2022 had its fair share of disappointments, but there were still plenty of films I enjoyed and some that not only met, but exceeded my expectations. Here’s my list for my most anticipated films of 2023.
It was a strange year for me since I wasn’t able to watch all the movies I wanted due to more important matters in my personal life. However, I fully intend on changing that in 2023 and will make an effort to make more time to watch all of the movies that’ll be on this list, and even those that won’t make it. There are so many films coming out next year that I’m excited about and I can’t wait to see.
Before I start the list, let it be known there may be some movies on here you aren’t excited about, but there also might be some you want to see that are missing. For example, although I want Sony’s Spider-Man Universe to be successful with upcoming films such as Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web, I just can’t find myself to be excited about those after so being let down countless times. There’s a chance I’ll still see them though. There are other films I’ll probably watch and I have a good feeling they’ll be good, but they won’t be making the list, such as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, The Little Mermaid, Wonka, Missing, Haunted Mansion, John Wick: Chapter 4, Scream 6, and Maestro. So, consider these honorable mentions, if you will.
That’s the beauty of subjectivity anyway. At the end of the day, most of us love movies and I hope my excitement for some of these films will get you excited as well. Let’s begin!
25. Next Goal Wins (April 21, 2023)
Say what you will about Taika Waititi and what he did with Thor: Love and Thunder, but I believe he’s an extremely talented filmmaker. Personally, I enjoyed a lot of aspects from Love and Thunder, even though I do understand most of the criticisms. Regardless of your feelings towards Waititi, he has proven he’s a gifted story-teller and director, making movies like What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnarok, and Jojo Rabbit. He even has some television credits, including the What We Do in the Shadows series and the season one finale of The Mandalorian, “Chapter 8: Redemption.” He has a unique comedic style not everyone tends to appreciate and I do admit he can go a bit overboard at times, but prior to Love and Thunder, my issues with his style were very minimal. I’m very much looking forward to his next project, Next Goal Wins. Michael Fassbender is a phenomenal actor and I think he’ll be able to bring a ton of charisma and energy to a role and story of this caliber. Other cast members include Elisabeth Moss and Will Arnett.
Next Goal Wins follows Thomas Rangen (Fassbender), who attempts to turn the American Samoa national football team, who is widely considered one of the worst football teams in the world, into one of the best.
24. Wish (Nov. 22, 2023)
For the last decade or so, Walt Disney Animation Studios has sort of departed from what was the traditional 2D animated format in exchange for 3D animation. This isn’t to say these films have gotten worse. On the contrary, most of these releases have been outstanding. I believe the last 2D animated film to be released was The Princess and the Frog in 2009. After that, it all started with Tangled, and then it went on to release massive fan-favorites and Oscar winners, such as Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana, and Encanto. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of these films because of the beautiful animation, heartfelt stories, memorable music, and likable characters. Wish is looking to continue that trend by turning back the clock a bit. What intrigues me the most is how it’ll somehow blend both styles, those being Disney’s traditional water color animation with 3D CG animation, together. Ariana DeBose is incredibly talented and I’m excited to see what she brings to this role. Not only will Wish capture what’s best about recent Disney films, but it’ll also be a trip down memory lane to remind us of the greatness of Disney’s past. It’s in great hands with director Chris Buck, who’s no stranger to crafting Disney features.
Wish follows Princess Asha (DeBose) and Valentino (Alan Tudyk), her goat, who are both from the Kingdom of Rosas. After she meets a literal star, she embarks on an adventure through various worlds in order to save her people.
23. The Flash (June 23, 2023)
In all honesty, this movie would be a lot higher on the list if it wasn’t for the controversy surrounding it all. Although I support Andy Muschietti and everyone who has worked on this movie, I can’t bring myself to fully support Ezra Miller after everything he has done. Granted, this doesn’t mean he won’t be great in this role, but I’m fully hoping the plot of this movie sets up some sort of recast and they bring someone else into the role of Barry Allen/The Flash. Considering the nature of the multiverse phenomenon in superhero movies and how there seems to be separate universes with standalone stories already existing in the DC film universe anyway, it’s fully possible of happening. Plus, part of me thinks that’s part of the reason why there’s been extensive reshoots. In reality, I’m not sure exactly what it’ll be about, but I have a good idea and I’m hoping it lives up to my expectations, even though the DCEU has proven to be more misses than hits. What excites me the most is seeing other characters and what roles they’ll have in the film. For example, Michael Keaton returning as Bruce Wayne/Batman is something I never thought would happen again. There’s also the return of the criminally underrated Michael Shannon as General Zod, and even Ben Affleck as another version of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The whole cast is pretty solid and I’m excited to see what roles they’ll have in this movie.
