Movies Not to Miss: January 2020

Movies Not to Miss: January 2020

Did you see any of these movies in 2019?
Which of these are you going to watch?

With the Oscars looming and the Golden Globes happening this month, we have already seen some of the contenders in 2019, but there are still a few on the fringe that are finally making their way to our cinemas.

However, if stuffy award-winning movies aren't why you go to the cinema, January may be a little slow but does have some offerings to draw you in with some action and explosions (some more deadly than others).

So start your year of movies with a bang or catching up with some of last year's finest, or whatever way you like with these movies not to miss for January 2020!


Starting us off with releases for the Oscar season is this trifecta of acting powerhouses in the form of Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron. Based on the accounts of women who exposed the sexual harassment of Fox News CEO and founder Roger Ailes, this is a scathing takedown of another institution that has been caught by the #MeToo movement. Powered by Oscar nominees and winners, this is one to see for the performance, with stakes in the Golden Globes race that could run into the Oscar race.

General Release Date: 2 January


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

This is another important contender in the Oscars for Best Supporting Actor. Played by the lovable Tom Hanks as the lovable children's show TV host Fred Rogers, director Marielle Heller follows up with another biopic after 2018's "Can You Ever Forgive Me". Based on an Esquire article by a journalist who interviews the embodiment of kindness, his deeper examination touches on how we can learn to accept ourselves in an often unfriendly world. If you have watched the tear-jerking "Won't You Be My Neighbor" documentary on the same man, it is exciting to see a narrative interpretation of a man who is dearly missed in today's social climate.

General Release Date: 2 January


Korean movies are starting the year with a bang. We have already seen Korean disaster movies imagining zombies, diseases and gas attacks, and the next disaster this time would be from a volcanic eruption. When a volcano on the Baekdu Moutain on the border of North Korea and China erupts, a volcano expert races against time to save the entire Korean peninsula before it wipes out the population. While the CG-effects of Korean disaster movies may not match up with the total destruction seen from their Hollywood counterparts, but the Korean disaster movies always has a greater emphasis on family and some melodrama to make them feel more real.

General Release Date: 2 January


As more and more movies would likely set to explore the frightening great unknown of space, another unknown closer to us is our underwater world. Responsible for some of the more unique low budget sci-fi thrillers of the past decade, William Burbank is back with another directorial since his "The Signal" in 2014. Now working off a script written by Brian Duffield and Adam Cozad, and with a more prolific cast, Kristen Stewart leads Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr. and T.J Miller as a group scientists trying to escape from their underwater lab. This is for one who enjoys their slow burn thrillers to be beautifully shot yet be uncomfortable and suffocating.

General Release Date: 9 January


Horror never sleeps in cinemas and we will be getting our staple scares from the places we know them from, but one place that we don't often hear making horror is Taiwan, and they are coming in with a vengeance. Based on the video game of the same name that took inspirations from a real event, this film adaptation sees two students finding themselves trapped in their school during the White Terror period in 1962 when free speech and books were banned. Debuting director John Hsu makes an amazing debut with his up and coming cast led by Gingle Wong. Not only was "Detention" the highest grossing movie of Taiwan in 2019, but it also earned a staggering 12 nominations at the Golden Horse Film Festival, winning 5 of those including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effect and Best New Director.

General Release Date: 9 January


It's been a while since we had a one-take movie, so it is always exciting to see another ambitious filmmaker daring to make an attempt. Carving his name of one-take history this time is director Sam Mendes and taking an even more daunting challenge of setting it in World War I, which could increase the harrowing effects of trench warfare. Lensed by the revered Roger Deakins, while starring some Britain's finest with Mark Strong, Richard Madden, Colin Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch, who will be seeing two brothers off to race through enemy lines, "1917" will be the technical feat to beat, with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Score for the Globes.

General Release Date: 16 January

The Garden of Evening Mists

It is not every day you see a Malaysian novel received the big budget treatment for its film adaptation, and it certainly deserves that treatment for an award-winning one such as Tan Twan Eng's "The Garden of Evening Mists". Thankfully, the production and shooting location of "The Garden of Evening Mists" has stayed in within Malaysian, while importing oversea talents to fill in any gaps. This love story that takes through decades and different points in Malaysian history is the stuff that bittersweet romances are made of, and having our own Angelica Lee returning to lead alongside Japan's Hiroshi Abe (in a Malaysian production no less!) is the stuff of dreams. Nominated for nine awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay, and winning for Best Costume Design at the Golden Horse Film Festival last year, Malaysian cinema couldn't ask for a better start to 2020 with this one.

General Release Date: 16 January

Bad Boys for Life

If you are looking for more of a standard Hollywood flare and flair, then 2020 returns with another long sleeping franchise. Since 2003's "Bad Boys II", Will Smith and Martin Lawrence reunite and return as their iconic buddy cop partners that were in some of the definitive titles that defined the Bayhem. Although Michael Bay is not returning to set off his brand of explosion, it is still produced by Jerry Bruckheimer who will be able to bankroll the scale.

General Release Date: 23 January


Now that Robert Downey Jr. is done with Marvel duties, it's time to see if he can be known without the iron mask. Based on the character in the children's stories of Hugh Lofting, the animal speaker Dr. Dolittle has secluded himself in his manor after losing his wife. When Queen Victoria is taken ill, the doctor is sent off to an island to find a cure. Downey isn't necessarily out of his league to carry a potential franchise (since he did well as Sherlock Holmes), but it certainly helps to have a cast of animals voiced by Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Najani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard.

General Release Date: 23 January

Related Movies:
Bombshell (02 Jan 2020)
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (Undated)
Ashfall (Korean) (02 Jan 2020)
Underwater (09 Jan 2020)
Detention (Mandarin) (09 Jan 2020)
1917 (16 Jan 2020)
The Garden Of Evening Mists (FFM) (English / Malay / Cantonese / Japanese) (04 Dec 2021)
Bad Boys For Life (23 Jan 2020)
Dolittle (23 Jan 2020)

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