Release Radar- Dec. 22nd – 29th, 2023

It’s the penultimate weekend of the year and I’m back from my honeymoon, refreshed and reloaded. I have be remiss in my duties when it comes to writing about film and I’m still playing catch-up from the past couple of weeks with way more to see than I can manage. And as I recalibrate heading into the new year, my primary goal is to get back on track with the kind of film writing that brought you here in the first place. Without further adieu, here’s a look at what’s on deck for the rest of the year as we head into Christmas.

New In Theaters

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Director(s): James Wan | Writer(s): David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, James Wan, Jason Mamoa, Thomas Pa’A Sibbett, Mort Weisinger, Paul Norris

Stars: Jason Mamoa, Patrick Wilson, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Anyone But You

Director(s): Will Gluck | Writer(s): Llana Wolpert, Will Gluck

Stars: Sydney Sweeney, Glen powell, Alexandra Shipp

The Iron Claw

Written & Directed by: Sean Durkin

Stars: Zach Efron, Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Holt McCallany

An exceptional feat of filmmaking that’s about family, loyalty, and the pressure of external expectations so much more than it’s about professional wrestling. So, don’t let the wrestling thing dissuade you. It nails the tone and is worth a watch if you are looking for an option this weekend.


Director(s): Benjamin Renner, Guylo Homsy | Writer(s): Mike White, Benjamin Renner,

Stars (voices): Kumail Najiani, Elizabeth Banks, Danny DeVito

*Poor Things (Expands) – Editor’s Pick*

Director(s): Yorgos Lanthimos | Writer(s): Tony McNamara, Alasdair Gray

Stars: Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe

This one has been at the top of my to-do list ever since I saw the first trailer. I was not available to check it out while it was limited, but now that it expands I’ve gotta make it happen.

American Fiction (Expands)

Written & Directed by: Cord Jefferson | Novel: Percival Everett

Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Erika Alexander, Sterling K. Brown, John Ortiz

An interesting reflection of family and identity in America. It’s funny, well-written, and well-acted. Plus, it was great to see Erika Alexander!

Limited Release

Noryang: Deadly Sea (Dec. 21st – LA)

Director(s): Han-min Kim

Stars: Jeong Jae-yeong, Yeo Jin-goo, Huh Joon-Ho

All of Us Strangers

Written & Directed by: Andrew Haigh | Novel: Taichi Yamada

Stars: Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Claire Foy, Jamie Bell

Freud’s Last Session

Director(s): Matt Brown | Writer(s): Matt Brown, Mark St. Germain

Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Goode, Jody Balfour

Society of the Snow

Director(s): J.A. Bayona | Writer(s): J.A. Bayona, Bernat Vilaplana, Jaime Marques, Nicolás Casariego, Pablp Vierci (book)

Stars: Agustín Pardella, Esteban Kukuriczka, Francisco Romero

Occupied City

Director(s): Steve McQueen | Writer(s): Bianca Stigter

Stars (voice): Melanie Hyams

Salaar: Ceasefire – Part 1

Director(s): Prashanth Neel | Writer(s): Sandeep Reddy Bandla, Choudary Hanuman, Prashanth Neel

Stars: Prabhas, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Shruti Haasan


Written & Directed by: Michael Franco

Stars: Jessica Chastain, Peter Sarsgaard, Brooke Timber

Streaming & Digital

Maestro (Netflix Dec. 20th)

Director(s): Bradley Cooper | Writer(s): Bradley Cooper, Josh SInger

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Matt Bomer

Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire (Netflix)

Director(s): Zack Snyder | Writer(s): Zack Snyder, Kurt Johnstad, Shay Hatten

Stars: Sofia Boutella, Djimon Hounsou, Ed Skrein, Charlie Hunnam

I’m watching this one as I work on this list and, while it has style, the Star Wars knock-off nature of it is more of a hindrance than a boon. It’s kind like Snyder crammed all the sci-fi properties (and some others) he could into one movie. I feel like this should have been a series to actualize its potential. Ed Skrein is serving that pervy villain role though.

Christmas Day Releases

The Boys in the Boat

Director(s): George Clooney | Writer(s): Daniel James Brown, Mark L. Smith

Stars: Joel Edgerton, Callum Turner, Peter Guiness

The Color Purple

Director(s): Blitz Bazawule | Writer(s): Marcus Gardley, Alice Walker (novel), Marsha Norman (stage musical)

Stars: Fantasia Barrino, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo

I saw the stage musical when it was in town. It wasn’t among my favorite musicals, but the idea may lend itself more to the big screen where it appears to be a lot more bold and colorful in its production design.


Director(s): Michael Mann | Writer(s): Troy Kennedy Martin, Brock Yates

Stars: Adam Driver, Shailene Woodley, Penélope Cruz

The Teacher’s Lounge (Limited)

Director(s): Ilker Çatak | Writer(s): Johannes Duncker, Ilker Çatak

Stars: Leonia Benesch, Leonard Stettnisch, Eva Löbau

End-of-Year Releases

Good Grief (Limited Dec. 29th + Netflix Jan. 5th)

Written & Directed by: Dan Levy

Stars: Dan Levy, Ruth Negga, Himesh Patel

Time Bomb Y2K (MAX Dec. 30th)

Director(s): Brian Becker, Marley Mcdonald

Thanks for reading! I still believe word of mouth is the best way to help, so if you enjoy what I’m doing, please tell somebody. And if you have a comment, I’d love to hear it! Liking, subscribing, and sharing go a long way too. As usual, be well, be safe, and have fun no matter how you get your movies!