Tag Archives: Zack Snyder's Justice League

Zack Snyder Films Ranked

Zack Snyder films

With his latest movie Army of the Dead out now, as well as his Justice League released earlier this year, it’s time to rank director Zack Snyder’s filmography.

Zack Snyder is one of the most divisive and polarising directors working at the moment, some people love his films, and other people absolutely despise him. For me, he’s actually one of my favourite directors, and I’m a fan of his movies. He has such a distinct style across all of his movies that some like and some don’t. Looking at his filmography as a whole, he has done so much over the past 20 years, from adaptations of comic book characters and iconic graphic novels, to zombie movies and even animated movies about owls. I’m always interested to see what he does next.

Also for the record, the Justice League movie that was released in 2017 isn’t on this list, even if Snyder’s name is on it.

9. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

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Legends of the Guardians is an often overlooked animated movie. I remember seeing when it came out in cinemas, having read the books that its based on. While the story was a little different from the books (from what I can remember), it was quite a decent movie, and should’ve gotten more attention than it received.

One thing that I think everyone can agree on is that Legend of the Guardians is a very well directed and technically strong movie, even with it being an animated kids movie, you can definitely tell that it’s a Zack Snyder movie. This is a stunning movie and there are some beautiful looking sequences. I had read the books years prior to the movie and while the story in the movie really wasn’t that great, it does stand out from some other animated movies. It is also quite dark in terms of its visuals and story, which is always refreshing for a kids movie and made it stand out. I would actually like to see Snyder take on another animated movie, he’s definitely showed himself as being very capable at making one with this movie.

My review of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole

8. 300

Zack Snyder had already directed his first feature film with Dawn of the Dead, but his next film 300 is what really put him on the map as a director to really pay attention to. With the larger than life visuals, and the grand and epic scale, 300 really made an impression on audiences and critics alike and was incredible influential on other movies following it.

300 is quite an enthralling film to watch. The actors played their parts well, the story is straightforward and good enough for what it is (and does have a little more to it than just exposed men stabbing each other), but most of all, it’s Snyder’s visual storytelling that’s the highlight. The action is stylised, gratifying and entertaining, and a lot of the shots and sequences are a feast for the eyes and look straight out of a graphic novel and comic book (appropriate given the source material). Some aspects of the direction can get a little too over the top, especially with the slow-motion and some of the digital effects not holding up 1.5 decades later (especially with the green screen and blue screen). Otherwise, 300 still holds up today as a bloody, epic and entertaining watch.

My review of 300

7. Dawn of the Dead

Remakes of classic films are generally a worry, especially when it comes to horror movies, specifically in this case George A. Romero’s horror classic Dawn of the Dead. However, Zack Snyder actually did a great job with his first feature movie, a fast and intense zombie film which is still pretty good today.

James Gunn’s writing paired with Snyder’s direction was a great combination and overall, it’s quite a fun movie to watch. The plot is moving constantly and never allows you a chance to be bored. The film is short but manages to add a lot of emotion, humour and more in that time. The characters are pretty standard and aren’t special, but generally have more characterisation than most zombie movie characters, and are played well by the cast. It does lack the social commentary from George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, but in a way, there was no way of imitating what Romero did with the original, so in some way it was better keeping the straightforward zombie movie approach. It is a good-looking movie, definitely more grimy looking compared to Snyder’s later movies, which fits in with the tone. The action is fast paced and brutal, the zombies are fast, nightmarish and dangerous, and the makeup and practical effects are great. All of these come together to provide some very memorable and creative moments. Full of exhilarating energy, Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead is one of my favourite zombie movies.

My review of Dawn of the Dead

6. Sucker Punch: Extended Cut

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If there’s a movie that really started the hate for Zack Snyder as a director, it’s Sucker Punch, which got quite the negative response upon its release. It’s quite possibly his most polarising movie, which is saying a lot. There are some people who love the movie, and others who absolutely hate it. I’m actually one of the people who really liked it for what it was.

This is one of the only two films from Zack Snyder that’s not based on an existing source material. I wouldn’t say its one of Snyder’s best work by any means, but it is certainly ambitious. The narrative is far from straightforward and doesn’t spoon feed you what’s happening, which I have to respect. The narrative isn’t always coherent but I wouldn’t trade for one that was perfectly clear cut. Sucker Punch is also in some ways a female empowerment film, as well as commentary and examination of trauma, misogyny and abuse. Even if it doesn’t fully succeed, I admire the attempt at really trying to say something. The characterisation isn’t great and most of the characters are underdeveloped and underwritten, but the strong cast consisting of Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish, Oscar Isaac and more make up for that. As typical of Snyder, this is distinctly one of his movies from his direction alone. From the beginning of the movie with the incredible opening sequence to the very end, the visuals are stunning. As I’ve said in other reviews in the past, style is substance, and Sucker Punch has a lot of style. The action scenes are entertaining, and while knowing the context of the larger-than-life sequences being in the lead character’s head does take away from them to a degree, I still enjoy them quite a lot. Not all of the movie works and there’s some messiness to it, but a lot of Sucker Punch does work for me.

My review of Sucker Punch

5. Army of the Dead

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With his latest movie, Zack Snyder goes back to his zombie roots, while showing that he’s progressed quite a lot since that movie. While it’s not completely original with it being a zombie movie and the plot is relatively familiar, it does still make itself distinct as a zombie movie. It’s really no surprise that Netflix sees so much potential in this being a major franchise for them.

Army of the Dead is entertaining throughout, quite comedic (definitely Snyder’s most comedic film), while being quite dark, and despite the premise of a zombie heist movie in Las Vegas, it’s not necessarily a ‘dumb zombie flick’. There’s a lot of great worldbuilding as it sets up the characters and setting. The characters are great and portrayed very well by the ensemble cast. And of course, the direction from Zack Snyder is enthralling to watch. It is visually stunning (shot by Snyder as DOP this time), with some strong CGI and practical effects. Then there’s the action sequences, which very well shot and choreographed. So far, Army of the Dead is one of my favourite movies of 2021, and I can’t wait to see the spin offs, sequels and prequels that are to come from this.

My review of Army of the Dead

4. Man of Steel

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When I first saw Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel back in 2013, I thought it was pretty good, but I wasn’t quite loving it at that point. I saw it as a solid, visually stunning and entertaining superhero movie with Superman in it. After many rewatches of this, I can say with confidence that it is the best (solo) Superman movie. It did something that no other live action versions of Superman couldn’t do, get me to take Superman seriously as a character and actually get me to care about him.

Zack Snyder took Superman to places that previous live action versions hadn’t yet. The Christopher Reeve Superman is still great but more modern interpretations of the character trying to harken back to that era didn’t quite work (2017’s Justice League being an example). Snyder however makes Superman work today, both in displaying his power and abilities, as well as him as a character. Having the narrative of the first half of the story jumping between the past and present as it shows Clark’s origin story, before then having Zod and the Kryptonians showing up in the second half worked quite well for a superhero origin story. I thought that overall, the story was quite well paced, and outside of some odd dialogue, I really liked the writing. The talented cast also did great jobs, Henry Cavill is still my favourite live action Superman to date, and a cast that includes Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe and more did exceedingly well. Zack Snyder directs Man of Steel spectacularly as expected. It’s a great looking movie, from the cinematography, to the visual effects, and to the production design and costumes. Additionally, Superman’s power is portrayed very well here for a more modern era. It’s also paired with a score which is among one of my favourite soundtracks of all time. Any issues I have with Man of Steel lessen the more times I watch it. In my mind it’s the best live action Superman film (solo at least) and one of my favourite superhero movies. It gets better the more I think about it and I’m glad to see that in the past 8 years, more and more people have slowly begun to start appreciating it more for what it is.

My original review of Man of Steel

My retrospective review of Man of Steel

3. Zack Snyder’s Justice League

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The other 2021 Zack Snyder film made it into the top 5 of the list too. Without getting too into that movie, the Justice League movie that released in 2017 was a crushing disappointment. Fans of Snyder and his DCEU movies didn’t like it and were beyond disappointed, and even audiences and critics didn’t like it all that much. Since the movie’s release, there was a campaign to see Snyder’s full vision. Despite all the campaigning for the movie, it seemed that it would never come. In 2020 however, it was announced that it would be happening after all, and it did not disappoint.

