From Barbie to Creed III: the 2023 films Guardian writers are most excited about

Killers of the Flower Moon

My most anticipated film of 2022 has now, through a shift in scheduling, become my most anticipated film of 2023. Sending Martin Scorsese and his first-rate artisans to the Great Plains with $200m to recreate the bloody boomtowns of early 1920s Oklahoma is a tantalizing prospect on its own. But in David Grann’s book about the murders of Osage people made rich on the oil deposits beneath their tribal land, Scorsese has the perfect narrative backbone for a uniquely American story of greed, violence and white supremacy. Add to that his first film with both Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, his leading men in different eras of his career, and supporting players that include Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser and Lily Gladstone, and there’s just no better reason to burn through Apple’s money. (Giving Scorsese all the cash he wants to make movies should be a federal requirement for streaming platforms.) Scott Tobias

Club Zero

Little Joe, from 2019, Jessica Hausner’s last film and the Austrian film-maker’s first in the English language, was a diabolically clever genre subversion in which a horror setup gradually turns itself inside out to reveal something less menacing and more psychologically telling. By the sound of it, she might pull a similar act of transmogrification with her latest project, confirmed to have been shot in the UK in August. Mia Wasikowska plays a newly hired teacher at an elite private school, where she comes to exude a cult leader’s sway over five of her students, opposed by Amir El-Masry as a fellow educator and the great Sidse Babett Knudsen as the principal. Hausner thrives when building small, insular worlds within institutions, whether in a palatial hotel or a hyper-sterile lab, and she now seems geared to turn the classroom into a pressure cooker of teenage hormones and svengali brainwashing. Keeping my fingers crossed for a competition slot at Cannes. Charles Bramesco

Magic Mike’s Last Dance

There is no trailer that offers more hype, nor one I watched more times (and with more people) last year, than the preview for Magic Mike’s Last Dance. The third installment in what was never meant to be a franchise promises a final blowout for Channing Tatum’s beloved male stripper via a stage show across the pond, assumedly funded by Salma Hayek’s new character. Everything we know about this movie so far has been good news – minimal plot, maximum dancing, hot men busting out choreography on a London bus, a callback (in both trailer and film) to the upstart charm that made the original film so endearing. Also, Tatum’s lap dance for Hayek, which the latter has described as “very physically challenging”, and the reveal by director Steven Soderbergh that the film will end with an over 30-minute dance sequence. Go big or go home, and I will be going to see this in theaters. Adrian Horton

Infinity Pool

In 2022, Mia Goth established herself an actor I wanted to keep an eye on, after amazing lead performances in Ti West’s linked horror films X and Pearl. She brought a distinctive edge and personality to those roles, combining notes of vulnerability and swagger in a way that really worked for me. So I was very excited to see that she’s starring opposite Alexander Skarsgård in the third feature from David Cronenberg’s son, Brandon. Coming off his widely acclaimed Possessor, the younger Cronenberg offers Infinity Pool, a movie that appears to center around a man sentenced to death who, because of his wealth, is allowed to clone himself and have that person executed instead. The movie promises an intense blend of sci-fi and horror, with lots of grotesque bodies, surprising twists and questions about who we are, what defines our humanity and how technology is changing all that. Veronica Esposito

You Hurt My Feelings

There is a bounty of reasons for me to be excited about spiky comedy drama You Hurt My Feelings – a welcome reunion for Enough Said’s dream team of Nicole Holofcener and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a promising match-up of A24 distribution and a Sundance premiere, the smug fact that it was partly filmed on the street where I currently live – but the most persuasive is also the most basic: the logline. It goes like this: Louis-Dreyfus plays a novelist who one day overhears her husband admit that he hasn’t liked her writing in years, unravelling their marriage into chaos. It’s a gloriously uneasy setup, recalling the horribly revealing “how can we ever get past this?” allure of Force Majeure and teases the kind of uncomfortably relatable knottiness that Holofcener does arguably better than anyone else. Forget whatever high-octane, high-stakes mayhem Marvel, DC and, gulp, Mattel, have in store for the year, the most captivating fireworks of 2023 will likely be taking place between two people in a Brooklyn apartment. Benjamin Lee


Usually, news of an ultra-talented writer-director adapting a familiar pre-existing work fills me with trepidation; I wasn’t even that excited about Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, considering how much I loved the heedless momentum and comic rhythms of Lady Bird, as well as her co-authored screenplays for Frances Ha and Mistress America. But Gerwig’s Women proved me wrong, enough that I feel comfortable hotly anticipating her latest, far less prestigious-sounding feat of adaptation: Barbie, a comedy based on the famous Mattel line of fashion dolls. Margot Robbie plays Barbie opposite Ryan Gosling’s Ken – but in the tradition of the toys’ endless models, outfits and vocations, it has been implied that perhaps some other members of the large and impressive cast (including Issa Rae, America Ferrera and Kate McKinnon) will also play Barbie variations. Impressively little is known about the movie’s plot, but it’s the first screenplay written jointly by Gerwig and her life partner Noah Baumbach since the effervescent Mistress America; Barbie could be half as funny as that film and still probably contend for best big-studio project of the summer movie season. Jesse Hassenger

