We’ve almost hit the halfway point of 2021, which is weird to think about. The film industry as a whole is still suffering, but at least movies are coming out again. Some on this list were originally slated for last year and are just now making their way into theaters, and I’m optimistic that folks will make the trip out to see them instead of waiting on streaming. After all, the big screen experience can’t be beaten. 

First up, the Marvel film Black Widow gets its long overdue – oh … oh, of course it got delayed again. Alright, well in that case, let me recommend something completely different. Released back in 2017, which feels like 100 years ago at this point, One Cut of the Dead is a wild and comedically refreshing take on the zombie film genre. Unfortunately, that’s all I really want to tell you, because this film benefits so much from going in as blind as possible. If you’re interested at all, I implore you to look up nothing. It’s available to rent on Amazon Prime. It’s worth it.

Those Who Wish Me Dead, a neo-western based on the book of the same name, starring Angelina Jolie and directed Tyler Sheridan, has my full attention. A teenage murder witness is chased down by twin assassins while Jolie’s character, survival expert Hannah Faber, is tasked with protecting him. With an exciting supporting cast including Nicholas Hoult, Aidan Gillen and Jon Bernthal, along with Sheridan co-writing and directing (he wrote Sicario, Hell or High Water and Wind River – all excellent neo-westerns as well), this is shaping up to be an extremely well crafted piece of cinema. The film releases on May 14, both theatrically and on HBO Max. 

Not sure why this is happening, but Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson are headlining a new film in the Saw franchise called Spiral. Looking like more of an offshoot/soft reboot, it still seems to have all of the over-the-top gore and death from previous entries while trying to put a fresh spin on the well-worn story beats. Will this be any good? No idea, but it releases May 14.

Lastly, another film with several delays under its belt, A Quiet Place Part II is at last ready to see the light of day. A sequel to the 2018 smash hit, the follow up has Emily Blunt and her two children, played by Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe, returning to fight/run from more creepy blind creatures that are attracted by sound. The trailer seems to imply that the massively dwindling human population that remains may also be a looming threat to the trio. Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou join the cast as well, with John Krasinski returning to direct. It releases on May 28, and will hit Paramount Plus 45 days later.