Thirty Five Most Anticipated Films of 2023
#35 Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Abby Ryder Forston, image owned by Lionsgate
A Judy Bloom novel coming to the big screen in the new year, written and directed by The Edge of Seventeen director Kelly Fremon Craig. The film will star Abby Ryder Forston, best known as young Cassie Lang in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as our 11 year old lead navigating new friendships and the early stages of becoming a teenager. Benny Safdie and Rachel McAdams are set to play Forstons parents in the film.
#34 Showing Up
A24 and Cow Director Kelly Reichardt are partnering up again for Showing Up. A film which has been seen by some critics to so far mixed to positive reviews, about a young artist, played by Michelle Williams navigating work, family, friends, and adulthood while trying to build her artistic career. 2022 film stand out Hong Chau will look to build off The Menu and The Whale with a supporting role.
Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, two of the writers of the original A Quite Place and co directors of Haunt, a popular small budget horror film that I've been meaning to see for some time now. Partner up again to write and direct 65; a sci-fi thriller that sees Adam Driver playing a space traveller that goes back in time and finds himself fighting to survive against dinosaurs. A few notable names make up the supporting cast in Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman, and Alexandra Shipp.
#32 Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Prior to Bumblebee, I wouldn't have ever imagined myself ever being excited for another entry in the Transformers franchise. Though after the fun that I had with that one, this film can atleast earn a spot on the list as well. Creed 2 Director Steven Caple JR. is slated to direct and the trailer featured some fun action sequences. It's got a great voice cast ensemble and a starring role for Anthony Ramos so I'm excited to see where this next segment in the franchise goes.
#31 John Wick: Chapter 4
Though I'm admittedly lower on most when it comes to this franchise, there's no question that John Wick has earned its fanbase by delivering quality story after quality story- and I don't think it's fourth chapter will be any different. Chad Stahelski is still manning this franchise and I don't think as the captain of the ship he'll steer it off course. Add in some impressive early footage of Keanu Reeves and Donnie Yen, and it's locked its spot on the list.
With James Wan, rightfully called by man as the modern master of horror, helming the script there's no question that horror fans are in for a treat with M3GAN. The AI gone rogue film feels very similar to Chucky, but the trailer itself gives me enough confident that Megan will blaze her own trail in the modern horror genre much in the way Bodies Bodies Bodies blazed its own path in the slasher genre in 2022.
#29 Knock At The Cabin
With a concept as interesting as this, some will be surprised to see Knock At The Cabin only coming in at #29. Unfortunately there's a ton of hesitancy for myself when it comes to any M. Night film, not because it won't be interesting... but because his pattern of not only not hitting the landing consistently, but also finding himself nowhere near the platform in his attempts for a good twist ending more often than not. Nonetheless, I'll be seated for this one in 2023.
An international film that has been seen by some of my favorite critics already, there's enough hype behind France's Close already that it had to make my list. We've seen a wave of strong story telling out of France over the years, and judging from the plot and trailer this won't be any different.
#27 Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
It's sad to have this one down so low, maybe it's superhero fatigue finally- or more than anything it's another hesitancy towards the director. Peyton Reed does a fine job, he's a solid director with some really good filmography in the past, but Ant-Man and The Wasp was one of Marvels most just fine films so far in the MCU. I hope Reed can prove myself and other naysayers wrong, as this saga of Rudd's journey as Ant-Man sees him come face to face with the incredible Jonathan Majors as Kang the Conqueror.
One of the few films on this anticipated list that is yet to release a trailer, Catperson was co-written by one of the writers of Bodies Bodies Bodies, Kristen Roupenian and sees Susanna Fogel get another go around as a director. I was one of those that really enjoyed The Spy Who Dumped Me, so I am confident in Fogel's directing, partnered with Roupenian as a writer. Add in that this is a thriller starring CODA breakout star Emilia Jones and long term Succession star Nicholas Braun, and it had to earn a spot as a film I've been looking forward to.
#25 Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
The DND based film has a very high boom or bust potential to it. I genuinely don't think there's many more films on my anticipated list that have more of a chance at being devisive than this one. Daley & Goldstein crushed their previous film Game Night, and I found myself enjoying Vacation than most audiences- so I have a feeling I'm going to love this film. Put in a cast that headlines the most fashionable man of the year Chris Pine, IT star Sophia Lillis and Hugh Grant- well then you've sold me easily.
#24 Infinity Pool
I still don't fully know what were in for when Infinity Pool comes out next year, but this has to be one of the most fascinating trailers we've been given so far. Canadian filmmaker Brandon Cronenberg hit gold with Possessor, and this follow up looks to genuinely build from that success with another creep sci fi journey. Add in that our stars are Alexander Skarsgard and fresh off an incredible 2022 Mia Goth, and you just know we're in for a journey.
