The hottest new films coming to Australian cinemas in 2020.
Each year, cinema raises its game with Oscar-contenders, indie hits, and summer blockbusters taking to the screens. We’ve put together a little preview guide to what we reckon are some of the best and most interesting films of 2020 – but you’ll soon be able to make up your own mind as they arrive at a cinema near you.
1. Bad Boys for Life, January 16
It’s one last ride for the Bad Boys, as Will Smith and Martin Lawrence neatly sidestep a midlife crisis by taking on the vicious leader of a drug cartel. Just be thankful your dad took up golf instead…
2. Dolittle, January 16
Robert Downey Jr. kicks off his post-Iron Man career by talking to a veritable menagerie of animals, including a tiger named Barry, who’s voiced by Ralph Fiennes. Fun!
3. A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, January 23
It’s a case of lots more Mr. Nice Guy in this one, as Tom Hanks dons the red sweater of beloved TV icon Mr. Rogers for an uplifting couple of hours.
4. The Turning, January 26
A modern take on The Turn of the Screw with Mackenzie Davis and Finn Wolfhard, which looks all kind of twisty and terrifying.
5. Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, February 6
Margot Robbie was one of the standouts of the mostly forgettable Suicide Squad, and here she’s rewarded with a vehicle full of explosive set pieces and her own team of take-no-prisoners pals.
6. Sonic The Hedgehog, February 13
It’ll be forever known as the glow up of the decade after Sonic’s complete redesign, but now he’s looking (relatively) normal, there’s just the small matter of Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik to evade.
7. Fantasy Island, February 13
Ever had a holiday so good you never wanted to leave? That’s taken to twisted extremes in this horror adaptation, where island guests get to live out their fantasies – whatever the cost…
8. Emma, February 13
If the somewhat frantic trailer is anything to go by, this will be a Jane Austen adaptation with wry, modern sensibilities, featuring the likes of Anya Taylor-Joy and Bill Nighy.
9. The Rhythm Section, February 20
Blake Lively is on a globetrotting revenge mission, bringing down a tidal wave of wrath upon the people who murdered her family. Gossip Girl it most certainly ain’t.
10. The Lodge, February 20
It’s hard enough being a new stepmother to a couple of reticent kids, but when your past is determined to catch up with you in brutal, nerve-shredding fashion, it’s even more difficult…
11. The Call of the Wild, February 20
Jack London’s classic book gets a sweeping new adaptation, starring Harrison Ford as the grizzled loner who teams up with a lost dog for a grand exploration of the wild.
12. The Invisible Man, February 27
Horror villains are bad enough without them being invisible, haunting you from the shadows and seemingly beyond death. Spare a thought for poor Elisabeth Moss…
13. Downhill, March 5
A biting comedy based on a Swedish film, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell are the couple trying to rebuild their relationship after a dramatic avalanche on their ski holiday.
14. Bloodshot, March 12
I personally think Vin Diesel is imposing enough without giving him superpowers, but apparently not. Having been brought back to life, Ray Garrison AKA Bloodshot is on a path to revenge, but can he even trust himself?
15. Peter Rabbit 2, March 19
Timely launching when spring is in the air (at least for our northern hemisphere buddies) and Easter beckons, this kid-friendly sequel features the likes of Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleason, and James Corden.
16. A Quiet Place: Part II, March 19
Sound was the enemy in A Quiet Place, and now new threats are putting the Abbott family in mortal peril – and they aren’t the only ones in danger.
17. Trolls World Tour, March 26
Trolls was perhaps best known for launching Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling into every available ear, so understandably I’m not wild for a sequel. Still, it should be a nice family-friendly entry.
18. Mulan, March 26
Disney’s live-action remake machine continues apace; next up is a slightly grittier reimagining of Mulan which ditches Mushu but nonetheless offers plenty of action.
19. Onward, April 2
A sweet-looking animated adventure that searches for the magic in the world, where Chris Pratt and Tom Holland play elves trying to reconnect with their late father. With magic, naturally.
20. The Lovebirds, April 2
Romantic comedy meets murder mystery in this one, in which the only obstacle to a couple breaking up is the minor hiccup of being accused of murder.
21. No Time To Die, April 8
For one last time, Daniel Craig will take on world-altering threats, this time alongside long-awaited female 00 agent Lashana Lynch. Plus, a new theme song from the precocious Billie Eilish! Read more about it here.
22. The New Mutants, April 9
Maisie Williams pivots from the horrors of Westeros to the horrors of a secure psychiatric facility for mutants, in this horror spin-off of the X-Men universe.
23. Antlers, April 16
Well this is unsettling, isn’t it? The beautiful woods of Oregon are hiding a very dark secret, as haunting myths come tumbling into reality in a small town.
24. Black Widow, April 30
Marvel’s Natasha Romanoff gets her own spin-off tale, with Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour helping her resolve unfinished business. Is this when we finally learn what happened in Budapest?
25. Antebellum, May 7
Janelle Monáe is the author catapulted into a horrifying new reality, in a film which looks to have taken a leaf out of the Get Out playbook.
26. Scoob!, May 14
I originally had quite low hopes for this origin story, but then the trailer did make me laugh at several points, so I’m on board. Mark Wahlberg, Zac Efron, and Amanda Seyfried lend their voices to this animated adventure.
27. The Woman in the Window, May 14
Like Rear Window, but not Rear Window, this psychological thriller boasts a killer cast and a twisty, turning plot that’ll have you questioning your own reality.
28. Fast & Furious 9, May 21
The franchise that never runs out of petrol is dangerously close to double digits, and as long as you keep watchin’ them, they’ll keep makin’ them.
29. Artemis Fowl, May 28
An adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s much-loved book has been in the works for nearly two decades, so to say this is overdue is quite the understatement.