P.S. my dream casting for Miller’s replacement would be Dylan O’Brien due to his comedic timing and underrated dramatic and emotional tones he can deliver. I think Sam Claflin would be a more physically imposing version of the character that can work. Some others: Jack Quaid, Logan Lerman.
The Flash will follow Barry Allen (Miller) traveling back in time to try and prevent the murder of his mother. With this, he brings unforeseen and catastrophic events to his current timeline.
22. Road House (TBD 2023)
Patrick Swayze’s Road House is a guilty pleasure of mine. It doesn’t really reinvent the wheel in terms of the genre it’s in, but every time I watch it, I find myself watching it all over again. It has a certain charm to it, along with some decent action sequences, and you’re always rooting Swayze’s Dalton, even if the whole plot can be a bit ridiculous and over-the-top at times, along with its cliché characters and shallow side characters. Sam Elliot’s Wade Garrett is an exception, of course. I’m part of the group who’s always somewhere in the middle when it comes to remakes of certain films. There are certain classics that should remain untouched, and then there are other films, both good and bad, that can benefit from a new vision and team behind it. Honestly, I think Doug Liman’s Road House can be one of those. Liman has been a bit hit or miss throughout his career, but he has some fantastic films, including The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow. I think the theme of Road House is something right up his alley and he’ll be able to bring a solid action flick with a narrative that’s, at the very least, more interesting and engaging than the original. The cast is also shaping up to be an improvement compared to the first one with Jake Gyllenhaal leading the charge. Other cast members include Daniela Melchior and even Conor McGregor will be making his on-screen debut.
Road House will follow an ex-UFC fighter who begins working at a roadhouse in the Florida Keys and runs into trouble.
21. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Aug. 4, 2023)
It’s sort of surprising to me how excited I’m finding myself for this movie. In terms of films, I haven’t been big fans of most of the live-action ones, especially the Michael Bay-produced ones. However, the original classic is still a hidden gem, and I do love the original cartoon. I’ve even heard some of the most recent cartoons have been great. Of course, the video games are very entertaining and nostalgic as well. Seeing the direction this one is going in and who’s behind it, I can’t help but be optimistic about it. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem will be a reboot of the film series being produced by Seth Rogen and I love this, considering he grew up around this era and, I’m sure, is a massive fan of this property. Jeff Rowe will be directing, and I absolutely loved The Mitchells vs. The Machines, which he co-directed and co-wrote. The animation is stellar and if the same style if being used for this new TMNT film, then I’m all in. It’s already been said it’ll be a 2D-style, CG animated film, similar to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Most importantly, I love what Rogen has planned for these characters, that being actual teenagers voicing them. Although there isn’t news on who will be the actual voice actors, overall, I think this movie is in very good hands. I’m fully expecting this to be a visual spectacle with well-developed characters, insane action scenes, and hilarious dialogue throughout.
There are currently no story details on this film, but as mentioned earlier, it’ll be a reboot of the franchise, so I’m assuming some origin story elements might be in play.
20. Blue Beetle (Aug. 18, 2023)
It’s hard to truly be excited about anything coming from the DCEU (rebranded as the DC Universe now) nowadays, but the future is looking bright. Plus, this isn’t to say there hasn’t been any good movies to come out of it. For example, I loved Man of Steel, and I’ve enjoyed plenty of others, such as Wonder Woman, Shazam!, Joker, The Suicide Squad, and The Batman. Granted, the continuity and connection between these movies is a bit all over the place, but I expect it all to stabilize sooner rather than later. One of the films coming next year is Blue Beetle, who I believe is relatively unknown to most of the casual audience, but it’s also one fans have been waiting to see on the big screen for quite some time now. This has a ton of potential to be special. Director Angel Manuel Soto is still somewhat unproven, but Charm City Kings is a bit underrated. Leading the charge as Jaime Reyes himself is Xolo Mariduena, who’s a star in the making. He’s absolutely fantastic in Cobra Kai, which gave him the exposure he needed to land bigger roles like this. I can’t wait to see what he’s able to do with this role. Most importantly, this film oozes Latino representation. From the director, to the rest of the cast involved (Bruna Marquezine, George Lopez, Adriana Barraza, and so on), at its core, this is a Hispanic film through and through, and I’m thankful more of these talented actors are getting the opportunity to be a part of movies of this caliber. With the Batgirl cancellation, I was worried Blue Beetle would suffer the same fate, but I’m glad it didn’t.
Blue Beetle follows Mexican-American Jaime Reyes, who encounters a beetle/scarab that connects to his spine and grants him superpowers through an alien armor.
