2023 is shaping up to be an incredible year for cinema -- film fans have already been treated to breakout horror hit M3gan and Nicolas Cage in his very first western. But while the terrifying AI doll and The Old Way kicked off 2023 with a bang, they only scratch the surface of what's shaping up to be a spectacular year on the silver screen.
Fan-favorite actors, big-name directors and more anxiously awaited action, horror, fantasy and sci-fi flicks than you can crack a bullwhip at are expected to land over the next 11 months. Toss in the expected dose of day-saving superheroes, some intriguing dramas and -- fingers crossed -- a new western epic from Kevin Costner, and we can't wait to wedge ourselves into that cineplex recliner.
So reserve your seats, grab a tub of popcorn and an over-sized candy bar, and settle in for our rundown of the year's most anticipated movies.
Knock at the Cabin (Feb. 3)
You needn't look further than the blockbusting success of M3gan to see the horror genre's currently as big as that monster hiding beneath your bed. Couple that momentum with director M. Night Shyamalan's masterful ability to mix subversive scares with twisty storytelling, and we're as excited as we are terrified to check out Knock at the Cabin, which finds a vacationing family visited by doomsayers hellbent on enforcing the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.
Creed III (March 3)
Over 45 years after Sylvester Stallone first stepped into the ring as underdog Rocky Balboa, the legendary boxing drama is still swinging. The latest entry - which won't see Stallone onscreen, but credits him as a producer - again features Michael B. Jordan as Apollo Creed's son, Adonis. The star also grabs the directing reins this time, for a trilogy-capping tale that'll see the pugilist facing off against a former friend, The Harder They Fall's Jonathan Michael Majors.
John Wick: Chapter 4 (March 24)
With both a streaming prequel series (The Continental) and spin-off film (Ballerina) in the works, the John Wick franchise is as unstoppable as its titular assassin. The most anticipated project in the pipeline, however, is the next numbered sequel. Details are scarce on the fourth chapter's plot, though it's being teased as a life-altering entry for Keanu Reeves' clip-emptying antihero. Regardless of story specifics, we know it'll be supported by an absolutely stacked cast of genre favorites, from Ian McShane and Lance Reddick to Laurence Fishburne, Bill Skarsgard, Clancy Brown and Donnie Yen.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (March 23)
If you prefer swords and spells over guns and grenades, this adaptation of the pen-and-paper classic game should be just what the witch-doctor ordered. Starring Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez, the action-adventure forgoes the typical, blade-brandishing hero for a crew of misfit thieves that sling arrows and quippy barbs in equal measure. Toss in plenty of action, humor, and fire-breathing baddies, and Honor Among Thieves looks like a fun, fantasy-fueled romp that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (June 2)
2023's slate of superhero flicks is stacked higher than Stark Tower. But while we can't wait to watch the further adventures of Ant-Man, Aquaman, The Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel and more caped and cowled favorites, we're most excited to wall-crawl with Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. If the animated sequel can pack half as much heart, humor, action -- and Spider-Pigs -- as its 2018 predecessor, we'll happily swing into theaters to see it on day one.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (June 30)
Harrison Ford swaps Jacob Dutton's Stetson for Indiana Jones' Fedora in the rollicking, relic-hunting franchise's fifth entry. And based on its adrenaline-pumping first trailer, the 80-year-old legend isn't slowing down a bit. Story details are locked down tighter than the lost ark, but expect epic chases, Nazi-pummeling encounters, and plenty of whip-cracking action as the fortune-and-glory-seeking archaeologist embarks on a thrilling adventure alongside new friends (Phoebe Waller-Bridge,) foes (Mads Mikkelsen) and probably some pesky snakes.
Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Part One (July 14)
Few action franchise's consistently one-up themselves like the long-running Mission: Impossible series. But while the bar-raising blockbusters have become synonymous with lead actor Tom Cruise's death-defying stunts, they've also rightfully earned equal attention for their thrilling, espionage stories, epic set pieces, and stellar casts. Dead Reckoning looks to retain and refine this reliable formula while, of course, testing the limits of its adrenaline-junkie star in the process.
Barbie (July 21)
A movie based on a popular line of plastic dolls doesn't have any right to look this promising. But just like the perpetually-positive icon it's inspired by, it seems nothing can stop Barbie from succeeding. It doesn't hurt that the film features enough talent, including Margot Robbie in the titular role, to fill a multi-level Dreamhouse. Ryan Gosling and Will Ferrell are also on board, while Little Women's lauded Greta Gerwig directs. Whether or not you're a fan of the toys, it seems we'll all be living in Barbie's world this summer.
Killers of the Flower Moon (TBA)
A true-crime period drama directed by Martin Scorsese pretty much sells itself. And that's before you toss the revered filmmaker's longtime collaborators, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, into the mix. Beyond a pedigree that should guarantee plenty of gold statues come awards' season, Killers of the Flower Moon aims to recount the engrossing story of the FBI's very first murder case -- the mysterious killings of native Osage tribe members in 1920's Oklahoma.
Kevin Costner's next directorial effort, Horizon, has been building buzz for quite some time. But it seems we could now be a step closer to finally seeing the first chapter of this multi-film western saga on the big screen. Much of the hype behind the passion project has involved its impressive cast, which includes Costner, Sienna Miller, Sam Worthington and Luke Wilson, as well as Yellowstone alums Will Patton and Danny Huston. But with the actor/director recently confirming the epic's first entry has been completed, we're hopeful we'll hear more about this ambitious tale of America's westward expansion during the pre- and post-Civil War era.
READ MORE: 2023 TV Preview: 11 New Shows to Stream This Year, From a '70s Rock Drama to a Taylor Sheridan Thriller
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