Back to the cinema! The biggest features on the best movies coming in 2021

Last year was difficult for cinemas. The COVID pandemic left theaters around the world shuttered, with film studios pivoting many movie releases to streaming services. Only a few major blockbusters made their way to the big screen – such as Tenet – while dozens of others were pushed back to 2021. Now, finally, we’re going back to the cinema! 

Thanks to the astonishing work being done by vaccinators around the world, we’re able to safely sit in a dark room, surrounded by strangers, and watch the biggest and best movies. From new Fast and Furious to a rush of Marvel Phase 4 movies, there’s a lot coming our way.

Over the next few weeks, we will be celebrating the best movies heading to cinemas. Every Friday, GamesRadar+ and Total Film will release a long-read article, featuring interviews with the cast and crew, about the biggest films coming this year. This week, we sat down with 007 himself, Daniel Craig.

So, Get your web-slingers fired up, your Dalmatian-spotted coat on, and your dancing shoes ready – we’re going back to the cinema!

GamesRadar+ and Total Film present… Back to the cinema!

No Time To Die

(Image credit: Universal)

No Time To Die: Daniel Craig on his James Bond’s final adventure
(opens in new tab)
In cinemas September 30/October 8 (UK/US)
For one last time, Daniel Craig is stepping into the well-worn suit of 007. Total Film reveals the inside story of Bond’s 25 mission, uncovering classified information from the likes of Craig and director Cary Joji Fukunaga ahead of the autumn release.

Candyman is our latest Back to the Cinema feature

(Image credit: Universal)

The making of Candyman (opens in new tab)
In cinemas August 27
A reimagining of one of the scariest – and most politically charged – genre movies even made, the new Candyman is a horror for the Black Lives Matter era. Director Nia DaCosta and stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Teyonah Parris discuss terrors new and old, imagined and all too real…

Fast and Furious 9

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Fast and Furious 9 review
In cinemas now!

The Family are back – and this time, they’re furiouser. Well, actually, that’s not quite true. F9 starts with Dom and Letty settling down for a life of no more crime, when the rest of the team come knocking. Dom’s long-forgotten (AKA never-before-mentioned) brother, Jakob, is causing trouble, and it’s up to the Toretto clan to stop him and his overseer, Cypher (the returning Charlize Theron). It’s action packed, but is it worth the cinema trip? Here’s the Total Film review to help you decide.

The Suicide Squad

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

On set of The Suicide Squad
In cinemas August 6

So, you’ve read our massive The Suicide Squad preview (if not, why not? Keep scrolling to fin it) and want more? We’re here to help. Our writer visited the set of this year’s most anticipated supervillain team-up and spoke with James Gunn, Margot Robbie, and more about the upcoming film. Plus, there’s a lot of fun color from the set, with Gunn stressing how practical effects were his priority.

Free Guy

(Image credit: 20th Century)

Ryan Reynolds on making Free Guy (opens in new tab)
In cinemas August 13
Ryan Reynolds promises plenty of heart, laughs, and action in his new sci-fi comedy set in an open-world game. Total Film talks to the actor and his co-stars to find out why Free Guy is the big screen movie we all need right now

The Suicide Squad

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

The Suicide Squad: James Gunn on the deadly new DC adventure
In cinemas August 6 

The supervillains have been dispatched on another off-the-books mission, but this time they’ve brought a “douchey Captain America”, a talking shark, and the director of Guardians of the Galaxy. Idris Elba, John Cena, Peter Capaldi, Margot Robbie, and more all star in this thrilling new installment in the DCEU. We meet the cast and crew behind the explosive new movie. Just don’t call it a sequel… or a reboot… Just call it The Suicide Squad. We think. No-one seems quite sure.

The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard review
In cinemas now!

After a dumb-fun, excessively violent romp? Well, you couldn’t do better than Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, and Samuel L. Jackson’s latest. A follow-up to the surprisingly funny The Hitman’s Bodyguard, this one sees Hayek employing Reynolds’ character to help find her missing husband. The laughs soon ensue – as does the blood-splattering. Prepare for things to get seriously messy in all the right ways.

Fast and Furious 9 trailer

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Fast and Furious 9: Vin Diesel, John Cena talk outer space and #JusticeForHan (opens in new tab)
In cinemas now!
The Fast films have always had family at their heart, but the series is stepping up a gear by putting Dominic Toretto head to head with his most dangerous adversary to date: his own brother. We speak to Vin Diesel, John Cena, and director Justin Lin.

Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow

(Image credit: Disney)

Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh talk Black Widow
In cinemas from July 9

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re finally heading to the Red Room. Ahead of Black Widow’s first standalone adventure, Total Film spoke to Marvel mainstay Scarlett Johansson, newcomer Florence Pugh, and director Cate Shortland on telling Natasha’s final story and handing the baton over to a new Black Widow. This one’s been a long time coming – and it looks set to launch Marvel Phase 4 on the big screen in style.

In the Heights

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

In The Heights review
In cinemas now!

“This is a vaccine for your soul,” director Jon M. Chu promised of his ebullient, high-energy, big-screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-award-winning 2007 musical, In the Heights, about young Latino New Yorkers chasing their dreams in a tough neighborhood. And this fun, family-friendly, big-energy outing – albeit one that doesn’t hit Hamilton’s heights – is certainly that. This is one all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza that will have the cinema on its feet.

A Quiet Place 2

(Image credit: Paramount)

On the set of A Quiet Place 2 with John Krasinski and Emily Blunt
(opens in new tab)
In cinemas now!
It was the hushed little horror that became a huge hit – both critically and commercially – so it’s little surprise that
A Quiet Place is returning with a sequel. Total Film sneaked on-set of the super-secret production to discover how Part II is looking to repeat the trick; going bigger while also staying true to its beginnings…

Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

A Quiet Place Part 2 review
In cinemas now!

