As with a lot of things in 2020, it’s been a pretty strange year for movies. As the COVID-19 pandemic led to extended theater closures, studios began to pull their most anticipated titles off the release calendar and reschedule them for some far-off date in 2021. But rather than mourn the loss of would-be blockbuster entertainment this holiday season, we prefer to look at all the good stuff we still have coming our way, and trust us, there’s plenty of it.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy little calendar of our own, listing all of the notable movies set to come not just to the few theaters we still have open, but also to the various streaming services. From indie darlings and festival hits like Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland and Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari to high-profile tentpoles like Pixar’s Soul and Wonder Woman 1984, there’s likely to be a few titles you’ll be interested in, and some of them won’t cost you any extra money. Read on for the full list!
The people behind Happy Death Day are back with another cheeky, high-concept horror flick, as Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton star in this slasher comedy about a serial killer who switches bodies with one of his teen victims.
Mel Gibson stars in this anti-holiday movie as a struggling Santa Claus (as in, the real one) who squares off against an assassin hired by a kid who got a lump of coal in his stocking.
Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
Hitting theaters for a limited release before it streams on Netflix on December 24, this Ron Howard drama based on J.D. Vance’s memoir of the same name stars Glenn Close and Amy Adams and chronicles the complicated history of an Appalachian family.
One of several holiday offerings from Netflix this year, this children’s fantasy musical centers on a world-weary toymaker (Forest Whitaker) whose passion is rekindled when his granddaughter comes to visit.
Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried star in David Fincher’s Old Hollywood biopic about Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his battles with director Orson Welles over writing credits for the film. This will see a limited theatrical release before it streams on Netflix on December 4.
From the makers of the Oscar-nominated The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea comes this animated fantasy adventure about a 17th century hunter who travels to Ireland to help her father to wipe out a pack of wolves. It opens in theaters before moving to Apple TV+.
Sound of Metal (2020)
Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, and Mathieu Amalric star in this drama about a drummer struggling to come to terms with his new life when he loses his hearing. It will premiere in theaters before streaming on Amazon Prime.
The legendary Jackie Chan returns to the big screen, reuniting with Rumble in the Bronx and Supercop director Stanley Tong for this actioner about a security company going head-to-head with a mercenary organization over a VIP client.
Writer-director Aneesh Chaganty had a sleeper hit with 2018’s Searching, and he returns with another thriller for his sophomore feature. Sarah Paulson stars in this nail-biter about a chronically ill teen who discovers her mother’s disturbing secret. Streaming on Hulu.
The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020)
Goldie Hawn joins her real-life partner Kurt Russell as Mrs. Claus in this sequel to the Netflix holiday movie, in which a now-teenage Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) teams up with Santa (Russell) again to thwart a troublemaker looking to cancel Christmas.
The Croods: A New Age (2020)
The whole gang is back for a new animated adventure, as the Croods become rivals with another family, the Bettermans, but are forced to work together when their children disappear.
Happiest Season (2020)
Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis lead an ensemble cast in actress-writer-director Clea Duvall’s holiday rom-com about a woman trying to hide her lesbian relationship from her very conservative parents. Streaming on Hulu.
Uncle Frank (2020)
Paul Bettany is the titular uncle in writer-director Alan Ball’s drama about a closeted NYU professor during the 1970s who travels home with his freshman niece (IT’s Sophia Lillis) and faces his dark past. Streaming on Amazon Prime.
Black Bear (2020)
Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott, and Sarah Gadon star in this mystery about a writer who joins in on a couple’s remote getaway hoping to find inspiration and ends up turning the experience into something else altogether.
Half Brothers (2020)
This road comedy centers on a successful aviation exec from Mexico and a free-spirited American who learn they are half brothers and are compelled to undertake the same journey taken by their father, an immigrant.
