It would be fair to say 2022 was not a vintage year in cinema, reflected in UK box office receipts which remain around a third below the pre-pandemic year of 2019. That’s not to say there weren’t some enjoyable releases (such as The Banshees of Inisherin, Triangle of Sadness and The Northman) – but the biggest hits of the year consisted of superhero franchises and movie sequels (Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water, Jurassic World Dominion, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, etc).
It’s a situation which looks to continue in 2023, with Marvel and less-successful rival DC churning out at least eight movie releases over the year, together with yet another Fast and Furious sequel (Fast X), the third of Kenneth Branagh’s tepid Poirot pictures (A Haunting in Venice), The Expendables 4, The Equalizer 3, Creed III, Scream VI and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, to name but a few.
But there are a few bright spots on the horizon. Here is my pick of ten of the more noteworthy motion pictures scheduled for release in 2023:
In Chris McKay’s (The Lego Batman Movie) horror comedy, Nicolas Cage (Dracula) return to the undead world he first explored way back in Vampire’s Kiss (1988). Set in modern day New Orleans, the storyline sees the Count’s lackey Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) find love with a feisty traffic cop (Awkwafina), prompting a career re-think. Don’t expect an elegiac portrait of vampiric regret from Cage, going on his acting résumé to date; images released of him in character bear a distinct resemblance to Data (Brent Spiner) from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Renfield was played most famously by gravel-voiced singer Tom Waits in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 flick. In 2015, Daniel Radcliffe played Igor, the spavined sidekick to James McAvoy’s Victor Frankenstein.
Killers of the Flower Moon (May)
After the bum-numbing The Irishman, let’s hope director Martin Scorsese has listened to his better editing angels for this true-life period crime drama set in 1920s Oklahoma.