Fall 2021 Movie Preview: Every Movie Releasing (And Where To Watch Them)
Here’s a guide to every movie releasing across all platforms in Fall 2021, and where you can find them. The past 18 months have been incredibly difficult for everyone, but as countries step-up their vaccination efforts, some parts of the world are showing early signs of escaping the grip of COVID-19. First and foremost, this means a long-awaited reprieve from the impact this virus has inflicted upon so many. Beyond that, lowering numbers allow normality to inch closer, and populations can begin enjoying the things we all took for granted in 2019. And, for our purposes, that also means movies are making a comeback.
Summer 2021 has already seen a degree of recovery for the movie industry, with major franchise tent-poles such as F9 and Black Widow making long-awaited arrivals – albeit not without caveats, as the latter dropped simultaneously on Disney+. It’s too early to say what the future of theatrical and streaming distribution might look like when all is said and done, but we do know that there’s no shortage of quality movies heading our way over the coming months.
From streaming gems to big screen experiences, the schedule from September to November is chock-full of attention-grabbing titles, many of which should have been released already. With something to cater for all tastes and audiences, these are all the films releasing this Fall, and how you can watch them.
Starring music sensation Camila Cabello as the titular Disney princess, Cinderella is directed and written by Kay Cannon, and features supporting turns from Idina Menzel, Pierce Brosnan and James Corden. A musical endeavor, Cinderella will offer original songs alongside pop classics such as Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).”
After Black Widow, the next effort from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Shang-Chi & The Legend of the Ten Rings. Starring Simu Liu as the titular martial artist, Shang-Chi is a deadly warrior living quietly as a San Francisco valet, but is dragged back into a feud against his crime lord father, The Mandarin (the real one this time). Familiar faces Wong and Abomination will connect Liu to the wider MCU franchise, and the addition of chi power will expand Marvel’s cinematic mythology. Shang-Chi will enjoy a 45-day theatrical-only release before dropping on Disney+.
Sierra McCormick plays Melissa, a woman whose family is stuck in a bathroom during a violent hurricane. Directed by Sean King O’Grady, We Need To Do Something was filmed in 2020 during the pandemic, and has adopted aspects of real life in its themes of isolation and disaster.
A new take on the Cyrano de Bergerac story (also the source of Peter Dinklage’s December movie, Cyrano), It Takes Three offers a modern John Hughes-inspired slant on the story. Previously titled Rhino, it follows the coolest guy in school realizing the new girl can see through his popularity and asking the “class geek” to take over his social media accounts to make a better impression.
Shea Whigham (American Hustle), Olivia Munn (X-Men: Apocalypse), and Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) star in this gritty, edge-of-your-seat crime-thriller. Whigham is Parker, a down-on-his-luck social worker who finds himself in over his head when he tries to protect his client from her recently paroled husband. Can Parker save the family from the violent threat of the maniacal drug dealer and his crew, desperate to reclaim their priceless stash?
With an impressive core cast of Oscar Isaac, Willem Dafoe, Tiffany Haddish and Tye Sheridan, The Card Counter sees a seasoned gambler (Isaac) help a young protegee (Sheridan) on his mission for revenge against an unpleasant colonel in the U.S. military (Dafoe). Written and directed by Paul Schrader, The Card Counter will premiere at September’s Venice Film Festival before releasing widely in theaters.
The success of John Wick has inspired a multitude of copycats, with some switching-up the formula to great success, and others falling flat compared to the Keanu Reeves franchise. Kate stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as an assassin with 24-hours to live after being poisoned in Tokyo. Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan (The Huntsman: Winter’s War), Kate‘s cast adds Woody Harrelson and Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis II in Game of Thrones), and will also showcase a range of Japanese musical talent.
Directed by Michael Mohan – known for Netflix series Everything Sucks! – this erotic thriller is still largely a guarded secret. Mohan’s comedy chops may offer some insight into the tone, while the announced cast is top-lined by Sydney Sweeney, Justice Smith, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, and Ben Hardy.