I'm Your Woman (2020)
Emmy-winner Rachel Brosnahan goes dark in Julia Hart’s crime thriller about a woman on the lam with a baby that isn’t hers after her husband’s mysterious business dealings catch up to him. Premiering in theaters, then streaming on Amazon Prime.
Andrea Riseborough plays a British woman struggling to come to terms with her past — and an old lover — during a return visit to the titular Egyptian city in this romantic drama co-starring Karim Saleh.
Frances McDormand turns in a powerhouse performance in Chloé Zhao’s festival-favorite drama based on Jessica Bruder’s nonfiction book about the subculture of older Americans traveling the country looking for work.
The Prom (2020)
Ryan Murphy’s star-studded feature adaptation of the stage musical of the same name centers on a group of struggling Broadway stars who descend upon a small town to help a high-schooler forbidden from attending her prom with her girlfriend. Streaming on Netflix.
Writer-director Lee Isaac Chung made a big impression at Sundance with this semi-autobiographical drama about the struggles of a Korean-American family, led by father and husband Jacob (Steven Yeun), who relocate to Arkansas to run a farm.
Coming 2 America (2020)
Decades after the 1988 hit comedy, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall return to play Prince Akeem of Zamunda and his loyal steward Semmi. As Akeem is about to be crowned king, he learns he has an American son he never knew about and travels back to the States to bring him into the fold. Streaming on Amazon Prime.
The Father (2020)
Academy Award winners Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman bring their considerable talents to Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his own stage play about a woman trying to find a caregiver for her increasingly ornery father, who is slowly succumbing to dementia.
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)
The late Chadwick Boseman makes his final screen appearance in this adaptation of the August Wilson play, which stars Viola Davis as the titular legendary 1920s blues singer, who arrives late to a recording session and spurs conversations among the other musicians.
The Midnight Sky (2020)
George Clooney directs and stars in this post-apocalyptic survival tale, based on a novel, about a scientist trying to warn a group of astronauts not to return to Earth after an unspecified global catastrophe has taken place. Streaming on Netflix.
News of the World (2020)
Paul Greengrass directed and co-wrote this adaptation of the novel of the same name about a Civil War vet (played by Tom Hanks) who agrees to deliver a young girl just released from years of captivity to her aunt and uncle in Texas.
One Night in Miami (2020)
Acclaimed actress Regina King makes her directorial debut with this adaptation of Kemp Powers’ stage play of the same name (which he adapted for the big screen) about a fictionalized meeting of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke in a Miami hotel room in 1964. This will see a limited theatrical release before streaming on Amazon Prime on January 15, 2021.
Promising Young Woman (2020)
Carey Mulligan and Bo Burnham star in Emerald Fennell’s dark comedy/thriller about a woman who spends her evenings confronting would-be sexual predators until she meets a man who changes her perspective.
Pixar’s latest offering features Jamie Foxx as a jazz teacher who suffers a tragic accident and finds his soul transported to a place where other fledgling souls learn to develop. There, he must work with a young, cynical soul (Tina Fey) in order to return to his body. Streaming on Disney+.
Sylvie's Love (2020)
Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha take the lead in this period romantic drama about a woman and a saxophonist who enjoy a brief summer romance and rekindle their love years later upon reconnecting. Streaming on Amazon Prime.
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Gal Gadot returns as the popular DC superhero in Patty Jenkins’ follow-up to the massively successful first film, as Diana faces off against a new frenemy (Kristen Wiig as Cheetah) and a media mogul (Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord).
Monster Hunter (2020)
Wrapping up 2020 will be Paul W.S. Anderson’s adaptation of popular video game franchise Monster Hunter, which will see the director re-teaming with his wife Milla Jovovich. Jovovich will co-star with martial arts icon Tony Jaa, as well as Meagan Good, Ron Perlman, and T.I., among others, and center on a group of soldiers who are transported to a world ruled by giant, deadly monsters.
Thumbnail images by Warner Bros., Netflix, Joshua Richards/©Searchlight Pictures, ©2020 Disney/Pixar