Matt writes: For our 400th edition of The Ebert Club newsletter, we’re giving you a direct route to our full coverage of the Sundance Film Festival 2021. Our exclusive reviews of the many compelling titles that have been created virtually this year are written byBrian Tallerico, Nick Allen, Robert Daniels, Kristy Puchko, Carlos Aguilar and Odie Henderson. You can find the full list here.
Old(2021). Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan(based on the graphic novel byPierre-Oscar LévyandFrederic Peeters). FeaturedThomasin McKenzie,Rufus Sewell,Embeth davidtz. Film synopsis: A family on a tropical vacation finds that the secluded beach they stay in causes them to age quickly – reducing their entire life to just one day.Debut in US July 23, 2021.
Giant(2021). Written and directed by Zoe Wittock. Featured Noemie Merlant,Emmanuelle Bercot,Bastien Bouillon. Synopsis: Jeanne, a shy young woman, works in an amusement park. Fascinated by carousels, she still lives at home with her mother. It was then that Jeanne met Jumbo, the park’s new flagship attraction. The release date in the United States is to be determined.
Raya and the last dragon(2021). Realized byDon Hall,Carlos López Estrada,Paul BriggsandJohn ripa. Written byAdele limandWho Nguyen. FeaturedAlan tudyk,Kelly marie tran,Gemma chan. Synopsis: In a realm known as Kumandra, a reimagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon.Debut on Disney + on March 5, 2021.
No one(2021). Realized by Ilya Naishuller. Written by Derek kolstad. FeaturedBob odenkirk,Connie nielsen,Christopher lloyd. Synopsis: A spectator who steps in to help a woman harassed by a group of men becomes the target of a vengeful drug lord. Debut in U.S. April 2, 2021.
F9: The quick saga(2021). Realized by Justin lin. Written by Daniel Casey(based on characters created byGary Scott Thompson). Featured Diesel wine,Michelle rodriguez,Martyn ford. Synopsis: Cypher enlists the help of Jakob, Dom’s younger brother, to get revenge on Dom and his team. Debut in US May 28, 2021.
Allen vs. Farrow(2021). Realized by Kirby dickandAmy ziering. Synopsis: A look behind years of sensational headlines to reveal the private story of the sexual abuse charge against Woody allen involving, his 7-year-old daughter with Mia farrow. Debut on HBO on February 21, 2021.
The case(2021). Realized by Julius Sevcík. Written by Andrew Shaw(based on the book bySimon Mawer). Featured Hanna alstrom,Claes Bang,Alexandra Borbely. Synopsis: A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell the recent history of the whole Russian nation.The release date in the United States is to be confirmed.
A glitch in the matrix(2021). Written and directed by Rodney Ascher. Synopsis: The question “are we living in a simulation?” is approached with testimonies, philosophical evidence and scientific explanations in its response.Now available in the United States.
Test pattern(2021). Written and directed by Shatara Michelle Ford. Featured Brittany S. Hall,Will Brill,Gail Bean. Synopsis: Interracial couple’s relationship put to the test after black woman is sexually assaulted and her white boyfriend drives her from hospital to hospital looking for a rape kit .Now available in the United States.
Pele (2021). Realized by Ben NicolasandDavid tryhorn. Synopsis: looks back on the extraordinary 12-year period during which Pelé, the only man to have won three World Cup titles, went from a young superstar in 1958 to a national hero in 1970; a radical but eventful era in the history of Brazil.Debut on Netflix on February 23, 2021.
Dead pigs(2021). Written and directed by Cathy yan. Featured Zazie Beetz,Mason lee,Meng Li. Synopsis: A goofy pig farmer, spirited salon owner, sensitive busboy, expatriate architect, and a disenchanted wealthy girl converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs float down the river to a rapidly modernizing Shanghai.Now available on MUBI.