With the 4 hour runtime, Snyder gets to flesh things out, with the story, the characters, and the film’s universe. The characters are great, the returning characters of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are represented much better here, and the same goes for the new additions to the League with Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash. However out of all of them, it’s Ray Fisher’s Cyborg who gets the spotlight here, who really is the heart of the movie and whose story arc receives a much needed redemption in this cut. Even the side cast and characters get to shine more here. This includes the widely panned (at least in the 2017 version) villain Steppenwolf, who in this version gets to do much more here, with a massively improved design, general threat and presence, as well as being an actual character with some depth. Snyder’s Justice League is also flat out DC’s Lord of the Rings. It truly feels like an epic from the runtime, to the chapters, as well as the atmosphere and high stakes. Despite the length it didn’t feel too bloated, when you see the complexity of the story, it makes sense. It doesn’t rush into the teaming up of the League as expected, instead taking its time to build up the story with its characters and the backstories. Despite a lot of people’s perceptions of Snyder, his Justice League movie really is heartfelt and hopeful, and offers quieter and powerful moments between characters (especially in some scenes involving Cyborg). It also does offer moments of levity and humour, but in ways that fit the movie and doesn’t feel out of place. On a technical level it delivers unsurprisingly. The action scenes are fantastic and thrilling, and Junkie XL’s score accompanying them excellently. It’s shot wonderfully, and even the choice aspect ratio for actually ends up working for the film. While it seems that Snyder’s vision unfortunately won’t be continued in the rest of the DCEU, I am glad that we at least got to see this one movie. As someone who was anticipating this movie since 2017, I’m more than satisfied with what we got. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is not only a triumphant comic book epic and a better version of the movie from 2017, but also a vindication for Snyder and everyone else who worked on the movie.

My review of Zack Snyder’s Justice League

2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Ultimate Edition

When I watched Batman v Superman in the cinemas, it actually ended up blowing me away. I was anticipating it greatly, but it ended up being better than I expected. The Ultimate Edition was even better, fixing most of the issues that the theatrical cut had (it should’ve been the version that was released). Whichever version is being judged, BvS proved to be somehow even more divisive than Man of Steel, and I’m glad that I’m in the group of people who love it.

BvS was denser than what I expected, there was a lot of plotlines going on considering it was a comic book movie, and was more than just a straight up Batman vs Superman movie (the title certainly didn’t fit the film). I can always watch this movie and be fully invested in the story from start to finish. I love the world that Snyder and writer Chris Terrio had set these characters in it, as well as the atmosphere. This film takes some risks with what they do with the characters, and I thought they paid off. Ben Affleck’s Batman is darker than the character’s past live action appearances, he’s damaged, traumatised, unstable, and yes, a killer. I loved his arc in the movie, as well as his action scenes, with this more physical and brutal take on him. The arc of Henry Cavill’s Superman is great too, with the Ultimate Edition restoring some key scenes for him that were needed. Man of Steel was his first day on the job, BvS goes into how we would react to Superman, and this movie only further cements Cavill as my favourite version of the character. The rest of the cast are great including a surprising Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, with a younger and more complex version than some other interpretations of the character. Snyder’s direction is great again, from the visual effects, to the cinematography, the action scenes and the score. There are some complaints I have, for example as a result of being of it being a direct Man of Steel sequel and with nothing in between, we don’t really get to see a contrast between the public loving and then hating Superman. There’s also some little plot points which aren’t handled perfectly, and you can tell WB definitely got Snyder to combine some elements together to create and set up a cinematic universe. It does have issues, but I still love it. It is one of the boldest comic book movies I’ve seen, with a unique story that is fresh for these characters. Batman v Superman will probably go along the lines of Watchmen, a divisive comic book movie which has a strong following behind it making it a cult classic, both directed by Zack Snyder. Speaking of Watchmen…

My review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

My review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition

My retrospective review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

1. Watchmen

A direct adaptation of Watchmen was considered to be unfilmable, yet Snyder managed to deliver on that in 2009, and in many ways it was ahead of its time given that it was released before the comic book movie boom in the 2010s. Over a decade later it works much better nowadays and is still is a great movie.

Watchmen is not a conventional comic book movie, and like the graphic novel, displays the flaws in the superhero. Overall, I thought it adapted the graphic novel quite well. Having read it, a lot of the changes I felt were appropriate and helped it work better as a live action film. I found the story to be incredibly riveting (especially the director’s cut), containing interesting characters that were intriguing to watch, helped by the great cast especially in Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Billy Crudup. Zack Snyder’s direction proved to be quite a good fit for the material. The visuals are great with the colours and shadows being beautifully utilised, and it’s like the scenes were ripped straight out of the graphic novel. The CGI is great, particularly with the effects involving the character of Dr Manhattan, and there are some fantastic sequences throughout. I’m not sure if this is a very unpopular opinion (it probably is), but Watchmen is my favourite comic book movie yet.

My review of Watchmen

What is your ranking of Zack Snyder’s movies?

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) Review

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Zack Snyder's Justice League

Time: 242 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Cast:
Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Henry Cavill as Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman
Amy Adams as Lois Lane
Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman
Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg
Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash
Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor
Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth
Diane Lane as Martha Kent
Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta
J.K. Simmons as James Gordon
Ciarán Hinds as Steppenwolf
Director: Zack Snyder

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists newfound ally Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the Flash (Ezra Miller) — it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League was one of my most anticipated films of 2021. A brief background for those who don’t already know, Zack Snyder was helming Justice League but after his daughter’s death, left the movie. Warner Bros then got Joss Whedon to finish the movie, and he made a lot of cuts, changes and reshoots, and the end product released in 2017 was nothing short of disastrous. Critics didn’t really like it, audiences weren’t liking it, and fans not only didn’t defend it, they also despised it. When reports that Snyder had a long cut of the movie emerged, a movement emerged wanting the seemingly mythical Snyder Cut to be released. Years went by and it didn’t seem like it would happen, I myself didn’t have faith it would happen. However, in 2020 it was announced that Snyder would be returning to restore his vision in all its glory. After much anticipation it’s finally here, and I’m happy to say that it blew away even my highest of expectations.

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Throughout this review I’ll definitely reference the Whedon Cut plenty of times. Normally I’d just review the movie on its own, but that 2017 film makes it near impossible for me to do that. Also to make it a lot easier, I’ll refer to the 2017 Justice League movie as Josstice League, and this new Justice League movie as just Justice League. I think I should first address how both versions seem similar but how they actually aren’t, and address some misconceptions going in. Many detractors of the Snyder Cut have said that ultimately the new cut wouldn’t be that different and would basically be the same story. Yes, essentially Zack Snyder’s Justice League has the same story as Josstice League but only in the broadest of terms. The way that this story is told is so different. Aside from the tone, the length and more (which I’ll get into soon), the whole story is just developed a lot more, and the characters are fully realised. There is a lot more complexity to the story, and it’s a lot more interesting. It’s not the generic run of the mill superhero movie that Josstice League was, where the plot didn’t really matter and was just connecting one boring action scene to the next. There is plenty of room to breathe, and the pacing was steady enough that it wasn’t rushing, yet fast enough for me to be constantly invested in what is happening. There are so many scenes in this movie that weren’t seen in any of the prior trailers that it can actually be overwhelming, especially in the first 30 minutes. It’s not just that, even with the scenes that are in both versions, there are clear differences between them. There are literally scenes that have the same dialogue, but the versions in Josstice League were infinitely worse takes from the writing, directing to the acting and line deliveries. It gets to the point where it just feels like self-sabotage from Whedon. Even the footage that was purely Snyder’s that was also used in Josstice League feels a lot more in place and makes sense here. Additionally, some moments that were filmed by Snyder but no doubt was pushed onto him from WB are gone, an example being Batman’s “I heard you can talk to fish” line to Aquaman, which was in the very first teaser trailer. Just in general, you really feel this is Snyder with a lot more freedom. Despite the length, Snyder only filmed a couple of new scenes, everything else is his full cut from years ago, just fully restored with the CGI effects. With that said, he was able to change some aspects. For example, being able to change main villain Steppenwolf’s design from the generic tall guy in Josstice League, to his original and more superior design. Snyder even changed Superman’s red and blue suit to the black and grey suit, and while that is more of an easter egg and fanservice thing (it’s never addressed) it is fantastic to see on the screen.

