With the new year, there are plenty of new movies to be excited about throughout 2020. From continuations of long running franchises to new products by well established directors, here are some of the films that you should keep on your radar this year.
“Bad Boys For Life” (January 17, 2020)
Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite for the unexpected third movie in their action-comedy series about undercover police detectives. This new and “final” entry in the series promises bigger action, laughs and even a thrilling criminal mystery storyline. The first two films were widely adored by the public and the newest release, judging by the trailers, will live up to the standards set by its predecessors.
“The Turning” (January 24) Directed by Floria Sigismondi
Following the story of a babysitter working for a very peculiar family, things begin to go awry when the new babysitter begins to uncover dark secrets about the family’s history. With a cast including Mackenzie Davis (known for projects such as “Halt and Catch Fire” and “Blade Runner 2049”), and Finn Wolfhard (Best known for portraying Mike Wheeler in “Stranger Things”), this new horror film based on the novella “The Turn of the Screw” is sure to be one to watch.
“Gretel & Hansel” (January 31)
A newer and darker take on the classic German folk tale of Hansel & Gretel, this fantasy thriller aims to give a creepier and more sinister interpretation of the classic story. While the trailer did face some criticism at the time of release and this “horror” movie is rated PG-13, the film does have some interesting aspects such as the greater use of magic and an alleged twist in the classic story. Still, nothing in the trailer makes me too terribly optimistic for the film so we will have to see if Orion Pictures can deliver on this project.
“Birds of Prey” (February 7) Directed by Cathy Yan
After some sub par films and some surprise hits from the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), the follow up to 2016’s “Suicide Squad” looks… iffy at best. Following the release of the trailer for “Birds of Prey” fans seemed pessimistic on this movie, claiming it seemed too focused on Harley Quinn rather than being dedicated to all of the members of the iconic comic book team. With the overall negative reception of Margot Robbie’s previous DC film, “Suicide Squad,” and the success of DC movies like “Shazam” and “Aquaman,” the outcome of this movie is anyone’s guess.
“Sonic The Hedgehog” (February 14)
After an extremely negative reaction to the first trailer of the film, the animators reworked the design of the beloved video game icon until fans were pleased with the product. With the new trailer that featured a redesigned Sonic receiving a great deal of positive feedback, we can only hope that the people over at Paramount created a decent film to match the wonderfully redesigned hedgehog. Video game movies have been below par in the past but this time things may be different.
“The King’s Man” (February 14) Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Serving as a prequel to the current movies in the “Kingsman” series, this World War 1 era spy thriller aims to please fans and critics alike with the story of the first spies in the Kingsmen. This film promises to showcase large action scenes with Great War aesthetics, showing off the first outing of the original agents of the Kingsmen. With a respectable cast and director Matthew Vaughn at the helm, this movie is one to keep on your list.
“Call of the Wild” (February 21) Directed by Chris Sanders
This story follows a sled dog named Buck and an old man named John Thornton as they venture through the Alaskan wild. This film serves as an adaptation of the original Jack London book of the same name, previously adapted into both a feature length film and a TV series. The newest take on the story stars Harrison Ford and Karen Gillan and with a budget of $109 million, this movie aims to amaze with its stunning visual effects and exceedingly talented cast.
“Onward” (March 6) Directed by Dan Scanlon
This new original Disney Pixar follows the journey of two ogre brothers played by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland on a quest to resurrect their father for one day using a magical staff before his soul is lost forever. As strange as the premise for this film sounds, it seems to be a very lighthearted and uplifting movie about adventure and family as the brothers Ian and Barley push onward to see their father. With an odd but interesting premise, this looks to be a film for the family to enjoy.
“My Spy” (March 13)
Akin to movies such as “Game Plan” and “The Pacifier,” this movie finds a single adult man teaming up with a kid, due to unpredictable circumstances. After an elementary schooler named Sophie discovers the identity of the CIA agent JJ (portrayed by Dave Bautista), she demands that he teach her how to be a spy giving him no choice but to accept or risk his identity. This movie likely will not be winning any Academy Awards but still looks to be an entertaining ride.
