March 2023 is gearing up to be a month loaded to the brim with sequels to a bunch of popular and successful film franchises. Furthermore, post-Covid, this could be an important month for boosting ticket sales and marking the return of cine-goers at a large scale, and that too at a rapid pace, with a number of potential blockbusters on the horizon. That is why it can be expected that viewers will be rushing in again for the theatrical experience. So, all film lovers should keep an eye out for the diverse range of films coming out this March. This list will try to help you do so, here’s to a month of excellent cinema:
Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre (March 3) (Theatrical)
Even though Guy Ritchie is past his prime, on a brighter note, he’s kind of making some decent watches, which seems to be a relief, especially after delivering the back-to-back debacles of “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” (2017) and “Aladdin” (2019). “Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre” seems to be one of the typical Guy Ritchie stylized spy-thriller films with a fair dose of quirky humor that also boasts a glitzy star cast ranging from Jason Statham and Aubrey Plaza to Hugh Grant (who we last saw play Benoit Blanc’s husband in the enjoyable ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’). As this film was released in some parts earlier this year, word of mouth, along with the critical buzz, remains quite decent and this could be the perfect light-hearted entertainer to kick off the month on a positive note.
Creed III (March 3) (Theatrical)
“Creed” (2015) was a spin off of the popular “Rocky” franchise and managed to emerge on both fronts as a crowd-pleasing sports drama while also garnering critical acclaim. Furthermore, unlike the sequels of “Rocky” (1976), the second installment, “Creed II” (2018), manages to maintain the quality and turned out to be quite an entertaining and engaging watch that furthered the story of the protagonist Adonis “Donnie” Creed. The third installment also takes the story forward and also marks the debut of Michael B. Jordan as a director, and he also assumes the titular role. Other than that, “Creed III” seems to be quite an exciting watch that, like its predecessors, will be more than a mere boxing flick, with an exploration of themes of family, resilience, and identity that can be both an exciting and inspiring tale. Furthermore, as far as the early reviews are concerned, “Creed III” also manages to hit the bullseye with a pretty good Rotten Tomatoes score of 87%, along with critic reviews praising the film.
Scream VI (March 10) (Theatrical)
“Scream” (1996) has been one of those slasher horror films, along with “Halloween” (1978), that really has seen some of the most underwhelming and disappointing sequels and has been in constant need of a massive reboot of sorts. In 2022, the director duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (who previously made the 2019 film, “Ready or Not”) gave the franchise the necessary shot in the arm. Although “Scream” (2022) was not as great as the 1996 original by Wes Craven, it’s easily the second-best film of the franchise. So, when the same filmmakers are again back for another sequel with “Scream VI” (2023), the sixth installment of the franchise, it may deserve some eyeballs (hehe), especially for those who like their thrills, which the genre of slasher-horror is perfectly capable of providing if executed properly.
The Magician’s Elephant (March 17) (Netflix Release)
“The Magician’s Elephant” is based on the 2009 book by Kate DiCamillo of the same name. From the trailer, the film looks to be a very emotional and uplifting journey centered around a boy named Peter who is in search of his sister, Adele. In recent times, it can be said that Netflix has been one of the best places for animated films, with back-to-back great films in that area both in terms of quality and innovation using unique and refreshing styles of animation. So, whenever they come up with an animated film, the expectations are on the higher side.
Zwigato (March 17) (Theatrical)
After having quite a run at some of the most prominent film festivals, both nationally and internationally, this Nandita Das directorial has garnered quite a positive buzz around it. Other than that, Nandita Das, previously known for her brilliant acting performances, has even managed to make her mark as a director with just two meticulously detailed and crafted films, “Firaaq” (2008) and “Manto” (2018). Furthermore, she has a very innate ability to capture even tiny nuances with a very sensitive and poignant lens, which further elevates her films. “Zwigato” looks to be a film that revolves around the narrative of the plight and hardships faced by the working class, while also taking a dig at the current economic situation in India. Interestingly, “Zwigato” also witnesses one of the most unexpected collaborations of recent times, as the lead is being played by the highly popular television-based comedian Kapil Sharma, who, as far as the reviews are concerned, has managed to put up a pretty impressive performance. So, this could be a film that provides the perfect balance between these high-octane, large-scale entertainers and a smaller, more intimate scale, while also being quite topical.
John Wick: Chapter 4 (March 24) (Theatrical)
Probably the most anticipated release from March 2023, which also has the potential to be among the best action films of this year, especially as seen from the first few snippets of the film from teasers and trailers. Furthermore, it is quite a rare feat in films for sequels to outperform the origin of a franchise, as the John Wick franchise has constantly proved its mettle by constantly raising the bar with each film, with the third one being regarded as the finest. Other than that, Chad Stahelski is back again to helm the fourth installment, who also had directed the previous three films. From the looks of it, “John Wick: Chapter 4” (2023) promises to be a high-octane action neo-noirish thriller that will definitely possess some really impressive action set-pieces, and along with that, there remains the ever-charming presence of actor Keanu Reeves as the titular character.
Bheed (March 24) (Theatrical)
Anubhav Sinha started out making pretty mediocre, and some really bad films, but suddenly came the 2.0 version of him as he took a U-turn into making relatively smaller and more personal films with hard-hitting and topical subject matters such as discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, and gender with films such as “Mulk” (2018), “Article 15” (2019), and “Thappad” (2020). Even though these films remain not devoid of criticisms, they still showcase something interesting, even though his last venture, “Anek” (2022), seemed to be a bit of a hit-and-miss. “Bheed” also takes place around the same essence of the socio-political aspect, with the film being set against the backdrop of the 2020 lockdown in India. Furthermore, it comprises a highly talented cast of actors with the likes of Rajkumar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar, Pankaj Kapur, Ashutosh Rana, and Dia Mirza, which itself makes “Bheed” one to look out for.
Tetris (March 31) (Apple TV+ Release)
Jon S. Baird can be credited for making the bittersweet film “Stan & Ollie” (2018), based on the lives of the highly popular comedian duo of Laurel and Hardy. This time he is back with another biopic based on the life of the Dutch video game designer Henk Rogers, played by the impressive Taron Egerton, who previously garnered major acclaim for his portrayal of Elton John in the 2019 film, “Rocketman.” So, this director-actor collaboration can prove to be a wonder if the final outcome remains quite engaging and exciting to watch. Although from the trailer, “Tetris” looks to be quite an entertaining watch, and one that could be the perfect ending for a film-filled month of March.
In the previous months, OTT releases were kind of gaining the upper hand that sometimes led to the questioning of the future of the magic of cinema and enjoying films inside theaters having a more communal rather than individualistic approach. But March 2023 seems to be a game-changer (at least we hope so), as while compiling this list it was quite a joyful moment for me as a film lover, as quite a few of the abovementioned films are up for theatrical release. Even so much so that some highly anticipated films could not get a place on the list, even though some are from very popular franchises or feature household names. So here is a list of Special Mentions in order to compensate for that:
“Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar” (March 8) (Theatrical), “65” (March 10) (Theatrical), “Luther: The Fallen Sun” (March 10) (Netflix Release), “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” (March 17) (Theatrical), “Inside” (March 17) (Theatrical), “Bholaa” (March 30) (Theatrical), “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” (March 31) (Theatrical), “A Thousand and One” (March 31) (Theatrical), “Murder Mystery 2” (March 31) (Netflix Release).
See more: Upcoming Films In February 2023 To Add To Your Watchlist