The 2021 Film Release Calendar: Films Without Release Dates (M-Z)
It’s been such a protracted year, but finally we’re ready to finish the Release Calendar (and finally I can actually start watching stuff from this year in earnest.
By now, the calendar’s starting to get more filled out than it usually is when I start going over everything and we’re starting to get a sense that maybe, just maybe, by the latter half of the year movie theaters will be open and operating again at a level relatively near to what we’re used to.
So, in the hopes of that happening, let’s go over all the stuff that’s fixing to come out.
Here are all the films that don’t yet have release dates:
Ma Belle, My Beauty
A surprise reunion in the South of France reignites passions and jealousies between two women who were formerly polyamorous lovers.
The complex love of Leonard and Felicia Bernstein, from the time they met in 1946 at a party and continuing through two engagements, a 25 year marriage, and three children.
Bradley Cooper directs and stars, and on that alone, 4 stars. I have no reason to think he doesn’t know what he’s doing and will make this as solid as he made A Star Is Born.
The Man from Toronto
The world’s deadliest assassin and New York’s biggest screw-up are mistaken for each other at an Airbnb rental.
Fun concept. Worried that it’s a Kevin Hart movie, so that’ll keep me to 3 stars instead of more.
Two simple-minded friends discover a giant fly in the trunk of a car and decide to domesticate it to earn money with it.
It’s Quentin Dupieux, so it’ll be weird and it’ll be fun.
Marvelous and the Black Hole
A teenage delinquent teams up with a surly children’s party magician to navigate her dysfunctional family and inner demons.
Well this sounds great.
Aftermath of a violent tragedy that affects the lives of two couples in different ways.
Hard to tell what this is gonna be.
Two African American women begin to share disturbing experiences at a predominantly white college in New England.
Ana is transported to a dreamlike and dangerous land where she joins an army of girls engaged in a never-ending war along a rugged coast. Though she finds strength in this exhilarating world, she comes to realize that she’s not the killer they want her to be.
A woman from Scotland, while traveling in Colombia, begins to notice strange sounds. Soon she begins to think about their appearance.
This is from the Uncle Boonmee guy.
Midnight in the Switchgrass
An FBI agent and Florida State officer team up to investigate a string of unsolved murder cases.
Bruce Willis paycheck movie. We know how these go. However, this has Emile Hirsch and Megan Fox. So maybe that means it’ll be watchable.
War photographer W. Eugene Smith travels back to Japan where he documents the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in coastal communities.
Johnny Depp movie. I’ve been tracking this one a bit, mostly because I’ve been following his choices lately with a close eye, hoping he’d get back to the small dramas and good material that made him a star in the first place, before Pirates-land took him away (much like Avengers-land has taken Downey currently). Since Pirates 3, the only real interesting choice he made was Public Enemies (and maybe Rango?). Otherwise it was barely working or doing Dark Shadows and Lone Ranger and that stuff. But in the past five years — Black Mass, Murder on the Orient Express (small role, but effective), The Professor, Waiting for the Barbarians. It’s these interesting little films, some of which feature very good performances by him. I know there’s all that legal stuff, but in terms of actual performances, it was nice to see him get back to the Depp I remember.
Anyway, the film itself — doesn’t look great. Looks a bit serious and overblown. Might look great, but I can’t guess higher than 3 stars on this.
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
A quirky, dysfunctional family’s road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity’s unlikeliest last hope.
It’s from Lord and Miller, though they only produced it. But still, let’s assume they can make this charming enough even though I’m sure I really won’t give that much of a shit about it.
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon
A girl with unusual powers escapes from a mental asylum and tries to make it on her own in New Orleans.
Ana Lily Amirpour. I’m in.
Follows two estranged siblings as they return home to the sprawling ranch they once knew and loved.
A space crew travels to the moon after it’s struck by an asteroid and is sent on a collision course with Earth.
