(These films are in order of release date.)
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (Dir. Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross) January 24, 2020
A documentary that takes a look at the final moments of a Las Vegas dive bar called “The Roaring 20s” as well as the lives of the patrons and employees. The Ross Brothers are the minds behind some of the most interesting documentaries I have ever seen including Contemporary Color and 45365. I am very interested to see this film and explore this community that they are choosing to shine a light on.
Birds of Prey (Dir. Cathy Yan) February 7, 2020
Widely regarded as the best part of 2016’s Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie reprises her role as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. The film is directed by Cathy Yan, who only has one feature film credit to her name. With a supporting cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell I’m really just hoping for a fun time with this film. I’m remaining cautiously optimistic though, because I haven’t been blown away by any of the trailers thus far.
Downhill (Dir. Nat Faxon, Jim Rash) February 14, 2020
My anticipation for this movie comes mainly from two places. 1) The writing/directing team. This film is written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, writers of 2011’s critically acclaimed film The Descendants. They also wrote and directed The Way Way Back from 2013 which is one of my favorite films of the past decade. And 2) The combination of Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the leading roles. When I see that much talent attached to the movie I can’t help but look forward to it. The trailer markets the film as a much more serious film than we’re used to seeing from Ferrell, with Faxon and Rash at the helm I’m expecting a tone similar to The Way Way Back.
Onward (Dir. Dan Scanlon) March 6, 2020
Onward is the first of two Pixar films set to be released in 2020. Familiar faces in the Marvel Universe, Chris Pratt and Tom Holland voice two teenage brothers in the film. The story follows these brothers on a quest to bring back their late father. I’m not sure how this film will turn out but the name Pixar still gets my attention. I’m happy to see them releasing two original stories this year after a few years of the studio mainly focusing on sequels of some of their beloved properties.
The Climb (Dir. Michael Angelo Covino) March 20, 2020
This independent comedy is directed by Michael Angelo Covino, who co-wrote the film with Kyle Marvin, and together the two men star in it. I’ve read that this film examines male friendship and covers “alcoholic binges, downward spirals, sudden deaths, shitty ski trips, and a lot of bad behavior.” I’m in on that description alone. I’m looking forward to this smaller film hopefully being a hidden gem in 2020.
No Time To Die (Dir. Cary Fukunaga) April 10, 2020
With Fukunaga behind the camera, and names like Phoebe-Waller Bridge attached to the script, I’m optimistic that Daniel Craig’s last portrayal of Bond will be a memorable one. Spectre remains possibly my least favorite of the Craig-led Bond films so I’m hoping for a bounce back with No Time To Die. Hopefully newcomers to the franchise, Ana De Armas and Rami Malek, can add some energy to the 25th Bond film.
Black Widow (Dir. Cate Shortland) May 1, 2020
This film is supposedly set between the events of Civil War and Infinity War. Besides that, there are not many details on the plot and I’ve been trying to stay away from as much information as I can. The film is directed by Cate Shortland and co-stars the recent Oscar nominee Florence Pugh, as well as Stranger Things star David Harbour, among others. I’m hoping Black Widow takes us back to an earlier Iron Man-esque style of Marvel film that centers on one character and one story and is less focused on building the rest of the universe.
Greyhound (Dir. Aaron Schneider) May 8, 2020
Greyhound is a film set during World War II written by, and starring Tom Hanks. The film supposedly focuses on a U.S. Navy skipper leading an Allied convoy that is being stalked by Nazi U-boats. The film is directed by Aaron Schneider who has not directed a film since 2010’s critically well-received movie Get Low. With Schneider at the helm and Hanks playing such a large part in the process of creating the film, I am at least intrigued to see how it turns out. There are some less than positive signs though. Most notably, this film was supposed to be released in March of 2019 but was pushed back a full year to 2020.
Wonder Woman 1984 (Dir. Patty Jenkins) June 5, 2020
2017’s Wonder Woman was one of the DCEU’s few critical and commercial successes. The film garnered a lot of positive reviews from critics and remains possibly the best film DC has made since the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. So of course the sequel was going to make my list, and with Patty Jenkins returning to direct there is cause for optimism for the sequel. Plot details for this film are hard to come by and I’m interested to see how they navigate the revival of Chris Pine’s character, but ultimately I’m hopeful this film can live up to the success of its predecessor.