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The most daunting thing about this movie for most people is the runtime, with it being a colossal 4 hours long, broken into 6 chapters and an epilogue. Of course, if Snyder got to release his version of the movie in the first place without it being changed by Whedon or WB, he would definitely have to cut it down a lot. Nonetheless, the movie we have now is 4 hours long, and absolutely benefits from that runtime. It takes like half the movie for the League to be together as a group, and in that first half sets the scene for what’s to come, really building up a lot with the characters and backstories. I think a lot of people won’t be expecting the character driven approach that Snyder has with the story, with quieter moments, especially between characters (a good example being Cyborg). It’s definitely dark for sure, and the R rating does feel appropriate for the movie even outside of the violence. Lots of people die, and there’s a lot at stake for the characters, with hints of a dark future to potentially come. With that being said, it is lighter than Batman v Superman (as it was intended to be). It also has moments of levity and comedy but unlike Josstice League, these moments actually work well and feel sincere rather than trying too hard to be quippy and imitate the MCU. There is a great balance of the tones and while I know that some people disliked Snyder’s DC movies for being really dark, I think it’s light enough that general audiences would be more inclined towards it, while it still remaining true to itself. Not only that, beyond everything, it’s an immensely hopeful movie, and you really feel that from beginning to end especially from the main characters by the time they are together at the end as a team. Hearing how Warner Bros wanted to go in a ‘hopeful and optimistic’ direction with this movie years ago is astounding, considering that this movie is exactly that. Justice League is also quite possible the most epic comic book movie. Snyder goes heavy with the mythology, while effectively showing the humanity of these people with godlike abilities, really helping the Justice League stand on their own thing and distinct from The Avengers and Marvel. Everything has so much weight from an emotional level with the main characters, to the larger scale stakes regarding the fate of the world. It really is best described as being DC’s Lord of the Rings. There are some very thrilling and satisfying moments throughout, and the third act is a complete blast. There is an epilogue which ties everything together for the characters but also leaves plenty of room open for follow ups. Those teases are especially excruciating because I really do want to see where the story and characters would go next, though it seems like they won’t happen at this time.

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The acting and characters are vastly improved for everyone in Justice League. Ben Affleck reprises his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman after the events of Batman v Superman. In this movie, Bruce’s faith is restored in humanity and is genuinely hopefully and optimistic as he assembles a team to combat the coming darkness, and it is a natural progression for this character. There’s particularly a brief exchange he has with Alfred later in the movie which just felt so perfect for his character and arc. Henry Cavill also reprises his role as Clark Kent/Superman, who begins the movie being dead after the events of Batman v Superman. Ultimately, he does serve a similar purpose as in Josstice League, but again is way better in every way here. Not only does he lack the very distracting CGI on his face and utter cheesiness and pseudo Christopher Reeve imitation that Whedon added, but it is also a much more genuine take on Superman. Yes, he’s both way more threatening and intimidating especially in the climax, but him returning as Superman was truly handled very well. Cavill has actually less lines than in Whedon’s cut, yet this take on Superman is way more powerful with less words. Gal Gadot also returns as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and while her role in the film is quite similar in both versions, she is portrayed and acted much better here, and doesn’t have some of the more embarrassing additions from Whedon. Her action scenes particularly are fantastic, I really loved the way that Snyder directs Wonder Woman action.

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There are three new Justice League members, and they are all pretty good. Jason Momoa is Arthur Curry/Aquaman, his role is pretty similar to the other movie but he’s thankfully a bit more serious than in the Whedon cut and isn’t making so many jokes. Additionally, we get a bit more of an arc for him and we get scenes with him and Mera (Amber Heard) and Vulko (Willem Dafoe) which further develops him as a character. In a way, Justice League makes Aquaman’s arc in his solo movie even better and more rewarding. Ezra Miller is Barry Allen/The Flash, in both versions he’s very much the comic relief, the difference is with Justice League, the jokes are actually funny and he doesn’t randomly rant about brunch or something. There’s also more emotional weight for him as a character. The scenes with Barry visiting his father in prison (played by Billy Crudup, who also gets to leave a much better impression here) aren’t just basic character backstory elements, but actually feel genuine and heartfelt. Also, the scenes that utilise his powers are fantastic, Josstice League had Flash run really fast, which is fine and all, but Snyder’s take on Flash is something truly special. Two scenes stand out particularly, one is the introduction scene for him (which is initself a great first scene for him), and the other is a strong candidate for the best scene in the whole movie. However, the highlight of the entire film is Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg. Zack Snyder has long said that Cyborg is the heart of the movie and he absolutely is. Of the newer Justice League characters, he gets the most time and development with Victor accepting who and what he is. He has a lot of character moments before he joins the League, and his arc is truly beautiful to watch. Fisher also performs his part fantastically, even when almost all of his body is covered in CGI, he leaves such an impression on screen. If nothing else, I hope this gets Ray Fisher the praise that he deserves (and hopefully will lead to more Cyborg in future DCEU films).

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The rest of the cast are great too. Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Connie Nielsen really do deliver greatly in reprising their respective roles and do even better here. Irons was great even in Josstice League but Amy Adams and Diane Lane deliver some great emotional work here, and Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta really gets more to do here. Some of the newer actors and characters actually have more impact on the plot, a chief example being Joe Morton as Cyborg’s father, who was just that in Josstice League but actually plays a notable part in the story in this cut. Then there’s even actors and characters here that weren’t in Josstice League with Willem Dafoe (who would reprise his role in Aquaman), Kirsten Clemens as Iris West (in Flash’s first scene) and Zheng Kai as Ryan Choi, all of whom are welcome additions to the movie. One of the main criticisms of Josstice League was the villain, that being Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf, with him being a very weak and generic antagonist with a terrible design. Hinds was among the first people to be openly disappointed with that theatrical cut and watching him here you can understand why. Steppenwolf is absolutely an incredible improvement here on many levels. While I wouldn’t class him as one of the best comic book villains or anything, he’s really effective here. First of all, he’s way more intimidating and scary in this, a large imposing force with a spikey armour exterior, he seems just impossible to kill especially during his action scenes. Not only that, he’s also actually got some motivations behind what he’s doing, and they are well set out. Something that the trailers for Justice League have really been pushing is that major DC villain Darkseid would be in this. He’s basically a cameo in this and a hint of things to potentially (or not potentially now) things to come. So don’t expect much of him, but he’s such a menacing presence when he’s on screen, and Ray Porter’s intimidating voice and performance makes him even more memorable.

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Zack Snyder’s name is in the title of the movie, so of course we would get to him eventually in this review. This is undeniably a film from him, his style is all over this but like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, makes each of his DCEU films feel distinct from one another. Something interesting is the 4:3 aspect ratio, I can get why some people would initially be turned off by this much like the long runtime. I will say that like many I was hoping for a much wider look to the movie. However it does add another unique aspect to this film over every other comic book movie. Also after a while you just get used to it, so just try to watch the movie on the biggest screen possible. The visual effects are great throughout, and the powers of the characters are showcased wonderfully, the highlight for me being Flash. The most shaky CGI is the new scenes that Snyder filmed, which is understandable. There are some other CGI moments which weren’t perfect, but for a 4 hour long blockbuster, that’s to be expected. Many of the designs are particularly great too, the main examples being the spikey armoured and intimidating Steppenwolf, and the ripped from the comic books look of Darkseid. The action is fantastic and might even rank amongst the best Snyder has done. You can see everything that’s happening on screen and it’s directed absolutely smoothly. It has an R rating for a reason, while it’s no Logan or Deadpool, it is more violent than the average comic book movie with dismemberments and blood and the like. However, it perfectly fits with the tone of the movie. The score by Junkie XL is fantastic and one of the standouts of the movie. It not just replacing Danny Elfman’s lackluster score, but every theme is distinct and fits the moment perfectly. I also love how he uses to previous DCEU themes to great effect here. I’ll also go ahead and say that the main Justice League theme is one of the best themes in a comic book.

