The 5 Most Anticipated Movies Opening in January

Sam Mendes' ambitious World War I film expands into wide release, and it's joined by a handful of franchise continuations and reboots, as well as a thriller at the bottom of the ocean.

by | January 2, 2020 | Comments

Welcome to a new year and a new decade! Of course, before we can really get into all that’s in store for us, we still have to make it through the first few months of 2020, and if you’re tuned in to how the movie industry works, you know that January in particular is not known to be fertile ground for fantastic cinema. That said, we still have a number of interesting titles to look forward to, starting with an ambitious World War I film from Sam Mendes that actually opened in limited release on Christmas but expands to a much wider release this month (so a lot more people can actually see it on the big screen). After that, we’ve got a revival of a popular action franchise, a revival of popular horror franchise, a revival of a popular children’s franchise, and every thalassophobe’s worst nightmare. Read on to see what movies RT site users and our fans across social media are looking forward to the most in January.

1. 1917 (2019) 88%

4,564 Want-to-See Votes
#1 pick by our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter fans
Opens January 10

The gimmick, if you want to call it that, behind Sam Mendes’ World War I film is that it’s been crafted to play as a single continuous take. He’s not the first one to attempt the feat, and he won’t be the last, but 1917 may be the most ambitious effort of its kind to date, being that it covers a lot of ground and incorporates giant set pieces as the action unfolds. The story follows a pair of British soldiers tasked with delivering a message to another battalion to warn of an impending ambush, and it’s based on accounts related to Mendes by his own grandfather. Our fans across social media are all eager to see the film, as it topped all of our polls, and its high Tomatometer score indicates they likely won’t be disappointed.

2. Bad Boys for Life (2020) 76%

6,385 Want-to-See Votes
#3 pick by our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter fans
Opens January 17

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are back as buddy cops Marcus Burnett and Mike LAWWWWRY in this third installment of the Bad Boys franchise that comes 17 years after the last entry. This time out, the duo must team up again to take down a cartel boss with connections to their past. Expect a lot of quippy banter and slow-mo explosions. This one was unanimously voted into the third slot across all of our social media polls and garnered the most Want-to-See votes.

3. The Grudge (2020) 20%

949 Want-to-See Votes
#2 pick by our Facebook fans and Instagram fans, #5 pick by our Twitter fans
Opens January 3

Ready for more pale-faced ghosts and ominous glottal croaking? A new version of the J-horror classic The Grudge — which was already remade in English once and spawned two of its own sequels — is coming at the very beginning of the month. Sarah Michelle Gellar is nowhere in sight for this one, but Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, John Cho, and noted scream queen Lin Shaye are on board to deliver what they hope will be a terrifying entry in the series. Sure, horror films released in January don’t normally do well with the critics, but maybe this one will be different?

4. Dolittle (2020) 15%

1,748 Want-to-See Votes
#4 pick by our Twitter fans, #5 pick by our Facebook fans
Opens January 17

Robert Downey Jr. reportedly insisted on ending his run as Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because he was afraid he’d miss his chance to take up the mantle of the legendary Doctor Dolittle. Just kidding. But if Tony Stark himself isn’t enough to put some butts in theater seats, then maybe a voice cast that includes John Cena, Tom Holland, Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Kumail Nanjiani, Selena Gomez, and a ton of other folks will. This new adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s classic novel hopes to introduce the character to a new generation, and judging from its star power, it might get in front of enough eyeballs to make a significant impact on countless childhoods.

5. Underwater (2020) 48%

898 Want-to-See Votes
#2 pick by our Twitter fans, #4 pick by our Instagram fans
Opens January 10

Kristen Stewart continues her eclectic cinematic journey — which took an unexpected high-profile turn last year with Charlie’s Angels — in this thriller whose title sums up its premise rather succinctly. She stars alongside Vincent Cassell, T.J. Miller, Mamadou Athie, John Gallagher Jr., and Jessica Henwick as a group of scientists holed up in a research facility seven miles below the surface of the ocean who awaken an unknown entity and suffer the consequences. Underwater managed to entice a lot of our Twitter and Instagram fans, which earned it the final spot on our list.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.