2022 is on the way out and our team is taking a look at the films we’re looking forward to most in the New Year!
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already staring down the barrel of a New Year. 2022 was an impressive year for movies, as theaters returned in full audiences were treated to a number of massive blockbusters, gripping dramas, and plenty of surprise hits. 2023 is already looking to be another stacked year for releases with some mega franchises making a return and a whole lot more.
Today, we’ve tasked our team with breaking down the five films they’re most excited to see in 2023. We struggled with this one:
Not going to lie, this may be the hardest “anticipated” movies list I’ve done in a while. Just a quick glance at the release calendar for next year gave me more than five movies I was excited about. Marvel has several movies (Guardians 3, Quantumania, The Marvels) that would normally make my list, but there are some franchises I love finally returning as well. No matter what, it looks like 2023 is going to be a good year for movie fans.
Dune: Part II – I doubt this choice will surprise anyone. Dune remains one of my favorite stories ever, and I watched Part One about 10 times when it first launched in both theaters and HBO Max (don’t even worry about the times I’ve watched it SINCE). It was such an impressive adaptation and the back half of Dune (which this movie will cover) has some of the most thrilling/epic moments around. As such, I’m eager to see those moments brought to life.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – Generally speaking, I’ve enjoyed all the Indiana Jones movies. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull gets a bad wrap, but even that has its fun/quirky moments that are well worth revisiting. So yeah, I’ve been pretty much on board for more Indiana Jones adventures regardless. After witnessing that amazing teaser trailer, and knowing James Mangold’s overall skill in telling “swan song” stories, my hype is on a very different level now.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts – The Transformers movie franchise has seen plenty of highs and lows (sadly more lows), but none of that is dimming my excitement for Rise of the Beasts. The old Beast Wars animated series was my personal entry to anything Transformers related, and were the only Transformers toys I was ever interested in. It continues to hold a special place in my heart, so seeing these versions make it to the big screen is already a huge win in my book.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem – TMNT will always be one of my main franchises. From the comics, to video games, and the various shows they introduce, I’m pretty much always there for them. It’s a bummer they’ve been struggling to get more success going on for the big screen, but I’m hoping this new animated film can begin changing the tides in that regard.
Godzilla (2023) – We know absolutely nothing about this new Godzilla movie, which was only recently announced, but I couldn’t care less. From the moment TOHO said they have a new Godzilla movie coming, it earned an automatic spot on my most anticipated list. While I love the modern ‘MonsterVerse’ Godzilla movies we’ve been getting, there’s something different/special about the ones directly from TOHO. If you haven’t seen Shin Godzilla yet, this is your reminder to make that happen ASAP.
Honorable Mentions: Scream 6, The Meg 2, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Blue Beetle
There are so many awesome movies coming out in 2023, I was briefly overwhelmed when I tried to narrow it down because I want to see ALL of them. However, after a lot of thought, I was finally able to pick out the five I want to see the most in the coming year:
John Wick: Chapter 4 – From the moment I saw the cliffhanger ending of John Wick: Chapter 3, I was dying to see what would come in the next installment. Finally, after delays and delays, John Wick: Chapter 4 is finally coming next spring and it looks incredible. One thing I’ve loved about this franchise is how the story gets exponentially bigger with each installment and this appears to still be true with this upcoming fourth installment. John appears to be going up against the very powers that run this society of assassins and the film is promising all the violence that the series has become iconic for. I’m very excited to see what role Hiroyuki Sanada is playing in the story, he seems like a natural fit for the world of John Wick.
Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse – How excited am I for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse? Well, let me put it this way: when the news broke that this film had been pushed back a solid year to 2023, I literally screamed with frustration because I didn’t want to wait that long to see the story continue. The first Spider-Verse movie was a masterpiece on every level and I’m eager to see what Miles gets up to now that he’s older. Also I’m really excited to see Spider-Gwen again.
Dune: Part Two – To the surprise of no one, I’m beyond excited to see Dune: Part Two next year. If you’ve read the book, then you know that the first film cuts off right as the plot gets really juicy, which is why I’ve wanted to see this sequel ever since the credits rolled on part one. I never dreamed a Dune adaptation could look this good, and based on the first film, I just know part two will be just as beautiful.
The Little Mermaid – I’ve largely avoided Disney’s live-action remakes, not least because they’re just not as good as the animated originals, but for The Little Mermaid I feel willing to make an exception. What little we’ve seen so far in teasers looks amazing and Halle Bailey looks like she was born to play a live-action Ariel. My only concern for the film is that I fear Melissa McCarthy won’t do Ursula justice (because really, who can measure up to the late Pat Carroll?) but I’m willing to give the film a chance.
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One – It feels like a lifetime since Mission Impossible: Fallout hit theaters. Thanks to the pandemic, it has been far too long since the adventures of Ethan Hunt graced the big screen and I’m excited he’s finally coming back next year. I’m not the biggest fan of this film being a “Part One”, I find that type of title really awkward, but I’m otherwise excited about the film. Though, I’ve heard that this part and the following film are a send-off for Ethan Hunt, so I’m sad this will be Tom Cruise’s last outing as Ethan Hunt, he’s been amazing in the role.
Dune: Part II – My most anticipated film last year (and probably the last 5+ years) was the first installment of Villinueve’s Dune remake, so of course I am looking forward to part 2. The second part of the book doesn’t have as much ground to cover, so in that regard it should have more time to get the details right. However, the second half of the book also deals with a lot more complicated ideas which will certainly be a challenge to bring to the big screen. I am looking forward to seeing how Villinueve approaches this challenge, because if his work on the first film is any indication, he is going to knock it out of the park.
