9 crime movies you shouldn’t miss in 2020
Please note: some of these films may be delayed due to COVID-19. Looking for a more up to date selection of upcoming crime flicks? Click here.
What can we expect from cinemas, DVDs, Blu-rays and streaming services in 2020? Well, plenty. There are due to be thousands of feature films released in the UK across 2020 – many of which will be awful, a fair few of which will be decidedly average and one or two of which may be about animated polar bears… none of which interest us.
The only movies we’ll be looking out for next year are those that fall under the category of ‘crime’. That’s not their only criteria, however. They also have to be good, very good or – better yet – excellent.
Hopefully some top drawer crime films will come in under the radar and take us all by surprise in the next twelve months. Let’s hone in on the new crime films we can already see on the horizon.
New crime movies you shouldn’t miss in 2020:
With Guy Ritchie’s films, you kind of get the impression that he writes and cast them almost as if he’s recruiting for the ultimate lads’ holiday. There’s no room for previously hired pals like Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, Robert Downey Jr Henry Cavile, Jude Law, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy or David Beckham this time out. Instead, we’ve got Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Colin Farrell and Hugh Grant to enjoy.
This testosterone fest tracks McConaughey’s character as he tries to cash out of his highly lucrative London-based cannabis empire. The vacuum created triggers schemes, blackmail, bribery, double crossing, theft and – of course – a fair splattering of violence.
So far it all looks and sounds like a slightly more grown-up Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Which, if it turns out to be true, might not be too bad a thing. We’ll have to see.
Released: 1 January
The Last Thing He Wanted
Mudbound director Dees Rees has Anne Hathaway, Willem Dafoe, Ben Affleck, Rosie Perez and Toby Jones at her disposal for this adaptation of Joan Didion’s 1996 political thriller.
The films follows a journalist called Elena McMahon who decides to ditch coverage of the 1984 US presidential election in order to fully investigate the rather shady arms-for-drugs Iran Contra scandal (as seen in Tom Cruise’s American Made from 2017).
Expect drama, hushed-up criminal goings-on and plenty of political intrigue.
Released: 27 January
The Rhythm Section
We featured this exciting-looking revenge thriller in last year’s look ahead, fully expecting to see it hit cinemas at some point in 2019. But it never did. A series of delays now see it being released in late January of 2020 – on Super Bowl weekend, in fact.
The Emmy Award-winning Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano and Blake Lively have teamed up to adapt the novel of the same name by British writer Mark Burnell – a novel which sees a woman’s family killed in a plane crash. This is no maudlin look at grief, though. The central character’s misery soon turns to rage when she realises that there are forces – and people – to blame for the ‘accident’.
The Rhythm Section co-stars Jude Law and promises some rather Bond-style action, what with it having been produced by a certain Barbara Broccoli, of 007 renown.
Released: 31 January
No Time to Die
To date, there’s been plenty of hype and excitement surrounding the casting, filming locations, plot, themes and trailers for Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as James Bond. Understandably so.
As ever, details of the exact plot have been a little thin on the ground throughout 2019, but we still know a fair amount. Heartbroken (again), 007 is tasked with tracking down a kidnapped scientist. He soon discovers that an old school Bond villain in the shape of Rami Malek is behind it all. Cue car chases, fights, explosions and everything else we expect/demand from a James Bond film.
Further support comes from regulars Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear and Jeffrey Wright. With Léa Seydoux and Christoph Waltz returning and new roles for Malek, Knives Out star Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel).
Released: 12 November
When Christopher Nolan makes a new movie, the world pays attention. Come summer 2020, all eyes will be on Tenet (or ‘TENƎꓕ’ as it’s being stylised) – his latest.
Nolan and his team have gone out of their way to keep the plots under wraps. But with £225m as a budget, we can probably expect something pretty ruddy spectacular. So fair all the world knows is to expect elements such as espionage, crime, action and even a little time travel (something the auteur behind Tenet is pretty much obsessed with).
