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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Photograph: Walt Disney

The most anticipated movies coming out in 2023

Strap in for ‘Dune: Part Two’, ‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’ and the return of Indiana Jones

Phil de Semlyen
Matthew Singer
Written by
Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Matthew Singer
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If 2022 was the year of the Tom Cruise, thanks to the box-office smash that was Top Gun: Maverick, 2023 is shaping up to be the year of… well, Tom Cruise again. The arrival of part one of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning should have cinema tills ringing again. There’s a second instalment to get excited about too, in Denis Villeneuve’s climactic return to Arrakis with Dune: Part Two. And if we’re going through the numbers, Ant-Man and those loveable Guardians of the Galaxy are both getting a third go-round as phase four of the MCU goes multiversal. 

At the smaller, art-housier end of things, there’s plenty to get excited about too. Sundance and Cannes will shepherd hitherto unheralded or unknown treats onto our must-see lists. And before then there’s new films from Sarah Polley (Women Talking), Hirokazu Koreeda (Broker) and Cristian Mungiu (R.M.N.) hitting the big screen. Oh, and the small and deranged-looking matter of whatever the heck Elizabeth Banks’s Cocaine Bear will involve. One thing is certain: 2023 is going to be a ride.

RECOMMENDED: The 33 best movies of 2022.

The top upcoming movies in 2023

  • Film
  • Drama

A film that promises to burn with a righteous rage, Clemency director Chinonye Chukwu’s real-life drama tells the story of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old who was abducted, lynched and murdered in Mississippi in 1955. The Harder They Fall’s Danielle Deadwyler is already drawing awards buzz for her performance as Till’s grieving, impassioned and campaigning mother Mamie. 

In UK cinemas Jan 13. Read our review here.

Enys Men 
Photograph: Protagonist Pictures

Enys Men 

If you caught Mark Jenkin’s seaside gentrification drama Bait in 2019, made with an antique camera in 16mm black and white, you’ll know what to expect from his follow-up: artisanal filmmaking tools and a filmmaking ethos steeped in the best British folk horror traditions. Mark your diary for Enys Men (pronounced ‘enys main’), a darkly metaphysical yarn set on a Cornish island.

In UK cinemas Jan 13

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Babylon 
Photograph: Paramount Pictures

Babylon 

This Hollywood epic is a magnificently OTT snapshot of 1930s Tinseltown in all its drunken, drug-bingeing, elephant-wrangling glory. Debauched parties will be thrown, underground crime syndicates stumbled upon and occasionally movies will be made, as Brad Pitt’s high-flying silent film director, Margot Robbie’s wannabe movie star and Mexican newcomer Diego Calva as the on-set gopher play film studio snakes and ladders.

In UK cinemas Jan 20

The Fabelmans
Photograph: Studiocanal

The Fabelmans

Films don’t come much more personal than Steven Spielberg’s partly fictionalised self-biopic. Technically, it’s about a family called the Fabelmans who travel from coast to coast as dad (Paul Dano) makes a name for himself as a scientist and struggling mum (Michelle Williams) follows in his slipstream. But it’s the director’s life we’ll be seeing as Spielberg’s on-screen surrogate, Sammy, gets bitten by the moviemaking bug and feels the anguish of a painful home life.

In UK cinemas Jan 27

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Magic Mike’s Last Dance
Photograph: Warner Bros.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance

We’re not saying that anticipation for this last strip-athon is already at fever pitch, but British tabloids recently reported that on-set security had to be ramped up when ‘horny fans’ attempted to get in for a closer look at Channing Tatum’s abs. This time Tatum’s Mike is down on his luck and heading for London to try to pull off a final hit show. Salma Hayek, who replaced Thandiwe Newton on the movie, is his expectant backer.

Out worldwide Feb 10

Women Talking
Photograph: Universal Pictures

Women Talking

An actress and filmmaker with few peers, Sarah Polley is back with her first film since 2012’s gripping, original bio-doc Stories We Tell. It’s an adaptation of Miriam Toews’ novel about a group of women at a remote Mennonite community who have been drugged and sexually assaulted over a period of years. A powerful feminist drama, it boasts a superlative cast with Frances McDormand, Rooney Mara, Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley as the traumatised, furious women.

