The 47 most anticipated movies of 2023

The 47 most anticipated movies of 2023

From John Wick 4 to Barbie,from Indiana Jonesto Oppenheimer,here are nearly 50 good reasons to head back into theaters this year

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Clockwise from left: Cocaine Bear (courtesy of Universal Pictures), Barbie (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures), Oppenheimer (Courtesy of Universal Pictures), The Little Mermaid (Courtesy of Disney), John Wick 4 (Courtesy of Lionsgate)
Clockwise from left: Cocaine Bear (courtesy of Universal Pictures), Barbie (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures), Oppenheimer (Courtesy of Universal Pictures), The Little Mermaid (Courtesy of Disney), John Wick 4 (Courtesy of Lionsgate)
Graphic: The A.V. Club

Perhaps it shouldn’t be much of a surprise, especially after the smash success of Top Gun: Maverick, but 2023 is shaping up to be a franchise-heavy year for film. Evil Dead rises again after a 10-year hiatus, John Wick keeps fighting his way to a seat at the High Table, and Magic Mike is back for one last dance. And that’s not even getting into potential franchise-starters like Dungeons And Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and The Super Mario Bros. Movie. But, if mega-budget movies based on existing IP aren’t your thing, there’s still Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s mega-budget capital-F Film based on a book. And hey, at least there’s no way he’ll be able to muffle the sound of an atomic bomb, right? ... Right? Here’s our list of movies to look out for in 2023.

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2 / 49

M3GAN

M3GAN

M3GAN - official trailer

Release Date: January 6 (in theaters)

Starring: Violet McGraw, Allison Williams, Ronny Chieng

Director: Gerard Johnstone

On paper, we like everything about this movie: Blumhouse, James Wan (producing), and a killer trailer. In M3GAN, Williams plays Gemma, a roboticist who devises a hyper-real doll meant to love, support, and protect anyone it’s paired to. Gemma ends up caring for her young niece Cady (McGraw) and pairs M3GAN to her. What could possibly go wrong? The trailer promises chills, thrills, and touches of dark comedy. Try not to laugh when a bully flicks M3GAN’s nose, only for her to come to life and helpfully suggest, “You should probably run.” [Ian Spelling]

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3 / 49

House Party

House Party

House Party - Official Trailer Starring Jacob Latimore

Release date: January 13 (in theaters)

Starring: Jacob Latimore, Tosin Cole and DC Young Fly

Director: Calmatic

LeBron James both cameos in and produces this remake of Kid ’n Play’s cult classic comedy, which once again centers on two best friends (Latimore and Cole) who decide to host a party. But this time, it’s at LeBron’s mansion. Originally schedule for a premiere on HBO Max, House Party will now hit theaters instead and feature additional cameos from Bill Bellamy, Lena Waithe, and Snoop Dogg. [Phil Pirrello]

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4 / 49

Shotgun Wedding

Shotgun Wedding

Shotgun Wedding - Official Trailer | Prime Video

Release Date: January 27 (Prime Video)

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Coolidge, Lenny Kravitz

Director: Jason Moore

The J.Lo-aissance continues with Shotgun Wedding, the much-buzzed-about action rom-com that’s essentially pitched as “Die Hard at a wedding.” When potential newlyweds Lopez and Duhamel get cold feet at their destination wedding, bad guys with guns show up and take hostages. So it’s up to the two soon-to-be spouses to do the John McClane thing and save everyone and their marriage. Yes to everything here. [Phil Pirrello]

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5 / 49

Knock At The Cabin

Knock At The Cabin

Knock at the Cabin - Official Trailer

Release Date: February 3 (in theaters)

Starring: Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn, Rupert Grint

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Which M. Night Shyamalan will moviegoers get this time, the genius who gave us The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Split, or the guy behind such turkeys as The Happening, The Last Airbender, After Earth, and Old? Knock At The Cabin finds two dads (Groff and Aldridge) out in the woods with their daughter (Cui) when a mysterious quartet (Bautista, Grint, etc.) visits their cabin and threateningly explains that one of the family must sacrifice themselves in order to prevent the deaths of millions of people. What would be freakier: That they’re lying … or telling the truth? [Ian Spelling]

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6 / 49

Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Magic Mike’s Last Dance | Official Trailer

Release Date: February 10 (in theaters)