19. Shelby Oaks (July 2023)
I’ve been following film reviewer, critic, and YouTuber Chris Stuckmann for years now since I’ve always loved his unbiased takes on films. Usually, when I see a movie he recommends, I always end up enjoying it, and I rarely find myself disagreeing with him. He’s incredibly passionate about films and filmmaking in general, and usually, at least in my opinion, it translate into something special on the big screen. I know he’s made some short films in the past and he’s always wanted to venture into the director’s chair, and he’s finally doing it with his directorial debut, Shelby Oaks. A Kickstarter for the project started back in May and is absolutely smashed and all expectations. The goal was $250,000, but it ended up making $1.3 million. He seems to have a good cast involved, mixing in some recognizable faces, such as Keith David and Michael Beach, while also introducing some newcomers, such as Camille Sullivan. Although the budget doesn’t seem incredibly hefty or substantial, we’ve seen directors in the past with minimal budgets make high quality films who have smashed at the box office. The most notable is Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which made $255.4 million with a budget of $4.5 million. With the fanbase Chris has and the backing the Kickstarter received, I have no doubt Shelby Oaks will be one of those indie hits that’ll catch everyone by surprise. This is only the beginning for Chris and I’m happy to see how far he’s come.
Shelby Oaks is a horror-mystery film that follows Mia (Sullivan) who is searching for her sister, Riley, after she went missing with her group of friends, who are paranormal investigators called “The Paranormal Paranoids.” Desperately seeking the truth, Mia begins to believe an imaginary demon from her childhood may actually exist.
18. Killers of the Flower Moon (May 2023)
Martin Scorsese’s next epic will be Killers of the Flower Moon, which will be his sixth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio, and his 10th with Robert de Niro. Scorsese is widely considered one of the greatest directors of all time, and rightfully so. I won’t say he’s one of my favorites, but I can’t deny he’s made a bunch of iconic movies I enjoy. Taxi Driver and The Departed are some of my favorites of his. I will always tune in to what he has cooking up next. Other than DiCaprio and de Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon is stacked with a phenomenal cast, including Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, Brendan Fraser, and John Lithgow. I never read the book, but I’m curious to see how faithful it’ll remain to the source material, as well as what Scorsese flair it’ll have, considering he’s always one to experiment and add his own unique style to his films. This has Oscar bait written all over it since I’m assuming it’ll get plenty of love come awards season. Then again, it depends on how well it is received. I always tend to get excited about these kinds of films though. It’s a western after all and Scorsese usually tends to do his best work when DiCaprio or de Niro are involved. It’ll also be the first time DiCaprio and de Niro work together since 1993’s This Boy’s Life. This has the makings to be a near-perfect acting display between this iconic duo.
Killers of the Flower Moon will tell the story of the murders of the Osage tribe in northeastern Oklahoma during the 1920s, which kickstarted an FBI investigation led by Texas Ranger, Tom White (Plemons), and the first FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover.
17. The Marvels (July 28, 2023)
Captain Marvel got a lot of unwarranted hate. I mean, I agree with some of the criticisms, but I went in with my expectations in check and ended up enjoying it. It has its issues, of course, such as an anticlimactic ending, some poorly done CGI, and the set pieces left a lot to be desired. However, the story kept me engaged, the Skrulls were a fantastic addition to the MCU, most of the characters were well-developed, and it had plenty of comical moments. I also had no problem with Brie Larson’s portrayal of Carol Danvers. People were just hating to hate, I guess. That being said, her character has increasingly became more important and interesting since her MCU debut. For example, she was awesome in the final battle against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, and she’s had some cameos in other films that tease her involvement for the future. She made a small cameo in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ mid-credits scene, and then she surprised everyone in the season finale of Ms. Marvel. Now, not only will The Marvels consist of her, but also Ms. Marvel herself, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau. With Nia DaCosta at the helm, I have high hopes for this one. It’ll tell yet another very important story in this universe and the implications are absolutely huge for the rest of the MCU moving forward since I think Kang will play a huge role in what happens here. Plus, I’m excited to see how all of these characters interact with each other, especially Monica since there seems to be some resentment towards Carol, and, of course, Kamala will finally meet her idol. It’s always good to see Nick Fury as well.
The Marvels will follow Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau. After the events of Ms. Marvel, the three begin swapping bodies with one another and they must get together and try to figure out why.
16. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (March 17, 2023)
Shazam! is one of the few films in the DCEU that isn’t overly dark and has a ton of charm to it. Granted, it calls for it based on who the character is, but I found it to be a breath of fresh air with its comedic beats and overall decently-paced storytelling, especially compared to the grim and exaggerated mess of films that came before it, and even some that followed it. For these reasons, I’m extremely excited to see the sequel. I think Zachary Levi is expertly cast in this role as an adult Billy Batson, and Angel Asher really captures the innocence of being a teenager. His comedic timing is perfect for this character, but we’ve seen him deliver dramatic themes and tones in other films as well, so he can really turn it on when needed and give a very nuanced performance. As for the rest of the cast, I’m excited to see Jack Dylan Grazer return as Freddy, and the rest of the group who can also call on the power of Shazam. Some newcomers include Rachel Zegler as Anthea, Helen Mirren as Hespera, and Lucy Liu as Kalypso. Everything about this movie has the potential to be better than the previous one. The suits look better, and not only do I think it’ll still be a good standalone story, but it’ll also set up future stories in the DC Universe. I mean, we all know the Billy/Black Adam showdown is inevitable.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will once again follow Billy Batson and his group of foster siblings who each have the ability to transform into a superhero by shouting “Shazam!” They must now fight against the Daughters of Atlas, who are trying to use a weapon to destroy the world, while also make peace with the Gods since Billy is accused of taking their powers for granted.
15. Disappointment Blvd. (TBD 2023)
Joaquin Phoenix is one of the finest actors of our generation. He’s one actor who truly dedicates himself to his craft and is constantly trying to transform himself and evolve his craft. He has done it countless times throughout his career, but his best performances, in my opinion, include Gladiator, Walk the Line, The Master, Her, You Were Never Really Here, and, his Oscar-winning performance in Joker. Once again, he’ll look to reinvent himself in Ari Aster’s next feature, Disappointment Blvd. It’s hard to think of many other directors, at least recently, who have had their first two directed films be absolute hits like Aster has. Both Hereditary and Midsommar are critically acclaimed horror films and I believe he’ll look to create similar themes, while also telling a completely new story with different tones in Disappointment Blvd. From stories I’ve read about the filming process, Aster and Phoenix have a unique dynamic that seems somewhat intense, but also very productive. I think they’re both feeding off of each other’s energy, which will only translate into an interesting movie experience. The cast is also stacked with a phenomenal supporting ensemble, including Nathan Lane, Patty LuPone, Amy Ryan, and Michael Gandolfini. Aster has described it as a 4-hour nightmare comedy, which sounds absolutely bizarre, but I’m here for it.
Disappointment Blvd. synopsis’ basically follows one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time.
14. Barbie (July 21, 2023)
I honestly never thought I’d be excited for a Barbie film, but here we are. Honestly, I’m not sure what it is about this movie since I was never really a huge fan of the source material growing up, but everything about it is interesting. I don’t think it’s going to be a typical Barbie film. I think it knows exactly what it is, it won’t take itself seriously, and I’m expecting a funny, good time. Greta Gerwig is a fantastic filmmaker, and it’s evident with what she’s done with prior features, especially Lady Bird. Little Women was an outstanding acting showcase across the board, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the movie as a whole. Regardless, Gerwig has established herself as a great director and I’m looking forward to her continuing to create quality films. I’m sure Barbie will be no different. The casting interests me, especially Margot Robbie as the titular character, and Ryan Gosling portraying Ken. What’s even more intriguing is how there will be other actors playing some of the same characters, including Simu Liu playing another version of Ken, as well as Ncuti Gatwa playing yet another Ken. Issa Rae will also be another Barbie. Some other cast members include America Ferreira, Will Ferrell, Alexandra Shipp, Kate McKinnon, and Kingsley Ben-Adir. An extremely versatile cast list, to say the least, and I think it’s going to work out remarkably well.
Barbie follows Margot Robbie’s Barbie, who is expelled from Barbieland after being classified as a less-than-perfect doll, and ventures off into the real world to find real happiness.
13. Oppenheimer (July 21, 2023)
If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s Christopher Nolan has defined what a cinematic moving-going experience really is. I’ll be the first to say I’m not the biggest fan of his films like most people are. Granted, I do love a lot of his work, especially Insomnia, The Prestige, The Dark Knight trilogy, and, my personal favorite, Interstellar. However, I don’t hold the other films he has made in high regard like most do. I can’t deny they’re all visual spectacles and thought-provoking pieces of cinema, though. His next feature is shaping up to be no different. Oppenheimer is already incredibly ambitious with the cast it has and the story it’s setting up to tell. I’m immediately intrigued by the subject matter and how Nolan is going to go about telling this story, considering it’s such a critical part of our history and the events to follow it. I’m already loving the cast, especially Cillian Murphy, who I still feel is underrated by everyone except myself and Nolan, of course, since he’s usually involved in a lot of his films. Robert Downey Jr. will also be in the movie, and from what I’ve seen based on some set images, he looks completely unrecognizable. The cast is absolutely stacked and I’m honestly surprised there are so many top tier actors involved. Then again, it is Nolan we’re talking about. Some others include Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Jack Quaid, Kenneth Branagh, Jason Clarke, Casey Affleck, Josh Peck, and so on. These are just to name a few. I’m fully expecting this to be a fast-moving, visually stunning experience, even though I fear the character development may be a bit weak since there are so many moving pieces and characters involved. But, we’ll see.
