Welcome to Phase 2 of this year’s massive poll with the goal to narrow down and focus in on our Most Anticipated Movies of 2023. Last week we began by listing 150 of the year’s most promising titles, and we took the results of those polls to arrive at a more manageable Top 50.
Great thanks to our good friend Christophe who not only sifted through the results of Phase 1 to extract the 50 films that got the most votes, he also dedicated his time and effort to provide us with the synopses and cast details of each film named below.
For this final ranking, you can select as many as 10 different titles. Make your choices on the basis of which movies you’re most excited to see, or alternatively, which 10 you think are most likely to get a Best Picture nomination in January 2024.
Air (Ben Affleck): The story of shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon), and how he led Nike in its pursuit to sign a deal with rookie basketball player Michael Jordan to wear their shoes. Also starring: Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Viola Davis
AND (Yorgós Lánthimos): anthology film starring Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Joe Alwyn, Mamoudou Athie, Hunter Schafer
Asteroid City (Wes Anderson): In 1955, a Junior Stargazer convention held in a fictional American desert town is dramatically disrupted by events that change the world. Starring: Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie, Rupert Friend, Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson
Barbie (Greta Gerwig): After being expelled from “Barbieland” for not being perfect enough, Barbie (Margot Robbie) sets off on an adventure to find true happiness in the human world. Also starring: Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell
Beau is Afraid (Ari Aster): Following the sudden death of his mother, a mild-mannered but anxiety-ridden man (Joaquin Phoenix) confronts his darkest fears as he embarks on an epic journey back home that involves some wild supernatural threats. Also starring: Patti LuPone, Nathan Lane
The Bikeriders (Jeff Nichols): Set in the 1960’s, it follows the rise of a Midwestern motorcycle club from a gathering place for local outsiders into a more sinister gang. Starring: Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon
Blitz (Steve McQueen): A group of Londoners during the events of the British capital bombing in World War II. Starring: Harris Dickinson, Saoirse Ronan
The Boys in the Boat (George Clooney): A 1930’s-set story centered on the University of Washington’s rowing team, from their Depression-era beginnings to winning gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Starring: Callum Turner, Joel Edgerton
Challengers (Luca Guadagnino): A tennis coach (Zendaya) signs up her tennis champion husband (Mike Faist) for a low-level tournament, where he will compete against his former best friend (Josh O’Connor) who is also his wife’s ex-boyfriend.
Civil War (Alex Garland): Action epic set in a near-future America. Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura
The Color Purple (Blitz Bazawule): Musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel about the life-long struggles of an African American woman (Fantasia Barrino) living in the south during the early 1900’s. Also starring: Colman Domingo, Taraji P. Henson, Corey Hawkins, Halle Bailey, Danielle Brooks
Coup de Chance (Woody Allen): Set in Paris, France, the growing bond between two young people (Niels Schneider and Lou de Laâge) leads to marital infidelity and ultimately crime.
Dune: Part Two (Denis Villeneuve): Having joined forces with the Fremen, Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) seeks revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Also starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Zendaya, Austin Butler
The Exorcist (David Gordon Green) Sequel to the cult 1973 film, the father of a possessed child (Leslie Odom Jr.), desperate for help, goes in search of someone who had similar experiences, Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn). Also starring: Ann Dowd, Jennifer Nettles.
Ferrari (Michael Mann): In 1957, Italian driver and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) must deal with family problems while preparing for the Thousand Miles race. Also starring: Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Jack O’Connell, Patrick Dempsey
Firebrand (Karim Aïnouz) Psychological thriller about the marriage of Queen Catherine Parr (Alicia Vikander) and King Henry VIII (Jude Law).
Gran Turismo (Neill Blomkamp): Based on the true story of a teenage “Gran Turismo” player (Archie Madewke) who won a series of Nissan-sponsored video game competitions and became a professional race car driver. Also starring: David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Djimon Honsou, Geri Halliwell Horner, Darren Barnet
A Haunting in Venice (Kenneth Branagh): Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) investigates a Halloween séance at a haunted palazzi in Venice, Italy. Also starring: Jamie Dornan, Michelle Yeoh, Tina Fey, Kyle Allen, Camille Cotton, Jude Hill, Kelly Reilly
Hitman (Richard Linklater): A staff investigator (Glen Powell) plays the role of a hit man to catch individuals ordering a hit. Also starring: Adria Arjuna.
The Holdovers (Alexander Payne): Disliked Deerfield Academy teacher Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) is put in charge of supervising Angus (Dominic Sessa), a smart and rebellious student unable to journey home for Christmas. Also starring: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Carrie Preston
How Do You Live? (Hayao Miyazaki): The film centers around how the novel “How Do you Live?”, about a 15-year-old boy who deals with life in a new neighbourhood, spiritual growth and how to live as a human being, features prominently in the protagonist’s life.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (James Mangold): In 1969, American archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) joins forces with his goddaughter Helena Shaw (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) on a new adventure to make sure an ancient and powerful artifact doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Also starring: Antonio Banderas, Mads Mikkelsen.
John Wick Chapter 4 (Chad Stahelski): With the price on his head ever increasing, legendary hit man John Wick (Keanu Reeves) takes his fight to the global High Table, seeking out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Japan to Berlin. Also starring: Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Laurence Fishburn
The Killer (David Fincher): Solitary, cold, methodical and unencumbered by scruples or regrets, a killer (Michael Fassbender) waits in the shadows, watching for his next target. Yet, the longer he waits, the more he thinks he’s losing his mind, if not his cool. Also starring: Tilda Swinton
Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese): In the 1920’s, members of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma are murdered under mysterious circumstances, sparking a major F.B.I. investigation led by a 29-year-old J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a former Texas ranger (Jesse Plemons). Also starring: Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, Brendan Fraser
Long Day’s Journey into Night (Jonathan Kent): Over the course of a day in August 1912, a married couple, Mary and James Tyrone (Jessica Lange and Ed Harris), and their two sons, Jamie (Ben Foster) and Edmund (Colin Morgan), grapple with Mary’s morphine addiction and confront each other over the past in a series of emotionally tense and volatile exchanges.