Starring: Channing Tatum, Salma Hayek Pinault, Ayub Khan Din

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Now a bartender and minus his usual supporting cast, Mike gets drawn back into the world of erotic dance when Salma Hayek Pinault invites him to London to stage a new show. Well, who’d turn that down? Sequels that claim to be the last or final chapter never, ever are, so even as this third installment of Soderbergh’s accidental franchise dangles the notion of happily ever after, and hot chemistry between Tatum and Hayek, don’t expect this to actually be the end. Or for Tatum to ever get fully nude in Magic Mike’s Last Dance—it is a strip tease, after all. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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7 / 49

Sharper

Sharper

Sharper - Teaser Trailer - Starring Julianne Moore - Apple Original Films / A24

Release Date: February 17 (in theaters)

Starring: Julianne Moore, Sebastian Stan, Justice Smith, John Lithgow

Director: Benjamin Caron

Benjamin Caron earned his shot at directing features thanks to his work on The Crown. For his big-screen debut Sharper, he’s assembled a top-notch cast headlined by Moore, who plays a con woman who sets her sights on billionaires. Little beyond that is known about the plot, though the script earned a place on The Black List, meaning it surely deserved to be produced. Lithgow, in voiceover, delivers the money line in the teaser trailer: “Let me give you a piece of advice. If you’re going to steal… steal a lot.” Count us in. [Ian Spelling]

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8 / 49

Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania

Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania

Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania | Official Trailer

Release Date: Feb. 17 (in theaters only)

Starring: Paul Rudd, Jonathan Majors, Kathryn Newton, Evangeline Lilly, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Michael Douglas

Director: Peyton Reed

Rudd and Reed reunite for their third Ant-Man movie, which is the first one to serve as somewhat of a load-bearing column for Marvel’s next phase—which centers on big bad Kang the Conquerer (Majors) and his plot to rule the Multiverse. Standing in Kang’s way are Scott Lang, Hope (Lilly), and Scott’s daughter, Cassandra (Newton). This time, Cassie gets to suit up (and shrink down) with her dad for a very epic—and game-changing—trip into the Quantum Realm. [Phil Pirrello]

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9 / 49

Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear | Official Trailer [HD]

Release Date: Feb. 24 (in theaters only)

Starring: Keri Russell, Margo Martindale, and Ray Liotta

Director: Elizabeth Banks

Inspired by an insane true story, the ’80s-set Cocaine Bear centers on, well, a bear that ingests a lot of smuggled cocaine. Things go from zero to Scarface’s snorting-a-mountain-of-coke scene real quick in this R-rated black comedy thriller, whose trailer has already sparked some hilarious memes on social. [Phil Pirrello]

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10 / 49

Creed III

Creed III

CREED III | Official Trailer

Release Date: March 3 (in theaters only)

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Jonathan Majors, Wood Harris

Director: Michael B. Jordan

Jordan returns as Adonis “Donnie” Creed, the boxing champ son of Apollo Creed in this second Creed sequel, the first-ever Rocky franchise installment to weigh in without Sylvester Stallone. The story picks up several years after Creed II. Donnie is in a good place at home and in the ring, and along comes Damian “Dame” Anderson (Majors), a once-aspiring boxer freshly out of prison after almost two decades. He’s got a major chip on his shoulders and old pal Donnie in his sights. Jordan not only stars in Creed III, but he directed it as well. [Ian Spelling]

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11 / 49

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves | Official Trailer (2023 Movie)

Release Date: March 31 (in theaters only)

Starring: Chris Pine, Hugh Grant, Rege-Jean Page, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis

Directors: Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley

Hasbro’s been trying to reboot D&D on the big screen for a good decade now. The movie they’ve ultimately come up with looks to at least contain both dungeons and dragons, so that’s a good start. With Chris Pine as a wise-cracking bard, though, it’s still unclear quite what the tone will be—Jeremy Irons and Marlon Wayans played things far too broadly in the previous attempt, but make it too serious and you get House Of The Dragon, which people already have at home. Then again, Game Of Thrones and its spin-offs don’t have gelatinous cubes, and Honor Among Thieves most definitely does. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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12 / 49

Scream VI

Scream VI

Scream VI | Official Teaser Trailer (2023 Movie)

Release Date: March 10

Starring: Courteney Cox, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett

There’s just no keeping Ghostface down, is there? The masked killer returns in Scream VI, this time chasing victims—including a few survivors (Barrera, Brown, Ortega, and Gooding) of past attacks—in New York. In the city that never sleeps, where every other person seems to be sporting a Ghostface mask (it’s Halloween, natch), no one is safe. We’re excited about the returnees, especially Ortega, who’s red-hot right now thanks to Wednesday, but bummed that Neve Campbell’s appearance fell through. At some point, audiences might tire of the franchise, but Scream (aka Scream V) grossed $140 million, so expect new installments until one finally kills the golden goose. [Ian Spelling]