I love how Roland Emmerich keeps getting all these budgets to make these giant CGI fests. It’s actually admirable. The movies, of course, all feel kinda dated, but I appreciate the hustle that he keeps getting them financed.
A maid living in post-World War I England secretly plans to meet with the man she loves before he leaves to marry another woman.
3 stars. That feels easy.
A Mouthful of Air
Julie is a new mom and children’s book author, who escapes into the bright Crayola-colored world of her creation in order to leave behind the darkness caused by her post-partum depression.
Well damn. Good for them for getting the subject out there. The writer wrote the book I Smile Back was based on, too. So that, plus the cast — 3 stars. Still, admirable, though.
A British diplomat travels to Munich in the run-up to World War II, where a former classmate of his from Oxford is also en route, but is working for the German government.
This sounds fun.
My Father’s Dragon
Elmer Elevator searches for a captive Dragon on Wild Island and finds much more than he could ever have anticipated.
This is by Nora Twomey, who did The Breadwinner and co-directed Secret of Kells.
I’m all the way in.
Driving in the heart of the Highlands, Edmond Murray receives a call from his ex-wife, in tears. Their 7-year-old son went missing from a campsite. Soon it becomes clear that the child was kidnapped and the parents give way to despair.
Oh, there’s something about this, right? It’s either all in a screen or McAvoy is the only person on screen. There’s some sort of gimmick here, I feel like I heard somewhere. Oh, no. It’s improvised. That’s what it is. McAvoy’s character is only aware of the general situation and will react to things as they happen.
It’s certainly an interesting experiment. No idea if it works, but let’s say it’s more interesting than if it were just scripted. So let’s go with it.
When a successful New York public defender loses his first case, his life begins to unravel.
3 stars. This seems thriller-y.
Needle in a Timestack
A husband whose marriage is destroyed by a time-travel rival will do whatever it takes to get his wife back.
I’m surprised this has kept getting held back. John Ridley’s an Oscar winner, it has Leslie Odom and Cynthia Erivo in it, not to mention Orlando Bloom and Freida Pinto. Seems like a no-brainer.
Guess I have to only go 3 stars here, just because there’s been no movement on this for at least two years now.
Next Goal Wins
Adaptation of the 2014 British documentary. The story of the American Samoa soccer team, who suffered the worst loss in World Cup history, losing to Australia 31-0 in 2001.
It’s Taika Waititi. That’s all I need to know.
Follows Alex, a boy obsessed with scary stories who is imprisoned by an evil young witch in her contemporary New York City apartment.
Netflix kids movie.
A young chauffeur drives two beautiful young women to different parties. They’re not who they claim to be, and he ends up in a fight for his life.
Netflix thriller. Seems like a twist on Collateral.
I mean, okay.
A reclusive man conducts a series of interviews with human souls for a chance to be born.
This has gotten really solid reviews off the festival circuit. Sounds interesting.
Events leading up to the 1996 Port Arthur massacre on Tasmania in an attempt to understand why and how the atrocity occurred.
Justin Kurzel always makes solid movies.
No One Gets Out Alive
An immigrant in search of the American dream who, after being forced to take a room in a boarding house, finds herself in a nightmare she can’t escape.
No Sudden Move
A group of criminals that are brought together under mysterious circumstances and have to work together to uncover what’s really going on when their simple job goes completely sideways.
Steven Soderbergh. Aww hell yeah.
4 stars on the cast. Damon, Benicio, Cheadle, Hamm, Harbour, Liotta, Brendan fucking Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Julia Fox, Amy Seimetz, Bill Duke — they got people here.
Maybe it’s only 3.5, but I trust Soderbergh. He makes good movies always.
Set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century, a Nordic prince sets out on a mission of revenge after his father is murdered.
It’s Robert Eggers. After The Witch and The Lighthouse, he can do no wrong.
The Nowhere Inn
St. Vincent sets out to make a documentary about her music, but when she hires a close friend to direct, notions of reality, identity, and authenticity grow increasingly distorted and bizarre.