King of Staten Island (Dir. Judd Apatow) June 19, 2020
King of Staten Island is Judd Apatow’s new film starring Pete Davidson that takes a semi-autobiographical look at Davidson’s life growing up in Staten Island, including losing his father in 9/11 and starting stand up comedy. The film was written by Davidson and Apatow, along with Dave Sirius. One of the more admirable parts of Apatow’s career has been his willingness to collaborate with younger comedians to help them get their stories told. Examples include him producing Kumail Nanjiani’s film The Big Sick, directing Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, or helping to co-create Pete Holmes’ HBO series Crashing. Hopefully King of Staten Island can find some of the same success that those projects found.
Soul (Dir. Pete Docter, Kemp Powers) June 19, 2020
Pixar’s second offering of the year looks like the more interesting one to me personally. According to IMDb, the plot synopsis of this film is, “A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.” That is the most Pixar sounding movie ever and I’m here for it. Pete Docter who had a part in directing Up, Monsters Inc., and Inside Out is a co-director on this film as well. I expect Soul to be one of the most commercially successful films of the summer.
Top Gun: Maverick (Dir. Joseph Kosinski) June 26, 2020
Tom Cruise returns to the role of Maverick for this Top Gun sequel being released 34 years after the original. We’ve seen several times that sequels that come out many years after the original tend to struggle to recapture the elements that made the originals so beloved. However, with films like the Mission Impossible series and Edge of Tomorrow from the past decade, we’ve seen that Tom Cruise is still one of our top movie stars and very capable of carrying a film. I’m hopeful for this sequel to the 1980’s classics but am still holding on to some of my worries.
Free Guy (Dir. Shawn Levy) July 3, 2020
Free Guy is one of the more interesting concepts among the summer blockbusters set to be released in 2020. Ryan Reynolds plays a “bank teller” who discoveries that he’s actually a non-playable character inside a video game world. Honestly, I can see this movie being enjoyable and I can also see it being a complete disaster. I have faith in Reynolds who usually delivers at least an entertaining performance in roles like this though. Free Guy is directed by Shawn Levy, who has a background in directing comedy films and is perhaps most known for his work on the Night at the Museum films. Good or bad, I’m interested to see how this movie turns out.
Tenet (Dir. Christopher Nolan) July 17, 2020
July 2019 also brings us the latest film from acclaimed director Christopher Nolan. Nolan is coming off of what some could argue is the best work of his career in 2017’s Dunkirk. We still don’t know much about the plot of Tenet. A trailer was released in December which did not tell us much except that it seems time travel is going to play a pivotal role in this action-thriller. With names like Nolan, Robert Pattinson, and John David Washington attached, there was no way this film wasn’t going to appear somewhere on this list. I have a relationship with many of Nolan’s films and am looking forward to seeing what he can do here.
Bob’s Burgers: The Movie (Prod. Loren Bouchard) July 17, 2020
A personal addition to the list because I am a big fan of this show. I’m excited to see what they do in movie form. There are little to no plot details on this film available online so we’re most likely going to have to wait until a trailer drops. The creative team behind the show is also working on this film though so that gives me reason to be hopeful.
Morbius (Dir. Daniel Espinosa) July 31, 2020
Morbius is Sony’s new film starring Jared Leto that supposedly has ties to the Tom Holland Spider-Man films. The trailer presents a much darker tone for this film compared to the Holland-led films though. The story centers on biochemist Michael Morbius whose attempts to cure himself of a rare blood disease inadvertently infect him with a form of vampirism instead. Morbius should be one of the more interesting, and most talked about releases of the summer.
The King’s Man (Dir. Matthew Vaughn) September 18. 2020
I really enjoyed the first Kingsman movie in 2014. I felt the 2017 sequel did not capture the same magic as the original but I’m still anticipating this World War I era prequel set to be released in September. Matthew Vaughn is returning to direct and Ralph Fiennes is starring. Hopefully, The King’s Man can find some of the same fun and energy the first film in the series had.
The Many Saints of Newark (Dir. Alan Taylor) September 25, 2020
For those unaware, The Many Saints of Newark, is a prequel to The Sopranos. The film follows Tony’s father in the late sixties and early seventies. I’m really rooting for this movie. There are reasons to be hopeful with series creator David Chase co-writing the script, and longtime series director Alan Taylor directing. The cast is also outstanding, it includes Jon Berenthal, Vera Farmiga, Ray Liotta, Corey Stoll, and Leslie Odom Jr. among others. There is also a very special role in the cast, with Michael Gandolfini playing the role of Tony, the character his late father immortalized.
Stillwater (Dir. Tom McCarthy) November 6, 2020
As we get to some of the films set to be released in the later months of 2020, there is less information available. What I do know about this film though, is that it stars Matt Damon and is directed by Tom McCarthy who has not directed a film since 2015’s critical success Spotlight and that’s enough for me to add it do this list. This film is described as a thriller and appears to star Abigail Breslin as Damon’s daughter. I’m interested to see what this group of talented people can bring to the screen.
