While 2022 was a big year for movies, 2023 promises to top it off with a slate full of great films from all types of genres: action (Mission: Impossible: Self Esteem Part 1), comic (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), drama (Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer), and no matter Barbie is supposed to be.
One genre in particular should have a great year in 2023: science fiction. Along with the usual list of sequels, reboots, and original movies with high-profile premise (Kylo Ren battles dinosaurs!), these five sci-fi movies stand out as the best of a very crowded pack we’re looking forward to. to watch later in the year.
Rebel Moon (TBA 2023)
Finally done with the DC Extended Universe, Zach Snyder steps away from the superheroes and zombies that dominated his previous movies and looks skyward. His next film, rebel moon, is set in a peaceful colony in a distant galaxy threatened by Balisarius, an alien tyrant bent on conquering as many planets as possible. In desperation, the colonists send a young woman with a mysterious past to gather other warriors from nearby planets to help fight Balisarius.
Inspired by both Star Wars and Akira Kurosawa films, rebel moon promises to bring space opera back to science fiction. Snyder has an epic vision, as well as Netflix’s seemingly limitless financial resources at his disposal. Additionally, he assembled an eclectic cast with Charlie Hunnam, Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, Corey Stoll, Justice Leagueof Ray Fisher, Jena Malone and Anthony Hopkins to bring his epic vision to life. While Snyder had his misfires (remember Sucker Punch?), rebel moon has a schlocky B-movie premise that we can’t help but love, and there’s no pesky WB setting that dampens the director’s penchant for slow-motion action sequences and washed-out visuals.
Wandering Earth 2 (January 22)
Wait what? There is a sequel to The Wandering Earth, a movie you’ve probably never heard of? Well, prepare to be even more surprised than The Wandering Earth was one of the biggest worldwide hits when it was released in 2019. It’s not hard to see why, because the concept is intriguing: a group of scientists must save the Earth from the intense heat of the dying sun. Their solution? Take the Earth out of its orbit so it can travel to Jupiter and take advantage of that planet’s gravitational pull.
Of course, things go wrong and the film’s heroes must overcome impossible odds to save their damaged planet. It’s not a spoiler they’re doing, since the sequel is on this list. We don’t know much about Wandering Earth 2, but the same director and cast are involved, which bodes well. The original, which can currently be seen on Netflix, is an entertaining adventure that combines a great concept with a Hollywood-sized budget. It’s the rare Chinese special effects blockbuster that plays as well, if not better, than those produced by American studios, and the sequel promises more of the same thrills that made the original so fun to watch.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (June 9)
Listen, we’ve been burned too many times by the Transformer franchise. None of them are great, and if you think about it, only one is really watchable, 2018 is surprisingly sweet Bumblebee with Hailee Steinfeld. That’s why the seventh (!) installment of the robot battle robot series makes it onto this list, because The Rising of the Beasts serves as a standalone sequel to this film.
Although Steinfeld does not appear in this sequel, Peter Cullen is the voice of Optimus Prime. He is joined by hamilton actor Anthony Ramos, Peter Dinklage, Pete Davidson and Michelle Yeoh as assorted humans and robots. The film adapts one of the franchise’s most beloved storylines, Beast Wars, and the trailer shows jaw-dropping battles set in 1990s New York, as well as Transformers transforming into giant prehistoric dinosaurs as they batter each other with high-tech weaponry. It’s silly and kinda silly, but it looks like a lot of fun, and there’s no Mark Wahlberg or Shia LaBeouf (both of whom have starred in previous Transformer movies and were terrible) for spoil the party.
65 (March 17)
Everything you need to know about 65 is it: Adam Driver fights real dinosaurs… with guns. How is it possible? Does it matter? There’s no better hook for a 2023 movie than this, but we’ll give you the details. The 65 in the title refers to 65 million years BC, which is when astronaut Driver mistakenly travels through time until he crash-lands on his ship full of passengers on a desert planet, which he quickly discovers is Earth. To get home, Driver must protect the other crash survivor, a child named Koa, and battle all manner of prehistoric monsters.
If the premise isn’t enough to sell you this movie, maybe some of the creative team involved will. The film is written and directed by Scott Beck and Bryan Woods, who wrote the original A silent place — so they know a thing or two about creating character-driven stories and generating effective suspense. Joining them is composer Danny Elfman, whose scores for Batman and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness prove he’s created a memorable track or two. The film’s main appeal, however, comes down to this: Kylo Ren goes wild in Jurassic Park. If that’s not enough to entice you to watch this, I don’t know what can.
Dune: Part Two (November 3)
What other movie would top the list? Dune: part one was one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2021, earning 10 Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture, and winning six, so it’s only natural that the sequel is one of the most anticipated films of the like 2023m be damned. Dune continues the journey of Paul Arrakis, who has realized his destiny as “The One” and vows revenge on the fat (literally!) Baron Harkonnen, who orchestrated his father’s assassination and nearly destroyed his family.
Of course, fans of Frank Herbert’s novel, or even David Lynch’s terrible 1984 version, know there’s a lot more going on than just revenge. There’s palace intrigue, metaphors about colonization and climate change, and lots of weird clothing. Besides its complex plot, which makes Dune: part two so appealing is the impressive cast. part one stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista and Javier Bardem are joined by don’t worry darlingis Florence Pugh, no time to dieit’s Lea Seydoux, Elvis‘Austin Butler and Christopher Walken. These actors are guided by Denis Villeneuve, director of part one and a visionary author of modern science fiction with works such as Blade Runner 2049 and The arrival in his filmography. Anyone looking for an outstanding, well-made sci-fi film destined to be remembered as a classic will not be disappointed. Dune: part two.