We haven't gotten a trailer or a ton of information on this vampire horror comedy, but there's far too many elements that I like for this not to make the list. First we have this delightful still of Nicholas Cage playing Count Dracula. You then have Nichoulas Hoult as the titular Renfield who is Dracula's sidekick. The plot circling around him being sick of Dracula's lackey, and falling in love with a traffic cop played by one of my favorite comedians- Awkwafina.
#22 The Little Mermaid
Yeah there's totally gonna be a perfectly normal dialogue surrounding this film when it releases, there totally won't be anything problematic and obnoxious about this Disney remake. Genuinely, the trailer was so much fun and Halle Bailey shines within it. Rob Marshall has made enough films that I enjoyed that I have no skepticism in him delivering and telling his own version of The Little Mermaid.
#21 Beau is Afraid
Another film where we know next to nothing about what it's going to be about, in fact all we have is a description of it as a "zonky horror comedy". It makes it this high because when you have A24, Midsommar's Ari Aster and Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix all together- the magic of those three things working together is bound to be phenomenal. Sprinkle in Amy Ryan, Zoe Lister-Jones and Parker Posey and I'm fired up.
Lady MacBeth Director William Oldroyd returns to the big screen with a mystery crime drama. The magnetic Thomasin McKenzie will share the screen with long time Hollywood star Anne Hathaway as two woman who work together at a prison- and work together in the film to pull off a complex crime. Ottesa Moshfegh and Luke Goebel are writing this way, and they wrote the poetical quiet and beautiful Causeway that released in 2022.
Shiva Baby Director Emma Seligman will once again partner up with Rachel Sennott to deliver a comedy that will leave the audience members feeling all kinds of ways. The Bear breakout star Ayo Edebiri and No Exit lead Havana Rose Liu are just some of the names joining Sennott on screen, as the film tells the story of the start of a lesbian fight club.
Elemental dropped one of the best teasers this past year, something that set up the perfect vibe without giving really much of anything away. I didn't love Peter Sohn's The Good Dinosaur, but I do believe that with these chatacter designs and some beautiful set pieces that we could be in for a treat from Pixar. Mamadou Athie was one of the few good parts of Jurassic World: Dominion, so I'm excited to see him get a chance to play the leading voice in a big film.
#17 How Do You Live?
One of the greatest animated storytellers of all time, Hayao Miyazaki returns to the big screen to tell his first feature film since 2013. Every time Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli release an animated feature, audiences around the globe know they are in for a treat with some of the best storytelling. The film will will tackle heavy topics such as poverty, education, and essentially living as a human being- so be prepared for plenty of touching moments when this comes out to audiences everywhere.
#16 Shazam! Fury of the Gods
No one, including Zachary Levi, have any idea what the future holds in story for his Shazam now that James Gunn is incharge of the DC Universe. There's no question to anyone though, that the first film was a welcome surprise and this trailer bodes well for confidence in a successful follow up. Levi loves the character and he loves the story being told, so one has to hope that with a positive sequel and audience turn out- that maybe Shazam will survive the reset.
#15 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Harrison Ford is back as probably my favorite character of his of all time. Logan director James Mangold is behind the camera, and we're getting a story about our favorite adventurer finding his place in the modern world- something far more interesting than the plot of the last film. The de-aging looked brilliant and I'm sure we're in for fun with the character again.
Ridley Scott had an extremely mixed 2021 to me, House of Gucci was a massive uninteresting misfire, while The Last Duel was one of the best cinematic experiences of that year. Scott will look to replicate the success of the latter, as he tells the origins of Napoleon. Joaquin Phoenix will be playing our infamous Frenchmen, and he'll be joined by the charismatic Vanessa Kirby on the screen as she plays the role of Empress Josephine.
Ti West dropped two of the best original horror film of 2022 with X and Pearl, so it's incredible to see that we'll be jumping right back into that universe for a third time with Mia Goth's Maxine chatacter from X. The trailer doesn't give much information, and we know very little outside of the return of Goths character. There's enough good grace from the original two films that I'm happy to put it this high on my anticipated list.
#12 Scream VI
One of the most impactful first trailers we've seen in a very long time, there's just enough of a take away from it to leave an impression on audience members, while still giving nothing away. The sixth chapter in the Scream franchise is looking to build up from last years massive success. Most of our new young members are back, Hayden Panettiere is also returning as fan favorite Kirby Reed. The lack of Neve Campbell keeps it from my top ten anticipated though.