“A Quiet Place II” (March 20) Directed by John Krasinski
A sequel to the widely successful 2018 film, this story follows the journey of the Abbott family as they are now forced into the outside world and face new threats in the world they inhabit.
“Mulan” (March 27) Directed by Niki Caro
The highly anticipated remake of one of Disney’s most popular animated films will finally hit theaters this spring. For the uninitiated, “Mulan” follows the story of a young Chinese woman disguising herself as a man to fight in the Chinese army against the Huns who threaten to take over the country. This take on Mulan will not feature any magical elements however, and will be less Disney princess and more of a war story and will no longer feature iconic characters such as the dragon Mushu, the cricket Cri-Kee or her love interest Li-Shang.
“X-Men: New Mutants” (Expected April 3) Directed by Josh Boon
With a horror setting and a high profile cast, “X-Men: New Mutants” looks to be a newer and darker take on the Marvel Comics’ group of super powered teenagers. This “X-Men” film has less of the iconic X-Men we know and love, with the character list mostly comprised of lesser known characters. The same cannot be said about the cast however, featuring well known actors such as Maisie Williams (best known for her portrayal of Arya Stark from “Game of Thrones”), Anya Taylor-Joy, Antonio Banderas and Charlie Heaton. Rumors of an “X-Men” horror film have been floating around for years now and with its first trailer finally released, this film definitely looks like one that comic fans and casual moviegoers alike can enjoy.
“No Time To Die” (April 10)
Serving as a farewell to James Bond actor Daniel Craig, this movie is the next entry in the 007 series with a rogue James Bond no longer associated with the British intelligence agency MI6, due to the events of the last film in the series, 2015’s “Spectre.” No longer on active service, Bond must return to action unofficially upon the discovery of a new villain with dangerous technology. Any fans of the iconic British super spy or action movies in general should be sure not to miss this one.
“Antlers” (April 17) Directed by Scott Cooper
After a young boy discovers and awakens an evil spirit, it is up to a small group of townspeople to protect their home from this sinister creature. Keri Russell and Jesse Plemons take leading roles in this film as a teacher and a sheriff respectively, both working to save their town from the new evil that haunts them. With the legendary Guillermo del Toro among the producers for the film, this project seems to be a very promising thriller with an interesting premise, we can only wait and see what in holds in store for us.
“Black Widow” (May 1)
Marvel Studios’ newest addition to their cinematic universe hits theaters in May, a backstory on one of the original Avengers and the first female hero in the MCU, Black Widow. In this film, the audience will finally get to see the backstory of Scarlett Johanson’s Natasha Romanoff, featuring many comic book characters that are new to the big screen such as Taskmaster and the Red Guardian.
“Fast and Furious 9” (May 22)
With a storyline of an early 2000s video game and the logic of a shonen anime, this never ending franchise returns for its ninth entry full of action, action, and more action. The all star cast returns with some new additions including WWE star John Cena and the rapper Cardi B. As of now, there is no trailer released yet, however, given the progression of the movies in the series and rumors of possible space battles, this movie is sure to deliver on some extreme action with questionable physics, just as it always has.
“Wonder Woman 1984” (June 4) Directed by Patty Jenkins
As a follow up to the first true success of the DCEU, “Wonder Woman 84” continues the backstory of the iconic Goddess of power. With her former comrade mysteriously reappearing after a deadly plane crash nearly 70 years prior, Diana and Steve Trevor return to fight evil. While the plot of this sequel is unknown, the film looks to maintain the same incredible action and solid characters from the previous film, with the addition of classic DC Comics villains to the cast such as Cheetah and Max Lord. With Patty Jenkins returning to direct and Gal Gadot taking the lead again with Chris Pine, this superhero flick is sure to be one to keep on your list this summer.
“Soul” (June 2020)
Disney Pixar’s newest film is centered around soul and ambition starring Jamie Foxx, playing a middle school music teacher named Joe Gardener with dreams of becoming a star in a nightclub jazz band. His life is cut short however when he falls down an open manhole into the sewer below, reverting him to his soul form. In his soul form, he goes on an adventure to rediscover himself, and what it means to be human.
