A list of films that are coming to HBO Max this year

Nate Ankenbauer

In December of 2020 Warner Brothers announced every film they had released in 2021 would go to theatres and HBO Max for free on the same day. The films will be available to stream on HBO Max for 30 days after their release; they will then remove the films from the service and start the physical release of the film (Blu-ray).

Here’s everything you need to know about the films releasing on HBO Max this year

January 29th: The Little Things
The Little Things stars academy award winners Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto. Denzel Washington is a deputy sheriff sent to Los Angeles on an evidence gathering assignment, but falls into the hands of an investigation of a serial killer wreaking havoc across L.A.
When you have three academy award winners heading the project you’re going to have the audience intrigued and excited. The director John Lee Hancock is best known for directing “The Blind Side” and 2004 film “The Alamo”. Hancock has never done a murder mystery before so we’ll see if he able to balance the tension of the mystery and also give us compelling characters to root for.

February 12th: Judas and the Black Messiah
Judas and the Black Messiah is the true story of black panther party leader Fred Hampton who was murdered by the FBI at the young age of 21. The films stars Daniel Kaluuya who’s most well known playing the lead Chris Washington in ‘Get Out’ and W’Kabi in Black Panther, and Lakeith Stanfield who had his breakout role in ‘Sorry to Bother You’. Early praise has come for Judas and the Black Messiah praising Daniel Kaluuya’s magnetic performance and Lakeith Stanfield skillful act playing the right hand man to this electric leader.
Expect Oscar buzz immediately.

February 26th: Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry featuring a literal cat and mouse game has Jerry moving to New York City’s finest hotel on the day of the biggest wedding in the hotel’s history. The event planner hires Tom to terminate Jerry.
Tom and Jerry go into the real world and move away from the 2d animated style and enter a space jam type vibe with the combination of in person actors and animation. Director Tim Story doesn’t have the best track record but he also hasn’t tried his hand in animation, so if he’s able to mix the human elements and the shenanigans of Tom and Jerry we’ll get an enjoyable harmless movie you can watch with the whole family.

March 26th: Godzilla vs Kong
Godzilla starts to go on a rampage, but who else could stop Godzilla besides King Kong himself? Easily one of my most anticipated movies of the year especially after watching the trailer. Will this movie be winning and be competing for awards? Obviously not, is this movie two huge CGI monsters battling it out to be king? Yes, and I couldn’t be more excited. This is equivalent to the fast food of blockbuster movies; you know it’s not good for you, but you love it.

April 16th: Mortal Kombat
A new rebooted adaption of the popular video game franchise. Just last year, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpions Revenge was an animated movie released straight to video . Finally after a 23 year long hiatus, Scorpion and company are returning to live action. Director Simon McQuoid is making his feature film debut which is a strange choice to start your filmography off, the other part of that is we don’t know his style so until a trailer releases we don’t really have a vibe of what the film is going to consist of. We do know the film will be R-rated and consist of gruesome kills and over the top violence.

June 4th: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
The third film in the main Conjuring franchise ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’ is a courtroom drama where a murder suspect claims the devil made him do what. The concept alone is very intriguing because it’s something new within the franchise. Where my skepticism lies is with the people behind the camera, with director of The Curse of La Llorna Michael Chavez returning to the conjuring universe and replacing beloved horror director James Wan. Chavez has yet to prove himself with a horror film so giving him the keys to one of the biggest horror franchises right now is a bold and risky move by the studio. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return to star as the leads Ed and Lorraine Warren.

June 18th: In The Heights
Based on the Broadway musical the same name written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who just last year starred in and wrote the smash hit musical Hamiliton. “In The Heights” tells the story of a bodega owner in Washington Heights who dreams of a better life. All the hype for this comes from screenplay writer Lin-Manuel Miranda who’s proven his projects are easily adaptable to the big screen and deserve the respect of hollywood and movie goers. “In The Heights” stars Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, and Leslie Grace.

July 16th: Space Jam: A New Legacy
The long awaited sequel to the classic “Space Jam” finds Lebron James teaming up with Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes. Written by Ryan Coogler who directed ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Creed’ Director Malcolm D Lee who did the cult classic movie ‘Girls Trip’. Just the name “Space Jam” and Lebron James starring has me pumped for this summer blockbuster. Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, and Klay Thompson are all rumored to cameo in the film.

August 6th: The Suicide Squad
After very mixed reviews for Suicide Squad (2016), Warner Brothers appointed James Gunn to helm the reboot ‘The Suicide Squad’ that would focus a titular squad sent on a dangerous mission to South America. Gunn previously directed marvel hits ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ and ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2’. The tones of Suicide Squad and Guardians Of The Galaxy match up fantastically and fit each other well. Gunn built a phenomenal cast around him consisting of Margo Robbie returning as Harley Quinn, John Cena as newcomer Peacemaker, Idris Elba as Bloodsport, a disgruntled Vietnam vet, and Samoa Joe playing King Shark, who’s made appearances in the Flash tv show. The biggest difference between this and the original is that this film will be rated hard R.

September 24th: The Many Saints of Newark
“The Many Saints of Newark” takes place in the 1960 Newark riots with African American and Italian communities rivaling each other. It is set as a prequel to the HBO hit ‘Sopranos’ and features younger versions of Tony Soprano, Johnny Boy, and Livia Soprano. Directed by Alan Taylor who is known for Thor: The Dark World and Terminator Genisys. Both of those films are very divisive and spark conversation among the respective fans. I’ve never watched Sopranos, so I’ll binge through and then watch this highly anticipated prequel.

October 1st: Dune
The biggest and most epic film releasing in 2021; ‘Dune’ based off the sci-fi novel of the same name. “Dune” tells the story of a gifted young man who must travel to one of the most dangerous planets in the galaxy to secure his family’s future. Denis Villenueve is at the helm of the project; he’s most well known for Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049, and the one of the most underrated masterpieces Prisoners. The headline though is the absolutely stacked cast with Timothee Chalamet in the lead, and the likes of Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, and Oscar Isaac in the supporting roles. The trailer offers you a beautifully shot, grand in-scale, and big budget action. Just the name Denis Villenueve should get you on board the hype train, but then you add the awesome cast and the footage we’ve seen already this has to be one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

November 19th: King Richard
This drama tells the story of the father of tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams. To be completely honest this is probably my least anticipated release on this entire list,with no footage being released and in general not knowing much about Richard Williams and his story. What does get me excited is Will Smith in the lead returning to his more dramatic roles, and Jon Bernthal playing tennis coach Rick Macci.

December 22nd: The Matrix 4
The plot for Matrix 4 is being tightly kept under wraps, all we really know is the Wachowski sisters are back in the director and writing chairs, and Keanu Reeves is back in the lead as Neo.