New movies in theaters — 5 movies to watch in October 2023

Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at SoFi Stadium on August 03, 2023 in Inglewood, California.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are plenty of new movies arriving in theaters this month, and as it's now officially spooky season, cinemas are set to offer a couple of frightening films that will no doubt delight horror fanatics. But don’t worry if you’re not a fan of scary movies — there are still plenty of new releases that won’t give you nightmares. 

Saw X is already playing in cinemas across the country, and it’ll soon be joined by even more movies that will have your skin crawling. The Exorcist: Believer is the latest installment in the long-running franchise, and this one is aiming to retcon the series’ convoluted timeline. Plus, the popular video game Five Nights at Freddy’s is getting the big screen treatment and its trademark bloodthirsty animatronic mascots look utterly terrifying now they've been brought into the real world. 

Moving away from horror, Martin Scorsese’s long-in-development Killers of the Flower Moon finally releases this month. The historical epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro is practically guaranteed to be a major awards player. And October will also see Swifties invade multiplexes across the country as Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert movie arrives. Expect sold-out crowds to be dancing in the aisles and screaming along to every word of Swift’s many earworm hits.   

So let’s dive into our guide to the best new movies coming to theaters in October 2023. And for more viewing recommendations be sure to check out our list of the best new movies and shows on Netflix this month as well as the best movies to stream this week on Prime Video, Disney Plus and more. 

New movies in theaters October 2023: Top Picks

The Exorcist: Believer  

The Exorcist: Believer is a direct sequel to the 1973 classic, essentially wiping the slate clean and removing the previous follow-ups from the franchise’s canon. This is not a bad thing considering the hugely inconsistent quality of the original sequels. And with the director of the recent Halloween reboot trilogy, David Gordon Green, onboard, The Exorcist: Believer could be a sequel that lives up to the intimidating legacy of its predecessor. Believer follows the father (Leslie Odom Jr.) of a demonically possessed girl (Ann Dowd) as he’s forced to confront an all-corrupting evil. Desperate for help, he seeks out the only other person alive who has suffered a similar experience, Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn).  

Premieres in theaters on Oct. 6 

Killers of the Flower Moon 

After several years in development, Killers of the Flower Moon is finally opening in theaters. Based on the 2017 novel of the same name by David Grann, this epic Western focuses on the mysterious murders of several members of the Osage tribe in Oklahoma in the 1920s. Suspecting that the discovery of oil on the tribe's land is to blame, the BOI (the precursors to the FBI) launches a major investigation into these killings. Directed by Martin Scorsese and boasting a star-studded cast list that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, Lily Gladstone, Jesse Plemons, Brendan Fraser and John Lithgow, Killers of the Flower Moon looks a near certainty to be a critical darling. Just be warned it’s got a mammoth 206-minute runtime, so you might want to skip the large soda for this one.  

Premieres in theaters on Oct. 6

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour 

Having already broken pre-sale records, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour looks set to be the biggest concert movie in history. And with Swift’s popularity at an all-time peak, you should probably book your tickets now if you want to catch this movie on opening weekend. Filmed across three nights of Swift’s six-show sold-out run at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, The Eras Tour chronicles the pop star's entire career with a 44-song setlist divided into 10 acts, each dedicated to one of the singer’s studio albums. Whether you managed to snag tickets to see the show in person, or missed out, catching The Eras Tour on the big screen will give you the best seat in the house for one of the most in-demand concert tours ever. 

Premieres in theaters on Oct. 13  

Five Nights at Freddy’s 

In August 2014, Scott Cawthon self-published a relatively simple point-and-click horror game called Five Nights at Freddy’s, and it quickly became a global phenomenon. More than half a dozen sequels later, FNaF is one of the most popular horror gaming franchises in history, and it’s now making the leap to the silver screen. The movie focuses on Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson), a troubled security guard, who accepts a job working night shifts at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza parlor. But this seemingly easy gig quickly becomes a nightmare when Mike discovers that the restaurant's four animatronic mascots have a mind of their own, and are anything but friendly after midnight. If you’d rather stay home so you can watch with the lights switched on, Five Night at Freddy’s will be simultaneously streaming on Peacock

Premieres in theaters on Oct. 27


John Cena has a real knack for action comedies, and Freelance looks set to be another glossy vehicle for his impressive physical comedy skills. This movie sees the former pro wrestler play a retired special forces operator, who reluctantly takes on a gig providing security for journalist Claire Wellington (Alison Brie) as she interviews a ruthless dictator (Juan Pablo Raba). But when a military coup breaks out in the middle of the interview, it’s up to Cena to keep all three of them safe as they’re pursued by heavily armed soldiers. Directed by Pierre Morel, who also helmed Liam Neeson’s iconic action movie Taken, expect blockbuster thrills with a healthy dose of laughs. This should be a great tonic after a whole month of horror movies. 

Premieres in theaters on Oct. 27

Everything new in theaters in October 2023


1521: The Quest for Love and Freedom (Limited)


Into the Weeds (Limited)


Mother Teresa & Me (Limited)


The Exorcist: Believer (Wide)

Dr. Cheon and Lost Talisman (Limited) 

Cat Person (Limited) 

When Evil Lurks (Limited)

Dicks: The Musical (Limited)

Mercy Road (Limited)

Country of Blind (Limited)

Miranda's Victim (Limited)

Killers of the Flower Moon (Limited)

She Came to Me (Limited)


What Rhymes with Reason (Limited)


Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Wide)

Once Within a Time (Limited)


The Hunger Games (Limited)


What Is Love? (Limited)


Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods (Limited)

Playin' Possum (Limited)


Onyx the Fortuitous and the Talisman of Souls (Limited)


The Canterville Ghost (Limited)

Killers of the Flower Moon (Wide)

The Other Zoey (Limited)

Malibu Horror Story (Limited)

Butcher's Crossing (Limited) 

Deep Sky (Limited)

Soul Mates (Wide)


The Metropolitan Opera: Dead Man Walking (Limited)

Back to the Future (Limited)


The Birds (Limited)


Beyond Utopia (Limited)


The Domino Revival (Limited)


Four Daughters (Limited)

Five Nights at Freddy's (Wide)

Inspector Sun (Wide) 

Freelance (Wide) 

Sight (Wide) 

After Death (Limited)


Miracle in East Texas (Limited)

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.