The new year is quickly approaching, and we have a ton of action movies to look forward to in 2020. When it comes to watching explosive action flicks or gigantic blockbusters on the big screen, the best movies in this genre represent the best thrills you can experience in theaters on the biggest silver screens you can find. It's safe to say that some of them won't live up to their potential, but if at least a few of these anticipated titles are worth their expensive movie tickets, we'll be looking at an exciting year of cinema in the next few months. Strap in and look out for these brand new films!
Birds Of Prey And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn (February 7th, 2020)
Even the harshest critics of Suicide Squad could agree that Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn was a winner. Amid the ensemble movie's many, many problems, Robbie's animated performance was not one of them. Suffice to say, while The Suicide Squad will serve as a light reboot of the franchise, Warner Bros./DC knows when they have a good thing and they've given Harley Quinn her very own movie. Sure enough, this upcoming blockbuster looks appropriately sensational. Filled with dazzling stunts, bouts of gallows humor, and extravagance galore, Birds of Prey should hopefully serve as quite a fantabulous time — as the title doth suggest— when it hits theaters in February. At least it can't be any worse than Suicide Squad, right?
Mulan (March 27th, 2020)
While it's easy to get cynical about all these damn live-action remakes from Disney nowadays, Mulan is, nevertheless, a property that could benefit from the blockbuster treatment. An extravagant martial-arts adventure film, the likes of which we don't often see in Hollywood, featuring a predominately Asian cast, beautiful photography and stunning action sequences is always a cause for celebration, even if it'll serve as yet another retelling from Disney's recent-ish past. Still, Mulan has a wealth of potential to impress. Hopefully, this latest Disney blockbuster lives up to its promise. Here's hoping Mulan is one of the better live-action Disney remakes we get during this ongoing trend. It certainly looks like it will be extravagant.
No Time To Die (April 10th, 2020)
Once again, 007 is back, and that's always a cause for celebration. Admittedly, opinions on James Bond's previous outing, Spectre, were mixed, particularly after Skyfall was considered one of the finest installments in the decades-spanning franchise. Nevertheless, Daniel Craig will play the part for the fifth, and presumably final, time in No Time To Die, which will continue the character's dourer, more self-reflective journey as he is taken out of retirement in order to bring down his latest enemy, Safin, played by Oscar winner Rami Malek. Add in director Cary Joji Fukunaga, who has proven himself to be one of the finest directors working today (particularly with his work on the first season of True Detective), as well as a screenplay that's co-written by the great Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), and, despite the movie's production woes, we might be looking at one of the best Bonds yet.
Black Widow (May 1, 2020)
At this point, it's a tradition to open up the summer season with the latest Marvel movie. Ever since Iron Man opened in May of 2008, the superhero studio has dominated the start of the summer movie season, and that's a trend that'll hopefully continue with Black Widow. The action movie will serve as a prequel (for reasons that should make sense for the billions of folks who saw Avengers: Endgame this year), and it finds Scarlett Johansson reprising her role of Natasha Romanoff, i.e. Black Widow, between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. It adds Florence Pugh, David Harbour, Rachel Weisz, and several more talented performers to the cast, and there's no doubt that it'll find Black Widow kicking all kinds of butt in her long-overdue solo movie.
Fast & Furious 9 (May 22nd, 2020)
It's time to bring the family back together. The Fast & Furious franchise has taken more than a few big twists and turns throughout the years, evolving from a street race version of Point Break to one of the most daring, thrilling, and slap-happy action franchises in Hollywood today. The over-the-top stunts have only gotten more absurd and ludicrous, the car crashes have only gotten more intense and, all the while, the stakes have only gotten higher. It's hard to know how the franchise will top itself in terms of sheer action craziness with its ninth and penultimate installment, Fast & Furious 9. Nevertheless, we look forward to gathering the family together, grabbing a few Coronas, and basking in the extreme utter delight that is this fast and furious franchise.
Wonder Woman 1984 (June 5th, 2020)
Wonder Woman was undeniably one of the greatest success stories of 2017, and for good reason too. It was a captivating, charming, empowering new take on the popular superhero, one that gave Gal Gadot a leading role where she could excel and provided audiences with a stirring, well-made reminder of why DC has some of the best comic book properties out there. The second installment in the Wonder Woman series, Wonder Woman 1984, makes its way into theaters this summer, and we're hopeful that it will live up to its predecessor. Patty Jenkins has returned to the helm, while Pedro Pascal and Kristen Wiig join the cast alongside returning stars Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, and Chris Pine, in a surprise turn of events. There are many reasons we're looking forward to seeing Wonder Woman's latest swing at box office glory, and hopeful that it'll be another triumph.
Top Gun: Maverick (June 26th, 2020)
Prepare to get back into the danger zone. While Tom Cruise has made a habit of returning to the Mission: Impossible franchise several times over, Top Gun: Maverick will allow the actor to reprise his high-flying role of Maverick in the latest addition to this '80s property. It's been over 30 years since Top Gun flew into theaters in 1986, but the actor and director Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy, Only the Brave), who previously worked together on Oblivion, are certainly making up for lost time with their rip-roaring new sequel. With a starry supporting ensemble that includes Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and a few returning favorites, not to mention more than a few daring jet plane stunts, Top Gun: Maverick will push it to the limit.
