Fall 2021 Movie Preview

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 2 weeks ago

Take a look ahead at all the major movie releases coming to theaters and streaming this season. Release dates updated as of Sept. 13.

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Camila Cabello and Nicholas Galitzine in Cinderella (2021)

Cinderella | Premieres on Prime Video on Friday, Sept. 3

Camila Cabello is not the first to step into Cinderella’s glass slippers for a modern, musical re-telling of the tale (we're partial to Brandy and Whitney's take from 1997), but she’s the ultimate pick to play the princess in 2021. The magic was delayed from an initial February release, but with Idina Menzel set to play the evil stepmother and the genius casting of Billy Porter as a non-binary fairy godmother, we know it will be worth the wait. We're just a little bummed that Cabello's beau Shawn Mendes won't make an appearance as Prince Charming.

Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings | In Theaters on Friday, Sept. 3

Destin Daniel Cretton comes from the world of indie filmmakers who were called on to help usher in the next generation of Marvel superheroes, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be the second film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, following Black Widow. "Kim's Convenience" star Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi, a peerless martial artist who has to confront his past when he is drawn into the Ten Rings, a terrorist organization run by the Mandarin. Fun fact: The Mandarin and Shang-Chi almost made their respective debuts in a post-credits scene from The Avengers.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Kate (2021)

Kate | Premieres on Netflix on Friday, Sept. 10

As long as Netflix keeps dropping films about kick-ass woman assassins, we'll keep watching them. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (who already displayed her impressive action skills in Birds of Prey) stars in Kate as a ruthless criminal operative who is slipped a fatal poison on her final job and has less than 24 hours to solve her murder and exact revenge on her enemies. Woody Harrelson, Tadanobu Asano, Michiel Huisman, and Miyavi round out the cast.

Annabelle Wallis in Malignant (2021)

Malignant | In Theaters and on HBO Max on Friday, Sept. 10

Annabelle Wallis stars as a woman tormented by hallucinogenic visions of murders that turn out to be happening in real life. It may sound like a familiar story, but horror master James Wan (The Conjuring, Aquaman) will be back in the director's chair to get back to his roots, scaring the living daylights out of us.

Clint Eastwood in Cry Macho (2021)

Cry Macho | In Theaters on Friday, Sept. 17

Variations of this Western, which trails a former rodeo star who is hired to reunite a young man in Mexico with his father in the US, have been in the Hollywood works since the 1970s. In fact, Clint Eastwood almost starred in a late 1980s version, but now, at age 91, Clint is starring and directing and, yep, riding a horse.

Max Harwood in Everybody's Talking About Jamie (2021)

Everybody's Talking About Jamie | Premieres on Prime Video on Friday, Sept. 17

The West End musical gets a movie makeover on Prime Video, giving more young people the chance to be inspired by the story of a teenager who finds his footing in a pair of red high heels. Richard E. Grant adds some foundation and glitter to the production in the role of veteran queen Loco Chanelle, who becomes Jamie's drag mother.

Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield in The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021)

The Eyes of Tammy Faye | In Theaters on Friday, Sept. 17

The story of evangelist and eventual gay icon Tammy Faye Messner will follow the standard biopic formula (rise, fall, redemption) and it might set the table for an acting masterclass from Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye. The movie serves as the first of two — okay, possibly three — return roles for Andrew Garfield this year. The former Spider-Man plays Jim Bakker, Tammy's first husband and head of their prosperous (and morally bankrupt) PTL Ministry.

Nicolas Cage and Sofia Boutella in Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021)

Prisoners of the Ghostland | In Theaters and on VOD on Friday, Sept. 17

Somehow every new Nic Cage movie feels 5-10% more bonks than the film he released just a second ago, and this samurai western pairs the actor with a director who might be slightly more unhinged than his star: Sion Sono, who first connected with genre fans via his movie Love Exposure.

Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen (2021)

Dear Evan Hansen | In Theaters on Friday, Sept. 24

Ben Platt takes his Tony award-winning performance to the big screen during the musical-heavy second half of 2021. The story follows a high schooler with Social Anxiety Disorder who inserts himself into a fellow student's tragedy, with Oscar and Tony award-winning composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land) adding two new songs to the soundtrack.