Directed by Natalie Morales, written by Natalie Morales, and starring Natalie Morales, Language Lessons is a treat for fans of Natalie Morales. The story is based around Mark Duplass’ Adam, who bonds with a Spanish teacher following a personal tragedy. Currently boasting a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Language Lessons has already enjoyed success on the festival circuit, and is due for a select U.S. theatrical release in September, with digital and VOD options to follow shortly after.
Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste concoct an ambitious multi-million dollar coupon scam that puts them straight in the FBI’s firing line. Queenpins is written and directed by husband-and-wife duo Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, with Ben Stiller listed among the producers. The comedy will arrive in theaters first, before streaming on Paramount+ later in the year. Vince Vaughn is there too.
The latest horror spectacle from Aquaman and Insidious director, James Wan, Malignant finds Annabelle Wallis’ Madison experiencing visions of murders that she later realizes are occurring in real life. Like all 2021 releases emanating from the direction of Warner Bros., Malignant will land simultaneously in movie theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service.
Though better known for his acting work, Justin Chon (Twilight‘s Eric Yorkie) continues to make directorial waves with Blue Bayou – a story about a Korean-American man (Chon) facing deportation. Also starring Lara Croft herself, Alicia Vikander, Blue Bayou recently debuted at Cannes ahead of a public release in U.S. theaters this September.
Billed by Nic Cage as the “wildest movie I’ve ever made”, neo-noir Western Prisoners of the Ghostland sees him play a notorious criminal, Hero, who is sent to rescue the governor’s daughter, who has disappeared into a dark supernatural universe. To escape the nightmare world, Hero must break the evil curse controlling the mysterious Ghostland.
Clint Eastwood‘s long-awaited return to westerns (his first since 1992’s Unforgiven) has been years in the making, with COVID only the tip of Cry Macho‘s delay woes. Based on the novel by N. Richard Nash, Cry Macho stars Eastwood as Miko, a former rodeo superstar who must use his wrangling skills to get Eduardo Minett from Mexico to the United States. Eastwood actually turned down Cry Macho in the 1980s, before another attempt was made with Arnold Schwarzenegger penciled-in as Miko during the early 2000s. Cry Macho will finally see the light of day in September.
From Joe Carnahan, Copshop takes place within a modest, rural police station, where green officer Harper (Alexis Louder) must protect an incarcerated con artist (Frank Grillo) from an oncoming hitman (Gerard Butler). Plenty of high-octane action ensues.
Based on the hugely successful musical of the same name, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows the glamorous highs and tragic lows of an aspiring teenage drag queen. Starring Max Harwood in the title role, as well as Richard E. Grant supporting as a veteran drag act, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was nearly left without a home because of the pandemic, before Amazon stepped in to release the film via Prime Video.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye stars Jessica Chastain as Tammy and Andrew Garfield as her husband Jim Bakker – a pair of real life televangelists known for puppet shows, singing performances, and more liberal views toward homosexuality than many of their religious contemporaries. With Michael Showalter directing, The Eyes of Tammy Faye will finally release after wrapping filming way back in 2019.
Directed by, written by and starring (this seems to be a common theme in 2021) Justin Long alongside brother Christian Long, Lady of the Manor is a buddy comedy set in an Antebellum estate. The plot revolves around Melanie Lynskey’s Hannah and Judy Greer’s Lady Wadsworth, with Patrick Duffy also making an appearance.
Blending the genres of psychological thriller and mockumentary, The Nowhere Inn stars St. Vincent, Carrie Brownstein and Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey) as fictionalized versions of themselves. Debuting on the festival circuit in early 2020, The Nowhere Inn has endured a long road into the public arena. Clark and Brownstein also wrote the movie, but Bill Benz directs what looks to be a unique mashup of fact and fiction.