In UK cinemas Feb 10

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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Photograph: Marvel Studios

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Whisper it quietly but all is not quite as peachy as normal in the Marvelverse. There have been murmurings about a need to focus on ‘quality not quantity’, while the MCU flattered to deceive on the big-screen in 2022. But a new universe-wide superbad is along to tie it all together again in Jonathan Major’s Kang the Conqueror who makes his proper bow in Ant-Man 3. Scott Lang is gonna need back-up…

Out worldwide Feb 17

Missing
Photograph: Sony Pictures

Missing

An unconnected follow-up to 2018’s ace wifi-enabled potboiler Searching, this equally high-concept thriller sees an LA-bound Storm Reid using the internet to track down her mum (Friday’s Nia Long) when she goes missing only holiday in Colombia. All, of course, is not remotely what it seems. Is mum secretly knee-deep in cartel business? Google Earth, your time has come.

In US theaters Jan 20 and UK cinemas Feb 24

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  • Film

The latest from that Japanese master of humanism, Hirokazu Koreeda, takes him overseas to Busan in Korea for a touching, wryly funny tale of surrogate families. Parasite’s Song Kang-ho plays an adoption broker who steals a baby and begin touting the little’un around a network of wealthy wannabe parents, only to slowly fall under its spell. It might sound corny, but Koreeda’s warmth, humour and some spot-on casting elevates it into something special. 

In UK cinemas Feb 24. Read our review here.

Joyland
"Joyland"

Joyland

Pakistan’s Oscar submission has already caused a stir, both for what occurs in the film itself and the harsh response from the authorities in director Saim Sadiq’s home country. The queer-themed drama, about a middle class man who falls in love with a transgender woman, was banned in parts of Pakistan, sparking a social media campaign calling for its release. (It remains banned in the Punjab province.) Beyond the controversy, Joyland is being hailed as a poignant and crucial film, exploring gender roles, sexuality and familial bonds with deep sensitivity.

Out in the UK Feb. 24.

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Rye Lane
Photograph: Searchlight Pictures

Rye Lane

Two twentysomething Londoners fresh from break-ups (Industry’s David Jonsson and newcomer Vivian Oparah) meet cute over a day in the south of the city in this Sundance-bound romcom. Locals will tell you that Peckham is London’s vibiest, coolest spot – is it about to get its own answer to Love & Basketball or When Harry Met Sally? Debut director Raine Allen Miller is behind the camera.

In UK cinemas Mar 17.

Mummies
Photograph: Warner Bros.

Mummies

After a British archaeologist steals an ancient ring, a family of long-dead Egyptians must travel across dimensions to present-day London to get it back in this animated Warner Bros. adventure. It would appear to fall on the cheesier end of the cartoon spectrum – take a wild guess at the song that plays over the trailer – but at least it appears to be educating kids on just how all those ancient artefacts ended up in European museums.    

In US theaters Feb 24 and UK cinemas Mar 31

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Cocaine Bear
Photograph: Universal Pictures

Cocaine Bear

Improbably true stories make the best kind of thrillers, as movies from All the President’s Men to American Made have amply proved. Even more far-fetched than either is Cocaine Bear, Elizabeth Banks’s dramatisation of what happened when a brown bear snouted a kilo or two of narcotics when it was jettisoned into the wilderness by drug runners. Chaos is sure to ensue in a movie that also serves as a send-off to the late, great Ray Liotta.

Out worldwide Feb 24

Luther: The Fallen Sun
Photograph: Netflix

Luther: The Fallen Sun

This big-screen breakout for Idris Elba’s London copper is taking John Luther to more distant terrain in his relentless pursuit of justice. This time out he’s joined by Widows’ Cynthia Erivo, as a rival law enforcer, and Andy Serkis as ‘the story’s criminal villain’. The movie is being released by Netflix in March, although it remains to be seen whether it’ll go straight to streaming or we’ll hear our local cinemas ring out with those trademark bellows of ‘Loooootherrr!’.

On Netflix in March

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Subject
Photograph: Zachary Shields

Subject

What happened to the Friedmans after Capturing the Friedmans or to Arthur Agee and William Gates (pictured) when they stopped rolling on Hoop Dreams? And what was the fallout for the real-life dissidents in 2013’s The Square? Here to answer all those questions is this fascinating documentary, which will pick up where other docs left off and ask what it’s really like to be the subject of an award-winning, widely watched film.

In UK cinemas Mar 3

Creed III
Photograph: Warner Bros.

