New movies 2023: the most exciting films releasing in theaters this year

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Theaters have had a tough few years thanks to Covid-19 and the unstoppable rise of the streaming giants, but it’s not done yet. If you’re looking for epic, blockbuster entertainment, the big screen experience is still the place to be – and 2023 is shaping up to have its fair share of exciting new movies.

So, while we’ll readily admit that this year’s release slate isn’t quite as rammed as its predecessor (no Top Gun: Maverick, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, or The Batman), there’s still plenty of good reasons to head to your local multiplex. 

Tom Cruise fans, for example, can look forward to his seventh outing as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One, while followers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) should be putting Guardians of the Galaxy 3 on their wishlist. For followers of DC, there’s the double-whammy of The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and for fans of epic sci-fi, there's the second part of Denis Villeneuve’s big-budget adaptation of Dune.

Below we’ve compiled a list of 2023’s most exciting new movies, and we'll be regularly updating this list with more entries in the coming weeks. Start booking your tickets now!

New movies: March 2023

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Release date: March 17, 2023

Zachary Levi's superpowered schmuck, Shazam, is forced to return to action in Shazam! Fury of the Gods when villainous sisters Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Athena (Rachel Zegler) – who also happen to be the daughters of formidable Greek titan Atlas – emerge as threats bearing a potentially world-destroying weapon. 

Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel, and Grace Caroline Currey all reprise their roles from the first Shazam! movie alongside Levi, while West Side Story breakout Rachel Zegler joins the cast as the third (but altogether less violent) daughter of Atlas, Anthea. To the surprise of many, Shazam! was a critical and commercial hit upon release in 2019, so DC executives will be hoping its sequel can repeat the trick. Be sure to look out for our spoiler-free review soon.

If you missed the first one, find out how to watch DC extended universe movies in order before you give it a go.

John Wick: Chapter 4

Release date: March 24, 2023

Everyone’s favorite puppy-loving hitman is back for more gun-toting action in 2023. As per Lionsgate's official synopsis, John Wick: Chapter 4 will find the titular assassin “taking on his most lethal adversaries yet. With the price on his head ever increasing, Wick takes his fight against the High Table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Osaka to Berlin.”

In other words, the Chad Stahelski-directed gun-fu movie will dance to the same tune as its predecessors – which is by no means a bad thing, in our book. Series mainstays Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, and Lance Reddick will reprise their roles as Winston, The Bowery King and Charon, respectively. Newcomers include martial arts legends Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Rogue One) and Hiroyuki Sanada (Mortal Kombat).

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Release date: March 31, 2023

Although Dungeons & Dragons’ first big-screen outing spawned a pair of straight-to-TV/DVD sequels in the early ’00s, it was a critical and box-office disappointment. Now, riding high on a wave of Stranger Things-fueled popularity, the genre-defining role-playing game (RPG) returns for second roll of the movie dice – and there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

For starters, this reboot seems eager to keep tabletop D&D fans happy, with a story based in the game’s Forgotten Realms campaign setting. It features a mismatched party of thieves on a quest to save the world, and along the way they’ll encounter familiar obstacles like gelatinous cubes, evil wizards and, yes, dungeons and dragons.

The movie’s biggest trump card, however, may be a cast of heroes led by Star Trek’s Chris Pine, Fast & Furious’ Michelle Rodriguez, and Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page. If they’re as entertaining as they are in the trailers, Honor Among Thieves could be a fun antidote to the more po-faced fantasy of The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon.

New movies: April 2023

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Release date: April 5, 2023

Now that The Last of Us has proved it’s possible to make a credible adaptation of a videogame, all eyes will be on a certain moustachioed plumber from Brooklyn. Nobody’s expecting The Super Mario Bros. Movie to deliver the sort of hard-hitting drama we associate with Joel and Ellie’s post-apocalyptic adventures, but this animated movie should at least make amends for the Bob Hoskins-starring Mario disaster from 1993.

The trailers hint at a safety-first approach, with plenty of familiar elements from the long-running Nintendo franchise – karting, Donkey Kong, mushrooms – joining Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Toad, and Bowser on the big screen. With numerous Despicable Me/Minions movies behind them, production company Illumination have plenty of experience creating family-friendly entertainment. And, while Chris Pratt was a controversial choice to voice the handyman hero, some of his Lego Movie charm could lend the film some much-needed bounce.  

Evil Dead Rise

Release date: April 21, 2023

The first Evil Dead film in a decade moves away from the familiar cabin in the woods setting, but that demonic book is still stirring up nightmares for anyone foolish enough to dip in. This time out the story relocates to a Los Angeles apartment, where a family is torn apart (figuratively and presumably literally) by those familiar trash-talking Deadites – and, while Bruce Campbell’s Ash is nowhere to be seen, there will be chainsaws.

