End of Year Watch List: All The Best Movies Coming Out in the Last Days of 2021
From Netflix, HBO, Disney, and more, the end of the year promises a big movie finish
In normal years, summer is the season reserved for blockbusters and big title releases from major studios. However, the past few years have been far from normal years.
After March 2020 sent the world into lockdown, theaters were closed for close to 18 months and the moviegoing experience has not yet recovered. Streaming — with its killer combination of convenience and the emerging high-quality of its original content — was already poised for a takeover. Streaming platforms like Netflix and HBO Max are increasingly offering hotly-anticipated titles, so who is going to pay for the cinema and all its trappings?
But, oh, was it grand to have the option. When going to the movies was suddenly impossible … it was all we wanted.
Though I consider myself a fan of the theatre experience, I've been known to watch a movie on my computer instead of the big screen when released on the same day.
However, having the choice stripped from me during the pandemic, I longed for the movie-going experience like never before. Both movie fans and movie makers have been itching for a return to the cinema. Many big studios held back their highly-anticipated films for when viewers had the choice to see them as intended.
This meant that, with greater and greater vaccination counts, movie rollouts are following a new schedule. Thus, the end of the year will be blockbusters galore!
So far, the final quarter of 2021 has seen such mammoth releases as Dune, Eternals, Shang-Chi, The French Dispatch, and more. The remainder of the year promises a similar variety of high-budget movies and indies across streaming and cinematic screens, all with eager anticipation building behind them.
Here are some of our most exciting picks:
It is a rare living athlete who can reach the same level of influence as the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena. And fewer still have movies made about them while they're still alive. King Richard is as much an ode to their prodigious talents as it is to the man who nurtured them. Will Smith plays the tennis stars' father Richard Williams in this depiction of the tennis stars while they were still children. It's not just a sports movie, but also an exploration of race, perseverance, and family.
It's out November 19 in theaters and on HBO Max.
For indie lovers, C'mon C'mon will satiate your hunger for a long awaited new Mike Mills film. Mills — the director behind cult classics such as Beginners and 20th Century Women — is known for creating family narratives that explore relationships, time, and memory. C'mon C'mon promises to do the same. Joaquin Phoenix takes off the Joker makeup to play a man unexpectedly burdened with caring for his young nephew.
Together, they form a beautiful, transcendent bond — but how? You'll have to wait until November 19th when it is released.
House of Gucci
Lady Gaga. Adam Driver. Knit sweaters. Need we say more? Okay, we will. Since it started filming, we've been on the edge of our seats over this film. That's basically due our having been fed a steady diet of on-set paparazzi pics and teaser trailers — including the now-iconic clip of Lady Gaga stirring a visibly empty espresso cup. Oh, the pleasures of movie magic. Now, the official trailer is finally out and the full feature is soon to follow on November 24. Until then, we'll read all about how Lady Gaga perfected the accent and rewatch A Star is Born until we have another feature film to devour.
Spiderman: No Way Home
It's almost here! Finally! After the last Spiderman film Spiderman: Far From Home's cliffhanger — rivaled only by Avengers: Infinity War — and pandemic delays forced us to wait foreverrr for its resolution. But the wait will come to an end on December 17th. Here's what we know so far: the new film explores the idea of the multiverse — just like the animated Into the Spiderverse did previously. What this means for us: our favorite Spidermen come together as Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and other vintage villains all pop up in this can't-miss adventure.
The King’s Man
As much as we love a sequel, we like a prequel just as much. Kingsmen — the film series that made Taron Egerton a star — leaves behind contemporary London to explore the origins of the film's world. The King's MAn takes us to Oxford in the 1940s where Ralph Fiennes and Harris Dickinson play a father-son duo who forge the Kingsmen Agency. See you in theatres December 22!
Don’t Look Up
Every single celebrity you love is in Don't Look Up — a satire about the end of the world which might hit a little too close to home these days. The story follows Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio, astronomers who discover the end of the world is approaching, as they try to get people to believe them. It doesn't go well. Despite the chilling parallels to our current apocalyptic state, we will be tuning in on December 24th to watch Lawrence and DiCaprio — joined by Timothee Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, and even more.
Paul Thomas Anderson is back at it with the off-beat, coming-of-age, sort-of-romantic comedy Licorice Pizza. The film is this season's Lady Bird — meaning it's sure to make its unknown teen protagonists stars. It also comes right on time, as the nostalgia for the 70s hit its peak this summer and people are still fiending for that summer magic. Also: Bradley Cooper. Say less.
After these past few years, we deserve to feel good. Cyrano lets us finally, finally do that. On New Year's Eve, this cinematic production of one of the most iconic stories will make its way to theatres. Starring Peter Dinklage and Kelvin Harrison Jr vying for Haley Bennett's heart, this soaring romance is the perfect, hopeful story to end the year with.