Dear Evan Hansen brings the acclaimed Broadway musical to the big screen, with many of the original key figures returning. Steven Levenson adapts the script he co-wrote for the stage production, as Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect) reprises his socially-anxious lead character, who accidentally becomes embroiled in a fellow student’s suicide after writing himself a letter for therapy. Following Dear Evan Hansen‘s trailer release, some suggested Platt is too old to be playing a high school-er. Regardless, he’ll be joined by Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever and Amandla Stenberg, while some plot alterations will be made to the Dear Evan Hansen musical.
Tom Skerritt plays terminally-ill retired surgeon Ben Givens, who (alongside his dog) returns home intending to take his own life, only to become embroiled in a new adventure. Directed by S. J. Chiro, East of the Mountains will release both in theaters and via home digital media.
Directed by Sarah Adina Smith (Hanna), Birds of Paradise follows two dancers at an elite ballet academy in Paris as they find their friendship tested when they compete for a contract to join the Opéra national de Paris. The drama stars Kristine Froseth and Diana Silvers, who Smith wrote the central roles for.
Directed by Justin Lee, Apache Junction stars Stuart Townsend as a notorious gunslinger in an outpost of lawlessness, Apache Junction, which is a haven for thieves and cold-blooded killers. After big-city reporter Annabelle Angel (Scout Taylor-Compton) arrives to write an article on the town, she becomes a target when Townsend’s character comes to her aid. Now Annabelle must entrust her future to a man with a deadly past, as Jericho heads toward a tense showdown in this thrilling Western that unloads a double-barreled blast of action. Costarring country music superstar Trace Adkins and Thomas Jane.
This Netflix effort is based on Elisabet Benavent’s Songs & Memories, and stars Álex González alongside Maria Valverde in a romantic comedy where two ex-partners are forced back into each other’s lives.
The third entry in the After franchise based on the books by Anna Todd once again stars Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Tessa and Hardin, who encounter even more relationship drama when a huge secret is revealed. After We Fell will land on Netflix not long after its theatrical debut, and fourth movie After Ever Happily is already confirmed.
The sequel to 2019’s animated The Addams Family adaptation reunites the morbid family of Gomez (Oscar Isaac), Morticia (Charlize Theron), Wednesday (Chloë Grace Moretz), Uncle Fester (Nick Kroll), Cousin It (Snoop Dogg) and Grandmama (Bette Midler). The only change is Javon Walton replacing Finn Wolfhard as Pugsley, but Wolfhard’s fellow It alum Bill Hader will be joining as Cyrus.
If The Addams Family 2 wasn’t enough of a pre-Halloween spooky animation fix, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania arrives the very same day. The fourth installment of the frightful franchise sees Adam Sandler replaced by Brian Hull as Dracula, but supporting figures Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg and Kathryn Hahn all return. As the title suggests, the monsters will be accidentally transformed into humans, while Johnny (Samberg’s character) will become a monster.
The highly-anticipated feature-length prequel to The Sopranos is almost upon us. Starring Michael Gandolfini as a young Tony Soprano, Jon Bernthal as Johnny Boy, and Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisanti, The Many Saints of Newark charts the formation of Tony as a future mobster through his idol Dickie, and features an array of familiar characters, as well as Goodfellas‘ Ray Liotta in an undisclosed part.
Fresh from bagging the coveted Palme D’Or at Cannes 2021, Titane is the horror film on everyone’s lips. Written and directed by Julia Ducournau, Titane sees Agathe Rousselle’s Alexia become very intimate with cars after a childhood crash triggers an automobile obsession. What follows is a shocking body-horror spectacle where Alexia adopts a new identity and gender before returning to his father. U.S. fans can finally see what the fuss is about this October.
In director Karen Cinorre’s bold new action fantasy film Mayday, Ana (Grace Van Patten) finds herself transported to a dreamlike and dangerous coastline. Once there, she joins a female army engaged in a never-ending war where the women lure men to their deaths with radio signals, like 20th century sirens. Though Ana finds strength in this exhilarating world, she comes to realize she is not the killer they want her to be. Also starring Mia Goth, Havana Rose Liu, Soko, Théodore Pellerin and Juliette Lewis.
