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The 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

We’re not here to tell you how to live your life in 2020, but if you’d like to see more good movies, we think we can help.
Most Anticipated
By  · Published on January 15th, 2020

News of the World (TBA)

A Western road picture starring Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greengrass. Done. You’re there. Set in the aftermath of the Civil War, Hanks plays a veteran who makes his money by reading the daily news to illiterate crowds. He’s a born performer, but always in need of another buck. For a $50 gold piece, he agrees to shepherd an orphan girl 400 miles from Wichita Falls to San Antonia, so that she may be reunited with her Aunt and Uncle. The child wants none of it. She’s been recently liberated from her “adoptive” Kiowa parents by the U.S. Army and has forgotten the English language. At every opportunity, she attempts to flee the Veteran’s care, but he’ll be damned if he has to return the money. News of the World offers Hanks the chance to play a crotchety bastard beating with a reluctant heart of gold. The kind of gig Jimmy Stewart would have excelled within. (Brad Gullickson)

Next Goal Wins (TBA)

Sports comedies tend to make for some enjoyable, lighthearted, feel-good comfort food. The concept is simple: a coach turns a group of lovable underdogs into winners, and even if they don’t quite reach their goal at the end of the day, they give it their best shot all the same. That’s the premise of Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, which sees Michael Fassbender play a soccer coach who’s tasked with getting the worst team in the world to the FIFA World Cup. Waititi’s forte is telling funny stories about outcasts and underdogs, so a movie like this is very much in his wheelhouse. At the same time, his sense of humor is quirkier and more out there than most filmmakers working today, so Next Goal Wins is bound to have a distinct personality compared to other films of a similar ilk. (Kieran Fisher)

On the Rocks (TBA)

Sofia Coppola’s next picture reunites her with longtime collaborator Bill Murray, who she first struck gold with on 2001’s Lost in Translation. Here, Rashida Jones stars alongside Murray as a young mother who reconnects with her estranged, womanizing father on an adventure across New York City. It’s a welcome opportunity for Jones to show off her severely underused leading lady chops, and another chance for Murray to play a bumbling father figure. With a cast rounded out by Marlon Wayans, Jessica Henwick and Jenny Slate, and a relationship dynamic that Coppola last explored in 2010’s Somewhere (quite successfully, in my opinion!), On The Rocks is sure to be a rollicking illustration of contemporary family life. (Jenna Benchetrit)

The French Dispatch (TBA)

Should I detail what little we know about Wes Anderson’s next film? Or should I just list the cast? Hell, let’s do both. Okay, what do we know? It’s set in a fictional French city in the 20th century and it revolves around an American newspaper outpost. It is not a musical, as once rumored. Several online synopses, assumedly originating from the film’s marketing team, call it a “love letter to journalists.” But who might those journalists and/or newspaper folk be? The players: Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Elisabeth Moss, Kate Winslet, Frances McDormand, Willem Dafoe, Benicio Del Toro, Jason Schwartzman, Christoph Waltz, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright, Fisher Stevens, Lois Smith, Bob Balaban, Mathieu Amalric, Tony Revolori, and Henry Winkler. Wes Anderson always has unbelievably high profile casts, but he’s hit a new tier of A-list involvement with Dispatch. Anderson’s history and that starry lineup forecast a Cannes premiere, as per usual. (Luke Hicks)

The Old Guard (TBA)

The director of Love & Basketball takes on a group of immortal mercenaries led by Charlize Theron as they slaughter their way through the centuries. Hell to the yes. Based on the Image Comics series by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernández, The Old Guard is equal parts action mayhem, and woe-is-me tormented melodrama. What meaning does death hold to those who can never know it but happily dish it out on a daily basis? Oblivion either becomes senseless or your everything. If this hits as hard as I want it to, Netflix can crank a new one out every couple of years. Keep your Bright, give us The Old Guard on repeat. (Brad Gullickson)

Benedetta (TBA)

