What are some of the biggest movies releasing in October 2023? Akshay Kumar headlines the most prominent Bollywood release this month with Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue, a biopic that sees him try and rescue a group of 65 miners trapped inside a flooded coal mine. The film reunites him with Rustom director Tinu Suresh Desai and is slated to release October 6 in cinemas. A day before that, prime yourself for an exhilarating tale of espionage, as Tabu is assigned a top-secret mission to track down an agency mole in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Khufiya. Starring Ali Fazal (Mirzapur) as her opposite, the spy-thriller will be available to stream October 5 on Netflix.
Coming to Hollywood fare, Martin Scorsese’s twenty-eighth feature film, Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, releases in Indian theatres on October 27. Based on David Grann’s eponymous book, the Western crime drama tells a sprawling tale of American greed and the resulting series of murders in the 1920s that shook the foundations of the country. The film is later expected to arrive to Apple TV+. Paul Dano (The Batman) and a group of regular people send the billionaires at Wall Street into a frenzy by betting on GameStop stock in this David v Goliath dramedy based on the real-life YouTuber Keith Gill. Remember when everyone was installing the Robinhood app on their phone in early 2021? Yep, that’s the seismic event being chronicled in Craig Gillespie’s Dumb Money, out October 6 in theatres.
Other notable releases this month include Five Nights at Freddy’s, an adaptation of the eponymous horror video game franchise that kept ‘Let’s Play’ YouTubers relevant for longer than it should have. Produced by veterans in the genre, Blumhouse, the film drops October 27 in theatres. For your convenience, we have curated the biggest October 2023 releases coming to theatres, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix, which you can check out below. Also, feel free to browse our Entertainment hub to keep track of any other releases that might interest you.
When: October 5
Krishna Mehra (Tabu), a hard-nosed R&AW operative, is thrust into an espionage mission when the agency gets a hunch that there’s a mole within its ranks. The prime suspect is Ravi Mohan (Ali Fazal), an officer who’s been found photocopying India’s defence secrets and other documents — not pertaining to his work — and taking them back home, presumably to feed intel to enemy nations to make some extra cash. As a result, his house is put into 24/7 surveillance, with agents stepping in day and night to listen in on his family’s conversations and take a peek into their day-to-day lives, which shows that Ravi has been buying some expensive gifts for his wife Mohini (Wamiqa Gabbi), all of a sudden.
His masked cockiness often shines through conversations, but it’s hard for the agency to pin down whether he’s being serious or not. Panic sets in as Ravi’s cover starts to blow, forcing his wife to question his intentions and call him a traitor to the country — an accusation he outright rejects, claiming that he’s simply thinking ahead. Grappling with her dual identity as a spy and a lover, Agent KM must now track him down, hopping across countries while ensuring that Ravi’s wife and child — who got forcefully tugged around — remain safe. Based on Amar Bhushan’s 2012 novel ‘Escape to Nowhere,’ Khufiya marks Tabu’s third collaboration with filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj. The film also stars Ashish Vidyarthi (Kuttey) as senior officer Viraj Surve and Azmeri Haque Badhon as a ghost from Mehra’s past.
When: October 6
After his stint as the Riddler, Paul Dano is once again rallying people on social media to topple the elites of the society in Dumb Money. In it, he plays Keith Gill aka RoaringKitty, a YouTuber who used his financial knowledge to bet on brick-and-mortar retailer GameStop stock and encourage his viewers to do the same, as a means to boost the value of the company and disrupt the system. Wall Street is the primary force working against them, betting that the business would fail, and in turn, make millions of profit for a group of hedge-fund managers. We focus on three such shorters here: Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen), Ken Griffin (Nick Offerman), and Steve Cohen (Vincent D’Onofrio), all of whom start seeing losses in their investment, while regular people start making big bank.
Keith and his wife Caroline (Shailene Woodley) start living the rich life, his brother Kevin (Pete Davidson) splurges on a Ferrari, and every morning in his front yard, he’s cheerfully greeted by thankful civilians who’ve managed to turn their lives upside-down. Everything goes fine until Wall Street decides to fight back and regain control over its financial empire, with Vlad Tenev (Sebastian Stan), CEO of trading app Robinhood preventing users from buying any more GameStop stocks. The real-life market manipulation was the subject of widespread criticism, which is something I’m expecting Dumb Money to touch upon, as the act simply helps rich people stay rich.
Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) directs the film, roping in an ensemble cast including Anthony Ramos (In the Heights) as a GameStop clerk, America Ferrera (Barbie) as a viewer of Keith Gill, and Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2).
Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue
When: October 6
In the year 1989, the walls of the Raniganj coal mines in West Bengal cracked under pressure and gave out, instantly flooding the caverns with water and trapping 65 miners down under. With water levels gradually rising and depleting the oxygen supply, saving the unfortunate survivors seemed like an impossible task to the dismay of the villagers. Enter, Jaswant Singh Gill (Akshay Kumar), a former additional chief mining engineer, who kickstarted a rescue operation despite his co-workers’ insistence that the miners might’ve gotten swept away and died. Bearing through the cries and anger from onlookers, the team dedicates the next 48 hours to devising unique techniques to pull out the survivors, while ensuring the walls don’t cave in due to the vibrations of heavy machinery.
The Mission Raniganj: The Great Bharat Rescue trailer doesn’t fully explain the rescue plan, but it appears as though the team descended a life-size tube through a narrow hole and extracted the survivors one by one. Only one problem, though: how are they supposed to know where the hole is? And so, Jaswant heads right in with barely any protective gear and helps them navigate through the dark and hopefully save them all. And it’s not like he hasn’t got much at stake here, considering his wife Nirdosh Gill (Parineeti Chopra) also makes it to the site, with the utmost faith that her husband, who is a miner at heart, will persevere. Frequent Kumar collaborator Tinu Suresh Desai helms this biopic, which also enlists Kumud Mishra (Mission Majnu), Dibyendu Bhattacharya (Rocket Boys), and Rajesh Sharma (Darlings).
The Exorcist: Believer
When: October 6
With Halloween season comes a fair share of horror movies, and this year, it’s being led by The Exorcist: Believer, a sequel to the boundary-pushing 1973 film from William Friedkin. Victor Fielding (Leslie Odom Jr.) is a devout single father who’s managed to raise his daughter Angela (Lidya Jewett) following his pregnant wife’s death 12 years ago. But one day, she disappears into the wilderness with her friend Katherine (Olivia Marcum), only to return three days later, bearing scars, an overall dishevelled look, and no memory of what happened. As both families resume their everyday lives, some unexpected events come to the surface, ranging from flickering lights to a possessed and bloodied Catherine marching into the local church.
Desperate to save the kids, Victor seeks out help from a familiar face who once faced a similar spirit first-hand — Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), who had to deal with her daughter’s exorcism in the original The Exorcist movie. However, the spirit in question is stronger than ever before, forcing our heroes to perform every kind of ritual known to mankind, regardless of culture or religion. What’s weirder is that both girls seem to have been possessed by the same demon, with their heartbeats syncing up and an ugly, yellow tint on their eyeballs. David Gordon Green, best known for Stronger directs The Exorcist: Believer, bringing Ann Dowd (Hereditary) into the mix as the family doctor.
When: October 13
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx stars in this courtroom drama as the real-life Willie E. Gary, an unconventional but charming lawyer with an impressive track record — often hailed as a legend, of sorts, among the black legal community. But in 1995, he’s thrown into one of the riskiest cases of his career when a funeral home owner Jerry O’Keefe (Tommy Lee Jones) on the verge of going bankrupt, reaches out for help. Turns out, he signed off on a wrong deal with Raymond Loewen (Bill Camp) of the infamous Loewen Group, a mortgage broker company that began putting an end to Jerry’s funeral businesses.
The latter has never set foot in court before and is simply looking to sue for $8 million. But his quirky lawyer demands him to dream bigger and aim for $100 million in compensation. While the stakes are incredibly serious, The Burial smoothly ties in Foxx’s comedic expertise to create a hilarious and engaging back-and-forth with his opposing lawyer Mame Downes (Jurnee Smollett), while simultaneously forming an unlikely bond with his client. In the path of exposing corporate corruption, he must deal with themes of racial injustice, pre-courtroom superstitious rituals, family drama, and a prejudiced but goofy lawyer played by Alan Ruck of Succession fame.
When: October 20
Kangana Ranaut (Queen) is thrown into aerial combat in this upcoming film from debutant Sarvesh Mewara, which chronicles the life and journey of the Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Tejas Gill. This is in no way a biopic but is somewhat inspired by the country’s historic decision to enlist its first female fighter pilot in 2016 and through that, represents the valiant efforts put forward by the defenders of the nation. There’s no Tejas trailer to gather more information from, but the film reportedly sees Varun Mitra (Saas, Bahu Aur Flamingo) play Tejas’ love interest and a musician.
