Most anticipated movies of 2020

2019 was a record-setting year for movies. Beloved franchises like The Avengers, Star Wars and How to Train Your Dragon closed out final chapters of their franchises and original stories like Parasite, Knives Out and Jojo Rabbit also did well, delivering a wide variety of movie options for moviegoers to enjoy.

Now with 2019 behind us, we can look forward to a new decade with endless possibilities. Here are 10 of the biggest and most anticipated movies to look forward to next year.

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (Feb. 7)

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn was the only decent piece of 2016’s Suicide Squad, so it makes sense that DC would try to salvage what they could to bring new life to their cinematic universe. The outrageous title shows that this movie will be like nothing we’ve seen before from a superhero franchise. Between Birds of Prey, Black Widow and Wonder Woman 1984, female heroes and villains will have a big year in 2020, but after Joker, it will be interesting to see how DC markets their shared universe moving forward.

Mulan (Mar. 27)

This live-action remake has the potential to truly be a unique retelling of Mulan’s story, unlike most of Disney’s previous remakes, which did little more than make the same movie as before. This version of Mulan looks much more serious and grounded (there’s no Mushu and it’s not a musical), so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays with audiences going to see it with nostalgia for the original cartoon on their minds.

Black Widow (May 1)

Marvel begins Phase 4 by looking back. Black Widow is certainly an interesting choice to kick off Phase 4, but it’s certainly something fans have wanted for years. Natasha deserves her own story and as one of the main heroes we know so little about, there will be plenty to cover in her solo movie. I just hope it gives this iconic character a respectable sendoff since this could be the last time we see her in this universe.

Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5)

Wonder Woman was a breath of fresh air for the DCEU back in 2017 and gave us some truly iconic superhero moments. Now, the sequel jumps to the 1980s and has Diana facing the Cold War and new foes while a blast from her past confuses everything. I loved the first Wonder Woman and the 80s so this should be another favorite for superhero fans.

Soul (June 19)

Soul is the second of two original movies Pixar will release next year. After a few years of (somewhat unnecessary) sequels to their greatest hits, it’s nice to see Pixar telling new stories again. Soul looks like the more interesting of the two 2020 Pixar offerings and already gives off serious Inside Out vibes (one of my personal favorites). Hopefully Soul matches that same level of creativity and emotion to bring another Pixar hit.

In the Heights (June 26)

Has anyone had a better decade than Lin-Manuel Miranda? Following the earth-shattering success of Hamilton, Miranda’s first musical is coming to the big screen. In the Heights tells the story of the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City with Miranda’s trademark lyrical wizardry. Anthony Ramos (another Hamilton alum) leads the cast in this incredible story of a Latinx community’s hopes and dreams.

Bill & Ted Face the Music (Aug. 21)

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is an incredible underrated masterpiece that came to me at a truly formative time in my life (seventh grade). The original movie was followed by a less-than-stellar sequel in 1991, but now that Hollywood will reboot or revive literally anything that came out in the 1980s and early 90s, a third film is scheduled for next year. It’s turned out to be perfect timing with Keanu Reeves experiencing a resurgence in his career in 2019. I cannot wait to see what middle-aged Bill and Ted are like and how the music of Wyld Stallions will save the future this time.

The King’s Man (Sept. 18)

The original Kingsman movie is one of my favorite movies of all time, so I’m super interested in this origin story of the elite spy agency. The first two Kingsman movies relied so heavily on gadgets and technology, so it’ll be challenging to make that a crucial part of this story when it’s set in the 1910s. And with a third Kingsman starring Eggsy potentially on the way, I’ll bet this will somehow tie in to that story as well.

The Eternals (Nov. 6)

This feels like Marvel’s biggest gamble since Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s about a group of beings that not even many die-hard Marvel comics fans know much about but could change the MCU as we know it. The Eternals has an incredible cast (Angelina Jolie! Richard Madden! Salma Hayek! Kumail Nanjiani!), so here’s hoping that the story matches their star power.

West Side Story (Dec. 18)

The original West Side Story is a cornerstone of movie musicals. Normally, I would be opposed to remaking something so iconic, but with Stephen Spielberg at the helm of this new version with a great cast, it has a chance to be worth seeing. I think the Jets/Sharks dynamic will also be interesting in today’s climate, especially given the racial divide between the two gangs.

