Best New Movies Coming Out in 2021: 47 Upcoming Films to Watch

47 Upcoming Movies We Can’t Wait to See in 2021

We’ve got high hopes for this year’s cinematic scene.

2020 was definitely a chaotic and confusing year for the film industry, what with the curveball that is the pandemic. Countless well-organised plans — from filming schedules to premiere dates — were thrown to the wind. And it seems like even this year, it’s safer to assume that things will still be unpredictable. Though, that clearly doesn’t stop us from getting excited about many movies coming out in 2021! 

Some of these we’ve already been looking forward to since last year, while others we’ve only recently found out. Some will carry on with a theatrical release, while others you can watch online via streaming services. And yes, we’re well aware that we’re a tad late to the party — given that it’s already the second week of the second month of the year. But hey, better late than never, right? That said, here are 47 highly anticipated movies we’re looking forward to. (Here’s hoping that they actually do push through this year!)

Note: The 2021 films on this list are limited to those coming out on or after 8 February 2021, when this article was initially published. While release dates are subject to change, rest assured that we’ll be updating these once there’s further information. 

February

Aside from the usual romantic flicks in line with Valentine’s season, there will also be thriller and drama films coming soon.

movies coming out in 2021

Image credit: Netflix

1. To All the Boys: Always and Forever

To All the Boys: Always and Forever follows Lara Jean (played by Lana Condor) in her senior year of high school. And clearly, this includes her impending move to college. As she takes two trips to South Korea and New York City, she contemplates on how life will be like after graduation. Will she and Peter (Noah Centineo) still stay together despite the possibility of a long-distance relationship? Guess we’re about to find out in this final instalment of the hit YA series-turned-movies.

Premiering in: 12 February, Netflix

2. The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things 

Part-science fiction, part-romantic comedy, this upcoming film is a fresh take on the whole time loop theme. When two teenagers find out they’re both repeatedly living the same day, they create the titular map in an attempt to find out what makes that one particular day perfect. Of course, this also leads to two questions: How do they get out of this inexplicable loop? Or better yet, should they even bother when things seem great just the way they are?

Premiering in: 12 February, Amazon Prime

Image credit: BBC Films

3. The Mauritanian

Set in the post-9/11 era, The Mauritanian essentially questions the ‘fight terrorism no matter what the cost’ trope. It follows the true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim), who was imprisoned at a camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba without charge from 2002 to 2016. Investigating his case are a defence attorney (Jodie Foster) and her associate (Shailene Woodley), as well as a military prosecutor (Benedict Cumberbatch). This legal thriller is based on Salahi’s bestselling memoir, which was written and published while he was still imprisoned. 

Premiering in: 12 February, US theatres 

4. French Exit

French Exit is a surreal comedy film that originally premiered at the New York Film Festival last October and scheduled for theatrical release this month. It stars Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays a widowed Manhattan socialite who impulsively moves to Paris. Coming along for the ride is her son and their cat… that also happens to be the reincarnation of her husband! Together, they spend whatever little money they have left from the late husband’s inheritance. 

Premiering in: 12 February, US theatres 

5. What About Love

Christian and Tanner — a young and somewhat cynical couple — go on a summer vacation in Europe as they make a film about, well, love. Eventually, they realise that what they’re capturing on video is their own story. And along with that, they also alter the lives of their parents who have seen their joyful experiences and give love another try. 

Premiering in: 12 February, US theatres (limited release)

movies coming out in 2021

Image credit: Netflix

6. I Care A Lot

Who could ever forget Rosamund Pike and her groundbreaking role in the 2014 psychological thriller, Gone Girl? This time, she plays the role of Marla Grayson: a shady, court-appointed legal guardian who makes money off conning the elderly. However, she gets into some serious trouble when her latest victim turns out to have ties to a ruthless gangster (portrayed by Peter Dinklage). In a nutshell, I Care A Lot is a dark comedy that takes late-capitalism to the extreme, with a sharp-witted antihero who thinks she can get away with anything. 

Premiering in: 19 February, Netflix

7. Cherry

Why should you watch Cherry? For starters, it’s directed by the Anthony and Joe Russo — A.K.A. the same brother duo behind blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, to name a few. Second, it stars Tom Holland as the eponymous character, a 23-year-old army veteran suffering from PTSD. Drowning in debt, he resorts to being a serial bank robber to sustain this opioid addiction. Clearly, a huge shift from his Spiderman days, that’s for sure.

