Memoirs, thrillers, and a beloved childhood fantasy hit the big screen in the first half of 2020.
By Jessica Dukes
Some of our favorite books made it to the big screen in 2019, like Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and Little Women. In the first half of 2020, another round of amazing books is hitting the big screen. Hot, buttered popcorn and cozy seats, here we come!
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson
The courtroom drama in Bryan Stevenson’s true story, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, is sure to be a riveting thriller on the big screen. Stevenson (Jordan) is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal services to the people who can afford it the least. This is the story of his earliest cases, including Walter McMillian (Foxx), who is on death row for a murder he didn’t commit. In theaters: January 10, 2020.
The Rhythm Section
Starring: Blake Lively, Sterling K. Brown, Jude Law
Genre: Action, Drama
It’s horrible enough that your family dies in a plane crash, but what would you do if you found out that the “accident” was a terrorist attack? Based on Mark Burnell’s The Rhythm Section, Stephanie Patrick (Lively) can’t let her family’s death go unavenged, so she accepts an invitation to go deep undercover in Europe as a spy. Her mission seems simple — find out who wanted the plane to crash and why — but the answers raise more questions and threats than she anticipates. In theaters: January 31, 2020.
The Call of the Wild
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford
Genre: Animation, Adventure
Harrison Ford brings all of his Hollywood gravitas to the role of John Thornton, the grizzled outdoorsman from Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. The star of the book is Buck, a dog who is stolen from his family and mistreated as he’s trained to be a sled dog. Escaping the tyranny of his latest handler, Buck leads his battered team to the safety of Thornton’s farm. Here, Buck begins a lifelong friendship with Thornton, despite his longing to escape civilization for good. In theaters: February 21, 2020.
Starring: Devin France, Yashua Mack, Gage Naquin
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Wendy Darling (France) of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is the subject of this exciting retelling of the story we all know and love. Peter Pan and the rest of the Lost Boys are unruly and create a lot of work for Wendy, who tries to keep everyone safe from the evil Captain Hook. Neverland is a magical place, but it’s also a danger that she has to conquer in order to save her family and avoid growing up. In theaters: February 28, 2020.
Starring: Orion Lee, John Magaro
Genre: Western, Drama
Based loosely on The Half-Life by Jonathan Raymond, the 19th-century Pacific Northwest is the setting for an unlikely friendship. Figowitz (Magaro) cooks for a group of Oregon fur trappers, where he meets King Lu (Lee), a Chinese immigrant seeking fortune. Determined to make it on their own, they go into business together. Unfortunately, their entire scheme depends on getting their hands on a prized cow that belongs to a nearby landowner, but this is the lawless West where gutsy moves can come with big payoffs. In theaters: March 6, 2020.
Starring: Kevin Hart, Alfre Woodard, Paul Reiser
Matthew Logelin wrote Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love after his wife passed away within one day after giving birth to their first child. High school sweethearts with a picture-perfect life, Matthew (Hart) struggles to accept his wife’s death, but realizes that he has to create a loving family and new memories with Maddy. Single fatherhood, the generosity of friends, and a daughter’s love make Fatherhood one of the most gratifying movies of the year. In theaters: April 3, 2020.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Elisabeth Shue
Genre: Drama, War
The Good Shepherd by C. S. Forester is considered a classic in WWII literature, so we can’t wait to watch this naval drama play out before our eyes. Commander George Krause (Hanks) has an impossible operation: guide 37 merchant ships through the frozen North Atlantic Sea to allied troops in Europe. For 48 endless hours, rough seas and German submarines threaten to destroy life-saving cargo and thousands of souls in an unforgettable, high-seas hide-and-seek. In theaters: May 8, 2020.
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Starring: Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie
Genre: Drama, Comedy
The Personal History of David Copperfield is said to be a veiled autobiography of its author, Charles Dickens. Follow David Copperfield (Patel) as he retells his young years spent with his mother, his uncaring stepfather, and his loving nurse, Peggotty. As an older man, Copperfield finishes school and becomes a lawyer, loses a wife to illness, remarries, has children, and ultimately becomes a writer. Of the book, Dickens admits, “like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.” In theaters: May 8, 2020.
The Woman in the Window
Starring: Amy Adams, Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Anna Fox (Adams) lives alone with her paranoia, visited only by a few friends. Fueled by wine, pills, and her imagination, what is supposed to be a typical day of spying on her neighbors goes horribly wrong. Anna witnesses a stabbing, but when she reports it to the police, they refuse to investigate. Adapted from The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn, the movie is sure to be the dark and twisted blockbuster of spring. In theaters: May 15, 2020.