50 Movies We Can’t Wait to See in 2020

Wonder Woman's in the '80s, the Ghostbusters are in Oklahoma, and Nolan's starting WW3

50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    New year, new decade, new films, right? Sure. Every January, another calendar of movies gets slapped down, and we all sit there and decide what we think’s worth seeing in theaters, what’s worth saving for later, and what’s worth skipping altogether.

    It’s all very cyclical, especially nowadays in the age of commodification. Once more, there will be blockbusters, there will be sequels, there will be comic book movies, there will be remakes, there will be reboots, and there will be blood … in more horror movies.

    Beyond that, you’ll have some indie darlings trying to hit the mainstream, last year’s veteran filmmakers will tap in this year’s veteran filmmakers, and the dance continues. You could almost plug and play each and every one of them, come to think about it.


    Even so, we’re particularly jazzed about this year’s rotation: We’re getting some aquatic horror early on. Paul Thomas Anderson is going back to the ’70s. Christopher Nolan returns to melt our minds. Damon and Affleck are reuniting. Hell, Wonder Woman’s in the ’80s.

    Where you will be? Find out below.

    –Michael Roffman


    50 Anticipated Movies

    Underwater (20th Century Fox)

    Release Date: January 10th

    Kristen Stewart leads the cast in this deep-sea horror adventure, which sees an earthquake decimate a research station at the bottom of the ocean. The crew of aquatic researchers must get to safety, but their harrowing journey is made even more dangerous by the arrival of a deadly creature. Aquatic horror tends to bring bonkers levels of fun and entertainment. Still, we’re even more excited to see what would entice Stewart, who’s become a master of selecting fascinating roles, to this particular project. Either way, Stewart versus deep-sea creature sounds like a win, possibly in the same vein of Alien. (It is, according to our own Joe Lipsett.) –Meagan Navarro

    Bad Boys for Life

    50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Bad Boys for Life (Sony Pictures)


    Release Date: January 17th

    After a staggering 18 years in development hell, we’re finally getting another Bad Boys sequel. Now in their 50s, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return to the streets of Miami as Detectives Michael “Mike” Lowrey and Marcus Burnett. This time, however, they’re without Michael Bay. Instead, they’re under the direction of Belgian filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, who are best known in the States for helming two episodes of FX’s Snowfall. Admittedly, that’s a little concerning, as is the film’s not-so-summer release, but hey, we could all use a little South Beach R&R around this time of the year. –Michael Roffman

    The Turning

    Finn Wolfhard in The Turning (Universal)

    The Turning (Universal)

    Release Date: January 24th

    Henry James’ Gothic story The Turn of the Screw has long been fodder for the most intriguing works of cinematic horror — take Jack Clayton’s The Innocents for instance, or 2001’s The Others. But Runaways writer-director Floria Sigismondi comes to us with a slinky, modern-day adaptation starring Mackenzie Davis as a beleaguered nanny beset by dark forces in a spooky old house and two even spookier charges (Finn Wolfhard and The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince). January releases for horror are never a good sign, but the game cast and stylish visuals give us hope that this will be a step above the rest. –Clint Worthington

    Gretel and Hansel

    Gretel and Hansel Trailer

    Gretel and Hansel (United Artists)


    Release Date: January 31st

    Look, no matter how you spin it, Hansel and Gretel is terrifying. Witches eating kids? C’mon. So, you can only imagine what filmmaker Oz Perkins might do with his literal spin on the infamous Brothers Grimm tale. Based on its cloudy first trailer, Gretel and Hansel looks downright unnerving in the ways we love prestige horror. Sophia Lillis, fresh off of equally nail-biting turns in It: Chapter One and Sharp Objects, plays little Gretel, and while she’s out of the sewer, these woods don’t look so pleasant, either. That shot of the witch in the distance? Much scarier than Pennywise the Dancing Clown. –Michael Roffman

    Birds of Prey

    Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.)

    Release Date: February 7th

    Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn proved to be one of the few pieces of 2016’s Suicide Squad that actually worked. So, rolling with a spinoff that puts Robbie at center stage, free from that production’s unfortunate baggage (read: Jared Leto) makes perfect sense. And linking her up with an all-female team of heroes, while also giving women both the camera and the pen, makes Birds of Prey look even better. With a superheroic Thelma & Louise vibe and a titular theme of emancipation, this film promises to be far more distinctive and engaging than the one that spawned it. –Andrew Bloom

    The Lodge


    Riley Keough in The Lodge

    The Lodge (Neon)

    Release Date: February 7th

    Those searching for some bleak winter horror should seek refuge in The Lodge. One of our favorite selections from last year’s Cinepocalypse Festival, this icy thriller follows a fractured family in a remote cabin amidst a brutal holiday storm. What’s under the Christmas tree? Dread! As they’re wont to do, Goodnight Mommy directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala relish every opportunity to send their characters further into a downward spiral, and Riley Keough burns brighter the deeper she goes. It’s claustrophobic, it’s often cruel, but it’s always riveting. Don’t sleep on this one. –Michael Roffman

    The King’s Man

    50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    The King’s Man (20th Century Fox)

    Release Date: February 14th

    Your mileage may vary with the Kingsman franchise — they’re either sly, hyper-stylish James Bond riffs or empty exercises in effects-heavy style with a heaping helping of too-edgy humor. But if your favorite part of the series was its lore, Matthew Vaughn’s got a WWI-set prequel for you, charting the origins of the titular spy agency through the eyes of the Duke of Oxford (Ralph Fiennes) and his protege Conrad (Harris Dickinson) as they work to stop a global threat. Who knows? Maybe going full 1917 is the shot in the arm this franchise needs. –Clint Worthington

    Fantasy Island


    50 Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Fantasy Island (Blumhouse)

    Release Date: February 14th

    In 2018, Lucy Hale made for one of the few bright spots in the otherwise drab, toothless Truth or Dare. We’re guessing both she and the audience will fare better with Blumhouse’s latest: Fantasy Island, a Jeff Wadlow-directed horror adaptation of the 1978 TV show of the same name. Hale joins a pretty sold cast, which includes Maggie Q, Michael Rooker, Michael Peña, and Ryan Hansen in full Ryan Hansen mode. Add in a lively trailer (with a top-tier Ariana Grande needle-drop deployment) and we’re not-so-cautiously optimistic.—-Allison Shoemaker

    Sonic the Hedgehog

    50 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

    Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount Pictures)


    Release Date: February 14th

    The teeth, they hurt my eyes. When the first trailer dropped for Jeff Fowler’s film adaption of beloved video game character, Sonic the Hedgehog, more than the inclusion of a zany Jim Carrey, all anyone could focus on was the hedgehog’s teeth. Paramount Pictures shelved the film so the VFX team could undo their initial nightmare fuel, and the character’s design is much improved. The only question remaining is whether this live-action take will be a monumental success in perseverance or a complete disaster. In any case, Sonic the Hedgehog shouldn’t be boring. –Robert Daniels


    VFW Movie Review

    VFW (Fangoria Studios)

    Release Date: February 14th

    VFW turned a whole lotta heads last year at Austin’s Fantastic Fest. Our own critic Mike Vanderbilt called it a “barroom classic” and went on to praise director Joe Begos as a “trash cinema auteur” in his glowing review. That’s some hype, alright, and totally warranted. On paper, the whole thing reads like a John Carpenter movie — a bunch of grizzly vets must defend their VFW against a relentless army of punk mutants — and sports a cast straight outta your favorite horror-con: William Sadler, Stephen Lang, George Wendt, David Patrick Kelly, and Martin Kove. Midnight, here we come. –Michael Roffman