Émilie meets Camille who is attracted to Nora, who crosses paths with Amber. Three girls and a boy – They’re friends, sometimes lovers and often both.
This is Jacques Audiard, so it should be solid.
On the Count of Three
Two guns. Two best friends. And a pact to end their lives when the day is done.
I heard good things about this.
Once Upon a Time in Staten Island
Plot unknown. Described as a coming of age family drama set in the summer of 1982 on Staten Island, New York.
During WWII, two intelligence officers use a corpse and false papers to outwit German troops.
Love this story, really excited to see this.
OSS 117: Alerte rouge en Afrique noire
The third entry in secret agent OSS 117’s parodic spy adventures.
Oh hell yeah. I love all of these movies.
In 1990s Scotland, a group of Catholic school girls get an opportunity to go into Edinburgh for a choir competition, but they’re more interested in drinking, partying and hooking up than winning the competition.
Easy 3 stars.
Out of Death
A corrupt Sheriff’s department in a rural mountain town comes undone when an unintended witness throws a wrench into their shady operation.
Bruce Willis paycheck movie.
He’s starting to out-paycheck Cage at this point.
An ex-marine is hired by a defense contractor to travel to Panama to complete an arms deal. In the process he becomes involved with the U.S. invasion of Panama, and learns an important lesson about the true nature of political power.
Mel Gibson action movie, also directed by Mark Neveldine, who is half the Crank duo.
Follows the unexpected reunion of two high school friends, whose renewed acquaintance ignites a mutual obsession that threatens both of their carefully constructed realities.
Rebecca Hall directed this and Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga star and this sounds great.
The Perfect Candidate
A determined young Saudi doctor’s surprise run for office in the local city elections sweeps up her family and community as they struggle to accept their town’s first female candidate.
This sounds solid.
A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.
This is a Nic Cage movie and I can’t wait.
Pink Skies Ahead
A young woman struggles with an anxiety disorder after dropping out of school.
3 stars. Sounds fun, but indie.
A darker version of the classic children’s fairy tale of a wooden puppet that transforms into a real living boy.
This is Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion version, which intrigues the shit out of me.
Follows a straight-laced high school student and her slacker best friend who, after a regrettable first sexual encounter, have 24 hours to hunt down a Plan B pill in America’s heartland.
The plot is great, though I don’t know if it’ll be too indie or really work.
So let’s go 3.5 stars and hope for the best.
The Power of the Dog
A pair of brothers who own a large ranch in Montana are pitted against each other when one of them gets married.
Jane Campion movie with Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst and Thomasin McKenzie, in case you needed anything past Jane Campion to get you excited about this.
The Princess Switch 3
Yes, there’s gonna be at third one, and no, I will not care about this one either.
Prisoners of the Ghostland
A notorious criminal must break an evil curse in order to rescue an abducted girl who has mysteriously disappeared.
Nicolas Cage movie.
Apparently this movie is nuts and that’s coming from Cage himself. So bring it on.
After unearthing a gem that controls an evil monster looking to destroy the Universe, a young girl and her brother use it to make him do their bidding.
This sounds weird and fun and sort of like if you took Power Rangers and a fucked up sense of humor and mashed them together. I’m really excited for this.
A pair of housewives create a $40 million coupon scam.
The synopsis sounds interesting and the cast largely intrigues me. So fuck it.
A modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
This sounds atrocious and I can’t wait.
A gang of mercenaries holds a nuclear power plant hostage.
Why is it that all of these Bruce Willis paycheck movies all have the same three plots?
Evelyn, a young widow haunted by the recent suicide of her husband Joseph, is falsely accused of being a witch by her Landlord after she rejects his advances.
This is by Neil Marshall, who’s always gonna be the guy who made The Descent, but has made largely forgettable fare ever since.
Not sure this one’s gonna turn that around.
An Interpol agent tracks the world’s most wanted art thief.
Big budget action movie with The Rock, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot. We all know what we’re getting here. You don’t put that cast together and that kind of budget and get anything other than a 3 star movie.