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League is so many things. It’s a triumphant comic book epic (the most epic of the comic book epics), a vast improvement over the disastrous 2017 movie, and a complete vindication for Zack Snyder and everyone else who worked on the movie. The characters are beautifully realised, the story is operatic yet poignant and heartfelt, and it’s fantastically directed with a bold vision. It really does rank among the best that comic book movies can deliver. If you are a DC fan there’s going to be a lot here that you’ll love, especially if you are a fan of Snyder’s DC movies. Honestly even if you weren’t such huge fans of Snyder’s DC movies, I still think you might really like it, ironically the 4-hour long movie the most accessible of his trilogy. The only people I can’t recommend this movie to are people who just don’t like comic book movies altogether. I don’t know if there will be a continuation of this story, I certainly hope there will be or at the very least an acknowledgement of this movie over the Whedon cut. Whatever the case, I’m incredibly happy that this movie exists in itself, and is firmly one of my favourite experiences watching a movie for the first time.

Top 40 Anticipated Movies of 2021

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2020 was a weird year for film, mostly because much of the movies with release dates set for that year were pushed back through to 2021. In fact, a great number of the movies I had on my anticipated movies of 2020 list were pushed back at least a year.

2021 will very likely have the same issue with pushbacks, a number of these movies probably won’t come out this year. In any case, there’s a lot of exciting movies set for release in 2021 and I hope they deliver (provided they actually release this year).

40. Black Widow

After Avengers: Endgame, people are starting to drop off out of interest of the MCU, and I’ll admit myself as being one of these people. There have been talks for under a decade of a Black Widow movie ever since her on screen debut in 2010 with Iron Man 2. However, despite appearing frequently in the MCU movies, she’s never gotten her movie, until now that is.

A film about Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War.

There’s an undercurrent of feeling that this movie feels years too late, and it’s particularly frustrating that it takes place after Captain America: Civil War, because this just means that it should’ve been made 3/4 years ago (however I suppose it’s better than being yet another origin story). What makes matters worse is the fact that Black Widow in the MCU is now dead, so it almost feels in vain. The trailers look pretty good, rather standard Marvel movie stuff, but has enough intriguing bits to make me interested. I generally like Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in the movies, but I really do feel like she hadn’t been used to her fullest potential in her previous appearances. While I still don’t feel like the character would be used to her fullest potential here, at least this time she’ll be front and center, and not just a co-lead at most. Additionally, Black Widow has a solid supporting cast with Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Ray Winstone. I don’t necessarily know if it’ll be much better than the standard MCU level quality (the trailer certainly makes it look like it’s not much more than that), I can’t deny that I’ll watch it day one.

39. Untitled Spider-Man 3

Even though I liked the first two movies, my anticipation for the third Spider-Man movie in the MCU is relatively above average. With that said, some of the details about it that have been released recently, does have me somewhat interested.

While no plot details have been revealed, it will no doubt follow up on the ending of the last Spider-Man movie, in which Spider-Man’s identity is revealed and he is framed for murder. While it is building off from a cliffhanger, I’m not sure how much the third movie will actually pay off on that. You’ve got the actors from the previous Spider-Man returning with Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, and Marisa Tomei. What really has me interested however are some of the other confirmed casting. First there’s Benedict Cumberbatch who’ll return as Doctor Strange, and his involvement opens many possibilities as to what is going to happen in this movie. And then there’s the announced casting of Jamie Foxx as Electro (who played the role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and, Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus (who played the role in Spider-Man 2). With them, and possibly even more actors from the past versions of Spider-Man, things are seemingly leading towards a live action version of the Spider-Verse. I feel like it’ll either succeed really well, or be quite a mess, hopefully it’ll be the former. Either way, I’m at least interested.

38. The Suicide Squad

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The Suicide Squad is a follow up to 2016 Suicide Squad, though it does seem to be more of a soft reboot than an actual sequel. There are parts of it that I’m interested in, and there are other parts that I’m not interested in.

Imprisoned convicts from Task Force X are sent on a new, sentence-easing mission to the South American island of Corto Maltese to destroy Jotunheim, a Nazi-era prison and laboratory which held political prisoners and conducted experimentations.

Reprising their roles from the previous Suicide Squad are Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and Viola Davis. They were quite good in that first movie, I hope they also get a lot to do in this coming movie too. Additionally, there’s quite a number of great additions to the cast with Idris Elba, John Cena, Peter Capaldi, Sylvester Stallone, Pete Davidson, David Dastmalchian, Michael Rooker, Taika Waititi, and Nathan Fillion. One of the biggest selling points is James Gunn, mostly known for his recent work with the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, who’ll be the writer and director of the movie. His involvement is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. From the glimpses of behind the scenes and released footage, there are some parts of the looks that I like, and there are other parts I don’t like. The plot itself is a little more fitting for these characters, as at least from the initial description it doesn’t appear to have a world ending plot, which was a problem with the 2016 Suicide Squad. I also like how it is embracing an R rating fully, which will make sure it differentiates itself from the Gunn’s other comic book movies. I do like the GOTG movies but I’m not a massive fan of them or the style, so I’m only really mildly interested in the movie as opposed to highly anticipating it. I am rather mixed on some of what’s here, but I am interested enough to check it out in cinemas.

37. Prisoners of the Ghostland

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I know of Prisoners of the Ghostland as being a movie with Nicolas Cage, and from the premise and some of the things I’ve heard of it, it has me quite interested.

A notorious criminal, Hero (Nicolas Cage), is sent to rescue the governor’s daughter, who has disappeared into a dark supernatural universe. To escape the nightmare world, Hero must break the evil curse controlling the mysterious Ghostland.

The cast list includes Nicolas Cage, Sofia Boutella, and Ed Skrein, which is a pretty good lineup. I’ve not really seen any of director’s Sion Sono’s films, but from what I’ve heard he’s an incredibly unique filmmaker, with a lot of crazy movies. I think there’s something worth noting, and this ultimately is what sold me on the movie so much. Nicolas Cage has said that this is the wildest movie he’s done. Considering all the movies that he made, for him to say that, it’s something. Keeping that in mind as well as the director and the given premise, I think this will be one of the craziest and memorable movies of the year.

36. Sherlock Holmes 3

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The last Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr. was released back in 2011. Its ending hinted at a coming sequel, but despite it being in development for quite some time, it seemed like it would not happen. However, as it turns out, the third movie is going to happen, with Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprising their roles of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

Not much is known about this movie as this time, except the returning leads as well as the director. With the third movie, it will be Dexter Fletcher who directs instead of Guy Ritchie, who made the past two movies. Ritchie’s work in the past movies was very distinct and stylistic, and I’m not sure other directors could really replicate that. With that said, I’ve seen Fletcher’s past movies with Eddie the Eagle and Rocketman, and his work on those have been good. So despite the long wait, I’m very much looking forward to check it out.

35. Occhiali neri

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I’ve seen two of Dario Argento’s movies, Suspiria and Deep Red, but those two are enough for me to know him as a great director. The last movie he made was Dracula 3D all the way back in 2012, but now he’s making his directorial return with Occhiali neri. This alone has me quite interested in it.

Diana (Stacy Martin), a young woman who lost her sight, finds a guide in a Chinese boy named In. Together they will track down a dangerous killer through the darkness of Italy.

Suspiria and Deep Red are fantastically directed movies, and there’s plenty other of Dario Argento’s work I really want to see. With that said, I’ve not seen Argento’s more recent movies, and his later works with Dracula 3D and the like haven’t received the best critical response. Nonetheless I am curious to see him do another movie. Along with Argento directing, there’s also Stacy Martin in the lead role, Martin has delivered great performances in films like Nymphomaniac and Vox Lux. I’m looking forward to seeing the two working together. Beyond the lead and the director and the premise, there’s not a whole lot of information about the movie, the premise sounds decent enough. It’s enough to make me curious and pay attention to the movie.