Oppenheimer will tell the story of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was the manager of the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project, and how he had a hand in the creation of the atomic bomb.
12. The Equalizer 3 (Sep. 1, 2023)
I do recognize The Equalizer films aren’t groundbreaking action movies, but man, I really did enjoy the first two. The sequel isn’t quite as good as the first one, but both of them are surprisingly grounded in terms of the characters, especially the main man himself, Denzel Washington, as Robert McCall. In reality, these movies only work because of him. He’s able to make everything believable and convinces the viewers that he’s doing the right thing based on the motivations for his actions. I’m not sure where the story goes in a third installment since the second film deliver a bit of closure for the character, but I’m still anticipating seeing Denzel be an absolute savage once again. Antoine Fuqua will be returning as the director, and Denzel will be reuniting with Dakota Fanning for this film. They’ll be collaborating once again since 2004’s Man on Fire. I’m looking forward to seeing who else will be joining the cast of this movie and I’m ready to be entertained once again, regardless of how ridiculous it could end up being.
Details are minimal on the plot, but director Fuqua has said he wants the film to take place in an international setting. Exactly where has yet to be determined.
11. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (June 9, 2023)
It feels great to actually be excited about a new Transformers movie coming out. I mean, it’s debatable that the only good Michael Bay-directed movie in the series is the first one, and even that one is a little too over-the-top with a generic plot, uninteresting human characters, and cringe-worthy dialogue. The series took a turn for the best when Travis Knight came on board and made Bumblebee, which I think is fantastic. It has the best Autobot and Decepticon designs, by far, the story actually flows smoothly and makes sense, and the characters are properly developed. I truly believe it’s the most accurate portrayal of what the original cartoon established, by far. Plus, the action sequences are phenomenal. It’s a bit of a slower-paced movie compared to the others, but the series definitely needed a reset and a breath of fresh air, and Bumblebee was exactly that. With Steven Caple Jr. taking over the next installment with Rise of the Beasts, this has the potential to be the best one yet, especially after seeing how he handled Creed II. Growing up, I used to love watching Beast Wars: Transformers growing up and seeing it come to life on the big screen is going to be an extremely nostalgic experience, bringing back a handful of memories from my childhood. I can’t wait to see how the film handles the Maximals, such as Optimus Primal (Ron Perlman) and Rhinox, as well as seeing some of the other iconic Autobots, including Optimus Prime, Mirage, and Wheeljack. The star in the making, Anthony Ramos, will be one of the main human characters alongside Dominique Fishback. This has the makings of being exactly what Transformers was always meant to be on the big screen.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts takes place in 1994. Two archaeologists find themselves in the middle of a conflict between the Maximals, the Predacons, and the Terracons, who are three different types of Transformers.
10. Knock at the Cabin (Feb. 3, 2023)
I feel a bit conflicted being this excited about a new M. Night Shyamalan movie. He’s been incredibly hit or miss the last few years. The thing is, when he’s good, he’s really good. I mean, Unbreakable is one of my favorite films of all time. The Sixth Sense, Signs, and Split are all pretty great too. You can consider these films the height of Shyamalan’s greatness. He has some that are slightly above average at best, such as The Village, The Visit, Glass, and even his most recent, Old. Then, there are the absolutely abysmal attempts at filmmaking, including The Happening, The Last Airbender, and After Earth. At this point, you just don’t know what to expect from him. One thing for sure is he’ll always keep you on the tip of your toes with his films with his knack for including massive plot twists, and I think Knock at the Cabin will be no different. I’ve always loved Shyamalan’s directing style in terms of the camera shots and the visual aesthetic. He just has to get the whole narrative part of his films in order and be a bit more consistent with his storytelling. The trailer for this new film completely sold me. It’s very mysterious and ominous. I have a good idea of what may happen because of the book, but, in typical Shyamalan fashion, I expect some departures from the source material in order to deliver something unique, unpredictable, and unexpected. I’m loving the cast for this, especially Dave Bautista in the lead role. It’s crazy to see how far he’s come in terms of his acting ability. I feel he can do anything now. Other cast members include Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abbey Quinn, and Rupert Grint.
Knock at the Cabin follows a family of three who are vacationing at a cabin and are taken hostage by four strangers who tell them they need to make a crucial sacrifice in order to prevent the apocalypse from happening.
