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Monday, April 15, 2024

15 Movies We Can’t Wait to See in 2023

Blockbusters are back, baby! Between the early returns on Avatar: The Way of Water and the $1.5 billion that Top Gun: Maverick brought in globally, everything old is new again (again) in Hollywood. That could be a very good thing for studios in the coming year, which promises some very-long-awaited sequels, hot Willy Wonka, superheroes galore, and several minutes of Tom Cruise running. The slate of movies being released in 2023 is jam-packed; these are the 15 we’re most excited to see.

Magic Mike's Last Dance

Ten years, one stage musical, a reality show, and soon-to-be-three movies later, the idea of Steven Soderbergh directing Channing Tatum in a semiautobiographical stripper drama still seems preposterous. But it works! And Tatum’s ready to slip into—and out of—his tearaway pants one more time. Magic Mike’s third installment finds Mike Lane (Tatum) broke and bartending back in Florida, where he meets a socialite (Salma Hayek) who convinces him to take his pelvic gyrations across the pond, though her reasons for luring Mike to London aren’t purely for the love of a proper floor-humping. That the trailer ranks alongside Flashdance for the amount of water splashed upon its dancers bodes well.

Release date: February 10

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania

Ant-Man isn’t the most profitable series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it’s the most delightful for two reasons: Paul. Rudd. The most likable man in Hollywood plays petty criminal turned Avenger Scott Lang, who has a suit that allows him to shrink or grow. It will come in handy in Quantumania, where Lang and his superhero partner Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) are swept into the Quantum Realm to face off against time-traveling baddie Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).

Release date: February 17

Creed III

Just when you think the Rocky franchise has played itself out, it gives you a compelling reason to keep rooting for it. In the case of Creed III, which centers around Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), son of the original series’ Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), it’s the chance to witness Jordan’s directorial debut. The film revisits the same themes of Rocky’s fraught relationship with Apollo, as Adonis reunites, then goes glove-to-glove, with Dame Anderson (Jonathan Majors), an old friend with a score to settle.

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Release date: March 3

65

Crafting a great sci-fi film that’s also a compelling drama is a near-impossible task, as countless filmmakers have learned. But it’s that precise collision of genres where Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, who cowrote A Quiet Place, have found their niche. 65 features Adam Driver as Mills, an astronaut who crash-lands on a strange planet, which he slowly realizes is Earth … 65 million years ago. Dinosaurs will be dodged!

Release date: March 10

John Wick: Chapter 4

What started out as a cool little revenge neo-noir about a former hit man (Keanu Reeves) seeking revenge for the murder of his puppy (aww!) has morphed into a full-fledged franchise, complete with spinoff films and a possible TV series. The studio is keeping tight-lipped about what to expect from Chapter 4, but we do know that John could finally find a way to defeat the High Table, the council of crime lords who would like to see him dead, but it could mean sacrificing his own life. After two years of filming delays due to Covid-19, fans are more than ready for this one.

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Release date: March 24

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

By now, knowing the basic plotline of a Guardians of the Galaxy gathering is unimportant. It’s not because it doesn’t matter; it’s that Marvel fans have complete faith in James Gunn to deliver all the elements that have elevated this ragtag crew from little-known comic book characters to big-screen superheroes. The stakes are high in this installment, when the Guardians embark on a mission that could destroy their team-up. It’s a little ironic, and certainly bittersweet, as the movie will likely be Gunn’s MCU swan song, as he shifts his full attention to heading up the DC Universe.

Release date: May 5, 2023 

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was the superhero movie many people didn’t know they needed. That it was animated only added to its charm, as it allowed the “Spider-Verse” to open up in ways that would never be possible with a live-action film. Shameik Moore is returning as the voice of Miles Morales, whose version of Spider-Man does for Brooklyn what Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) does for Queens. In this follow-up, Miles finds both strength and strife while connecting with fellow Spider-People, who can’t agree on the best strategy for eliminating a threat. Oscar Isaac, Hailee Steinfeld, and Issa Rae also lend their vocal talents.

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Release date: June 2

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

It’s a testament to the enduring likability of Indiana Jones/Harrison Ford that even after the utter disaster that was 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, people are rabidly awaiting the new movie’s arrival. Change will hopefully be a good thing for the aging archaeology professor, as Dial of Destiny is the first time in Indy’s more than 40-year history that Steven Spielberg won’t be directing. James Mangold has taken over and more than proven himself a worthy successor (look no further than 3:10 to Yuma). Plus, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, Mads Mikkelsen, and Shaunette Renée Wilson are coming along for the ride. 

Release date: June 30

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning — Part One

In 1995, who would’ve thought that the guy who wrote The Usual Suspects would be making Hollywood’s most audacious action movies more than a quarter-century later? The newest M:I film is Christopher McQuarrie’s fourth collaboration with Tom Cruise (unless they’d rather forget Jack Reacher). We’re guessing at the plot here, because it’s always generally the same: Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is tasked with an outrageous mission, but he and his his trusty team of people-who-do-things (Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, etc.) manage to (mostly) succeed and (mostly) survive. That’s not a knock on the series; like a Bond film, the meat of an M:I movie is in the action (it’s impossible not to be wowed by the feats this franchise has put onscreen). Be warned: With each new movie, both the title and runtime get longer. We don’t know where Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning — Part One will clock in, but the last one was 147 minutes, so … pee accordingly.  

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Release date: July 14

Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan Movies® are the reason people still go to the movies, which is sort of the point. Whereas Steven Soderbergh can get excited about shooting a feature on his iPhone, Nolan would rather pioneer shooting on black and white IMAX film. Which is exactly what he did for this biopic of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), who became known as the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” for his role in the Manhattan Project. The director’s predilection for practical effects will no doubt add an extra layer of authenticity to the story, as he opted for real explosions over CGI when re-creating historical moments like the very first detonation of a nuclear weapon. 

Release date: July 21

The Marvels

While superhero stories—including Marvel’s—have long been the domain of white dudes, Phase Four of the MCU is making a point to change that. As the official sequel to Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) is the headliner. She’ll be joined by Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), the first Muslim superhero (who already has her own Disney+ series), as envisioned by director Nia DaCosta (Candyman).

Release date: July 28

Barbie

If Greta Gerwig was not directing Barbie from a script she cowrote with Noah Baumbach, it’s hard to imagine this movie would be on anyone’s radar in any unironic way—even with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. But: We’re curious. And unashamed!

Release date: July 21

The Exorcist 

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: David Gordon Green’s Halloween trilogy did not go in the right direction. But we’re willing to give him a second chance with The Exorcist, if only because Ellen Burstyn did. And Ann Dowd said yes.

Release date: October 13

Dune: Part Two

With 2021’s Dune, Denis Villeneuve managed to successfully adapt a portion of Frank Herbert’s legendary sci-fi series and have it be lauded by both audiences and critics. It’s a feat that neither Alejandro Jodorowsky nor David Lynch could accomplish, so Villeneuve gets to pass Go, collect $200, and let Timothée Chalamet continue along Paul Atreides’ journey. 

Release date: November 3

Wonka

Given Gene Wilder’s splendiferous performance in the title role of 1971’s classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, we really never needed another Willy Wonka movie. But a Hot Willy Wonka movie is something else entirely. Particularly when Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) is surrounded by the dream cast of Olivia Colman, Sally Hawkins, Keegan Michael-Key, and Rowan Atkinson—and Paddington director Paul King is at the helm.

Release date: December 15

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