Billed, sadly, as the final film of Cameron Boyce’s career, Runt is dedicated to the tragic star’s life. Completed before his death in July 2019, the film sees Boyce playing a teenage boy, Cal, who experiences troubling incidents that makes him a cold and callous person. Cal devolves into pain, self-destruction, and abuse after being subjected to bullying by his peers in high school as his lack of strong parental guidance forces him further from his moral center.
In a modern America where magic is real and witches are persecuted by US authorities, teenager Claire (Gideon Adlon) and her family are part of an intricate network that helps these women escape across the border to seek asylum in Mexico. However, when their mode of transport is disrupted by federal witch hunters, trouble befalls the family as they struggle to hide two young witches within the walls of their home. As witch hunters close in and strange magic begins haunting the family, Claire discovers that she may have more in common with these witches than she could have ever imagined.
Another film festival darling looking to impress a wider audience in October, Mass stars Jason Isaacs as Jay and Martha Plimpton as Gail, bringing the parents of a mass shooting victim face-to-face with the culprit in a striking and emotional drama written and directed by Fran Kranz.
The 25th entry in the James Bond franchise and Daniel Craig’s final as 007, No Time To Die marked the first major pandemic-related delay, but now looks locked-in for early October. Bond must face off against Rami Malek’s Safin, while also dealing with problems at home when Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann reveals a shocking secret. Fortunately, he’ll have help from new double-0 agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) and a returning Blofeld (Christoph Waltz). James Bond‘s theatrical future is unclear after Amazon’s purchase of MGM, so enjoy No Time To Die while you can.
From A24, this supernatural drama/folk tale cocktail sees a childless couple in rural Iceland played by Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snær Guðnason make an alarming discovery one day in their sheep barn. They soon face the consequences of defying the will of nature, in this dark Cannes favorite from Valdimar Jóhannsson.
Confusingly not related to 2020’s Survive The Night, which also starred both actors, Survive The Game stars Bruce Willis and Chad Michael Murray star in this wild, rollicking crime thriller. When cop David (Willis) is injured in a drug bust gone wrong, his partner Cal chases the two criminals who shot him. They all land at a remote farm owned by troubled vet Eric (Murray), and as Cal and Eric plot their defense, more of the gang arrives – along with a wounded David. Outnumbered, the three heroes must use stealth, smarts, and good shooting to take down the drug-dealing mob.
2018’s Halloween wisely pretended that none of the franchise’s previous sequels ever happened, following on directly from John Carpenter’s 1978 original. The strategy proved successful, and now Halloween Kills will continue forging a new path. David Gordon Green will once again direct, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer reprising their roles as Laurie and Karen Strode, respectively. Predictably, Michael Myers survived the events of the previous film, and Laurie is now leading a new uprising of living victims against her tormentor. Will she succeed? Probably not, since another sequel (Halloween Ends) has already been confirmed.
This Americana romantic drama starring Michael Dorman, Sophia Bush, RZA and Eric Roberts debuted a year ago at the Austin Film Festival, and is only now receiving a wider release.
The sequel to 2018’s Venom starring Tom Hardy, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is taking a strikingly different approach. Directed by Andy Serkis, Venom: Let There Be Carnage employs a more humorous tone in the relationship between Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote, while introducing Woody Harrelson as Carnage in an almighty clash between hosts. Also joining from the Marvel comic books are Shriek (Naomie Harris) and Patrick Mulligan (Stephen Graham), who later becomes a vessel for another symbiote called Toxin. Venom’s movie return comes almost an entire year later than planned.
Literally about the last legal duel in 14th century France, The Last Duel sees Ridley Scott returning to the history books alongside an impressive cast including Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer. Driver’s Jacques Le Gris is accused of raping Comer’s character, prompting her husband (Damon) to declare a trial by combat. The Last Duel has been delayed by almost a year due to the pandemic.
