Holiday Movie Calendar 2021

A breakdown of the best holiday movies 2020 has to offer, from Spider-Man: No Way Home and Ghostbusters: Afterlife to King Richard, Nightmare Alley, Encanto, and more.

Image collage of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Spider-Man: No Way Home, King Richard, Encanto, and Nightmare Alley

(Photo by Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Searchlight Pictures)

We finally got some early signs of normalcy at the box office as Fall approached, with big titles like Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsVenom: Let There Be CarnageNo Time to Die, and Halloween Kills racking up solid returns, but the Holiday Movie Season holds so much more to look forward to. We have exciting new films from Guillermo del Toro (Nightmare Alley), Steven Spielberg (West Side Story), and Joel Coen (The Tragedy of Macbeth); big blockbuster action in EternalsSpider-Man: No Way Home, and The King’s Man; throwback thrills in Ghostbusters: Afterlife and The Matrix Resurrections; remarkable biopics like King RichardBeing the Ricardos, and American Underdog; and, of course, plenty for the kids to enjoy in EncantoClifford the Big Red Dog, and Sing 2. So bundle up for the weather and start planning your holiday viewing now!

Eternals (2021)
Chloé Zhao follows up her Best Picture-winning Nomadland with an entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, centering on the titular race of superpowered beings who come out of hiding to defend Earth against an ancient enemy. More

Directed By: Chloé Zhao

Spencer (2021)
Pablo Larrain (Jackie) returns to biographical drama with this look at life of Princess Diana during a holiday celebration with the royal family, with Kristen Stewart in the lead role. More

Directed By: Pablo Larraín

Finch (2021)
finchfinch More

Directed By: Miguel Sapochnik

This live-action adaptation of the popular children’s book series finally arrives in theaters, charting the friendship between a young girl named Emily and her abnormally large red dog. Also streaming on Paramount+. More

Directed By: Walt Becker

Passing (2021)

Belfast (2021)
Writer-director Kenneth Branagh delivers a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film about the life of a boy from a working-class family in Northern Ireland. More

Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

Red Notice (2021)
The power trio of Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot star in this globe-trotting action caper about an FBI agent who is forced to team up with one art thief to catch another. Also available to stream on Netflix on 11/12. More

More than 35 years after his father struck supernatural comedy gold with Ghostbusters, Jason Reitman follows up with a sequel that follows up with new characters with ties to the past who face off against a familiar threat. More

Directed By: Jason Reitman

C'mon C'mon (2021)
Joaquin Phoenix stars in writer-director Mike Mills’ (Beginners) drama about a radio journalist who bonds with his nephew when they are forced to take an unexpected cross-country road trip together. More

Directed By: Mike Mills

King Richard (2021)
Will Smith takes center court in this biographical drama of Richard Williams, the father and coach of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. Also streaming on HBO Max. More

Directed By: Reinaldo Marcus Green

The Resident Evil franchise gets a fresh start with an origin story that reintroduces fans to the small town where the secret experiments of a mysterious corporation lead to terrifying consequences for an unlucky few. More

Directed By: Johannes Roberts

Encanto (2021)
Disney’s latest animated adventure takes viewers to Colombia, where a magically gifted family comes under threat and the lone daughter without any powers may be their only hope for salvation. More

Directed By: Jared Bush, Byron Howard

Based on the novel of the same name, this period Western from Jane Campion follows two Montana brothers who turn against each other when a widow and her son enter their lives. Also streaming on Netflix on 12/1. More

Directed By: Jane Campion

Silent Night (2021)
Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode headline an ensemble cast in this dramatic comedy about a group of friends who gather to celebrate Christmas despite the fact that mankind faces an imminent apocalypse. More

Directed By: Camille Griffin

Red Rocket (2021)
Sean Baker’s latest centers on a down-on-his-luck porn star who returns his Texas hometown in search of redemption and finds it more difficult to earn than he anticipated. More

