The year is drawing to an end, but December's slate includes some of the most anticipated movies of 2023, including prize-winning films from Jonathan Glazer (whose latest, The Zone of Interest, won the Grand Prix at Cannes), Cord Jefferson (American Fiction won the People's Choice Award at TIFF), and Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things won Best Film at Venice).

As far as blockbusters go, the month kicks off with Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé — a concert film as only Queen Bey could deliver — and continues in the mellifluous vein with Roald Dahl's singing and dancing chocolatier, and the musical adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Read on for A.frame's complete guide to all the new movies releasing in December.

The Boy and the Heron

Japanese animation master and Oscar-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) returns with his first film in 10 years, about a young boy named Mahito who ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead in search of his mother. For the English-language dub, Studio Ghibli assembled a voice cast comprising Christian Bale (who also dubbed the title character in Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle), Willem DafoeFlorence Pugh, and Robert Pattinson (in his voice acting debut).

Watch it: In theaters Dec. 8

Leave The World Behind

Rumaan Alam's bestselling novel gets adapted by Emmy Award-nominated writer-director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot). Starring Oscar winners Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali and four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke, the thriller centers on a couple (Roberts and Hawke) who rent a home on Long Island for a family vacation, only to have their idyllic trip upended when the homeowner (Ali) returns with news that the apocalypse has begun.

Watch it: On Netflix Dec. 8


Arriving five years after Ava Duvernay's A Wrinkle in Time, the drama Origin is an adaptation of Isabel Wilkerson's nonfiction book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, and stars Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor (King Richard) as the author as she deals with personal tragedies while writing her Pulitzer Prize-winning book. The cast also includes Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal, Niecy Nash-Betts, Audra McDonald, Nick Offerman, and Blair Underwood.

Watch it: In select theaters Dec. 8, and expanding on Jan. 19

Poor Things

Three-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster and The Favourite) puts an idiosyncratic spin on the story of Frankenstein's monster in Poor Things, a Victorian fantasy in which Emma Stone (herself a three-time Oscar nominee who won Best Actress in a Leading Role for 2016's La La Land) plays Bella Baxter, a young woman who is brought back to life and sent on an intellectual, emotional, and sexual odyssey. At this year's Venice International Film Festival, Poor Things won the Golden Lion for Best Film.

Watch it: In theaters Dec. 8

American Fiction

Cord Jefferson's directorial debut is a scathingly comedic look at what it means to be represented beyond tired and outrageous stereotypes. Jeffrey Wright plays Thelonious "Monk" Ellison, a highbrow novelist who is told his books aren't Black enough. And so he pens an exploitive autofiction under a pseudonym, only for it to become his most successful work to date. When American Fiction premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, it won the coveted People's Choice Award.

Watch it: In select theaters Dec. 15, and expanding on Dec. 22


Wonka is an origin story set before the events of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Here, a young Willy Wonka (Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet) returns home to London from his wondrous travels abroad with hopes of starting a sweet shop unlike any other. The musical is directed by Paddington and Paddington 2 helmer Paul King and also stars Keegan-Michael Key, Rowan Atkinson, Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins, Oscar winner Olivia Colman, and newcomer Calah Lane as Willy's sidekick, Noodle.

Watch it: In theaters Dec. 15

The Zone of Interest

It has been 10 years since Under the Skin filmmaker Jonathan Glazer's last film. He returns with an adaptation of Martin Amis' 2014 novel about Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel) and his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), who live with their children on the outskirts of the concentration camp. At this year's Cannes Film Festival, The Zone of Interest won the Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI Prize. 

MORE: 'Anatomy of a Fall' and 'The Zone of Interest' Star Sandra Hüller Reflects on Her Dream Double Act (Exclusive)

Watch it: In theaters Dec. 15

All of Us Strangers

Loosely adapted from Taichi Yamada's 1987 novel, StrangersAndrew Haigh's All of Us Strangers stars Andrew Scott as Adam, a lonely writer living in London who begins a tender romance with his neighbor (played by Oscar nominee Paul Mescal). All the while, Adam is working on a screenplay about his childhood that draws him back to his childhood home in the suburbs. There, he finds his parents (Jamie Bell and Claire Foy) living in the home they once shared, looking exactly as he'd left them, despite having died 30 years ago.

Watch it: In theaters Dec. 22


Michael Mann, the Oscar-nominated writer, producer and director of The Insider, hasn't released a film since 2015's Blackhat. He's back with this Ferrari family biopic starring two-time Oscar nominee Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman and Marriage Story) as Italian race car driver-turned-automobile entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari and Oscar winner Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) as his wife, Laura. Set during the summer of 1957, the drama explores their professional and personal troubles against the backdrop of the Mille Miglia, a treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy.

Watch it: In theaters Dec. 25

The Color Purple

In 1985, Steven Spielberg directed an adaptation of Alice Walker's novel, The Color Purple, for the big screen. Twenty years after that, the book and the movie inspired a Broadway musical. Now, a bold new take on The Color Purple arrives as a movie musical directed by Blitz Bazawule and starring Fantasia Barrino — in her film debut — as Celie, Danielle Brooks as Sofia, and Taraji P. Henson as Shug Avery, along with Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, Halle Bailey and H.E.R.

Watch it: In theaters Dec. 25

Also out in December: Eileen (in theaters Dec. 1), Godzilla Minus One (in theaters Dec. 1), Candy Cane Lane (on Prime Video Dec. 1), May December (on Netflix Dec. 1), Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé (in theaters Dec. 1), Silent Night (in theaters Dec. 1), The End We Start From (in select theaters Dec. 8), Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (on Netflix Dec. 15), The Family Plan (on Apple TV+ Dec. 15), Finestkind (on Paramount+ Dec. 15), Society of the Snow (in theaters Dec. 15), Maestro (in select theaters Nov. 22, on Netflix Dec. 20), Anyone But You (in theaters Dec. 22), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (in theaters Dec. 22), Freud's Last Session (in theaters Dec. 22), The Iron Claw (in select theaters Dec. 13, and expanding on Dec. 22), Migration (in theaters Dec. 22), Rebel Moon Part 1: A Child of Fire (in select theaters Dec. 15, on Netflix Dec. 22), The Boys in the Boat (Dec. 25), and Occupied City (Dec. 25).