The Hole in the Dark director Lee Cronin marshals the blood and guts – original helmer Sam Raimi is on board as an executive producer – and he believes that moving the action to the city made perfect sense. “[The film] still needed to maintain some of the claustrophobia,” he told Total Film magazine (via GamesRadar). “And that translated really well from the cabin into an urban environment. This is about a family in a rundown building stuck in their apartment, so it follows the same rhythm but puts it in a more contemporary space.”

New movies: May 2023

Guardians of the Galaxy 3

Release date: May 5, 2023

The second Marvel Phase 5 project scheduled for release in 2023 (after Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania) is the third and final instalment in James Gunn's beloved Guardians of the Galaxy series. 

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 will pick up directly after the events of the titular group's Holiday Special, which was released on Disney Plus as part of Phase 4 in November 2022, and will see the franchise's biggest stars – including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and Bradley Cooper – returning for what's expected to be their final MCU outing. Gunn is on dual writing and directing duties for the last time as a Marvel employee, too, with the The Suicide Squad director having been recently installed as co-head of DC Studios. In other words, prepare for this one to be an emotional roller coaster.

Need to catch up on the MCU? Check out our guide to watching the Marvel movies in order.

New movies: June 2023

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Release date: June 2, 2023

The first instalment in a two-part sequel to 2018's Into the Spider-VerseSpider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will follow Miles and Gwen as they encounter different worlds (and characters) on their travels across the multiverse. The movie's producers have already revealed that each dimension in the second Miles Morales-led Spidey movie will have its own art style and “feel like it was drawn by a different artist’s hand,” so there's a good chance that this one will look even better than the excellent original. 

What's more, the same duo have also revealed Across the Spider-Verse may be tied to the MCU after all, meaning we could see Tom Holland's Spidey in animated form for the first time. As with the Aquaman sequel (below), this one was initially slated to release in 2022, but is now scheduled for 2023.


Release date: June 16, 2023

2022 was something of a mixed bag for Pixar. On the plus side they released the wonderful Turning Red, a sweet and clever coming-of-age story that bagged itself an Oscar nomination. On the downside, Lightyear’s ‘movie about the man who inspired the toy from the movie’ premise proved a little too meta for audiences and critics alike (editor's note: I liked it, though!). 

Fortunately, Elemental feels like it could be more solid ground for the Emeryville-based animation studio, because this is a return to the weird, high-concept territory that Pixar has made its own with the likes of Inside Out and Soul.

It's set in a city where characters representing the four classical elements (fire, water, land and air) live together. At the film’s heart is an unlikely friendship between a fiery woman called Ember (The Half of It’s Leah Lewis) and a watery guy called Wade (Jurassic World: Dominion’s Mamoudou Athie) – we can only assume that things get steamy when they’re together. Peter Sohn (who also voiced Sox the cat in Lightyear) calls the shots.

The Flash

Release date: June 16, 2023

The movie incarnation of the Flash already met another version of himself as part of a crossover event in the CW’s long-running Arrowverse. Now, the big-screen Flash is following the MCU's lead, as well as that of Rick and Morty and Everything Everywhere All At Once, by diving headlong into the multiverse.

Inspired by Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert’s 2011 comic-book arc Flashpoint, The Flash will see Barry Allen (Ezra Miller, reprising their role from the Justice League movie) using his super-speed to meddle with history in the hope of saving his dead mom. In the best traditions of movie time travel, however, he inadvertently creates a world with no metahumans, and where Michael Shannon’s returning General Zod is free rampant. At least Barry can call on Michael Keaton’s vintage Batman and Sasha Calle’s new Supergirl (among other DC heroes) to help out.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Release date: June 30, 2023

Cue the theme music: the world's favorite collector of rare antiquities is back. Arriving 12 years after Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – which itself was the first Indiana Jones movie for 19 years – The Dial of Destiny will see Harrison Ford putting on the famous fedora one last time. 

Plot details are thin on the ground, but the film's glorious first trailer did tease the involvement of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange), Antonio Banderas (The Mask of Zorro), Toby Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger), and Boyd Holbrook (The Sandman), as well as a miraculously de-aged Harrison Ford. We can't wait. 

New movies: July 2023

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One

Release date: July 14, 2023

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning: Part One (or Mission: Impossible 7, if you're in a rush) has endured so many scheduling delays that it previously featured on our list of 2022's biggest upcoming movies, but the film finally looks set to arrive in July this year. 