Fortunately(2021). Written and directed by BenDavid Grabinski. Featured Natalie Morales,Natalie Zea,Joel McHale. Synopsis: Tom and Janet have been married for years. But a visit from a mysterious stranger leads to a corpse, many questions, and a tense couple’s journey with friends who may not be friends at all.Debut in US March 19, 2021.
cube(2021). Realized byYasuhiko Shimizu. Written byKôji Tokuo(based on script byVincenzo Natali). Featured Masaki suda,Takumi Saitoh,Masaki okada. Synopsis: A remake of the 1997 film about six strangers with widely varying personalities who are unwittingly placed in an endless maze containing deadly traps. The release date in the United States is to be determined.
Leprechaun(2021). Realized by Barnaby thompson. Written by Preston Thompson. FeaturedOlivia cooke,Fresh from Fra,Rory Fleck Byrne. Synopsis: To avenge the death of his mother, Pixie organizes a robbery but must flee across Ireland from the gangsters, face the patriarchy and choose his own fate. Debut in the United States on March 5, 2021.
Yes day(2021). Realized by Miguel Arteta. Written byJustin malenandAmy Krouse Rosenthal(based on the book byTom lichtenheldandAmy Krouse Rosenthal). Featured Jenna ortega,Jennifer garner,Edgar Ramírez. Synopsis: Allison and Carlos decide to give their three children a “yes”, for 24 hours, the children make the rules. Now available on Netflix.
Boss level(2021). Realized by Joe carnahan. Written by Joe carnahan, Chris boreyandEddie Borey. Featured Frank grillo,Mel Gibson,Naomi Watts. Synopsis: A retired Special Forces officer is trapped in an endless time loop on the day of his death.Debut in the United States on March 5, 2021.
Coming 2 America(2021). Realized by Craig brewer. Written by Barry W. Blaustein, David SheffieldandKenya Barris(based on characters created byEddie Murphy). Featured Eddie Murphy,Shari Headley,James earl jones. Synopsis: African monarch Akeem learns that he has a long-lost son in the United States and must return to America to meet this unexpected heir and build a relationship with his son.Debut on Prime Video on March 5, 2021.
Nomadland(2021). Written and directed by Chloe Zhao(based on the book byJessica bruder). FeaturedFrances mcdormand,David Strathairn,Linda may. Synopsis: After losing everything during the Great Recession, a woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a modern day nomad in a van.Debut in the United States February 19, 2021.
Judas and the Black Messiah
Matt writes:One of the first big movies to be released in 2021 is Shaka King “Judas and the Black MessiahWhich recounts the rise and betrayal of Fred Hampton, president of the Illinois Black Panther Party. With the Academy’s eligibility period extended this year, the film could easily receive many well-deserved Oscar nominations, including one for its star, Daniel Kaluuya. You can read Robert Daniels’ interview with Kaluuya and President Fred Hampton Jr. here.
Christopher plummer (1929-2021)
Matt writes: On February 5th, we lost one of the greatest actors in the history of the stage and the screen, Christopher Plummer, whose credits include “The Sound of Music” “The man who wanted to be king, “”The initiate, “”The last station, “”All the money in the world“and”Beginners“(for which he ultimately won an Oscar). And I can’t imagine a better career-closing role for him than the brilliantly cunning Patriarch of”Knives Out“(see above) which is held and determined to” close the book in style. “Read Dan Callahan’s tribute here.
Contempt(1950). Realized by Ida Lupino. Written byIda Lupino, Malvin waldandYoung Necklace. FeaturedMala Powers,Tod Andrews,Robert clarke. Film synopsis: A young woman who has just become engaged sees her life completely turned upside down when she is raped on her way home from work.
Hard, fast and beautiful!(1951). Realized by Ida Lupino. Written by Martha wilkerson(based on the novel byJohn R. Tunis). Featured Claire Trevor,Sally Forrest,Carleton G. Young. Synopsis: Tennis prodigy Florence Farley is torn between romance and her mother’s ambitions.
The bigamist(1953). Realized by Ida Lupino. Written by Young Necklace. Featured Joan fontaine,Ida Lupino,Edmund Gwenn. Synopsis: A man secretly married to two women feels the pressure of his cheating.