Maestro (Bradley Cooper): A biopic about the life of American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) with a focus on his marriage to actress Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan). Also starring: Jeremy Strong
May December (Todd Haynes): Twenty years after their scandalous romance gripped the nation, a married couple with a large age disparity (Julianne Moore and Charles Melton) buckles under the pressure when an actress (Natalie Portman) arrives to do research for a film about their past.
Megalopolis (Francis Ford Coppola): Following a devastating disaster, an architect want to rebuild New York City as a utopia. Starring: Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf
Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 (Christopher McQuarrie): Secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team of operatives must go on a seventh and penultimate mission. Also starring: Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Vanessa Kirby
Napoleon (Ridley Scott): The rise to power of Napoléon (Joaquin Phoenix) viewed through the lens of his addictive and volatile relationship with his wife and one true love Empress Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby).
Next Goal Wins (Taika Waititi): A Dutch-American soccer coach (Michael Fassbender) is tasked with turning the American Samoa national team, considered to be one of the weakest in the world, into an elite squad. Also starring: Will Arnett, Elizabeth Moss, Oscar Kightley, David Fane
Nightbitch (Marielle Heller): Adapted from the novel by Rachel Yoder, the comedy/horror/fantasy is a magical realism style tale of a stay-at-home mom who sometimes transforms into a dog. Starring Amy Adams, Scoot McNairy
Ella Thomas, Garrett C. Phillips, Mary Holland
Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan): The film follows the life of theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory during the Manhattan Project, and how he contributed to the creation of the atomic bomb. Also starring: Emily Blunt, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Florence Pugh
The Palace (Roman Polanski): A drama set on New Year’s Eve in 1999 in a luxurious Swiss hotel where the lives of hotel workers and various guests intertwine. Starring: Mickey Rourke, Joaquim De Almeida, John Cleese, Oliver Masucci, Fanny Ardant.
Past Lives (Celine Song): Nora and Hae Sung, two deeply connected childhood friends, get separated after her family emigrates from South Korea. Two decades later, they reunite in New York City for one fateful week as they confront notions of destiny, love and life choices. Starring: Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro.
Poor Things (Yórgos Lánthimos): The incredible story of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a young woman brought back to life by an eccentric but brilliant scientist (Willem Dafoe). A Victorian tale of love, discovery and scientific daring. Also starring: Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef
Priscilla (Sofia Coppola): The life of Priscilla Presley (Cailee Spaeny) and her relationship with Elvis (Jacob Elordi).
Saltburn (Emerald Fennell): A college student (Barry Keoghan) becomes obsessed with a wealthy classmate (Jacob Elordi) and his grand, aristocratic family. Also starring: Rosamund Pike, Carey Mulligan
Shirley (John Ridley): The true story of Shirley Chisholm (Regina King), the first Black Congresswoman and the first Black woman to run for President of the U.S. Also starring: Lance Reddick, Lucas Hedges
Showing Up (Kelly Reichardt): A sculptor (Michelle Williams) preparing to open a new show must balance her creative life with the daily dramas of family and friends. Also starring: Hong Chau
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson): Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Stenfield) journey through the Multiverse, and meet a group of Spider-People known as the Spider Force, as they attempt to save every universe from a mysterious new villain who could cause a catastrophic disaster. Also starring: Jake Johnson, Issa Rae, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry
Strangers (Andrew Haigh): A London screenwriter (Andrew Scott) is pulled back to his childhood home after an encounter with his mysterious neighbour (Paul Mescal). He discovers that his long-dead parents (Claire Foy and Jamie Bell) are still living there and look the same age as the day they died.
Untitled Adam Sandler Movie (Safdie Brothers): Plot under wraps.
Untitled Bob Marley Biopic (Reinaldo Marcus Green): A look at the life of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley (Kingsley Ben-Adir). Also starring: Lashana Lynch, Michael Gandolfini, James Norton
Untitled Ethan Coen Movie (Ethan Coen): A Russ Meyer-inspired action sex comedy centered on a party girl (Margaret Qualley) who takes a trip from Philadelphia to Tallahassee with her buttoned-down friend (Geraldine Viswanathan). Also starring: Beanie Feldstein
The Way of the Wind (Terrence Malick): A retelling of several episodes in the life of Jesus Christ (Géza Röhrig). Also starring: Mark Rylance, Matthias Schoenaerts, Aidan Turner, Ben Kingsley, Joseph Fiennes, Leila Hatami
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (Wes Anderson): Based on a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl, the film will tell several of them using as a connective thread the title character of Henry Sugar (Benedict Cumberbacth), a wealthy man who is able to see through objects and predict the future with the help of a book he stole. Also starring: Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Friend, Richard Ayoade
Wonka (Paul King): The story focuses on a young Willy Wonka (Timothée Chalamet) and how he met the Oompa-Loompas during one of his earliest adventures prior to opening the world’s most famous chocolate factor. Also starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Sally Hawkins, Olivia Colman
You Hurt My Feelings (Nicole Holofcener): A novelist’s longstanding marriage is suddenly upended when she (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) overhears her husband (Tobia Menzies) giving his honest reaction to her latest book.
Please select as many as 10 films below.
(Note: If you’re looking for John Wick 4 where he should be — between Indiana Jones and The Killer — well, I screwed up and forgot to alphabetize him, so you can find him at the bottom of the poll.)