10 Movies You Forgot Came Out In 2021

Frances McDormand Nomadland film still
(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

While not quite a full fledged year of film releases, there were plenty of titles that made 2021 an exciting ride. Even with a backlog of films from last year, and the streaming market releasing some movies as exclusives or simultaneous debuts, there were those that fell through the cracks with audiences. In fact, we’re about to talk about are 10 movies you probably forgot came out this very year. But they much did, and we have the release dates, images, and memories to prove it. 

Frances McDormand and David Strathairn eating together in the great outdoors in Nomadland.

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures`)

Nomadland - 1/29/21

You definitely remember director Chloé Zhao’s entry into the MCU thanks to Eternals' release only happening this past November. That being said, her big film from earlier in the year, Searchlight Pictures’ Nomadland, is almost a footnote in the minds of those who saw it. It’s weird to think that would be the reality, as the movie actually won Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress at the Oscars this year. But even more so than usual, this big winner seems to have already slipped the minds of the public at large.

Rami Malek and Denzel Washington cornering Jared Leto in The Little Things.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Little Things - 1/29/21

In a year where Rami Malek, Jared Leto and Denzel Washington all have major films released into the world, somehow The Little Things is living up to its title. An early title in the HBO Max/theatrical debut experiment that reigned over Warner Bros’ 2021 release schedule, this procedural is vastly overshadowed by the collective filmography of those three actors. That’s not even a statement on their storied careers, as this year alone saw Malek menacing James Bond in No Time To Die, Leto getting people to talk about his performance in House of Gucci, and Washington continuing to be a legend on both sides of the camera.  Yet still, The Little Things evades the popular consciousness. 

Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy standing in the barbershop in Coming 2 America.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures/Prime Video)

Coming 2 America - 3/5/21

The journey that director Craig Brewer’s Coming 2 America took into existence wasn’t an easy one. After years of being anticipated as a big Eddie Murphy legacyquel, the release of the long awaited follow-up in the Zamundan kingdom found itself becoming a Prime Video original. Though that may have been for the better, as critical reaction to the film was a bit uneven, and it somehow found itself widely forgotten in the year-end scrum of trying to remember this year’s most memorable events. 

Bob Odenkirk smokes a cigarette in an interrogation with a cat in Nobody.

(Image credit: Universal)

Nobody - 3/26/21

Success can also find itself easily forgotten in a chaotic year like 2021. Take Universal’s big action hit Nobody, which saw a modest budget and a lot of Bob Odenkirk ass kickings turn an unknown quantity into a qualified hit. It checked the boxes and gave the world a welcomed respite from the established brands that dominate the market, and even Christopher Lloyd got to fire a shotgun in the big finale! And yet, even fans of Nobody sometimes forget that all happened earlier this year, as movie theaters were starting to gradually open their doors again. 

Jason Statham waits in the dark with a gun in Wrath Of Man.

(Image credit: MGM/Miramax)

Wrath of Man - 5/7/21

Guy Ritchie and Jason Statham’s Wrath of Man was another action showdown that wasn’t afraid to get R-rated with its vengeful ways. Another success story in terms of financial performance, even in the pandemic influenced year that we endured, The Statham went biblical on the people responsible for the death of his on-screen son. Here’s hoping the next Ritchie/Statham collaboration, Operation Fortune - Ruse de Guerre, helps boost this movie’s profile in its own bid for a memorable 2022. 

Amy Adams looking outside through her window in The Woman In The Window.

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios/Netflix)

The Woman in the Window - 5/14/21

Author A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window was a movie that saw pretty much every obstacle thrown in its path. A complicated history of reshoots, the 20th Century Studios/Disney merger and a worldwide pandemic saw several delays crop up in the time it took the Amy Adams-led thriller to finally premiere. By the time its mid-May 2021 release date had rolled around, the project became a Netflix acquisition, marking a subdued end to a wild and winding history, despite an actually mixed reaction from fans on the internet. 

Sophie Cookson and Mark Wahlberg in a dim room in Infinite.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Infinite - 6/10/21

You’d think a huge sweeping adventure involving immortality and a quest to save the world, starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor no less, would be big news. Infinite somehow didn’t get the memo and managed to skip right off of the minds of Paramount+ subscribers, who could have seen the film as an exclusive title on that platform. Without question, a movie about reincarnated warriors practically screams “sequel bait,” even if you don’t know what the ending is. As you can see, performance is that key metric that separates films like Infinite and the extremely similar sounding The Old Guard, as one is headed towards a sequel (with Chiwetel Ejiofor), and the other more than likely isn’t.

Riley Keough and Taylour Paige facing off in a mirrored hallway in Zola.

(Image credit: A24)

Zola - 6/30/21

Y'all wanna hear a story about why Zola & moviegoing audiences fell out? If we ever figure it out, we’ll gladly tell you, as this drama inspired by an infamous Twitter thread seemed to have quite a few fans when it broke. Depending on who you talked to, Janicza Bravo’s film might have been an early front runner for several awards nominations in 2021; but at the moment, it seems that only the independent awards circuit has remembered this movie even existed this year. Maybe the Academy Awards could mark a change in fate for Zola, but we’ll see if the voters of that body even remember the film exists.

Vivo and Gabi in the middle of raining confetti in Vivo,

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Animation/Netflix)

Vivo - 8/6/21

2021 was not only the year of musicals, it was also the year of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Landing four different offerings in that genre, in every role you could think of, the multihyphenate staked claims throughout several box office windows on the calendar. Sadly, not all of those projects are remembered equally, as the Sony Animation/Netflix project Vivo probably didn’t come to mind when you first read Miranda’s name at the top of this description. Yes, this movie did exist; and yes, Lin was the voice of the titular kinkajou, as well as the composer for the film’s musical canon. So if you need a distraction that’ll help avoid one too many viewings of Encanto this holiday, you know where to go.

Thandiwe Newton and Hugh Jackman film a client in Reminiscence.

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Reminiscence - 8/20/21

You’re going on a journey. A journey through memory. The destination? A very fitting end to this list of somewhat forgotten films from 2021. Even with a streaming debut coinciding with Reminiscence’s opening weekend, the star power of Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson and Thandiwe Newton wasn’t enough to make a dent in the August box office. Scoring an infamously bad opening weekend, as reported by Variety when it happened, it’s probably good that the movie’s story is best suited as a one-off, as there’s no coming back from the opening writer/director Lisa Joy’s film suffered. 

These 10 movies came out in 2021, and if you were looking forward to the release of any of these projects, you should be able to rent or stream them pretty easily. Which is great, as if you’ve been keeping your “best of 2021” list open to consider any of these movies in the running, catching up shouldn’t be hard. Though if you want to get a jump on remembering which movies are headed our way in the year to come, feel free to study the 2022 release schedule extra carefully. You never know which movies are going to sneak by you as time marches on.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.