34. A Quiet Place Part 2

A Quiet Place was one of the biggest surprises of 2018, a very effective horror movie, and it worked well for what it was. Because it was so successful, a sequel was greenlit with the same crew. While a sequel doesn’t seem necessary, I’m open to seeing what ideas they have in mind for the follow up.

The Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realise that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

John Krasinski returns to direct the sequel, which is good because he did a good job with the first movie. Along with the returning main characters with Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe as the family at the centre, you have the additions of Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou, both are very talented actors and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in this  movie. I don’t think A Quiet Place needed a sequel, it was fine as it is, but I’m hoping Part 2 proves me wrong and does something special.

33. The King’s Man

I’m a big fan of Kingsman: The Secret Service, it was something fresh and entertaining. I even liked The Golden Circle, even though it has its issues and wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. Now director Matthew Vaughn isn’t going straight into the third movie in that series, but instead directing a prequel about how the Kingsman came to be, and that’s actually something I’m willing to see.

As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man (Ralph Fiennes) and his protégé (Harris Dickinson) must race against time to stop them.

After some mixed reactions to The Golden Circle (even from those who liked the first movie), the idea of making a prequel was probably the best next move for the series. It’s definitely embracing the time period and seems different from the first two movies, yet you can clearly tell that it’s a Kingsman movie, and that it’s directed by Matthew Vaughn. The cast is large and great, with Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arteton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Daniel Bruhl, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Stanley Tucci involved. I am actually more confident in this movie than The Golden Circle, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t end up being fun at the very least.

32. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

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This is one of the most meta movies ever, if the prospect of Nicolas Cage playing himself in a movie sounds just as appealing to you as it does to me, this should be on your anticipated list too.

A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage (Nicolas Cage) agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan’s birthday party, but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie.

I think it’s pretty clear why I’m interested in this movie so much. Nicolas Cage is straight up playing a version of Nicolas Cage with his own name attached to the character. Cage (the real life Cage) has made a very insane and impressive legacy and career for himself, and the movie seems to be a homage to his very colourful history. It will also no doubt present him plenty of opportunities for him to really let loose (as he’s known for doing). Additionally, Pedro Pascal and Neil Patrick Harris are involved with the cast, both of whom I like. Now understand that the whole premise is what has me so looking forward to the movie, I’m not sure if it’s going to be any good or not. The director Tom Gormician has previously directed That Awkward Moment, which I’ve not seen but the reception of that movie seems to be a bit mixed. Whatever the case, I can’t see a situation where I don’t enjoy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent on any level.

31. After Yang

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Columbus is a great and fantastically made movie that’s definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. That was the first movie from director Kogonada, and I was interested in seeing what he would next make. His next project happens to be a sci-fi movie, and I’m interested in it from his past work in Columbus alone.

In a world where robotic children are purchased as live-in babysitters, a father and daughter attempt to save the life of their robotic family member, Yang, who has become unresponsive.

Columbus was a visually stunning looking movie, with an incredible atmosphere from beginning to end. While based off the plot summary After Yang is going to be a different kind of movie, I’m interested to see how Kogonada will bring those elements from his first movie here. The cast involved are also good, including Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Haley Lu Richardson being part of it. I’m curious to see how After Yang is.

30. The Power of the Dog

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I’m mainly interested in The Power of the Dog for the cast and the director. With that and the premise, I think it has some potential.

A pair of brothers who own a large ranch in Montana are pitted against each other when one of them gets married.

I’ve not watched anything from director Jane Campion but I heard that she had made some great work including Top of the Lake and The Piano. Additionally, the cast are good, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Thomasin McKenzie, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Adam Beach. I don’t have much more to say about the movie, there’s just a lot of talented people involved that I have to see how it turns out.

29. Don’t Look Up

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I’ve generally liked the movies of Adam McKay’s that I’ve seen, but it’s his more recent films with the turn towards drama that captured my attention really, with one movie being about the financial crisis of 2007-2008, and the other being a biopic of Dick Cheney. He has a new movie coming out, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

A pair of astronomers try to warn everyone on Earth that a giant meteorite will destroy the planet in six months.

First of all, the cast is absurdly large, it’s kind of ridiculous. As of right now, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothee Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Himesh Patel, Kid Cudi, Matthew Perry, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman and Chris Evans are part of the cast. It really does feel like some of these would have to be cameos or something. Adam McKay writes and directs this, and with it being a political satire disaster film, it seems like it’s right in his wheelhouse. As previously said, I’m a fan of McKay’s more recent work in The Big Short and Vice even though I know a lot of people aren’t really fans of them. Despite Vice being a biopic, it definitely leaned into some political satire in some ways, so it’ll be great to see McKay go all out with that with Don’t Look Up.

28. Pinocchio

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This is not the only movie from Guillermo del Toro on this list. I don’t think a lot of people are aware of his second 2021 movie from him, that being a Pinocchio movie of all things. Normally I wouldn’t be interested, but his name alone being attached to this project has me intrigued.

A darker version of the classic children’s fairy tale of a wooden puppet that transforms into a real living boy.

To clarify, Guillermo del Toro is co-directing with Mark Gustafson (who’s work I’m not familiar with), but del Toro being attached to it has me very interested. I haven’t seen any version of Pinocchio in movies (unless the one from Shrek counts). From what I understand though, the original story always has been a dark story, but it seems that the movie will be very dark, in the Del Toro way. With the likes of Hellboy movies, Pan’s Labyrinth and more, he’s definitely familiar with the dark fantasy genre. Pinocchio 2021 will also be stop motion animated, so I’m expecting that it will look quite unique and fantastic. There is indeed a voice cast that includes Ewan McGregor, David Bradley, Ron Perlman, Tilda Swinton, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett, Tim Blake Nelson, John Turturro and Burn Gorman. All things considering though, it’s Del Toro directing that has me interested most of all.

27. Bullet Train

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With the director and the cast involved, it sounds like Bullet Train could be quite good, and one of the highlight action movies of the year.

Five assassins find themselves on a Japanese bullet train, realizing that their individual assignments are not unrelated to the others.

David Leitch is a pretty good action director, with his work from directing Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, and Hobbs and Shaw, as well as co-directing John Wick. He’s definitely familiar with the genre, and with this premise I think that there’s a lot of potential. It’s not just that, Bullet Train has one of the best casts of 2021 with Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Joey King, Logan Lerman, Michael Shannon, Zazie Beetz, Lady Gaga, Brian Tyree Henry, Karen Fukuhara and more. Plotwise I’m not really sure what to expect, but I think we are going to get an entertaining and well made action movie.

26. The Last Duel

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Despite a lot of his movies being relatively hit or miss, I’m always interested to see what movies Ridley Scott is directing. One of his two 2021 movies is a historical drama thriller set in medieval times, which Scott is definitely familiar with. With him as director, and a great cast lined up, The Last Duel has a lot of potential.

In 14th-century France, best friends Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) are ordered to fight to the death after Carrouges accuses Le Gris of raping his wife.

Ridley Scott as a director has been a little all over the place in recent years, in the past 8 years he directed The Martian, Alien: Covenant and All the Money in the World, but he has also directed Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Counsellor. I have no idea which category The Last Duel will fit into, but I’m sure he’ll direct the movie well enough to make it worth watching at the very least. Then you also have a pretty solid cast with Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck. Additionally, along with Nicole Holofcener (who wrote the underrated Can You Ever Forgive Me?) writing the script, Affleck and Damon will be on board writing as well, making this their first writing collaboration since Good Will Hunting. Much of the movie looks great, the one problem is the premise, which is a bit iffy to say the least. To repeat, what causes the titular last duel is one main character raping the other main character’s wife. With the movie essentially having rape as a plot device, I can see how that would turn a lot of people off, even if it’s based on fact. Aside from that, everything else about the movie looks great and has the potential to be something good.

25. Halloween Kills

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I liked 2018’s Halloween, it was a good follow up to the original movie. I also thought it was a good conclusion for the series and characters. Unfortunately, they decided that this movie would be the first in a trilogy, with Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends acting as the second and third movies. Even though they should’ve stopped the series at this point, I can’t deny that I’m at least somewhat interested in seeing what they have in store for the next instalments.

The saga of Michael Myers (Nick Castle) and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) continues in the next thrilling chapter of the Halloween series.

David Gordon Green did a really good job at directing the last movie, it wasn’t that scary to me, but it was handled so well on the whole, so I’m glad that he’s returning for this movie. Additionally, you have the main cast from the previous movie returning, with Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak and Nick Castle reprising their roles. Despite my disappointment that the last movie didn’t conclude the whole series after all, there is one thing I’m confident about, and that’s the fact that they actually planned out 2 movies, with the last literally being titled Halloween Ends. This means they actually have a plan for the story arc, it’s much more contained, and aren’t going to just release more sequels (until they inevitably reboot yet again in the future). While I can certainly see how things could go wrong, I have enough confidence in the people involved to deliver another solid movie.

24. Spiral: From the Book of Saw

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While I am still catching up on watching all the Saw movies, it seems many of the movies in the series were on repeat, even if they do have a continuing and twisting plot throughout. A lot of elaborative traps, disposable 1-2 dimensional characters, and a whole lot of gore, all are to be expected from each Saw movie. With Spiral: From the Book of Saw however, it seems to be quite different, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner William Schenk (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly trapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.

For some context, Spiral came about when Chris Rock (who’s a fan of the Saw movies) pitched an idea to Lionsgate. This movie is the outcome of that, with him being an executive producer and story writer. Director Darren Lynn Bousman made Saw 2-4, someone who’s clearly familiar with the series, however from the trailer at least it seems to be quite a different movie. The trailer shows hints of the plot, no hints of Jigsaw, not a big emphasis on traps or gore. It seems more like a murder mystery then… well a Saw movie, and at this point I think that’s a good thing, with it being a refreshing instalment to the long running series. I’m interested in seeing how this movie will tie into the other Saw movies as well.

23. Candyman

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The original Candyman from the early 90s is a horror classic for sure. It did receive a couple of sequels which I hadn’t watched myself, but from what I heard wasn’t quite at the level of the first movie. I am very curious about this new Candyman movie just entitled Candyman, which is meant to be a direct ‘spiritual’ sequel to the first movie. It’s looking pretty great so far.

A “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror film ‘Candyman’ that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.

Again, the fact that this new Candyman movie will be a spiritual sequel to the original is good, it is at least a step above being a remake. Nonetheless, not sure what the movie will be about just yet. The lead will be played by Yahya Abudul-Mateen II, and we also have Tony Todd returning, and I assume that he’s reprising his role as the Candyman. If he is, then that’s great, because he’s fantastic in that role. The trailer makes the movies look good, especially on a visual level. I’m really interested in checking it out.

22. No Sudden Move

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I’ve not seen most of Steven Soderbergh’s movies, but I generally like them, and I’m paying attention to whatever he makes next. His new movie No Sudden Move will indeed be another heist movie, but it’s not Oceans Fourteen, and looks like it will be quite an enjoyable movie.

Set in 1955 in Detroit, No Sudden Move centers on a group of small-time criminals who are hired to steal what they think is a simple document. When their plan goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them – and for what ultimate purpose – weaves them through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

Steven Soderbergh is a very good director, among the highlights of the work I’ve seen from him include Traffic, Unsane, Side Effects and Contagion. I’ve heard that some of his other work is not great, but the premise of No Sudden Move sounds like something that Soderbergh would excel at. It’s not just that, the ensemble cast that Soderbergh is working with is incredibly impressive. This cast includes Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Ray Liotta, Kieran Culkin, Noah Jupe, Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, and Julia Fox, that’s an impressive lineup. Them, and the director come together to form a potentially really good movie.

21. Godzilla vs. Kong

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I liked the MonsterVerse movies, with the two recent Godzilla movies and Kong: Skull Island. Now their incarnations of Godzilla and King Kong will be clashing after years of build-up. There are some concerns that I have, but no doubt it’s something that I’m really looking forward to seeing on the big screen.

In a new world where man and monster now coexist, Monarch must lead the way to a prosperous future alongside the Titans, keeping humanity in check. However, rival factions that want to manipulate the Titans for war begin to rise under the guise of a nefarious conspiracy, threatening to wipe out all life on the planet. Meanwhile on Skull Island, strange seismic activity draws the attention of Godzilla and Kong alike.

I’ve seen some of the older King Kong and Godzilla movies (outside of Peter Jackson’s King Kong), including one of the movies where the two have fought each other. I can’t wait to see these modern incarnations of these titans clashing, especially with the fantastic visuals today. In addition to Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler returning from Godzilla: King of the Monsters, you have Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Eiza Gonzalez, Jessica Henwick and Demian Bichir being added to the cast list. I’m aware that the human characters aren’t particularly anything special in the MonsterVerse movies, but that’s nonetheless a pretty good cast. This movie is directed by Adam Wingard, who made You’re Next, The Guest, and Death Note (the latter of which wasn’t all that good), and I’m interested in seeing what he has planned for this movie. Despite the concerning amount of delays (even before the covid delay in 2020), I’m sure it will at least be something spectacular to see on the big screen.

20. The Matrix 4

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The Matrix was a massive hit upon its release and made a huge impact on film and pop culture on the whole. It was so successful it received two sequels in 2003 with Reloaded and Revolutions, making a trilogy. There have been talks of a sequel for a while, however it seemed unlikely that it would actually happen. As it turns out, there will be a 4th instalment to the series under a couple of decades since the last entry. While I admit I’m not a massive fan of the trilogy (though I do like them), I am curious to see what will happen next in the story.

As of this time, nothing about The Matrix 4’s story has been revealed, but I am curious about what direction it will go in. Lana Wachowski returns to direct, after co-writing and co-directing the previous Matrix movies with her sister Lilly. I’m glad at least one of the sisters will be directing, I can’t imagine any of the Matrix movies being made by anyone else. Of the cast from the original movies, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne-Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith will be returning and will be great to see back (though the lack of Laurence Fishburne is noticeable). Also, newer additions to the cast include Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, all of whom are also really good performers and will no doubt be good additions to the cast. I’m really not sure what to expect from The Matrix 4, but I’m interested in it for sure.

19. Eternals

As I said when talking about Black Widow, I’ve been growing less interested in the MCU. While I’m going to watch all of their upcoming movies, it will take some new places and characters to make me particularly interested in their newer instalments. Thankfully, it looks like The Eternals is going to be one of the MCU movies I’m actively looking forward to.

In a story spanning over 7000 years, the Eternals, an immortal alien race created by the Celestials, protect humanity from their evil counterparts the Deviants.

I don’t really know anything about the Eternals from the comics, what little I know is that they are a powerful race of cosmic beings who’ve been around for millions of years. Most of the MCU protagonists are human, or at least start as such, so to immediately start off and take place in this kind of world, it sounds exciting. You also have a great cast, with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Barry Keoghan, Gemma Chan and Kit Harington. The director is Chloe Zhao, and while I haven’t seen The Rider, her work on Nomadland is nothing short of spectacular. If she really was given as much creative freedom as she said, then this has the potential to be something incredible. Most MCU movies are decent at least, and I’m sure that the Eternals will be good too, but I also think it has the opportunity to be one of the most unique entries in the series.

18. Soggy Bottom

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Paul Thomas Anderson is a great director, his movies range from being good to absolutely masterful. So, I’m naturally interested in whatever he makes, no matter what the premise is. Not quite sure what to expect from his next movie Soggy Bottom (if PTA is really going to stick with this title), but I know that I’m going to watch it day one.

Paul Thomas Anderson has directed some incredible movies, including There Will Be Blood, Phantom Thread and Magnolia. So we already that it will be very well shot and made, and pretty much perfect on a technical level. There’s also a good cast involved, including Bradley Cooper and Benny Safdie. The lead is even played by the son of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Cooper Hoffman. From early reports, Soggy seems to be about a high school student (played by Cooper Hoffman) who becomes a famous child actor in the 1970s. That idea sounds decent, if a little underwhelming, given that it’s the next movie from PTA. Then again, I remember being particularly uninterested going into his last movie Phantom Thread based off the premise, and it ended up being one of my favourite movies of that year. So I’m open to see how the film turns out when it releases.

