Between Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Avengers Endgame, Frozen II and so many other blockbuster flicks, 2019 was an absolutely enormous year for movies. Can 2020 match it?
Granted, 2020 seems like a bit of a transition year on the surface, at least when it comes to big franchises. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will just be gearing up with an incoming new phase of films, and there won't be another Star Wars for a while.
Still, there's already a lot to be excited about, including No Time to Die, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and Wonder Woman 1984, among others. We've picked the 12 films we're most excited to see as of now, but there are still loads of big 2020 flicks that haven't released trailers yet. We'll be updating and expanding this list steadily throughout 2020 with the latest and greatest additions.
1917 (10 January)
Everybody knows that films like Birdman, which look like they’re all one continuous shot, are done with CGI and camera trickery – but that doesn’t stop them being strangely hypnotic.
There’s more than a hint of Saving Private Ryan to Sam Mendes’ 1917, a World War I epic about two young British soldiers who must stop a potentially catastrophic attack involving one of their own brothers, but that one-shot approach should make every trench and exploding shell feel very real indeed. Definitely one for the cinema, not the sofa.
Bad Boys for Life (17 January)
Martin Lawrence might’ve put on a bit of timber but everything else about Bad Boys for Life feels familiar: the fast cars, the wise cracks and the preposterous gun fights. Even Will Smith doesn’t appear to have aged a day.
Michael Bay might not be in the director’s chair this time but when the brother of a cartel boss Marcus and Mike offed turns up seeking revenge, the pair must team up with a crack team of upstart millennial cops - who probably weren’t even born when the first film came out - to outwit him.
Weathering with You (17 January)
Here in dear old Blighty, having the ability to control the weather would be less a romantic superpower, and more a convenient means of stopping yourself from getting drenched on the way to Tesco. But that's the basic setup for Weathering with You, the animated romantic fantasy from Your Name director Makoto Shinkai, which received rave reviews when it was released in Japan last year.
The film tells the story of a high-school boy who runs away to Tokyo and becomes friends with an orphan girl who can seemingly control the elements.
Birds of Prey (7 February)
DC's Suicide Squad was a mess, but Margot Robbie's portrayal of Harley Quinn was definitely a highlight. In 2020, she'll shed all of the dead weight from that flick for Birds of Prey… or, officially, Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn).
As the full title suggests, Birds of Prey sees Robbie really run with the role of the psychotic villain, and the trailer points to a fun romp that sees her pull in a cadre of other women for violent shenanigans. It'll also set things up for 2021 sequel, The Suicide Squad, which should benefit greatly from the involvement of writer/director James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy).
Parasite (7 February )
Bong Joon-Ho's black comedy has already picked up the Palme d'Or and more recently the Best Foreign Language Film gong at the Golden Globes, and more awards could well be on the way.
Parasite follows an all but penniless South Korean family who intend to scam their wealthy neighbours by pretending to be people they're not, and the film has been lauded as a razor sharp and relentlessly entertaining social satire.
Sonic the Hedgehog (14 February)
Are we honestly, legitimately looking forward to a video game movie? Yes, we are – and that realization is all the more shocking considering the quality of the original Sonic the Hedgehog trailer. Overwhelming backlash to the hyper-realistic Sonic design sent Paramount Pictures back to the drawing board.
Thank goodness for that. As the trailer above shows, Sonic has been reborn in a more authentic-looking rendition, and we see a lot more of the personality and fun of the flick in this glimpse. Sonic the Hedgehog actually looks hilarious and on-point.
Onward (6 March)
After a recent heavy slate of sequels, Pixar is pivoting back towards original flicks – and Onward is the first of several over the next few years. And from the looks of it, Onward seems to find the balance of heart and humour that Pixar is so adept at hitting.
Onward spotlights a fantasy world in which magic is giving way to practical solutions and science. However, elf brothers Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) are gifted a magic staff for their late father, and they use it to summon him back to life… but only his legs appear. They'll have just 24 hours to find the rest of him. Can they do it?
A Quiet Place 2 (20 March)
The original A Quiet Place was a great example of a brilliant horror premise perfectly executed, so trying to pull it off again in a sequel was always going to be risky.
