Summer Movies 2021: Here’s What’s Coming to the Big (and Small) Screen

Here is a list of noteworthy films scheduled this summer. Release dates and platform are subject to change and reflect the latest information as of deadline.

CHANGING THE GAME (on Hulu) This documentary profiles three transgender athletes and their high school sports careers, with a particular focus on Mack Beggs, a transgender man who as a teenager wanted to compete in boys’ wrestling but, because of a rule in Texas, could only wrestle against girls.

ALL LIGHT, EVERYWHERE (in theaters) The biases of surveillance — by the eye, by police body cameras and in the composite photography of the eugenics proponent Francis Galton, for example — are the subject of this haunting, wide-ranging essay film from the Baltimore experimental director Theo Anthony (“Rat Film”). It won a special jury prize at Sundance.

THE ANCIENT WOODS (in theaters) The biologist and filmmaker Mindaugas Survila investigates the floral and faunal mysteries of a mostly untouched forest in Lithuania. Film Forum says the movie, poised between nature documentary and folklore, is suitable for children “whose attention spans have not been destroyed by technology.”

BAD TALES (in virtual cinemas) This Italian feature, winner of best screenplay at the Berlin International Film Festival last year, pulls back the facade of family life in a seemingly idyllic Rome suburb.

THE CARNIVORES (in theaters and on demand) The illness of a dog triggers the unraveling of a couple (Lindsay Burdge and Tallie Medel). The trailer promises ample servings of the dark and the grotesque.

CITY OF ALI (in virtual cinemas) Other documentaries have captured the highlights of Muhammad Ali’s career, but “City of Ali” deals specifically with his life in Louisville, Ky., where he was born and raised.

THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT (in theaters and on HBO Max) Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) return for what’s either the third or the eighth “Conjuring” movie. (Spinoffs like “Annabelle” and “The Nun” only sort of count.) This one involves the case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson (Ruairi O’Connor), who was convicted of manslaughter but who some believe was possessed. Michael Chaves (who directed another spinoff, “The Curse of La Llorona”) assumes the helm from the “Conjuring” director James Wan.

THE REAL THING (in virtual cinemas) Koji Fukada (the Cannes prizewinner “Harmonium”) directed this four-hour feature, based on a manga and condensed from a 10-episode series, about a toy seller who rescues a woman from being hit by a train and gets a whirlwind of adventure as his reward.

SLOW MACHINE (in virtual cinemas) In a fractured narrative, Stephanie Hayes plays an actress who has a series of bizarre encounters with a man who identifies himself as a New York City police intelligence specialist. The movie was shown in an experimental section of last year’s New York Film Festival.

AWAKE (on Netflix) A cataclysm knocks out Earth’s power grids and gives the world’s population insomnia; the collective exhaustion leads to “Purge”-like conditions. Gina Rodriguez plays a former soldier whose daughter is somehow immune to the sleeplessness, but harnessing the cure isn’t as simple as giving everyone valerian tea. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Frances Fisher co-star.

TRAGIC JUNGLE (on Netflix) Yulene Olaizola directed this 1920s-set magical-realist feature, shown at the Venice and New York film festivals last year. It centers on a fleeing woman (Indira Andrewin) who finds herself in the company of gum workers in the Mayan rainforest.

THE WOMAN WHO RAN (in theaters) In the latest film from the prolific South Korean director Hong Sang-soo, a character played by Hong’s frequent star Kim Min-hee visits with three friends. There is also an argument with a neighbor about whether it’s all right to feed stray cats.

ASIA (in theaters) Shira Haas of “Unorthodox” plays a Russian immigrant in Israel who faces challenges both with her health and her mother (Alena Yiv). Ruthy Pribar directed, and it won the top prize from the body that gives out Israel’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.

CENSOR (in theaters) Shown at Sundance, this stylized British horror film is set in the 1980s, when what became known as “video nasties” — violent, cheaply made movies available on cassette — were all the rage. Niamh Algar plays a censor who does her utmost to protect the public (but maybe wasn’t so great at protecting her sister years earlier). Prano Bailey-Bond directed.

DOMINO: BATTLE OF THE BONES (in theaters) No, it’s not a sequel to Tony Scott’s 2005 movie “Domino,” in which Keira Knightley played a bounty hunter, or one to Brian De Palma’s recent film of the same title. Rather, it’s the story of how a man and his stepgrandson compete in a domino tournament. Baron Davis, the former N.B.A. star, directed and co-wrote.

