2022 saw cinema come back in full force, blasting out of a global pandemic with a hunger to tell dynamic stories, and the best trailers for 2023’s movies reveal a continuation of that trend to an even greater degree. From continuous installments in big MCU franchises with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to intimate and compelling thrillers like Inside, there’s something from each genre made for every taste. With fewer restrictions on production over the past year and so much variety to choose from, 2023 is shaping up to be a spectacular time for movies.
2023 has already started strong with Avatar: The Way of Water, and boasts a lot of tentpole blockbusters like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse later in the year. While first looks have already been given to movies like Mission: Impossible – Day of Reckoning, Part One, audiences might have to wait until Super Bowl 2023 to see trailers for others like Dune: Part Two. The best trailers of 2023 reveal just enough to entice while also not sacrificing spectacle, a key formula to generating hype for both exciting franchise firsts like the intriguing 65 and lasts like Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Exploding off the screen with one of the most ostensibly creative trailers of the year, Cocaine Bear is a delightful bate and switch. While it might seem at first to be a grotesque gore fest, it’s actually a ridiculous comedy. Director and star Elizabeth Banks takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to a 500-pound black bear’s cocaine-fueled rampage through the forest, throwing in a ragtag group of eccentric misfits for it to take on as it goes.
With the so-bad-its-good corniness of classic ’90s horror movies like Lake Placid, Cocaine Bear remembers lessons from Snakes on a Plane from the ’00s and doesn’t go overboard. Its special effects are much improved from those genre staples, and it has some genuinely frightening moments to sell its wild premise. Cocaine Bear is crashing into theaters on February 23rd, 2023.
We Have A Ghost
Hot on the heels of his winter wonder Violent Night, David Harbour is back doing dark comedy in We Have A Ghost. The trailer shows Anthony Mackie’s family moving into a new home where they aren’t the only resident; it turns out they “have a ghost,” and his name is Ernest, but once he goes viral, chaos ensues. Soon the world (and the CIA) all want Ernest, and the key to his future might be found in his mysterious past.
Harbour’s strength has often been his physicality, and he gets to pull out all the slapstick stops here, while playing off of two hilarious characters played by Jennifer Coolidge (fresh from The White Lotus) and Tig Notaro (a psychic and CIA ghost hunter, respectively). The trailer makes it seem like a little Beetlejuice mixed with Casper and the right balance between quirky and spooky. Audiences can set their spirits when We Have A Ghost debuts on Netflix on February 24, 2023.
Continuing the success of 2022’s Scream, Scream 6 is a direct sequel to the movie’s events while operating as the sixth installment of the franchise overall. It leaves Woodsboro and the last Ghostface killings behind, focusing on a new chapter for the survivors in New York City. Spooky It-Girl Jenna Ortega of Wednesday fame stars alongside Courtney Cox and other actors from previous Scream films, all at the mercy of a new Ghostface wielding a shotgun.
The trailer is intriguing from the start, and with oversight from franchise creator and writer Kevin Williamson in the role of executive producer, it seems darker and grittier than the previous films. Ghostface definitely seems more violent and aggressive, indicating that the detour the franchise took from its more comedic roots has become the main thoroughfare. Scream 6 is set to terrify on March 10th, 2023.
There’s a pervasive feeling of dread from the very first moments of Inside‘s trailer, and it only gets worse as hints of the story unfold. Willem Dafoe is a thief of rare and high-end art, but one heist leaves him trapped in a luxury New York City penthouse that rarely has visitors. While his surroundings offer the latest in high-tech automation, he quickly realizes that he’ll need to be inventive if he’s going to escape, which leads to Dafoe having some very Green Goblin-esue scenes.
Inside is essentially a one-person play, but what better actor than the always-arresting Dafoe to go on this harrowing journey with? The automated home becomes the perfect prison, particularly as temperature controls malfunction and food become scarce. Inside has the walls closing in on March 17th, 2023.
From the pair who wrote The Quiet Place films comes 65, a sci-fi thriller that boasts Adam Driver’s first real return to the genre since starring in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Driver is an astronaut who finds himself stranded on what he thinks is another planet, only to realize that the aliens are dinosaurs, and the planet is Earth 65 million years ago. Along with one other survivor, they must figure out how to survive in the treacherous environment and find a way home.
The trailer offers some pulse-pounding action sequences as well as some dinosaur effects that can break a few Jurassic Park trends. Driver has always been good at effectively communicating raw emotion, and in this role, he’s at his most primordial. 65 rampages into theaters on March 17th, 2023.
John Wick: Chapter 4
The highly-anticipated John Wick 4 boasts a slick trailer full of wide shots, beautiful cinematography, and all the vital components that make its franchise so beloved. While not overly long on plot or exposition, it adds to the world-building of the action series that has made it stand out. Keanu Reeves’ action icon is still on the run, his bounty is ever-increasing, and now his war against the High Table has gone global.
As the trailer whizzes around New York City, Paris, Tokyo, and Berlin, new characters in the John Wick franchise pop up, played by martial arts pros Donnie Yen, Hiroyuki Sanada, and Scott Adkins. Old allies like Charron and Winston return, while a new villain, Bill Skarsgård’s the Marquis de Gramont, makes dark moves. John Wick 4 explodes into theaters on March 24th, 2023.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Fans might have had some apprehension around The Super Mario Bros. Movie, but after seeing the trailer, it’s already better than the live-action version by leaps and bounds. The plot is the same as the classic video game; a plumber named Mario (voiced by Chris Pratt) and his brother Luigi (Charlie Day) have to navigate an underground labyrinth to try to save Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy). They get help from Toad (Keegan Michael Key), and eventually take on the evil Bowzer (Jack Black).
The worlds look lush and bursting with the kind of kaleidoscopic color the brand is known for, including Mario Kart’s rainbow road. The voice acting is better than expected and the type of humor each actor brings to their respective roles makes for a nice amalgamation of strengths. The Super Mario Bros. Movie powers up on April 7th, 2023.
In the trailer for Renfield, Count Dracula’s loyal henchman processes his work-life balance in therapy, eventually deciding that being stuck finding the Prince of Darkness meals isn’t what he wants. Trying to cut ties with the Count, who needs a steady supply of victims, proves more difficult than he thought. He befriends humans to help him build healthy boundaries, but stopping Dracula will take special powers as well as a resolute heart.
As Renfield, Nicholas Holt proves to be equally adept at comedy and action, and the rest of the cast seems at home in this blend of several genres. Renfield finally gives him the attention he deserves instead of being a maniacal minion, and casting Nicolas Cage as Dracula seems long overdue. Renfield sinks in its teeth on April 14th, 2023.
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3
Peter Quill and the rest of the Guardians are finally back in the highly-anticipated trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which sees them trying to make Knowhere into a safe haven for intergalactic refugees. A threat to the sanctuary forces them to put thoughts of peace on hold as they mount one final dangerous mission. The action-packed journey looks perilous, and some members of the team might not make it out alive.
It’s great to see the band back together and Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock (suspiciously absent from the MCU), but most fans will be excited that Rocket finally gets his much-deserved backstory. The trilogy capstone seems to have a reflective and emotional farewell tone, so fans will want to bring plenty of tissues. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 blasts into theaters on May 5th, 2023.
Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny
Harrison Ford dons his fedora one last time in the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which looks to be a promising final hurrah for the globe-trotting archeologist. The fifth installment in the franchise places Indy in 1969 at the height of the Space Race, and it doesn’t sit well with the gruff adventurer that former Nazis have been recruited for the moon landing program. An ancient artifact holds the key (as it always does) to stop a world-ending event, and Indy is off on one last adventure.
Fans will relish the return of John Rhys-Davis as Sallah, not seen since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and a vital part of Indy’s story. The trailer looks to be a return to form for the franchise, with newcomers like Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Indy’s goddaughter, Antonio Banderas as his friend Renaldo, and Mads Mikkelsen as ex-Nazi turned NASA scientist Jürgen Voller chewing the scenery. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny swings into theaters on June 30th, 2023.
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One
The Mission: Impossible franchise seems to be taking a page out of Dune’s book and releasing its seventh installment in two parts. The trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One looks full of the sort of espionage, hand-to-hand combat, and epic chase sequences that have characterized the series. A direct sequel to Mission: Impossible – Fallout, it finds Ethan Hunt and his team once again on the run for perhaps their final mission and the end of Hunt’s story.
The trailer looks gorgeous, with some truly stunning cinematography that helps every stunt Tom Cruise performs feel even more visceral and authentic. The scale of these movies keeps getting bigger and broader, and after such a long post-production period, suffice it to say expectations have never been higher, but it will definitely deliver. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One parachutes into theaters July 14th, 2023.
With its trailer full of noir-ish black and white imagery and explosive orange mushroom clouds, Christopher Nolan’s perfect return appears to be Oppenheimer, chronicling the rise and fall of J. Robert Oppenheimer, “the father of the atomic bomb.” His longtime collaborator Cillian Murphy will play the titular physicist from the time he leads the Manhattan Project during World War II until his public disgrace after an FBI investigation makes the world think he’s a Soviet spy.
The trailer places more emphasis on mood than plot, with glimpses of a stacked cast including Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon, and Emily Blunt as historical figures close to Oppenheimer at the time. Nolan and Murphy have worked together many times, but this will be the movie that puts Murphy in a leading role and on the map. Oppenheimer erupts on July 21, 2023.
It’s a Barbie world and Margot Robbie is a Barbie girl in Barbie, the bubblegum dreamscape thought up by Greta Gerwig that brings the plastic playmate to life. Excitement has been building for the movie ever since promotional images of Robbie’s Barbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ken flooded the internet with visions of retro neon and pastel, and it turns out they’ll just be a few of the dolls seen on screen. While not much of the plot is known yet, it involves Barbie being expelled from Barbieland and forced to find happiness in the real world.
Featuring a hilarious reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey in the Barbie trailer, it offers just enough hints about the plot to generate anticipation. From the tongue-in-cheek humor and the fashion to all the celebrity cameos, there will be something for everyone to like in this feel-good bit of summer escapism. Barbie cruises onto the scene on July 21, 2023.