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The Movies You Need to Watch Before You Go to the Movies in 2020

Our annual backwards guide to the remakes, reboots, and franchise returns of the coming year.
Movies To Watch
By  · Published on January 9th, 2020

Rewind Horror Quiet Place

A Quiet Place (2018)

John Krasinski’s new sci-fi horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II continues the story and expands the world of this 2018 hit, which stars himself and his real-life wife Emily Blunt. No spoilers, but you will be wondering about some characters in (or not in) the followup if you go in without seeing the original. Also, it’s just a really great surprise of cinema and recommended even if you don’t watch part II, which I’m sure will diminish its power anyway.
Due date: March 20th

Mulan (1998)

Here’s the latest beloved Disney animated feature to be adapted as a live-action movie. The new Mulan is apparently getting rid of the songs and the talking dragon character in order to depict a more historically realistic take on the Chinese folk tale of a woman disguised as a man to go into battle. So don’t get attached to too much of the original. Instead, we can look forward to more martial arts action.
Due date: March 27th

Peter Rabbit (2018)

If you have small children, you’ve probably already seen this live-action/CG-animation hybrid based on Beatrix Potter’s stories. Or maybe just the kids have. Maybe only the kids will also want to see the sequel, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which looks to be more of the same, only with an expanded scope location-wise.
Due date: April 3rd

X-Men (2000)

Disney’s reworked version of The New Mutants no longer has any ties to Fox’s X-Men movie franchise, but since it once was part of that universe, maybe just look back at the movie that started it all. Honestly, I’m not sure if anything really needs to be watched before The New Mutants — maybe it’s been looped into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? maybe it’s a pseudo remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors? — but I wanted to acknowledge that it might finally be coming out.
Due date: April 3rd

Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012), Spectre (2015)

Daniel Craig is back as James Bond for the 25th movie of the 007 franchise, which is the fifth installment with him as the iconic British secret agent. No Time to Die, as it’s called, will follow directly from the events of Spectre in particular, though more than in the past, this era of Bond has been relatively connective.
Due date: April 10th

Trolls (2016)

This musical animated feature became quite a sensation, partly thanks to the Oscar-nominated Justin Timberlake pop song “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” so the upcoming sequel, Trolls World Tour, will need something to not stop that feeling. The thing is, Trolls has also spawned holiday specials and a Netflix series, so do you need to see those, too? I don’t know. And will kids care to see the sequel when they have so much Trolls content at home? Or, more to the point, will parents let them care?
Due date: April 17th

The Secret Garden (1949)

Another classic British novel with most adaptations made for television, including feature-lengths and miniseries, but there have been a few theatrical versions. The first, a silent 1919 production, is believed lost. The next incarnation of The Secret Garden was this Hollywood take from MGM presented with a mix of black and white and Technicolor sections, the latter being for scenes set in the titular garden, of course. Feel free to watch the 1993 version produced by Francis Ford Coppola, as well, before the latest adaptation hits theaters this year.
Due date: April 17th

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.