If love is in the form of a circle, what lines would you cross to be with your soulmate? In this gripping, near-future sci-fi love story directed by Oscar winner John Ridley, Nick and Janine (Oscar nominees Leslie Odom, Jr. and Cynthia Erivo) live in marital bliss, until Janine’s ex-husband (Orlando Bloom) warps time to try to tear them apart using Nick’s college girlfriend (Frieda Pinto). As Nick’s memories and reality disappear, he must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to hold onto — or let go of — everything he loves. Can love endure in a future where time is fluid, and all of life may be just an illusion?
Much like Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the documentary dedicated to Mr Rogers, Julia is dedicated to the life and work of pioneering TV chef Julia Childs. Using never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos, first-person narratives, and cutting-edge, mouth-watering food cinematography, Julia is made by Julie Cohen and Betsy West with Ron Howard executive producing.
Denis Villeneuve’s red-hot Dune adaptation could potentially redefine sci-fi movies of the modern age. Sticking closer to the source material than David Lynch’s maligned 1984 effort, Dune stars Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, and he’ll be joined by Oscar Isaac, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa and Stellan Skarsgård. Villeneuve has revealed his intention to make a sequel covering the rest of Frank Herbert’s novel.
Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch has been intriguing fans for well over a year, suffering constant delays due to COVID-19. Based around an American newspaper operating in France during the 20th century, The French Dispatch comprises various stories told within the publication, and has cast an eclectic bunch of actors ranging from Benicio del Toro and Bill Murray to Saoirse Ronan and Frances McDormand. In an odd twist, Timothée Chalamet stars in 2 films releasing the same day.
It’s the early 2000s all over again, as the Jackass crew (most members, at least) put themselves in harm’s way for our entertainment once more. With celebrity spots from Tony Hawk, Tyler, The Creator, Machine Gun Kelly, and many more, the Jackass Forever production has been rife with hospital visits which, while obviously concerning for those involved, says something about the extremity each performer is going to for Jackass‘ big screen comeback.
The debut feature-length project from Locksmith Animation stars Zach Galifianakis as Ron the “B-Bot” – one of many small robots intended to make friends with young children and serve as a smartphone-on-steroids. As you might’ve surmised, Ron malfunctions, leaving owner Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer) mightily disappointed with his must-have gadget. What comes next is a heartfelt and hilarious story of friendship and digital mayhem.
Initially supposed to premier way back in April 2020, Scott Cooper’s monster horror flick Antlers is finally rearing its head. Antlers stars Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons as a small-town teacher and sheriff, respectively, who discover a local boy is harboring a monster in his empty home. Produced by Guillermo del Toro and based on Nick Antosca’s short story The Quiet Boy, there are high hopes for Antlers.
Edgar Wright‘s mysterious Last Night in Soho looks great – even if no one quite knows what it’s about. Thomasin McKenzie’s Eloise begins crossing over with 1960s singer and fashion icon, Sandy (played by Anya Taylor-Joy). She begins a timey-wimey relationship with Matt Smith, but soon finds herself hunted by creepy, murderous ghouls. We have no idea what’s going on, but we’re in.
Animated fantasy epic The Spine Of Night is an ultra-violent fantasy epic, ancient dark magic falls into sinister hands and unleashes ages of suffering onto mankind. A group of heroes from different eras and cultures must band together in order to defeat it at all costs.
After Shang-Chi comes the MCU’s Eternals, from the now Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao. Reaching back to the very beginnings of the MCU’s timeline, the titular Eternals land on Earth and begin overseeing human history with a subtle hand, never properly intervening in mankind’s affairs. Come the modern day, the Eternals are brought together once more, this time to fend off the dastardly deviants. The star-studded cast includes Gemma Chan (Sersi), Richard Madden (Ikaris), Angelina Jolie (Thena), and Kit Harington (Black Knight). Early murmurs from Marvel have been very positive indeed.
