Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff finally gets her own solo film, a decade after the Russian spy was introduced in Iron Man 2. Inconveniently, she was killed off in Avengers: Endgame, but Loki and Vision came back from the dead for their own TV series, so why shouldn't she? The excuse is that Black Widow is set at an earlier time – just after Captain America: Civil War, to be exact. The Avengers have gone their separate ways, so Romanoff heads to Russia to reunite with the only family she has, three fellow secret agents played by Rachel Weisz, David Harbour and Florence Pugh. "It is unexpected, though, that Black Widow may be the least Avenger-like movie in the series so far. [The film] sets itself apart by emphasising Natasha's past, and her reunion with her fractured, drolly comic family." says BBC Culture's Caryn Jones.
Released on 7 July in the UK and Ireland, 8 July in Australia, and 9 July in the US and Canada
Loosely based on the Amanda Knox case, Stillwater stars a brawny, bearded, baseball-capped Matt Damon as Bill Baker, an oil worker who lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma. His estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin) is studying in Marseille when she is arrested and charged with the murder of her girlfriend. Bill moves there to fight for her release with the help of a local lawyer played by Camille Cottin.
Released on 29 July in Australia and New Zealand, 30 July in the US and Canada, and 6 Aug in the UK and Ireland
The Green Knight
The Green Knight is quite possibly the only one of 2021's films to be based on a 14th-Century poem. The monstrous Green Knight (Ralph Ineson) strides in and declares that anyone around the Round Table can strike him with an axe, as long as he can do the same to them in one year's time. King Arthur's nephew, Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), accepts the challenge and decapitates the giant intruder. But then the monster picks up his own head and strolls away. Written and directed by David Lowery (The Old Man & The Gun, A Ghost Story, Pete's Dragon), The Green Knight promises to be eerier, weirder but more personal than the average Hollywood fantasy.
Released on 30 July in the US and Canada, and 6 Aug in the UK and Ireland
The latest twisty chiller from M Night Shyalaman (The Sixth Sense) could be the exact opposite of a relaxing summer movie. Old features Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps as a husband and wife who visit a secluded tropical beach with their children. They're joined by several other holiday-makers (Rufus Sewell, Abbey Lee), but they still can't understand why such an idyllic beauty spot isn't more popular. Then they find out. The beach is under a curse which causes everyone on it to age so quickly that they will shrivel up and die by the end of the day. The screenplay is adapted from Sandcastle, a French graphic novel by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters, but the plot details have been kept under wraps. That's for the best. With Shyalaman's high-concept mysteries, the less you know about what's to come, the better.
Released on 21 July in France, 22 July in Australia, and 23 July in the UK, Ireland, US and Canada