Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

The moviegoing experience is finally back and there’s a long list of highly anticipated films finally making their debut.

This summer is seeing a wide range of movies hitting the big screen, including comic book movies like “Black Widow” and “The Suicide Squad,” fantasy films like “Jungle Cruise” and “The Green Knight,” and documentaries like “Summer of Soul” and “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.”

Here, WWD breaks down 13 movies to watch in theaters this summer. Read on for more.

“F9: The Fast Saga”
In theaters on June 25

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“F9”  Courtesy

John Cena joins the “Fast & Furious” franchise as Jakob Toretto, the brother of Vin Diesel’s character Dom. This is the ninth film in the saga, which also stars the likes of Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Charlize Theron, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel and many others.

“Zola”
In theaters on June 30

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Zola”  Courtesy

Based on the viral Twitter thread from Aziah “Zola” King, “Zola” follows the story of the Detroit waitress as she goes on a weekend trip to Florida with a stripper named Jessica who gets her involved in a series of illicit activities. The film stars Riley Keough, Taylour Paige, Nicholas Braun and Colman Domingo, among others.

“Summer of Soul”
In theaters on July 2

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Summer of Soul”  Courtesy

“Summer of Soul” is a documentary directed by musician Questlove. The documentary explores the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969 and its impact on Black history, culture and fashion.

“Black Widow”
In theaters on July 9

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Black Widow”  Courtesy

Marvel Studios’ latest film focuses on Scarlett Johansson’s character Natasha Romanoff, also known as the Black Widow. The film takes place between the events of “Captain America: Civil War” and “Avengers: Infinity War” and explores the character’s backstory and family.

“Space Jam: A New Legacy”
In theaters on July 16

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Space Jam: A New Legacy”  Courtesy

The sequel to the hit film starring Michael Jordan, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” stars basketball star LeBron James as he gets stuck in a digital space by a rogue AI. James and his son Dom team with Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters to navigate the space and get home safely.

“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain”
In theaters on July 16

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain”  Courtesy

“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” gives an in-depth look at the late chef’s life, from when he started his culinary career to becoming a world-renowned cultural figure. The documentary shows a behind-the-scenes look at Bourdain’s many travels and offers commentary from the chef himself.

“The Green Knight”
In theaters on July 30

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“The Green Knight”  Courtesy

Based on the Arthurian legend, “The Green Knight” stars Dev Patel as Sir Gawain as he embarks on a quest to confront the Green Knight. The fantasy film also stars Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris.

“Jungle Cruise”
In theaters on July 30

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Jungle Cruise”  Courtesy

“Jungle Cruise” stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt as skipper Frank Wolff and Dr. Lily Houghton, respectively, as they travel down the Amazon together in search of an ancient tree with healing abilities.

“The Suicide Squad”
In theaters on Aug. 6

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“The Suicide Squad”  Courtesy

James Gunn directs the latest iteration of “The Suicide Squad,” which brings together many favorite DC Comics villains, such as Harley Quinn, Peacemaker and Bloodsport. The film stars Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, John Cena, Pete Davidson and many others.

“Coda”
In theaters on Aug. 13

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Coda”  Courtesy

A standout film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, “Coda” follows the story of a hearing teenager of deaf parents who finds herself grappling with her familial obligations while trying to pursue her dreams.

“Free Guy”
In theaters on Aug. 13

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Free Guy”  Courtesy

“Free Guy” stars Ryan Reynolds as a bank teller who realizes he’s a background player in an open-world video game who decides he wants to become the hero of his own story.

“Respect”
In theaters on Aug. 13

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“Respect” 

Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin in the biopic “Respect,” which gives a look at the legendary singer’s life and career. The film also stars Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald and Tituss Burgess, among others.

“The Lost Leonardo”
In theaters on Aug. 13

Summer 2021 Movies in Theaters: What to Watch

“The Lost Leonardo”  Courtesy

The documentary investigates the mystery around “Salvator Mundi,” the long-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci, which was found in a New Orleans auction house.

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