Premiering in: 26 February, theatres | 12 March, Apple TV+

March

Image credit: Walt Disney

8. Raya and the Last Dragon

This is undoubtedly one of the most popular upcoming Disney movies — especially on this side of the globe! After all, Raya and the Last Dragon takes place in a fictional land called Kumandra, where humans and dragons coexist. It’s also heavily inspired by various Southeast Asian cultures, which you have to admit sounds pretty cool. Oh, and the cast of this animated film includes very familiar names like Kelly Marie Tran, Sandra Oh, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, and Daniel Dae Kim

Premiering in: 3 March, Disney+

9. Moxie

The trailer for Moxie opens with a line from Amy Poehler’s character: “When I was 16, all I cared about was smashing the patriarchy.” The crowd fave comedian plays the mother of the main protagonist, Vivian Carter (played by Hadley Robinson), who takes those words to heart. She then decides to start an anonymous magazine calling out sexism at her high school — and eventually starting a feminist movement that rocks the entire campus. 

Premiering in: 3 March, Netflix

movies coming out in 2021

Image credit: Netflix

10. Coming 2 America

Coming 2 America is the long-awaited follow-up to the hit 1988 romcom about a crown prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) from a fictional African nation called Zamunda. In this sequel, Akeem is now the newly crowned king in need of a male heir. As fate would have it, he finds out he actually has a long-lost son in the United States. And so, together with his trusty sidekick Semmi (Arsenio Hall), he returns to New York City to meet his would-be heir. 

Premiering in: 5 March, Amazon Prime

11. Yes Day

What happens when a married couple suddenly decides to go an entire day without ever saying no to their children? Well, that’s what Allison (Jennifer Garner) and Carlos Torres (Edgar Ramírez) are about to find out. What ensues is a wacky rollercoaster of a family adventure as they completely let their three kids decide what goes. 

Premiering in: 12 March, Netflix

Image credit: Netflix

12. The Father 

The Father is based on the award-winning play, Le Fere, which tells the poignant tale of an 80-year-old Welshman suffering from dementia yet refuses any assistance from his middle-aged daughter, who is doing everything she can. Playing this father-daughter duo are industry heavyweights, Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. So, is it even a surprise that this indie film has already garnered a lot of praise from its initial premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2021?

Premiering in: 25 March, SG theatres

13. Godzilla vs. Kong

No doubt one of the much-awaited upcoming Hollywood movies, Godzilla vs. Kong is the sequel to both Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Kong: Skull Island. Here, the two mythic creatures face off in an epic battle brought about by unseen forces, with humanity caught in the middle. 

Premiering in: 25 March, SG theatres and HBO Max

April

movies coming out in 2021

Image credit: Marvel Studios

14. Mortal Kombat

For fans of the popular video game franchise, the latest Mortal Kombat is definitely part of their list of highly anticipated movies coming out in 2021. This reboot centres on Cole Young (played by Lewis Tan), a washed-up mixed martial arts fighter unaware of his true heritage. On the run from a notorious assassin clan, he stumbles upon a group of elite warriors who take him under their wing. 

Premiering in: 16 April, theatres and HBO Max 

15. Black Widow

First among the upcoming Marvel movies this 2021 is Black Widow, which highlights the titular Avenger otherwise named Natasha Romanova (Scarlett Johannson). It takes place after the events in Captain America: Civil War, as she tackles a dangerous conspiracy that’s linked to her past. That said, we’re about to find out more about her origins as a former KGB spy, as well as exactly what unfinished business she has left. 

Premiering in: 29 April, theatres 

16. Things Heard and Seen

Upcoming horror movies this (relatively) early into the year? Don’t mind if we do. Things Heard and Seen is about an artist (Amanda Seyfried) and her husband (James Norton), who decide to move from Manhattan to a historic hamlet in the Hudson Valley. Things take a turn for the dark and eerie as she begins to suspect that both their new home and actual marriage are not what they seem. 

Premiering in: 30 April, Netflix

May

Image credit: 20th Century Studios

17. Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Another one among the horror movies coming out in 2021 would be Spiral: From the Book of Saw. It’s the latest chapter in the Saw franchise, although it’s technically not a direct continuation of any of the previous flicks. This time, the story revolves around a brash detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock), who leads a grisly investigation of murders — all of which are eerily reminiscent of the city’s past. Of course, he gets more than what he bargained for when he gets involved in the serial killer’s sick game of twisted justice. 

Premiering in: 21 May, US theatres

18. Free Guy

On the comedic end of the upcoming 2021 movies spectrum, there’s Free Guy. It stars Ryan Reynolds as a bank teller literally named Guy, who realises that he’s actually a background character in the open-world video game, Free City. He then decides to take matters into his own hands and rewrite his story… which is clearly something that the game developers aren’t thrilled to find out! 

