Let’s take a look at the best original movies coming to Netflix in 2020, shall we? The streaming giant hasn’t shied away from producing a massive amount of original content, so there are plenty of flicks in the pipeline.
Whether it’s original animations, remakes of underrated classics or pics that deploy visionary directors or star actors, there’s something for everyone.
Read on for eight movies that figure to be among the best Netflix will distribute in 2020.
1. The Devil All the Time
OK come on. This cast, though. What if I told you Spider-Man and Batman were in the same film?
That’s right, Tom Holland stars in this period piece. It’s essentially about soldiers dealing with PTSD. Here’s a quick summary:
In the 1960s after World War II in Southern Ohio, bizarre, compelling and mentally disturbed people suffer from the war’s psychological damages.IMDB
But also in the cast is Robert Pattinson (or more like Robert BAT-inson, am I right?). Mia Wasikowska, Bill Skarsgard, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough and Jason Clarke round out quite the ensemble.
Holland is an incredibly gifted young actor, and it’ll be fascinating to see him dig deep into a psychological character study. That he has such a loaded cast around him should only help this be a successful Netflix original.
2. Army of the Dead
Director Zack Snyder is returning to a genre and subject matter with which he’s had success before. His feature film debut was a remake of the zombie classic Dawn of the Dead, and Army of the Dead is in that vein.
Here’s a brief description of the premise from IMDB: “Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.”
And check out what Snyder himself had to say when news of this project broke in February:
This is the opportunity to find a purely joyful way to express myself though a genre. It will be the most kick-ass, self-aware — but not in a wink-to-the-camera way — balls-to-the-wall zombie freakshow that anyone has ever seen. No one’s ever let me completely loose [like this].The Hollywood Reporter
Well, damn Zack. Bring it on.
This marks the first time Snyder has co-written a screenplay since 2014’s 300: Rise of an Empire, and the third time in his career he’s written and directed on one project.
No one will ever question Snyder’s visual flare, but many have criticized the substance of his stories over the years. This is right in Snyder’s wheelhouse: a straightforward story that shouldn’t be short on epic zombie action.
This is a remake of an Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name from 1940. That was only nominated for 11 Oscars, winning two.
So, this 2020 edition has a lot to live up to, but it does have the upside to be among the best Netflix original movies of the year — even to date overall.
All that’s said on IMDB’s page about the film is, “A young newlywed finds herself in living in the shadow of her wealthy husband’s previous wife. “
The film stars Lily James as the newlywed to Armie Hammer’s Maxim de Winter. That sounds like a mysterious name, and if this is a Hitchcockian suspense thriller, it’ll be all the more fitting.
James and Hammer are perhaps overlooked, but they are two of the best young actors working today. Don’t sleep on Rebecca.
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4. All the Bright Places
Also listed with a January 1 drop date, the following summary from IMDB doesn’t sound super exciting:
The story of Violet and Theodore, who meet and change each other’s lives forever. As they struggle with the emotional and physical scars of their past, they discover that even the smallest places and moments can mean something.IMDB
But then when considering the creative talent involved, it may be wise to reassess this film’s potential.
Screenwriter Liz Hannah broke through with the Steven Spielberg-directed The Post, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. If that gives you any idea of her writing credibility.
Then director Brett Haley made two of the better indie films of recent years. Those are I’ll See You in My Dreams and Hearts Beat Loud.
Elle Fanning is listed as the lead actor, and although her films have been uneven, she’s generally excellent. Look as far back as J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 from 2011 for proof of that.
5. The Willoughbys
Last November, Netflix revealed a whole trove of original animated programming. This movie has been one of the most anticipated ones of the bunch.
Here’s a description of the film from Deadline:
When the four Willoughby children are abandoned by their selfish parents, they must learn how to adapt their old-fashioned values to the contemporary world in order to create a new and modern family. Based on the book by Newbery Award-winning author, Lois Lowry.Deadline
Starring the voice talents of Ricky Gervais, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph and Will Forte, this should be a riot.
Gervais has a stand-up comedy special on Netflix and is coming off a big success as the creator and star of the original series After Life.
The source material is from a renowned author, and it sounds like a great opportunity for many great comedians to join together for something family-oriented and special.
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6. Love, Wedding, Repeat
One of the funniest movies ever made, full stop, is Death at a Funeral. This film’s writer-director, Dean Craig, penned that screenplay, and also that of a hidden Netflix gem Moonwalkers.
Unclear if this will be a Groundhog Day-style premise, but the description from Netflix makes it sound as such:
In this innovative romantic comedy about the power of chance, three alternate versions of the same wedding unfold as Jack (Sam Claflin) tries to make sure his little sister has the perfect wedding day. But he’ll have to juggle an angry ex-girlfriend, an uninvited guest with a secret, a misplaced sleeping pill, and unexpectedly reuniting with the girl of his dreams who got away, Dina (Olivia Munn). If he succeeds, Jack might find a happy ending of his own.Netflix
Craig finds humor in the most surprising places, and it’ll be fascinating to see what he’s cooked up here.
Sam Claflin has certainly made a name for himself in big franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Hunger Games. His co-star, Olivia Munn, is low-key really good — check out her scene-stealing comedic turn in Office Christmas Party.
7. Over the Moon
Check out this excerpt from Netflix’s description of this project and see if it doesn’t get you pumped up:
Over the Moon is a CG musical adventure about a girl who builds a rocket ship to travel to the moon in order to prove to her father that a legendary Moon Goddess really exists. When she gets to the “other side” she unexpectedly discovers a whimsical world filled with fantastical creatures – some of whom threaten her and others who ultimately help her find her way home.Netflix
Glen Keane has worked in animation since the 1970s. He animated and directed the Kobe Bryant short film Dear Basketball, for which he won an Academy Award.
Oh, and his filmography also includes animation work on Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. So it bodes well for Netflix to bring in someone with that kind of credibility.
Over the Moon will mark Keane’s maiden feature directing gig. Given his decades of experience and recent deserved accolades, Keane seems as capable as anyone of delivering a spectacular product for Netflix among its best 2020 movies.