Most movie theaters in the country went dark for the majority of 2020, so in 2021, audiences will no doubt be making up for lost time. Here are some of the most high-profile releases you'll be able to see on big screens this summer. Get ready for a whole lot of sequels, reboots, spinoffs and the occasional original idea.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (June 4)
Real-life paranormal investigators and totally-not-charlatans Ed and Lorraine Warren are back for their third chilling adventure, and their big case this time is a murder suspect who claims to be possessed by a demon. Expect lots of quiet scenes that culminate in loud jump scares.

In the Heights (June 11)
Lin-Manuel Miranda's breakthrough Broadway hit gets a big-screen adaptation courtesy of director Jon M. Chu. Set during a late summer heat wave, the plot centers on a cast of lovers and dreamers within the Dominican community of New York's Washington Heights neighborhood, all of whom love to sing their feelings.

Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (June 16)
In this sequel to the surprise 2017 action-comedy hit, Ryan Reynolds' traumatized bodyguard is trying to escape the business, only to be pulled back in by his previous client (Samuel L. Jackson) and his equally violent spouse (Salma Hayek).

F9 (June 25)
Dom, Letty and the gang — even Han! — are back in the ninth installment of the Fast & Furious extravaganza, and the bad guys chasing them this time include Charlize Theron as the super-hacker Cipher and John Cena as Dom's assassin brother.

The Forever Purge (July 2)
In each installment of the Purge series, characters either indulge in or evade an annual 12-hour period where all crime is legal. But now in movie No. 5 of the low-budget horror franchise, a group of purgers finally decides to ignore the time limit and keep on killing.

Black Widow (July 9)
She may have met a bitter end in Avengers: Endgame, but there's no such thing as finality when money can be made, and so Russian super-agent Natasha Romanoff now has her own movie. Scarlett Johansson reprises the role in a globe-trotting adventure set immediately after the events in Captain America: Civil War.

Space Jam: A New Legacy (July 16)
First it was Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes, and now it's LeBron James who's yucking it up with Bugs, Daffy and Lola Bunny in this live action/animation hybrid. Whether it'll be aimed at the millennials who loved the first film or 2021 kids, it promises to be the ultimate marketing machine.

Old (July 23)
M. Night Shyamalan has had a roller-coaster of a career, and his latest allegorical chiller sounds like it'll have just as many twists and turns. It's about a family who settles on an isolated beach while on vacation, only to discover that some kind of time warp is causing them all to rapidly age.

Jungle Cruise (July 30)
Another Disney attraction turned into a potential blockbuster, with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt channeling The African Queen as they hop into an old-timey riverboat and head into the jungle on the hunt for a lifesaving elixir.

The Suicide Squad (Aug. 6)
The universally hated DC tentpole gets a do-over, this time with Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and an R rating. Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, John Cena and more A-listers play the titular supervillain task force, broken out of prison and dropped onto a trap-filled island on a mysterious mission.

Free Guy (Aug. 13)
Ryan Reynolds' second comedy of the summer has him playing an everyday schmo who discovers that he's an NPC (that's "non-playable character" for those unfamiliar) inside a video game, and he must insert himself into the narrative.

Candyman (Aug. 27)
Clive Barker's tale about ghosts and racial violence gets a 21st-century update, with an upper-class couple discovering the dark history of their high-priced condo building. Nia DaCosta directs, Jordan Peele produces, and Tony Todd returns as the Candyman himself. ♦

Movie in the Park: Encanto @ Pavillion Park

Sat., Aug. 13
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About The Author

Nathan Weinbender

Nathan Weinbender is the Inlander's Music & Film editor. He is also a film critic for Spokane Public Radio, where he has co-hosted the weekly film review show Movies 101 since 2011.