17. Those Who Wish Me Dead

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Taylor Sheridan showed himself to be a good writer, and then director with Wind River, so I’m generally interested in what he does next. His next film certainly sounds like it could be another solid film from Sheridan, and there’s a lot of talented people involved.

A female-driven neo-Western set against a wildfire in the Montana wilderness. A teenage murder witness finds himself pursued by twin assassins in the Montana wilderness with a survival expert (Angelina Jolie) tasked with protecting him — and a forest fire threatening to consume them all.

Again, Taylor Sheridan is a big reason why I’m so interested in this movie. This is not the only neo-Western that Sheridan has written with Hell or High Water and Wind River, the latter of which he directed. He’s great at this sort of sub genre, and so I’m pretty confident that the writing and directing side will be top notch. On top of that it has a talented cast with Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Tyler Perry, Jon Bernthal, and Aiden Gillen. My excitement is all just based off the talent involved, and I hope it all pays off well.

16. Gucci

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Like what I said with my bit on The Last Duel, I’m always paying attention to what Ridley Scott is making, even if he can be hit or miss with much of his movies. Gucci has a pretty good premise at it is, and if done right could be among Scott’s best recent movies.

The story of how Patrizia Reggian (Lady Gaga)i, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), plotted to kill her husband, the grandson of renown fashion designer Guccio Gucci.

I know pretty much nothing about Gucci, however just the premise alone has me quite interested, it could be something quite great. Ridley Scott is a great director, and this is one of his most interesting projects that he’s signed onto, definitely more so than The Last Duel at the very least. Additionally the cast in this is quite talented with Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jeremy Irons and potentially Al Pacino and Jack Huston. The premise and talent involve have me paying attention to this movie.

15. The Lost Daughter

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The Lost Daughter will be Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut. That, the premise and the cast involved has me quite interested.

A woman (Olivia Colman), while on a summer holiday, finds herself becoming obsessed with another woman and her daughter, prompting memories of her own early motherhood to come back and unravel her.

The Lost Daughter is based on a book of the same name, which I’m not familiar with. The premise does sound interesting, enough to get me on board with it to watch. Also, I’m interested to see how Gyllenhaal does as a director. Another large reason I’m interested in the movie is the cast, which is massively talented consisting of the likes of Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard, Olivia Jackson-Cohen and Ed Harris. The premise and talent involved alone has me on board to check it out.

14. Don’t Worry Darling

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Don’t Worry Darling has me mainly interested with the people involved with it, both with the director and actors. Additionally with it being a horror and psychological thriller with a premise with potential, it does interest me quite a bit.

An unhappy housewife (Florence Pugh) in the 1950s is discovering a disturbing truth, while her loving husband (Harry Styles) hides a dark secret.

I will say that I was unfortunately one of the only people who didn’t like Booksmart, but I thought that Olivia Wilde’s direction in it was good, and was looking forward to seeing what she did next. The prospect of her directing a psychological thriller has me very interested in seeing what he does with that. Then there’s the actors involved. First of all you have Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in the lead roles, Pugh has been on fire with plenty of great performances recently, and while I haven’t seen a lot from Styles, his performance in Dunkirk does show him to be a solid actor. The rest of the cast also includes Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne and Wilde herself, and they’ll no doubt provide a good supporting cast for the movie. There seems to be a lot of secrecy surrounding the movie, and with that and the talent involved, I am very curious about this movie.

13. The French Dispatch

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I had been catching up on Wes Anderson’s whole filmography recently. While I’m not sure I’d call him one of my favourite directors, I really do like his movies and I love The Grand Budapest Hotel. I definitely appreciate him as a filmmaker, and I’ll for sure check out any future movies he puts out. I’m not exactly sure what The French Dispatch is supposed to be at this time, but I’m getting the feeling that it’ll really surprise me.

A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch” magazine.

Whether you love, hate or are indifferent to Wes Anderson, you can’t deny that he makes movies like no other director. I’m not really sure what to expect with the given premise but I’m interested to see what he does, especially with his distinct style. As per typical of Anderson, he has a phenomenal cast, and it’s actually overwhelming how large it is. Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Timothee Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, Benicio del Toro, Lea Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Kate Winslet, Elisabeth Moss, Willem Dafoe, Christoph Waltz, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman are just some of the names involved in the cast of this movie. With that cast and Wes Anderson directing, I’m looking forward to watching The French Dispatch whenever it comes out.

12. Decision to Leave

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While I haven’t watched as many Chan-wook Park as I would like, he’s definitely a great director, whose work I’m interested in checking out. Decision to Leave will be his first movie since The Handmaiden, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s doing next.

A detective investigating a man’s death in the mountains meets the dead man’s mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing.

From what I can tell, Decision to Leave will be a romantic murder mystery, and I’m interested in seeing Chan-wook Park’s take on this. From watching Oldboy, The Handmaiden, Thirst and I’m a Cyborg but That’s Ok, it’s clear that he’s a masterful filmmaker, and his involvement alone has me looking forward to his latest film.

11. Blonde

While biopics can be very typical and usually end up being just a display of some good acting at best (at worst its failed Oscar bait), the upcoming film about Marilyn Monroe sounds like it’ll be very interesting. The talent involved is difficult to ignore, and the story and movie on the whole seems like it’ll be anything but conventional.

A fictionalized take on the life of Marilyn Monroe (Ana de Armas).

Andrew Dominick is quite a talented filmmaker, with Chopper and Killing Them Softly, but of course he’s known for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which was masterful. For him to take on this story, I’m definitely intrigued. Ana de Armas has been a rising star these past years, with the likes of War Dogs, Blade Runner 2049 and more recently Knives Out. Now she’s in the lead role as Marilyn Monroe, and just from the set pictures, she at least looks the part, and I have no doubt that she’ll also bring it on the acting side too. You also have Adrien Brody, and Bobby Cannavale in supporting roles. A great director and cast could still result in a typical biopic, however, the source material its based off is quite unique. Blonde is based off the historical novel of the same name, and according to the author, it’s a work of fiction that shouldn’t be regarded as a direct biography of Monroe’s life. I haven’t read the book myself, but it does sound like there’s potential there for an interesting movie. Also, according to Dominik (who wrote the script in addition to directing) “the script contains little dialogue and he has described the film as being an avalanche of images and events”. I’m all for unconventional biopics, and Blonde could end up being a complete surprise.

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth

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The story of Macbeth has been told so many times, and that also means plenty of adaptations on the big screen. The last major on-screen adaptation I’m aware of was 5 years ago, and so naturally the idea of yet another Macbeth movie sounds rather tired. However, there’s something special with the latest adaptation, that being the involvement of the Coen Brothers (or rather one Coen Brother), that alone has me incredibly looking forward to it.

After being convinced by three witches, a Scottish Lord sets out to become the King of Scotland.

The Tragedy of Macbeth will be the first film directed by just one Coen Brother, in this case Joel Coen. The writing and direction by the Coens are great and truly unique, and the idea of Joel Coen taking on the classic story of Macbeth does interest me quite a bit. Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand will play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respectively, both of them are powerhouse performers who will no doubt be great in their parts. Brendan Gleeson, Corey Hawkins, Harry Melling and Ralph Ineson are also part of the cast, they are good actors too who will no doubt deliver too. I’m not expecting the story to change that much, but I’m nonetheless interested to see how it is done by Coen.

9. Old

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M. Night Shyamalan’s comeback has been really great to see. After returning to his roots with The Visit, and continuing strong with Split and Glass (the latter two being amongst his best work), it’s pretty clear he’s still got it as a director. Very little is known about his next movie titled Old at this time, but I’m already on board with it.

While we don’t know anything about the plot of Old itself, we do know that it will be a thriller, and that it will be based off a graphic novel named Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy. Apparently “The events are set in motion when a group of people find a dead body on a beach and slowly realize there is something unnatural happening on that beach.” The story has been described as an existential horror story about the inevitability of death, and I’m interested in seeing how Shyamalan handles that. Old however apparently won’t be a straight adaptation, which is why it’s merely inspired by Sandcastle rather than being based on it outright, nonetheless it does have me intrigued. On top of the director and premise, there’s also a great cast in Eliza Scanlen, Rufus Sewell, Thomasin McKenzie, Alex Wolff, Vicky Krieps and Abbey Lee. With all of these factors being considered, I’m really interested in how Old will turn out.