Woody Harrelson in Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Venom: Let There Be Carnage | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 1

Although most critics panned Venom, audiences embraced the story of Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist who unwittingly becomes host to a super-powered alien symbiote, and made it one of the biggest box office hits of 2018. Personally, we couldn’t get enough of Tom Hardy's over-the-top performance and have been waiting for the inevitable sequel ever since. With Woody Harrelson as Carnage, this one is going to be a blast.

Michael Gandolfini in The Many Saints of Newark (2021)

The Many Saints of Newark | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 1

This movie focuses in on Dickie Moltisanti, a character who loomed large over all six seasons of "The Sopranos," and if there's a TV universe that could actually benefit from an prequel, it's the world that gave us Tony Soprano and James Gandolfini. Michael Gandolfini, James's son, plays young Tony, while the underrated Alessandro Nivola is in the lead role as Dickie.

Agathe Rousselle in Titane (2021)

Titane | Expected in Theaters on Friday, Oct. 1

Julia Ducournau introduced herself a few years ago with Raw, a ferocious opening salvo from a filmmaker with a singular vision that recalls the first time you saw a David Cronenberg movie. Pretty much every critic who saw Titane at Cannes this year – where it won the Palme d’Or – has used the word "grisly" as both a thumbs-up recommendation and a warning of what you’re about to watch.

Daniel Craig, Jeffrey Wright, and Billy Magnussen in No Time to Die (2021)

No Time to Die | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 8

Daniel Craig dons the James Bond persona one last time in the highly anticipated spy thriller, No Time to Die, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. Craig led the franchise as the notorious 007 for 15 years over five movies — the longest tenure held by an actor in the Bond movie franchise. This time around, the iconic agent is joined onscreen by Ana de Armas, Rami Malek, and Billy Magnussen.

Hilmir Snær Guðnason and Noomi Rapace in Lamb (2021)

Lamb | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 8

In this A24 folk horror film, Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snær Guðnason star as a childless couple who welcome the birth of a human-sheep hybrid and raise it as their own child, a controversial decision among the local humans and sheep.

James Jude Courtney in Halloween Kills (2021)

Halloween Kills | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 15

David Gordon Green resurrected the Halloween franchise with 2018's Halloween, and is back for this much-anticipated sequel. That film's trio of multi-generational heroines (Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, and Andi Matichak) are back, as Halloween Kills picks up right where the previous film left off.

Jodie Comer in The Last Duel (2021)

The Last Duel | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 15

Are you ready for Matt Damon's British accent, in a story that's set in 14th-century France? Yup, we're a bit confused too! But we hear that Jodie Comer was the secret on-set weapon who helped zsuzh the accents for director Ridley's Scott's historical tale of a knight (Damon) and his squire (Adam Driver) who are ordered to fight to the death after the squire is accused of a heinous crime. We're also just remembering that Ridley Scott has two movies coming this year.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin and Josephine Langford in After We Fell (2021)

After We Fell | In Theaters on Tuesday, Oct. 19

The "After" series started as a wildly-successful One Direction fan fiction on Wattpad, morphed into a best-selling, four-volume novel series at Simon & Shuster, and now the third film in the movie series is finally landing in theaters this fall. If you’re a fan of dark, tumultuous, relationships and emo boys with anger issues, you’ve probably already got this date marked on your calendar.

Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya in Dune (2021)

Dune | In Theaters and on HBO Max on Friday, Oct. 22

No matter which previously filmed version of Frank Herbert's "Dune" you prefer, Denis Villeneuve's version is poised to become the definitive adaptation. Originally slated for a November 2020 release, anticipation is off the charts, with an all-star cast that includes Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, and more. Let the spice flow!

Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, Rachel Wolfson, and Sean McInerney in Jackass Forever (2022)

Jackass Forever | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 22

With the title Jackass Forever, Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and company are really throwing down the gauntlet. But after 20 years of "Jackass," how long can these guys really expect to subject their bodies to rigors of inane stunts? Love it or hate it, we'll give them credit for commitment to their craft. Just be careful out there, fellas.

Timothée Chalamet and Lyna Khoudri in The French Dispatch (2021)

The French Dispatch | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 22

Wes Anderson looks to be pulling out all the ultra-stylized stops for The French Dispatch, and we are more than ready. We’re always charmed by his regulars (Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, etc.) but are positively giddy about new additions Timothée Chalamet, Benicio del Toro, and Elisabeth Moss as journalistic subjects of a fictional newspaper.

Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz in The Harder They Fall (2021)

The Harder They Fall | In Select Theaters on Friday, Oct. 22; Premieres on Netflix on Wednesday, Nov. 3

It didn't take much convincing to add The Harder They Fall to our Watchlists. A western starring Idris Elba, Regina King, Lakeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz? Of course we're in! Director Jeymes Samuel is also reteaming with his Great Gatsby collaborator, Jay-Z on the music, so our fingers are crossed for a genre-busting breakout for the second-time director.

Matt Smith and Anya Taylor-Joy in Last Night in Soho (2021)

Last Night in Soho | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 29

Mostly quiet since 2017's Baby Driver, director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) is known for his hilariously quirky genre films. But his newest film, starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Matt Smith, is said to be a more straightforward horror-thriller inspired by British horror films like Don't Look Now.

Matthias Schweighöfer and Nathalie Emmanuel in Army of Thieves (2021)

Army of Thieves | Premieres on Netflix on Friday, Oct. 29

The ensemble of characters that Zack Snyder pulled together for Army of the Dead ended up being more captivating than his Vegas-dwelling zombies, so we were glad to see that a prequel is coming. This time, safe-cracking savant, Dieter (played by Matthias Schweighöfer), is the focus, giving us a look at his entry into the world of heists prior to the walking dead takeover. Nathalie Emmanuel also stars.

Antlers (2021)

Antlers | In Theaters on Friday, Oct. 29

Based on the very creepy short story, "The Quiet Boy" by prolific TV writer Nick Antosca ("The Act"), Antlers has so many interesting people bringing this film to life that it might make me get over my primal fear of Wendigos and actually watch this one in the dark. With Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart) directing, David S. Goyer and Guillermo del Toro producing, and Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons as the leads, this is high up on my watchlist. — Vanessa

Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Ma Dong-seok, Brian Tyree Henry, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, and Lia McHugh in Eternals (2021)

Eternals | In Theaters on Friday, Nov. 5

Chloé Zhao directs the 26th film in the MCU which introduces a new team of heroes, an immortal alien race called the Eternals, and a new threat to the world as we know it — the Deviants. The ensemble cast includes Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, and "Game of Thrones" alums Kit Harington and Richard Madden.

Kristen Stewart in Spencer (2021)

Spencer | In Theaters on Friday, Nov. 5

Kristen Stewart stars as Princess Diana in this biopic focusing on the later years of the Princess of Wales as she decides to end her marriage to Prince Charles.

Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, and Gal Gadot in Red Notice (2021)

Red Notice | Premieres on Netflix on Friday, Nov. 12

One of the more high-profile releases in Netflix's lengthy 2021 film slate, Red Notice features Dwayne Johnson as an FBI profiler tasked with tracking two cons (Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot). It looks to be as packed with witty one-liners as it is major action scenes, and with a massive rumored budget, we have high hopes for this one.

Andrew Garfield in tick, tick...BOOM! (2021)

tick, tick...Boom | In Select Theaters on Friday, Nov. 12, Premieres on Netflix on Friday, Nov. 19

Have you been waiting for the next marquee performance by Andrew Garfield? Same here. And we're touched to see Lin-Manuel Miranda use his clout to help bring the autobiographical musical by dearly departed composer/playwright Jonathan Larson to an even wider audience, in what will serve as Miranda's directorial debut.


The Power of the Dog | In Select Theaters on Wednesday, Nov. 17; Premieres on Netflix on Wednesday, Dec. 1

After binging Season 2 of "Fargo," you can sign us up for anything involving real-life power couple Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst, but add Benedict Cumberbatch and Thomasin McKenzie to the mix and it's truly locked in. Set to debut at Venice Film Festival, this adaptation depicting two brothers pitted against each other on a Montana ranch in the 1920s comes from director Jane Campion, who took home an Oscar for Best Screenplay for 1994's The Piano.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

Ghostbusters: Afterlife | In Theaters on Friday, Nov. 19

Jason Reitman continues where his father Ivan left off, jumping the story almost 40 years into the future and exploring the legacy the original team of Ghostbusters (who also look to make an appearance) left behind. The cast includes Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Carrie Coon, and Paul Rudd.

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver in House of Gucci (2021)

House of Gucci | In Theaters on Wednesday, Nov. 24

Listen, we're still talking about how good Lady Gaga was in A Star Is Born, so we're barely able to process the thought of her playing socialite and convicted murderer, Patrizia Reggiani. If you're not fully immersed in the story of Reggiani's marriage to Maurizio Gucci, the former head of the fashion label that bears his family name, Ridley Scott's film will give you all the glamorous and deadly details. And if the on-set photos of Gaga and Adam Driver (who plays Maurizio) were any indication of public interest in the movie, expect exaggerated reports on their friendship as they prepare to potentially walk red carpets together in late 2021.

