We haven’t gotten much desired action—in every sense of the word—over the past year. Movies, of course, are a reliable outlet for living vicariously through the stories they tell. If you’re itching for a secondhand adrenaline rush, plenty of action movies are slated to come out this year. From a new Bond film to several more Marvel movies, mentally prepare yourself for the most anticipated action movies of 2021. Just remember to take their exact release dates with a grain of salt, because, COVID has its own plans.
In Liam Neeson’s latest action movie, he plays a former Marine and rancher who lives along the Arizona-Mexico border. When he crosses paths with a mother and son running from a dangerous cartel, he tries to protect the boy by getting him to Chicago. FYI, this movie is out now! But unfortunately, it’s only in theaters and not on any streaming services. Stay tuned for when you’ll be able to watch it from your bed.
The extremely long-awaited 25th installment of the James Bond franchise No Time to Die will be Daniel Craig’s last stint as 007. In it, Bond has left his license-to-kill life behind for a relaxing existence in Jamaica… that is, until he agrees to rescue a kidnapped scientist and takes on a villain with a dangerous new technology in the process. The movie is currently set to be released in April but is rumored to be delayed (after several previous delays) to at least October now.
Release date: April 2
Speaking of actors who are putting iconic roles to bed, Scarlett Johansson will reprise her part as the Black Widow in the Marvel franchise for the last time in this film detailing the character’s past. We’ll learn all about how she was given to the KGB at birth and the present-day plans to kill her. BTW, Florence Pugh is in it!
Release date: May 7
Buckle up for the ninth installment of this high-speed franchise. It follows Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew as they battle his brother Jakob (John Cena) who happens to be a pro driver, of course, and a trained assassin. Even if you haven’t seen the other films in the franchise, F9 will still give you a jolt of excitement.
Release date: May 28
After more than 30 years, Tom Cruise is back as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and ready to feel the need, the need for speed once again. This time, the skilled aviator has to confront the past as he trains a new squad for a hazardous mission.
Release date: July 2
Yes, there’s another one of these on the way! Don’t get confused, though. This one, as described by one of the producers, is a “1970s gritty war movie” combined with the Suicide Squad characters and a heavy helping of comedy. There’s no doubt it’ll be jam-packed with action that’ll give you a rush and jokes that’ll work your abs.
Release date: August 6
Knowing this sci-fi thriller stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya should be enough to make you want to watch it. But should you need more convincing, it’s based on the first half of a very long, best-selling book by Frank Herbert published in 1965. It centers on a huge battle over the planet Arrakis’s powerful natural resource called spice.
Release date: October 1
Essentially, this Marvel Comics-based tale starring Jared Leto is like Spider-Man but if he was bit by a bat and did it on purpose. That’s to say, a biochemist with a rare blood disease turns himself into a vampire-like creature in an attempt to cure his illness. Everything comes at a cost, right?
Release date: October 8
If you’re in need of more Marvel magic, this film introduces a new band of immortal beings. It promises to bring more representation on-screen and into the superhero world—including Marvel’s first LGBTQ+ storyline. The movie, unsurprisingly, has an all-star cast featuring Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, and more.
Release date: November 5
Back in 2003, the Matrix series ended with (*spoiler*) the death of two main characters—Neo and Trinity. Nearly 20 years later, we’re getting a fourth installment with Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles as those characters. Pretty much nothing is known yet about how that will be explained. What we do know is the cast also includes the returning Jada Pinkett Smith and Daniel Bernhardt, along with Neil Patrick Harris and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
Release date: December 22