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Movies That Will Blow Everyone Away In 2023

Every year is packed with big movies now, whether we're talking about the continuations of major franchises, the launch of new ones, or big-budget spectacles that just seem primed to grab our attention no matter what the subject matter. In that regard, 2023 is no different.

We've got sci-fi epics, horror sequels, and more Spider-Man-related movies than you could possibly believe. In other words, it's going to be a memorable year for cinema. But which films are most primed to really knock you through the back wall of the theater in 2023, and when exactly will you get to see them? Well, we're here to help you find the best and the biggest that the year has to offer. From a villain's origin story to holiday season blockbusters, these are the movies that will blow you away in 2023.

Updated on December 15, 2023: From spy flicks to superhero films, 2023 is going to be packed with a ton of cinematic goodness. Be sure to check back here regularly as we update this list with casting developments, release date changes, and exciting new projects.

Maestro - December 20, 2023

After earning major praise as a director and actor with "A Star is Born," Bradley Cooper will once again take the helm of a music-driven feature film project in 2023. "Maestro," which boasts a producing roster that includes Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, will allow Cooper to step into the life of legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, examining both his personal and professional trials and triumphs.

Cooper will play the title role, physically transforming with the help of prosthetics to portray Bernstein, while also directing the film and co-writing alongside "Spotlight" writer Josh Singer. Carey Mulligan will star as Bernstein's wife Felicia Montealegre, who will factor heavily into the story as the film will focus on her complicated relationship with her husband. Additionally, you can expect to see Jeremy Strong, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, and Sarah Silverman. It definitely has the makings of one of the year's biggest drama releases and probably a major awards contender, though it does not yet have an announced release date.

"Maestro" hit limited theaters on November 22, 2023, and it will play on Netflix come December 20.

Rebel Moon Part I: A Child of Fire - December 21, 2023

For several years now, writer-director Zack Snyder has teased "Rebel Moon," his new genre epic that began life as his pitch for a new "Star Wars" film. Lucasfilm wasn't interested in picking up the idea, but with a few story tweaks, Snyder was able to keep the concept alive. Thanks to a major new partnership with Netflix, the filmmaker now hopes to build a whole space opera franchise on the streaming service.

The two-part film follows the residents of Veldt, a peaceful world of farmers who must rise up to defeat a tyrant who'd like them all to submit to his will. To achieve this, they turn to a mysterious woman (Sofia Boutella) who must venture out to neighboring worlds to find warriors willing to fight on Veldt's behalf. So, we're looking at "Seven Samurai" meets "Star Wars," with Snyder's visual style presiding over all of it. Moreover, in March 2023, we learned we'll get R-rated extended cuts for both halves of the two-part story when it lands on Netflix.

In addition to Sofia Boutella, the all-star cast for the film includes Charlie Hunnam, Ed Skrein, Ray Fisher, Djimon Hounsou, Jena Malone, Cleopatra Coleman, Corey Stoll, Cary Elwes, Michiel Huisman, Doona Bae, Rupert Friend, Stuart Martin, Alfonso Herrera, and Anthony Hopkins. Combined with the other ingredients that make this film, it sounds like a must-see adventure. The first installment, "Rebel Moon Part I: A Child of Fire" hit Netflix on December 21, 2023 at 7 PM PT, with the follow-up film, "The Scargiver," arriving on April 19, 2024.

Anyone But You - December 22, 2023

One of the internet's most talked-about films of the year even before it got its first trailer, "Anyone But You" is one of those romantic comedies that hopes to fly on the strength of its two leads — in this case, "Top Gun: Maverick" standout Glen Powell and "Euphoria" star Sydney Sweeney. Soon, we'll all get to see if their apparent natural chemistry pays off.

Directed by "Easy A" helmer Will Gluck, the film follows the classic romcom setup of two people who don't really like each other trying to act like a couple in order to get something they want. In this case it's Bea (Sweeney) and Ben (Glen Powell), two acquaintances who hooked up once and now, for the sake of their sanity, must pretend to be a couple to get through a destination wedding in Australia.

Okay, so you can probably guess where this is going — but that doesn't make it seem any less fun. The film's trailers play up the chemistry of its leads quite well, and the one-two punch of Sweeney and Powell feels irresistible.

"Anyone But You" hits theaters December 22.

Freud's Last Session - December 22, 2023

Anthony Hopkins is a two-time Oscar winner who's still turning in fantastic work well into his 80s. It's a treat to see him embody any character, but to watch him play an icon of the intellectual world is really something worth marking your calendar for.

Hopkins plays the legendary psychologist himself in "Freud's Last Session," a new feature film based on Mark St. Germain's play of the same name. In the "last session" from which the film takes its title, Freud will sit down for an imagined conversation on the nature of God, relationships, and everything else with none other than C.S. Lewis (Matthew Goode), the legendary British thinker and author of "The Chronicles of Narnia." As the two great minds go toe-to-toe, many of the 20th century's biggest ideas come to the fore, as both men learn from each other along the way. Yes, the conversation is imagined, but the power of these two actors sharing the screen is very real, and we can't wait to see it.

"Freud's Last Session" hits theaters December 22.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom - December 22, 2023

Aquaman's been around in some form in the DC Extended Universe since 2016's "Batman v Superman," but he really exploded in popularity back in 2018 when he got his own big-screen adventure for the first time. We were originally expecting to see an "Aquaman" sequel during the 2022 holiday season, but the film was pushed to 2023. Now, we'll finally get to experience the grandly titled "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom."

