The projectors are rolling, the popcorn is made, and theaters across the US have finally opened their doors to moviegoers, who have been craving the cinematic experience since the country closed down in early 2020. Fear not though, as summer 2021 has seventeen titles to gets us excited for cinema's big return. From Marvel flicks and long awaited horror sequels, to music biopics and Sundance winners, it will be both a treat and a welcomed challenge for avid theater goers and movie lovers alike to check these seventeen features off their list.

A Quiet Place Part II - May 28

A Quiet Place Part II

Back in 2018, John Krasinski delivered one of the year's best films with A Quiet Place, a gripping thriller that saw a solitary family trying to survive in a world where humanity has been hunted to the brink of extinction by monstrous creatures that hunt by sound. The film received both critical and commercial success, and left moviegoers demanding more from Krasinski, who was set to deliver a second installment in early 2020, or at least he was, until theaters across the world were forced to shut down. While many films from 2020 have since been relegated to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, Krasinski has stood firm on his stance that A Quiet Place Part II will be enjoyed in the theaters, where it rightfully belongs. Picking up shortly after the events of the first film, the sequel focuses on the Abbott family as they leave their quiet life of solitary behind in the hopes of finding more survivors. Like most apocalyptic films however, it seems that the Abbott's will discover that the monsters that hunt them are not the only threats lurking beyond their sand path. A Quiet Place Part II is set to release exclusively in theaters Memorial Day weekend, effectively ushering in the return of the summer blockbuster.

Cruella - May 28

Cruella

After nearly a century of filmmaking, Disney has amassed a pretty popular rogue's gallery, and while some villains have sympathetic backstories, like Sleeping Beauty's Maleficent, others are downright evil. Disney fans generally remember Cruella De Ville as being the latter, unless of course they hate Dalmatians, and yet that didn't stop Disney from developing a film to focus on the evil fashion icons rise to infamy. Cruella De Ville made her first appearance in Disney's 1961 animated feature 101 Dalmatians, where she attempted to steal a large collection of Dalmatian puppies, with the hope of turning them into a fur coat. Longtime Disney fans have since questioned why the generally family friendly company would pick such a foul villain to chronicle, although Todd Phillips proved just two years ago with Joker, that even the most irredeemable villains can have sympathetic backstories and provide relevant commentary on the flaws of society. Disney+ has promised a May 28th release date for Cruella, alongside a theatrical release, but for an additional $30 premium to a standard subscription. Disney's last two films have followed the same model, in which they were released for "Premier Access," where subscribers could pay an additional $29.99 for immediate viewing privileges and ownership of the film, or wait 90 days until the film became free to all subscribers.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It - June 4

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

The 1981 murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson is still regarded as one of the most sensational in United States history, as it not only involved the famed occultists Ed and Lorraine Warren, but also because it was the first time that a defendant plead not guilty by reason of demonic possession. Much like the previous films in the Conjuring series, demonic possession is just the tip of the iceberg, and the film will also dive into the occult, and other fictionalized yet disturbing factors that may have contributed to the terrible events that unfolded in Brookfield Connecticut all those years ago. Expectations for the third installment will undoubtedly be high, as the Conjuring films and their various spinoffs have become one of the most consistent sources of horror entertainment over the past ten years, but then again fans have never had to worry too much when it comes to the series that introduced not only Annabelle and Valak the Nun, but also a terrifying host of other demons and ghosts. The Warrens will return to theaters on June 4th, while also becoming available to HBO MAX subscribers the same day.