Premiering in: 21 May, US theatres

19. Cruella

Cruella is another one of the upcoming Disney movies that we’re excited about. This time, it’s a live-action prequel to 101 Dalmatians that tells the origin story of the wicked Cruella de Vil (played by Emma Stone). Here, we find out that her real name is actually Estella and she was an aspiring fashion designer during ’70s London. So, how exactly does she turn into a notorious (and notoriously chic) villain with a dog fur obsession? Guess we’ll have to watch and find out! 

Premiering in: 28 May, Disney+

20. F9 (Fast & Furious 9) 

In this latest instalment of the action movie saga, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew go up against his younger brother, Jakob (John Cena): a master thief, assassin, and high-performance driver with a personal grudge against Dominic. Oh, and he also happens to be working with the crew’s OG enemy and criminal mastermind, Cipher (Charlize Theron). 

Premiering in: 28 May, theatres

June

Image credit: Macall Polay/Warner Bros. Pictures

21. In the Heights

Even before Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda was already making waves in the Broadway musical scene ever since In the Heights. Set in the neighbourhood of Washington Heights in New York City, it follows Usnavi de la Vega (played by Anthony Ramos in the film): a bodega owner who contemplates using his inheritance to retire to the Dominican Republic. And in case you were wondering — Jon M. Chu, A.K.A. the same guy behind Crazy Rich Asians and Step Up 2: The Streets, is directing this adaptation. Needless to say, we definitely have high hopes!

Premiering in: 18 June, theatres and HBO Max 

22. Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Next up on upcoming Marvel movies this 2021 is Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Tom Hardy reprises his role as investigative journalist-slash-alien symbiote host, Eddie Brock. This time, he’s battling Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), a deranged serial killer and fellow symbiote host. Yep, probably not the best combo, yet there we have it. 

Premiering in: 24 June, SG theatres

Also read: 12 Best Summer Movies to Watch for Travel Inspiration

July

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

23. Top Gun: Maverick

What is it with Hollywood movies coming out in 2021 that are basically unexpected sequels of ’80s flicks? Not that we mind, because we’re definitely curious to see how the over-30-year interval made a difference. In Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise returns to the fighter jet cockpit as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, who has actively evaded any promotion that would keep him on the ground. To his surprise, he gets assigned to train a new squad of graduates and make sure they have what it takes. 

Premiering in: 1 July, SG theatres

24. Minions: The Rise of Gru

For those who thoroughly enjoyed the Despicable Me franchise, you’ve probably wondered at one point: When are we going to have a Gru origin story? Well, Minions: The Rise of Gru is clearly an answered prayer. Here, we meet a suburban tween Gru (Steve Carell), who wants nothing more than to join a supervillain group known as the Vicious 6. And because this is Gru, one can easily expect that hilarity and chaos will ensue as he concocts his very first ‘evil’ scheme.

Premiering in: 2 July, US theatres 

25. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Yes, we know there are already a handful of upcoming Marvel movies coming out in 2021. But one that features an Asian lead? Best believe we’d be extra curious to see this! Here’s what we know so far: Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) is a superhero with the ability to duplicate himself, as well as master numerous styles of martial arts. And in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, he gets drawn into the web of the mysterious titular organisation.

Premiering in: 8 July, SG theatres

26. The Forever Purge

Granted, no movie from the Purge series is created equal. Yet, we’d still say that (so far) none of these was ever boring. Of course, the general premise remains the same: One night a year where each and every kind of crime is legal. While it’s already confirmed that The Forever Purge will be the final instalment, we have yet to hear about the actual plot details. Nonetheless, we’re definitely curious about what will be the last hurrah of this fictional ‘holiday’ that has left a lasting impact on pop culture.

Premiering in: 9 July, US theatres

27. Space Jam: A New Legacy 

Heads up, ’90s kids — here’s something to add to your list of must-see 2021 movies.  Space Jam: A New Legacy, as you might have already guessed, is the sequel to the hit 1995 part-live-action, part-animated sports comedy. Starring alongside the Looney Tunes gang this time is LeBron James, who gets trapped in a virtual space with his young son, Dom (Ceyair J. Wright). And similar to the original flick, this basketball champ must lead the rowdy cartoon characters to victory on the court! 

Premiering in: 15 July, SG theatres

August

movies coming out in 2021

Image credit: 20th Century Studios

28. The Suicide Squad

In this sequel to the 2016 DC supervillain movie with a nearly identical name, the titular team is sent on a do-or-die mission to the remote island of Corto Maltese. There, they’ll have to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory. Although, a fair warning for those who enjoyed the first instalment: The Suicide Squad has almost an entirely new cast. 