Creed III

Michael B Jordan straps his hands again for the third instalment of the Rocky spinoff franchise – and also slips into the director’s chair for the first time ever. Five years after vanquishing the son of Ivan Drago, Donnie Creed finds himself on a collision course with childhood friend Dame Anderson (Jonathan Majors), a former boxing prodigy looking to re-establish himself after a long prison sentence. Is this the one where Creed gets his own robot butler? Fingers crossed. 

Out worldwide Mar 3

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Photograph: Warner Bros.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Coming out around the same time as Avengers: Endgame, the original Shazam! was overshadowed – at least in terms of big-budget comic book movies – but still successful enough to warrant a reprise. Expect the same mix of heart, humour and dark shadings as Zachary Levi’s titular hero takes on the evil daughters of the Greek god Atlas, portrayed by Rachel Zegler, Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren. Honestly, our money’s on Dame Helen.

Out worldwide Mar 17

Allelujah!
Photograph: © Pathé Productions Limited and British Broadcasting Corporation 2022

Allelujah!

‘Allelujah’ is right, because a film version of an Alan Bennett play (this time adapted by fellow playwright Heidi Thomas) is always worthy of rejoicing. Delivering the great dramatist’s tart words on screen is a cast of beloved British thesps – Judi Dench, Jennifer Saunders, Russell Tovey and Derek Jacobi – in a setting that feels wildly current: a struggling NHS hospital. Expect a barbed microcosm of a country with a compassion problem. 

In UK cinemas Mar 17

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John Wick: Chapter 4
Photograph: eOne

John Wick: Chapter 4

Yeah, we’re thinking he’s back. While the first John Wick was a straightforward, if awesomely stylised revenge flick, over the course of four movies and a pair of anticipated spinoffs, the franchise has grown bigger, broader and more mythic in scope. At its core, though, all you really need is Keanu Reeves’ stoic, besuited hitman punching, kicking, shooting, stabbing and occasionally nunchucking his adversaries in increasingly wild situations and ever-expanding international locales. Expect no different here.

Out worldwide Mar 24

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Photograph: Universal

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Um, excuse us? The Super Mario Bros. Movie? Are we to pretend that the live-action version from 1993 just didn’t happen? On second thought, yes... probably for the best. This long-awaited animation looks to right the wrongs of 30 years prior, although it’s already being met with scepticism due to the curious casting of Chris Pratt to voice the famous paisano plumber. (In his defence, who were they gonna cast for authenticity? Roberto Benigni?) Based on the trailer, at least it looks just like the video games, which is apparently what fans want.

In UK cinemas Mar 31 and US theaters Apr 7

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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
Photograph: Paramount Pictures

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

No longer just the geeky domain of your fiend-fancying mate Steve, D&D is now a fully-fledged movie franchise with special effects and film stars and everything. Whether it’s a hit or gets a sword in its back from moviegoers will rest heavily on the shoulders of charismatic stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant (yes) and Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page as adventurers hunting a lost relic. One thing is certain: Steve will not be watching it. 

Out worldwide Mar 31

Killers of the Flower Moon

After years of pandemic-related delays, audiences are finally getting a look at Martin Scorsese’s latest crime drama, an account of the unsolved ‘Osage Indian murders’ that occurred over 20 years in early 20th century Oklahoma. It looks to be the closest thing to a traditional Western the director has yet attempted, but it features many familiar Scorsese actors, including Robert de Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and his new fave, Jesse Plemons.

Out in May on Apple TV+

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The Little Mermaid
Photograph: Disney

The Little Mermaid

Once again, those woke moralists at Disney are rewriting history, insisting that a beautiful fish-person who lives underwater singing calypso tunes with her Jamaican lobster friend could possibly be Black. Whatever happened to realism? Controversy aside, with rising star Halle Bailey in the lead role, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula and new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda, this live action remake of Disney animated classic should still hit big even without the support of pasty 4chan trolls.

Out worldwide May 26

Elemental
Photograph: Pixar

Elemental

Pixar already gave us a movie about anthropomorphised emotions. Now, brace yourself for anthropomorphised elements! Wade Ripple is a walking drop of water with the hots (get it?!) for Ember, a flame with legs. Obviously, they’re a dangerously mismatched couple, but this being Pixar, we’re going to guess they’ll find out they have more in common than it appears.