In the Heights - June 11

In the Heights

Before the world knew him as Alexander Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda took Broadway by storm with In The Heights, a musical that brought audiences to the streets of a tight-knit Dominican neighborhood called Washington Heights, and gave them the opportunity to witness the struggles and triumphs of its residents, including a magnetic bodega owner named Usnavi. 2021's In The Heights is no simple stage production however, and thanks to the magic of Hollywood, the film will be elevated by thousands of extras, along with infectious song and dance numbers and special effects to personify the vibrancy of Washington Heights. In The Heights will be helmed by Crazy Rich Asians director, Jon M. Chu, while Anthony Ramos, who previous appeared in Hamilton, as both the southern revolutionary, John Laurens, and the ill-fated son of the titular Alexander Hamilton, will take on the role of the film's centerpiece, Usnavi. In The Heights will begin streaming on HBO MAX on June 11th, the same day as its theatrical release, however, the film's already large fanbase seems to be in agreement that this is a film better experienced on the big screen.

The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard - June 16

The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard

One of the most memorable duos to hit cinemas these past five years has undoubtedly been the combination of Ryan Reynolds's straight arrow professional bodyguard Michael Bryce, and Samuel L. Jackson's trigger-happy foul-mouthed assassin, Darius Kincaid, and as of June 16th the pair will officially be reunited. Picking up four years after the first film, the sequel sees Michael on a mandated bodyguarded sabbatical, which is unceremoniously interrupted when Darius Kincaid's firecracker of a wife, Sonia, enlists him to save her husband. The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is the kind of sequel where audiences know exactly what they're going to be getting, and still flock to the theaters to see it. We want to see classic good guy Michael Bryce driven out of his mind by an assassin who loves a certain MF word just as much as he loves gunning down the killers who chase him, and now we have a second wild card to add to the deck in the form of Selma Hayek's Sonia Kincaid. If you're excited for the madness that will be The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard then you will need to seek it out in a local theater starting June 16th, as Lionsgate has announced no plans to push any of their upcoming films to streaming this year.

F9 - June 25

F9

Who would have thought back in 2001 that a by-the-books film about two street racing tough guys would blossom into a billion-dollar franchise where cars are parachuted out of planes and the aforementioned street racers prevent global disaster? And yet, that is what happened to The Fast and The Furious franchise over the years, which is now on the verge of releasing its ninth sequel (tenth, if you count the spin-off Hobbs and Shaw.) This time around, the ever-expanding family of street racers/super spies will go head-to-head with master-thief and assassin Jakob Toretto, Dom's brother played by John Cena, who has teamed up with their past enemy, Charlize Theron's Cypher. All the usual suspects are set to return for the sequel (with the exception of The Rock's Hobbs), with a cast that has expanded over the years to include Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russell, and even Helen Mirren, while WWE wrestler John Cena and rapper Cardi B will make their franchise debuts. Additionally, F9 will see fan favorite Han Lue return from the dead, along with Jordana Brewster's Mia Toretto, who exited the franchise after the sudden passing of Paul Walker, who played her on-screen husband. F9 has seen five previous release dates since its original planned release in 2020, and now it looks like June 25 will finally be the day that fans get return to the beloved action franchise that has just been casually turning a blind eye to the laws of physics for years now.

The Forever Purge - July 2

The Forever Purge

Remember back in 2013 when Blumhouse created an American holiday where, for twelve hours, all crime was legal? Well even if you didn't, Blumhouse reminds us at least once a year with a new addition to The Purge franchise, which features an unlucky group of citizens facing down the dark and violent side of humanity that emerges every year on Purge night. But wait, wasn't the Purge effectively abolished at the end of the third film when Senator Charlene Roan was elected U.S. President? The short answer is yes, but we Americans know how divisive election results can be, which brings us to the Forever Purge, and as you can probably guess, some folks want to purge forever, like the ones in a southern Texas town, who plan on bringing terror and Mad Max levels of chaos for the rest of their days. Now, let's face it, The Purge series isn't Blumhouse's best work, and it certainly isn't their scariest, but damn if it's not entertaining. The franchise has even managed to earn a few bonus points for providing relevant social commentary on societies violent nature, as well as poverty and social inequality. Marking itself as the franchise's final installment, The Forever Purge will arrive in theaters on July 2nd, and just in time for the most American weekend of the year.

