13 of the biggest movies left in 2021

In spite of COVID-19, movie-going persists. Photo courtesy of iStock.

JACK SHANNON | STAFF REPORTER | jmshannon@butler.edu

Theatrical releases have been in flux since COVID-19 hit in February 2020. Many movie fans have found this to be frustrating as highly anticipated movies have been repeatedly pushed back or sent directly to streaming services. Now, movies such as Marvel’s “Dune,” Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” seem to be marking a return to the theater-going experience. 

With the change in movie-going culture, some people, such as Michael DeRosa a sophomore sports media major are not in as much of a rush to get back into theaters. 

“I think that there are certain movies you need to see in theaters, but I don’t need to go see something like a comedy in theaters and spend way too much money on snacks and a ticket,” DeRosa said.

On the other hand, some studios have responded to “Shang-Chi’s” box office success by moving up release dates with movies such as “Venom: Let There Be Carnage and “No Time to Die,” the final installment of Daniel Craig’s James Bond films. It seems that not all studios share this optimism though. Movies “Mission: Impossible 7” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” both starring Tom Cruise, have been pushed back again, now into 2022. 

With this constantly shifting slate of movies, audiences can easily get lost in what they can expect to see in the coming months. Here are 13 of the biggest movies coming out before the end of the year.

Eternals | Genre: SuperheroRelease Date: Nov. 5

As the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Eternals” will introduce a team of immortal beings with otherworldly powers. This team was sent to Earth as shepherds for humanity and to protect the human race from evil beings known as “Deviants.” The Eternals, having been dormant for centuries, are called back into action following the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” 

While the trailers leave plenty to be desired in terms of plot, they are a great showcase of the dazzling visuals that this movie presents. With acclaimed director Chloe Zhao, along with a diverse ensemble cast, this movie seems like it will bring something unique to the table for the MCU.

Ghostbusters: AfterlifeGenre: FantasyRelease Date: Nov. 19

A small family moves to a town in the middle-of-nowhere due to financial struggles, and as they get acquainted with the town, the children start to discover that something is off in this town. As they explore the house left to them by their grandfather, they discover that he was one of the Ghostbusters. Now, they must use his equipment to save their town. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife stars Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace and Paul Rudd – plus a confirmed reprisal from Bill Murray, who played Dr. Peter Venkman in “Ghostbusters.”

King RichardGenre: DramaRelease Date: Nov. 19

Will Smith stars as Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. This drama will follow how he coached and raised these women and the impact he had on their lives. “King Richard is sure to be full of emotional moments as the Williams’ navigate their family dynamics. See Venus and Serena work their way from Compton to Wimbledon and establish themselves as the athletes we know them as today.

EncantoGenre: FamilyRelease Date: Nov. 24

In a house where everyone has magical powers, Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz) struggles as the only one who seems to be entirely normal. This animated film will explore her relationship with her family and how she looks for a way to fit in. When the house and her family start to lose their powers, Mirabel will need to step in to save the day. “Encanto” is set in the hidden mountains of Colombia and features music written for the film by Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of “Hamilton” 

House of GucciGenre: DramaRelease Date: Nov. 24

This drama, directed by Ridley Scott, will follow the Gucci family, known for their fashion brand. Set over the course of three decades, the movie looks into the lives of the members of this fashion empire and the lengths they would go to for it. “House of Gucci stars Adam Driver, Salma Hayek, Jared Leto, Lady Gaga, Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.

West Side StoryGenre: MusicalRelease Date: Dec. 10

Originally written as a Broadway musical in 1957, “West Side Story” follows two gangs: the Jets and the Sharks. The story looks at their rivalry, their differing cultural and ethnic backgrounds and a love that sprouts between their members. This classic interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” will get a new take in December from director Steven Spielberg

Julia Brookshire, a sophomore human movement and health science education major, shared her thoughts on this upcoming adaptation.

“I can’t wait to see [West Side Story]!” Brookshire said. “I’m excited to see a movie that isn’t another action movie and I love the original musical.”

Don’t Look UpGenre: DramedyRelease Date: Dec. 10 and 24

THE WORLD IS ENDING! A comet big enough to wipe out the human race is headed to Earth and will be here in six months. Now, two astronomers must go on a press tour to warn everyone of the coming crisis so that a solution can be found before it is too late.

Arguably Netflix’s most star-studded movie of the year, “Don’t Look Up stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Timothee Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance and Meryl Streep. “Don’t Look Up” will receive a limited release on Dec. 10 and a widespread release in theaters and on Netflix Dec. 24.

Spider-Man: No Way HomeGenre: SuperheroRelease Date: Dec. 17

Possibly the most anticipated superhero movie of 2021, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” will be the third installment of Tom Holland’s standalone movies. This movie will pick up right where “Spider-Man: Far From Home” left off, with Peter Parker’s identity as the masked vigilante exposed. Peter will turn to ally Doctor Strange for help with this problem, and when a spell goes awry, chaos ensues.

Characters from previous adaptations of the classic comic hero, such as Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock from “Spider-Man 2,” have been confirmed to appear in this film. Additionally, unconfirmed rumors have been surrounding this movie regarding the return of other Spider-Man actors Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire. Although official marketing for this movie has been slim, it is safe to say superhero fans will be packing the theaters opening weekend this December. 

The Matrix ResurrectionsGenre: Sci-FiRelease Date: Dec. 22

It seems that Neo and Trinity have been reinserted into the Matrix with no memory or knowledge of its existence. The trailer shows many story beats similar to the original movie, and with the film being titled “Resurrections,” Neo’s adventure might be relived this Christmas. The fourth installment of The Matrix franchise, this movie will see reprisals from Keanu Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity. However, it seems that Laurence Fishburne will not be returning, as Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has been recast as Morpheus. 

The King’s ManGenre: ActionRelease Date: Dec. 22

A prequel to the Kingsman franchise, “The King’s Man” will show the formation of the independent agency and its taking on their first major threat, Rasputin. Set in the early 20th century, the movie will have all of the gadgets, weapons and actions that captivated fans of the original.

The Tender BarGenre: DramaRelease Date: Dec. 22

This drama, directed by George Clooney, will star Ben Affleck and Tye Sheridan as it explores their relationship as uncle and nephew. JR, played by Sheridan, whose father left him at an early age, spends much of his time in the bar owned by his uncle Charlie, played by Ben Affleck. His interactions with the bar patrons and his uncle will shape the man he becomes as he grows up in search of a father figure.

A Journal for JordanGenre: DramaRelease Date: Dec. 22

Michael B. Jordan stars as U.S. soldier First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. The story will follow his real-life and experiences through the narrative of a journal he wrote for his son before his death in Baghdad. Based on a true story, “A Journal for Jordan” is directed by acclaimed actor Denzel Washington.

The Tragedy of MacbethGenre: DramaRelease Date: Dec. 25

Joel Coen gives his interpretation of William Shakespeare’s classic play, in which the titular Scottish lord becomes obsessed with his fate and the power it foretells. The story serves as a warning against letting ambition consume oneself and the importance of one’s relationships. Denzel Washington will star as Macbeth and will share the screen with Frances McDormand, Brendan Gleason and Corey Hawkins.

See the full slate of movies for the rest of 2021 here: 2021 Movies


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