Premiering in: 6 August, theatres and HBO Max

29. The King’s Man

The King’s Man will serve as the spin-off prequel to the Kingsman series, and best believe we’re excited to find out how exactly this intelligence agency started out. It’s set in the early 1900s, where a coalition of tyrants and criminal masterminds plots a war that can wipe out millions. And based on the trailer, it looks like we’re finally going to witness the origins of the iconic “Manners maketh man” line. 

Premiering in: 20 August, UK theatres

30. Candyman

A revival-slash-sequel to the 1992 horror classic, with a screenplay written by the Jordan Peele (the same genius behind Get Out)? Sign us up for another of those upcoming horror movies that’ll probably have us sleeping with the lights on. Anyway, this 2021 version of Candyman takes us back to the now-gentrified Cabrini Green neighbourhood in Chicago. When painter Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) moves back with his girlfriend, he develops an obsession with the supernatural killer in an attempt to revive his stagnant art career. 

Premiering in: 27 August, US theatres

September

upcoming film

Image credit: 20th Century Studios

31. Death on the Nile

Death on the Nile is a follow-up to the 2017 mystery thriller Murder on the Orient Express and also based on a novel by Agatha Christie. Kenneth Branagh reprises his role as Hercule Poirot, and once again — what’s supposed to be a relaxing holiday for the Belgian detective turns into a working trip. On a cruise along the Nile River, Poirot investigates the murder of a young heiress, Linnet Doyle (Gal Gadot), that may or may not be linked to a love triangle. 

Premiering in: 17 September, US and UK theatres

32. A Quiet Place Part II

In A Quiet Place Part II, the Abbott family continues to survive unknown terrors in the outside world. And this time, they have other threats to worry about… apart from those deadly creatures that hunt by sound. This upcoming film will also feature flashbacks from the pre-apocalyptic world, starting when the Abbotts first encountered the creatures. 

Premiering in: 17 September, US theatres

33. The Many Saints of Newark

What is it with the prevalence of prequels among movies coming out in 2021? Not that we’re complaining, but it’s hard to deny that they tend to be a hit or miss. A prequel to the HBO cult classic The Sopranos, The Many Saints of Newark highlights the formative years of Tony Soprano. It’s set in Newark, New Jersey during the ’60s and ’70, and the young Tony is actually played by Michael Gandolfini: the real-life son of James Gandolfini who originally played the famed Italian-American mobster. 

Premiering in: 24 September, theatres and HBO Max

October

Image credit: Warner Bros. Studios

34. Dune

Dune is based on the best-selling sci-fi novel of the same name that’s set on the desert planet Arrakis. Is it even any wonder why this has been a much-awaited upcoming film since 2020 when it was supposed to come out? Well, probably that and the fact that it boasts quite the stellar cast, including Timothée Chalamet as the main protagonist, Paul Atreides. Other headliners include Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, and Rebecca Ferguson.

Premiering in: 1 October, theatres and HBO Max

35. No Time to Die

When it comes to upcoming Hollywood movies, one can never leave out the latest James Bond instalment. In No Time to Die, Bond (Daniel Craig) has been living the retired life for five peaceful years. That is, until his old friend and CIA field agent, Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), asks for help tracking down a missing scientist. Oh, and BTW — this might also be the last time that Crag will play the role of 007! 

Premiering in: 8 October, theatres

upcoming film

Image credit: IMDb

36. Halloween Kills

Of course, what would October be without some good ol’ upcoming horror movies? Here, we have Halloween Kills: the twelfth instalment in the long-running Halloween franchise. And once again, the relentless Michael Myers (portrayed by Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney) continues his killing spree in Haddonfield. That, and his endless pursuit of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), who can’t ever seem to catch a break from masked murderers. 

Premiering in: 15 October, theatres

37. Last Night in Soho

Suffice to say, 2020 has been quite a year for the fast-rising star, Anya Taylor-Joy. This time, she’s playing the role of Sandy in Last Night in Soho, an upcoming film by Edgar Wright — yep, the master of genre mash-ups. It’s essentially a part-time travel romance and part-psychological thriller that takes place in 1960s London. Anyway, Sandy is a budding fashion designer who ends up meeting her idol, a charming singer portrayed by Matt Smith.

Premiering in: 22 October, theatres

November

38. Eternals

Marvel is clearly on a roll with 2021 movies, not that we’re complaining! The latest addition to the MCU is Eternals, which takes place after Avengers: Endgame. It centres on the titular alien race who have lived on Earth for thousands of years and helped shape its history. This upcoming film also boasts the most star-studded Marvel cast yet; including Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and Kit Harington — to name a few. 