9. Elemental (June 16, 2023)
Pixar has been developing quality animated films for so many years now and it seems it has no plans on stopping anytime soon. The one coming next year I’m most excited for is Elemental, which seems extremely original, both with the animation and the story it’s trying to tell. Obviously, it’ll probably have familiar elements we’ve seen in the past, but the beauty of Pixar is how it remains creative and innovative, even when being inspired by other stories and movies. Details are still very minimal based on what has been revealed about this movie, but I’ve seen enough to get myself excited about this one. Some footage was shown during D23 in September and the reactions to it were overwhelmingly positive, so it’s definitely piquing my interest. The cast is also interesting. Although there are only two confirmed voice actors, as far as I know, in Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie, they’re relatively unknown. Lewis has been in the CW’s Nancy Drew series, while Mamoudou Athie is in Jurassic World: Dominion and was also in the Netflix’s The Get Down. Both have promising futures, and I’m sure this will only propel them forward. It’ll be interesting to see who else will be joining them in the cast.
Elemental follows a city where different beings made of fire, water, air, and land all reside together. Two of them, Ember Lumen, made of fire, and Wade Ripple, made of water, are, in nature, total opposites. However, they’ll both begin to realize just how much they actually have in common.
8. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30, 2023)
Indiana Jones is one of the most beloved film franchises of all time. Harrison Ford is such a charismatic performer and he’s done so much throughout his career, but it’s hard to find another one of his roles as iconic and impactful as this one, unless you count Han Solo. There’s no denying which character he has enjoyed portraying more through the years, though. So much so, he decided to return to the character for one last ride and I think it’s shaping up to be a good one. Of course, I don’t think any Indiana Jones film will ever top Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I think getting someone new in the director’s chair in James Mangold, who’s absolutely phenomenal, will do this series wonders. This isn’t a knock towards Steven Spielberg, since he’s the GOAT, but maybe he has nothing else to offer to the series, so he made a good decision to step down from it. He’ll still be a producer on it, so that’s always a good sign. I’m interested to see what this movie will be about since it’s obvious Harrison is up there in age. I don’t expect him to be moving like he has in the other movies. Maybe we’ll get a smarter, and, if it’s even possible, more witty and cunning version of Indy. Only time will tell. Then again, with the advancements technology has made and all the stunt doubles, seeing Indy doing crazy stunts again isn’t out of the question either. Some other cast members include Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mad Mikkelsen, Boyd Holbrook, Antonio Banderas, and John Rhys-Davies returning as Sallah.
As mentioned before, plot details for Indiana Jones 5 are still scarce.
7. Dune: Part Two (Nov. 3, 2023)
Denis Villeneuve is one of the best directors working today, and it’s difficult to argue against that. There hasn’t been a film he has released that I didn’t enjoy, other than Sicario, but I still appreciate what it was trying to accomplish and why most people hold it in high regard. Just about everything else is masterful filmmaking though. Some of my favorites of his are Prisoners, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049. I found myself enjoying Dune much more than I thought I would as well. The story is definitely different, but immediately engaging from the jump, and I never found it boring. I was also constantly impressed by the v I fully expect the sequel to be even more impressive. Villeneuve is that kind of director. He’s always looking for new ways to improve his films in almost every facet. Whether it’s visual effects, the story he’s trying to tell, or the actors he has portraying these characters, each new film he creates somehow raises the bar in one of these departments, and it’s for this reason why I’ll always support whatever he does moving forward. Dune was a bit of a slow burn and I can understand why some people didn’t enjoy it, but I think Part Two is going to change things up a bit and be a bit more action-oriented, which will definitely help it reach a wider audience. I’m excited to see the rest of the story arcs for a number of these characters as well, especially Timothee Chalamet’s Paul Atreides and Zendaya’s Chani. Some returning cast members include Josh Brolin’s Gurney, Dave Bautista’s Glossu, and Javier Bardem’s Stilgar. There are some new actors joining the fray, including Florence Pugh, Austin Butler, and Christopher Walken.
Dune: Part Two will continue the journey of Paul Atreides, who has been joined by Chani and the Fremen. He will be going after those who destroyed his family, while also choosing between the love of his life and his own universe’s fate.
6. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Feb. 17, 2023)
This might be the Ant-Man film I’m most excited about. Although I enjoyed the first two, this one seems to be the largest in scope and the one with the most stakes. We’re finally getting our first introduction to Kang the Conqueror, who will practically be the Thanos-level threat of “The Multiverse Saga,” which is incredibly exciting. I mean, we were introduced to a variant of him in Loki with He Who Remains, but this seems to be the one we’ve all been waiting for. In fact, he may be one of many variants of the same character. Frankly, no one really knows just yet, and the mystery and unknown behind it all is what makes it even more interesting. Jonathan Majors is an absolute force and he’s setting himself up to be an absolute superstar. I’m intrigued to see what role the main characters will play, especially since most of them haven’t spent a substantial amount of time in the Quantum Realm, other than Janet van Dyne, of course. Most importantly, I actually want to see more of the Quantum Realm as well since it seems there’s a whole civilization living there. I know it’ll play a huge role in the grander MCU moving forward since Kang is there for a reason. As far as the cast goes, I’m not sure why Cassie Lang was recast, but Kathryn Newton is a very promising young actress. She was great in Freaky. Of course, I’m always excited to see Paul Rudd in anything since he’s one of the most likable actors in basically anything he does. I can’t picture anyone else in this role, honestly. Other cast members include Evangeline Lily, Michael Douglas, and Michelle Pfeiffer returning in their respective roles, along with some newcomers, including Bill Murray, William Jackson Harper, and even MODOK will be making an appearance, I’m just not sure who will portray him. This will have severe implications for the MCU moving forward, especially since it’s the first film to kickoff phase five.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will follow Scott, Hope, Cassie, Hank, and Janet going on a journey through the Quantum Realm and facing off against Kang the Conqueror.
5. Creed III (March 3, 2023)
Although Rocky Balboa is better than anyone could’ve ever imagined, I don’t think anyone expected the spinoff, Creed, to be anywhere near as good as it was. I mean, I always thought it was going to be great when it was announced. Ryan Coogler is a fantastic filmmaker and, in my opinion, is one of the best ones working today. At this point, Michael B. Jordan is his right hand man and whenever they link, it’s usually a recipe for success. Fruitvale Station is phenomenal, and Creed was no different, telling a new story in this Rocky-verse that was relatable, emotional, and, in many ways, different than what the Rocky films established with Sylvester Stallone’s character. Seeing its success, a sequel was a no-brainer. Coogler didn’t direct the second one, but Steven Caple Jr. joined the fray and made a worthy follow-up continuing the story of yet another recognizable face in Drago, with his son challenging Adonis. I believe both Creed films rank as some of the best in the entire Rocky series, with Creed being one of my absolute favorites. Creed III seems to be a departure from the others though, at least from what I’ve seen. Stallone will not appear in the movie, which signals to me this will be all about Adonis’ story. It may be the most personal story to date as well since he’ll be facing off against someone from his past in Damian Anderson, portrayed by the great Jonathan Majors. What interests me the most is this will be Michael B. Jordan’s directorial debut. We’ve seen what he’s been able to do in front of the camera, but now, we’ll see what he brings to the table as the director. This may very well be the final movie in this series of Creed films, so I’m hoping it’s a satisfying conclusion. Some other cast members include Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Florian Munteanu, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew, and Canelo Alvarez.
Creed III takes place five years after Creed II, and we see an Adonis who has dominated the boxing scene. He’s in the best place he’s ever been, both professionally and in his personal life, but things take a turn when a friend from his childhood and former boxing prodigy, Damian “Dame” Anderson, shows up and is anxious to prove he belongs in the ring with the best. Adonis will have to risk quite a bit facing off against Damian, who has nothing else to fight for.
4. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (April 7, 2023)
In a not-so-distant past, there was a time where video game film adaptations were absolutely terrible. I mean, as a fan of video games, it was excruciatingly hard to enjoy what these filmmakers were creating. It’s arguable that the only video game movie that was worthwhile is the original Mortal Kombat movie, and even then, it’s a bit ridiculous. The live-action Mario movie with Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo is so bad, Nintendo promised to never lend its properties to other film companies unless it was directly involved in its development. Now, with the upcoming animated version coming from Illumination, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto has been a huge part of its development, and as a huge fan of the Super Mario Bros. series, I can’t help but be extremely excited for this. Obviously, I’ve been skeptical about it, but everything I’ve seen regarding this film has me very excited and hopeful for its success. The Super Mario Bros. gaming series is one of my favorites. I grew up playing games such as Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Super Mario World, my personal favorite, Super Mario Sunshine, Galaxy, Odyssey, and so on. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the spinoff/crossover titles as well, including Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. Even the sports games are amazing. Granted, this doesn’t mean the movie will be any good, but the trailer has completely sold me that it will be. My hopes are even higher now, considering the great adaptations we’ve gotten recently, such as Arcane based on League of Legends, Cyberpunks: Edgerunners, and both Sonic the Hedgehog films.
Jack Black sounds phenomenal as Bowser, as well as Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, Khary Payton as Penguin King, and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad. I haven’t heard enough of Chris Pratt as Mario yet, but I’m ready to give him a chance and don’t really get all the hate behind his casting. Charles Martinet is an icon as the voice of Mario, but can we imagine suffering through two hours of the original Mario voice through extended dialogue? Personally, I don’t think it would work. I think Pratt is more than capable of delivering something special and unique to the character. I simply can’t wait for this movie and I think it’s going to knock it out of the park. Other cast members include Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya-Taylor Joy as Princess Peach, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong.
