As the new year gets rolling, so too, does the new crop of movies for us to drop hundreds of dollars on.  Personally, last year was very busy.  I managed to see 28 movies with 8 showing in November alone.  This year I have already noticed a few things.  My list of must-see movies right now sits at a measly 19 movies.  While I know a few more will be added when trailers drop, that still sits pretty low.  Here are my 10 most anticipated movies of 2020.

Honorable Mention

Is New Mutants finally being released?  After all these years and squabbles and date shifts and restarts is this film finally going to hit screens for public consumption!?  The suspense and Maisie Williams alone are reason enough to go see this film.  They describe it as the last of the Fox X-Men movies and that it will be a horror style film.

Most Anticipated of 2020 #10 – Black Widow

Black Widow Returns
She is Back

I love Scarlett Johansson and the job she has done with Natasha Romanoff, but to me, this movie is too little too late.  It’ll probably still be good, but the excitement for it is not what it would be had they dropped this in the proper order of the timeline.  I hope this movie exceeds my expectations, but it just does not seem relevant anymore unless they find a way to weave it into the Infinity War/Endgame events.

#9 – Jungle Cruise

Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson
Ride Laughs to Life

Dwayne Johnson.  Does one really need to say more than that to make a movie worth watching?  He single handedly carried the horrible project Rampage, but this time he has an ace in the hole.  This fun theme park romp, co-stars proven action starlet Emily Blunt.  After watching her in Edge of Tomorrow, she proved she can hold her own on-screen. The action should be great; as well as the screen chemistry between Johnson and Blunt.  This one screams “fun and hilarious popcorn flick” for the summer.

#8 – Godzilla Vs Kong

Kong meets Godzilla
Two Titans Collide

This movie has a nice returning cast with Millie Bobbie Brown and Alex Skarsgard leading the way, but who cares. This movie will draw only for the brawn and power of Godzilla vs the agility and wit of Kong. The first movie in this franchise had so many humans and not enough monsters.  The second one had horrible humans and not much more of the monsters.  Let us hope this movie can find the right balance. All people will want will be the epic fight between the two titans. Let us hope the fight is as good as we hope it is.

Most Anticipated Movies of 2020 #7 – Dune

Cast of Dune
Cast of Dune

This is one of two films in my top 10 that really freaks me out.  First off, this is Dune.  The book is a sci-fi masterpiece and a classic.  Secondly, we have the 1984 version that some love as a cult classic, while others detest it as a horridly out of control and overly lengthy catastrophic version of said classic book.  This one really comes down to the director’s vision (Denis Villeneuve).  Blade Runner 2049 got away from him and was way too long.  Arrival and Sicario were solid, but his track record is either on point or needing a lot more work.  If I were to pick one film to skip because trailers and early reviews looked terrible, this would be my lead candidate right now.  This could end up a masterpiece or a total pile of garbage.  Too early to tell.

#6 – Raya and the Last Dragon

Raya and the last Dragon
concept art from Raya

What do we know about this movie? Absolutely NOTHING!  The Disney title floats in the void of the mega hit movie that doesn’t exist this year, but that is all we know.  Disney hasn’t released pics, trailers or anything in regard to this movie, not even a synopsis.  Consider this: Disney, December, and dragons.  Add those together and you should have something spectacular to see.

Most Anticipated Movies of 2020 #5 – Free Guy

Ryan Reynolds
What a PC World

When I first saw this trailer on the big screen, I had never seen it before and had no idea what it was.  It looked like the stupidest, most contrived piece of Ready Player One wannabe trash I’d ever seen.  Oh, Ryan Reynolds stars in this.  Now it makes sense – well, sorta.  Everything I thought about Shazam being so bad and cliched it would be hilarious; I know transfer to this movie.  It looks so stupid and overdone; I would not be surprised if it were the comedy hit of the year.  It looks terrible, but starring Reynolds how can it not be gold?

#4 – Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984
Wonder Woman 1984

This is the second movie that scares me other than Dune.  The first Wonder Woman turned into a classic hero film. Gal Gadot’s questionable casting was also gold behind the direction of Patty Jenkins.  The two return, but now it is 40 years later in the most iconic decade ever – the 80’s!  The 80’s theme, while awesome, is nearing a saturation point as most every show loves to use the 80’s as their period time piece. We only have the one trailer so far, but because of the 80’s style, it looks too bright and campy.  Can Jenkins and Gadot catch lighting in a bottle twice?  Either way we now know she can swing from the lighting.  I hope the 80’s version lives up to the 40’s version.

#3 – Ghostbusters: Afterlife

ecto-1 with new owners
The Return of Ecto-1

After a pitiful and failed attempt to relaunch the franchise under a PC all female cast, it looks like fans will finally get the sequel they want and deserve.  The first trailer gives us a dark and spooky film while promising us the fun and action of the original.  This film will play homage to what came before while telling a brand-new story. Given all the implications on why the new family is at the farm to begin with suggest there will be a lot of story to tell this time.

#2 – Mulan

Honor to Us All

Could this finally be the one?  Could this be the live action movie from Disney that finally goes above and beyond not only its predecessors but the original cartoon version that inspired it?  For many years and many adaptations many wondered when we would get a live action movie of quality and that was not a ver batim copy of the cartoon versions.  Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Lion King; All did well at the box office, but they also sported all-star casts that were confined to boxes. 

The few movies that did create their own story have had much smaller box office numbers (Maleficent).  Only Cinderella took an original road and was praised for it.  In the trailers for Mulan we foresee a story that will follow the original movie yet create its own world and breathe a new life into the wonderful story that came before. Mushu may be missing, but does this new Phoenix take his place?  The songs of the cartoon are supposed to be absent, yet the trailers were haunted with the beauty of the “Reflection” theme song.  This movie promises to be one of the greatest movies of the year if it can follow through what the trailers foreshadow.

Most Anticipated Movies of 2020 #1 – Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise
The Real Deal

Hollywood is often criticized for the number of remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels and other unoriginal movies it churns out every year.  Some fans feel their movies should not be touched.  Ghostbusters becomes a good example of a failed reboot and a possible promising restart.  I did not think we needed a Top Gun sequel…. then I saw the trailers! Damn, if this does not look to be the greatest fighter aircraft movie ever made.  Cruise brings his usual charm and charisma in the form of Maverick.  After 30 years a promising career that should have reached 2-star Admiral by now still sits at Captain, according to the latest trailer. 

The hulking presence of the F-14 Tomcats have transformed into the smaller, sleeker F-18 Hornets.  The choreography looks amazing and knowing the actors faces are being distorted by actual G-forces during actual flight promises top notch action scenes.  If you have one chance to see a film in Imax and possibly 3D Imax, make this the one!

Most Anticipated Movies of 2020: Closing Thoughts

2020 feels like it will be a down year. While there are plenty of good films, my must see list for 2019 reached 28 films. Although more will be added throughout the year as trailers come out, 2020 sits at a mere 19 films. Two other factors back up this thought. March/April seems to be filling up with blockbusters the past few years. November also transformed into a hot month in 2019. For 2020 only a couple major titles release those months. Take a look at December. There are a few kids movies and Dune. Those titles will NOT match Star Wars. The months overall feel very light and spread out.

The other thing I noticed were the lack of tent pole titles in 2020. Take a look and you will find no Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Avatar (kicks of 2021). While Marvel boasts a heavy slate of movies, none warrant the type of box office the Avengers draw. Subtract Avengers and Star Wars alone and 2020 will start in a very large hole.