You read and argued about our list of favorite movies of 2019 (how many times have YOU seen Uncut Gems?), but now it's 2020 and time to look to the future, so here's a list of new movies we're excited about seeing in the coming twelve months. A lot of them don't have release dates as of yet, so we'll highlight the ones we think are coming out in the first half of the year (or have trailers), and mention the rest down below.
The Gentlemen (January 24th): January is notoriously a dumping ground for the movie industry—while insiders are enjoying getting a first look at upcoming indies at Sundance, the box office is filled with the films studios know probably aren't going to garner much attention. It's slim pickings this month, but if we were forced to highlight one, we're curious about Guy Ritchie's first effort since Aladdin. It's a relief to see him returning to the British gangster milieu he's known for, and it doesn't hurt that the cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, and Henry Golding.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (February 7th): Suicide Squad was truly a remarkably awful movie, but the lone bright spot in the film was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. Hopefully DC got it right this time by letting her take center stage in this movie, which pairs her with a bunch of other Gotham City ladies (Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya) as they protect a young girl from a local crime lord known as Black Mask (Ewan McGregor).
Downhill (February 14th): Force Majeure was one of the best films of the previous decade, a hilarious and biting look at male insecurity from Swedish director Ruben Östlund. Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, the co-writers of The Descendants and The Way, Way Back, helm this remake, which stars Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a couple whose whole relationship is thrown into question after an incident involving a controlled avalanche.
Sonic The Hedgehog (February 14th): C'mon, you want to know whether it was really worth $35 million to fix Sonic's teeth, too.
First Cow (March 6th): Director Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women, Meek's Cutoff) truly only makes good films. This one is based on Jonathan Raymond's novel The Half Life, about the friendship between two men in a remote trading post in the Oregon Territory circa 1820. Variety writes it's about a time when "friendship wasn’t something one declared publicly via Facebook moments after making someone’s acquaintance, but a kind of profound intimacy that developed over time." (There's no trailer out yet, but you can watch a NYFF discussion with Reichardt about it below.)
A Quiet Place Part II (March 20th): The first film, directed by John Krasinski, was a surprise dystopian horror hit in 2018. And while his character (spoiler alert) kicked the bucket in that film, the rest of the main cast (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe) are back, joined by Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou.
Mulan (March 27th): Disney has made a lot of live action remakes of their animated classics in recent years—and most haven't been that great. But what if...stick with me here...one of them was good? That's the hope people have for this remake of the 1998 film based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man in order to enlist herself in the Imperial Army in place of her ailing father.
Saint Maud (March 27th): This British psychological horror film stars Morfydd Clark as a hospice nurse who becomes obsessed with patient Jennifer Ehle, and starts to think she's become possessed. Variety called writer-director Rose Glass's first film a "sensational, shape-shifting debut is equal parts horror film, character study and religious enquiry."
No Time To Die (April 10th): Daniel Craig is back as James Bond for one last time, for real this time. Spectre was, to put it kindly, a bit of a mess, so we are glad producers were able to convince Craig to come back for a better farewell to his Bond era, which takes place five years after that last film. It's directed by Cary Fukunaga (Beasts Of No Nation, True Detective season one), so it is bound to be one of the most remarkable-looking Bond films ever. Rami Malek plays a masked villain, Lashana Lynch is a new 00 agent, Anna de Armas is the latest Bond girl, and most of the cast of Spectre is back as well (Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Christoph Waltz). Best of all: they remembered that Jeffrey Wright exists in this cinematic universe.
Promising Young Woman (April 17th): Emerald Fennell's directorial debut (she previously was showrunner of Killing Eve season two) stars Carey Mulligan as a woman who seeks to punish men who take advantage of drunk or vulnerable women, stemming from some personal trauma in her past. It's got a hell of an interesting cast (Alison Brie, Bo Burnham, Connie Britton, Adam Brody, Jennifer Coolidge, Max Greenfield), and a really great trailer.
Antlers (April 17th): Looking for a classic horror movie for the spring? Director Scott Cooper branches out from his usual films (Out Of The Furnace, Crazy Heart, Hostiles) for this movie about a small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, who discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences.
Black Widow (May 1st): Black Widow may have died in Avengers: Endgame, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for a flashback adventure or two. Scarlett Johansson dons the leather to play superhero Natasha Romanov as she returns to Russia to deal with some unfinished family business, involving Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour. It's also directed by Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome), which makes us extra intrigued to see how she fits into the Marvel house style.
Fast & Furious 9 (May 22nd): Look, I love this dumb, beautiful movie franchise more than some of my own family members. I've written extensively about why I think it deserves respect as the "most brilliant, batshit-crazy, ethnically-diverse popcorn action film franchise of the 21st century." But there's no getting around the fact that the last two films in the saga (The Fate Of The Furious, Hobbs & Shaw) were underwhelming, and if we're being honest, a little stale. Has the franchise lost is mojo? Can Vin Diesel and returning director Justin Lim get things back on track? Will anyone even drink a Corona this time? John Cena, Cardi B and Michael Rooker all get inducted into the franchise, while most of the usual crew is back (including Charlize Theron and Jordana Brewster)—just don't expect to see The Rock or Jason Statham.
Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5th): Patti Jenkins returns to direct, and Gal Gadot stars once again as Diana Prince—but this time it's the '80s. So you can expect things like trips to the mall, outrageous dresses, synths galore. Chris Pine is also back as her love interest Steve Trevor, despite the fact he died in the last film. Kristen Wig and Pedro Pascal play the villains (Cheetah and Maxwell Lord) this time around.
Soul (June 19th): Pixar actually has two films out this year: Onward (coming out March 6th), and Soul, which is the more interesting of the two. It's about a jazz-loving middle school music teacher (voiced by Jamie Foxx) whose soul is separated from his body after an accident, and "transported to the 'You Seminar,' a center in which souls develop and gain passions before being transported to a newborn child." Tina Fey, Questlove, Phylicia Rashad and Daveed Diggs also lend their voices to the film.
King Of Staten Island (June 19th): Pete Davidson has been something of a no-show on SNL as of late, with gossip about his personal life often eclipsing his work, but this could be his big breakout moment. Davidson teams with director Judd Apatow for a film based on his own life, including losing his father on 9/11 and growing up with his mother, played by Marisa Tomei. It also stars Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Pamela Adlon, Steve Buscemi and Maude Apatow.
In The Heights (June 26th): Lin Manuel-Miranda's debut hip-hop and salsa-inflected musical, which unfolds over the course of three days in Washington Heights, makes the leap to the big screen. Anthony Ramos stars as bodega owner Usnavi, the role originally played by Miranda, while Miranda instead plays Piraguero, the owner of a small piragua stand whose treats rival that of Mister Softee. The film also stars Corey Hawkins, Jimmy Smits, Melissa Barrera, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Dascha Polanco and Stephanie Beatriz.
Top Gun: Maverick (June 26th): It is clear by now that Tom Cruise is gonna keep doing Tom Cruise things until he physically can't, and if that includes a sequel to the 1986 homoerotic classic in which Cruise gets to fly planes for real, then so be it. Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Glenn Powell, Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly will be his wingmen and wingwomen. I'm mostly excited to see Val Kilmer, who has grown into a truly advanced Hollywood weirdo, return as Iceman.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (July 10th): Ghostbusters heads to Oklahoma in Jason Reitman's sequel to the original two Ghostbusters (which has nothing to do with 2016's Ghostbusters: Answer The Call, which exists in a different universe where everyone despises funny women). The movie stars The Leftovers’ Carrie Coon as Callie, who moves to Oklahoma with her two kids (Mckenna Grace's Phoebe and Finn Wolfhard's Trevor) to live at a farm left to them by their grandfather. That grandfather is almost certainly Egon, since the house is filled with Ghostbusters paraphernalia, including ghost traps, the uniforms, and Ecto-1. Paul Rudd plays a summer school teacher named Mr. Grooberson who is a huge Ghostbusters fan who teaches the kids about their lore. Based on the trailer, it looks well-made and reverent to the originals, but the only thing is: did everyone forget this is supposed to be a funny franchise?
Respect (July 10th): Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin in a biopic of the legendary singer, and as you can hear in the teaser below, she certainly has the pipes for it. Forest Whitaker plays Aretha's father, Audra McDonald is her mother, and the rest of the cast includes Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige, Tituss Burgess, and Marc Maron as Atlantic Records head Jerry Wexler.
Tenet (July 17th): Some people with terrible taste may disagree, but Christopher Nolan makes fantastic, endlessly rewatchable movies that are always obsessed with time. His latest globe-trotting action thriller includes a time travel component that looks suitably insane and cool in the trailer, as well as all the usual, great Nolan tricks (including wide shots of ominous buildings). It stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh and, of course, Michael Caine.
Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar (July 31st): Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the real life friends who co-wrote Bridesmaids, re-team for this comedy. They star as the titular Barb and Star, "who leave their small Midwestern town for the first time to go on vacation in Vista Del Mar, Florida, where they soon find themselves tangled up in adventure, love, and a villain's evil plot to kill everyone in town."
And Now... More Movies Coming At Ya In 2020
Keanu Reeves and William Sadler step back into the phone booth after they're warned by a visitor from the future of the need for them to create a song that will save the universe in Bill & Ted Face The Music (August 21st). David Chase revisits the world of The Sopranos with the prequel The Many Saints Of Newark (September 25th). Edgar Wright will release his followup to Baby Driver, the psychological horror film Last Night In Soho (September 25th). Aaron Sorkin writes and directs The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (September 25th). Andy Serkis steps into the director's chair for Venom 2: Even More Venom (October 2nd).
