Film

The best films to watch when cinemas reopen in May

Cinema doors are opening again in May, and there’s going to be plenty of films to choose from. Here's what to look out for

The best films to watch when cinemas reopen in May. Image credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo

The best films to watch when cinemas reopen in May. Image credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo

Hollywood, like most of us, didn’t quite know what to do with the first pandemic lockdown, back in spring 2020. It started delaying big films, then the question arose as to whether people would actually want to sit in a cinema when they were once again able to.

Still, most studios did not hold their nerve. Instead, when multiplexes and indies opened their doors last summer, there was a distinct and oddly welcome lack of big films awaiting us. Only Warner Bros gambled, releasing Christopher Nolan’s Tenet in August. Every other blockbuster ultimately fled for the apparently safer waters of 2021. Smaller distributors moved in to plug the gap, and a whole host of interesting independent films suddenly got decent big-screen space.

When doors open again in the UK after nearly six months of closure next month, there’s no such reticence on behalf of the studios. This time, they’re going all in, with week after week of major releases coming our way. Here’s a taste of what’s in store, and when…

May

Highlights: Undoubtedly the astonishing Sound Of Metal (above), starring Oscar-nominees Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci. The film is available on streaming this month, but gets a big-screen outing in May. The same goes for Nomadland, that’ll be available on Disney+, but then subsequently is heading to cinemas.

Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal. Image credit: Amazon studios
1457 Film Sound of Metal
Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal. Image credit: Amazon studios

Benedict Cumberbatch meanwhile leads the ensemble for The Courier, and Billie Piper’s directorial debut Rare Beasts (that she stars in and also wrote) also finally gets its release at the end of the month.

And the big movies: Look out for Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (May 17), Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (May 21) and Cruella (May 28) in cinemas, with the latter also available on Disney+ Premier Access.

June

Highlights: The Oscar-nominated The Father, starring Anthony Hopkins (main image) and Olivia Colman, has been held back for cinema release, and hits on June 11. The same day sees a 25th birthday reissue of the Coen Brothers classic Fargo. On the 25th meanwhile is the superb Another Round, another film that’s interested the Academy, and rightly so. Mads Mikkelsen headlines that one. We also get a reissue of Robert Altman’s 70s classic Nashville on the same day.

And the big movies: Lots of them! A Quiet Place – Part II was being advertised on the side of the UK’s buses this time last year, and it finally gets to cinemas on June 4. Horror flick The Unholy is set for the 11th, and on the 18th comes Monster Hunter and the big screen take on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights. Ben Wheatley’s pandemic horror In The Earth is on the same day as well, getting a wide release. What better way to round off the month meanwhile than with Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie, the Lock, Stock team back together for the first time in over a decade, courtesy of Wrath Of Man on the 25th.

July

Highlights: We get Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth in the superb Supernova, saved especially for the big screen at the start of the month. And at the end of July, we get the acclaimed British drama Limbo, along with Edgar Wright’s much looked-forward-to documentary The Sparks Brothers. Look out for the much-anticipated The Green Knight on July 30 too.

Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth in the superb Supernova. Image credit: supplied
1457 Film Supernova
Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth in the superb Supernova. Image credit: supplied

And the big movies: The Marvel Cinematic Universe storms back to cinemas with Black Widow on July 9 (also on Disney+ Premier Access). Then the blockbusters just keep on coming throughout the month. Look out for – with exact dates still shuffling a little – Fast & Furious 9The Forever PurgeSpace Jam: A New Legacy, The Croods 2CinderellaTop Gun: Maverick and Jungle Cruise among the big hitters.

And beyond…

Heading into the rest of 2021, there’s still a little reticence on behalf of studios as to just how keen audiences will be to head back to cinemas. Yet August’s roster includes the likes of The Suicide SquadHotel Transylvania 4People Just Do Nothing and the new Candyman movie. Fingers crossed they all make it to the screen this time.

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