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13 / 49

Shazam: Fury Of The Gods

Shazam: Fury Of The Gods

SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS - Official Trailer 1

Release Date: March 17 (in theaters only)

Starring: Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, Djimon Hounsou

Director: David F. Sandberg

The superhero Shazam, who confusingly maintains the same name as the wizard who gave him his powers, faces off against his comic-book arch-enemy, Black Ada ... Oh. Wait. That’s not happening, like, ever. Instead, how about we get the daughters of Atlas, played by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler in Shazam: Fury Of The Gods? Seems like a fair trade. The supernatural sisters seek a weapon that could destroy the world; meanwhile, the titular fury of the gods comes from Billy Batson and family taking their powers too much for granted. The hierarchy of power in the DC universe is not expected to change as a result. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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14 / 49

John Wick 4

John Wick 4

John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023 Movie) Official Trailer – Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård

Release Date: March 24 (in theaters only)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Lance Reddick, Ian McShane

Director: Chad Stahelski

John Wick (Reeves) wants out … again. To do so, he’ll have to defeat the High Table. The game has changed, as have the rules, but where there’s a will, and a Wick, there’s a way. If that means riding a horse across a Western terrain or a showdown by the Eiffel Tower, so be it. Even better, Chapter 4 welcomes the legendary Donnie Yen to the franchise, apparently casting him as a Wick pal turned enemy. And looking at the trailer, we also get glimpses of Bridget Moynahan and character actor extraordinaire Clancy Brown. Bring back Wick’s beloved puppy, and we’ll be in heaven (possibly literally). [Ian Spelling]

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15 / 49

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

The Super Mario Bros. Movie | Official Trailer

Release Date: April 7 (in theaters only)

Starring: Chris Pratt, Anna Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, and Charlie Day

Director: Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic

Nintendo’s most iconic character hasn’t had a movie since 1993’s live-action box office flop Super Mario Bros. After 30 years toiling in Hollywood jail, Mario is back—now in CG-animated form—in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which features the voices of Chris Pratt as Mario and Jack Black as Mario’s iconic nemesis, Bowser. [Phil Pirrello]

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16 / 49

Renfield

Renfield

Release Date: April 14 (in theaters only)

Starring: Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult

Director: Chris McKay

If there’s anything better than Nic Cage playing Count Dracula, we don’t wanna know about it. The Face/Off star teams up with the director of The LEGO Batman Movie for this horror comedy about Dracula’s “familiar”/assistant, Renfield (Nicholas Hoult), who gets a new lease on life when he leaves his job and falls for a traffic cop (Awkwafina). Outside of some paparazzi pics of Cage rocking some velvet vampire duds on set, most of Renfield has been kept under lock and key. Which only makes us want to see this inspired premise in action even more. [Phil Pirrello]

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17 / 49

Evil Dead Rise

Evil Dead Rise

Lily Sullivan in Evil Dead Rise
Lily Sullivan in Evil Dead Rise
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: April 21 (in theaters only)

Stars: Gabrielle Echols, Morgan Davies, Nell Fisher, Lily Sullivan, Alyssa Sutherland

Director: Lee Cronin

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the latest Evil Dead horror-comedy hybrid. The good news is that franchise veterans Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Rob Tapert are on board as producers. The bad news is that Campbell isn’t back as Ash. That’s because Evil Dead Rise spins a fiendishly fresh story. Here’s the official plot synopsis: “A road-weary Beth pays an overdue visit to her older sister Ellie, who is raising three kids on her own in a cramped L.A. apartment. The sisters’ reunion is cut short by the discovery of a mysterious book deep in the bowels of Ellie’s building, giving rise to flesh-possessing demons, and thrusting Beth into a primal battle for survival as she is faced with the most nightmarish version of motherhood imaginable.” [Ian Spelling]

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18 / 49

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 | Official Trailer

Release Date: May 5 (in theaters only)

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel

Director: James Gunn

Pursued by Adam Warlock, the Guardians go on one last mission in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 that will delve into the secrets of Rocket Raccoon’s past, and the terrible experiments that caused him to evolve. Turns out a villain called the High Evolutionary is responsible, and like Star Trek’s Borg, he seeks to technologically enhance everyone into a master race. Meanwhile, Peter Quill will no doubt try to persuade the variant universe Gamora to feel for him the way her previous, deceased version did. And there’s a cute otter named Lylla, whose Funko Pops are undoubtedly in the works as you read this. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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19 / 49