Eternals (Dir. Chloé Zhao) November 6, 2020
Eternals is one of the two offerings from Marvel Studios, along with Black Widow, set to be released in 2020. The conversation surrounding this film reminds me of the build up to the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Mainly because it is centered on a team of superheroes that is not very well known to the public. Eternals is boasting an all-star cast though to ensure that people will come out to the theaters to see it. The cast includes Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kit Harrington, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, and Bryan Tyree Henry. Being that it’s made up of unknown characters, Eternals is Marvel’s first big risk in the post Avengers: Endgame era and I’m curious to see how it works out.
Deep Water (Dir. Adrian Lyne) November 13, 2020
Deep Water is a thriller starring Ben Affleck, and Ana De Armas. It tells the story of a husband, who allows his wife to have affairs in order to avoid a divorce, but then ends up as the prime suspect in the disappearance of her lovers. It sounds like a gripping thriller led by two impressive stars so I’m looking forward to it.
Dune (Dir. Denis Villeneuve) December 18, 2020
Coming off of his most recent work on Blade Runner 2049, acclaimed director Dennis Villeneuve now takes on Frank Hebert’s award winning science fiction novel. This film will absolutely be one of the most talked about of 2020 and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. The film also has one of the best casts of the year, which includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Stellen Skarsgård, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Dave Bautista.
Coming 2 America (Dir. Craig Brewer) December 18, 2020
Similar to Top Gun: Maverick there are always going to be some worries when you have a sequel that comes out many years after a beloved film. A few things are giving me hope for Coming 2 America though. The first is Craig Brewer, I just think he’s a really talented director and a great person for this job. The second reason is the film Brewer and Eddie Murphy just released this past year, Dolemite Is My Name. More specifically, Murphy’s performance in that movie gives me hope. It was encouraging to see that he is still capable of giving a great performance like that.
(We’re now moving on to films expected to be released in 2020 but without a specific release date yet)
The Souvenir: Part II (Dir. Joanna Hogg) TBD
One of the best films of 2019 that I was surprised to learn is receiving a sequel. That being said, I was glad to learn that Joanna Hogg is still writing and directing and much of the case from the first film is returning. I’m interested to see what they explore in the second film.
The Last Duel (Dir. Ridley Scott) TBD
This film has Ridley Scott directing, Adam Driver starring, and is the first film written together by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon since Good Will Hunting. I feel like that’s all I really need to say about it for why I put it on this list. The film is based on a novel by Eric Jager of the same name. But really, this film could be about anything and it would still make this list because of the names I mentioned who played a part in its creation.
The French Dispatch (Dir. Wes Anderson) TBD
Honestly, maybe my most anticipated movie of the whole year is a film I know virtually nothing about. But, I know it’s directed by one of my favorite directors of all time Wes Anderson, and has a cast that includes two people I’ve called the most important actors of their generation, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet. I don’t know how big of a role they each play but the rest of the cast is stellar as well, with Elisabeth Moss, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Christoph Waltz, Tilda Swinton, Benecio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, and Owen Wilson all slated to make appearances.
On The Rocks (Dir. Sofia Coppola) TBD
On The Rocks marks a reuniting between Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray. I’m excited for that and the rest of the cast of this, hopefully satisfying, comedy. The film is apparently centered on a young mother who reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York. There is good comedic talent in the cast and an acclaimed director behind the camera so this had to make the list.
Blonde (Dir. Andrew Dominik) TBD
2020 is setting up to be a potentially huge year for Ana De Armas as this is her third film to make my list. Blonde is directed by Andrew Dominik and tells a fictionalized story about the life of Marilyn Monroe. If done well, this biopic could very well be in a lot of award talks at the end of the year.
Mank (Dir. David Fincher) TBD
Another strong contender for my most anticipated of the year. Mank is directed by the legendary David Fincher, and tells the story of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s and his battles with iconic director Orson Welles over screenplay credit for the 1941 film Citizen Kane. This story with Fincher at the helm, and Gary Oldman starring seems like a can’t-miss movie and I’m ready for it.
Da 5 Bloods (Dir. Spike Lee) TBD
The 30th and final film on this list is the latest offering from director Spike Lee. The film focuses on a group of Vietnam war veterans who return to the jungle to find their lost innocence. Like with many of these films that we don’t know too much about yet it is the director and cast that has peaked my interest. Da 5 Bloods stars Giancarlo Esposito, Paul Walter Hauser, and Chadwick Boseman among others.