HOLLER (in theaters and on demand) Jessica Barden plays a promising Ohio student who begins working in scrap-metal yards to keep her family together. Nicole Riegel directed; Pamela Adlon and Gus Halper co-star.

IN THE HEIGHTS (in theaters and on HBO Max) Expected to have been a huge hit in the summer of 2020, now destined to be a return-to-the-movies toe-tapper in 2021, this film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s best-musical Tony winner — the one before “Hamilton,” that is — stars Anthony Ramos (a.k.a. Philip Hamilton) as Usnavi, the bodega owner Miranda played on Broadway. Stephanie Beatriz (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Miranda also appear. Jon M. Chu, who showed his skill with screen musicals in two of the better “Step Up” movies, directed from a screenplay by the musical’s book writer, Quiara Alegría Hudes.

THE MISFITS (in theaters) Pierce Brosnan, two decades from his turn in the “Thomas Crown Affair” remake, plays another thief who joins forces with a group to steal gold bars that a businessman (Tim Roth) uses to finance terrorists. Renny Harlin directed.

PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY (in theaters) James Corden returns as the voice of Beatrix Potter’s famous hare, although Glenn Kenny of The Times wrote that the first film, from 2018, dispensed “with the sweetness and light and lyricism of the books.” Here, Peter ventures out of the garden to make trouble.

SKATER GIRL (on Netflix) Rachel Saanchita Gupta plays a teenager in northwestern India who discovers skateboarding and begins to dream of competing at a championship level.

SUBLET (in theaters) John Benjamin Hickey plays a grieving travel journalist (for The New York Times, no less) who rediscovers his zest for life in Tel Aviv. Eytan Fox directed.

RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT (in theaters) The EGOT-winning actress revisits her career, recounting her experiences with discrimination in Hollywood, her breakthrough role in “West Side Story” and more. Mariem Pérez Riera directed.

SIBERIA (in theaters and on demand) The idea of Abel Ferrara directing Willem Dafoe as a bartender in Siberia will be irresistible to fans of a certain brand of uncompromising cinema. In an interview, Ferrara described it as “an odyssey movie.”

THE SPARKS BROTHERS (in theaters) Edgar Wright directed what feels like the definitive portrait of the band Sparks, a.k.a. the brothers Ron and Russell Mael, who straddle an almost imperceptibly thin line between the comic and the earnest and whose most consistent trait over 50 years has been their interest in reinventing their sound. Their first movie musical, “Annette” (Aug. 6), also comes out this summer.

SUMMER OF 85 (in theaters) François Ozon directed this tale of young summer romance, which was selected for the canceled Cannes Film Festival last year. A boy (Félix Lefebvre) is saved from a boating accident and then taught worldly ways by his rescuer (Benjamin Voisin).

SWEAT (in theaters) Another selection from the Cannes-that-wasn’t, this Polish feature from Magnus von Horn stars Magdalena Kolesnik as a “fitness influencer” who faces the burdens of being extremely online.

SWEET THING (in theaters) Alexandre Rockwell, a mainstay of American independent filmmaking in the 1990s with films like “In the Soup,” directs his children in a coming-of-age film about a long and fantastical day.

TRUMAN & TENNESSEE: AN INTIMATE CONVERSATION (in theaters and virtual cinemas) The documentarian Lisa Immordino Vreeland puts Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams in an artistic dialogue with each other. Jim Parsons reads Capote’s words in voice-over and Zachary Quinto reads Williams’s.

12 MIGHTY ORPHANS (in theaters) Luke Wilson, Vinessa Shaw and Martin Sheen star in this true story of a how an orphanage’s football team went to compete for championships in Texas during the Great Depression.

SISTERS ON TRACK (on Netflix) Three sisters — Tai, Rainn and Brooke Sheppard — raised in tough circumstances in Brooklyn won medals in the Junior Olympics and were declared “SportsKids of the Year” for 2016 by the children’s edition of Sports Illustrated. This documentary tells their story, on the track and off.

AGAINST THE CURRENT (in theaters) No, it’s not a “Great Gatsby” spinoff. It’s a documentary about Veiga Gretarsdottir, a transgender kayaker who sets out to circumnavigate Iceland in the more difficult counterclockwise direction.