That said, we've got faith in writer/director John Krasinski, and with his character (spoilers incoming) now out of the picture, it's all on Evelyn (Emily Blunt) to protect her kids from the particularly terrifying noise-hating extra-terrestrials. We've heard little in the way of plot details, but it's fair to assume that things aren't going to get any easier for the remaining Abbotts.
Mulan (27 March)
Disney's recent slate of live-action remakes of its animation classics have been pretty hit-or-miss, with The Lion King dinged for being a lifeless shot-by-shot recreation (but still making crazy money), while Aladdin just couldn't live up to the original.
Mulan could be different, however, diverging from the animated original to better suit the live-action setting and looking suitably epic as a result. Also, with Mulan not quite as widely revered as some of Disney's other remake targets, there could be less griping about the comparison to the source material. Maybe.
No Time to Die (2 April)
Bond is back in what is presumed to be Daniel Craig's final appearance as the legendary super-spy, and No Time to Die looks to be a rousing adventure. It sees him back in action after a few years away from active service, and clearly the world's villains haven't been quiet in the meantime.
Rami Malek stars as the new main foe Safin, complete with an eerie mask, while Christoph Waltz is back (perhaps briefly) as Blofeld. Lashana Lynch plays newcomer Nomi, a 00 agent who has emerged in 007's absence, while Knives Out's Ana de Armas also plays a key role. Craig's had a couple of brilliant entries – if this truly is his last, hopefully he goes out with a bang.
Black Widow (1 May)
The timing is a bit awkward, given the events of Avengers Endgame and the fact that the solo flick was only made after years of disappointed fan prodding – but even so, we're pretty excited to see Scarlett Johansson return in Black Widow.
She may not be super-powered and her Avengers pals might be out of sight, but as this first trailer shows, Black Widow looks to be packed with killer action akin to that of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, plus a hearty dose of backstory given the narrative timing (it's set between Captain America: Civil War and before Avengers: Infinity War).
Wonder Woman 1984 (5 June)
The best film in the current DC Extended Universe will get a sequel in 2020, as Wonder Woman 1984 leaps forward a few decades for a neon-bedazzled, '80s adventure. We get why she (Gal Gadot) looks as flawless as ever, given her goddess blood, but how does human Capt. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) still look the same as before? Suspense! Surprises!
Wonder Woman 1984 looks even slicker than the original, with some badass sequences in this first trailer and the same balance of humour as before. We have a lot of faith that this will be another winner, especially with other DC flicks getting better of late.
Top Gun: Maverick (17 June)
Retro sequel fever will apparently continue unabated in 2020, as Tom Cruise suits up again to take flight in Top Gun: Maverick. After 34 years, he's still living up to his name.
As you might expect, the new Top Gun looks to bridge the generations with Maverick serving as a flight instructor to a new group of trainees – while still apparently causing trouble, given that he's barely moved up the ranks in three decades of service. Will cool flight stunts and Tom Cruise's natural charm carry this late sequel?
Soul (19 June)
Pixar's other original film for 2020 takes on a decidedly different tone. Soul follows the life of jazz musician and teacher Joe Gardner, who… well, he falls into a hole in the street. And then his soul leaves his body.
Is he dead? Apparently not – but Soul quickly takes an Inside Out-esque turn as his cartoonish-looking soul interacts with others at a "You Seminar" where they learn passions before being born into a newborn child. It's sure to be brain-racking and deeply existential, and will undoubtedly make you sob. Bring tissues.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife (10 July)
The (rather funny) 2016 Ghostbusters reboot has apparently been wiped from franchise existence, and in its place comes Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a new entry that takes place three decades after the original '80s films.
Hailing from Jason Reitman, son of original film director Ivan Reitman, the film itself follows the similar generational handoff of sorts. It features a couple of teenagers who move into a spooky old farmhouse that belonged to their grandfather… apparently original Ghostbuster Egon Spengler. The first trailer is a total nostalgia bomb, albeit with more of a Stranger Things-esque vibe this time around – and not just because of young star Finn Wolfhard.