A definitive list of the coolest films coming out in 2021

From Malcolm & Marie with Zendaya to the Gucci biopic starring Lady Gaga, here is every movie that we can’t wait to see.


The cult French filmmaker Leos Carax hasn’t made a film since 2012’s grotesque fantasy Holy Motors (which featured a surprising performance by Kylie Minogue). For his English-language debut, Carax is churning out a musical, in which the lives of a stand-up comedian (Adam Driver) and his world-famous opera singer wife (Marion Cotillard) take a surprising turn after the birth of their uniquely gifted daughter.


Ana de Armas has a few projects brewing this year, including the long-anticipated release of No Time to Die and Deep Water, opposite her beau Ben Affleck. It’s Blonde, however, that has the potential to offer de Armas her juiciest role to date, as paramour of melancholic glamour, Marilyn Monroe. This adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’s fictionalised biography of Marilyn Monroe co-stars Bobby Cannavale and Adrien Brody.

C’mon C’mon

Mike Mills follows up his sunny 20th Century Women with this road trip comedy starring Joaquin Phoenix (in his first post-Joker performance) as an artist who’s left in care of his precocious young nephew. The reclusive Gaby Hoffmann and comedian Jaboukie Young-White co-star.

Cherry (26th February)

In 2018, Nico Walker released his autobiographical debut novel Cherry from a holding cell in the federal prison where he’s been serving time for a bank robbery since 2013. This adaptation from the Russo brothers (their first post-Marvel production) stars Tom Holland as Cherry, an Iraq War veteran who starts robbing banks to satiate his opiate addiction.

Don’t Worry Darling

When it was announced that Harry Styles would star in director Olivia Wilde’s follow-up to Booksmart, none were so wise as to predict that she would be shepherding the age-old tradition of filmmakers directing their significant others (reportedly). This 1950s-set psychological thriller centres on an unhappy housewife (Florence Pugh) as she discovers the disturbing truth about her loving husband (Styles).

Elvis (5th November)

Unless you actually watched Netflix’s The Get Down, Baz Luhrmann has all but disappeared since adaptation-spectacle The Great Gatsby was released in 2013. His lavish return is – appropriately enough – the first big screen biopic of Elvis Presley, with Austin Butler cast as the hunky crooner. As his lifelong love interest Priscilla Presley, Aussie newcomer Olivia DeJonge was selected over the singer-siren-songwriter Lana del Rey (despite public approval from Priscilla Presley). Tom Hanks, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Maggie Gyllenhaal co-star.

French Exit (12th February)

The fug of cigarettes and pretension linger like never before in this acerbic, so witty-it-hurts parlour comedie from A24. Michelle Pfeiffer gives her grande dame-iest performance as a near penniless widow on the move from the Upper East Side of Manhattan to Paris, with her son (Lucas Hedges) and cat (who may be her reincarnated husband?) in tow.

Gucci (24th November)

At 83, Ridley Scott is busier than ever. The English director has two films out this year, including The Last Duel (which re-teams Ben Affleck and Matt Damon alongside Adam Driver and Vanessa Kirby) and Gucci. In her first role since A Star is Born, Lady Gaga will dig deep into the roots of her Italian ancestry to play Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife and attempted assassin of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), the one-time head of the Gucci fashion house. Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Jared Leto round out the rumoured cast list.

Last Night in SoHo (23rd April)

Anya Taylor-Joy continues a stellar streak (and returns to her roots) in this time-bending psychological horror film from Edgar Wright (Baby Driver). Set in 1960s London, an aspiring fashion designer (Jojo Rabbits Thomasin McKenzie) finagles a chance encounter with her idol, a glamourous, wannabe singer (Taylor-Joy), to shadowy consequences.

Madres paralelas

The Spanish auteur teams up once again with Penelope Cruz for his follow-up to 2019’s Pain and Glory. Though plot details are thin on the ground, it’s been revealed that Cruz will play one of two mothers who gives birth on the same day. Parallel lives, motherhood and Cruz-as-muse are all in the director’s wheelhouse, so think of this as his despedida to Spain before he begins production on his English-language debut, an adaptation of Lucia Berlin’s short story collection A Manual for Cleaning Women.


Seven years after her ruminative debut Palo Alto, the youngest Coppola returns with a big splash. Early reviews of Mainstream, her satire on Internet fame, were divisive, though all highlighted a showy – if not outright bizarre – performance from Andrew Garfield. He stars alongside Maya Hawke, who gets her first leading role as a lonely bartender and aspiring content creator” whose video of a local stoner-philosopher-mallrat (Garfield) goes viral, setting him on a journey to become a crazed YouTube messiah.

