The summer movie season may be officially over, but as certain die-hard cinephiles already know, the final months of this year already look very promising. Not only are several living legends set to return to the big screen this fall and winter, but some of them are coming back with what seem like their biggest, most ambitious, and weirdest projects in years. Moviegoers shouldn’t, in other words, spend too much time mourning the conclusion of the summer movie season — not when there are so many exciting titles slated to hit theaters over the course of the coming months.
With all this in mind, here are five theatrical movies (i.e., no streaming exclusives) that we can’t wait to see throughout the remaining months of 2023.
1. Killers of the Flower Moon (October 20)
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Now that Dune: Part Two has been pushed to March, it’s Killers of the Flower MoonMartin Scorsese’s first movie since 2019’s The Irishmanthat holds the title of this fall’s biggest film. Based on David Grann’s acclaimed 2017 novel of the same name, the forthcoming film explores the real-life Osage Nation murders that turned the then-oil-rich lands of 1920s Oklahoma upside down.
With a considerable 206-minute runtime and an ensemble cast for the ages (headlined by Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone), Killers of the Flower Moon is shaping up to be another instant classic from Scorsese, one that — like many of his films — exposes the full breadth and complexity of a uniquely American tragedy. To say we’re “excited” would be to put it lightly.
2. Priscilla (November 3)
Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette filmmaker Sofia Coppola returns this year with Priscillawhich just premiered to largely rave reviews at this year’s Venice International Film Festival. Based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir Elvis and Methe new film explores the real-life relationship between its eponymous heroine and Elvis Presley.
Unlike last year’s Elvishowever, Coppola’s film promises to not only adopt the perspective of Priscilla herself (played by Mare of Easttown standout Cailee Spaeny) ,but also address the most complicated aspects of her and her rock star husband’s relationship. For Coppola, the past decade has been a bit of a quieter period, but her talent should never be underestimated, and it looks and sounds like Priscilla will only reestablish her place among the world’s greatest living filmmakers.
3. Napoleon (November 22)
Few directors have proven themselves as capable of crafting astonishing period epics as Ridley Scott. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise then that there’s a considerable amount of anticipation surrounding his latest film, Napoleon. A massive historical epic that reunites Scott with his Gladiator star Joaquin Phoenix, the film promises to explore the rise to power and reign of Napoleon Bonaparte (Phoenix) through his relationship with Empress Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby).
Based solely on the film’s first and only trailer to date, Napoleon looks just as awe-inspiring and audacious as any of Scott’s previous epics. That’s saying something, considering he’s also the filmmaker responsible for, among other movies, Kingdom of Heaven and The Last Duel.
4. Poor Things (December 8)
Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone might not seem like an obvious pair to tackle a Frankenstein-esque story, but that’s exactly what they’ve done with Poor Things. The film, based on a 1992 novel by Alasdair Gray, is an absurdist, steampunk fantasy farce about a Victorian-era woman (Stone) who is unceremoniously brought back to life by a mad scientist (Willem Dafoe) and decides to run off with a depraved lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) in order to try and find some freedom of her own.
The black comedy, which marks Stone and Lanthimos’ first time working together since 2018’s The Favouriterecently premiered at the Telluride and Venice film festivals, where it was met with both pearl-clutching shock for its apparently graphic sex scenes and widespread acclaim. As a result, it’s quickly risen to become one of this year’s most promising and hotly anticipated films.
5. Ferrari (December 25)
Any new movie from Michael Mann, the filmmaker behind classics like Thief, Heat, The Last of the Mohicans, The Insiderand Collateralwould automatically earn itself a place on a list like this. The fact that FerrariMann’s latest directorial effort, is also a passion project that he’s been trying to make for over 20 years only adds an extra level of anticipation to the film.
Led by Adam Driver, the drama promises to explore a specific period in the life of its eponymous protagonist, Enzo Ferrari, who already seems destined to become a natural addition to Mann’s long line of heartsick, stoic male protagonists. Rarely does a film seem like such a perfect combination of subject matter and auteur, which is why Ferrari is primed to send 2023 out on a high when it hits theaters in late December.