8. Mission Impossible 7

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The Mission Impossible series has been continuously improving with every instalment (with the exception of Mission Impossible 2). Even then, Mission Impossible: Fallout released back in 2018 caught me off guard by how great it was. It was an engaging action movie, with incredibly practical action sequences, for sure one of the best action movies released in recent years. With the same team returning for the 7th instalment, I am looking forward to immensely.

I remember being a little disappointed that Fallout would be directed once again by Christopher McQuarrie after making Rogue Nation, breaking the conventions of a different director for each entry in the series. However after Fallout, I’m on board with him doing plenty more movies in the series. We are already know the stunts are going to be great, with every instalment featuring some particularly impressive practical stunt. Fallout was full of them, and I’m looking forward to the exciting set pieces that the 7th film will have. We’ve also got Mission Impossible cast members returning in Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby and Angela Bassett. Additionally there’s Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham and Esai Morales who have been added to the cast, I’m looking forward to seeing their parts in the story too. It’s really hard to imagine the 7th film topping Fallout, but if it’s anyone where that level at all, I can’t wait for it.

7. Army of the Dead

Zombie movies don’t excite me immensely, there’s only a select number of them that I particularly like a lot. One of those is Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead, and with Army of the Dead he’ll be returning to that genre, and with it being a zombie heist film, I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with that.

Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries takes the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

Zack Snyder’s debut film Dawn of the Dead really stood out among modern zombie movies and it was mostly to do with his direction. 17 years later, I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll bring to his next zombie movie. It seems that Netflix are all in with this movie too, given that they have already planned some spin-offs. It was announced that a prequel film and anime television series are in development to expand the franchise. That shows the level of confidence that Netflix have in it, they clearly figured that they have a hit on their hands and that has me even more excited. I’m not expecting it to be groundbreaking, but I get the feeling that it’ll be something fun at the very least.

6. The Green Knight

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I’ve liked the movies I’ve seen from director David Lowery, with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon and especially A Ghost Story. So I’m open to seeing any new movies from him, and his latest movie with The Green Knight looks like it could be one of his best movies, certainly one of the most exciting films of 2021.

A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel) and the Green Knight.

David Lowery is a very talented director as shown in his previous movies, so he’s definitely got a good handle of this movie. The Green Knight also has a pretty good cast, with Dev Patel, Barry Keoghan, Ralph Ineson, Alicia Vikander, Kate Dickie, and Sean Harris involved. The story is apparently based of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is apparently a classic tale, but I’m not familiar with that. I was originally just interested in the movie because of the talent involved. However with the brief trailer that was released, I’m really loving the vibes and look of the movie, and I get the feeling I’m going to love this movie.

5. No Time to Die

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No Time to Die will be the final film with Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond (who is by far my favourite version of the character), so it’s quite a big movie. Add on top of that the talent involved, and it seems like it could be something special.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain (Rami Malek) armed with dangerous new technology.

There is a lot of talent involved with this movie. Along with Daniel Craig, you have returning Bond actors with Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear and even Christoph Waltz reprising their roles from the past movies. The new cast are also good, with Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas, Billy Magnussen and Rami Malek, the latter of whom will be playing the main villain. However that’s not all that excites me, the director of this is Cary Fukunaga, I have seen his work on Maniac. While I haven’t seen his work on True Detective Season 1, Beasts of No Nation or Jane Eyre, I’m aware that he’s a very talented filmmaker. For him to take on a James Bond film, I can only imagine how incredible it’ll be. The trailer itself certainly indicates that the movie has a lot of promise. I remember having some issues with Spectre, mainly for the mix of old and new Bond. However it seems like No Time to Die has the right level, having the right amount of Bondisms, as well as having a dark, character driven and genuinely great story. From the talent involved to the looks that we had of the movie, it looks great and I can’t wait to see how it turns out, despite all the delays.

4. Last Night in Soho

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I generally like Edgar Wright, I love his Cornetto trilogy and I liked Scott Pilgrim and Baby Driver a fair bit. However there’s something about the brief descriptions about Last Night in Soho which has me particularly excited for it. From the talent involved and the premise, it looks like it could be something truly special, and potentially Wright’s best film.

A young girl (Thomasin McKenzie), passionate in fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer (Anya Taylor-Joy). But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.

First of all, you have a great cast involved. Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie are in the lead roles, both of whom are some of the most exciting actors working today, and I can’t wait to see their work here. The supporting cast including Matt Smith, Terrence Stamp and Diana Riggs are also good. Edgar Wright has proven to be a very talented filmmaker, known for his very snappy and sharp style that works well. Last Night in Soho would be something new from him however, a psychological horror, and it’s said to be inspired by other horror films like Don’t Look Now and Repulsion. That excites and intrigues me immensely, and I can’t wait to see it.

3. Nightmare Alley

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I’m a fan of Guillermo del Toro’s, and naturally I’m interested in whatever he’s working on. His next movie, since the Oscar winning Shape of Water, sounds very intriguing, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with this.

An ambitious carny (Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is.

No trailer or footage has been released so far, but the set pictures and the premise does have me very interested. The cast is great with Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Willem Dafoe, Ron Perlman, Richard Jenkins, Toni Collette and many more, I’m interested to see their work. Guillermo del Toro’s direction is great in all his movies, and while Nightmare Alley won’t be a horror movie, it will be a psychological thriller, and I’m looking forward to his take on that. I’m expecting another great film from Del Toro.

2. Zack Snyder’s Justice League

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The Justice League movie released back in 2017 was one of the most disappointing movies I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty clear what happened behind the scenes, Joss Whedon took over for Zack Snyder as director and completely changed everything, with bad reshoots and editing. Even before the director’s change though, there was pressure on Snyder from WB to change certain elements. Ever since the movie’s theatrical release, people have been calling for the Snyder Cut to be released. It seemed like it would be one of those things that would never happen beyond a documentary about what could’ve been. However in March it actually was confirmed that it would come, and I am incredibly excited for it.

Following the death of Superman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Batman and Wonder Woman recruit the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg to form the Justice League and protect the world from Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons, who seek the three Mother Boxes.

It’s known that Zack Snyder’s directors’ cuts are much better than the theatrical cuts. However, this new cut is not just a new cut, but a completely different movie in itself. It’s a large scale epic, with a huge amount of world building, character development and the like. This means that Zack is able to go back and change things to how he wants, and complete his uncompromised vision. This even means being able to revert the villain Steppenwolf’s design back to the original design, changing Superman’s suit to black (like he wanted to), and being able to release not a 3 hour cut, but a 4 hour cut. I can’t wait to see what Snyder has in store for his Justice League.

1. Dune

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Dune was my most anticipated movie of 2020 and was unfortunately one of the movies that were pushed back. I’m not familiar with the source material, I only know Dune from watching David Lynch’s own attempt at adapting the source material. But from the trailer, combined with the fact that Denis Villeneuve is directing it, I couldn’t be more excited for it.

A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence-a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential-only those who can conquer their fear will survive.

You’ve got a truly excellent cast involved, with the likes of Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellen Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, David Dastmalchian and more involved. And let’s not forget that Villeneuve is directing this, he’s one of the best filmmakers working today. He already took on the daunting task of directing a sequel to Blade Runner, one of the most iconic sci-fi movies of all time. Now he is taking on adapting a highly significant and influential sci-fi novel. From the trailer that was released, it looks great and on such a large scale. This movie will cover roughly the first half of the Dune story, which is good as this means that the story gets to be spread across two movies, but will be a problem if this movie doesn’t do well enough to get a follow up. I do sincerely fear that this movie won’t do well with audiences, as most people don’t even know what Dune is. Whatever the case, the prospect of a Denis Villeneuve directed Dune just sounds overwhelmingly amazing, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

What are your most anticipated movies of 2021?