-rate serial dramas to choose from). Thankfully, things are looking a little more promising for film fans in 2021.

In December, Warner Bros. announced that it was planning to release its entire 2021 movie slate in theatres and on HBO Max simultaneously. The streaming service has said it plans to launch in the UK later this year, meaning that you’ll be able to watch movies including The Matrix 4, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark and The Suicide Squad from the comfort of your sofa.

Taking a different strategy, Paramount Pictures has refused to sell its upcoming films to major streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. Instead, if you want to watch Top Gun: Maverick (2 July) and Mission Impossible 7 (19 November), both starring Tom Cruise, you’ll have to wait for cinemas to reopen.

Other big-budget releases slated to hit our screens this year include the already thrice-delayed No Time To Die, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and the first of the much-anticipated, three-part sci-fi epic Dune.

Here are the films to look forward to in 2021…

The Dig

Release date: 29 January 2021How to watch: Netflix

Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes and Lily James reimagine the real-life story of the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo. On the eve of the Second World War, a British widow hires a self-taught archaeologist to dig up mysterious formations on her Suffolk estate, leading to the staggering find of early medieval cemeteries dating from the 6th and 7th centuries. The Times gave The Dig five stars.

Watch the official trailer

The Little Things

Release Date: 12 February 2021How to watch: HBO Max

A script written in the 1990s by John Lee Hancock, the screenwriter behind The Blind Side, The Little Things was almost brought to the big screen by directors Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. Instead, it is Hancock himself that directs this LA-based, neo-noir psychological thriller, 28 years after he wrote it. Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto occupy the leading roles in this story about the hunt for a high-profile serial killer.

Watch the official trailer

Judas and the Black Messiah

Release Date: 26 February 2021How to watch: HBO Max

Oscar-nominated British actor Daniel Kaluuya stars as Fred Hampton, the charismatic leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. As Hampton is falling in love with fellow revolutionary Deborah Johnson (Dominique Fishback), the civil rights activist is betrayed by faux party member William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield), who has agreed to act as an informant for the FBI.

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Release Date: 19 March 2021How to watch: Hulu

‘Frances McDormand delivers the performance of her career,’ says The Guardian, while Esquire calls writer-director Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland ‘a poetic Malickian ode to the pioneering nature of the restless American spirit.’ An independent contemporary Western – also edited and co-produced by Zhao – Nomadland explores the phenomenon of older American workers forced by the Great Recession to hit the road and travel the country, in this case the Mid-West, looking for employment.

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Release Date: 28 May 2021How to watch: Disney+

This live-action prequel to One Hundred and One Dalmatians has been in the making since 2011 with Emma Stone playing the titular role. Set in 1970s London, young fashion designer Estella de Vil becomes obsessed with dog skins, Dalmatians in particular, until her obsession turns her into the ruthless and terrifying diva, Cruella. Glenn Close, who played Cruella in the 1996 film, serves as an executive producer. Cast members include Emily Beecham, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry and Mark Strong.

Official trailer yet to be released

Top Gun: Maverick

Release Date: 17 July 2021How to watch: Top Gun: Maverick is set to be released in cinemas

Top Gun fans have been waiting for this one ever since a surprise trailer dropped at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con. Scheduled for release in summer 2020, the film will now be shown in cinemas – coronavirus pandemic willing – from 17 July. More than 30 years after the original instalment, Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell continues to serve as one of the US Navy’s top aviators, evading the advancement in rank that would keep him grounded. Maverick must now ensure a new squad of graduates are up to the job he’s been performing for the previous three decades.

Watch the official trailer


Release Date: 27 August 2021How to watch: Candyman is set to be released in cinemas

If real-world events haven’t left you anxious enough, there’s always August’s release of Candyman to look forward to. This supernatural slasher film is a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name. For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini Green neighbourhood have been terrorised by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer who could be summoned by anyone daft enough to repeat his name five times into a mirror. Cabrini Green may now have been gentrified, but that doesn’t stop the horrific nature of the true story behind the Candyman coming to life.

Watch the official trailer

The French Dispatch

Release Date: 28 August 2021How to watch: The French Dispatch is set to be released in cinemas

“The story is not easy to explain,” says Wes Anderson, writer and director of The French Dispatch. From what we can tell, it’s about an American weekly newspaper based in a fictional 20th-century French city called Ennui-sur-Blasé. It is inspired by Anderson’s love of The New Yorker and some characters and events in the film, which centres on three different storylines, are based on real-life equivalents from the American magazine. The movie also boasts an ensemble cast consisting of Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Timothée Chalamet, Bill Murray, and many, many more.

Watch the official trailer

A Quiet Place Part II

Release Date: 17 Septemebr 2021How to watch: Amazon

Following the box office success of the first film, Paramount Pictures began working on the sequel to A Quiet Place in 2018. The release of the second instalment has already been pushed back three times due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now scheduled for release in September, the American horror film sees the Abbott family face the terrors of the outside world as they fight for survival in silence. Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou join the cast.

Watch the official trailer


Release Date: 1 October 2021How to watch: HBO Max

Having proved his sci-fi mettle with Arrival and Blade Runner, director Denis Villeneuve has taken on Frank Herbert’s cult classic novel Dune. The first of two films, which are rumoured to cover only the first half of the book, will be released this October. Starring Timothée Chamelet as Paul Atreides, the story follows the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset in the galaxy.

Watch the official trailer

No Time To Die

Release Date: 8 October 2021How to watch: No Time To Die is scheduled to be released in cinemas

Here’s a film that needs no introduction, simply because you’ll already have read several over the past year. No Time To Die’s release date has been pushed back three times, and has been so delayed that there are rumours several scenes are now being reshot in order to update 007’s high-tech gadgets (read ‘sponsored product placements’). Finally due to hit our screens in October, the film will see Daniel Craig step into James Bond’s shoes for the last time. Also starring Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and Léa Seydoux.

Watch the official trailer

The Many Saints of Newark


Release Date: 22 October 2021How to watch: HBO Max

The Sopranos has carried cult-like status ever since it wrapped in 2007, having scored 21 PrimeTime Emmy awards and five Golden Globe awards over the course of its eight-year tenure. Good news for its fans is that the show’s creator, David Chase, has been working on a prequel. The Many Saints of Newark will jump back to the 1960s, and will focus on the formative years of the show’s main character, Tony Soprano, played by Michael Gandolfini – the son of original Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini.

Official trailer yet to be released

Last Night in Soho

Release Date: 22 October 2021How to watch: Last Night in Soho is set to be released in cinemas

With a back-catalogue that includes Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Baby Driver, Edgar Wright may seem like a director you can’t second-guess – but his latest film will come as something of a surprise. A psychological thriller, Last Night in Soho is set in 1960s London and sees budding fashion designer Sandy meet her idol, a singer, before things slowing start to unravel. The cast includes Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith and Diana Rigg.

Official trailer yet to be released

West Side Story

Release Date: 10 December 2021How to watch: West Side Story is set to be released in cinemas

It takes a brave person to remake such a much-loved classic, but something tells us that Steven Spielberg will be up to the task. A fan of the musical since he was a child, the director has been planning a remake for years. His vision of the story will be released in December and, with it, a modern perspective on the issues of immigration, xenophobia and racism that are at the core of the tale. Set in 1950s New York City and loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story sees Maria (Rachel Zegler) and Tony (Ansel Elgort) fall in love, despite having affiliations with rival street gangs, the Jets and Sharks.

Official trailer yet to be released

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