Plot details for The Super Mario Bros. Movie are currently unknown.
3. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (July 14, 2023)
This is one of the few movie franchises that tends to get better and better with each new release (except with Mission: Impossible 2, of course). You would think the quality of these films would begin to die down eventually, but the series continues to reinvent itself. The stunts are constantly more insane than the last with every new entry, and each new film does a fantastic job making it all look realistic and practical. Credit has to be given to Tom Cruise for consistently raising the bar in almost everything he does in terms of actions, special and practical effects, and performing his own stunts. Director Christopher McQuarrie leading the charge obviously aids the cause tremendously with his expertly crafted direction. Fallout will be a tough one to top, however. It’s my absolute favorite in the entire series and it’s one of the many reasons why I’m incredibly excited to see this next installment. I have complete faith in whatever this duo is doing with this franchise, and I can’t wait to see what this cast will bring to the table, along with what story will be told next. The best part is, it’s only part one, so I’m expecting this to end with a massive cliffhanger and in 2024, it’ll end with a bang. This could very well be the last two Mission: Impossible films, but I doubt it. Other cast members include Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Hayley Atwell, and Shea Whigham.
Plot details are still unknown.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023)
Guardians of the Galaxy is a top five MCU movie and I won’t be convinced otherwise. I remember going into the theater knowing relatively nothing about this group of superhero misfits, but I was completely sold on the tone of the trailer and the vibes the characters gave off. Sure enough, I ended up loving it and honestly, it was my favorite superhero film for a very long time, and it’s still holds up as one of my absolute favorites. In general, there isn’t a superhero team quite like the Guardians, in my opinion. They’re all different and unique in their own way, they all have their own issues and traumatic experiences, and I feel I can relate to a few of them in some ways. I don’t think Vol. 2 is as good as the first one is, but it benefits from re-watches and, in some ways, the subject matter feels a bit more important and relevant. Plus, the characters only improve in this one. I expect nothing less but an evolution of these characters in Vol. 3. I’m so glad James Gunn was able to get back on board for this one since there’s no one else who understands this iteration of the Guardians better than he does. According to what he has said, this will be the last time we’ll see all of these Guardians members all together, which is a bit bittersweet, but I’m definitely looking forward to what this will be about. Based on the trailer, the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) will play a huge role, especially since he may be responsible for why Rocket (Bradley Cooper) is the way he is. I’m excited to see Will Poulter as Adam Warlock as well. He wasn’t my first choice, but he has completely sold me, at least from a physicality and appearance standpoint. Most importantly, seeing all of these characters together once again, especially after what they’ve gone through in prior films, is what I’m excited for the most. It’s going to be an emotional adventure, and I’m ready for it. Well, at least I think I am. Cast members include Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, and Sylvester Stallone.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will follow Peter Quill, who is still dealing with the loss of Gamora and then finding out she’s still alive, gathering up the team to protect one of their own.
1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Part One (June 2, 2023)
My expectations for this film are sky high, and I have every right to be excited for this one. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is arguably the greatest Spider-Man movie ever made, and I can’t really argue against that. Although No Way Home is still my personal favorite, Into the Spider-Verse is simply outstanding. The aesthetic/art-style is something I’ve never seen in any other film, or at least done as well as this movie does it. In many scenes and sequences, it feels like it’s being ripped straight from a comic book. What excites me the most, however, is how it’s expanding the concept even further. In the first movie, we see Miles Morales, some other versions or variants of Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy as Spider-Woman, Spider-Ham, and even Peni Parker. Before No Way Home and Multiverse of Madness, this is one of the films that truly took advantage of the multiverse concept, and I think Across the Spider-Verse is about to blow it wide open. I expect to see so many different versions of Spider-Man and potentially, many other different heroes. I even think there’s a chance we see a crossover with some MCU characters. At this point, everything is on the table and I’m ready to see if the creators can pull it off. Aside from all the potential multiversal goodness, most importantly, I’m truly excited for another heartfelt and emotional story, with expertly animated action choreography, visually stunning visuals, and characters I’ll be thinking about long after the viewing. This is, without a doubt, the movie to see in 2023. Some returning cast members include Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Luna Lauren Velez, and Bryan Tyree Henry. New ones include Issa Rae as Jessica Drew/ Spider-Woman, Oscar Isaac as Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099, Jason Schwartzman as Spot, and Daniel Kaluuya as Hobart Brown/Spider-Punk.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Part One follows Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy as they travel across the multiverse and meet a new team of Spider-people. They band together in order to stop a dangerous, new villain.