F9 (in theaters) Just when Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) thought they had settled into a quiet family life, Dom’s brother (John Cena) — who is every bit the driver Dom is, and also an assassin — turns up to settle scores. Justin Lin directed.

FALSE POSITIVE (on Hulu) Ilana Glazer and Justin Theroux play a couple trying to get pregnant who discover that their doctor (Pierce Brosnan) has a dark side.

I CARRY YOU WITH ME (in theaters) The documentarian Heidi Ewing (“Detropia”) turns to dramatized filmmaking, though not entirely (to say more would be a spoiler), with this story of the love between two Mexican men (Armando Espitia and Christian Vázquez) and how their bond endures after one, with his eye on working as a chef, crosses into the United States.

SUMMER OF SOUL (… OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED) (in theaters and on Hulu) In his first feature documentary as director, Questlove assembles joyous archival footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of concerts that developed a reputation as the Black Woodstock. The film features electrifying performances from Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Ray Barretto and more.

TILL DEATH (in theaters and on demand) The “Jennifer’s Body” star Megan Fox plays a woman who wakes up handcuffed to her husband’s corpse in this thriller.

THE TOMORROW WAR (on Amazon). Chris Pratt, Yvonne Strahovski and J.K. Simmons are all tapped for a war effort against aliens that won’t happen until 30 years in the future. Time travel makes this possible.

SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY (in theaters and on HBO Max) In 1996, Michael Jordan joined the Looney Tunes on the basketball court. This time it’s LeBron James who assembles Bugs and the gang for a hybrid live-action/animated round of hoops, with a lot of other Warner Bros. intellectual property filling out the sidelines. Malcolm D. Lee directed.

AILEY (in theaters and on demand) Using archival footage and its subject’s words, the director Jamila Wignot’s documentary recounts the career of the dancer-choreographer Alvin Ailey (1931-89).

EYIMOFE (THIS IS MY DESIRE) (in theaters) The siblings Arie and Chuko Esiri directed this film set in Lagos, Nigeria, about two people separately trying to leave for Europe.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: TRANSFORMANIA (in theaters) The transformation in this fourth feature of the animated franchise happens when a “monsterfication ray” turns humans into monsters and monsters into humans. But there’s a behind-the-scenes transformation, too: Dracula’s vocal cords aren’t supplied by Adam Sandler this time, but by Brian Hull.

THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER (on Netflix). In this summer’s addition to the tear-jerker sweepstakes, Felicity Jones plays a journalist who uncovers an affair from the 1960s between another journalist (Callum Turner) and a married woman (Shailene Woodley).

MANDIBLES (in theaters and on demand) The French absurdist and electronic musician Quentin Dupieux (“Deerskin”) serves up another deadpan oddity, about two friends trying to train a giant fly.

THE GREEN KNIGHT (in theaters) Dev Patel has a seat at the round table as Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur, in the director David Lowery’s quest to revive the Arthurian legend onscreen. Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton and Sarita Choudhury also star.

JUNGLE CRUISE (in theaters and on Disney+) In 1916, a British researcher (Emily Blunt) travels to South America and hires a roguish, Bogartian skipper (Dwayne Johnson) as her guide through the Amazon. It’s based on a ride at Disneyland, and indirectly on a long lineage of Hollywood adventure films. Edgar Ramírez, Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti co-star. Jaume Collet-Serra directed.

THE LAST MERCENARY (on Netflix) French authorities falsely allege that a young man has been trafficking arms and drugs. Unfortunately for them, his father is played by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

NINE DAYS (in theaters) Winston Duke plays an interrogator at a way station of sorts, where he interviews people — actually unborn souls — some of whom will earn the right to be born as humans. Zazie Beetz plays an interviewee who confounds him. Edson Oda wrote and directed.

SABAYA (in theaters and on demand) This documentary trails intrepid volunteer workers in Syria who extract women and girls held captive as sex slaves by the Islamic State.

STILLWATER Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”) directed Matt Damon as an American oil-rig worker whose daughter (Abigail Breslin) is imprisoned for murder in Marseille, France. She says she is innocent; he scrambles to help her.

ANNETTE (in theaters) While Edgar Wright’s documentary about the band Sparks (June 18) covers the cinephile musicians’ history of movie projects that never came to fruition, this feature film gives them their chance: They wrote the screenplay, the songs and the score for this love story, and Leos Carax (“Holy Motors”) directed. Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard star.