Mikey Saber is a washed-up porn star who returns to his small Texas hometown, not that anyone really wants him back.
It’s Sean Baker, which means automatic 4 stars. Honestly considered going even higher there, but we’ll stick with 4.
Red, White and Water
A US soldier suffers a traumatic brain injury while fighting in Afghanistan and struggles to adjust to life back home.
Jennifer Lawrence’s first movie in like four years (and she’s got two coming out this year).
I’m not always a huge fan of these ‘soldiers coming home’ movies, but most of the time they find ways to be solid.
Run Sweetheart Run
A woman tries to get home alive after her blind date turns violent.
Seems like a fun thriller but the holdover isn’t promising.
The biopic of Mary Seacole, a Scottish-Jamaican nurse and heroine during the Crimean War.
Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who is criminally underrated and really deserves to fully break out one of these years.
The film focuses on the later years of Marvin Gaye as he lived in Europe, putting his past drug abuse behind him and wrote his hit song Sexual Healing, along with promoter Freddy Cousaert.
Like the idea, not sure it’s fully gonna work, but I’m intrigued nevertheless.
Shoplifters of the World
1987. Denver, Co. One crazy night in the life of four friends reeling from the sudden demise of iconic British band The Smiths, while the local airwaves are hijacked at gunpoint by an impassioned Smiths fan.
A man’s search for a stolen artifact leads him to the haunted town filled with Voodoo gangsters, masked adventurers, Depression-era private eyes and violent chiaroscuro women.
This is that Alan Moore movie and I have no idea what the fuck it’s gonna be but I’m still interested to see it.
The Sky Is Everywhere
A shy, teenage musician tries to keep things together in the aftermath of her older, more outgoing sister’s death.
It’s a YA movie, but the director is Josephine Decker who made Madeline’s Madeline and Shirley. So that has to mean something, right?
Small Engine Repair
The film revolves around blue collar childhood buddies Frank, Swaino and Packie. Even when they brawl which is often, the trio is deeply bonded over the welfare of Frank’s daughter Crystal, whom they all raised. They meet off-hours one night in Frank’s out-of-the-way repair shop under cloudy circumstances, and when a rich college jock shows up to make a drug deal, things get dark and loyalties are tested.
This has been looking for distribution for over a year. I like the cast, but the lack of distribution concerns me.
A modern twist on Cinderella set in New York City’s Sneaker culture.
The Souvenir Part II
A young film student in the early 80s becomes romantically involved with a complicated and untrustworthy man.
First one was solid. No reason to think this won’t be more of the same.
During her Christmas holidays with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, Diana decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.
This stars Kristen Stewart as Diana, which is a weird casting choice but could pay off. She looks the part but I also find she always takes me out of her performances by doing her usual mannerisms too much. But it’s also directed by Pablo Larrain, who did Jackie, which I loved. So if he even approaches what he did there (or even straight up copies it, which I imagine is why he’s doing this), I’ll like it.
The Spine of Night
Ultra-violent, epic fantasy set in a land of magic follows heroes from a different eras and cultures battling against a malevolent force.
This sounds like they’re trying to do something like Ralph Bakshi or Heavy Metal, and I’ll watch that.
A biopic of 1970s record producer Neil Bogart, co-founder of Casablanca Records.
After Lilly suffers a loss, a combative Starling takes nest beside her quiet home. The feisty bird taunts and attacks the grief-stricken Lilly. On her journey to expel the Starling, she rediscovers her will to live and capacity for love.
It’s by Ted Melfi, who did Hidden Figures and St. Vincent, so I have no reason to think it won’t be solid.
A father travels from Oklahoma to France to help his daughter who has been arrested for murder.
This is Tom McCarthy, who has definitely tried to mix it up lately. Station Agent, The Visitor, Win Win, Spotlight and then The Cobbler and Timmy Failure.