Jason Momoa will return as Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, and we've heard he'll be teaming up with his disgraced half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) to fight the powerful Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). We'll also see returning cast members like Amber Heard as Mera, Temuera Morrison and Nicole Kidman as Arthur's parents, Willem Dafoe as Atlantean vizier Vulko, and Randall Park as marine biologist Dr. Stephen Shin (he showed up in the original film's post-credits scene). Joining the cast this time out are Jani Zhao as Stingray, Indya Moore as telepathic shark Karshon, and "Game of Thrones" star Pilou Asbæk in a still-mysterious role.

After a lot of mystery, the film's trailer finally landed in the fall of 2023, shedding light on the plot and showcasing the beauty of Atlantis along the way. We get to see Aquaman settle into his family, then watch Manta tear it all down, and, of course, relish that half-brother team-up that'll teach Arthur Curry to be a king like never before. Like the first film, it promises to be an adventure for the ages.

"Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" finally hits theaters December 22.

The Iron Claw - December 22, 2023

One of the most intriguing sports biopics to come along in quite some time, "The Iron Claw" will take a closer look at one of the most famous dynasties in American professional wrestling, from its rise within the ring to its long string of family tragedies.

Named for the wrestling hold the family made famous, "The Iron Claw" will follow the Von Erich wrestling family. Zac Efron stars as Kevin Von Erich, one of the most prominent members of the family led by his father, Fritz Von Erich (Holt McCallany), an influential figure in wrestling in the days before WCW and WWE consumed the industry. Written and directed by Sean Durkin and released through A24, the film fill follow the success of the Von Erich family, particularly through Kevin and his brothers, and the so-called "Von Erich curse" that stopped so much of that success in its tracks.

With a star-packed supporting cast that includes Lily James, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Maura Tierney, and more, "The Iron Claw" is set to hit theaters on December 22, 2023.

Migration - December 22, 2023

The folks at animation studio Illumination have already landed 2023's biggest animated hit with "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," but they're not done with the year just yet. Right before Christmas, the studio and Universal Pictures will release "Migration," and if you like family comedies, you'll want to pay attention.

As the title suggests, the film follows a family of ducks — led by Kumail Nanjiani and Elizabeth Banks — as they work to fly south for the winter. Of course, migrating is sometimes easier said than done, and soon, the birds find that they've entered foul territory. If they hope to survive this harsh world of tough-talking pigeons and chefs ready to carve them up, they'll need to work together. Luckily, a few avian friends are there to help them out along the way.

Nanjiani and Banks are joined in this celebrity voice-over fest by Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key, David Mitchell, Carol Kane, and Danny DeVito, to name just a few, so you know you're in for a fun time. With any luck, Illumination will have another comedy hit on their hands.

"Migration" hits theaters December 22.

The Color Purple - December 25, 2023

The story of "The Color Purple" begins in 1982, when Alice Walker released her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about one Black woman's struggle for love, acceptance, and hope in an unforgiving world near the turn of the 20th century. Three years later, Steven Spielberg created a major turning point in his filmmaker career when he adapted Walker's novel for the screen. Two decades later, the novel was adapted yet again, this time as an acclaimed stage musical reimagining the story for new generations.

Now, "The Color Purple" will enter yet another phase of its pop culture life, as the musical becomes a new feature film. Directed by performer and filmmaker Blitz Bazawule and produced by powerhouses like Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Quincy Jones, the film will once again follow the life and struggles of Celie Johnson (Phylicia Pearl Mpasi and Fantasia Barrino) while filling her story with celebrated songs.

Alongside Barrino for this musical epic is a star-packed cast that includes Colman Domingo, Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Halle Bailey, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Louis Gossett Jr., and many more. "The Color Purple" hits theaters Christmas Day, 2023.

Ferrari - December 25, 2023

Michael Mann is a legendary filmmaker whose movies include true crime dramas ("Public Enemies"), fictionalized crime epics ("Heat"), and sweeping biopics ("Ali"), all delivered with his passionate, detail-oriented approach. In 2023, Mann will summon all of his cinematic powers to tell a story he's been working on for years, with a new collaborator front and center.

"Ferrari" tells the story of the life and work of Enzo Ferrari, founder of the Ferrari luxury car and racing dynasty, and his struggles with family and business on the eve of one of the biggest races of his life. Mann's had the story in his head for at least two decades, and originally set out to shoot it almost 10 years ago with Christian Bale in the title role. Eventually, Bale was replaced with Hugh Jackman, who also backed out, and was then replaced with Adam Driver. By the end of 2022, filming was finally underway.

Now, "Ferrari" will roar into theaters on December 25, 2023. Joining Driver, we'll see the likes of Penélope Cruz ("Parallel Mothers"), Shailene Woodley ("Divergent"), Jack O'Connell ("Unbroken"), Sarah Gadon ("Alias Grace"), Patrick Dempsey ("Grey's Anatomy"), and Gabriel Leone ("Dom").

The Boys in the Boat - December 25, 2023

George Clooney doesn't get behind the camera to direct all that often, but when he does, it's usually something special. "The Boys in the Boat" feels like no exception in that regard. A sweeping true story with a major historical event at its center, it's the kind of film that feels poised to make a splash come awards season.

Based on Daniel James Brown's book of the same name, the film follows the University of Washington men's rowing team who ended up representing the United States at the summer Olympics in Munich in 1936, in the shadow of Adolf Hitler's rise to power. The crew came from a largely working-class background, rather than being elite youth who'd always seemed destined for greatness, and their rowing style set them apart from the rest of the athletes, all building to a legendary finish.

The ensemble cast of the film includes Callum Turner, Joel Edgerton, Jack Mulhern, Sam Strike, Peter Guinness, and more, and Clooney's involvement signals a certain degree of attention that should be paid to the film from the beginning. "The Boys in the Boat" hits theaters Christmas Day 2023, which primes it for an awards run if it turns out as good as it sounds.