We're now in the last few months of 2021, and it's set to be a busy season for films. Some of the most highly anticipated films are due to be released before the end of the year, such as Dune, Eternals and Spider-Man: No Way Home. There are also a number of independent, foreign, Netflix Original and Amazon Original films with late 2021 release dates. Here are 10 of the best films to look forward to before the end of 2021:
1. Tick, Tick…Boom!
Lin-Manuel Miranda's second musical of the year sees Andrew Garfield, Vanessa Hudgens and Alexandra Shipp in the lead roles. It's set in New York City – just like In the Heights – and centres on a young theatre composer who is approaching his thirties and navigates love, friendship and the pressures of the industry. Tick, Tick…Boom! will premiere at this year's AFI Fest in mid-November before being released for general viewing on Netflix a few days later.
With a star-studded cast that includes Zendaya and Timothee Chalamet, Dune has been hailed as one of the biggest releases of 2021. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Sicario, Blade Runner 2049), Dune is a sci-fi movie based on Frank Herbert's 1965 novel of the same name. although it won't be out until late October, Dune has already received rave reviews from critics: The Guardian, Empire and The Upcoming all gave the film 5 out of 5 stars. Dune will be available in cinemas and on HBO Max.
Starring Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek and Millie Bobby Brown, Eternals has received a lot of hype. It's directed by Oscar-winning Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) and is the third Marvel cinematic release of the year, following Black Widow and Shang Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings. Eternals follows an immortal alien race who have remained hidden on Earth for thousands of years and have different powers and abilities.
Get the family together for this new feel-good Disney animation. Encanto is a fantasy comedy set in Columbia and focuses on a young girl called Mirabel who is the only member of her family to not have any magical gifts. When Mirabel finds out that the magic is under threat, she sets out to try to save it. Encanto features the voices of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephanie Beatriz and Diane Guerrero, who previously worked on In the Heights together. You can view the teaser trailer here.
5. Spider-Man: No Way Home
When the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home was released at the end of August, it managed to break the record for the most viewed movie trailer in 24 hours by racking up 355.5 million views across all online platforms. Zendaya and Tom Holland are reunited in the third film in the latest Spider-Man franchise, which sees the superhero dealing with the aftermath of his true identity being revealed to the public. Look out for Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man 2 and Jamie Foxx's Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The film is expected to arrive in cinemas in December.
6. Birds of Paradise
Directed by Sarah Adina Smith, Birds of Paradise is an upcoming drama film that takes place in the world of dance and will appeal to fans of Black Swan and Tiny Pretty Things. Kristine Froseth (Looking For Alaska) and Diana Silvers (Booksmart) play two dancers at an elite Parisian boarding school who are in the midst of preparing for a competition that will enable one of them to join the company of the Opéra nacional de Paris. Birds of Paradise is scheduled to drop on Amazon on 24th September.
7. After We Fell
Expected to be released on Amazon Prime sometime within the next couple of months, After We Fell is the third instalment in the teen drama series based on the novels by Anna Todd. In this film, Harden and Tessa's relationship is put to the test when Tessa receives a job offer in Seattle. Things get even tenser when Tessa's father reappears and there are shocking revelations about Hardin's family.
8. Don't Look Up
Much like Dune and Eternals, the Netflix film Don't Look Up features an all-star cast, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Gina Gershon, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Jonah Hill on the line-up. According to IMDb, Don't Look Up is about "two low-level astronomers who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet earth." You'll be able to watch Don't Look Up from 24th December.
9. Dear Evan Hansen
Movie musicals have been all the rage this year, and the next one to hit the big screen is Dear Evan Hansen. An instant hit in Broadway, Dear Evan Hansen won six Tony Awards and is adapted from a book by Steven Levenson, in which a teen with social anxiety suddenly becomes popular after writing a letter that falls into the wrong hands. The film will see Ben Platt reprise his role as the titular character, while Kaitlyn Dever, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Amandla Stenberg will play supporting characters.
10. West Side Story
Yes, another movie musical! The new adaptation of the 1957 musical West Side Story will finally see the light of day this December, after numerous delays. Directed by Steven Spielberg, West Side Story centres on teens Tony and Maria who fall in love despite their families being from rival gangs. West Side Story is Ansel Elgort's first film since The Goldfinch in 2019, and he'll be joined by up and coming star Rachel Zegler, as well as Rita Moreno, Ariana DeBose and Maddie Ziegler. Mark your diaries for 10th December.
Honourable mentions: Runt, The Addams Family 2, No Time to Die, The Last Duel, The French Dispatch, Last Night in Soho, Spencer, Red Notice, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, King Richard, House of Gucci