Malcolm and Marie, Netflix

Best Netflix Films Coming Out in 2021

Culture /

This year's must-watch movies

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Cinemas may be closed for now, but Netflix has pulled out all the stops with its programme of new film releases for 2021. In January the streaming platform announced it would be releasing a new film each week this year, so there’s plenty of choice. Here are our highlights, from a sci-fi with the most star-studded cast we’ve seen in years to Idris Elba as a cowboy.

Best Netflix Films of 2021

Don’t Look Up

Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Timothée Chalamet, Cate Blanchett: the cast list for this film reads like a guest list for The Oscars. Not to mention cameos from Ariana Grande and Kid Cudi. A sci-fi comedy movie written and produced by Anchorman‘s Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up follows a pair of astronauts (DiCaprio and Lawrence) who are trying to warn humanity that an asteroid is hurtling towards Earth. Date TBC

Malcom and Marie

A prime example of the pandemic inspiring innovative filmmaking, Malcolm and Marie stars just two actors: Zendaya and John David Washington. Created during lockdown, the intimate drama gives us a front-row seat to the inner workings of a couple. When filmmaker Malcolm and his girlfriend Marie return home after a movie premiere, Malcolm wants to celebrate – but it becomes quickly apparent that Marie is not happy about something. Cue an escalating, exhausting argument, set against the backdrop of stylish screenplay from cinematographer Marcell Rev. 5 February

Pieces of a Woman

Vanessa Kirby has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in Pieces of a Woman, a heart-wrenching story of a home birth ending in unimaginable tragedy. Directed by Kornél Mundruczó and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, the drama follows Martha (Kirby) as she battles with grief while working through difficult relationships with her partner Sean (Shia LaBeouf), her mother (Ellen Burstyn) and the publicly vilified midwife (Molly Parker). Out now


Based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Carol Oates, Blonde is a fictional portrait of Marilyn Monroe during the 50s and 60s, told through the modern lens of celebrity culture. The feature-length film has been ten years in the making, with lots of changes of producers and cast. Naomi Watts was initially announced as playing the lead, but she was replaced by Jessica Chastain in 2014. Then, in 2016, Netflix acquired the rights to the film, and Cuban actor Ana De Armas – also the new Bond girl in No Time To Die – was revealed as the new Marilyn. Date TBC

The Dig

In 1939, a young widow named Edith Pretty asked a local expert to dig up the mounds in her garden in Sutton Hoo, Suffolk. Little did she know they would unearth one of the most important archaeological discoveries of all time: the 90-foot remains of an Anglo-Saxon ship where the ancient King Rædwald of East Anglia was believed to be buried. Netflix’s latest release dramatises this story – adapted from the historical novel by John Preston – with Carey Mulligan playing Pretty and Ralph Fiennes as self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown. Out now

News of the World

Paul Greengrass’s News of the World is set in post-Civil War Texas, starring Tom Hanks as Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a former captain in the Confederate army. Kidd travels from town to town as a non-fiction storyteller – until he crosses paths with Johana (Helena Zengel), a 10-year-old taken in by the Kiowa people, and agrees to take her back to her biological aunt and uncle. The film follows their journey across hundreds of miles of unforgiving wilderness. 10 February

Concrete Cowboy

Following its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, Netflix has picked up Concrete Cowboy, a film about urban horseback riding in Philadelphia. Based on the 2011 novel Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri, the film tells the story of a teenage boy called Cole (Stranger Things’ Caleb McLaughlin) who is sent to live with his estranged father, played by the endlessly cool Idris Elba. Date TBC

Red Notice

While little has been officially released about new action-thriller Red Notice, some information has been deduced from images shared on social media. It’s thought that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson stars as an FBI profiler on the hunt for a pair of criminals: a con artist played by Ryan Reynolds and an art thief played by Gal Gadot. Date TBC

To All the Boys: Always and Forever

The third and final instalment of the beloved high-school rom-com series To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before drops just in time for Valentine’s Day. Fans can expect to see a whole host of milestones for Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky, with the trailer teasing a prom, a graduation and decisions regarding a long-distance relationship. 12 February


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