This Year we flip the usual order and present our least anticipated film first.
During normal times, we usually like to start the year off with a positive note by going through which movies in the first half of the year have us excited. Well, it’s anything but normal times now. But as a ray of hope, we’ve actually got another reason (besides our first dreaded film coming earlier than our first anticipated film!) This year the crop of discouraging films is pretty light!
With a few notable exceptions, most of the films on this list are less HARD NOPE, and more MAYBE IT COULD BE OK? So with that cheerful thought, here are ten films we think it will end up being wise to wait for reviews instead of rushing out to see them.
Least Anticipated Films 2021
Our Friend (Jan. 22)
Besides starring the problematic Casey Affleck, this film just feels very tone deaf. It’s going for the heartstrings, but it keeps playing off notes. The central tragedy, the wife dying of cancer, seems way too incidental to the plot. It’s like a fridging in slow motion. It’s really all about bro bonding time, when, maybe, it should kinda be about her more? I’m just saying.
The Reckoning (Feb. 5)
This gave me some serious pervy side-eye. Nothing looks particularly bad about the story or cinematography, just kinda generic, but then the trailer keeps trying to highlight how often we’re going to see the main character’s boobs. It’s really creepy that your horror movie seems to be selling that more than the horror. Nudity should be the cherry on the sundae, not the only thing in the bowl.
Minimata (Feb. 5)
This could go either way. It’s a solid story with lots of pathos, and the critic snippets seem to like what they see…but…I just feel like Depp is kinda doing his weird over-acting thing. I’ve been burned enough by his schtick, I’m willing to pass.
Tom and Jerry (Feb. 26)
Completely needless and way past the expiration date on the tin. It’s recycling material from 19 fricking 40, and the animation syncs with the real world setting poorly. Who the heck ordered this? Next!
The King’s Man (Mar. 12)
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
Why even? The first one was cringe-worthy levels of completely unfunny. Get me another Paddington Bear movie, not this rotten carrot farm.
Cruella (May 28)
Didn’t we already get this movie? I like Emma Stone and all…but she’s no Glenn Close. I would not be surprised if this winds up being switched to a straight-to-Disney+ feature at the last minute, like the utterly forgettable Lady and the Tramp remake.
Infinite (May 28)
Not much info out there for this one. It’s a Mark Walhberg sci-fi action flick, so my wind is up regardless.
Minions: The Rise of Gru (Jul. 2)
Stop. We don’t need more of this. You’ve already sold every piece of minion merch you’re entitled to, completely bankrupting the goodwill of viewers in the process. Just stop.
Top Gun: Maverick (Jul. 2)
Needless sequel is needless. QED.
Least Anticipated Purgatory: Fingers Crossed
Psycho Goreman (Jan. 22)
This looks like Spy Kids for the David Cronenberg set, so kinda a weird mix. While the kid stuff looks pretty perfunctory and the visuals are dubious in places, the actor playing Goreman seems to really be going all in with the nasty threats he lobs at children. Kinda like Death in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey-level of stealing the show.
Mortal Kombat (Apr. 16)
The cast list is pretty anonymous. The story is also nowhere to be seen, not great for a movie supposedly due out in April. The studio already blew through a trailer deadline. They’re just now starting to dribble out stills. Consider this one on probation until we actually SEE something.
Spiral (May 21)
A great cast can’t quite get the stink of all the lackluster SAW movies off this project. Chris Rock is a bit too mouthy, Sam Jackson gets very little screen time in the trailer, and the “we’re totally ripping off Se7en” vibe makes me worried for this film.
Samaritan (Jun. 4)
Sylvester Stallone can surprise you with a gem out of nowhere. He can also bludgeon you with a stinker. Dark super-hero movies are both in fashion and over-played right now. This one is a coin toss until we see a trailer.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Jul. 9)
It’s hard to bet against Marvel Studios. I’m going to do just that.
First, the biggest stinker Marvel has made is the similarly kung-fu oriented Iron Fist.
Second, the studio seems to always step in a pile of kung-pao dooky when it tries to handle Asian characters/story lines.
Lastly, isn’t his kinda a letdown at this stage in the MCU? We just had a reality breaking war, and the last new character, Captain Marvel, could fight alien armadas solo. A guy really good at martial arts seems a bit anticlimactic.