Directed By: Sean Baker

Benedetta (2021)
Provocative writer-director Paul Verhoeven chooses real life for his latest film, a biographical drama about 17th century nun Benedetta Carlini, who joined a convent and began a lesbian affair with another nun. More

Directed By: Paul Verhoeven

Wolf (2021)
George MacKay and Lily-Rose Depp star in this drama about a man who believes he is a wolf who is sent to a clinic for treatment and meets another patient who forces him to reconsider his life. More

Directed By: Nathalie Biancheri

Encounter (2021)
This sci-fi thriller stars Riz Ahmed as a former Marine who kidnaps his two children from their mother and takes them on the run to protect them from an alien parasite plaguing the world. Also streaming on Amazon Prime on 12/10. More

Directed By: Michael Pearce

Being the Ricardos (2021)
Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem play Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in Aaron Sorkin’s glimpse behind the scenes of one week in the personal and professional lives of the celebrity couple. Also streaming on Amazon Prime on 12/21. More

Directed By: Aaron Sorkin

West Side Story (2021)
Steven Spielberg directs this new adaptation of the popular Broadway musical about a pair of teenagers from rival gangs in 1950s New York City who fall in love with each other. More

Directed By: Steven Spielberg

The Unforgivable (2021)
Based on a 2009 British miniseries, this drama stars Sandra Bullock as an ex-con who reenters society and attempts to put her life back together, even as she is shunned at every turn. Also streaming on Netflix on 12/10. More

Directed By: Nora Fingscheidt

Nightmare Alley (2021)
Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett lead an all-star cast in Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the eponymous novel about a carnival con man who meets and falls for a psychiatrist even more adept at manipulation than he is. More

Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

In Tom Holland’s third solo film as the MCU’s Spider-Man, an outed Peter Parker turns to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) for help rectifying the situation, only for everything to go sideways in spectacular fashion. More

Directed By: Jon Watts

Sing 2 (2021)
In this follow-up to the 2016 animated musical, Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) and his gang of performers must find a way to convince a world-famous rocker (Bono) to join them in order to play a glamorous new venue. More

Keanu Reeves returns in Lana Wachowski’s new installment in the Matrix franchise, which picks up 20 years after Revolutions and finds Neo rediscovering his identity. Also streaming on HBO Max. More

Directed By: Lana Wachowski

The King's Man (2021)
Matthew Vaughn’s prequel to the Kingsman franchise set decades in the past recounts the origins of the titular “Secret Service,” as one man and his apprentice attempt to thwart a coalition of evil tyrants. More

Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

Parallel Mothers (2021)
Pedro Almodóvar’s latest collaboration with Penélope Cruz is a drama about two pregnant women — one middle-aged and one adolescent — who meet and feel very differently about giving birth but form a strong bond with each other. More

Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar

Don't Look Up (2021)
Leonard DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence headline Adam McKay’s star-studded satire about two astronomers who attempt to warn mankind about Earth’s impending collision with a comet. Also streaming on Netflix on 12/24. More

Directed By: Adam McKay

In his first film working alone, Joel Coen writes and directs this adaptation of the Shakespearean classic, with Denzel Washington in the lead and Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth. Also streaming on Apple TV+ on 1/14/2022.  More

Directed By: Joel Coen

American Underdog (2021)
Zachary Levi stars in this biographical sports drama about remarkable life and career of Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Kurt Warner. More

Directed By: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin

Based on a memoir by Dana Canedy, this drama directed by Denzel Washington stars Michael B. Jordan as Canedy’s husband Monroe King, a Sergeant in the US Army who died in the Iraq War but left behind a journal for their son. More

Directed By: Denzel Washington

The Lost Daughter (2021)
Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her feature directorial debut with this novel adaptation about a woman (Olivia Colman) on vacation who becomes unhealthily obsessed with another woman and her young daughter. Also streaming on Netflix. More

Directed By: Maggie Gyllenhaal

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