The Zone of Interest

Jonathan Glazer.
Jonathan Glazer. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/EPA

First announced in 2018, Jonathan Glazer’s fourth feature has seemed something of a mirage over the years, inching forward at a rate fully consistent with his reputation as a stubbornly non-prolific genius. Still, there’s reason to hope this will finally be the year, with a Cannes premiere potentially on the cards: produced by A24, Glazer’s adaptation of Martin Amis’s 2014 Holocaust novel completed shooting in Poland last year and is in post-production. German stars Sandra Hüller and Christian Friedel are the leads, while exacting visual stylist Glazer has tapped Pawel Pawlikowski’s preferred cinematographer Lukasz Zal (Cold War, Ida) – as if it weren’t safe enough to assume it’ll all look immaculate. As for the story, Amis’s concentration camp-set novel concerns a young Nazi officer’s pursuit of the camp commandant’s disillusioned wife, and unfolds from three separate perspectives – though don’t count on Glazer’s film following that blueprint, if his radical, liberal adaptation of Michel Faber’s Under the Skin was anything to go by. Guy Lodge

The Killer

Michael Fassbender.
Michael Fassbender. Photograph: Gisela Schober/Getty Images

Absent from the screen since 2019’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Michael Fassbender stars in The Killer as a cold, patient and precise assassin who begins to unravel and lose his grip on reality while waiting for his next target. That material is a great fit for director David Fincher, and not just because he too has been playing the waiting game to execute this film. Fincher, the meticulous film-maker known for exerting maximum control over every delicate detail and composition, has been trying to adapt Alexis Nolent’s graphic novel since it was originally announced in 2007, when he released his masterpiece about real-life killer Zodiac. Who knows what development delays hit in the 16 years between as the passion project passed from Paramount to Netflix. The Killer is finally on its way thanks to the same output deal that gave us Mank. We’ll see how Fassbender’s killer fits among the characters Fincher is drawn to: from the storytellers in The Social Network and Mank to the murderous masterminds in Seven and Gone Girl who try like Fincher to keep a tight grip over their narratives. Radheyan Simonpillai

Creed III

I’m a sucker for a Rocky movie, and Creed III had me slack-jawed from the moment Jonathan Majors flashed his bare torso in the trailer. (His muscles have muscles have muscles!) You’d think after eight bites of the apple, the Rockys would just about be out of juice by now. But the ninth edition hits on an idea core to many sports legends but seldom explored in sports movies – the guy who was actually better than the famous star and might well have been the one in the spotlight but for an inexorable chain of fatal decisions. That’s the reclamation project Majors plays to Michael B Jordan’s mountaintop-perched Creed. And with the latter inheriting the director reins from Steven Caple Jr, it’ll be interesting if this premise can go the distance. Given the franchise spinoff’s critical and box office track record, Creed III sure looks like it’ll be a knockout. Andrew Lawrence


It was the paparazzi photos of Nicholas Cage skulking around a New Orleans set dressed as a modern-day Dracula that did it for me. Dressed in a natty red velvet suit, his face is powdered a sepulchral white, his lips the icy hue of somebody who fell asleep with red wine dribbling down his face. And there’s his hands, all done up in dagger-like fingernails and colorful rings fit for a cartoon king. The spectacularly costumed Cage stars in the forthcoming horror-comedy Renfield, which tells Bram Stoker’s classic tale from the point of view of Dracula’s henchman, played by Nicholas Hoult. Directed by Chris McKay (The Lego Movie and The Lego Batman Movie), the production co-stars the never boring Awkwafina as Renfield’s traffic cop love interest. With such ingredients, the film could be brilliant or bananas or, let’s hope, both. Lauren Mechling


I was genuinely taken aback when the trailer for 65 materialised online; I can’t have been paying attention as I knew very little about it. Well, it has instantly rocketed to the top of the must-see list: it promises to be a mash-up of Stargate, Jurassic Park and Aliens, with a dash of Planet of the Apes thrown in for good measure. The trailer doesn’t muck about trying to hide the big reveal: our space gun-wielding hero Adam Driver – clearly a sort of Ripley who may or may not have travelled in time, has crash-landed on planet Earth just at the point when dinosaurs will go extinct. (Presumably the asteroid that knocks out his ship is the same one that did it for the dinos, in what the internet informs me is the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.) After a 2022 marked by the bloated husks of overproduced event movies, this can’t come soon enough. Andrew Pulver