“Top Gun: Maverick” (June 26)
As a sequel to the original film starring Tom Cruise, “Top Gun: Maverick” follows the story of the outstanding Navy aviator Pete Mitchell after serving over thirty years in the military. With his prime behind him and his superiors trying to control him, Pete Mitchell is now being forced to take on the role as an instructor for a new generation of fighter pilots while still pushing his own limits showing that his journey is not over yet. With Tom Cruise reprising his role as the iconic pilot and more modern visual effects, this long awaited sequel is one to keep on your list.
“In The Heights” (June 26)
“In The Heights” is another musical turned cinematic experience following along the trend of movies such as “Les Misérables” (2012) and “Cats” (2019). Following the lives of a community of hispanic immigrants in Washington Heights, New York, this first musical from future “Hamilton” creator and star Lin Manuel Miranda, became a Tony-winning Best Musical hit on Broadway and a show beloved by many. This musical focuses on the lives, loves and dreams of the largely Hispanic-American neighborhood of New York City’s Washington Heights, bringing more representation onto the big screen. We can only hope the amazing musical production can be translated well into a screenplay as it hits theaters this summer.
“Free Guy” (July 3)
“Free Guy” is an original video game themed flick starring Ryan Reynolds and Taika Watiti in a theme similar to that of “The Lego Movie “(2014). Following many video game tropes, Guy (portrayed by Ryan Reynolds) discovers that he is nothing more than a character in a video game and the only way to save the world is to break out of his daily routine and become a hero in his own story. For anyone interested in the video game world, this action-comedy will likely be satisfying, and hopefully will help break the curse of most video game themed movies being sub par at best.
“Tenet” (July 17)
A new original film by Christopher Nolan and starring John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, “Tenet” follows a soldier sent on a mission to save the world from a threat never before seen by mankind. This seems to be more than a standard action flick as there seems to be many sci-fi elements at play, with the main supernatural ability being time manipulation. Aside from this, we know very little about “Tenet” at the moment, but given the director and cast involved, this will surely be a film to look out for during the summer.
“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (July 20)
Serving as a reboot to the original story, (ignoring the reboot in 2016) this new “Ghostbusters” story follows a new set of younger protagonists as they battle the corrupted spirits in their town. With a star cast including Paul Rudd, Annie Potts, and “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard, this movie seems to be on the right track. Still, it is impossible to ignore the 2016 reboot (no matter how hard Columbia Pictures tries to) which received “mixed” reviews at best, this is one movie to be cautiously optimistic for.
The Eternals (November 6)
The MCU will finally get another superhero team on the big screen in the form of the group of legendary godlike beings, The Eternals. Phase 4 of the iconic comic book-based movie series will begin with the introduction of these new characters. The film will feature many big names in Hollywood playing some of Marvel’s less famous characters who were first introduced by Jack Kirby (who, with Stan Lee, co-created Fantastic Four, Avengers and X-Men) in 1976.
“Raya and The Last Dragon” (November 20)
Disney Pixar is releasing a new original animated film based on east Asian culture following a lone warrior named Raya on her journey to find the last dragon. While there is not much known about this animated feature at the time as there are still several months before its official release, a new and original story like this is a step in the right direction for Disney/Pixar, along with other original projects from the studio set for this year such as “Onward” and “Soul.” We still may be far off from its release, but it is definitely a movie to look forward to.
“Coming 2 America” (December 18)
An unexpected sequel to the original classic comedy starring Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem from the fictional African nation of Zamunda, “Coming 2 America” is currently expected to release as a holiday present for audiences everywhere. In this film, Akeem discovers that he has an estranged son living somewhere in the United States and must now return to find the heir to the throne.
“Da 5 Bloods” (Expected 2020)
Director Spike Lee’s newest project is centered around a handful of veterans returning to their previous battlegrounds in the jungles of Vietnam to “find their lost innocence” as it states on the film’s IMDB page. Not much else is known about Lee’s newest project aside from this and no trailer has been released, however given the director’s track record, there is no doubt that “Da 5 Bloods” should be on everyone’s list for 2020.