The Best 2023 Action Movies


To paraphrase the great Nicole Kidman in the AMC advertisement that I personally hope never goes away: we come to the movies for magic. We want to be told stories about people who are nothing like us. We want to root for them as they do things we could never do. We want to see places we may never be able to visit. No genre encompasses those three things better than the action movie genre. If you go to the movies to see big explosions, cars defying the laws of physics, and iconic fight scenes between the coolest people on the planet in the coolest places on the planet, you’re in luck! There are a gazillion action movies coming out in 2023. It’s, like, the only constant in the chaos at this point.

Just about every franchise you can think of, and even some you forgot about, is getting a sequel. There’s a new Mission: Impossible movie, a new Creed movie, and a new Transformers movie. There are superheroes, spies, assassins, more superheroes, Vin Diesel, an archaeology professor, robots, dinosaurs, and… honestly a few more superheroes. But it’s not just superheroes in 2023. It’s important to me that you know that. There’s plenty of diversity when it comes to action this year.

There are even some original action movies that aren’t based on anything and don’t seem like two and a half hour toy commercials coming out, too. If they look good to you, definitely check them out! No offense to my franchise babes, but Hollywood needs to know that as much as we love to see our faves, we’re open to trying new things as well.

Superhero Action Movies

That said, let’s get these out of the way first, because as you know Marvel and other studios tend to serve up a handful of comic flicks every year these days.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

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Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania | New Trailer

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Release date: February 17

The MCU’s first 2023 entry looks weird AF but I’m beyond psyched to see both Jonathan Majors kick some ass supervillain-style as Kang the Conquerer and Kathryn Newton’s debut as Cassie Lang, Ant-Man’s daughter and a superhero/action star in her own right.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

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SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS – Official Trailer 1

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Release date: March 17

I literally have no idea what’s going on with DC movies. Did you hear about how they canceled the Batgirl movie even after they filmed it? But this at least looks fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

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Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 | Official Trailer

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Release date: May 5

For those of us who like our action movies to have a no-skips soundtrack.

The Flash

Release date: June 16

Somehow this movie is still coming out this summer despite… everything. Yikes!

The Marvels

Release date: July 28

The sequel to Captain Marvel is a team-up between Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan from Ms. Marvel (played by Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau, who first appeared (played by Teyonah Parris) in WandaVision. A lot of the details are top secret, but something tells me that this one is going to stand out in a year of so many superhero movies.

Blue Beetle

Release date: August 18

Without a trailer or anything, I’m not 100 percent sure that this DC movie exists. But it stars Xolo Maridueña from Cobra Kai so, like, I’m listening.

Kraven the Hunter

Release date: October 6

From the people who brought you Morbin’ Time… comes Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a Spider-Man villain in Sony’s ongoing series of movies about Spider-Man villains that don’t have Spider-Man in them.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Release date: December 25

Even if superhero movies aren’t your preferred kind of action movie you have to be excited to see more of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, right? He took one of the dorkiest comic book characters (no offense… but I lived through Entourage and Spongebob Squarepants making fun of him) and turned him into an icon.

The Action Comedy Movies

Who says funny movies can’t bring big explosions and fight scenes?

Shotgun Wedding

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Shotgun Wedding – Official Trailer | Prime Video

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Release date: January 27

Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel star in this romantic comedy as a couple whose wedding becomes a hostage situation. It also stars two of our current obsessions, D’Arcy Carden and Jennifer Coolidge.

Cocaine Bear

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Cocaine Bear | Official Trailer [HD]

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Release date: February 24

It’s about a bear that eats cocaine. Need I say more?

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves | Official Trailer (2023 Movie)

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Release date: March 13

Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Regé-Jean Page star in this hilarious-looking movie based on the role-playing game that used to be for quiet nerds. Then Stranger Things happened. The more the merrier, right?

All of the Other Action Movies

I’ll be honest: it’s mostly sequels. Seriously, there are franchises here I forgot existed. But there are original action movies too… and some of these sequels I actually want to see!

Creed III

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Release date: March 3

That Ant-Man movie isn’t the only action movie coming out in March in which Jonathan Majors came to fight. This is shaping up to be his year! I’m not a really big boxing movie person, but I love that the Rocky franchise has kept going through Creed. Fun fact: Michael B. Jordan directed this one.

65

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Release date: March 17

Adam Driver fights dinosaurs. Again, need I say more? I will. It’s about the pilot of a spaceship who crashes on an unknown planet only to realize that he’s actually on Earth… just 65 billion years ago (hence the title). I personally would have preferred aliens. It’s from the director of A Quiet Place, so expect this one to be scary as well as action-packed.

John Wick: Chapter 4

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John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023 Movie) Official Trailer – Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård

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Release date: March 24

Is this the end for John Wick? I guess we’ll find out this year.

The Mother

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THE MOTHER | Official Teaser | Netflix

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Release date: May

Jennifer Lopez… action star era? She plays an assassin who reunites with her estranged daughter to protect her from danger. So it’s also Jennifer Lopez’s Liam Neeson era. Sign me up!

Fast X

Release date: May 19

Hate to break it to you, but your boyfriend, brother, dad, or bestie wasn’t the first person to say that the tenth Fast and Furious movie should have been called “Fast10 Your Seatbelts.” We all had that thought, and then they didn’t even do it! Boo! Betrayal aside, it’s always good to spend some time with la familia at the movies.

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

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Transformers: Rise of the Beasts | Official Teaser Trailer (2023 Movie)

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Release date: June 9

“They’re still making Transformers movies,” I ask, like a fool, every couple years.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny | Official Trailer

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Release date: June 30

This is one of the most surprising action sequels coming this summer. Even the people who love Indy pretend that one movie (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) didn’t happen. Do we really need another? But look at this trailer. It looks great! I’m very into whatever Phoebe Waller-Bridge is up to, and de-aged Harrison Ford looks… hot?? Help!!

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

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Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One | Official Teaser Trailer (2023 Movie) – Tom Cruise

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Release date: July 14

Holy punctuation, Batman! After Tom Cruise surprised us all with the pure joy that was Top Gun: Maverick, he’s back to his old tricks and new daring stunts. It just wouldn’t be summer at the movies without it.

Dune: Part Two

Release date: November 3

Timothée Chalamet! Zendaya! Florence Pugh! Austin Butler! How did one of the nerdiest science fiction novels about space worms become a hangout for the coolest movie stars?

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023 Movie) – Reveal

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Release date: November 17

So maybe this prequel centers one of the biggest villains from the original books and movies as a teenager who falls in love with a tribute… you don’t have to like him. You shouldn’t, honestly! We know he’s doomed. It’s a romance we should absolutely be rooting against. That’s what makes it entertaining! Will there still be lots of action, in the arena and outside of it? Absolutely. This is not the Panem that Katniss and Peeta grew up in, trust.

Boy Kills World

Release date: TBD

This movie stars Bill Skarsgård (yes, of those Skarsgårds) as a boy who is deaf and mute who trains as an assassin when his family is murdered. It sounds like one of those movies that could sneak up on people and become a fave IMHO, so keep an eye out!



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