2023 Holiday Movie Preview

A breakdown of the best holiday movies 2023 has to offer, from The Marvels and The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes to Maestro, Napoleon, Wonka, and more.

by | November 2, 2023 | Comments


This year was obviously impacted by the writers’ strike and the actors’ strike (the latter of which continues even as we write this), most notably resulting in production delays and shifting release dates. Denis Villeneuve’s sequel Dune Part Two, for example, was set to release on November 3 but was moved to March of next year. Having said that, there are still plenty of big titles that have stayed put, as well as a number of smaller titles that might have flown under the radar otherwise. So whether you’re looking for some big blockbuster action or a quiet drama, we’ve got you covered for the 2023 holiday season with our nifty calendar below.


Directed by:
Raven Jackson
Starring: Charleen McClure, Moses Ingram, Reginald Helm, Sheila Atim, Chris Chalk
Release Date: November 3, 2023 (limited)

Writer-director Raven Jackson’s feature debut is a quiet portrait of one Mississippi woman’s life across several decades, beginning with her childhood and charting the ups and downs she experiences as she matures into an adult.

Directed by:
Neil Burger
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Ben Mendelsohn, Garett Hedlund, Brooklynn Prince
Release Date: November 3, 2023

Daisy Ridley stars in Neil Burger’s (The Illusionist, Limitless) adaptation of the eponymous 2017 novel about a woman with a traumatic past who goes to great lengths to make sure her own daughter doesn’t suffer the same fate by the same man.

Directed by:
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
Starring: Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, Rhys Ifans
Release Date: November 3, 2023 on Netflix

Based on the memoir by legendary endurance swimmer Diana Nyad (Annette Bening), this biopic centers on the arduous 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida she undertook at age 64. The film opened in limited release on October 20 but premieres on Netflix on November 3.

Directed by:
Sofia Coppola
Starring: Jacob Elordi, Cailee Spaeny
Release Date: November 3, 2023

Another biopic based on a memoir, Sofia Coppola’s drama recounts the relationship between Priscilla Presley (played by Cailee Spaeny) and her husband, rock and roll icon Elvis Presley (Jacob Elordi). Spaeny won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival, where the movie held its world premiere in September.

Directed by:
Jessica Yu
Starring: Awkwafina, Sandra Oh, Jason Schwartzman, Tony Hale, Will Ferrell
Release Date: November 3, 2023 on Hulu

Awkafina and Sandra Oh star in this comedy about a young woman (Awkwafina) obsessed with game shows who reunites with her estranged wild-child sister (Oh), only to get wrapped up in a scheme to help her pay off their mother’s gambling debts.

Directed by:
George C. Wolfe
Starring: Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, Audra McDonald, CCH Pounder, Aml Ameen, Da’Vine Joy Randolph
Release Date: November 3, 2023 (limited); November 17, 2023 on Netflix

Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) has already earned massive accolades for his portrayal of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who helped orchestrate the 1963 March on Washington.

Directed by:
Thom Zimmy
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Quentin Tarantino, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Release Date: November 3, 2023 on Netflix

Thom Zimmy’s documentary profile of Sylvester Stallone’s life examines the Hollywood icon’s career and real-life underdog story through the lens of the characters he played on screen.

Directed by:
Kristoffer Borgli
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Lily Bird, Julianne Nicholson
Release Date: November 10, 2023

It looks like A24 has another winner on its hands. Nicolas Cage headlines this surreal dark comedy about a university professor whose life is turned upside down when he begins to appear in the dreams of those around him and he becomes a minor celebrity.

Directed by:
Alexander Payne
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Dominic Sessa, Da’Vine Joy Randolph
Release Date: November 10, 2023

In his first film since 2017’s Downsizing, Alexander Payne enlists Paul Giamatti to play a gruff prep school teacher who is tasked with staying on campus and watching over a group of students who have nowhere to go for Christmas. The film expands into wide release on November 10 after opening in just a few theaters on October 27.

Directed by:
David Fincher
Starring: Michael Fassbender
Release Date: November 10, 2023 on Netflix

David Fincher returns to the crime genre with this action-oriented thriller starring Michael Fassbender as a hired assassin who finds himself on a path of revenge after a botched job lands him in the crosshairs of his handlers. This one also debuts on Netflix on November 10 after a limited run in theaters.

Directed by:
Nia DaCosta
Starring: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: November 10, 2023

Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) team up in the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which finds the three heroes swapping places whenever one of them uses their powers.

Directed by:
Daniel Brown
Starring: Angus Cloud, Elliot Knight, Jessica Garza, Sterling Beaumon, Mousa Hussein Kraish, Jason Wiles
Release Date: November 10, 2023 (limited); November 14, 2023 (streaming)

This tense thriller follows a group of people who must decide what to do — and who to trust — when the man they’ve just overheard winning a big lottery prize in a convenience store is killed in a robbery attempt.

Directed by:
Aki Kaurismäki
Starring: Alma Pöysti, Jussi Vatanen
Release Date: November 17, 2023 (limited)

Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki’s (Le Havre) latest film is a comedy-drama about a man and a woman who meet by chance and feel a connection but are repeatedly beset by obstacles that prevent them from moving their relationship forward.

Directed by:
Francis Lawrence
Starring: Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer
Release Date: November 17, 2023

Set 64 years prior to the Hunger Games we all know and love, this prequel follows a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and his relationship with the tribute (Rachel Zegler) he’s assigned to mentor during the 10th annual Hunger Games.

Directed by:
Todd Haynes
Starring: Natalie Portman, Juliane Moore, Cory Michael Smith, Charles Melton
Release Date: November 17, 2023 (limited); December 1, 2023 on Netflix

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore star in Todd Haynes’ romantic drama about a woman (Moore) who must reexamine her scandalous marriage to a much younger man (Charles Melton) when a famous actress (Portman) set to portray her in a film shows up at their doorstep to research her role. This opens in limited release on November 17 before hitting Netflix on December 1.

Directed by:
Emerald Fennell
Starring: Barry Keoghan, Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Archie Madekwe, Carey Mulligan
Release Date: November 17, 2023 (limited); November 22, 2023 (wide)

Writer-director Emerald Fennell follows up her Oscar-winning 2020 feature debut Promising Young Woman with this dramatic thriller about an Oxford University student (Barry Keoghan) from a poor family who is invited by his charismatic classmate (Jacob Elordi) to visit his family’s posh estate for the summer and learns what privilege really looks like. It opens in limited release on November 17 before expanding into wider release five days later, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Directed by:
Eli Roth
Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Addison Rae, Milo Manheim
Release Date: November 17, 2023

Originally inspired by the faux trailer he made for the Robert Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino joint Grindhouse, Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving is a tongue-in-cheek slasher horror about a serial killer stalking the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Directed by: Sam Esmail
Starring: Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Kevin Bacon, Mahershala Ali, Myha’la
Release Date: November 22, 2023 (limited); December 8, 2023 on Netflix

Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail wrote and directed this psychological thriller based on the novel of the same name about a family vacation that is interrupted when another family arrives with news of an apocalyptic event, and they must all figure out what to do next. This will play in limited release on November 22 before hitting Netflix on December 8.

Directed by:
Bradley Cooper
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan
Release Date: November 22, 2023 (limited); December 20, 2023 on Netflix

Bradley Cooper wrote, directed, and stars alongside Carey Mulligan in this biographical drama about famed composer Leonard Bernstein (Cooper), specifically chronicling his relationship with his wife Felicia Montealegre (Mulligan).

Directed by:
Ridley Scott
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Ben Miles, Tahar Rahim, Ludivine Sagnier, Paul Rhys
Release Date: November 22, 2023

Ridley Scott reunites with his Gladiator co-star Joaquin Phoenix in this historical epic depicting the rise and fall of the titular French emperor.

Directed by:
Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
Starring: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Victor Garber, Evan Peters, Harvey Guillen, Ramy Youssef, Angelique Cabral, Natasha Rothwell
Release Date: November 22, 2023

Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose headlines Disney’s latest animated feature, a musical comedy set in a fictional kingdom where a young woman (DeBose) wishes upon a star to help saver her community from an impending darkness.

See December

Thumbnail images by ©GKids, Laura Radford/©Marvel Studios, ©Warner Bros. Pictures, ©AMC Theatres Distribution, Kevin Baker/©Sony Pictures Entertainment

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