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One – The Mission: Impossible films somehow find a way to get better and better even if they are already pretty damn impressive. Lots of credit goes to Christopher McQuarie who also had a hand in making this year’s most surprisingly awesome film, Top Gun: Maverick. With two films to complete a narrative arc, I am expecting more depth and even higher stakes (somehow). I’m all for practical stunts and can’t wait to see how they top the incredible things the franchise has already accomplished.
Barbie – I wasn’t especially interested in this film when it was first announced, but as they move further and further through production I have become very curious. From the impressive cast, the awesome talents of Greta Gerwig, to the incredible costumes/production design we have seen so far…this film has a lot going for it. Reports have mentioned the film really nails the tone – half way between serious and satirical – perfect for a movie about a toy while having something meaningful to say. This was a very risky film, but I’m glad they aren’t taking the easy route and just making it into a kids movie.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny – I was very very disappointed by the last Indiana Jones film, not only because it was just a badly written and executed film, but because it essentially killed off any opportunity for the franchise to move forward. I’m glad they are giving it one last shot while Harrison Ford is still able to do so. I have full confidence in James Merigold, and I’m glad we will get a new, and different perspective on the character from Steven Spielberg’s. The story and cast have a lot of potential, and I hope it is fully realized.
Oppenheimer – If a Christopher Nolan film is being released and I don’t have it on my most anticipated list, something is very wrong. It feels like we have been waiting forever for this movie to be released, and I am excited to finally be able to see it. This will be the first biopic style film Nolan has done, and I want to see how he approaches it. Dunkirk was his first historical film, but he eschewed tradition for the way he assembled the film. Will Oppenheimer experiment with its narrative as we are used to with Nolan films, or will it be more straight-forward? Either way, I’m looking forward to it.
The Nightingale – I loved this book by author Kristin Hannah. I read it early last year and heard whispers about it coming to the big screen in 2024, so it is exciting to now read that it has been pushed forward for an anticipated release date in 2023. Mélanie Laurent will be directing this tale of two sisters who resist the German occupation of France during World War II. The sisters are played by real-life siblings Elle and Dakota Fanning, and while I don’t particularly love the Fanning sisters, I do enjoy the real-life sister nod. Films don’t usually live up to their book counterparts, but I can’t help but have high hopes for this one.
Barbie – Okay, this movie looks fun. I probably would not be interested if not for awesome casting (Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling – like, how did they manage to get those two to commit to this?!), but given my admiration for the lead actors, I am definitely intrigued. Loved seeing the early pap shots of them filming on the beach in California with their fluro skintight outfits complete with rollerskates. The story follows Barbie being banished from Barbieland to our world. Getting some Enchanted vibes here and keen to see how it plays out. Come on Barbie, let’s go party.
Legally Blonde 3 – What?! I thought this was a rumor. None other than Reese Witherspoon could play Elle Woods but I think all us oldies are ultimately here for Jennifer Coolidge. A debut director is also taking the lead on this one. Where oh where do they think they are going with a third film in this apparent franchise? It’s a great unknown. Here for it.
John Wick: Chapter 4 – In addition to the reasons Becky mentioned above, every shot in these movies is a visual feast so I am always ready for more (even if the story perhaps should have ended a few movies ago). Plus, I am excited to see this one on the big screen. I rarely go out to see movies anymore, but John Wick warrants an outing to the film lover’s popcorn-filled paradise that is the cinema. And in no lifetime would I not support the love of my life that is Keanu Reeves, so I will be there with bells on.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – I find these films great easy-watching entertainment for myself and for anyone who happens to be watching with me. I honestly have no idea what this installment will be about (it has been a while since I saw the second one), but am excited to see Jonathan Majors as supervillain Kang the Conqueror and Bill Murray as… someone we do not yet know!
Wonka – Very interested to see Timothée Chalamet step into the title role as a young Willy Wonka in this origin story. Olivia Colman, Sally Hawkins, Keegan Michael-Key, and Rowan Atkinson round out a really awesome cast. Paul King, who enjoyed huge success with his two Paddington films, takes on the director role, so this film is set to be exceptionally good, colorful and delicious.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was groundbreaking for both animation and the superhero genre. With its huge cast of characters, the film still manages to make them all interesting to watch. Given how brilliant the first film was, I can’t wait to see more from this team of Spider-People in their next adventures in the Spider-Verse.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania – Without a doubt, one of the best additions to MCU’s Phase 4 has been Jonathan Majors as Kang. I was amazed by how fantastic he was in the finale of Loki, and thought it was very impressive how he managed to make long scenes of dialogue captivating and interesting for the audience. Because of this, I can’t wait to see more of him in the MCU, this time with a larger role.
Creed III – Another film starring Majors, I look forward to seeing his performance here for many of the reasons listed above. The Creed films have a great cast, and so far have been compelling, emotional, and oftentimes heartwarming. With Michael B. Jordan directing, I’m excited to see him alongside Jonathon Majors and Tessa Thompson in the franchise’s third installment.
The Marvels – It feels like forever since Captain Marvel’s solo film! Since then, Monica Rambeau has grown up, been through the events of WandaVision, and has a new set of powers, and even more recently, we saw Kamala Khan become Ms. Marvel. WandaVision left us with a lot of questions regarding whether Monica and Carol were friends or even still in touch, and Ms. Marvel’s ending played as a huge cliffhanger for the film! I’m excited to see how the three of them will interact and work through any issues, in what I’m sure will be a great film.
Elemental – A new Pixar film is always something to look forward to, and Elemental looks no different. I really liked the art-style shown in the trailer, and I’m sure the film will be both moving and comedic, as is the Pixar way.
Even with all these choices, it feels like we’re only scratching the surface of great films on the horizon in the new year. 2023 certainly looks to be something special for movie lovers. Which films are you most excited to see?