All-time Top 10: Kingsman: The Secret Service

“This ain’t that kind of movie, bruv”

Kingsman: The Secret Service was one of those movies that just came out of nowhere but hit me just right. Now, it’s on my list of movies I can endlessly rewatch and fall in love with over and over again.

Kingsman was released in February 2014. I had seen a couple of the trailers and thought it looked pretty cool, but I was never that interested in spy movies. This wasn’t a Marvel or Star Wars movie that I already had an emotional connection to.

But, Kingsman just happened to come out the same weekend as Fifty Shades of Grey – a movie that I was very much against (which is a story for another time) and did not want to do well at the box office. So I brilliantly thought that going to see this new Kingsman movie would be a contribution against Fifty Shades. Kingsman ultimately came in second place to Fifty Shades in its opening weekend, but it immediately jumped to number one in my heart.

I had no idea what I was getting into with this movie, but holy cow did I love everything about it. Like I said, I’ve never been big on spy movies – James Bond, Jason Bourne and Mission: Impossible have never really appealed to me that much. Kingsman, though, is a spy movie turned up to 11. More action, more blood, more cursing, more British.

Kingsman follows Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, a poor kid from London, as he discovers the world of a secret spy agency. Eggsy is recruited by agent Harry Hart to replace a recently fallen spy. Eggsy has to compete against other recruits to become the next Kingsman. Meanwhile, the agents work to stop Richmond Valentine, a tech billionaire who is intent on killing millions of people across the globe in order to protect the earth and its environment. Valentine describes humanity as a virus, and believes global warming is the earth’s “fever” in response. He concocts a scheme to give everyone in the world a free SIM card that offers free internet forever – no more carrier charges or phone bills ever again. Naturally, the world sprints (no pun intended) to pick up these SIM cards, but little do they know that Valentine has the ability to control them through the cards and make them unnaturally violent.

At its heart, Kingsman is one of those odd couple kind of movies. Eggsy and Harry discuss this idea in an early scene, name-dropping My Fair Lady and Pretty Woman. Eggsy learns that becoming a Kinsman is not about fitting a specific mold, but learning to better himself and bring the skills he has into this new world. At every test, Eggsy is able to find success not because he’s doing what he’s told, but because he’s using his own talents in new ways. Sure, he learns some Kingsman tricks along the way, but he becomes more confident in his own skills throughout the movie.

Taron Egerton is the breakout star of this movie. He’s instantly likable and endearing as Eggsy and watching him enter this strange world is delightful. The supporting cast of Kingsman is ridiculous. Colin Firth as Harry Hart, Mark Strong as the Kingsman version of Bond’s Q, Merlin, and Jack Davenport (from Pirates of the Caribbean) as an unlucky agent are inspired casting as stereotypical posh Brits.

Then there’s Samuel L. Jackson as Valentine, who probably had more fun in this role than he’s had in a long time and really steals the show. Jackson gives Valentine a lisp, which is a little off-putting when you first hear it, but becomes menacing when it counts. Sofia Boutella is Valentine’s delightfully strange henchman Gazelle, and Michael Caine and a wild Mark Hamill cameo round out the main cast.

The action in this movie is really what sets it apart from others of the genre. It’s simultaneously beautiful and brutal. The crowning set piece is the church fight. Shot to feel like one continuous take, it’s a wild ride from start to finish and every time I watch it, I see something new that is both horrifying and incredible to look at. All the other action sequences in the movie are equally impressive. I especially love the skydiving scene – it’s so effective at building the tension and making you stress out with the characters. Every action scene really feels unique and keeps you engaged throughout the entire movie.

This movie is also hilarious. Since it’s partially a satire of spy movies, there’s a lot of self-aware and tongue-in-cheek jokes that poke fun at the genre as a whole. And it seriously has some of the best one-liners in any movie I’ve ever seen. It’s the kind of dry British humor that I can’t get enough of. You’ll never hear “Pomp and Circumstance” the same way after you see this movie, and the finale set to KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Give It Up” is inspired.

Kingsman came into my life with no hype, no background knowledge, and no expectations. Maybe that’s why it hit me as hard as it did. What could have been a bland James Bond knockoff was bolstered by incredible characters, insane action, and great humor, which earns it a spot in my all-time top 10.