Fast X

Fast X

Release Date: May 19 (in theaters only)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena, Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Scott Eastwood, Michael Rooker, Daniela Melchior, Alan Ritchson, Cardi B, Helen Mirren, Rita Moreno, Charlize Theron

Director: Louis Leterrier

The gang of quasi-legal street racers turned international superspies just keeps getting bigger, allegedly adding Gal Gadot this time. Theron’s Cipher remains an evil mastermind, this time bringing in Momoa’s Dante to be the new big bad for Vin Diesel and crew, who’ll get help from Brie Larson’s Tess. Expect Fast X to end on a big cliffhanger leading into part 11, which will then supposedly “conclude” the series, probably the same way The Walking Dead just concluded—by splitting it into smaller spin-offs that cost less and allow contracts to be negotiated anew. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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20 / 49

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid - Official Teaser Trailer

Release Date: May 26 (in theaters only)

Starring: Halle Bailey, Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, Awkwafina, Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy

Director: Rob Marshall

The latest Disney animated classic to get the live-action treatment is The Little Mermaid. Is it necessary? Nope. Will we do happy belly flops and cannonballs if this musical comedy is anywhere near as charming as the Emma Watson-led Beauty And The Beast? Yup. The potential is there, what with Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns) directing a talented array of actors. We’re in deep for Bailey as Ariel, and love the voice casting of Diggs as Sebastian, Tremblay as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle. And it seems that McCarthy and Bardem will play live-action versions of Ursula and King Triton, respectively. Let’s say that again: Bardem as King Triton. They “shore” can’t go wrong with that choice. [Ian Spelling]

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21 / 49

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE - Official Trailer (HD)

Release Date: June 2 (in theaters only)

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Shameik Moore, Issa Rae, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Jake Johnson

Directors: Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin Thompson

Spider-Man 2099 (voiced by Isaac) and Spider-Woman (Rae) join Miles Morales (Moore) for more vivid adventures across the Spider-Verse in this sequel to the Oscar-winning 2018 hit, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. This time, Miles’ Spidey clashes with other Spider-folk on how to protect their corners of the multiverse from a new and dangerous threat. With screenwriters and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller returning for Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse, fans can expect Miles’ second big screen swing to be even more visually stunning and emotionally compelling than his first. [Phil Pirrello]

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22 / 49

Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts

Transformers: Rise Of The Beasts

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts | Official Teaser Trailer (2023 Movie)

Release Date: June 9 (in theaters only)

Starring: Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson, Michelle Yeoh, John DiMaggio

Director: Steven Caple Jr.

It’s sheer folly to attempt to make sense of the Transformers movie timeline, but with that said, Rise Of The Beasts is ostensibly a prequel to the Michael Bay films, a sequel to Bumblebee, and the first live-action adaptation of Beast Wars, the animated series/toy line that became the dominant Transformers property during the mid-’90s, which is when this movie is set. Optimus Prime and Bumblebee return, assisted by two archaeologists from Brooklyn. The rest of the robot cast consists of Maximals, who turn into robotic-looking animals, and Terrorcons, who in this version become vehicles rather than monsters. The plot, as usual, really doesn’t matter that much. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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23 / 49

Strays

Strays

Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell
Photo: Alexi J. Rosenfeld / Stringer (Getty Images)

Release Date: June 9 (in theaters only)

Starring: Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Will Forte, Isla Fisher

Director: Josh Greenbaum

An abandoned dog (Ferrell) has a bone to pick with the jerk human owner (Forte) who dumped him. The cross canine plots revenge with the help of some fellow strays (among them Foxx). There’s not much more info out there to chew on, except that Strays is a live-action/CGI hybrid that boasts Phil Lord and Chris Miller among its producers. Greenbaum, a veteran of documentaries and sitcoms, most recently helmed the little-seen, but amusing Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar. [Ian Spelling]

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24 / 49

Elemental

Elemental

Elemental | Teaser Trailer

Release Date: June 16 (in theaters only)

Starring: Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie

Director: Peter Sohn

In a city where the four elements of nature—earth, air, water, and fire—exist together as sentient species, a fire-woman named Ember falls for a water-man named Wade. But if they touch, they’ll extinguish each other. What to do? Since this is Pixar, there’ll probably be a lot of crying involved in Elemental. Director Peter Sohn (The Good Dinosaur, the voice of Sox in Lightyear) was inspired by his childhood as the son of Korean immigrants in New York City to tell a story about people from very different backgrounds learning they have a lot in common. It’s a positive theme, but here’s hoping there’s a little more to the story. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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25 / 49

