10 movies to look for in 2023: What’s coming for film fanatics in the new year | Movies/TV

With the changing of the calendar, a new year awaits, ripe with possibilities.

And popcorn — lots and lots of popcorn.

Granted, Hollywood is a little distracted at the moment, looking back on the year that was as award season builds toward its Oscar night climax on March 12.

For the rest of us, though, it’s also always fun this time of year to look forward to what the next 12 months hold for movie fans.

And make no mistake: Studios are already jockeying for position on the 2023 release calendar, with some tantalizing projects on tap. (Did somebody say “Indiana Jones?”)

That being the case, here’s a list of 10 movies scheduled for release in the coming year that have caught this movie nerd’s eye, all arranged according to release date.

Happy new year. Now, roll ’em. …

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“Cocaine Bear”

Release date: Feb. 24.

Sometimes — and particularly now, with weighty Oscar hopefuls filling theaters — a moviegoer just wants to watch something uncomplicated, unpretentious and unapologetically bonkers.

That description certainly fits this action-comedy, directed by Elizabeth Banks and inspired by the true story of a black bear in Georgia that found and ate a duffel bag filled with 75 pounds of cocaine. Those who can’t wait can whet their appetites a couple of weeks early with the arrival of “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” a slasher film of questionable taste in which A.A. Milne’s beloved Pooh Bear and Piglet characters — the copyrights on whom expired in 2022 — go on a killing spree.


Release date: In theaters April 14

Look out, Lestat. Universal is rebooting its “Dracula” franchise with this New Orleans-shot, New Orleans-set horror-comedy starring Nicolas Cage as the titular bloodsucker and Nicholas Hoult as his mesmerized servant Renfield, who begins to question whether their relationship is a healthy one. As a longtime fan of Universal’s Classic Monsters franchise, I’ll confess some apprehension about playing Drac for laughs, although if it falls flat, Universal is also releasing “The Last Voyage of the Demeter” — a suitably dark drama based on the “Captain’s Log” chapter from Bram Stoker’s 1897 “Dracula” novel — on Aug. 11.


Release date: In theaters June 16.


Pixar Animation’s big 2023 release, directed by “The Good Dinosaur” helmer Pete Sohn, introduces viewers to Element City, in which elemental beings — each of whom boast characteristics of either fire, water, land or air — live side by side, in a reflection of Sohn’s upbringing in multicultural New York. Visually, it feels reminiscent of “Inside Out” and “Soul,” which is pretty good company. If it can capture those films’ emotion, and maybe weave in an ”Earth, Wind and Fire” track or three, we might be on to something.

“Asteroid City”

Release date: Limited theatrical release on June 16 before going wide June 23.

Longtime readers of The Times-Picayune probably know I’m a sucker for the Wes Anderson aesthetic, and I have no reason to suspect this one, a romance set in 1955 at a Junior Stargazer convention, will disappoint. In addition to his peerless visual style, it stars a ridiculously deep cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Matt Dillon, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Carell, Liev Schreiber and a bunch of others whose names simply won’t fit in this column.

“Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”

Release: In theaters June 30.

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I try not to get too terribly excited about sequels, which is why you don’t see a bunch of Marvel movies on this list. The “Indiana Jones” franchise, however, is an exception. In this one, co-written and directed by the reliable James Mangold (“Logan,” “Ford vs. Ferrari”), Harrison Ford dons the fedora for a fifth time to hunt down ex-Nazis amid the Space Race in 1969. Count me in. Also: Now that “Temple of Doom” actor Ke Huy Quan is back in the game and winning Golden Globes (see: “Everything Everywhere All At Once”), maybe it’s time to start thinking about a sixth outing — and perhaps a passing of the whip to Indy’s now-grown former sidekick?

“Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One”

Release date: In theaters July 14.

I know, I know. I just said I’m not a huge fan of sequels. But action franchises don’t get much more dependable than “Mission: Impossible.” This time, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie — who directed the previous two installments — reteams with Tom Cruise and the gang (Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, etc.) for another globe-trotting, stunt-heavy action-adventure. The studio is being mum on plot details, but we know this much: The story will continue in summer 2024 with the release of “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part Two,” which reportedly just wrapped filming last month.


Release: In theaters July 21.

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Christopher Nolan directs — and those three words alone are enough to get my attention — a drama based on the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the so-called “father of the atomic bomb.” Cillian Murphy holds down the title role, with a supporting cast that includes Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Down Jr., Florence Pugh, Rami Malek, Kevin Branagh and others. As is Nolan’s way, the production is draped in secrecy, but there’s more than enough material there to ensure it won’t be a bomb.


Release: In theaters July 21.

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Margot Robbie is Barbie and Ryan Gosling is her Ken, in this long-gestating comedy inspired by the classic toy line. Don’t expect halfhearted, from-the-toybox pablum, though. This one is written by indie darlings Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, with Gerwig also directing, so expect a certain amount of social commentary to elevate things between the laughs.

“Haunted Mansion”

Release date: In theaters Aug. 11.

Twenty years after the release of 2003’s “Haunted Mansion,” Disney reawakens its “99 happy haunts” for another movie based on the popular theme park attraction. Don’t wait for Eddie Murphy to show up, though. Director Justin Simien’s film, shot partly in New Orleans, is a full-on reboot, about a single mom and her 9-year-old son who get more than they bargained for when they buy an old Crescent City mansion. Rosario Dawson leads an impressive ensemble cast that includes LaKeith Stanfield, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, Winona Ryder, Danny DeVito, Jared Leto and Jamie Lee Curtis.

“The Killer”

Release: TBD 2023 on Netflix.

David Fincher directs Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton in a noir thriller based on the French graphic novel “Le Tueur,” about an highly skilled assassin’s slow-motion descent into madness. Parts of the film were reportedly shot in New Orleans, where Fincher previously shot “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” as well as Paris, Chicago and the Dominican Republic.

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