7 Science Fiction Movies 1H 2020

alien spaceship, flying saucer, 7 science fiction movies 1H 2020The time has arrived once again to check out the science fiction movies that are scheduled for release in the first half of the year.

Now, 2019 was an awful year for science fiction movies. We didn’t get many and the ones we saw were not compelling — or even believable. I maintain my position that we now find the best science fiction on television, particularly cable services like Netflix, HBO, and CBS All Access.

Nevertheless, I will put my skepticism aside for the moment and peer into the crystal ball to see what we kind of science fiction we can expect to arrive at the cineplex between now and July.

The Rules:

  1. The following list does not include superhero or comic book movies, anime, animated children’s movies, movies based on video games, horror (including poltergeists, haunted mirrors, creepy children, etc.), fairy tales, Bible movies, paranormal romance and (with a few notable exceptions) monster movies. They do not constitute not science fiction.
  2. This list focuses on movies appearing in theaters. It includes a few premium channel movies, which may be straight-to-video films or appear simultaneously in theaters. Distribution patterns are changing and Netflix has raised the bar for new content.
  3. To be included, the movie must have a definite release date. This date may change and the movie may hit the theaters earlier or slip into the following year. In that case, I will not review it along with the others that did come out. But if it has no announced release date, it does not make the list.

7 Science Fiction Movies 1H 2020

That said, here is the (too) short list of science fiction movies upcoming 1H 2020:

January

Underwater
Underwater movie, science fiction moviesRelease Date: January 10, 2020
Director: William Eubank
Synopsis: A crew of aquatic researchers work to get to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory. But the crew has more than the ocean seabed to fear.”
Trailer:  Watch Here

My Take: Is it a science fiction movie, a disaster film, a horror flick or all of the above? The trailer looks like the three combined. The idea of sitting through 10 Little Indians two miles underwater makes my skin crawl. Underwater has been released and the Tomatometer gives it a 49% Rotten and a 61% Liked, which makes the water pretty tepid. I think I will pass.

February

The Invisible Man
Release Date: February 28, 2020
Director: Leigh Whannell
Synopsis: “When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.”
Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: Here, science fiction has definitely gone over to horror. The Invisible Man takes the stalker movie in a new direction with the always-excellent Elizabeth Moss and minimal special effects. Movies that feature terrified women are not usually my thing so I give it a Probably Not but, again, we’ll check out the reviews and word of mouth before deciding.

March

Bloodshot
Release Date: March 13, 2020
Director: Dave Wilson
Synopsis: “Ray Garrison, a slain soldier, is re-animated with superpowers.”
Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: It’s been done, folks. Over and over. Combine The Six Million Dollar Man with Edge of Tomorrow and you’ve got Bloodshot. Still, watching Vin Diesel and Sam Heughan together can’t be all bad. I rate this one a Probably Not but hold out an option if the reviews are good.

A Quiet Place: Part II
A Quiet Place II, science fiction movies 1H 2020Release Date: March 20, 2020
Director: John Krasinski
Synopsis: “Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.”
Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: I loved the original, so I’m predisposed to like this sequel as well. I miss the presence of John Krasinski on screen but he is behind the camera. Out of the box, I give Part II an Almost Certainly score with fingers crossed, hoping this is as good as the original.

April

The New Mutants
Release Date: April 3, 2020
Director:  Josh Boone
Synopsis: “Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.”
Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: The CW comes to the big screen. Lots of hot young people in short, tight clothes discover that their bodies are changing and they aren’t like the rest of us. Adults in authority are the baddies. Um, I give this a big Not Really. 

Monster Problems
Release Date: April 17, 2020
Director:  Michael Matthews
Synopsis: “A young man learns how to survive a monster apocalypse with the help of an expert hunter.”
Trailer: NA

My Take: It doesn’t sound promising. How good it is may depend on whether they focus on the monster, the protagonist learning to be a monster hunter, or fighting his way to the girl of his dreams. With no trailer to watch I’m holding off on a rating.

May 

Artemis Fowl
Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer, science fiction movieRelease Date: May 29, 2020
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Synopsis: “Artemis Fowl II (Ferdia Shaw), a young Irish criminal mastermind, kidnaps the fairy LEPrecon officer Captain Holly Short (Lara McDonnell) for ransom to fund the search for his missing father in order to restore the family fortune.”
From the Book: “Artemis Fowl” by Eoin Colfer
Trailer: Watch Here

My Take: The trailer doesn’t show you a lot but the production values are excellent. I never read the book, so I don’t have a road map to the story. But it looks good and you can’t beat Kenneth Branagh for serious work. I give this an Almost Certainly rating.

The Bottom Line

Galaxy, Milky Way, black hole, you are here, earth

In the galactic boonies

So, that is it for science fiction movies 1H 2020.

Seven science fiction movies do not make up a long list. With the possible exception of Artemis Fowl, all seven movies take place on Planet Earth. That means no trip to outer space for the whole first half. Bummer. If, like me, you enjoy the sensation of being Out There, you will have to wait for mid-summer for an opportunity.

Out of the seven, I could only get excited about a few. The rest either look like nothing I want to see or the reviews will make the difference. And I often don’t trust mundane reviewers on science fiction movies. So, there’s that.

Fingers crossed.

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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at aknextphase.com. She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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