The cinemas are open and you have to go back to them. Not for their sake, though it’s important to help a pandemic-plagued industry, but for yours. Trust us, you need to be reminded of what it’s like to go to the cinema. That feels. That space. Great movies that deserve a big screen and the need to cut themselves off from the outside world while blasting cinematic art in the face and mind.
Every year a truly colossal movie comes out and it is absolutely essential to watch that movie big. Watch that movie as big as you can see. There are a few of those movies in this roundup, so give your imagination free rein and your eyes a workout. We’ll get the popcorn.
If you’re looking for the aforementioned colossal movie of the year, look no further. We are in The Dark Knight, Avatar, Endgame territory with Dune. The 2021 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s iconic 1965 novel will be a world away from David Lynch’s infamous ’80s version, with blockbuster footage lost on anything smaller than the biggest cinema screens. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049, Arrival, Sicario), the person you would ideally want to direct for a project like this, the megawatt cast features Timothée Chalamet, Oscar Isaac and Jason Momoa. In the story, Paul Atreides of Chalamet, whose family owns the dangerous desert planet Arrakis, is confronted by the rival Harkonnen empire that seeks to colonize the planet for its invaluable resource. It’s all going to be massive.
The Many Saints of Newark
Initial reviews of The Sopranos spin-off are promising, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The film tells the story of the formative teenage years of one Tony Soprano. Set against the backdrop of warring New Jersey gangs, the story follows the relationship between Tony and his respected uncle Dickie Moltisanti, the father of Christopher Moltisanti in the series. David Chase, who created the original series, is directing, while James Gandolfini’s son, Michael, steps into his father’s shoes to star.
The French shipping
It’s been too long since we’ve had a Wes Anderson movie, the last being his masterful animation Isle of Dogs in 2018. His latest, featuring a signature ensemble cast featuring Bill Murray and Timothée Chalamet (he’s everywhere this year), is a sympathetic tribute to newspapers, tells the story of the French office of a fictional newspaper. The film is reportedly a love letter to The New Yorker, and many of the fictional events in the film nod to stories featured in the magazine. The film was written in collaboration with Roman Coppola and, as with all Anderson films, the design will be recognizable from the first second.
No time to die
Daniel Craig’s Last Bond. After 15 years of wearing some of the best clothes known to man and completely revolutionizing one of the most iconic roles in cinema, James Bond as we know him is hanging up his boots. But not for a final shootout as he takes on Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld and Remi Malek’s Lyutsifer Safin. Craig rejoins Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine and Ben Wishaw’s Q, while Lashana Lynch rejoins the cast as a new double-0 agent. The film was one of the first cinematic victims of the pandemic, but we knew James Bond would make it the other way. He always does.
It feels like a while since we’ve had a biggie from Marvel. Sure, we’ve had the supporting cast serialized for the past year and a half – Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision – but essential as they are to the wider story (that’s our only complaint with Marvel, to fully understand that you everything must consume) they don’t offer that blockbuster hit that Endgame did. Eternals comes closest this year, kicking off Phase Four of the MCU. Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) is in the director’s chair for a comic book epic that introduces the Eternals, an alien race sent to protect Earth from the Deviants, who definitely sound like the wrong ‘uns’. Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden and Selma Hayek star.
Another reboot, not to be confused with the 2016 reboot which, for the sake of convenience, will completely ignore this movie. Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows in the footsteps of the original two films with (rumored) roles for Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, and lead roles for Paul Rudd and Finn Wolfhard. After a single mother and two children move to a run-down farm in Summerville, Oklahoma, they soon find evidence of their grandfather’s role in the original Ghostbusters and must use his equipment to make sense of the grisly happenings in town and beyond. .
Top Gun: Maverick
Another reboot is coming in hot. Maverick is back and he is dodging retirement to continue testing the limits of himself, his planes and the summit as the world’s most fearless fighter pilot. Little does he know that a final mission will force him to face his past and face his greatest challenge yet. Tom Cruise reprises his iconic role alongside new faces Miles Teller and John Hamm.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spoiler alert: The last time we saw Spider-Man (Tom Holland) he was in Times Square where his identity was revealed in Spider-Man: No Way Home. In No Way Home, our friendly neighborhood superhero faces a new world that knows who he is and what he’s done. In an attempt to turn back the clock and change what has happened, he pays a visit to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) with huge consequences that the two must overcome.
The last duel
You can expect two major dramas from Ridley Scott this year, both of a certain vintage. The first, The House of Gucci, tells the turbulent story of fashion kings Patrizia and Maurizio Gucci and this one, The Last Duel, is set a little earlier in history. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck write and star in the story of a knight (Damon) who avenges the assault on his wife (Jodie Comer) by his best friend (Adam Driver). The film is based on the last legally sanctioned duel in France.
Last night in Soho
Lots of wonderful fanboy pastiche taken from Edgar Wright’s Last Night In Soho trailer. Lots of swinging 60s mod vibes as Thomasin McKenzie plays a fashion student who is transported back in time and into the body of an iconic nightclub singer named Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy). Matt Smith of The Crown and Doctor Who also stars in what will no doubt be a stylish and movie-loving ode to Wright, with enough psychological horror to keep you on your toes.
The Matrix Resurrections
Neo (Keanu Reeves) is back, but not as he or we know it. He lives a seemingly ordinary life in San Francisco, doesn’t know the Matrix and doesn’t even recognize Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), who’s also back. That won’t take long, of course. Soon he’ll be offered red and blue pills again, pulling us back into the genre- and reality-bending world of the original trilogy. The trailer also suggests some clever nods to a post 5G world and the trappings of connectivity.