Chloe Zhao will direct Marvel's other big film of the year, The Eternals (November 6th), which has a star-studded cast including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Kit Harrington, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry and more. Tom McCarthy's Stillwater (November 6th) is about Oklahoman father (Matt Damon) who travels to France after his daughter (Abigail Breslin) is arrested for murder. Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas play a married couple in a very fraught relationship in Deep Water (November 13th), Adrian Lyne's first film in almost two decades. Will Smith stars as Richard Williams, father of Venus & Serena, in King Richard (November 27th).
Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, and Zendaya star in Denis Villeneuve's reimagining of Dune (December 18th). Steven Spielberg puts his stamp on West Side Story (December 18th). Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall and the nation of Zamunda return in the long-awaited sequel Coming 2 America (December 18th). Ridley Scott directs The Last Duel (December 25th), with a script co-written by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Nicole Holofcener, and starring Adam Driver as a 14th Century knight. Tom Hanks stars in News Of The World (December 25th), an adaptation of the 2016 novel by Paulette Jiles.
And NOW... More Movies Coming At Ya In 2020 (But They Don't Have A Release Date Yet So Who Knows?)
The legendary Leos Carax will release Annette, his first film since Holy Motors, starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard—it's his first English-language film, and it's a musical written by Ron Mael and Russell Mael and, appropriately, featuring the music of Sparks. Paul Schrader follows up his masterpiece First Reformed with The Card Counter, starring Oscar Isaac as a card shark who "sets out to reform a young man seeking revenge on a mutual enemy." Mike Mills follows up the brilliant 20th Century Women with C'Mon C'mon, starring Joaquin Phoenix. The legend Sofia Coppola returns with On The Rocks, which stars Rashida Jones as a young mother who reconnects with her playboy father, played by (you guessed it) Bill Murray. Wes Anderson also returns with The French Dispatch, described as "a love letter to journalists set at an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city" and starring all the regular Anderson people.
Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, and Eliza Scanlen star in The Devil All The Time, a psychological thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Donald Ray Pollock. Steven Soderbergh keeps up his insane pace with Let Them All Talk, which stars Meryl Streep, Candice Bergman, Gemma Chan, Dianne Wiest and Lucas Hedges. Another busy director, Taika Waititi, will release Next Goal Wins, an adaptation of a 2014 documentary about a Dutch-American coach (played by Michael Fassbender) who tries to lead the American Somoa national team to qualify for the World Cup.
Chloe Zhao doesn't just have a big Marvel movie coming this year—she also directed Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand. The Souvenir was one of our favorite films of 2019, so of course we're excited to see The Souvenir Part II. Zola, based on an epic Twitter thread about a sex worker's wild trip to Florida, stars Taylour Paige, Riley Keough and Cousin Greg from Succession. Apichatpong Weerasethakul makes her English-language debut with Memoria, staring Tilda Swinton. Kogonada follows up Columbus with After Yang, a sci-fi drama about a world in which robotic babysitters take care of kids (it stars Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith and Justin Min).
Actress Rebecca Hall steps behind the camera for an adaptation of Nella Larsen's classic Passing, with Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga as the leads. Guillermo del Toro’s follow up to The Shape Of Water will be a remake of the 1947 film Nightmare Alley, starring Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Rooney Mara and more. Paolo Sorrentino directs Jennifer Lawrence as the titular Mob Girl, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Teresa Carpenter true-crime story. The Nest, about a family (including Jude Law and Carrie Coon) is plunged into uncertainty upon relocation from America to England.
Comedian Michael Showalter, who last helmed The Big Sick, has two movies possibly on the slate this year: The Lovebirds, a comedy/murder mystery about a couple, Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, on the verge of a breakup; and The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, based on the documentary of the same name about televangelists Tammy Faye Bakker and Jim Bakker, played by Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield. Josephine Decker, who last directed Madeline's Madeline, will release Shirley, starring Elisabeth Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg as writer Shirley Jackson and literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman, who take in a young couple and get them involved in their psycho-drama.
AND NOW... Movies Coming To Netflix In 2020
Dee Rees' long-awaited Joan Didion adaptation The Last Thing He Wanted, starring Anne Hathaway as a DC journalist. Spike Lee's next joint is Da 5 Bloods, which follows four African-American vets who return to Vietnam to search for their missing squad leader and hunt for buried treasures. Ron Howard adapts J.D. Vance's memoir Hillbilly Memoir, with Amy Adams and Glenn Close starring. David Fincher looks at the making of Citizen Kane through the eyes of Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson Welles’s legendary co-writer (played by Gary Oldman), in Mank. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams team up as songwriters trying to win the Eurovision contest. Charlie Kaufman returns with I'm Thinking Of Ending Things, his first film since the heartbreaking Anomalisa, starring Jesse Plemons. Director Ben Wheatley's adapts Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca (already a Hitchcock movie) with Lily James and Armie Hammer. Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne star in The Old Guard, and this is the honest-to-goodness description of it: "[They] lead a covert group of immortal mercenaries who must fight to keep their team together when they discover the existence of a new immortal and their extraordinary abilities are exposed." Yup, I'm in.