Stephanie Beatriz in Encanto (2021)

Encanto | In Theaters on Wednesday, Nov. 24; Premieres on Disney Plus After 30 Days

If, like us, you happily had "How Far I'll Go" playing on loop in your brain after seeing Moana, expect a few more irresistible earworms from Disney’s upcoming Encanto. The score, composed entirely by Lin-Manuel Miranda, promises eight new songs to accompany the animated tale of the Madrigal family, who live a magical life in a colorful Colombian mountain town. Stephanie Beatriz (In The Heights) voices Mirabel, the sole family member without a unique gift or talent...or so she thinks.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City | Expected in Theaters on Wednesday, Nov. 24

The long-running Resident Evil franchise is getting both a reboot and an origin story with the upcoming survival horror film Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. Director Johannes Roberts looks to be going back to the videogame's roots for this one, setting the film in both Spencer Mansion (the creepy setting for the first game) and the Raccoon Police Department which players explored in the second. Expect this one to be dark, terrifying and full of jump-scares. The cast includes Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Hannah John-Kamen, Donal Logue, and more.

Rachel Zegler, Josh Andrés Rivera, Sean Harrison Jones, Patrick Higgins, David Alvarez, Julius Rubio, Ben Cook, Mike Faist, Ansel Elgort, and Sebastian Serra in West Side Story (2021)

West Side Story | In Theaters on Friday, Dec. 10

All singing! All dancing! All ... Steven Spielberg! We miss Spielberg in big, bold, broad filmmaker form, and the themes of West Side Story are as relevant today as they were in the 1950s. Plus, we can't wait to see YouTuber Rachel Zegler in her much-deserved movie debut.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in Don't Look Up (2021)

Don't Look Up | In Theaters on Friday, Dec. 10; Premieres on Netflix on Friday, Dec. 24

Writer/Director Adam McKay (The Big Short, Step Brothers) heads up this Netflix black comedy about two low-level astronomers who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. The cast alone has got us excited, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in the leads, and a supporting cast which includes Chris Evans, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Ron Perlman, and more.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Spider-Man: No Way Home | In Theaters on Friday, Dec. 17

It's hard to keep up with all the speculation surrounding the third Tom Holland Spider-Man film, but we know some franchise veterans are reprising roles from earlier films, including Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus and Jamie Foxx as Electro). Benedict Cumberbatch will also join as Doctor Strange, but the juiciest rumors involve a return of former Peter Parkers Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, à la Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

The Matrix Resurrections | In Theaters and on HBO Max on Wednesday, Dec. 22

We’re not sure where the story will pick up from where we last left off, but with Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith reprising their roles, Lana Wachowski back in the director’s chair, and a cast that includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Priyanka Chopra, Jonathan Groff, and Neil Patrick Harris we’re up for absolutely anything. Right now, we’re just hoping this doesn’t get pushed to 2022.

Ralph Fiennes and Djimon Hounsou in The King's Man (2021)

The King's Man | In Theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 22

Writer-director Matthew Vaughn turns back time on his Kingsman franchise to look at what spy life was like before Eggsy and Harry. Set during WWI, this prequel tale will be a slightly more serious affair with major-scale action sequences and an epic flair, reminiscent of classics such as Lawrence of Arabia.

Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Garth Jennings, Nick Kroll, Tori Kelly, and Taron Egerton in Sing 2 (2021)

Sing 2 | In Theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 22

Universal hit it big with 2016's Sing, thanks to a winning formula of big names, a soundtrack full of crowd-pleasing hits, and of course, singing animals. Looking for a repeat, Sing 2 adds Pharrell Williams, Bono, and Halsey to join returning cast members Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, and Taron Egerton.

Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand in The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)

The Tragedy of Macbeth | In Theaters and on Apple TV Plus on Saturday, Dec. 25

Joel Coen's upcoming Shakespeare adaptation led by Oscar winners and Hollywood icons Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand is the type of film that could cause a streaming service overload. Happily, the unique take on the classic tragedy (shot entirely in black-and-white and filmed on sound stages) will get a theatrical run before landing at Apple TV+. This likely awards contender also stars Brendan Gleeson, Corey Hawkins, Harry Melling, and Moses Ingram.

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