Malcolm & Marie (22nd January)

During the Covid-19 pandemic and in between seasons of their breakout hit Euphoria, director Sam Levinson and star Zendaya shot this black-and-white romantic drama. John David Washington (Tenet) stars as a filmmaker who returns home to his girlfriend (Zendaya) after a celebratory movie premiere, and as he awaits surefire imminent success, their relationship crumbles around them.

The Many Saints of Newark

Every person who streamed The Sopranos for the first or 40th time during quarantine should look forward to The Many Saints of Newark, which serves as a prequel to the beloved HBO series, and which casts newcomer Michael Gandolfini in the role his late father made famous.

Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night gave director Ana Lily Amirpour indie cred, though her follow-up The Bad Batch didn’t fare as well. She returns with something to prove in this sci-fi drama about a young girl (Burnings Jeon Jong-seo) with special abilities who escapes from the insane asylum she was locked away in. Kate Hudson co-stars.

Nightmare Alley (December)

Guillermo del Toro’s return after winning the Best Picture Oscar for The Shape of Water reimagines the 1947 cult classic Nightmare Alley. Set in a seedy traveling carnival, this psychological thriller stars Bradley Cooper as a manipulative conman, and re-teams Carol lovebirds Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara alongside Toni Collette and Willem Dafoe.

The Northman

Alexander Skarsgård plays Amleth, the Nordic prince seeking revenge for his father’s murder, in Robert Eggers’ new period horror film set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century. Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy and Ethan Hawke co-star, while Björk (who’ll play a witch!) reunites with her Sugarcubes bandmate Sjon, who co-wrote the script.

The Power of the Dog

A pair of sibling ranch-owners (Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons) wage war against each other when a new wife (Kirsten Dunst) comes into the picture. Outback auteur Jane Campion’s latest film casts real-life husband-and-wife Plemons and Dunst in their first film together, following the departure of Elisabeth Moss.

The Souvenir Part II

Joanna Hogg always planned to make a sequel to her acclaimed film The Souvenir, which followed a film student (Honor Swinton Byrne, daughter of co-star Tilda) and her complicated romance with her drug-addled mentor (Tom Burke). Part II will bring Joe Alwyn, Charlie Heaton and Harris Dickinson into the fold, with the latter two actors both replacing Robert Pattinson, who dropped out to film The Batman. Call it a two-fer.


The Chilean director Pablo Larraín re-enters tricky territory with yet another biopic about an impossibly revered woman. If Jackie had at least a couple of generations between the former First Lady and her portrayal by Natalie Portman, Princess Diana has never left the zeitgeist, thanks to the latest season of The Crown. Spencer will focus on Diana (to be played by Kristen Stewart) during the Christmas holidays, as she makes the decision to exit her marriage with Prince Charles.

Three Thousand Years of Longing (September)

Described as anti-Mad Max”, Fury Road director George Miller’s new film is an epic fantasy-romance centered on a lonely, embittered woman (Tilda Swinton) on vacation in Istanbul. Her discovery of an ancient bottle conjures up a genie who will grant her three wishes, inciting her long burrowed desire for love. Idris Elba co-stars.

Triangle of Sadness

Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure) makes his English-language debut with this fashion world satire, in which a pair of models (Harris Dickinson and Charlbi Dean) get invited onto a luxury cruise. When their yacht sinks, however, and they’re deserted on an island with a group of billionaires (including Woody Harrelson) and a cleaning woman, hierarchies suddenly shift.

Soggy Bottom

Set in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s, PTA’s latest follows a high school student (played by Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour) who also happens to be a successful child actor. Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie (one-half of the Uncut Gems directors) and Alanna Haim, in her film debut, co-star.

The Velvet Underground

Todd Haynes is gearing up to release his first documentary, which weaves together the story of one of the most influential, stylish and legendary rock groups, The Velvet Underground. Haynes will incorporate new interviews with the surviving members John Cale and Maureen Tucker alongside archival footage of the band, which also included Lou Reed, Nico and producer Andy Warhol.

Zola (30th June)

Zola, adapted from the infamous, viral 148-count Twitter thread by A’Ziah Zola” King, looks so madcap fun and zany that it felt painful when A24 delayed the film from last year, where it premiered to glorious praise at Sundance. Chaos ensues when a Detroit waitress (Taylour Paige) gets seduced into a seemingly glamorous cross-country road trip by a new friend (Riley Keough), which results in a saga of pole dancing, violent pimps and Tampa gangsters.

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