Must See Movies of 2021

Across the United States officials are lifting lockdown restrictions and with movie theaters finally able to reopen, we are taking a look at some of the must-see movies hitting the theaters and streaming sites.

(L-r) VERA FARMIGA as Lorraine Warren and PATRICK WILSON as Ed Warren Photo Credit Ben Rothstein

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
This chilling story of terror is the next installment in the popular ghost horror franchise of the Conjuring films. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return to star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, under the direction of Michael Chaves (“The Curse of La Llorona”). One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before as they attempt to uncover the truth behind a murderer’s claim of demonic possession. It hits theaters and HBO Max on June 4.

Those Who Wish Me Dead stars Angelina Jolie
Those who wish me dead

Those Who Wish Me Dead
Directed by Taylor Sheridan, it Stars Angelina Jolie as Hannah, a smoke jumper still reeling from the loss of three lives she failed to save from a fire when she comes across a traumatized 12-year-old boy with nowhere else to turn. Directed from a screenplay by Michael Koryta and Charles Leavitt and Sheridan and based on the book by Koryta, it releases in theaters and HBO Max on May 14.

The Outside Story

The Outside Story
This movie stars Brian Tyree Henry as a newly-single video editor who’s forced to confront the world – and the community – he’s been avoiding when he accidentally locks himself out of his Brooklyn apartment. Henry is joined by TV regulars Sunita Mani (“Mr. Robot”), Sonequa Martin-Green (“The Walking Dead”) and Olivia Edward (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”), as writer-director Casimir Nozkowski presents a charming, slice-of-life NYC story about the power of exploration.
The Outside Story is on digital and On Demand.


The Marijuana Conspiracy
Written and directed by Craig Pryce, this lighthearted heartwarming drama stars Canadian/ Jamaican actress Tymika Tafari (“Murdoch Mysteries”). Set in 1972, it follows five young women looking for a fresh start who become part of a radical experiment studying the effects of weed on women. Despite the agendas of the government, they use their unique strengths, and friendship to overcome adversity.  “The Marijuana Conspiracy” is on Demand and Digital.
Check out the trailer:

In the Heights

In the Heights
Corey Hawkins (“Straight Outta Compton,” “BlacKkKlansman”) is one of the stars in this vibrant drama which fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kinetic music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu’s lively and authentic eye for storytelling. Also starring Anthony Ramos (“A Star is Born,” Broadway’s “Hamilton”), Dascha Polanco (TV’s “Orange is the New Black”) and Jimmy Smits (the “Star Wars” films), it follows the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines, and sings about a better life.
It releases in theaters and HBO Max on June 11

Peter Rabbit 2- The Runaway

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
David Oyelowo is one of several actors in the upcoming film, which is finally getting a theatrical release. Based on the Characters and Tales of “Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated, but when his family risks everything to come looking for him, Peter must figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.  Directed by Will Gluck, James Corden is back Peter Rabbit, and the voice of Rose Byrn, Elizabeth Debickie and Margot Robbie can also be heard in this sequel which hits theaters June 18.


Space Jam: A New Legacy
NBA champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside timeless Tune Bugs Bunny with the animated/live-action event “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” from director Malcolm D. Lee, Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter.  When LeBron and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court. James stars alongside Oscar nominee Don Cheadle (the “Avengers” films, “Hotel Rwanda”).

The film releases in theaters and HBO Max July 16.

Walking While Black

Walking While Black  L.O.V.E. Is The Answer
Director, A.J. Ali is no stranger to racial profiling and in his movie, he tries to bridge the painful gap between peace officers and the communities they serve. Featuring interviews with peace officers, faith leaders, educators, activists and others, the film offers an inspiring blueprint to end racial profiling, promote racial equity, and heal our communities.  The film won Best Documentary at Garifuna Film Festival and was also an Audience Favorite.
The film releases on VOD May 21
Check out the trailer:

(l. to r.) Twelve – year – old Furquan, learning how to build a casket with the help of Hanif, in Two Gods, directed by Zeshawn Ali. Image courtesy of 8 Abov

Two Gods
Shot in black and white, Zeshawn Ali’s feature debut “Two Gods” is the beautifully observed story of a Black Muslim casket maker called Hanif in Newark, New Jersey, who takes two vulnerable young men from his community under his wing. A festival standout since its world-premiered at the Hot Docs Film Festival, the film has since shown at the Full Frame, DOC NYC, Camden, New Orleans (Jury Award), Montclair (Jury Award), and Florida (Jury Award) festivals, among others. It will launch in select theaters and virtual cinemas nationwide beginning on Friday, May 21.
Check out the trailer:

The Killing of Two Lovers

The Killing of Two Lovers
Written and directed by Robert Machoian, “The Killing of Two Lovers” is a compact, economical portrait of a husband and father trying to keep it together while seething with rage during a trial separation from his wife.
The film opens in select theaters May 14
Check out the trailer:

Wrath of Man

Wrath of Man
Jason Statham is back in action in this heist drama. He plays a mysterious and wild-eyed new cash truck security guard who has a score to settle.  Guy Ritchie directs this film which is a remake of the French thriller “Le Convoyeur.” The cast includes Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett and Laz Alonzo.
Wrath of Man releases in theaters Friday, May 7
Check out the trailer:

The Tomorrow War

The Tomorrow War
Chris Pratt, Sam Richardson, Keith Powers star In “The Tomorrow War,” about a group of time travelers who arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message. Thirty years in the future mankind is losing a global war against a deadly alien species. The only hope for survival is for soldiers and civilians from the present to be transported to the future and join the fight. Among those recruited is high school teacher and family man Dan Forester (Chris Pratt). Determined to save the world for his young daughter, Dan teams up with a brilliant scientist (Yvonne Strahovski) and his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) in a desperate quest to rewrite the fate of the planet.
Amazon Studios will exclusively release this film globally on Prime Video July 2

Check out the trailer:

Samantha Ofole-Prince is a Los Angeles based journalist and movie critic who covers industry-specific news. Follow her on twitter @samanthaofole

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