Black Widow - July 9

Black Widow

It will be almost two years in July that we've gone without seeing a Marvel film on the big screen, and while Disney+ has done a fantastic job with both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Marvel film has been a long-missed cinematic staple. Continuing its Phase 4 series of films, Marvel will return to theaters this July with Black Widow, which will chronicle the ex-Russian spy turned Avenger, Natasha Romanov, who will return to Russia to confront her dark past and take on a new villain known as Taskmaster. Natasha won't be the only ex-Russian patriot to star in this film either, with Marvel set to also introduce breakout star Florence Pugh to the Marvel Universe as Yelena Belova, a second Black Widow and sister of Natasha, while Stranger Things favorite David Harbour will take on the role of Red Guardian, a Soviet style Captain America, who also happens to be the father of both girls. Black Widow will sadly end Scarlet Johansen's tenure as the titular character, but by the looks of it, will be a proper sendoff for one of Marvel's most underrated heroes, whose sacrifice was unfortunately overlooked at the end of the event that was Avengers: Endgame. As promised, Disney will release Black Widow in theaters, while also giving Disney+ subscribers the opportunity to stream and own the film on "Premiere Access" for the price of $29.99.

Space Jam: A New Legacy - July 16

Space Jam: A New Legacy

Underdog sports films have always held a special place in the hearts of moviegoers, and whether it was witnessing Rocky Balboa go the distance against Apollo Creed in the Rocky franchise, or seeing Peter La Fleur defeat White Goodman in the Dodgeball championships, these films make us want to cheer for their Cinderella stories. With so many good underdog stories though, a few have been lost to time, and many have forgotten that in 1996, legendary Chicago Bull, Michael Jordan, and a rag tag team called the Tune Squad defied the odds and defeated the alien Monstars in Space Jam. It's been twenty-five years since that legendary upset, but it seems that the Tune Squad will reassemble this summer alongside this century's G.O.A.T., Lebron James, in order to take on a rogue A.I. and his digitized Goon Squad of superpowered avatars. Space Jam: A New Legacy is sure to be one of the most watched sporting events this summer, with fans of the original film anxiously waiting to see if the cult favorite can be reinvented for the digital age. The Tunes vs. Goons match is set to premiere July 16th in theaters, while also being available to subscribers of HBO MAX.

The Green Knight - July 30

The Green Knight

Indie production company A24 has made incredible strides over the last decade, spanning multiple genres, and giving us more than a few modern classics, such as Hereditary, Uncut Gems, and Moonlight, to name just a few. Fantasy, however is a genre that the company hasn't yet dare touch, at least up until now, and this summer A24 and David Lowry will give the genre a go with an adaption of the Arthurian Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The adaption will feature English actor Dev Patel as the headstrong nephew of King Arthur, Sir Gawain, who embarks on a quest to confront the eponymous stranger known as The Green Knight. While the budget certainly looks grand for this fantasy epic, expect A24 and writer director David Lowry to deliver a more scaled back adventure that will focus primarily on Sir Gawain's quest for honor, and his adventure into the mystical unknown. The Green Knight was originally supposed to appear at the South by Southwest film festival in 2020, and was a hopeful for some of the festival's biggest awards, leaving many to believe that the studio might hold out on releasing the film until a time when it could win festival acclaim. Thankfully, A24 decided against shelving the film, and to skip the festivals in 2021 altogether, so that audiences could view The Green Knight sooner rather than later. The Green Knight is set to receive a theatrical release on July 30th, although like most A24 film, it will likely be a limited one.