Robert Pattinson, John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) and Elizabeth Debicki (The Hotel Manager) star, with the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clémence Poésy and Sir Kenneth Branagh backing them up. As it’s a Chris Nolan flick, of course, Michael Caine is also along for the ride.
Released: 26 August
Death on the Nile
Effective but not brilliant, fun but not hugely memorable, Sir Kenneth Branagh’s 2017 dart at a big screen Hercule Poirot adaptation Murder on the Orient Express was a fun enough way to while away a Sunday afternoon. In October 2020 we get the next case for Branagh’s version of the Belgian sleuth, as promised at the tail end of the previous effort.
It will be, of course, based on Agatha Christie’s 1937 novel and be an updating of the 1978 Peter Ustinov film. Gathering together to form the mob that Monsieur Poirot has to pick a murderer from this time will be – amongst others – Annette Bening, Armie Hammer, Gal Gadot, Letitia Wright, Sophie Okonedo, Tom Bateman, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Russell Brand.
Released: 9 October
Starring the likes of Charlie Hunnam, Mel Gibson, Eiza Gonzalez, Dominic Monaghan and Morena Baccarin, this quirky-looking British-American production adapts the Howard Michael Gould mystery novel Last Looks.
The hero of the piece (played by Sons of Anarchy’s Hunnam) is disgraced ex-LAPD detective Charlie Waldo, a man who’s given up on metropolitan life and is living off grid in the woods. He heads back to work – and the city – when he gets a private job investigating the bizarre murder of a ‘difficult’ TV star’s wife.
Waldo is directed by Tim Kirkby, a man with an impressive CV when it comes to TV comedy (Veep, Fleabag, Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle), so expect a light touch and a fair few laughs.
We’ve – potentially – saved the best for last. Who would have thought that the men behind the most recent Avengers films, directing Spiderman and Pennywise the Clown from the IT films, would potentially create the crime film of the year? Very few people, that’s who. Of course, it may very well not be the crime film of the year – but early word is that Cherry is very, very good.
Tom Holland plays Nico Walker, a soldier returning to the US from Iraq with PTSD and an addiction to opioids. One who starts robbing banks.
Nico Walker is a real man, by the way. He wrote the highly-acclaimed book that the film is based on.
The Woman in the Window
This adaptation of A J Finn’s wildly successful 2017 book was due out last year. But early test screenings of the film from director Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Atonement) had audiences scratching their heads a little too much. Don’t worry, the film doesn’t cause dandruff, it was just a little oblique in its original form. It’s since been edited slightly.
Now scheduled for a spring release, this Rear Window-esque tale of a psychologist witnessing a terrible crime while spying on her neighbours should be a pretty straightforward affair. Even if it’s not – who cares? Amy Adams can make anything good. And with Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman filling out the cast, we reckon it’ll be well worth an evening at your local multiplex.
Released: delayed due to Covid-19 – more news when we have it
The Many Saints of Newark
It’s been twelve years since arguably the greatest ever crime television series wrapped up. David Chase’s incredible 86 episodes of The Sopranos will forever stand the test of time. And now it has a film to back it up.
There was famously some controversy over the audacious ‘cut to nothing’ ending to the show back in 2007, with fans all but demanding more of a resolution. Will they get one here? Well, no. Not really. Only while The Many Saints of Newark is, effectively, ‘The Sopranos Movie’, it’s also more of a prequel.
It stars Alessandro Nivola, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Leslie Odom Jr, Corey Stoll and Ray Liotta. Playing a young Tony? None other than the son of the late James Gandolfini, Michael Gandolfini.
Sopranos director Alan Taylor will be behind the camera and while it’s definitely one for fans of the show, no doubt everyone behind the project will have been smart enough to make the film accessible for everyone.
Released: delayed due to Covid-19 – now released on 21 March 2021
And those are merely the crime flicks that stand out to us. It’s almost unthinkable that there won’t be a whole raft of other excellent projects hitting screens next year. We’ll be doing our best to keep up with them all and make sure you’re all perfectly well informed.
Heard about any intriguing-sounding new crime movies due out in 2020 that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below…