Premiering in: 5 November, theatres

39. Mission: Impossible 7

Another upcoming film starring Tom Cruise is Mission: Impossible 7, reprising his iconic role as Ethan Hunt. Given that it’s still in the middle of production (yet already has a set release date), further details about this spy action flick is quite limited. What we do know so far is that Christopher McQuarrie is directing it, making this his third Mission: Impossible instalment already. He has also worked with Cruise countless times, so our expectations are definitely rather high. 

Premiering in: 19 November, theatres

December

upcoming film

Image credit: 20th Century Studios

40. West Side Story

Remaking an adaptation of a musical as iconic as West Side Story is bound to be a daunting task. But when the director is the Steven Spielberg? Well, we’re quite certain that this upcoming film would be worth the wait. As some of you probably know already, it’s loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and set in 1950s New York City. At the centre of it are star-crossed lovers, Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler).

Premiering in: 10 December, theatres

41. Spider-Man 3 (official title to be confirmed)

Similar to other new movies coming out in Q4 of 2021, there’s currently not much info on the untitled sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home (or Spider-Man 3, as it’s tentatively called). However, there have been rumours that previous Spider-Man actors, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, will be making an appearance alongside Tom Holland. Perhaps a crossover? One can only hope. 

Premiering in: 17 December, theatres

42. Matrix 4 (official title to be confirmed)

Yup, another one of the movies coming out in 2021 with no actual name yet. But hey, this is the fourth instalment of The Matrix that we’re talking about, where the last film was way back in 2003. So, yes, we’ll take what we can get! For now, at least we know for sure that Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Lambert Wilson will be reprising their roles. There are also some familiar names that have been cast in undisclosed roles, such as Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, and Jonathan Groff. Oh, and if everything goes according to schedule, it should come out a few days before Christmas! 

Premiering in: 22 December, theatres and HBO Max

Other movies coming out in 2021

Okay, so these new 2021 films have no definite release dates yet. But hey — we’re just way too excited about ‘em already! 

upcoming film

Image credit: Searchlight Pictures

43. The French Dispatch

As with most 2021 films coming soon, The French Dispatch was among those that were initially supposed to premiere sometime last year. Fortunately, its trailer came out a bit before global lockdowns began, so we’re able to get a gist of what it’s about. Set in a fictional city in France sometime in the 1900s, it’s about the titular outpost of an American newspaper, as well as the captivating stories published in it. As with most Wes Anderson films, it boasts an impressive cast including Tilda Swinton, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, and many more! 

44. Red Notice

Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds star as a terrific trio brought together by a daring heist. While Netflix has yet to announce the actual character names, we do know that Johnson will be playing a top FBI profiler, while Gadot’s and Reynolds’s roles are rival criminals. Oh, and it’s apparently an action-comedy-thriller, so colour us intrigued. 

45. Escape from Spiderhead

Based on a short story from The New Yorker, Escape from Spiderhead is a sci-fi thriller set in a near-future era. Headlining this upcoming film from Netflix are Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Jurnee Smollett. And the plot that we know so far? Two convicts confront their pasts in a facility run by a brilliant visionary, who experiments on inmates with emotion-altering drugs. 

46. The Kissing Booth 3

This year, we’re about to witness the final instalment of The Kissing Booth series. It’s the summer after high school graduation, and Elle (Joey King) is about to head to college. However, as in the previous movies, she has another pressing dilemma: which university will she go to? Will it be Harvard to be with her boyfriend Noah (Jacob Elordi), or Berkeley, where her BFF Lee (Joel Courtney) is going? Guess we’ll have to wait indefinitely to find out. 

47. The Princess Switch 3

As with the previous The Princess Switch movies, the threequel will also premiere sometime in the Christmas season. And again, Vanessa Hudgens will be reprising her three roles: Queen Margaret, Princess Stacy, and Lady Fiona. This doppelganger trio team up to retrieve a priceless relic, along with the help of an enigmatic yet dashing man from Fiona’s past. Hmm… whatever could the sparks of wintertime romance have in store this time? 

Also read: 13 Hollywood Movies That Perfectly Capture The Beauty of Asia

Phew — that sure was a lot! And to think that these are just the select 2021 films that we’ve heard about and are excited to watch. TBH, we’re sure there’ll be more announcements to come in the months ahead. But hey, best believe that we’ll be keeping our eyes and ears peeled for these!


Featured image credit and Facebook image credit (upper left): Walt Disney

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.

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