The perpetual wave of awards chatter about 2022 movies make it easy to forget that a new year of movies has begun. The 2023 calendar promises everything from more reboots and sequels to the return of some of our favorite auteur directors. Below you’ll find 2023’s most notable releases (keeping in mind that the very fun M3GAN is already in theaters). It all begins with the end of the world…
A Knock at the Cabin (February 3)
Unexpected visitors led by a man named Leonard (Dave Bautista) arrive at a remote cabin to present vacationing parents (Jonathan Groff and Ben Aldridge) and their daughter with an impossible demand: one family member must be sacrificed or the world will end. What’s more, all the evidence on the news suggests the visitors may be right. M. Night Shyamalan’s latest adapts Paul Tremblay’s chilling 2019 novel The Cabin at the End of the World.
Magic Mike’s Last Dance (February 10)
Director Steven Soderbergh and star Channing Tatum haven’t revealed much about the latest installment in their ongoing, clothes-peeling collaboration, but a single Tatum quote calling it the “Super Bowl of stripping” should probably be enticing enough for fans of the previous entries. It also seems like an appropriate escalation of scale, considering Magic Mike XXL essentially ended with the Stop Making Sense of stripping. Salma Hayek joins the cast for Tatum’s final (?) appearance as Mike Lane.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 17)
Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicks off by sending Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and various family members into the Quantum Realm where they, presumably, experience a big adventure on a tiny scale. Part of the appeal of previous Ant-Man movies has been their lightheartedness, relative coziness, and ability to focus on just a few characters in one corner of the MCU. As Quantumania is charged with formally introducing the next phase’s new Big Bad, Kang the Conquerer (Jonathan Majors), and setting up films and TV series to come, the third Ant-Man may not have the same luxury.
Cocaine Bear (February 24)
The trailer for this (loosely) real-incident-inspired thriller directed by Elizabeth Banks took the internet by storm when it debuted late last year. Will the movie do the same? Cocaine Bear draws on a 1985 incident in which a bear died in Georgia after eating 75 pounds of cocaine dropped from a plane by smugglers. That bear did not go on a kill-crazy rampage, terrorizing an all-star cast that includes Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Margo Martindale, Alden Ehrenreich, and Ray Liotta. This bear, however, will.
Creed III (March 3)
In his feature directorial debut, Michael B. Jordan once again steps in the ring as the son of Rocky Balboa’s greatest foe-turned-best friend, Apollo. For the first time, Sylvester Stallone is not part of the cast, but Jonathan Majors steps in as Creed’s troubled childhood friend Dame, an ex-con eager to prove himself in the ring.
Scream VI (March 10)
The Jenna Ortega Scream Queen Supremacy continues with her return to the Scream franchise, as her character, her sister and their surviving friends from last year’s installment relocate to New York—only to find that Ghostface has followed, too. This will be the first Scream film without Neve Campbell, but the new big-city environment may provide enough of an energetic spark to overlook that.
Shazam: Fury of the Gods (March 17)
Zachary Levi returns as the plucky DC hero whose first film was an unexpected silver lining amidst the dark cloud of DCEU misses. Can lightning can strike twice in a sequel that includes, bemusingly, the talents of Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu as villains? And will it matter, considering this may be Shazam’s last stand after James Gunn’s DC overhaul?
65 (March 17)
Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, screenwriters of A Quiet Place, make their directorial debut with a sci-thriller that boasts an equally high concept: Adam Driver stars as a time-traveling astronaut who finds himself stranded on Earth, 65 million years in the pastalongside some hungry dinosaurs.
John Wick: Chapter 4 (March 24)
The third Wick installment was an instant new action classic. Can Keanu do it a fourth time? With legendary martial artist Donnie Yen as his new foe, it seems likely.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (March 31)
The venerable role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons has experienced a new surge of interest in recent years thanks to Stranger Things, so a new film version was probably inevitable. Expect a lighter touch thanks to directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the team behind the terrific Game Night. Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez lead a cast that includes Regé-Jean Page and Hugh Grant (as, naturally, a rogue).
The Super Mario Brothers Movie (April 7)
The last time the plumbing brothers Mario and Luigi (last names unknown) came to the big screen, the result was 1993’s Super Mario Bros., a bizarre trainwreck in which Dennis Hopper sported a giant tongue. This new animated version, brought to you by Illumination, the studio behind Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, will likely play it safer, even if Chris Pratt’s Mario voice sounds about as Italian, as, well, Bob Hoskins’ in the 1993 film.
Renfield (April 14)
Count Dracula’s put-upon, bug-eating familiar gets the spotlight in this new horror comedy starring Nicholas Hoult as Renfield, who falls in love with a New Orleans traffic cop (Awkwafina). But it’s Nicolas Cage, no stranger to vampires or bug-eating thanks to the cult classic Vampire’s Kiss, who will inevitably steal the scene one way or the other as the Count himself, the boss reluctant to let his employee leave his side.