If the phrase “gay nun movie directed by Paul Verhoeven” doesn’t send you straight to paradise, I can’t hang with you. Based on the 1986 non-fiction book Immodest Acts, Benedetta is a bio-drama about a novice nun, the titular Benedetta Carlini (Virginie Efira), who experiences religious and erotic visions only to be imprisoned by the church after she has an affair with another woman. Also starring living legend Charlotte Rampling, Benedetta marks Verhoeven’s follow up to 2016’s triumphant comeback Elle, and it is expected that the film will be unleashed on the world at Cannes 2020. Paul Verhoeven is an outrageous man. And this is, by all accounts, an extremely outrageous movie. Like. Have ya’ll peep’d the poster? That’s what we’re in for. Buckle up. (Meg Shields)

Dune (TBA)

Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Javier Bardem, Charlotte Rampling. That’s the cast of 2020’s Dune. Is it getting HOT IN HERE?? Ok. So. Let’s be real. Who do you call when you have an “un-filmable” sci-fi property? Denis Villeneuve. Who, I might add, has vowed to make 2020 Dune “the Star Wars movie [he] never saw.” I don’t know what that means but I’m all in, baby! Villeneuve’s two-part (two-part!) remake of Frank Herbert’s wildly imaginative if inscrutable novel will arrive in cinemas like a comet and I hope it kills me. Are you tired of everyone and their sandworm scrutinizing the nitty-gritty details of Star Wars on twitter? Well, good news. Dune will be a totally original experience for the vast majority of folks because Dune’s lore is thicker than a bowl of oatmeal. And speaking of Star Wars, did I mention Hans Zimmer is doing the music? Because Hans Zimmer is doing the music. And listen, sure, cinematic Dune adaptations don’t have the best track record but here’s how I see it: even if 2020 Dune is a mess, it’ll be a spectacular mess. And sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered. So bring on the mystical resource war epic, I say! I can only get so excited! (Meg Shields)

False Positive (TBA)

Sometimes it’s a film’s premise, plot, or trailer that makes it an anticipated release, but other times? The attached talent is all it takes. We only know vague bits about this upcoming A24 horror film’s plot — something about artificial insemination — but we do know it stars Ilana Glazer, Justin Theroux, Pierce Brosnan, Gretchen Mol, and Josh Hamilton. Even better, it’s co-written by Glazer who showed a smart mind and sharp comedic talents as one half of Broad City’s creative force. Does that mean this is going to be a comedic horror? Maybe, but as Jordan Peele showed with Get Out (2017) it’s possible for funny people to deliver dark thrills without punchlines. (Rob Hunter)

True History of the Kelly Gang (TBA)

True History of the Kelly Gang is a flamboyant epic about Australia’s prettiest outlaw, Ned Kelly (a giddily petulant George MacKay). Directed by Justin Kurzel, True History of the Kelly Gang plays out like a homoerotic rock-opera (homoerock opera) fuelled by blind ambition and chipped shoulders. The film’s supporting cast boasts a bounty of riches, from Essie Davis as a tight jaw’d matriarch to Russell Crowe as a Falstaff-esque bounty hunter, to Charlie Hunnam as a devilish British sergeant, to Nicholas Hoult as a horny nudist cop. Kurzel’s elliptical narrative chronicles Kelly’s formative years as a punching bag for parents and authority figures alike, and his growth into a world-famous, ill-tempered criminal. The film spits in the face of conventional biopics, taking viewers on a wild ride through Kelly’s ascension into outback legend. Playing fast and loose with historical facts, this is a thundering film best experienced on the biggest screen in the loudest room you can find when it’s released stateside by IFC films in February. (Meg Shields and Anna Swanson)

Undine (TBA)

There are few, if any, directors who can rival Christian Petzold’s immensely successful past decade. He dropped three straight up masterpieces with Barbara, Phoenix, and last year’s Transit. The lead duo from the latter, Franz Rogowski and Paula Beer, are re-teaming with the German master for Undine. The film will retell a story about the eponymous mythical water nymph with a modern twist. In Petzold’s version, Beer plays the folkloric figure as a woman in present-day Berlin who is scorned by an unfaithful boyfriend and who feels compelled to take revenge. Petzold has long since established his impeccable skill and his eye for weaving personal narratives into interrogations of German identity in the face of tumultuous political situations. With little else known about the film, we can only speculate on how Undine will put mythology in conversation with modern German experiences, but with Petzold at the helm, there’s no doubt the result will be anything less than brilliant. (Anna Swanson)

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