Previously known as Bios, Finch sees Tom Hanks back on Apple TV after Greyhound‘s exclusive release. In it, he plays a man who forms an unlikely family bond with a robot and a dog so he can ensure that his beloved canine companion will be cared for after he’s gone. Hanks’ titular hero, Finch, is a robotics engineer and one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event that scorched the Earth. Thrust onto a dangerous cross country roadtrip, Finch must teach the robot, Jeff, about humanity and existence while making sure he and the dog, Goodyear, bond properly.
After the failed reboot of 2016, Ghostbusters returns to its familiar continuity with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which will blend classic cast members (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts) with exciting newcomers (Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, McKenna Grace). Jason Reitman’s revival will explore the legacy of the original Ghostbusters team, passing the torch to a new generation when a fresh paranormal threat emerges.
Including Judi Dench, Ciarán Hinds and Jamie Dornan among its cast, Belfast is written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, and depicts life in 1960s Northern Ireland.
Built upon the influential trifecta of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, Red Notice is a Netflix action thriller from Rawson Marshall Thunder, where two criminals (Reynolds and Gadot) are pursued by a dynamic FBI agent (Rock). Originally a Universal production, Netflix took over in 2019.
Produced by and starring Will Smith, King Richard is the story of Richard Williams, father of Serena and Venus, who coached his daughters to tennis glory. The King Richard ensemble also features Jon Bernthal as American tennis coach Rick Macci, while the Williams sisters themselves will be played by Saniyya Sidney (Venus) and Demi Singleton (Serena). Richard undoubtedly played a big part in the duo’s sporting success, but it seems odd to frame their accomplishments through the effort of their father. Either way, King Richard is coming a year later than expected due to the pandemic.
Heading into the danger zone once again is Tom Cruise’s Maverick, now a U.S. Air Force veteran refusing to move with the times. Val Kilmer returns as Iceman, but the cast is mostly new, with Miles Teller playing Goose’s son. A more introspective affair than the 1980s original, Top Gun: Maverick has already made headlines due to its groundbreaking filming techniques, bringing audiences a more authentic experience flying alongside Cruise and the gang.
Starring the always-excellent Stephen Graham, Boiling Point is a furious meditation on the cooking industry, remarkably shot in just one take. On the busiest day of the year, long-simmering tensions between Chef Andy Jones (Graham), his staff and management threaten to boil over into full scale war. Adding to his shift from Hell, a former mentor’s attempted hostile takeover of the restaurant threatens to derail his livelihood and his life.
Disney’s CG-animated Encanto follows the Madrigal family, each of whom possesses a special magical ability… apart from poor Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz). Directed by Byron Howard and Jared Bush, Encanto‘s plot involves a struggle to preserve the magical world, and will come packing an arsenal of original tunes from Hamilton and In The Heights creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Based on the real life story of Maurizio Gucci’s assassination, Adam Driver portrays the fashion house pioneer alongside Lady Gaga’s Patrizia (the ex-wife who was convicted for arranging the hit). Jared Leto, Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons add their names to the considerable roster of acting talent. Ridley Scott has been working on House of Gucci since 2006, but the production has attracted negative responses from the individuals being depicted. Will arrive on Paramount+ after a theatrical run.
Based on the Adam Mervis’ stage play, National Champions concerns a college football quarterback who leads a players’ strike ahead of a big game to improve conditions and compensation for his fellow athletes. The sports drama stars Stephan James, J. K. Simmons, Kristin Chenoweth and Timothy Olyphant.
What do you do when one long-running video game franchise runs out of steam? Start all over again, of course. Resident Evil: Welcome To Raccoon City adapts the original Capcom games from scratch. Kaya Scodelairo is Clare Redfield, Robbie Amell is her brother Chris, Hannah John-Kamen in Jill Valentine, and Tom Hopper as Albert Wesker. Directed by Johannes Roberts, Welcome To Raccoon City purports to capture the original horror elements better than Milla Jovovich‘s former franchise.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Soggy Bottom stars Cooper Hoffman as a young aspiring actor looking to break into Hollywood during the 1970s. Bradley Cooper plays a producer, setting up a meta tale about the movie-making industry, and rounding out the selection of Fall 2021 releases.