Netflix promised they would debut one movie a week for all of 2021, and they delivered. The streaming giant already premiered several acclaimed films, including Malcolm & Marie, Army of the Dead, and Gunpowder Milkshake. However, they seem to be saving the best for last.
Indeed, Netflix has a slew of hotly anticipated titles set to premiere in the last months of 2021. Some of them are potential awards contenders, while others are thrilling adventures; there’s even a couple of major blockbusters in the mix! Audiences will likely watch them all, cementing Netflix’s place as the undisputed leader in streaming services.
10 The Guilty (October 1)
Antoine Fuqua is one of Hollywood’s go-to action directors. The helmer behind classics like Training Day and The Equalizer movies will take eam with Jake Gyllenhaal in The Guilty, a crime thriller set to debut on October 1st.
Details of the movie are still scarce, but it has a top-notch cast that includes Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough, Peter Sarsgaard, and Paul Dano. The Guilty will have its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. It might not be an awards contender but it will surely be a thrilling entry into Fuqua’s action-packed resumé.
9 Army Of Thieves (October 29)
Following the massive critical and commercial success of the surprisingly quotable Army of the Dead, Netflix is ready to revisit the world of heists and zombies with Army of Thieves. The movie will act as a prequel, centering on the character of Ludwig Dieter, once again played by Matthias Schweighöfer.
The movie will follow Deiter as he takes part in another heist and will take place in the early days of the zombie outbreak. Joining Schweighöfer, who’s also directing, are Nathalie Emmanuel and Stuart Martin. Producer Deborah Snyder classified the movie as “a romantic comedy-heist film including zombies,” hinting at a whole different tone compared to its predecessor.
8 The Harder They Fall (November 3)
Jeymes Samuel, also known by his stage name, The Bullitts, will make his directorial debut with The Harder They Fall. A classic Western, the movie follows Nat Love, a cowboy who assembles his former gang to seek revenge against the man who killed his parents.
Jonathan Majors stars as Love, alongside an all-star cast including Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield, Delroy Lindo, and Regina King. The movie will feature several real-life figures, including Love, Rufus Buck, and Stagecoach Mary, promising a thoughtful exploration of the Old West from an entirely new perspective.
7 Passing (November 10)
Premiering at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Passing received critical praise from reviewers. Based on the 1929 novel of the same name, Passing follows childhood friends who reunite in adulthood. Irene identifies as African American and married a Black doctor, while Clare “passes” as white and married a rich and prejudiced white man. The title refers to the practice of “passing,” where Black people pretended to be white.
The movie stars Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga in the lead roles, with André Holland and Alexander Skarsgård co-starring. Positive word of mouth could make the difference for the movie and garner some well-deserved recognition for its two stars and writer-director Rebecca Hall.
6 Red Notice (November 12)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson might find himself in yet another franchise, that is, if Red Notice lives up to the hype. And, boy, does it have a lot of it. Johnson stars alongside Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot as an Interpol agent who joins forces with a criminal to track down the world’s most wanted art thief.
Described as the biggest Netflix movie ever, Red Notice has a production budget of $160 million, although Variety reported it could reach up to $200 million. The film promises to deliver in the laughs and action departments; indeed, the trailer showed setpieces so impressive they could rival the Mission: Impossible franchise.
5 Tick, Tick… Boom! (November 19)
Lin-Manuel Miranda will have a truly impressive 2021. Aside from the film adaptation of his hit musical In the Heights, Miranda acts as a songwriter in two major animated features, Vivo and Encanto. On top of that, he will make his directorial debut with Tick, Tick… Boom!, based on the musical of the same name by the late Jonathan Larson.
Andrew Garfield stars as Larson, a promising composer who enters a mid-life crisis close to his 30th birthday. The trailer for Tick, Tick… Boom! provoked some fun Twitter reactions, proving there is much anticipation surrounding it. The film will premiere at the 2021 AFI Fest, cementing its place as a contender in the 2022 awards season.
4 Bruised (November 24)
Halle Berry starred in a slew of commercial hits, including three X-Men films, and won an Oscar for Monster’s Ball. However, her career declined in the latter part of the decade and well into the 2010s. As such, many consider Bruised a comeback of sorts.
Berry also directs the movie, which follows a disgraced MMA fighter dealing with problems in her personal and professional life. Bruised premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival and will premiere on Netflix on November 24. Fans have long wanted a comeback vehicle for Berry, and Bruised might be it.
3 The Power Of The Dog (December 1)
After 13 years away from motion picture directing, Jane Campion returns with The Power of the Dog. Based on the novel of the same name, The Power of the Dog follows a sadistic rancher, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who launches a campaign against his timid brother’s new wife, Kirsten Dunst.
The movie received glowing reviews straight out of Venice and Telluride, with many claiming it might finally snag Benedict Cumberbatch a Best Actor Oscar. The Power of the Dog is not only one of the leading contenders at the 2022 Oscars but a must-see for every film lover.
2 The Unforgivable (December 10)
Any movie starring Sandra Bullock or Viola Davis would be worth checking out. When the two join forces, the project becomes a must-see. Bullock and Davis will co-star in The Unforgivable, a drama about a woman who attempts to rebuild her life after her release from prison.
The Unforgivable‘s release date suggests Netflix might think it has some awards potential. Indeed, a movie starring Bullock and Davis sounds like an Academy voter’s dream. Furthermore, The Unforgivable is an adaptation of the British miniseries Unforgiven, which received critical acclaim in 2009, suggesting the film will be worth the while.
1 Don’t Look Up (December 24)
Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the many stars headlining Netflix originals in 2021, but his movie might be the most anticipated. Directed by Adam McKay and co-starring Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up is a black comedy sci-fi about two low-level astronauts who try to alert humanity about an asteroid that will destroy Earth.
Joining DiCaprio and Lawrence is a parade of mega-stars, including Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Tyler Perry, Ariana Grande, Chris Evans, and Matthew Perry. The movie is one of Netflix’s hottest tickets, and fans and critics will surely jump at the chance of seeing all these stars together.