Gal Gadot stars in "Wonder Woman 1984" in which she faces new villians Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Cheetah (Kristen Wiig).

Going to the movie theater with a group of friends, on a family outing or even for a first date used to be an entertaining way to spend time with others. With the outbreak of COVID-19 came the disappointment that all movie theaters would be temporarily closed. 

As movie theaters slowly reopen while states begin to recover, the excitement of moviegoing is growing in many. Here are some movies coming to theaters by the end of this year that one can catch in person.

“Wonder Woman 1984”: Oct. 2

Fans of the first “Wonder Woman” movie will be happy to see Gal Gadot back in action with this sequel. In this film, Wonder Woman squares off against Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) and the Cheetah (Kristen Wiig), the main antagonist in the movie who possesses superhuman strength and agility. Another big name in this movie includes Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. This action movie is packed with excitement and will likely keep the whole audience on their toes.

“Death on the Nile”: Oct. 23

On a cruise on the Nile River, a wealthy heiress (Gal Gadot) is murdered. Among the passengers is detective Hercule Poirot, who starts an investigation immediately. As Poirot finds a list of could-be suspects, more on the list begin to meet their death like the heiress, which only deepens the investigation. Kenneth Branagh stars as Hercule Poirot in this mystery film, with Gal Gadot as his co-star. This movie is a remake of the first “Death on the Nile” movie, made in 1978.

“The Comeback Trail”: Nov. 13

Starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jone and more, this crime-comedy film is a remake of the 1982 version directed by Harry Hurwitz. In the 2020 film, two movie producers who owe money to the mob set up their aging movie star for an insurance scam to try and save themselves but instead end up finding more than they had in mind. Any lover of these Oscar-winning actors will likely love this film.

“Soul”: Nov. 20

From the director of “Up” and “Inside Out,” “Soul” is a new animated movie perfect to watch with family. The voices of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey star in this heartwarming film of a musician that's lost his passion for music who’s suddenly transported out of his body and has to find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself. This movie is perfect for everyone in the family, so make sure to safely catch this film in theaters in November.

“Coming 2 America”: Dec. 18

Serving as a sequel to the original film in 1988, “Coming 2 America” stars Eddie Murphy as the main act. In this version, Prince Akeem (Murphy) learns he has a long-lost son in the U.S. and must return to America to meet the heir to the throne of Zamunda. The 1988 film, also starring Eddie Murphy, follows the story of an African Prince who travels to New York and goes undercover to find a wife. “Coming 2 America,” a comedic film, will be a great movie to watch at the end of the year surrounding the holidays with family.

Honorable 2021 Mentions

“Black Widow” — directed by Cate Shortland and starring Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh. A film following Black Widow in her quests between the “Civil War” and “Infinity War” films.

“West Side Story” — directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Ansel Elgort and Maddie Ziegler. An adaptation of the 1957 musical, the 2020 version depicts forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs. 

“Escape Room 2” — directed by Adam Robitel and starring Taylor Russell and Logan Miller. The sequel to the 2019 “Escape Room” will pick up right where the original left off.

While 2020 started off on an iffy foot, the middle of it soon turned disappointing. Watching movies in theaters was one of the best pastimes before the pandemic, and now that theaters are starting to reopen, a sense of normalcy could soon be felt within us. 

Contact Madison Mills at millsmv@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture.