‏Exclaim!'s 15 Most Anticipated Films of 2023

BY Rachel Ho, Alex Hudson and Allie GregoryPublished Jan 6, 2023

Last year was a great one for movies, with big spectacles and horror leading the way. Now that 2022 is firmly in the rearview, it's time to look ahead to the 2023 calendar.

‏A handful of solid franchises make their return, from Scream to Creed, alongside the many films that got their 2022 release dates bumped due to pandemic delays. And of course, Tom Cruise is set to utterly beguile us for the second year in a row.

‏The coming year is also looking like another great one for Canadian cinema, with Clement Virgo returning to film and Tanya Tagaq getting the documentary treatment. Additionally, rising talents Chandler Levack and Anthony Shim make their mark with two semi-autobiographical movies.

‏Also, there's going to be a movie about an American black bear that overdoses on cocaine! ‏Here are 15 movies we're excited to watch this year.

‏Ever Deadly
‏Directed by Chelsea McMullan and Tanya Tagaq
‏Release Date: January 20

Following last year's TIFF premiere, Ever Deadly brings audiences inside acclaimed throat singer Tanya Tagaq's world with an immersive documentary that combines live performance footage with scenes from Nunavut. Bringing together various genres, it's a fittingly boundary-crossing way to celebrate the innovative artist, her trailblazing politics, and her connection to the land. Director Chelsea McMullan also helmed award-winning 2013 Rae Spoon documentary My Prairie Home.
‏Alex Hudson

‏Cocaine Bear
‏Directed by Elizabeth Banks
‏Release Date: February 24

Having previously directed the PG-13 comedies Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) and Charlie's Angels (2019), actor turned filmmaker Elizabeth Banks is taking the natural next step: a movie about a bear overdosing on coke. The impeccably titled Cocaine Bear is a crime thriller inspired by the true story of a drug runner's plane crash and the quarter-ton black bear that ate their stash before going on a bloody rampage. We're still not sure if this looks like the best or worst movie of 2023, but the trailer is definitely the weirdest and most memorable.
‏Alex Hudson

‏Creed III
‏Directed by Michael B. Jordan
‏Release Date: March 3

‏Against all odds, the Rocky spinoff about Apollo Creed's son, Adonis, has been a resounding success. Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler created a kinetic and moving first chapter in 2015, and now Jordan, in his directorial debut, is bringing the trilogy to a close. Creed III welcomes in Jonathan Majors as Adonis's childhood friend who seeks to make waves in boxing and ruffle Creed's feathers.
‏Rachel Ho

‏I Like Movies
‏Directed by Chandler Levack
‏Release Date: March 10

Canadian film that was named to TIFF's Canada's Top Ten in 2022, I Like Movies was a hit during TIFF22 and will be available for audiences across the country to watch in the spring. Set in the early 2000s, the film follows a socially awkward cinephile who works at local video store. A coming-of-age and slice of life comedy-drama, I Like Movies is Chandler Levack's strong directorial debut, and it will surely bring back memories for all us weirdo film nerds.
Rachel Ho

‏Scream VI
‏Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
‏Release Date: March 10

What's your favourite scary movie? Either of the first two Scream movies is an excellent answer to that question, and last year's Scream (a.k.a. Scream 5) wasn't bad either, so there's plenty of reason to be excited about the latest instalment in the self-aware slasher franchise. Neve Campbell is sitting this one out, as is David Arquette (for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who saw Scream 5). However, familiar faces Courtney Cox, Jenna Ortega and Hayden Panettiere are all back, while someone new dons the Ghostface mask and unleashes terror in New York.
‏Alex Hudson

‏John Wick: Chapter 4
‏Directed by Chad Stahelski
‏Release Date: March 24

Keanu Reeves returns to one of his most beloved roles as the titular dog-loving hitman with a penchant for vengeance. The fourth instalment in the extremely consistent John Wick franchise dives further into the curious moral codes of killers, with lots of drama and guns, guns, guns. The trailer alone has a higher body count than most feature-length movies, so we can't even imagine how much bloodshed will be in the full flick. 
Alex Hudson

‏Riceboy Sleeps
‏Directed by Anthony Shim
‏Release Date: March

‏After its debut at TIFF22 (where it won the coveted Platform Prize), Riceboy Sleeps has made its way through the film festival circuit, picking up awards and recognition along the way, including being named to TIFF's Canada Top Ten of 2022. Just the second film directed by Vancouver's Anthony Shim, Riceboy Sleeps is a pull-at-your-heartstrings story about belonging, parenthood and coming of age. Shot mostly in the Greater Vancouver Area, Riceboy Sleeps is as gorgeous as it is moving, and a sign of great things to come from Shim.
‏Rachel Ho