Can the horror sequel live up to the original? Our reviewer certainly thinks so. “Against the odds, Part II manages to expand its predecessor’s world, realign its POV and develop its themes in controlled, satisfying ways, largely without losing its forerunner’s lean pitch and capacity to jolt,” writes our critic. “Tight (97 minutes) and often cruelly tense, it cuts as close to the original’s equal as might be expected, one or two stumbles aside.” And once you’ve seen the sequel, be sure to read our piece on the A Quiet Place 2 ending.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It review
In cinemas now!

The Conjuring series continues with The Devil Made Me Do It. The horror series leaves the haunted house setup and instead focuses on a (real) court case in which a murderer pleas that the devil was inside him. Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) are on fantastic form in this threequel that acts as a slight course correction for the wildly expanding series. “Better than The Conjuring 2 and most of the Annabelles, this latest entry gives some zip to a stumbling franchise,” reads our review.

New Disney movie Cruella

(Image credit: Disney)

Cruella: Emma Stone reframes the narrative of an iconic villain (opens in new tab)
In cinemas now!
One of the most iconic characters to ever (dis)grace the screen, Cruella de Vil is getting an origin story in Cruella (opens in new tab). That’s right, the animated antagonist of Disney’s classic ’60s ‘toon One Hundred and One Dalmatians is about to let the fur fly again… and Oscar-winner Emma Stone is poised to show us just how fashionista Cruella got to be bad to the bone. Total Film met with Stone and the rest of the cast and crew to discuss the release.

Godzilla vs. Kong

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Godzilla vs. Kong: The making of a monster hit
In cinemas now!

While Godzilla vs. Kong may have been made available on HBO Max, that’s no way to watch this monster mash – you need the big screen! Speaking to Total Film, the cast and crew explain just what went into making the clash of the century, with director Adam Wingard confirming that, yes, there was always going to be just one victor. “I knew who I thought should win, 100 percent,” he reveals. Plus, after you’ve seen the showdown, read our piece on the Godzilla vs. Kong ending.

Promising Young Woman

(Image credit: NowTV)

Promising Young Woman review
In cinemas now!

Another Oscar-nominated movie that now, finally, is available in cinemas. Promising Young Woman centers on Carey Mulligan’s Cassie, who spends her evenings in bars, feigning legless inebriation until a ‘nice guy’ picks her up. How far they go is up to the guy, but consent is never given and if they ignore Cassandra’s repeated protests… well, that would be telling. Promising Young Woman is certainly a conversation starter – and not one to miss.

Chris Rock in Spiral

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Spiral director talks Saw franchise (opens in new tab)
In cinemas now!
The latest installment in the Saw franchise is only in cinemas, and it’s well worth the trip. Spiral (opens in new tab) centers on Chris Rock’s detective Zeke, who attempts to track down a new Jigsaw killer. A copycat or the infamous John Kramer somehow returned? We sat down with director Darren Lynn Bousman to answer our questions.

Judas and the Black Messiah

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Judas and the Black Messiah review
In cinemas now!

There are some movies that need to be seen on the big screen, and Judas and the Black Messiah is one of them. There’s a reason Daniel Kaluuya won the Oscar for his portrayal of Fred Hampton, the assassinated leader of the Illinois Black Panthers chapter. Alongside Kaluuya’s galvanizing lead, LaKeith Stanfield tackles the more reserved role of William O’Neal, a petty thief manipulated by Jesse Plemons’ fed Roy Mitchell into informing on Hampton. Both leads bring their A-game, making for a thrilling, powerful movie that will be talked about for years to come.

Mortal Kombat movie

(Image credit: Warner Bros./New Line Cinema)

Mortal Kombat review
In cinemas now!

MOOOORTTTAAALLLL KOOOMMBBBAAATTT. It’s impossible to just say the name. And while the reviews have been mixed with regards to the movie’s cliche “chosen one” story, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: the action is fantastic. And, guess what? Action movies were made for the big screen. There’s nothing quite like seeing someone’s head ripped off surrounded by other people. You can hear the “OMG!” screams from here. So if you have a hankering for some gruesome fatalities, then make sure to book a cinema ticket for this one.

Dave Bautista in Army of the Dead

(Image credit: Netflix)

Inside Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead (opens in new tab)
In select US cinemas now!
Yes, Army of the Dead (opens in new tab) is a Netflix movie, but the streamer has so much faith in this full-throttled actioner that it has released Snyder’s latest offering in cinemas. And if you want to experience seeing a zombie tiger for the first time, there’s no better setting than surrounding by fellow Snyder fans in a cinema. To get you ready for the movie, our team sat down with the filmmaker to talk about making his second film about the undead.

2021 movie release dates

(Image credit: Universal/Warner Bros./Sony)

The major movie release dates you need to know

Are you sitting comfortably? Because you’re going to need a few minutes to memorize when every major movie is coming to cinemas this year. Or, of course, you could just use our handy guide. There are plenty of films that were pushed back from last year, and even a few that were made entirely during the pandemic. Turns out, actors aren’t that lazy after all. Who knew? Highlights include Shang-Chi, Dune, Spider-Man 3: No Way Home, and The Matrix 4. If none of those massive franchise blockbusters scream “I need to see this on the biggest screen possible!” then we don’t know what does.

Back to the cinema celebrates all the major movies coming to the big screen over the next year, with more features coming every week. Next up: A Quiet Place Part II. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Total Film homepage for all the latest news, reviews, features, and more.

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