Out worldwide June 16

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Photograph: Walt Disney

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

He’s back! The archeology professor with the bullwhip and the pathological fear of snakes is on another adventure, this time with Logan’s James Mangold, rather than Steven Spielberg, behind the camera, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge along for the ride as his sidekick. Raiders purists will be reassured by the presence of Indy’s old foes, the Nazis – Mads Mikkelsen may be channelling serious Toht vibes here – in a Cold War setting. Fingers crossed this reboot doesn’t nuke the fridge again. 

Out worldwide Jun 30

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Photograph: Sony Pictures

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

The first Spider-Verse is one of the few comic book movies even people exhausted by comic book movies could appreciate. There’s been two whole multiverse-cracking Spider-flicks since then, but the computer-animated branch of the franchise remains a singular pleasure. In the second instalment, Miles Morales – the teenage heir to Peter Parker’s arachnid powers – and Gwen Stacy, aka Spider-Woman, travels across the Spider-Verse (cue Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme) for assistance in dealing with a new threat called the Spot. Maybe some OxiClean would help?

Out worldwide Jun 2

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How Do You Live?
Photograph: @JP_GHIBLI

How Do You Live?

Anticipation is already sky high for this Studio Ghibli anime, with the legendary Miyazaki Hayao back after a long hiatus (or short retirement) to direct an adaptation of Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 coming-of-age novel. It’s about a teenage boy struggling with the loss of his dad and the mysteries of life and a wise uncle who provides guidance through the pages of a journal. 

Out in Japan Jul 14

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
"Mission: Impossible 5"

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One

Tom Cruise’s deathwish continues as Ethan Hunt, the skyscraper-scaling, aeroplane-clinging, helicopter-chasing international man of mystery. Series veteran Christopher McQuarrie returns to the director’s chair for this two-part instalment, the second of which arrives in 2024. Plot details are murky, but Cruise did recently share a promo video while skydiving over South Africa, so just imagine what crazy crap he’ll be doing in the movie itself.

Out worldwide July 14.

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Oppenheimer
Photograph: Universal Pictures

Oppenheimer

There aren’t too many filmmakers who could have audiences flocking to watch a black-and-white drama about a 1940s physicist, but Christopher Nolan is one of them. His cast includes long-time collaborator Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer, the man behind America’s A-bomb project, alongside Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr, Matt Damon, Rami Malek and Florence Pugh. In true Nolan style, he’s shooting in IMAX and somehow recreating the A-bomb tests via practical effects. Er, take cover? 

Out worldwide Jul 21

Barbie
Photograph: Warner Bros.

Barbie

It’s the movie that launched a thousand memes, many involving Ryan Gosling in that denim jacket, but what exactly is Greta Gerwig’s internet-winning movie? Early word is that the pair have cooked up a satirical feminist take on the cult of the iconic doll. Co-written with her own real-life Ken, Noah Baumbach, it’s highly unlikely to be one for the kids. Margot Robbie is playing Barbie, Gosling is Ken and Will Ferrell is the CEO of Mattel. The trailer launch could be the most anticipated in movie history. 

Out worldwide Jul 21

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Dune: Part 2
Photograph: Warner Bros.

Dune: Part 2

The second instalment of Denis Villeneuve’s breathtakingly vast adaptation of Frank Herbert’s pre-Star Wars tomes will bring big battles, giant sandworms and more murky jostling for power across the galaxy – and, this time, a proper denouement. Not that the first part’s abrupt ending was a problem, more that we can’t wait to ride shotgun again with Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) and Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) as they learn the ways of Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen and strike back at the evil Harkonnen.

Out worldwide Nov 3

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Photograph: Murray Close/Lionsgate

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

It’s been eight years since the last Hunger Games movie, which is an eternity by modern franchise standards, so even casual fans should be eager to jump back into the teenage wasteland of author Suzanne Collins’s dystopian young adult book series. Be warned, though: as a prequel to the original film, this one features no Katniss Everdeen, and instead stars a whole new cast – including Jason Schwartzman, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler – playing both younger versions of established characters and early participants in the titular human sport-hunting ritual.   

Out worldwide Nov 17

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Wish
Disney

Wish

For decades, Disney has pushed the idea of wishing upon a star, and generations have asked: ‘Why, though?’ In what looks like something of a throwback to the House of Mouse’s classic animated musicals of yore, the company delivers an origin story for one of its central maxims, with Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose voicing a 17-year-old named Asha on a celestial mission to save her imperilled village.  

Out in the US Nov 22 and the UK Nov 24

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