This seems to be back closer to his dramatic stuff, and it stars Matt Damon, who almost always picks great material. So I’ve got no reason to think anything other than a minimum of 3.5 stars here.
A stowaway on a mission to Mars sets off a series of unintended consequences.
Plot sounds nice, cast is solid… something’s telling me not to go higher than 3 stars though.
Over the course of a hot summer day in Los Angeles, the lives of 25 young Angelinos intersect.
A formerly flamboyant hairdresser takes a long walk across a small town to style a dead woman’s hair.
Udo Kier stars as the hairdresser and this sounds GREAT.
A devastated husband vows to bring justice to the people responsible for his wife’s death while protecting the only family he has left, his daughter.
Jason Momoa action movie.
During their last year at an Ivy League college in 1999, a group of friends and crew teammates’ lives are changed forever when an army vet takes over as coach of their dysfunctional rowing team.
‘Dysfunctional rowing team’. Also, Michael Shannon is the coach.
The Tender Bar
A boy growing up on Long Island seeks out father figures among the patrons at his uncle’s bar.
George Clooney directs, which means 4 stars. Dude makes solid movies.
The film will reportedly delve into the legal battles which took place during the Cold War over ownership of the game.
Text for You
A young woman tries to ease the pain of her fiancé’s death by sending romantic texts to his old cell phone number, and forms a connection with the man the number has been reassigned to.
Jim Strouse makes solid movies.
There’s Someone Inside Your House
The graduating class at Osborne High is being targeted by a masked assailant, intent on exposing the darkest secret of each victim, and only a group of misfit outsiders can stop the killings.
I can’t tell what this is gonna be, but given that it’s horror I’ll stay conservative given my dislike of the genre.
Three Thousand Years of Longing
A scholar, content with life, encounters a Djinn who offers her three wishes in exchange for his freedom. Their conversation, in a hotel room in Istanbul, leads to consequences neither would have expected.
George Miller directing Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton.
In a world where supervillains are commonplace, two estranged childhood best friends reunite after one devises a treatment that gives them powers to protect their city.
Melissa McCarthy movie directed by her husband.
When will we be done with these?
Tick, Tick… Boom!
The story of Jon, an aspiring theater composer who is waiting tables in New York City while writing Superbia – which he hopes will be the next great American musical and finally give him his big break.
Lin-Manuel Miranda directs and it’s the story of the guy who made Rent.
Tonight at Noon
Lee and Mae are a couple trying to work out their differences. As Mae struggles with memories of a former flame, Lee, who is a writer, works through his frustration by forming his problems into a story in his mind. And that’s when everything starts shifting back and forth from reality to Lee’s imagination.
Michael Almereyda movie, which means 3 stars.
When a young loner becomes the gestational surrogate for a single man in his 40s, the two strangers come to realize this unexpected relationship will challenge their perceptions of connection, boundaries and the particulars of love.
3 stars. Sounds indie.
Deep in the underbelly of New York City, a five year-old girl and her mother live among a community that has claimed the abandoned subway tunnels as their home.
This still sounds interesting as hell.
The Tragedy of Macbeth
A Scottish lord becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he will become the next King of Scotland, and his ambitious wife supports him in his plans of seizing power.
Joel Coen directs, Denzel and Frances McDormand as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
How can this not be great?
Triangle of Sadness
A pair of models find themselves at a crossroads in their careers.
Ruben Ostlund movie, which means it should be solid.
A Modern take on the classic tale of Oliver Twist.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan’s birthday party, but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie.
Oh hell yeah.
Under the Stadium Lights
Brother’s Keeper is a true story about the ’09 Abilene High School Football team.
Football movies are usually watchable.
The Unknown Man
Two men who meet on a plane and strike up a conversation that turns into friendship. For Henry Teague, worn down by a lifetime of physical labour and crime, this is a dream come true.
Untitled Darren Aronofsky Project
A reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.
It’s a Darren Aronofsky movie and it stars Brendan Fraser?