‏Killers of the Flower Moon
‏Directed by Martin Scorsese
‏Release Date: May

‏Martin Scorsese's latest film will tackle the horrifying true story of the Osage Murders that occurred in Oklahoma between the 1910s and 1930s. After oil was discovered on Osage Nation tribal land, a number of the wealthy inheritors were found murdered. When the Bureau of Investigation (precursor to the FBI) launched an investigation headed by a young J. Edgar Hoover, widespread corruption and sickening greed and bigotry were uncovered. Adapted from David Grann's 2017 book, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladston and Brendan Fraser (plus musicians Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Jack White), in what is sure to be a gripping and harrowing tale.
‏Rachel Ho

‏Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
‏Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson
‏Release Date: June 2

Even the most dedicated of action movie fans is surely experiencing some Marvel burnout by this point — but if there's one superhero movie to get excited about in 2023, it's this sequel to 2018's outstanding Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, a soulful and psychedelic spectacle that was the only superhero flick to make Exclaim!'s best-of-the-decade list. This one looks to dive even further into the multiverse concept, with Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) joining a Spider-Force of heroes in a quest that takes them between alternate universes.
‏Alex Hudson

Asteroid City
‏Directed by Wes Anderson
‏Release Date: June 16

A breakneck follow-up to 2021's The French Dispatch and the precursor to his Roald Dahl Netflix project The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Wes Anderson's Asteroid City is underpinned by one of his most enormous casts to date. Anderson regulars Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe and more are joined by heavyweight newcomers Tom Hanks, Steve Carell, Maya Hawke and Bryan Cranston, among others, in what is being described loosely as a "romance film" taking place at a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention in a "fictional American desert town circa 1955." Will Anderson out-Wes Anderson himself yet again? Definitely probably, if the excessive casting is any indication of the opulence we're due for this summer. Either way, expect more Futura font title cards, pastel wardrobes and deadpan deliveries in what's sure to be a delightful overstimulation of the senses.
‏Allie Gregory

‏Directed by Clement Virgo
‏Release Date: Spring

‏One of Canada's great directors is finally back on the silver screen with an affecting story of fraternal love in Brother. Based on David Chariandy's novel of the same name, Brother takes us to 1990s Scarborough, where brothers Francis and Michael are raised by their mother, Ruth. Aaron Pierre and Marsha Stephanie Blake as Francis and Ruth, respectively, layer the film with exceptional depth and texture. A great double feature with Clement's earliest work, Rude, Brother shows the highs and lows of Scarborough's vibrant community.
‏Rachel Ho

‏Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One
‏Directed by Christopher McQuarrie
‏Release Date: July 14

Tom Cruise has a knack for taking so-so action IPs from the '80s and '90s and making them incredible; mostly because of his apparent disregard for his own mortality, which has resulted in some of the most ambitious and outrageous stunts ever committed to celluloid. Top Gun: Maverick was one of last year's best blockbusters, and MI7 looks similarly incredible, since it includes Cruise's Ethan Hunt driving an actual motorcycle off an actual cliff. If it's anything like the last few Mission: Impossible movies, it's going to be worth seeing on the biggest screen possible.
‏Alex Hudson

‏Directed by Greta Gerwig
‏Release Date: July 21

‏Following up her Academy Award-winning adaptation of Little Women, Greta Gerwig brings to life one of the world's most recognizable toys to show us that life in plastic might not be so fantastic. Admittedly, my initial curiosity simply lay in a bit of confusion, and also the seemingly perfect casting of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, respectively. But after that 2001: A Space Odyssey-inspired trailer, Gerwig officially has my attention.
‏Rachel Ho

‏Directed by Christopher Nolan
‏Release Date: July 21

‏Christopher Nolan reportedly recreated the detonation of the first nuclear bomb without CGI. Without CGI! If that isn't enough of a draw to Oppenheimer, I'm at a loss. The biopic of J. Robert Oppenheimer's life, starring Cillian Murphy, has already produced some stunning visuals, and given Nolan's penchant for all things IMAX, we're all surely in for a cinematic treat filled with some sort of time jumping or bending, I'm sure.
‏Rachel Ho

Dune: Part Two
‏Directed by Denis Villeneuve
‏Release Date: November 3

‏Denis Villeneuve's decision to break up Frank Herbert's epic sci-fi novel into two parts may have made the first instalment feel like half a movie, but it's a choice that will hopefully pay off. The notoriously hefty novel has been a challenge for past filmmakers to adapt into a single film, and so far, Villeneuve's two-film adaptation has given a chance for the material to breathe and characters to develop. Dune was one of Exclaim!'s favourite movies of 2021, and we can't wait to see Florence Pugh and Austin Butler join the crew.
‏Rachel Ho

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