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Spring 2023 Movie Preview: 21 New Films to Get Excited About

From rom-coms and docs to thrillers and family dramas, here are the films you’ll want to see


spinner image Vin Diesel using a door as a shield in the film Fast X; Keanu Reeves in the film John Wick: Chapter 4; Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler in a scene from the film Murder Mystery 2
(Left to right) Vin Diesel stars in "Fast X"; Keanu Reeves in "John Wick: Chapter 4"; Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler star in "Murder Mystery 2."
Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection; Murray Close/Lionsgate; Scott Yamano/Netflix

​With the warmer breezes of spring comes a fresh batch of movies — from blockbusters to art films — arriving in theaters and on streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. Keep track of what’s coming and when with our critics’ guide. And we’ll see you at the movies!​​​

John Wick: Chapter 4 (in theaters March 24)

That cool cat Keanu Reeves has nine lives to the 10th power. As John Wick, Reeves manages to bring a stoner sensibility to a stone-cold assassin. Joining him are Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, the late, great Lance Reddick, Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen and Bill Skarsgård as Wick’s effete Parisian archenemy, the Marquis. The latter is a big shot of the criminal cabal the High Table, which excommunicated Wick in the last flick and is committed to the hit man’s liquidation. In magnificently choreographed, violent set piece after set piece — at the Osaka Continental hotel, up and down Sacré-Coeur’s 300ish steps, amid chaotic traffic circling the Arc de Triomphe — the thrills are immersive, particularly in IMAX. It’s a killer night out at the movies, and another high for the ever-nonchalant Reeves.

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Murder Mystery 2 (on Netflix March 31)

Gumshoes Adam Sandler, 56, and Jennifer Aniston, 54, return to the big screen together after their 2019 hit, this time to hunt the kidnapper of their pal the maharajah at his own wedding. Judging from the trailer, expect another fizzy-light delight with the pair romping through a series of picturesque European backdrops.

Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields (on Hulu April 3)

At 57, the child model turned sexualized child star reflects in this two-part documentary on how she survived her exploitative rise to fame.

Air (in theaters April 5)

Matt Damon, 52, and Ben Affleck, 50, reunite in the true tale of Nike founder Phil Knight (Affleck) and Sonny Vaccaro (Damon), who talked Knight into launching a shoe brand, Nike Air, with a legend built around one rather promising rookie athlete: Michael Jordan. Viola Davis, 57, plays Jordan’s mother, and Chris Tucker, 51, Nike VP Howard White.

On a Wing and a Prayer (on Prime Video April 7)

Coproducer Roma Downey, 62 (Touched by an Angel), presents the true saga of Doug White (Dennis Quaid, 68), who saved his family on Easter Sunday 2009 by landing a plane after the pilot died. His teen daughter Maggie said, “What could I do? Nothing, just sit there and pray and, you know, throw up.”

Paint (in theaters April 7)

Owen Wilson, 54, plays a Bob Ross–like Vermont painter, a public TV star with a perm and a passion for vans, flared jeans, sandals, ’70s tunes and old-fashioned nature painting — but he’s menaced by a young rival painter (Ciara Renée) who steals his thunder.

Mafia Mamma (in theaters April 14)

What could be more fun than seeing Toni Collette, 50, as an insecure American suburbanite who attends her estranged grandpa’s funeral in Rome — and discovers she’s the new don of his mob?

The Pope’s Exorcist (in theaters April 14)

If you thought 1973’s The Exorcist was scary, try the real thing: Russell Crowe, 58, as the Vatican’s Father Gabriele Amorth, who claimed to cast out demons and said, “The devil is often scared of me.”

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Sweetwater (in theaters April 14)

If there was ever a forgotten athlete who deserves being rediscovered, it’s the soda-pop-loving Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton (Everett Osborne), the first Black player to get an NBA contract. Also worth rediscovering: Richard Dreyfuss, 75, on a career upswing after some down years, as NBA President Maurice Podoloff.

Beau Is Afraid (in theaters April 21)

A surreal comedy-horror flick starring Joaquin Phoenix as a paranoid man trying to reach his late mother (Patti LuPone, 73), who lives on in his troubled head. It also stars Nathan Lane, 67, Amy Ryan, 54, and Parker Posey, 54.

Chevalier (in theaters April 21)

Liked Amadeus? Try the true story of composer Joseph Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), an enslaved woman’s son who won fame as “the Black Mozart,” until Marie Antoinette’s scheming favorite ballerina (Minnie Driver, 53) brought him down.

Somewhere in Queens (in theaters April 21)

More than a comedian, Ray Romano, 65, won raves in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, and he’s superb in this partly autobiographical film about a doting, dysfunctional blue-collar dad, which he cowrote and directs. It’s like a funny (but deeper and more dramatic) takeoff on Everybody Loves Raymond.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (in theaters April 28)

Millions of women have been waiting 53 years for the movie of Judy Blume’s novel about a girl who prays for boobs (and wonders if God exists). Kathy Bates, 74, is sure to be brilliant as her adoring grandma. Also check out the documentary Judy Blume Forever (on Prime Video April 20), which features Molly Ringwald, 55, Samantha Bee, 53, and Blume herself, 85, reading a young fan’s letter: “Please send me the facts of life in number order.”

Book Club: The Next Chapter (in theaters May 12)

Required viewing! When their book-club pal (Jane Fonda, 85) gets engaged, the all-star gang (Diane Keaton, 77, Mary Steenburgen, 69, and Candice Bergen, 76) throw her a bachelorette party in Italy that gets out of hand. But with all those Euro-hunks around, who needs to read Fifty Shades of Grey?

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The Mother (on Netflix May 12)

Jennifer Lopez, 53, plays an assassin chased by bad guys (The Handmaid’s Tale’s Joseph Fiennes, 52, and Gael García Bernal).​

Fast X (in theaters May 19)

Fast & Furious sequel with Rita Moreno, 91, as Vin Diesel’s bossy granny and Helen Mirren, 77, as criminal mama Queenie.​

Master Gardener (in theaters May 19)

A rich heiress (Sigourney Weaver, 73) hires her niece (Quintessa Swindell) to help the talented man (Joel Edgerton) who tends the prize gardens on her old estate, and the grim secrets of his past come back to haunt him. It’s written and directed by Paul Schrader, 76, the Taxi Driver writer who got his first Oscar nomination at 72 for First Reformed (2019) and is on a career roll.

White Men Can’t Jump (on Hulu May 19)

Come for Sinqua Walls and rapper Jack Harlow as characters similar to Wesley Snipes’ and Woody Harrelson’s basketball hustlers in the 1992 film. Stay for the late Lance Reddick (The WireJohn Wick), as Walls’ MS-battling dad and coach.

About My Father (in theaters May 26)

In this comedy, Robert De Niro, 89, plays an immigrant who appalls his son’s rich in-laws-to-be, including a U.S. senator (Kim Cattrall, 66).

Kandahar (in theaters May 26)

Gerard Butler, 53, plays a CIA operative who gets exposed and fights his way out of Afghanistan. Notable: This is the first big Hollywood movie filmed in Saudi Arabia.

The Little Mermaid (in theaters May 26)

Preview audiences loved Melissa McCarthy, 52, as Ursula, the sea witch you wouldn’t want to mess with, in Disney’s live-action version of its 1989 animated musical. But we’re eager to see Javier Bardem, 54, as King Triton.

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