The Flash

The Flash

The Flash - First Look Teaser Trailer | DC FanDome 2021

Release Date: June 16

Starring: Ezra Miller, Ron Livingston, Michael Keaton, Kiersey Clemons, Michael Shannon, Ben Affleck

Director: Andy Muschietti

The Flash presents a classic case of art vs. artist. Could this take on Barry Allen/The Flash be the movie that steadies the ship as James Gunn and Peter Safran settle into the DCEU captains’ chairs? Yes, quite possibly. But, then there’s the Ezra Miller problem. They’re a fascinating actor, but a troubled human. Assuming the film actually gets released, how involved will they be in promoting it? If they experience more problems between now and June 16, does The Flash become a Batgirl-style tax write-off? Entirely possible. Also, if it does open, we’ve got to assume that the cameos Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill shot still end up in the trash bin. [Ian Spelling]

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26 / 49

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny

Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny | Official Trailer

Release Date: June 30 (in theaters only)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, John Rhys-Davies, Mads Mikkelsen, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook

Director: James Mangold

An aging Indy returns for Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny, the fifth film in his franchise and the first not to be written by George Lucas or directed by Steven Spielberg. James Mangold promises it won’t be the sort of grim final chapter that Logan was for Wolverine, but another derring-do-heavy adventure full of resolved cliffhangers and Nazi-punching. In this case, those notorious Hitler acolytes have infiltrated the American space program in the ’60s, and it’s up to Indiana Jones, his hitherto-unrevealed goddaughter, and old pal Sallah to defeat them. Guess that marriage to Marion didn’t last. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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27 / 49

Insidious: Fear The Dark

Insidious: Fear The Dark

Patrick Wilson in Insidious
Insidious
Image: Courtesy of FilmDistrict

Release Date: July 7 (in theaters only)

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Ty Simpkins

Director: Patrick Wilson

Apparently, The Last Key didn’t lock the door on Insidious films. Can’t blame the studio when The Last Key scared up nearly $168 million against a $10 million budget. Fear The Dark finds Josh Lambert’s (Patrick Wilson) son Dalton (Ty Simpkins), away at college. It should be good for father and son, and it is, at least until Dalton’s repressed demons turn up to torment them both. At this point, nobody knows the Insidious universe better than Wilson, and so it’s quite appropriate that he’ll make his feature directing debut with Fear The Dark. [Ian Spelling]

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28 / 49

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One | Official Teaser Trailer (2023 Movie) - Tom Cruise

Release Date: July 14 (in theaters only)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Esai Morales, Vanessa Kirby, and Simon Pegg

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

By the time Tom Cruise’s seventh Mission: Impossible movie hits theaters—his third with writer-directer Christopher McQuarrie—he and McQ will have spent five years working on it. Plot details are being kept locked up tighter than the NOC List (reference!), but it seems that super spy Ethan Hunt is in for his biggest, most personal mission yet as he leaps off mountains on motorbikes and fights bad guys atop moving trains to save the free world. This time, he gets an assist from Marvel stars Atwell and Klementieff (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) as well as Henry Czerny, who reprises his role of CIA agent Kittridge from the first Mission: Impossible movie. [Phil Pirrello]

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29 / 49

Barbie

Barbie

Barbie | Teaser Trailer

Release Date: July 21 (in theaters only)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera, Ncuti Gatwa, Rhea Perlman, Kate McKinnon

Director: Greta Gerwig

After many years and false starts, Mattel has finally gotten a high-profile movie out of one of their toy properties. (Yes, we love the ’8os Masters Of The Universe, and vaguely acknowledge the Max Steel movie that came and went, but let’s be honest—they were small-scale.) From the director of Little Women comes its potential antithesis: a celebration of the pink-loving, outfit-switching, impossibly skinny blonde who, it would seem, somehow enters the real world from her own plastic fantasy dimension. Could Barbie be a Brady Bunch Movie for a new generation? [Luke Y. Thompson]

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30 / 49

Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer | Official Trailer

Release Date: July 21 (in theaters only)