Timothee Chalamet stars as the famous chocolateer in his origin story. Paddington director Paul King is behind the helm and if there was anyone to bring the story to life, he was one of my first choices. Some heavy names fill out the ensemble: Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Colman, and Keegan-Michael Key. I'll have to wait for a trailer for my full thoughts, but for now I'm extremely excited.
#10 Next Goal Wins
This film has been on my anticipated list for years now, but I truly think this will finally be the year it releases. A true story sports film directed by Taika Waititi, is sure to be something up by my alley. Even his less than stellarThor film was something I enjoyed more than most audiences. Add an ensemble headed by Michael Fassbender, that includes Elizabeth Moss, Will Arnett and Rachel House- then you know this film has all the makings to be fun. Still no trailer but the still gives me some excitement for the under dog story.
Another sports film, this time one that has a love triangle story at its core. Director Luca Guadagnino has had a good 2022 with the release of Bones and All, and it looks like 2023 will keep his hot streak going. Zendaya, The Crown's Josh O'Connor, and West Side Story breakout actor Mike Faist will play our lead roles in this tennis based drama.
#8 Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3
James Gunns final hoorah with the Guardians and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is destined to be a strong one. After two prior entries into their universe, Gunn took some relatively unknown comic book characters and made them some of the MCU's most popular. With Dave Bautista also likely moving on away from the MCU, and rumours of various characters deaths. I'm fully expecting to cry full tears about possible deaths within our group.
#7 The Killer
David Fincher is one of my favorite directors of all time, and I'll be seated for anything that he's behind the camera working on. It's yet another Fassbender film as we explore his role as an assassin that travels the world alone, slowly being driven to madness. We haven't had confirmation on if it's a 2023 film or not, but with it being in post production- I've got some faith we will be seeing it released in the new year.
I respect everything Christopher Nolan makes, I may not always love it like majority of people do. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the risks he takes as a filmmaker, and this entry into the autobiographic world of one of the creators of the atomic bomb is bound to be interesting. It's got a star studded cast, Cillian Murphy as our titular character, while the ensemble features Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Kenneth Branagh, Robert Downey Jr, Casey Affleck, and Josh Peck.
#5 Killers of the Flower Moon
AppleTV's most expensive venture, this film is gonna break viewing records when the trailer drops. It's another one that isn't fully slated for 2023, but there's enough confidence that it will come out that it was included on the list. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo diCaprio team up once again to tell the story of "The Reign of Terror", a set of murders on the Osage First Nation in Oklahoma, in the 1920's. It's gonna be dark, brutal, and filled with intensity.
#4 Dune Part Two
The follow up to Denis Villeneuve's hit 2021 release. The story is set to heat up as we begin to get to some villainous depth to Timothee Chalamet's Paul character, as he seeks revenge for the actions taken against his family in the first one. Zendaya is set for a much larger role in the sequel, while a handful of new actors will join the franchise- Austin Butler, Léa Seydoux, and Florence Pugh.
#3 Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
One of the most beautiful animated films of all time will have its long awaited sequel drop in 2023. The trailer gives a glimpse as we head back into the Spider-Verse and the colourful animation style that tells Miles Morales story. There's more complexity to this story as Miles seems to be clashing with the other Spider-Men on how to handle the new threat against them, so there will be even more depth to the character. Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld are back as our leads, while Jake Johnson, Oscar Isaac, Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Jason Schwartzman, and Brian Tyree Henry fill out the voice cast.
#2 Asteroid City
I love everything that Wes Anderson has done in his career, and I'm certain that Asteroid City will be no different. Set in the 1950's at a stargazer conference when world changing events occur, you just know that Anderson's unique vision and perspective on filmmaking is going to shine with this story to tell. As always with a Wes Anderson picture, you're bound to see a large ensemble of stars playing quirky characters and this one is no different. Margot Robbie, Tom Hanks, Maya Hawke, Jeffrey Wright, Scarlett Johansson, Liev Schrieber, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Willem Dafoe, Steve Carell, Adrien Brody, Sophia Lillis, and Tony Revolori fill out our ensemble.
The teaser for Greta Gerwigs' Barbie was everything that I wanted it to be. I'm looking forward to all the confusion from families with small children who will be seeing a Barbie film for a much older audience, because you just know that it's coming. Margot Robbie just plays the colourful iconic doll perfectly there's no better casting, and the sneak glimpse of people like Gosling, Simu Liu, and Will Ferrell bodes well for my excitement. Greta Gerwig has such a brilliant filmography behind the camera so far- as she masterfully directed Lady Bird and the 2019 version of Little Women, so this will be no different in quality I'm sure.