The 5 Most Anticipated Movies of December

This month's top picks include two icons of Japanese cinema, a sweet family-friendly treat, a superhero flick, a dark fantasy comedy, and the first part of an epic space opera.

by | November 29, 2023 | Comments


It’s the most wonderful time of the year for awards season contenders and family-friendly blockbusters. And while a few of those certainly made our list of most anticipated films of December, a couple of Japanese cinema icons ruled our social media polls and shot right to the top. With all of that in mind, here are the most anticipated movies arriving in December 2023!

No. 1

98% Godzilla Minus One (2023)

#1 on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and X (tied)
Release Date: December 1

In a month that includes a new superhero flick, a family-friendly confection, and a sci-fi epic, who could have guessed that the most anticipated movie — by far — would be the latest Japanese Godzilla movie? Sure, we knew it would be popular, but Godzilla Minus One led all of our social media polls (even if it tied with Wonka for the top spot on X). Unrelated to the ongoing Monsterverse franchise, this installment serves as a standalone film that takes place shortly after the end of World War II, as Japan is terrorized by the famous kaiju once again. Currently the film is a hit with critics, sitting at 100% with over 25 reviews, so fans should be suitably excited.

No. 2

The Boy and the Heron (2023)

#2 on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube
Release Date: December 8

Coming in at the No. 2 slot is another icon of Japanese cinema, albeit behind the camera. Animation master Hayao Miyazaki (Princess MononokeSpirited Away) offers up what he has claimed would be his final film (but we’ll see about that, won’t we?), taking inspiration from a 1937 Japanese novel to tell the story of a 12-year-old mourning the loss of his mother who discovers a fantasy world in the new town where he moves with his father. This is Miyazaki’s first film since 2013’s The Wind Rises, and his films are always highly anticipated visual treats with deep, resonant themes, so look for this one to be a fierce competitor in the Best Animated Film category at the Oscars.

No. 3

Wonka (2023)

#1 on X (tied), #3 on YouTube (tied), #4 on Instagram, #5 on Facebook (tied)
Release Date: December 15

Falling just behind The Boy and the Heron is this musical prequel inspired by the Willy Wonka books by Roald Dahl. Timothée Chalamet stars as the titular candy-maker in his early days as he makes a name for himself as a genius confectioner by outwitting his competitors. There was some skepticism about the concept, being that it was an original story not adapted directly from any Roald Dahl novel, but with Paul King (PaddingtonPaddington 2) at the helm, the film has drawn early raves from those who attended its premiere.

No. 4

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)

#2 on X, #3 on YouTube (tied), #4 on Facebook, #5 on Instagram (tied)
Release Date: December 22

The DCEU as we know it may be coming to a close, but there’s still a bit of life left in the soon-to-be-rebooted franchise, as Jason Momoa’s Aquaman returns for a second solo adventure with James Wan directing. This time around, he faces a vengeful David Kane aka Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and must team up with his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) to defeat him. It remains to be seen whether Momoa’s take on the character will survive DC Studios head James Gunn’s house-cleaning, but it appears fans are still on board.

No. 5 (tied)

Poor Things (2023)

#3 on Instagram and X
Release Date: December 22

The fifth and final slot in our list came down to a tie between two very different movies. The first is the latest from Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (The LobsterThe Favourite), who reimagines the Frankenstein story to focus on a young woman (Emma Stone) resurrected from death who embarks on an adventure of self-discovery. Lanthimos, who has earned multiple Oscar nominations for his past work, is known for his unusual style and unique vision, and when this film premiered at Venice earlier this year, it earned high praise from critics, who singled out Stone’s performance.

No. 5 (tied)

Rebel Moon: Part One - A Child of Fire (2023)

#3 on Facebook, #5 on YouTube and X
Release Date: December 15 (limited), streaming on Netflix December 22

And finally, we have the first part of Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon, an epic action space opera that he once pitched to Lucasfilm as a more mature Star Wars tale. Set in a universe ruled by an oppressive government, the story centers on a former soldier of the regime who gathers a ragtag group of similarly motivated allies to fight back and win their independence. This is only the first chapter of the story, which will continue in Part Two: The Scargiver next year, with a full franchise that includes more sequels, video games, TV series, and more in the works.

Thumbnail by ©Toho International

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