2020 has finally come to a close and 2021 is already underway, leading many to wonder what is in store for the long-awaited new year. While the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31 did not bring about the immediate end of the pandemic and return to normalcy as many had hoped, it did begin what can only be described as Netflix’s most ambitious year to date with the promise of 70 new movies to premiere throughout 2021.
The streaming giant has long been lauded for its vast library of entire seasons of television shows, being the primary reason why the phrase “binge-watch” has made its way into the English language. Old favorites like “Friends” and “The Office” lived a second life on Netflix, while the streaming service also produced their own series like “The Crown” and “Stranger Things.”
Movies on the other hand have always been a secondary aspect of Netflix, with its collection being fairly limited to imports from Hollywood and its home-grown low-brow rom-coms, like “The Kissing Booth.”
With movie theaters in the dark nationally and internationally, Netflix decided to capitalize on its at-home advantage and pull Hollywood A-listers into new big-budget projects while the traditional film-making studios are left scrambling until the pandemic subsides.
In a promotional video released by Netflix on Tuesday, Jan. 12, Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds were just a few of the faces teasing audiences about their upcoming films on the platform.
Highlights from the lineup include Johnson, Gadot and Reynolds’ heist flick, “Red Notice”; Regina King and Idris Elba’s Western, “The Harder They Fall”; Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy’s superhero comedy, “Thunder Force”; as well as the third and final installments of the “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “The Kissing Booth” franchises.
Halle Berry and Lin-Manuel Miranda will both be making their directorial debut on the platform with “Bruised” and “Tick, Tick…Boom!,” respectively.
I am personally excited for the premiere of “Don’t Look Up,” a political satire disaster comedy that features the talents of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Chris Evans and Meryl Streep. Never before in Netflix history has such a star-studded cast been assembled.
Could this be the content that Netflix needs to make up for the loss of the many great shows being pulled to form new streaming services? Certainly the star-power in half of the films is enough to interest even the most skeptical movie critic. Maybe 2021 will finally be the year of Netflix movies with one of the 70 going on to win the coveted Best Picture Oscar that Netflix fervently vied for in the 2019 and 2020 award seasons.
While I wouldn’t bet that all 70 films are bound for critical acclaim and awards galore, there are certainly enough movies to keep Netflix’s roughly 193 million subscribers thoroughly entertained all year long. With such a range in genre and talent, there is sure to be at least one film for everybody’s tastes, and if one is not to your liking, all you have to do is wait seven more days for a new movie to drop. Happy New Year and happy watching!
For a complete list of Netflix’s new titles and the first release dates, check out cnet.com