Stillwater - July 30

Stillwater

Director Tom McCarthy proved with 2015's Spotlight that he isn't afraid to delve deep into a conspiracy; not even one that involved the Boston Archdiocese and years of misconduct, abuse and cover-ups. Stillwater, however is not a true-to-life conspiracy, but instead one of McCarthy's own creation that features Matt Damon as an Oklahoma oil rig worker who is forced to travel to Marseille France when his college-aged daughter is accused of murdering a woman while studying abroad. Given McCarthy's knack for complex story writing, the title Stillwater may be more than just a nod to the backwoods town from which Damon's character hails from, and it suggests that whatever conspiracy is at play runs deep. What looks to be the most striking aspect of Stillwater though, is how Damon's grieving father figure navigates the desperate situation. He is a man at odds with the language, the culture, and the country's legal system, which may just push him to unthinkable lengths in order to prove his daughter's innocence. Stillwater is set to be a taught thriller, while also managing to act as a much-needed breath of fresh air, following all the big budget blockbusters the summer has in store, and while the film might be premiering at the tail end of summer, it would be a shame for anyone to snooze on this one. Stillwater will see a traditional release exclusively to theaters on July 30th.

Jungle Cruise - July 30

Jungle Cruise

The magic of Disney theme parks can take us to some incredible places; through ghost infested haunted mansions, to the time of pirates and wench sales, and even down the amazon river, where a chatty skipper will crack wise while shrunken heads are offered to the boat's occupants. This latter premise is what will shape Disney's live-action 2021 release, Jungle Cruise, which will feature Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as an ornery skipper, and Emily Blunt as a well-mannered scientist in search of a mystical tree that can heal the sick. As one would imagine, any journey that cuts straight through the heart of the Amazon will be anything but easy, and the Jungle Cruise expedition is set to encounter snakes, piranhas, nefarious villains, and even a conquistador's ghost, so you know, just your average Amazon stuff. Disney proved with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that even its theme park properties can be turned in stellar adventures for the whole family, and with Blunt and Johnson as the film's leads, there is no doubt we will be gifted equal measures of humor, drama, and peril. Like all other Disney films being released in 2021, Jungle Cruise can be seen in theaters, or on "Premiere Access" through Disney+.

The Suicide Squad - August 6

The Suicide SquadD

Many fans were left sorely disappointed back in 2016 by the lackluster anti-hero flick that was DC's Suicide Squad, with critics admonishing the film's sloppy writing, underwhelming action, and total inability to embrace the characters' more wicked and taboo traits. It seems that Warner Bros. actually took these criticisms to heart though, as they not only hired James Gunn to write and direct the standalone sequel, but also gave full creative control to the director, something the studio has not been known for, especially when it comes to their DC properties. It looks like these decisions will pay off however, and August will see a new Taskforce X dispatched to the South American island of Corto Maltes to destroy a Nazi-era laboratory, which looks to be holding a certain star shaped conqueror and God only knows what else. Sporting a roster of expendable D-list villains, aside from Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn that is, James Gunn has promised a delightfully violent epic that will combine all the glory of a '70's war movie, along with the devil-may-care attitude that the Suicide Squads comics have become famous for. There is quite a bit riding on the success of The Suicide Squad, with DC films being extremely hit or miss with fans, but hopes are high, and the trailers for the film practically brim with potential. The Suicide Squad can be seen in all its R-rated glory in theaters come August 6, or on HBO MAX the same day.

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for your interest.{@@@[email protected]@@}{@@@[email protected]@@}- August 13

CODA

Sundance has always been a launchpad for new voices in film, and 2021's festival not only went down in history for going exclusively online, but also because one film in particular swept up five awards, before selling for $25 million, a festival record. The film,

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for your interest.

, which stands for "Children of Deaf Adults, follows Ruby, a seventeen-year-old girl who is an aspiring singer, and the only non-deaf person in her household. With the rest of her life on the horizon, Ruby finds torn between pursuing music school, or staying behind to help run her family's fishing business. The film stars former child actress Emilia Jones as Ruby, while acclaimed deaf actress, Marlee Matlin holds a prominent supporting role as Ruby's deaf mother, further opening the door for deaf representation in cinema. Out of all the films featured on this list, CODA is the one that seems most destined for the Oscars. We saw similar themes played out in the recently Oscar nominated film, Sound of Metal, and based off the footage we have seen from Sundance, both Matlin and Jones look to give career defining performances, something that's made even more impressive when you realize that Jones is only nineteen herself. CODA will receive a theatrical release beginning August 13th, while also appearing for free to AppleTV subscribers.