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Florence Pugh

Director: Christopher Nolan

There are few event movies produced these days that aren’t of the Marvel and DC variety, and that’s what makes anything Nolan chooses to direct special in its own right. The man creates cinematic experiences. In Oppenheimer, he sets his sights on J. Robert Oppenheimer, who dared to play God when he led the charge to construct the first atomic bomb. Such an enigmatic figure demands to be played by an enigmatic actor, and Nolan regular Murphy fits the bill. Add to the mix Blunt, Damon, and Downey Jr., as well as Gary Oldman, Kenneth Branagh, David Krumholtz, Rami Malek, Josh Harnett, Jack Quaid, Olivia Thirlby, and more, and you’ve got not only 2023’s most explosive cast, but arguably the year’s top must-see movie. [Ian Spelling]

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31 / 49

The Marvels

The Marvels

Iman Vellani as Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel
Photo: Courtesy of Marvel Studios

Release Date: July 28 (in theaters only)

Starring: Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, Teyonah Paris

Director: Nia DaCosta

Ms. Marvel (Vellani) gets to share the screen with her idol and favorite Avenger in director Nia DaCosta’s sequel to 2019’s hit, Captain Marvel. Teased during an end-credits scene in the Ms. Marvel season one finale, The Marvels promises more multiverse shenanigans when Carol Danvers (Larson), Rambeau (Paris), and Khan are forced to team up when every time they use their powers, they swap places. If this movie is half as visually compelling as DaCosta’s Candyman remake, then Marvel fans are in for another worthwhile trip to the MCU. [Phil Pirrello]

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32 / 49

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Release Date: August 4 (in theaters only)

Starring: Actual teenagers TBD, Seth Rogen (probably)

Director: Jeff Rowe

The latest reboot of the perennial media franchise starring martial arts weapons-wielding reptiles will apparently focus more heavily on the “Teenage” part of the title, with producer Seth Rogen apparently wanting to make something like Superbad with mutants. Since it will be animated, there’s theoretically no limit to the number of mutants who might be causing mayhem, though early leaked toy listings suggest human fly and mad scientist Baxter Stockman will be at least one of the villains in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. However, Rogen is insisting the voice talents—which have previously included the likes of Corey Feldman and Johnny Knoxville over the years—will be actual teenagers this time. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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33 / 49

The Last Voyage Of The Demeter

The Last Voyage Of The Demeter

The Last Voyage Of The Demeter
The Last Voyage Of The Demeter
Photo: Courtesy of Amblin Entertainment

Release date: August 11 (in theaters only)

Starring: Corey Hawkins, Javier Botet, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham, David Dastmalchian, Jon Jon Briones

Director: André Øvredal

The Last Voyage Of The Demeter literally rips a page—or rather a chapter—from Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. The horror film unfolds on a schooner named The Demeter, which is carrying a load of unmarked crates that may or may not be coffins. As the ship sails to its destination, the body count rises, and a certain legendary vampire appears to be lurking about and killing the crew. Think of it as an origin story, and hopefully one with, er, teeth.

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34 / 49

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion logo
Haunted Mansion
Image: Courtesy of Disney

Release Date: August 11 (in theaters only)

Starring: Rosario Dawson, LaKeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, Winona Ryder, Dan Levy, Jared Leto, Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hasan Minhaj

Director: Justin Simien

Eddie Murphy’s nowhere near this reboot of the movie based on the Disneyland ride, though an all-star cast that includes significant comedic talents like Haddish, Levy, Minhaj, and DeVito suggests a solid laughs-to-chills ratio. Truthfully, Murphy’s version is a lot better than people remember, but the yardstick to clear here is the recent Muppets crossover special, which challenged Gonzo and Pepe to stay the night, and featured the likes of Ed Asner and Danny Trejo haunting them. The fact that Jared Leto’s playing the headless hatbox ghost is of particular interest—what sort of extreme method preparation do we suppose he did for the part? [Luke Y. Thompson]

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Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle poster
Blue Beetle
Image: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Release Date: August 18 (in theaters only)

Starring: Xolo Maridueña, George Lopez, Damian Alcazar, Raoul Trujillo, Susan Sarandon

Director: Angel Manuel Soto

Originally headed for HBO Max but now booked for theaters, Blue Beetle focuses on the Jaime Reyes version of the character, the third in the comics to use the Blue Beetle name, and now the first Latino lead in a DC superhero movie. In this case, he’s a teen who bonds with an alien scarab that gives him a super-suit. Susan Sarandon plays Victoria Kord, a new villain created for the movie who presumably has family ties to the previous Beetle, Ted Kord. Though it was made to fit into current DC continuity, a reputed lack of cameos in favor of passing reference to other characters might allow it to exist in any potential rebooted universe just as easily. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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Challengers

