Action movies in 2023: from John Wick to The Hunger Games

Mapping out your movie calendar for 2023? Allow us to step in and do the job for you.

As we build towards the new year, here's your essential round-up of next year's action movie releases.


1. John Wick: Chapter 4

  • Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Bill Skarsgard, Ian McShane
  • Released March 24

The pitch The world's best-dressed assassin is back in town, so stow away your pencils and prepare for plenty of achingly stylish, strobe-laden fight sequences.

Returning to his career-rejuvenating role as John Wick, the ineffably cool Keanu Reeves now cuts his way through Europe and Japan as deep-seated and personal connections to the High Table fraternity are revealed. In the process, Wick is pitted against a fearsome European aristocrat in a sure-to-be-epic fight to the death.

Actually, scratch the death bit – John Wick 5 is on its way after this one, so we can expect a triumphant Wick-themed comeback as he continues to decimate the world's less-than-savoury population.

2. Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves

  • Starring Chris Pine, Hugh Grant, Regé-Jean Page, Sophia Lillis
  • Released April 7

The pitch For those familiar with Dungeons and Dragons from Stranger Things, prepare for the lavish big-screen adaptation of the cult role-playing extravaganza. Star Trek's Chris Pine leads a starry cast as rogueish adventurer Edgin the Bard, who leads his merry band through a fantastical landscape replete with peril, humour and, yes, dragons.

Let's be honest, we weren't expecting Hugh Grant to turn up in this sort of movie, but he's a welcome presence. The movie comes from Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who clearly know something about translating the thrill of role-playing gaming onto the big screen. They also co-wrote the script for Spider-Man: Homecoming, so expect a likeminded blend of wry comedy and epic action.

3. Fast X

  • Starring Vin Diesel, Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, Michelle Rodriguez, Rita Moreno
  • Released May 19

The pitch Family meets fender bending action in the latest instalment of the invincible Fast & Furious franchise. As the Roman numerals in the title make clear, this is now a series with a portentous heritage to burn, accentuating the bond between its central characters at the same time that many of the world's most famous landmarks go kaboom. 

Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto is back behind the wheel, and he's joined by a cadre of franchise newcomers. Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, plays the new villain, while Captain Marvel, Brie Larson, also gets in on the action. And just when the ensemble couldn't get more diverse, there's also room for West Side Story veteran Rita Moreno. Will she be wielding a minigun, Hot Fuzz-stylie? We really hope so.


4. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

  • Starring Anthony Ramos, Ron Perlman, Pete Davidson, Dominique Fishback
  • Released June 9

The pitch Michael Bay's Transformers movies blazed a trail through the box office even though they were critically panned in most quarters. The live-action Transformers franchise arguably found its purest voice with 2018's Bumblebee, a sweet, 80s-themed throwback adventure that restored the innocence and endearing qualities of the titular yellow Camero.

In the wake of Bumblebee's success, we're getting a new Transformers movie, Rise of the Beasts, from Creed II helmer Steven Caple Jr. It's pitched as a direct sequel to Bumblebee so hopefully, that same affectionate tone will be carried across. The diverse cast includes In the Heights' Anthony Ramos, Pacific Rim's Ron Perlman, Bodies Bodies Bodies' Pete Davidson and Judas and the Black Messiah's Dominique Fishback.

5. Indiana Jones 5

  • Starring Harrison Ford, Mads Mikkelsen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas
  • Released June 30

The pitch Who's got the John Williams 'Raiders March' cycling through their head? The legendary composer isn't the only Indiana Jones veteran returning for the fifth film in the classic adventure series. Still going strong is Harrison Ford in the title role, the now 80-year-old star continuing to crack the whip as the world's pre-eminent archaeologist/adventurer.

One person who isn't returning is director Steven Spielberg. For the first time in the history of the Indy franchise, Spielberg has yielded to someone else, in this case, Logan and Le Mans '66 helmer James Mangold. Here's hoping the latter can do justice to the franchise's irresistible blend of humour, action, romance and horror.


6. The Equalizer 3

  • Starring Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning
  • Released July 7

The pitch They missed a trick by not calling this The Threequalizer. Denzel Washington's enigmatic and head-cracking ex-CIA operative Robert McCall is back to level more scumbags in the third chapter of the hit revenge-thriller series.

Not much is known about the story of this one. Filming has been taking place in Italy, so it sounds as if there's an exotic travelogue edge to McCall's adventures this time. Chloe Moretz returns to the series, having appeared in the 2014 original, and Antoine Fuqua again takes the reins behind the camera, having collaborated with Washington on the previous two movies, plus Training Day and The Magnificent Seven.


7. Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

  • Starring Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Ving Rhames
  • Released July 14

The pitch The Mission: Impossible series has defied the blockbuster odds by getting better and better with each passing instalment. Just when we'd caught our breath following Mission: Impossible - Fallout's astonishing helicopter stand-off, franchise figurehead Tom Cruise once again prepares to put himself (and our nerves) through the wringer.

In the first of an ambitious two-parter (the second movie is due in 2024), Cruise's IMF agent Ethan Hunt must reckon with his past. One of the most explicit callbacks is Henry Czerny's Kittridge, who makes his first series appearance since the original film back in 1996. The ensemble cast teems with new and familiar faces, with the likes of Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson and Vanessa Kirby factoring alongside the likes of Hayley Atwell, Esai Morales, Rob Delaney and Cary Elwes.

Even so, it's the action and stuntwork that are set to be the true stars of the show. From a fight atop a moving train to a jaw-dropping motorbike freefall off an impossibly high cliff, Cruise once again commits to making the impossible not just probable, but tangibly, astonishingly real.

8. Meg 2: The Trench

  • Starring Jason Statham, Li Bingbing
  • Released August 4

The pitch Hang on, the director of Kill List and Sightseers is teeming with The Stath? You'd better believe it. British director Ben Wheatley, master of the macabre and the unnerving, taps into his Hollywood audience-pleasing instincts for the sequel to The Meg.

The first Meg movie pitted Jason Statham against the marauding megalodon, and the gruff British star did it without once breaking a sweat. It seems as if there are more megalodons to be revealed in the sequel's vast oceanic depths, and we're wondering how many of Wheatley's directorial quirks can possibly be transposed on the escalatingly absurd battle between man and nature.


9. The Expendables 4

  • Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren
  • Released September 22

The pitch You want more of The Stath? You've got it in the fourth instalment of the bullet-ridden Expendables franchise. The series has coasted off the goodwill towards its veteran action stars, which over the years has variously encompassed Sylvester Stallone, the aforementioned Jason Statham and Dolph Lundgren.

All three of those cult favourite meatheads are back for another blast of Expendables mayhem. No plot details are forthcoming at the moment, but frankly, who needs them? All we need is to see these monolithic macho stars beating the living hell out of the bad guys. 


10. Dune: Part Two

  • Starring Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken, Austin Butler
  • Released November 3

The pitch The first Dune movie was merely an entrée, introducing people to the sandswept world of Arrakis. With the foundations now established, acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve can now have some real fun in adapting the second half of Frank Herbert's cult sci-fi novel, which becomes increasingly trippy and expansive as it introduces a host of new characters.

The lore is centred, as before, around Timothée Chalamet's aspiring 'kwisatz haderach' Paul Atreides. Now assimilated into the indigenous Arrakis Fremen, Paul can plot his revenge against the treacherous Harkonnen family as he transforms into the prophesised Arrakis messiah. As those who've read the book will know, the journey Paul undertakes is spectacular and surreal, replete with much more sandworm action than we saw in the first movie.

Newcomers to the franchise include Christopher Walken as the compromised Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV and Florence Pugh as his daughter, Princess Irulan. Austin Butler will be lending muscle and menace as Paul's eventual nemesis Feyd Rautha.


11. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

  • Starring Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis
  • Released November 17

The pitch It's hard to believe that the Hunger Games series, the gold standard for young adult dystopian franchises, came to an end in 2015. If you've been pining for the series since then, good news: we're about to get the original story of Panem's despicable totalitarian President Aldus Snow.

Rising star Tom Blyth plays the 18-year-old Snow in the days before he ruled Panem with an iron fist. West Side Story's Rachel Zegler joins the cast as tribute Lucy, and new games makers are played by the heavy-duty duo of Peter Dinklage and Viola Davis. Behind the camera: Francis Lawrence who helmed four out of the five Hunger Games movies.



Which of these action movies will you be watching at Cineworld? Don't forget that with a Cineworld Unlimited membership, you can feast on all these blockbusters, and lots more besides, from just £10.99 a month. Find out more about Unlimited here.