30. Wonder Woman 1984, June 4
80s nostalgia has never been more in vogue, with Gal Gadot’s fearless hero facing off against the rapacious greed of ambitious capitalist Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal).
31. Promising Young Woman, June 11
A delicious, riotous new take on the revenge thriller, Carey Mulligan is the promising young woman out for vengeance in this #MeToo influenced tale.
32. Candyman, June 11
Billed as a “spiritual sequel” to the horror classic, this film returns to the old neighborhood for another go around – but is the true horror just gentrification?
33. Soul, June 18
Speaking of spiritual sequels, this looks like a winning follow-up to Inside Out, telling the tale of a soul looking for its true purpose.
34. Minions: The Rise of Gru, June 18
I can’t be the only one who finds the Minions to be skull-crushingly irritating, can I? Well, nevertheless, here’s another film starring the little yellow nuisances.
35. In The Heights, June 25
Before there was Hamilton, there was In The Heights, the musical which first brought creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to wider attention. I defy you to watch the trailer and not hum along…
36. Top Gun: Maverick, June 25
Maverick is back in the air despite the best efforts of his superiors, with more limit-pushing flights and planes, I guess… Is it obvious I haven’t seen Top Gun?
37. Free Guy, July 2
Imagine the non-player characters of your favorite video games rising up and fighting back, add the trademark humor of Ryan Reynolds, and behold! You’ve got Free Guy, which also features Jodie Comer and Stranger Things’ Joe Keery.
38. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, July 2
This trailer would have dropped with very little fanfare, were it not for the fact that Keanu Reeves pitches up to play a ball of sage named Sage who dispenses wisdom to our heroes … sure.
39. Ghostbusters: Afterlife, July 2
Finn Wolfhard is everywhere right now, isn’t he? This time, he’s popping up in a sequel to the incomparable 80s film, for a rollicking adventure through a ghost-infested Midwest.
40. Tenet, July 16
Christoper Nolan is usually good for a twisty, mind-bending blockbuster, and his latest effort – encompassing the afterlife and time travel – looks to be no different.
41. Jungle Cruise, July 23
Given the runaway success of Pirates of the Caribbean way back when, I’m surprised more Disneyland rides haven’t been turned into films. Maybe this is the start of a trend?
42. Morbius, July 30
Jared Leto is the doctor who’s so desperate for a cure for his terminal disease that he accidentally winds up turning himself into a vampire. Not quite the cure he expected, was it?
43. Infinite, August 6
Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in a film that probes the consequences of what would happen if you could see your past lives.
44. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, September 3
The sequel to the quite alright The Hitman’s Bodyguard promises more of the same, which is kind of exactly what we want from an action-packed movie.
45. The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It, September 10
I hope you’re ready to have the living bejesus scared out of you once more because paranormal investigators Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are back on the trail of another supernatural being.
46. Last Night in Soho, September 17
As a fashion student, being able to step into 1960s Soho at will must be a blessing. But it quickly turns into a curse in this horror thriller, which also features 60s icon, Diana Rigg.
47. BIOS, October 1
Details about this one are thin on the ground, but from what I can tell it sounds like Wall-E with a robot dog – sounds like a winner, quite frankly.
48. Death on the Nile, October 1
Hercule Poirot doesn’t really get holidays, especially since his jaunt down the Nile has been interrupted by the murder of a young heiress.
49. The Witches, October 15
Roald Dahl’s book gets the big-screen treatment, with the likes of Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, and Octavia Spencer tasked with carrying the film.
50. Halloween Kills, October 15
Jamie Lee Curtis made a welcome return to the Halloween franchise back in 2018, and the slashing and hacking continues with another release this October.
51. Dune, November 19
Frank Herbert’s sprawling, complex novel is heading back to cinema screens nearly four decades after David Lynch committed it to film, with Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and Oscar Isaac amongst the cast.
52. Godzilla vs. Kong, November 26
The title of King of the Monsters is up for grabs, and there can be only one winner. There can be multiple losers, however, and I suspect humanity might be one of them…
53. West Side Story, December 17
Ansel Elgort leads the cast in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic musical, as the Sharks and the Jets face off once more.
54. Coming 2 America, December 17
Hell of a long time to wait for a sequel, but nonetheless here it is, some 32 years later. Eddie Murphy reprises his role as Akeem, who returns to the USA in search of his long-lost son.
55. Raya and the Last Dragon, December 26
A late-season Disney entry which is still cloaked in mystery, Raya and the Last Dragon takes place on a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization.
56. The Croods 2, December 26
It’s keeping up with the Joneses for the prehistoric age, as the Croods find themselves in competition with a more evolved family.
57. The Tomorrow War, December 26
Confronting your past isn’t easy, but it becomes a hell of a lot more pressing when the fate of humanity depends on it, as Chris Pratt is about to find out.
58. Bill & Ted Face The Music, (TBC)
Growing up is an inevitable part of life, but hopefully things will still be excellent for Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter as they return to their iconic 80s roles.
59. Monster Hunter, (TBC)
Survival is the key in this arrival, where some big-ass monsters are threatening the lives of a crew led by intrepid Lieutenant Artemis (Milla Jovovich).
60. The Trial of the Chicago 7, (TBC)
The 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago went down in history for sweeping protests, police brutality, and a presidential candidate named Pigasus (he was a pig, you see). Rich material for Aaron Sorkin to draw from, then.
61. Eternals, TBC
I’ve lost track of which Marvel phase we’re in now, to be frank. Regardless, this looks to be Earth’s origin story, which features Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie, reunites Game of Thrones co-stars Richard Madden and Kit Harington, and gave the world ripped Kumail Nanjiani.