After Barbie and Oppenheimer, what are the other big movies to look out for this year?

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The buzz in cinemas has been like the old days before the pandemic. Full houses for Barbie and Oppenheimer, excited fans dressing up, ushers with smiles on their faces again.

The question now is whether movie-goers have enjoyed the shared experience in a cinema enough to keep coming back.

Opening in cinemas next month: Scarlett Johansson in Asteroid City.Credit: Pop. 87 Productions/Focus Features

Many of us will want to watch Greta Gerwig’s subversive comedy about the world’s most famous doll and Christopher Nolan’s epic biopic of the father of the atomic bomb again.

Two Hollywood movies that have been run over by the Barbenheimer train, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, are still in cinemas. So is the new Australian horror film Talk To Me.

But what else is coming up? Anything as enjoyable as Barbie or Oppenheimer?

The Hollywood strikes mean the release schedule in coming months is less certain that it normally would be. Already Force of Nature: The Dry 2, which was due out next month, is being held back until Eric Bana can promote it.

The Zendaya tennis film Challengers, from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, has been bumped to next year and other movies might follow.

But there is still a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Asteroid City

Looking for a new movie with Margot Robbie? She is part of a stellar cast that includes Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Tilda Swinton in Wes Anderson’s best film since The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s a deadpan story-within-a-story comedy about the kooky characters who descend on a 1950s stylised desert town for a youth astronomy convention. Opens August 10.

Gran Turismo

Even after the success of The Last Of Us and The Super Mario Bros Movie, it’s still fair to be sceptical about video game adaptations. But this story sounds promising: it’s based on the real life story of a Gran Turismo player who became a professional racing driver. It’s directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) and stars Archie Madekwe (Midsommar), David Harbour and Orlando Bloom. Opens August 10.

An achingly beautiful romantic drama: from left, Greta Lee, John Magaro and Teo Yoo in Past Lives.Credit: A24

Past Lives

One of the year’s best films, Korean-Canadian playwright turned writer-director Celine Song takes an incident from her own life and turns it into an achingly beautiful romantic drama. A Korean-Canadian playwright living in New York (Greta Lee) is visited by her Korean childhood sweetheart (Teo Yoo) while married to an American writer (John Magaro). Opens August 31.


Remember the BlackBerry, the popular mobile phone before the iPhone? Canadian actor-director Matt Johnson tells the colourful story of its rapid rise and catastrophic fall in a comic drama that has been warmly reviewed overseas. He stars alongside Jay Baruchel (Man Seeking Woman) and Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Opens August 17.

Rise and fall: Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton in BlackBerry.Credit: Paramount

How To Blow Up A Pipeline

American director Daniel Goldhaber’s entertaining and edgy thriller centres on eight passionate young environmental activists who sabotage an oil pipeline in West Texas. It’s based on a provocative non-fiction book by Swedish academic Andreas Malm, who argues that destroying property is a valid way of seeking environmental justice. Opens August 17.

A Haunting in Venice

Regular Nolan collaborator Kenneth Branagh, who was physicist Niels Bohr in Oppenheimer, directs and stars as detective Hercule Poirot for the third time in this mystery-thriller. Based on an Agatha Christie novel about the murder of a séance guest, it has a promising-looking cast headed by Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey and Michelle Yeoh. Opens September 14.

Drive-Away Dolls

A promising comedy from Ethan Coen about two women – one free-spirited, the other more demure – who go on an impromptu road trip and get chased by criminals. It stars Margaret Qualley (My Salinger Year) and Australian Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers, Janet King), alongside Matt Damon and Pedro Pascal. Opens September 21.

Epic crime drama: Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon.Credit: Apple TV

Killers of the Flower Moon

If you want another historical epic from a celebrated director after Oppenheimer, Martin Scorsese’s much-delayed crime drama sounds like it will be worth the wait. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, and warmly received at the Cannes Film Festival, it centres on the FBI investigation into a series of real life murders in the Native American Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma. Opens October 19.

Dune: Part Two

The first instalment of Denis Villeneuve’s take on Frank Herbert’s famous sci-fi novel was surprisingly good two years ago – a hit that won six Oscars. In Part Two, Timothee Chalamet returns as Paul Atreides, who teams up with the Fremen, including Zendaya as Chani, to battle the Harkonnens. Austin Butler, Florence Pugh and Lea Seydoux join the saga. Opens November 2.


Another historical epic, this time from Ridley Scott. Joaquin Phoenix plays the French emperor during his rise to power, with Vanessa Kirby as Empress Josephine. It’s said to feature Napoleon in six major battles while trying to win and then keep Josephine’s love. Opens November 23.

Email Garry Maddox at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @gmaddox.

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