Oh fuck yeah x1000.
Untitled David O. Russell Movie
No idea what this is, but the cast is huge and Russell always makes worthwhile films.
Untitled Murder Mystery
A desperate Hollywood film producer sets out to turn a popular play into a film. When members of the production are murdered, world-weary Inspector Stoppard and rookie Constable Stalker find themselves in the midst of a puzzling whodunit.
Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan star as the detectives and this sounds like the absolute perfect movie.
Untitled Nora Fingscheidt project
Ruth Slater, a woman released from prison after serving a sentence for a violent crime and re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past.
Sandra Bullock. Should be good.
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project
Set in 1970s San Fernando Valley, the film follows a high school student, who is also a successful child actor.
It’s Paul Thomas Anderson. That’s enough for me.
A couple meets up with another couple while on vacation in Mexico, but their friendship takes an awkward turn when they get back home.
Sounds like a dumb comedy.
A radio host from New York City attempts to solve the murder of his girlfriend and travels down south to investigate the circumstances of her death and discover what happened to her.
B.J. Novak wrote and directed.
A film development executive realizes that “guiding voice” inside her head has been lying to her about everything.
This sounds fun.
Violence of Action
After being involuntarily discharged from the Marines, James Reed joins a paramilitary organization in order to support his family in the only way he knows how.
Chris Pine and Ben Foster reunite.
I’m sure it won’t be Hell or High Water, but I’m sure it’ll be watchable.
A lonesome stranger, secure, nerves of steel, must track down and kill a rogue Hitman to satisfy an outstanding debt. But the only information he’s been given is a time and location where to find his quarry – 5pm at a rustic diner in the dying town. No name, no description, nothing. When the assassin arrives there are several possible targets, including the county sheriff. Endangering his life, the assassin embarks on a manhunt to find the Hitman and accomplish his mission. But the danger escalates when the erotic encounters with a local woman threaten to derail his task.
Ah, yes. The generic thriller. I always enjoy these.
A crew of astronauts on a multi-generational mission descend into paranoia and madness, not knowing what is real or not.
Neil Burger writes and directs, and it sure sounds like that weird Juliette Binoche space movie only made by MTV.
Pippa and Thomas move into their dream apartment, they notice that their windows look directly into the apartment opposite – inviting them to witness the volatile relationship of the attractive couple across the street. But when they attempt to anonymously intercede in their lives, they unwittingly set in motion a chain of events that will lead to disaster.
Amazon erotic thriller. I mean… sure?
The Way of the Wind
A retelling of several episodes in the life of the Christ.
It’s Terrence Malick, and that’s enough for me.
Wendell and Wild
Two demon brothers face off against a nun and a pair of goth teens.
Henry Selick stop-motion movie starring Key and Peele.
Works for me.
What’s Love Got to Do with It?
A love story based on Tina Turners song what’s love got to with it
By Shekhar Kapur, who usually makes solid movies.
When You Finish Saving the World
Jesse Eisenberg wrote and directed this. No idea what it’s about, but let’s assume solid.
An attorney in Washington D.C. battles against cynicism, bureaucracy and politics to help the victims of 9/11.
Stars Stanley Tucci and Michael Keaton and sounds like it should be good. It got held over from Sundance last year, but that feels more pandemic than anything else.
Wrath of Man
The plot follows H, a cold and mysterious character working at a cash truck company responsible for moving hundreds of millions of dollars around Los Angeles each week.
Guy Ritchie directs, and it’s an adaptation of a French movie.
Jason Statham stars, though, and it’s nice to have him back in the Guy Ritchie fold. And you have Josh Hartnett and Jeffrey Donovan and Holy McCallany and Scott Eastwood to boot.
Ritchie always seems good for 3.5 stars.
You Can’t Win
A drama set in the 1920s hobo underworld and centered on the unusual friendship between an adventurer and a young prostitute.
Is this ever coming out? Because I can’t not ignore a movie that’s about the 1920s hobo underworld.
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