Challengers

Zendaya
Zendaya
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff (Getty Images)

Release Date: August 11 (in theaters only)

Starring: Zendaya, Mike Faist, Josh O’Connor

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Luca Guadagnino, the Italian director of Suspiria, Call Me By Your Name, and Bones And All takes a very different swing with Challengers, a tennis drama and romance. The multitalented—and ubiquitous—Zendaya plays Tashi, a woman who coaches her struggling tennis player husband Art (Faist), prepping him for the upcoming Challenger Series. It’s all well and good until Tashi and Art realize that he’ll have to play Patrick (O’Connor), who was once in a love match with … Tashi. Sticking with the tennis clichés, dear A.V. Club readers, the ball is in your court on this one. [Ian Spelling]

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The Equalizer 3

The Equalizer 3

The Equalizer 3
The Equalizer 3
Photo: Stefano Cristiiano Montesi/CTMG/Sony Pictures

Release Date: September 1 (in theaters only)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Since we last saw Denzel Washington’s version of Robert McCall on the big screen, there’s been a TV reboot with Queen Latifah as Robyn McCall. It’s unlikely too many viewers will be confused by conflicting canon, as The Equalizer, whether on TV or in the movies, has always been a star-driven action premise first and foremost, rather than any kind of well of deep lore. The newest Washington version will see him travel to Italy on a mission to protect the innocent, and involves a reunion with Washington’s Man On Fire costar Dakota Fanning. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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A Haunting In Venice

A Haunting In Venice

A Haunting In Venice
A Haunting In Venice
Image: Courtesy of 20th Century Studios

Release Date: September 23 (in theaters only)

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, Kelly Reilly

Director: Branagh

After base hits Murder On The Orient Express and Death On The Nile, Inspector Mustache, er, Poirot (Branagh) is back for his third big-screen mystery based on the works of Agatha Christie. A Haunting In Venice finds the master detective retired and living in exile. He soon regrets not staying that way when he attends a seance—along with Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, and Yellowstone’s Kelly Reilly—and it turns into another homicide Poirot must solve. Branagh directs again, from a screenplay by Murder and Nile’s scribe Michael Green. [Phil Pirrello]

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Next Goal Wins

Next Goal Wins

Next Goal Wins
Next Goal Wins
Photo: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Searchlight Pictures

Release Date: September 22 (in theaters only)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Elisabeth Moss, Will Arnett, Oscar Kightley, Amgus Sampson, Rhys Darby, Beulah Koale

Director: Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi remakes a 2014 documentary, about one of the world’s worst soccer teams, into the underdog sports comedy it was probably always destined to be. The team in question is from American Samoa, circa 2014, and Fassbender plays the Dutch-American coach who has to get them into good enough shape to qualify for the World Cup. The movie wrapped in 2020, but underwent significant reshoots to replace Armie Hammer with Will Arnett, following the former’s abuse scandals. Arnett was given a much bigger role in the story, and that’s generally a good thing. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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The Expendables 4 

The Expendables 4 

Release Date: September 22 (in theaters only)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Randy Couture, Andy Garcia

Director: Scott Waugh

The Expendables franchise carries on with this third sequel in which Stallone reportedly passes the baton to Statham. The plot is top-secret, but we’re going to guess that Barney Ross (Stallone), Lee Christmas (Statham), and their merry band of mercenaries come up against yet another seemingly insurmountable threat and destroy everything in their path on the way to victory. It’s a formula that’s worked time and again, and chances are it will this time, too. We’ll miss Stallone going forward, but as everyone knows, Statham is no slouch. [Ian Spelling]

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Kraven The Hunter

Kraven The Hunter

Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Photo: Chung Sung-Jun (Getty Images)

Release Date: October 6 (in theaters only)

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ariana DeBose, Russell Crowe

Director: J.C. Chandor

Sony continues to mine its corner of licensed Spider-Man characters with the live-action debut of one of Peter Parker’s most famous adversaries: Kraven the Hunter. Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the super-strong and cunning big game hunter in what Sony hopes will be a new franchise starter from director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, Triple Frontier). Oscar-winner DeBose (West Side Story) will bring Marvel Comics mainstay Calypso to life, with the fan-favorite character rumored to be Kraven’s dark magic-wielding love interest. [Phil Pirrello]

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Saw X

Saw X

Tobin Bell as Jigsaw in Saw V
Saw V
Photo: Courtesy of Lionsgate

Release Date: October 27 (in theaters only)