Evil Dead Rise (April 21)
The fifth Evil Dead film makes a radical break with the past. Instead of a cabin in the woods (or a castle in the middle ages), a Los Angeles apartment building serves as ground zero for a new Deadite infestation when two sisters (Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan) make the mistake of opening a familiar-looking book with pages made from human skin.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (April 28)
Judy Blume’s book about a teen’s spiritual quest has been a staple of young-adult reading lists for over fifty years, and Blume repeatedly turned down appeals to okay a movie adaptation—until now And anyone who saw writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig’s great teen drama Edge of Seventeen can understand why Blume might feel safe putting the book in her hands. Abby Ryder Fortson (Ant-Man) stars as Margaret, alongside co-stars Rachel McAdams, Benny Safdie, and Kathy Bates.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 (May 5)
This may not theoretically be the last we see of the Guardians of the Galaxy, the misfit space heroes who vaulted from comic book obscurity onto lunchboxes and t-shirts with 2014’s first hit, but it’s almost certainly the last time we’ll see this version of the team, what with writer and director James Gunn leaving to help lead DC’s film efforts and Dave Bautista saying “there’s a relief” that it’s over. Maybe that’s why the trailer has such a solemn tone. Past Guardians films have nicely balanced levity with emotional heft, and this one will likely do the same and more.
Fast X (May 19)
Where does this franchise go after sending its heroes into space? That remains unclear, but we know that what Vin Diesel is hyping as the first of a two-part series finale will be doing its usual criss-crossing of Earth, as the film shot in Lisbon, Turin, Rome, London, and Los Angeles. The ever-expanding cast of regulars returns (sans Dwayne Johnson, of course), with Jason Momoa joining as the team’s new adversary.
The Little Mermaid (May 26)
Disney continues to roll out live-action versions of its animated classics with this new take on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale (but one that, presumably, keeps the animated version’s happy ending). Halle Bailey stars as Ariel, the mermaid princess who falls in love with a human prince (Jonah Hauer-King). You probably know the rest. Melissa McCarthy co-stars as Ursula.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (June 2)
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (June 9)
Hey, it’s a new Transformers movie, just what everyone wanted, right? Well, want it or not, the robots-in-disguise franchise is back with a ’90s-set story starring In the Heights’ Anthony Ramos, Judas and the Black Messiah’s Dominique Fishback, and the voices of Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson and others. Would it pique or lessen your interest to know that Michael Bay isn’t directing this one, and has handed the helm to Creed II’s Steven Caple Jr? A new director worked for Bumblebee…
Asteroid City (June 16)
Wes Anderson returns with a film set at a Junior Stargazers convention held in a small Arizona town in the 1950s. Beyond that, few details have been revealed apart from an expansive cast that includes many Anderson regulars and welcomes such newbies as as Steve Carrell and Hong Chau. This is one of two new Anderson movies we’ll be getting this year: The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar, an animated Roald Dahl adaptation starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is due to arrive on Netflix later this year. (And, hopefully in theaters, too.)
The Flash (June 16)
This long-in-the-works DC film will send its hero (Ezra Miller) into—you guessed it—a multiverse as a result of an attempt to undo a past tragedy. Or at least that’s the plan. Directed by Andy Muschietti (It), the film arrives under a cloud due to Miller’s legal troubles and as DC’s new leadership tries to figure out what to do with projects begun by the old regime.
Elemental (June 16)
The latest from Pixar is a cross-cultural romance set in Element City, where a water element (Mamoudou Athie) and a fire element (Leah Lewis) fall in love but wonder if their romance can overcome their different backgrounds. The symbolism is hard to miss, but making charming, touching animation out of these sorts of metaphors is what Pixar does best. This is the second feature directed by Pixar mainstay Peter Sohn, following the troubled but beautiful-looking The Good Dinosaur.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30)
The archeologist/adventurer (Harrison Ford) returns for a fifth outing, this time set in 1969 against the backdrop of the moon landing. That’s right: A lot of time has passed since Indy first took on 1930s Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Still, this looks like a lot of fun: Ford looks grizzled but fit, and the addition of Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indy’s goddaughter/sidekick is promising. James Mangold (Logan) takes over for Steven Spielberg as director.
Insidious: Fear the Dark (July 7)
Patrick Wilson returns and also steps behind the camera for the fifth installment in James Wan’s seminal horror franchise.
Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning, Part One (July 14)
Tom Cruise owned movie theaters last summer with Top Gun: Maverick. With this new entry in the long-running action franchise he looks to do it again. And why not? The Mission: Impossible films have been one of the most reliably thrilling tickets since the first entry in 1996. Christopher McQuarrie, who directed the last two installments, returns, as do series regulars Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Rebecca Ferguson, who are joined by Hayley Atwell and others. Look for Part Two—the purported finale to the franchise—next summer.
Barbie (July 21)
It’s not clear exactly what director Greta Getwig‚who co-wrote this big-screen version of the classic toy with Noah Baumbach—has in mind for Barbie, but the clever first trailer, a send-up of 2001: A Space Odyssey, suggests it’s going to be silly, brightly-colored and smart fun. Margot Robbie stars as Barbie opposite Ryan Gosling’s Ken in a story that will reportedly bring her into the human world.
