16 Movies to Get Excited About at the London Film Festival 2021

The 2021 British film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival gets underway in the United Kingdom this week and Newsweek will be there covering the biggest movies, interviewing the stars in attendance.

This year's festival sees a welcome return to live events and screenings after 2020's was moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Movie stars are flying in to London for the event, while one major HBO TV show will be holding its Season 3 premiere there too.

There's a massive 159 movies showing at the BFI London Film Festival in 2021, with many more short films, TV shows and XR experiences featured too.

You can see the full program guide here for everything showing in London and online, but here's a rundown of 14 movies and two TV shows to get excited about at the 2021 London Film Festival.

The Harder They Fall

Writer and director Jeymes Samuel reboots the Western genre with this Netflix movie. The Harder They Fall will have its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival's Opening Night Gala with many of its stars expected to attend.

Jay-Z is credited as a producer on the Western while Regina King, Idris Elba, LaKeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz and Jonathan Majors all have major roles. The Harder They Fall gets a cinematic release on October 22 before arriving on Netflix from November 3, 2021.

The world premiere of The Harder They Fall will be held on Wednesday October 6.

The Harder They Fall
"The Harder They Fall" starring Regina King, Idris Elba and LaKeith Stanfield opens the 2021 British Film Institute London Film Festival on Wednesday October 6, 2021. David Lee/Netflix


Kristen Stewart is the latest actress to take on the role of Princess Diana in this upcoming biographical drama. The trailers have caused a stir online as everyone anticipates whether the American can nail the British accent, but the crowd attending the U.K. premiere in London will be some of the first to know.

After airing at the film festival, Spencer will get a worldwide release on November 5, 2021.

The U.K. premiere of Spencer will be held on Thursday October 7.

Spencer film Kristen Stewart
Director Pablo Larraín and Kristen Stewart attend the red carpet of the movie "Spencer" during the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 03, 2021 in Venice, Italy. Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Ron's Gone Wrong

This animated effort from 20th Century Studios is getting its world premiere at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival as part of the Family Gala. Zach Galifianakis voices Ron, an adorable digitally connected device in this story about friendship in the social media age.

Olivia Colman, Ed Helms, Rob Delaney and even One Direction star Liam Payne lend their voices to the family film. From October 22, the movie will be out in American theaters for 45 days before becoming available on digital platforms.

The world premiere of Ron's Gone Wrong will be held on Saturday October 9.

Last Night in Soho

The man who brought the world Baby Driver, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz tries his hand at horror with his new movie Last Night in Soho. Edgar Wright writes and directs this movie which stars The Queen's Gambit breakout star Anya Taylor-Joy and former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith.

Last Night In Soho will come out in the United States in theaters on October 29, 2021.

The U.K. premiere of Last Night in Soho will be held on Saturday October 9.

last night in soho
"Last Night in Soho" is Edgar Wright's latest movie, playing at the London Film Festival but arriving in the United States on October 29. Universal Pictures


Rebecca Hall makes her writing and directorial debut with the new Netflix movie Passing, starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. Based on Nella Larsen's novella, the black-and-white movie touches on racial and class issues, following the unexpected reunion of two high school friends.

Passing will get a limited theatrical release from October 27 before streaming on Netflix on November 10, 2021.


French film Titane could be one of the most talked about showings at the London Film Festival. The R-rated sci-fi thriller—the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival—has already been released in the United States but will be shown to British audiences for the first time at the festival.

The U.K. premiere of Titane will be held on Saturday October 9.

The French Dispatch

The French Dispatch was one of the many movies, of which release was delayed by the pandemic. After a year-long wait, Wes Anderson's latest movie is almost out in the United States. Before it is, the three-part movie, of which the full title is The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, is having its U.K. premiere during the London Film Festival.

The star-studded cast includes Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Anjelica Huston, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody and Edward Norton with Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet and Elisabeth Moss also due to appear. The French Dispatch will be out in United States cinemas from October 22.

The U.K. premiere of The French Dispatch will be held on Sunday October 10.