Starring: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith

Director: Kevin Greutert

Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and Amanda (Shawnee Smith) are back for more R-rated gore in Saw X, the latest horror franchise to try and cash in on audience nostalgia at the box office. Official plot details are being kept hidden in one of Jigsaw’s murder traps, but what we do know is that the movie is a prequel of sorts—actually, a “midquel,” set between the events of James Wan’s original Saw and Saw II. Saw VI and Saw 3D helmer Kevin Greutert is back, so fans should be in good hands. [Phil Pirrello]

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Dune: Part Two

Dune: Part Two

Dune
Dune
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Release Date: November 3 (in theaters only)

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Lea Seydoux, Christopher Walken

Director: Denis Villeneuve

The rest of Frank Herbert’s novel gets condensed into Dune: Part Two, and hopes not to whiff the ending the way David Lynch’s version did. Austin Butler takes on the villainous Feyd-Rautha role previously played by Sting; no doubt many fans hope he’ll do the jockstrap scene anew. Meanwhile, Paul Atreides grows into his roles and powers as desert planet Messiah and heir to the Empire. But even as he falls for native girl Chani, he must marry Princess Irulan (Pugh) for status. Because when Christopher Walken is the Emperor of space, diplomacy matters. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes

The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023 Movie) - Reveal

Release Date: November 17 (in theaters only)

Starring: Rachel Zegler, Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, Tom Blyth

Director: Francis Lawrence

Lionsgate is dusting off its Hunger Games franchise with this prequel from the director who helped launch the property to begin with. Francis Lawrence returns to give fans a look at what’s essentially “Hunger Games Origins,” as The Ballad of Songbirds And Snakes—based on the novel by Hunger Games creator Suzanne Collins—centers on a pre-tyrant, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Blyth) years before he ruled over Panem as president. How he became such a cold and ruthless man will reveal itself through Snow’s mentoring of another young tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird (West Side Story’s Zegler). [Phil Pirrello]

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Wish

Wish

Wish
Wish
Image: Courtesy of Disney

Release Date: November 23 (in theaters only)

Starring: Ariana DeBose, Alan Tudyk

Director: Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn

Disney fans were given a sneak peek of Wish at 2022’s D23 convention and the magical work-in-progress did not disappoint. From directors Chris Buck (Frozen) and Fawn Veerasunthorn, Wish serves as the origin story of Disney’s legendary wishing star (because reasons). It follows 17-year-old Asha (DeBose) and her goat, Valentino (Tudyk), as they navigate a magical kingdom where wishes—like the one Asha makes on a star—really do come true. [Phil Pirrello]

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Wonka

Wonka

Wonka
Wonka
Photo: Finnbarr Webster / Contributor (Getty Images)

Release Date: December 15 (in theaters only)

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Sally Hawkins, Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Colman

Director: Paul King

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp totally misfired with their dark and unpalatable 2005 collaboration, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. For the latest version director Paul King (Paddington and Paddington 2), at least based on reports out of Cinemacon, will deliver an upbeat, straight-up musical prequel that follows a young Willy Wonka (Chalamet) crooning and tap dancing as he sets about launching his candy empire. We’ll watch Chalamet, Hawkins, and Colman in anything, but the wild card here is Atkinson. It’ll be a sweet treat to see who the erstwhile Mr. Bean and Blackadder is playing.[Ian Spelling]

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The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Release Date: December 20 (in theaters only)

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Halle Bailey, Aunjanue Ellis, Danielle Brooks, and Corey Hawkins

Director: Blitz Bazawule

The Color Purple is not a remake of Steven Spielberg’s 1985 adaptation of Alice Walker’s classic novel, but rather an adaptation of the Broadway musical based on the book. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Halle Bailey, and Corey Hawkins, this late-December release is poised to be a deserved awards contender come Oscar time. [Phil Pirrello]

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Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom

Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom - Behind the Scenes Clip | DC FanDome 2021

Release Date: December 25 (in theaters only)

Starring: Jason Momoa, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Amber Heard, Dolph Lundgren, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Nicole Kidman, Indya Moore, Pilou Asbaek

Director: James Wan

Aquaman and his estranged brother Orm must make relatively nice as they team up to take on a larger threat. Black Manta’s still out there and enraged, but our money’s on the recently cast Pilou Asbaek as a big bad, given his recent arch-villain turn in the Sylvester Stallone superhero flick Samaritan. One thing we know for sure: Aquaman will don a blue costume at some point in Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom. Ben Affleck and/or Michael Keaton may or may not appear as Batman; Amber Heard has not been recast as Mera. [Luke Y. Thompson]

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