The best films to watch as cinemas reopen in England, Scotland and Wales

From recent Oscar winners to a new Saw film

Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Monday 17 May 2021 09:34
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Movie fans are rejoicing as the date that cinemas reopen has arrived.

Since March 2020, cinemas around the world have repeatedly been forced to close their doors to business since the announcement of the first lockdown.

This threw the film industry into disarray, with major studios forced to rethink release strategies for some of its most costly and awards-friendly films.

Today (17 May), and throughout next week, chains as well as smaller independent cinemas in England, Scotland and Wales will be reopening their doors, meaning you’ll be able to see a film on the actual big screen once again

Cinemas in Northern Ireland will reopen a week later, on 24 May.

When these cinemas do reopen, it won’t be business as usual.

Odeon has said that ticket sales will be limited to allow for social distancing while cash will not be accepted at box offices. Show start times will also be staggered to try to reduce queues.

The UK Cinema Association published a document last year containing guidance on how best to reopen venues during the pandemic, titled Cinemas: Keeping Workers and Customers Safe during COVID-19.

Below is a full list of films set to be released this week – and the order in which you should see them.

1. Sound of Metal

If you watched this drama, following Riz Ahmed’s drummer who suddenly loses his hearing, on Amazon Prime Video, then it’s likely you already have a cinema trip planned. Darius Marder’s drama uses the medium of sound to create an immersive, powerful experience that will somehow hit harder in a cinema.

2. Nomadland

Chloé Zhao has been making wonderful films since 2015’s Songs My Brother Taught Me, which can be currently viewed on Mubi. She followed up the equally as wonderful The Rider (2017) with Nomadland – and received a handful of Oscars for her efforts. Despite being released on Disney Plus last month, the film absolutely lends itself to being watched in a cinema.

3. Minari

Yuh-Jung Youn won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Minari, which is just one of the many reasons why you should see Lee Isaac Chung’d tender drama on a big screen. The rural sun-soaked Arkansas location will undoubtedly dazzle brighter than it ever could on a television set.

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4. Spiral: From the Book of Saw

A new Saw film starring Chris Rock that also features a cameo from Samuel L Jackson – need we say more?

5. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway / Maya The Bee 3: The Golden Orb

These are placed here squarely because parents have earned a cinema trip with their children after being cooped up indoors for so long. Shout out to Peter Rabbit 2 that has somehow become a fairly anticipated film having been the longest delayed film on this list. It’ll probably perform better than it would have done if it had been released before the pandemic...

6. Those Who Wish Me Dead

Angelina Jolie has been focusing on her directing career for the past few years, but this neo-Western drama marks the first major role in a studio release that isn’t a Maleficent film (she’ll head up the delayed Marvel film Eternals later this year). In Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead, she plays a wildland firefighter who must attempt to stop a deadly blaze from consuming the town she lives in. Early reviews haven’t been so kind.

Angelina Jolie film ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ is being released in cinemas next week

7. The Courier

Forgive us for being judgemental, but a 1960s-set espionage drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t sound like the most thrilling film to choose upon your return to the cinema. It’s exactly the kind of film you’d expect to see on Amazon Prime Video. Still, it also stars the ever impressive Jessie Buckley, so it has that going for it.

Below is a list of the other films being released over the coming month.

21 May

The Human Factor

My New York Year

Rare Beasts

28 May


The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Earwig and the Witch

Felix and the Hidden Treasure

First Cow



Emma Stone plays Disney villa Cruella de Vil in a new standalone film

4 June

Dream Horse


A Quiet Place Part II

9 June


11 June

The Father


The Unholy

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ finally arrives after a delay of more than a year

18 June

In the Earth

In the Heights

It Must Be Heaven

Nowhere Special

Monster Hunter

The Reason I Jump


23 June

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

25 June

Another Round


The Filmmaker’s House

New Order

Wrath of Man

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