Top Gun: Maverick hero Tom Cruise will have hit 60 by the time this entry hits cinemas, and it'll also mark the penultimate outing for Ethan Hunt, the actor's famous action hero. Having delivered the long-running franchise’s best instalments with Rogue Nation and Fallout, Christopher McQuarrie is also back behind the camera for number 7 and its follow-up. Plot details are currently wrapped up tighter than a government vault, though the bombastic first Mission Impossible 7 trailer did give us our first glimpse at Hunt and company's return to action. 

To best prepare yourself for the chaos to come, check out our ranking of the Mission: Impossible movies released so far.


Release date: July 21, 2023

Having appeared in a couple of Toy Story movies, Mattel’s iconic doll is no stranger to the big screen. Even so, Barbie’s first outing as the headline attraction is a genuinely intriguing prospect.

The plot is surrounded by Christopher Nolan-like levels of secrecy, but rumors suggest it’ll involve the eponymous doll (played by Margot Robbie) and long-standing boyfriend Ken (Ryan Gosling) relocating to the real world. With Lady Bird and Little Women director Greta Gerwig behind the camera (she also co-wrote the script with Marriage Story’s Noah Baumbach), Barbie promises to be much smarter than your average toy-to-screen transfer. Indeed, the 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired trailer suggests the film will be less a celebration than a satire on a doll whose original incarnation now feels incredibly outdated.

Haunted Mansion

Release date: July 28, 2023

Disney continues its quest to turn theme park attractions into movies (see also Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise) with its second crack at a Haunted Mansion adaptation.

Ahsoka star Rosario Dawson plays a single mom who moves into a creepy haunted mansion – the clue’s in the title – with her nine-year-old son (Chase W. Dillon). Exorcism advice will be available courtesy of an all-star cast featuring LaKeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, and Jamie Lee Curtis.

This being the House of Mouse the scares are likely to be of the jumpy variety rather than the kind that gives you nightmares. But, with The Heat, Ghostbusters and Parks and Recreation writer Katie Dippold on scripting duties, there’ll hopefully be plenty of laughs, too.

New movies: August 2023

TMNT: Mutant Mayhem

Release date: August 4, 2023

The world’s most fearsome fighting team has had as many big-screen reboots as Spider-Man, so it’s no surprise that this fourth incarnation has seemingly taken inspiration from the brilliant Into the Spider-Verse. Shepherded to the screen by Seth Rogen and regular producing partner Evan Goldberg, TMNT: Mutant Mayhem brings a unique, almost painterly style to its animation, and if the story’s as innovative as the visuals, which look totally cowabunga in its first trailer, we’re in for a treat.

Newcomers Nicolas Cantu, Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr, and Brady Noon voice a younger-then-usual Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Support comes from Jackie Chan on board as rat-shaped mentor Splinter and Ayo Edebiri as April O’Neil, the news reporter who befriends the heroes in a half-shell. Rogen also bags himself a role, teaming up with WWE wrestler-turned-Peacekeeper star John Cena to play mutant henchmen Rock Steady and Bebop.

New movies: November 2023

Dune: Part Two

Timothée Chalamet's Paul Atreides holds a knife in Dune

Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides in the first Dune movie. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Release date: November 3, 2023

The most disappointing thing about Denis Villeneuve’s Dune movie was its non-descript ending. But, as anyone who’s sat through David Lynch’s flawed 1984 movie will tell you, slicing Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel in two was way preferable to squeezing it into a single film. And, while Warner Bros. weren’t prepared to gamble on shooting the two movies back-to-back, they got the cameras rolling pretty quickly when the first hit big at the post-Covid box office.

This follow-up will see an already impressive ensemble cast bolstered by Elvis’s Austin Butler, Black Widow’s Florence Pugh, No Time to Die’s Léa Seydoux and the needs-no-introduction Christopher Walken. Expect epic action, trippy sci-fi, and some very big worms when Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides resumes his mission to save the desert world of Arrakis.

New movies: December 2023

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Jason Momoa's Aquaman stands in front of a waterfall in his self-titled movie

Aquaman 2 lands in theaters before the end of the year. (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Release date: December 25, 2023

Despite Aquaman 2 having been originally scheduled to hit theaters on December 16, 2022, it's now due to wash up in December 2023. Going by the less internet-friendly title of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, this superhero sequel will continue the underwater adventures of Jason Momoa's DC superhero. 

This long-awaited sequel reunites the Game of Thrones actor with original co-stars Amber Heard, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman, and Patrick Wilson – although the level of Heard's involvement reportedly remains up in the air – and will see the titular character forced to “forge an uneasy alliance with an unlikely ally to protect Atlantis, and the world, from irreversible devastation.” Expect even more comic book carnage, then.

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