THE SUICIDE SQUAD (in theaters and on HBO Max) If it doesn’t work the first time, add a definite article. Poised somewhere between a reboot of and a sequel to “Suicide Squad” (2016), the movie sets several DC characters, including Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, loose on a jungle island. James Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) wrote and directed. With Idris Elba, John Cena, Sylvester Stallone and Viola Davis.

THE KISSING BOOTH 3 (on Netflix) This entry in the series finds Elle (Joey King) getting ready for college.

CODA (in theaters and on Apple TV+) A crowd-pleaser (and awards-grabber, with four prizes) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the movie tells the story of a child of deaf adults (Emilia Jones) in a working-class Massachusetts fishing family. She wants to sing, a passion that is alien to her non-hearing parents (Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur) and brother (Daniel Durant). Sian Heder directed this remake of a French film.

DAYS (in theaters) A highlight of last year’s New York Film Festival, the director Tsai Ming-liang’s feature follows two men — one in Taipei, then Hong Kong (the Tsai regular Lee Kang-sheng); the other in Bangkok (Anong Houngheuangsy) — who in the second half meet, and for a little while are not alone.

DON’T BREATHE 2 (in theaters) In the first “Don’t Breathe” (2016), Stephen Lang played a blind veteran whose dark secrets were among that home-invasion tale’s surprises. There’s more on those in this sequel. Rodo Sayagues directed, co-writing with Fede Alvarez, who directed the original.

THE NIGHT HOUSE (in theaters) Rebecca Hall plays a widow who discovers that her husband had a … thing for women who looked quite a bit like her, one of whom is played by Stacy Martin. What was he up to? David Bruckner directed, with an appetite for jump scares.

PAW PATROL: THE MOVIE (in theaters) The techno-fitted animated canines of the children’s TV series make the leap to the big screen.

THE PROTÉGÉ (in theaters) This is the second movie of the summer in which Samuel L. Jackson plays a hit man (after “The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife”) — except that this one concerns the hit man’s daughter (Maggie Q), or at least the woman he raised like a daughter, a hit woman herself, who seeks revenge after he is murdered. Michael Keaton co-stars, also playing a killer. Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”) directed.

REMINISCENCE (in theaters and on HBO Max) Lisa Joy, a creator of “Westworld,” wrote and directed this thriller, which casts Hugh Jackman as a sleuth who digs up lost memories. Rebecca Ferguson plays his latest customer.

WILDLAND (in theaters) This dark Danish feature concerns a teenager (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) who, after her mother’s death, goes to live with an aunt (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and an extended clan filled with criminality and addiction.

THE BEATLES: GET BACK (in theaters) Peter Jackson, who used archival footage to bring World War I back to life in “They Shall Not Grow Old,” uses tens of hours of restored footage and audio — billed as previously unseen and unheard — to showcase the Beatles as they were in 1969.

CANDYMAN (in theaters) Even without anyone saying Candyman’s name to a mirror, a haunting teaser trailer with only shadow puppets, from last year, set the bar high for this remake, directed by Nia DaCosta (“Little Woods”) and co-written by, among others, Jordan Peele. Interestingly, it appears to retain the milieu of Chicago’s mostly defunct Cabrini-Green housing project, where much of the 1992 original took place. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris star. Colman Domingo also appears.

HE’S ALL THAT (on Netflix) Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”) directed this gender-swapped remake of “She’s All That.” Addison Rae plays an influencer who gives a dork (Tanner Buchanan) an image makeover.

VACATION FRIENDS (on Hulu) A couple (Yvonne Orji and Lil Rel Howery) is mortified when some casual friends from a vacation (Meredith Hagner and John Cena) crash their wedding.

THE BIG SCARY “S” WORD (in theaters) Spoiler alert: The word is “socialism,” and Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the interviewees in this documentary about its history in the United States.

FAYA DAYI (in theaters) When the director Jessica Beshir’s experimental documentary, shot in Harar, Ethiopia, played at New Directors/New Films in the spring, Beatrice Loayza, writing in The Times, called it “dreamy and visually dazzling.” The film, she wrote, considers the toll that the economics of khat — a plant that is used as a drug — takes “on a rural community across generations.”

Sahred From Source link Arts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *