Actions Movies

The Best 2023 Action Movies

November 15, 202310 Mins Read

If you live for big explosions, cars that defy the laws of physics, and iconic fight scenes between the coolest people on the planet in the coolest places on the planet, you’re in luck! There are a gazillion action movies that have come out in 2023. It’s, like, the only constant in the chaos at this point. To paraphrase the great Nicole Kidman in the AMC advertisement that I personally hope never goes away: we come to the movies for magic. We want to be told stories about people who are nothing like us. We want to root for them as they do things we could never do. We want to see places we may never be able to visit. No genre encompasses those three things better than the action movie genre.

Just about every franchise you can think of, and even some you forgot about, is getting or already got a sequel this year. There’s a new Mission: Impossible movie, a new Creed movie, and a new Transformers movie. There are superheroes, spies, assassins, more superheroes, Vin Diesel, an archaeology professor, robots, dinosaurs, and… honestly a few more superheroes. But it’s not just superheroes in 2023. It’s important to me that you know that. There’s plenty of diversity when it comes to action this year. We just, unfortunately, won’t get Dune 2 until 2024. That continues to be a major bummer.

There are even some original action movies that aren’t based on anything and don’t seem like two-and-a-half-hour toy commercials coming out, too. If they look good to you, definitely check them out! No offense to my franchise babes, but Hollywood needs to know that as much as we love to see our faves, we’re open to trying new things as well.

Superhero Action Movies

That said, let’s get these out of the way first, because as you know Marvel and other studios tend to serve up a handful of comic flicks every year these days.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Release date: February 17

The MCU’s first 2023 entry was weird AF but it’s worth it to see Kathryn Newton’s debut as Cassie Lang, Ant-Man’s daughter and a superhero/action star in her own right.


Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Release date: March 17

I literally have no idea what’s going on with DC movies. Did you hear about how they canceled the Batgirl movie even after they filmed it? But this was kinda fun?


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Release date: May 5

For those of us who like our action movies to have a no-skips soundtrack.


Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Release date: June 2

The animation in the first Spider-Verse movie was so gorgeous that I gasped like the action was happening IRL. The sequel was just as good.


The Flash

Release date: June 16

Somehow this movie still came out this summer despite… everything. Yikes!


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Release date: August 4

Will the kids love the turtles as much as millennials did? Guess you’ll find out when you watch, dudes!


Blue Beetle

Release date: August 18

It stars Xolo Maridueña from Cobra Kai so, like, I’m listening. What a cutie!!


The Marvels

Release date: November 10

The sequel to Captain Marvel is a team-up between Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan from Ms. Marvel (played by Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau, who first appeared (played by Teyonah Parris) in WandaVision.


Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Release date: December 25

Even if superhero movies aren’t your preferred kind of action movie you have to be excited to see more of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, right? He took one of the dorkiest comic book characters (no offense… but I lived through Entourage and Spongebob Squarepants making fun of him) and turned him into an icon.


The Action Comedy Movies

Who says funny movies can’t bring big explosions and fight scenes?

Shotgun Wedding

Release date: January 27

Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel star in this romantic comedy as a couple whose wedding becomes a hostage situation. It also stars two of our current obsessions, D’Arcy Carden and Jennifer Coolidge.


Cocaine Bear

Release date: February 24

It’s about a bear that eats cocaine. Need I say more?


Operation Fortune: House De Guerre

Release date: March 3

Guy Ritchie knows how to make your eyes bulge at crazy stunts/fight sequences and laugh at the same time. This one benefits from a very funny cast, including Aubrey Plaza and Jason Statham.


Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Release date: March 13

Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, and Regé-Jean Page star in this hilarious movie based on the role-playing game that used to be for quiet nerds. Then Stranger Things happened. The more the merrier, right?



Release date: April 14

There’s a surprising amount of action in this horror comedy about Dracula’s assistant TBH.


Mafia Mamma

Release date: April 14

Toni Collette plays a woman who inherits a Mafia empire. She can totally kill it… right?



Release date: April 23

You know Chris Evans as a major action star, but in this movie he’s just some guy in comfy clothes at a farmer’s market. Seriously, it’s like he thought he was in a Hallmark movie and then, after one looong date with Ana de Armas’ character, ended up in an action spy movie.


Polite Society

Release date: April 28

If I could nominate a 2023 action hidden gem, it would be this. You know and love the girlie Ritu Arya from The Umbrella Academy, and you might recognize Priya Kansara from her brief appearance in Bridgerton. They play martial arts and film-obsessed sisters who, while living life and growing up in London, get caught up in a martial arts film scenario of their own.



Release date: June 14

And if I could nominate an animated hidden gem from 2023, it would be this. Nimona‘s action is so creative. The relationships are complicated and fresh. It’s funny. It’s emotional. Flipping the script on what-if-heroes-are-villains is old hat now because of The Boys, but this manages to do so without cynicism.



Release date: August 3

How much trouble could these dogs get in, really?



Release date: November 1

Subtitle alert! Bet you didn’t expect this list to hit you with a French film. Mélanie Laurent’s film, which is streaming on Netflix, follows three women doing a classic “one last job” before they retire from their life of crime. Looks super amusant, non??


All of the Other Action Movies

I’ll be honest: it’s mostly sequels. Seriously, there are franchises here I forgot existed. But there are original action movies too… and some of these sequels I actually want to see!


Release date: January 13

It’s not good when your plane crashes. It’s certainly not good when your plane crashes in the middle of a war. It’s definitely not good when rebels take you and the crew hostage, and the captain teams up with a fugitive on board to save the day. But it does make for an action-filled adventure.


Creed III

Release date: March 3

I’m not a really big boxing movie person, but I love that the Rocky franchise has kept going through Creed. Fun fact: Michael B. Jordan directed this one.



Release date: March 17

Adam Driver fights dinosaurs. Again, need I say more? I will. It’s about the pilot of a spaceship who crashes on an unknown planet only to realize that he’s actually on Earth… just 65 billion years ago (hence the title). I personally would have preferred aliens. It’s from the director of A Quiet Place, so it’s scary as well as action-packed.


John Wick: Chapter 4

Release date: March 24

Is this the end for John Wick? You’ll have to see the movie to find out.



Release date: May 12

Ben Affleck stars as a detective searching for his missing daughter. It’s always a missing daughter, isn’t it? I guess that’s not true. Sometimes it’s a missing wife. This action mystery gets weird, though, because Affleck’s detective character teams up with a psychic.


The Mother

Release date: May 12

Jennifer Lopez… action star era? She plays an assassin who reunites with her estranged daughter to protect her from danger. So it’s also Jennifer Lopez’s Liam Neeson era. Sign me up!


Fast X

Release date: May 19

Hate to break it to you, but your boyfriend, brother, dad, or bestie wasn’t the first person to say that the tenth Fast and Furious movie should have been called “Fast10 Your Seatbelts.” We all had that thought, and then they didn’t even do it! Boo! Betrayal aside, it’s always good to spend some time with la familia at the movies.


Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Release date: June 9

“They’re still making Transformers movies,” I ask, like a fool, every couple years.


Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Release date: June 30

This is one of the most surprising action sequels of the year. Even the people who love Indy pretend that one movie (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) didn’t happen. Do we really need another? But this movie is great! I’m very into whatever Phoebe Waller-Bridge is up to, and de-aged Harrison Ford is… hot?? Help!!


Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Release date: July 14

Holy punctuation, Batman! After Tom Cruise surprised us all with the pure joy that was Top Gun: Maverick, he’s back to his old tricks and new daring stunts. It just wouldn’t be summer at the movies without it.


The Cloned Tyrone

Release date: July 21

John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx star in this Netflix movie filled with action, mystery, dark and twisty science fiction goodness, and style. The unlikely trio uncovers a major conspiracy and save the day.


The Meg 2: The Trench

Release date: August 4

Big sharks. Biiiiiiiiig sharks.


Last Voyage of the Demeter

Release date: August 11



Gran Turismo

Release date: August 25

Vroom vroom, this is the movie about the gamer who becomes an IRL race car driver. True story, too!



Not to be confused with the John Wick spin-off starring Ana de Armas coming out in 2024, this is a South Korean action film about a former bodyguard who goes on a revenge spree.


The Equalizer 3

Release date: September 1

Can this man get a ding dang break? He’s already retired. He’s trying to live his best life in Southern Italy. The past probably won’t come back to haunt him. But a new location means new friends to protect from new threats.


Boy Kills World

Release date: September 9

This movie stars Bill Skarsgård (yes, of those Skarsgårds) as a boy who is deaf and mute who trains as an assassin when his family is murdered. It sounds like one of those movies that could sneak up on people and become a fave IMHO, so keep an eye out!

The Killer

Release date: November 10

David Fincher’s Netflix action thriller stars Michael Fassbender (hello) as the titular killer. This guy is surprisingly good at lifehacks and the type of travel tip you get from TikTok for an international assassin. He also may/may not be depressed. Who among us??


The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Release date: November 17

So maybe this prequel centers one of the biggest villains from the original books and movies as a teenager who falls in love with a tribute… you don’t have to like him. You shouldn’t, honestly! We know he’s doomed. It’s a romance we should absolutely be rooting against. That’s what makes it entertaining! Will there still be lots of action, in the arena and outside of it? Absolutely. This is not the Panem that Katniss and Peeta grew up in, trust.


Red One

Release date: December, TBD

A Christmas action movie? With Chris Evans, Kiernan Shipka, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? Oh ho ho ho…

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