Killers of the Flower Moon
When: October 27
Acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese is tackling the Western genre for the first time in his career, exploring the grim murders of the oil-wealthy Osage tribe in Oklahoma in the early 1920s. We largely follow the story through the eyes of the war hero Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio), who returns to a life of peace and reconciles with his uncle William Hale (Robert De Niro), the villainous cattle rancher who brought an army of caucasian settlers to ‘assist’ the natives with controlling the oil’s sales and distribution. As greed takes over the ‘great white father,’ he even coaxes Ernest into marrying a local Osage woman Mollie (Lily Gladstone) as a means to further his claim on the land.
But when dead bodies of Osage natives start appearing in random locations, it kickstarts a large-scale murder investigation, led by FBI agent Tom White (Jesse Plemons), who believes there’s a conspiracy at play — suspecting William of issuing those contract hits. If you haven’t caught on by now, Killers of the Flower Moon is essentially a tale about some greedy wolves who used their powers of manipulation to conduct cruel, racially motivated genocide, and profit from huge oil deposits beneath the land. All the while, Ernest struggles with conflicting loyalties on whether to side with his loving wife or to cower and hide in fear behind his uncle’s killing rampage.
Killers of the Flower Moon also seems to be part courtroom drama, with lawyer W. S. Hamilton (Brendan Fraser) representing the cunning William, and John Lithgow (Interstellar) as the prosecutor Leaward, on a mission to convict him of the killings. Scorsese also co-wrote the script with Eric Roth (Dune), which itself is based on David Grann’s eponymous 2017 non-fiction novel. Following its theatrical run — thanks to Paramount Pictures — the film is expected to later end up on Apple TV+ for streaming.
When: October 27
Single mother Liza Drake (Emily Blunt) is going through a tough time, from losing her job to watching her daughter Phoebe’s (Chloe Coleman) medical condition gradually worsen. But luck seems to have found its way when she stumbles into a skeezy pharmaceutical sales rep Pete Brenner (Chris Evans), who offers her a job at a failing drug start-up. Next thing you know, Liza is meeting with some of the slimiest doctors in the country, including one played by Brian d’Arcy James (Spotlight), hoping to sell painkillers for cancer patients. But with overnight success comes greed, and the company starts recommending those drugs for purposes that are far meek.
Under her unhinged boss Jack Neel’s (Andy García) leadership that aims for profit, Liza begins to see the issue with their marketing strategy and the devastation it’s causing to the clueless patients consuming those drugs — eventually, forcing her to take a stand against the monstrous empire she helped create. BAFTA-winner David Yates, who rose to prominence with the later Harry Potter films, directs Pain Hustlers, which was acquired by Netflix for a sum of roughly $50 million (about Rs. 416 crore). It also stars Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek) as Liza’s mother and Jay Duplass (The Mindy Project).
Five Nights at Freddy’s
When: October 27
Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson), who recently got fired from his job, desperately accepts the position of a nighttime security guard at the abandoned Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria, an eatery adjacent to an indoor amusement park. As he settles into his first shift, with 10-year-old sister Abby (Piper Rubio) by his side, he realises that there are some darker forces at play once the clock strikes midnight. By constantly observing security feeds and with some history lessons from the local police officer Vanessa (Elizabeth Lail), he discovers that the group of creepy animatronic mascots — Freddy Fazbear, Bonnie, Chica, and Foxy — are all in fact alive and willing to kill anything that moves.
Just like the video games, Mike’s got limited resources and six long, horrifying hours until the break of dawn to survive and reunite with his lost sister, all the while dealing with some inner demons from his past. A Five Nights at Freddy’s movie has been in development since 2015, jumping between major producers until Jason Blum picked it up and worked with game creator Scott Cawthon to match the latter’s vision. As part of it, he hired Emma Tammi (Into the Dark) to direct the adaptation and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to handcraft the animatronics. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were later used in some actual theme park that immortalises Blumhouse Productions’ most iconic work.
Five Nights at Freddy’s is out October 27, simultaneously in both theatres and the Peacock streaming service in the US. Currently, it’s unclear whether the film will be available to stream on JioCinema in India.