Oppenheimer (July 21)
Barbie’s big competition on opening weekend? Nothing less than the atomic bomb. Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to Tenet stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the driving force behind the Manhattan Project that ushered in the atomic age. Nolan shot it using a combination of IMAX and 65mm film, because what other approach could be big enough for this film (and this filmmaker)?
The Marvels (July 28)
Marvel’s Phase Five continues with a film that serves as both a sequel to Captain Marvel and a follow-up to the Disney+ series Ms. Marvel, and also features Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), a character featured in WandaVision. Iman Vellani plays Kamala Khan, and Brie Larson returns as Carol Danvers, characters who find themselves changing identities for reasons they can’t explain.
The Meg 2: The Trench (Aug 4)
Jason Statham versus giant sharks: This is the type of movie the AMC A-list pass was made for.
Haunted Mansion (August 11)
Disney already adapted its popular theme park ride as an Eddie Murphy movie in 2003, but that was twenty years ago and nobody really cared for it. So why not try for a do-over? Rosario Dawson stars as a single mom who moves into an old mansion in New Orleans and starts a quiet new life. Just kidding: There are ghosts, including one played by Jared Leto. LaKeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, Dan Levy, Winona Ryder and Jamie Lee Curtis co-star: As ghosts? Neighbors? Who knows! What’s more intriguing is that it’s directed by Dear White People’s Justin Simien.
Gran Turismo (August 11)
The Mario Bros. aren’t the only ones moving from the video game to the big screen in 2023. The classic racing series Gran Turismo is also making the move via director Neil Blomkamp (District 9). The film is based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough (played by Archie Madekwe), a British racer who came to the sport as a teen via his love of the game. David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, and Djimon Hounsou co-star.
Blue Beetle (August 18)
Another leftover from the previous DC administration, this origin story of a teen named Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) who develops superpowers after picking up an alien artifact began as a project for HBO Max before getting bumped up to a theatrical release. Maridueña turned in well-liked work on Cobra Kai and Parenthood and director Angel Manuel Soto is following up his acclaimed Charm City Kings.
The Equalizer 3 (September 1)
This is presumably Denzel’s “one for them” after The Tragedy of Macbeth’s “one for me.”
The Nun 2 (September 8)
The Conjuring universe shows no signs of slowing down with the ninth(!) film in the franchise.
The Expendables 4 (September 22)
Sly may be done with Creed, but he’s back for another go-round of the AARP action expo that adds 50 Cent and Megan Fox to the cast.
Kraven the Hunter (October 6)
The last time Sony released a movie built around a Spider-Man antagonist without a Spider-Man in sight, the result was Morbius. Will Aaron Taylor-Johnson fair better as Kraven, traditionally a big-game hunter who lives to bag Spider-Man? We’ll have to wait until October to see.
Saw X (October 27)
The serial-killer franchise that ironically refuses to die returns again, with Tobin Bell back as Jigsaw.
Dune: Part Two (November 3)
It wasn’t a given that Dune: Part Two would follow Dune, Denis Villeneuve’s striking adaptation of the first half of Frank Herbert’s classic novel. Fortunately, the film did well enough to allow the director to complete the story with what should be an action-packed sequel, given how the novel ends. Or it could just be the second of many films: Herbert wrote a bunch of sequels and others picked up the Dune torch after his death.
Wonka (December 15)
Fresh off Dune: Part Two, Timothée Chalamet visits a different kind of strange world in aWilly Wonka origin story. That may sound like a dubious premise, but it gets the benefit of the doubt as Paddington and Paddington 2 director Paul King is behind it.
Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom (December 25)
In the new DC regime, will Jason Momoa’s king of the ocean go the way of Zack Snyder’s other DC heroes, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill’s Superman, and Ben Affleck’s Batman? Probably. But let’s hope his swan song is an adventure just as delightfully goofy and unabashedly fun as his first outing was.
The Killer (TBD)
After indulging himself with Mank, David Fincher is back to give the people what they want: artfully composed scenes of death and action. (The film is an adaptation of a French graphic novel about an assassin.) It’ll be a great vehicle for the return of Michael Fassbender, who we haven’t seen on-screen since 2019, when he fulfilled his X-Men obligations in the instantly forgettable Dark Phoenix.
They Cloned Tyrone (TBD)
The highly talented Jamie Foxx has been content to mail it in and cash the checks for the last few years. This trippy, government conspiracy misadventure—which seems like a tonal spiritual cousin to something like Sorry to Bother You—that also co-stars John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Kiefer Sutherland looks like it might be a fine return to form for Jamie the Artiste.
Rebel Moon (TBD)
Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon has been described as an “epic space opera.” And here’s the thing about Zack Snyder: When he’s not futzing with beloved DC characters, his action movies can be pretty distinct and enjoyable, like 2021’s Army of the Dead (or they can be like Sucker Punch, so it’s a toss-u).
Bradley Cooper, auteur, is once again directing himself in another sweeping love story set against the backdrop of show business a biopic about the life of the legendary Leonard Bernstein—particularly through the lens of his relationship with singer, actress and peace activist Felicia Monteleagre (Carey Mulligan).