The cast of The French Dispatch
The cast of "The French Dispatch." Here, the journalists of the magazine meet together with the staff in The French Dispatch. Disney

The Tender Bar

George Clooney's new movie was a late addition to the festival. He directs and, alongside his long-time collaborator Grant Heslov, produces the film which is based on J.R. Moehringer's novel. Ben Affleck, Christopher Lloyd and Tye Sheridan all appear in this coming-of-age drama which will eventually land on Amazon Prime Video on December 17, 2021.

A screening of The Tender Bar will be held at LFF on Sunday October 10.

Munich: The Edge of War

1917 star George MacKay made his name in a WWI-based movie and he's back on our screens again, this time in a pre-WWII inspired story. Munich: The Edge of War is based on Robert Harris' book which sees a British civil servant and a German diplomat cross paths in 1938 Munich as they try to prevent a war in Europe. Jeremy Irons and Jessica Brown Findlay also star.

There is currently no release date scheduled for this movie.

The Power of the Dog

Jane Campion wrote the screenplay and directs this upcoming Western drama based on the 1967 novel by Thomas Savage. Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons star in the movie which has received rave reviews since it first screened at the Venice Film Festival in September.

The Power of the Dog will receive a short cinematic release in November before airing on Netflix on December 1.

The U.K. premiere of The Power of the Dog will be held on Monday October 11.

The Power of the dog
Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons star in "The Power of The Dog" coming to Netflix on December 1. Kirsty Griffin/Netflix


Stage and screen legend Kenneth Branagh brings us the family drama Belfast, set in the working class surroundings of 1960s Northern Ireland.

Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe and Judi Dench star in the movie which is already being tipped for success during the upcoming awards season.

The European premiere of Belfast is being held as part of the American Airlines Gala on Tuesday October 12.

The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter marks Maggie Gyllenhaal's directorial debut as she also wrote the screenplay which is adapted from Elena Ferrante's novel. In this story of a woman's beach vacation that takes a dark turn, Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard and Normal People star Paul Mescal all appear.

The movie is getting a limited theater release before it's out on Netflix from December 31.

The U.K. premiere of The Lost Daughter will be held on Wednesday October 13.


The first of two major television shows to watch out for, Danny Strong's Dopesick dramatizes the rise of opioid addiction across the United States.

Michael Keaton stars as a doctor who starts to see the damage these legal drugs have while Peter Sarsgaard, Will Poulter and Rosario Dawson also appear in this mini-series coming to Hulu.

Dopesick screens at the London Film Festival on October 13, the same night it begins on Hulu.

dopesick hulu
Michael Keaton in "Dopesick." Hulu will stream the pharma drama from mid-October. Hulu

King Richard

Will Smith produced and stars in this hotly anticipated movie that puts a spotlight on the father of two of the most famous athletes in the world. Venus and Serena Williams' father Richard is the focus of this sports biographical drama.

Alongside Smith, Dylan McDermott and Jon Bernthal appear while Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton play young tennis prodigies Venus and Serena Williams. King Richard is scheduled for release in the United States on November 19.

The U.K. premiere of King Richard will be held on Friday October 15.


Episodes 1 and 2 of Season 3 of Succession will receive their world premiere at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival. Much of the cast, Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin and Alan Ruck, are scheduled to appear as well as the executive producing team that includes Adam McKay and Will Ferrell.

Episode 1 of Season 3, Secession" is coming to HBO on Sunday October 17, 2021.

The world premiere of Succession will be held on Friday October 15.

Succession cast picture
"Succession" is back for season 3 this fall on HBO. HBO

The Tragedy of Macbeth

The 2021 BFI London Film Festival will close out in Shakespearean fashion thanks to Joel Coen's The Tragedy of Macbeth. The re-imagining of the Scottish play features Denzel Washington, and Coen's wife and four-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand as Lord and Lady Macbeth.

The movie will be in theaters from December 25 before arriving on Apple TV+ on January 14, 2022.

The European premiere of The Tragedy of Macbeth will be held at the Closing Night Gala on Sunday October 17th.

The full program for the 2021 BFI London Film Festival runs from Wednesday October 6 until Sunday October 17.