Tenet (July 17th, 2020)
The newest Christopher Nolan film is always a cause for celebration. The filmmaker is easily one of the most well-known and acclaimed directors working on his scale these days, and he always makes it a point to turn every one of his movies into an extravagant experience. Sure enough, Tenet is considered one of his boldest, most audacious works to date, which is certainly saying something. Put in a cast that includes John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Pattinson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and several other talented performers, and we're hopeful that Tenet will be yet another excellent addition to Christopher Nolan's stunning filmography, which only continues to impress viewers.
The King's Man (September 18th, 2020)
While 2017's Kingsman: The Golden Circle didn't quite match the same heights of its predecessor, Matthew Vaughn's zippy, massively entertaining, tongue-firmly-in-cheek spy franchise, remains a wealth of high entertainment value. Certainly, the first movie was a total blast, and it paved the way for Taron Egerton to be a leading man. But, the franchise is taking a bit of a different approach with this newest film. This upcoming Kingsman adventure will serve as a prequel, in what will ultimately be an origin story of the organization's earliest days. The first trailer showed a good bit of stylish period details, along with some high-flying action sequences, so we should expect that Vaughn's latest addition to this action franchise will reach the series' earlier heights.
Eternals (November 6th, 2020)
Not a whole lot is known about Marvel's second 2020 movie, but what we have heard is enough to get us sufficiently hyped. Telling the saga of the Eternals, which is a race of immortal beings who have shaped the world's history and been around for centuries, Eternals features an all-star cast led by Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Salma Hayek, Barry Keoghan, Brian Tyree Henry, and an extremely buff Kumail Nanjiani. We likely won't see any footage for this new blockbuster until the days leading up to Black Widow's May release, but this new MCU title is certainly promising!
Godzilla vs. Kong (November 20th, 2020)
While not everyone has enjoyed Warner Bros.' recent big budget monster movies, even though Godzilla (2014) is, in my humble opinion, one of the most exhilarating blockbusters of the past few years, it's hard not to get excited about the possibility of either a new Godzilla movie or a new King Kong movie. Therefore, it's hard not to get as giddy as can be about a new blockbuster that will find both Godzilla and King Kong fighting one another on some of the biggest screens in the world. Certainly, even if the movie doesn't live up to its potential, it'll be worth it to see it in theaters. But, considering that it's directed by Adam Wingard (You're Next) and has major acting talent involved, we're very pumped.
Dune (December 18th, 2020)
When it comes to meaty, intellectual, big scale blockbusters in the recent era, director Denis Villeneuve has made some of the most visually stunning and narratively satisfying sci-fi movies of the past decade. Sure enough, it only makes sense that the director behind Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 would be the man who decided to tackle Dune. It's one of the most famous genre titles of the late 20th century, and it hasn't made an easy transition to the silver screen, as depicted in the 2013 documentary Jodorwsky's Dune and seen in David Lynch's underwhelming 1984 film adaptation. If anyone is gonna try it again, Villeneuve is the director who has the best shot of making it something extraordinary. If he pulls it off, we might be looking at one of the most spectacular blockbusters of the 21st century. We can't wait to see it.
Uncharted (December 18th, 2020)
At this point, it's hard to know if Uncharted will actually come into fruition, let alone reach its December 18th, 2020 release date. Yet, continuing to push through the odds, the long-delayed video game adaptation is currently slated to be released next year, and it's got Tom Holland slated to star in the lead role. It also has Travis Knight, the director behind Kubo and the Two Strings and Bumblebee, at the forefront, who continues to show great promise as a filmmaker. Ultimately, it's unclear if this movie will actually come out — let alone be finished and ready by next year. But with the talent involved, it's hard not to get excited at the possibility of a new-age Indiana Jones. And it's clear that, despite many false starts, there are lots of talented filmmakers who see potential in this property, which suggests there is a rich possibility of making a fun, exciting blockbuster.
The Tomorrow War (December 25th, 2020)
In our age of reboots, remakes, sequels, and franchise extensions, it's comforting to know there are also some original ideas in the works in Hollywood. There is great giddiness that comes from knowing there's a movie with fresh ideas, fresh characters, and fresh action sequences in store. Hopefully, that's the case with The Tomorrow War, the newest film from director Chris McKay, who is best known for his animated movies like 2017's The LEGO Batman Movie and animated TV shows like Robot Chicken. McKay hopes to make the transition into live-action blockbuster filmmaking, and when you have a director with a keen visual sense, that's usually a good sign. Add in a promising cast that includes Chris Pratt, J.K. Simmons, Yvonne Strahovski and Betty Gilpin, and movie lovers should have a bright future in store thanks to titles like The Tomorrow War.
What are the action movies you're most looking forward to in the new year? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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