Respect - August 13

{@IMG:s5nrm25jkF2npt9ZO6aGb7VHd0IH1K|[email protected]}

The title alone should be every indication as to this summer's big music biopic will feature, the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, who will be played by Jennifer Hudson, a music icon in her own right. Hudson, alongside Tony Award winning director, Liesl Tommy will chronicle the rise of the R&B star, from her humble beginnings singing gospel hymns in her father's traveling Baptist church, to her later years at Atlantic Records, where she recorded the albums and songs that would see her ascend the charts and forever hold the throne as the queen. Going beyond her music, the film will also dive deep into Franklin's personal life, and chronicle the loss of her family, as well as her involvement in the civil rights movement, a cause she remained faithful to until her death in 2018. Hudson's previous acting credit as Effie White in 2006's Dreamgirls makes her the perfect candidate to lead the biopic, which will also feature her belting out Aretha hits with very little behind the scenes editing, something the Oscar nominated Queen biopic drew ire for. If any parallels can be drawn between Respect and Bohemian Rhapsody though, its that Hudson will likely be seeing an Oscar nod for her role in the film, similar to that of Rami Malek. Respect was originally set for a release Christmas weekend 2020, but will now premiere in theaters August 13th.

Sweet Girl - August 20

{@IMG:1t1Q7jwrsTKyQfanCRwIs8xcuHgviT|Sweet [email protected]}

For some reason, bad guys in film always make the mistake of targeting the wives and children of some of the most lethal men and women this world has to offer. Liam Neeson's Bryan Mills, Sylvester Stallone's Rambo, and now they've gone after the family of Jason Momoa's Cooper, for which they will pay dearly. Netflix has yet to release a trailer for Sweet Girl, but the film has already received an R-rating, which means we will get to see Momoa channeling his inner Khal Drogo, something we have been long over-due for. Isabell Merced, who was a standout in 2018's gritty drug cartel drama Sicario: Day of the Soldano, will star along Momoa as his daughter, Rachel. Sweet Girl will continue Netflix's initiative to release a new film for every week of 2021, which so far has brought us some pretty great content, along with a reason to continue ignoring the streaming giant's constant price raising. Jason Momoa will bring vengeance to Netflix August 20th for anyone who is a subscriber, as well as anyone who still using their friend's password.

Candyman - August 27

{@IMG:pO1TXVVZxaA6bCHCyDMt7x2hLeqiXq|[email protected]}

From Alfred Hitchcock to Ari Aster, there has always been a special breed of film writers and directors who have dared audiences to venture with them into dark visceral worlds ruled by pure evil, and prior to 2017, you couldn't have convinced us in a million years that sketch comic, Jordan Peele, would join the ranks of these great men and women. To everyone's disbelief however, Peele not only made the jump from comedy to horror in 2017, but brought with him what will surely be remembered as one of the century's best horror films, Get Out. 2020 was supposed to see Peele's third entry into the genre with his sequel to 1992's Candyman, but scarier things happened that year, like people hoarding toilet paper, and we have since been forced to wait until the end of Summer to get Peele's next thrilling masterpiece. This modern update on the Clive Barker character will see a Chicago visual artist named Anthony exploring the terrifying urban legend known as Candyman, a macabre ghost story that has haunted him since he was a child, growing up in Chicago's Cabrini Green neighborhood. Candyman has remained one of Clive Barker's most terrifying creations over the years, and given Peele's ability to write mind bending horror, it is a safe bet that Candyman will be the film that keeps you up at night and away from the bathroom mirror. Candyman can be experienced in your local pitch-dark cinema come August 27th, and we recommend you don't see it alone.

Which summer blockbuster are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments below.