33 new British period drama movies to see in 2023

2023 looks set to be another dazzling year for British period drama fans.

Here, in alphabetical order, we’ve listed all the new British historical and period drama movies you might want to see over the coming year!

Check out our gigantic previews of 2023’s brand new British period drama mini-series and all the returning British period drama TV series too.

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What’s it about?

Small Axe creator Steve McQueen returns with this new World War II movie set in London.

Blitz stars Saoirse Ronan (See How They Run), Harris Dickinson (The King’s Man), Kathy Burke (Absolutely Fabulous), Stephen Graham (Peaky Blinders), and newcomer Elliott Heffernan.

When’s it out?

Blitz is expected get a cinema release in 2023, ahead of its premiere on AppleTV+ for streaming.



What’s it about?

Chevalier is inspired by the incredible true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

The illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) rises to improbable heights in French society as a celebrated violinist-composer and fencer, complete with an ill-fated love affair and a falling out with Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton from The Ipcress File) and her court.

The cast also includes Samara Weaving (Picnic at Hanging Rock), Marton Csokas (Lord of the Rings), and Minnie Driver (Good Will Hunting).

What did the reviews say?

“Lest you think the film is fiddling with history, rest assured that the Chevalier de Saint-Georges was every bit as impressive as the eye-opening feature debut from Watchmen director Stephen Williams suggests.” – Variety

“Kelvin Harrison Jr. blossoms in sumptuous but shaky biopic of a classical violinist.” – The Hollywood Reporter


The Critic

What’s it about?

An amazing cast includes Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings), Gemma Arterton (Their Finest), Mark Strong (1917), Lesley Manville (Mrs Harris Goes to Paris), Romola Garai (Suffragette), Ben Barnes (Narnia), and Alfred Enoch (Harry Potter) in this period thriller based on Anthony Quinn’s classic novel Curtain Call.

Set in 1934 London, The Critic stars McKellen as a feared drama critic, with Arterton playing an actress who winds up caught up in a dangerous web of blackmail, deceit and murder.

When’s it out?

The Critic will be released in 2023.

Anthony Quinn’s Curtain Call novel is available on Amazon.


Empire of Light

What’s it about?

Olivia Colman (The Crown) and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) star in this 1980s-set drama from 1917 director Sam Mendes, set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the south coast of England.

They’ll be joined in Empire of Light by Toby Jones (Detectorists), Crystal Clarke (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain), Tanya Moodie (A Discovery of Witches), and Micheal Ward (Small Axe).

What did the reviews say?

Empire of Light is a touching yarn that will strike a chord with audiences and sentimental voters of the Academy. It’s not saying anything new but it’s a heartwarming reminder of the joy, comfort and necessity of the big screen experience.” ★★★★ – Evening Standard

“At its best, it is genuinely evocative, and while the script is patchy, it also wisely leaves the camera to do a lot of the talking. As a whole, it doesn’t quite cohere, but you can at least feel the sincere, sentimental intent with which it’s made.” ★★★ – Empire


Enys Men

What’s it about?

Set in 1973 on an uninhabited island off the Celtic Sea, this mind-bending Cornish folk horror comes from the BAFTA winning writer-director of 2019’s acclaimed Bait.

When a wildlife volunteer’s daily observations of a rare flower take a dark turn into the strange and metaphysical, both her and viewers are forced to question what is real and what is nightmare.

What did the reviews say?

“A supremely disquieting study of solitude … Bait director Mark Jenkin delivers another eerie prose-poem of a film, about a isolated woman lost inside her own mind.” ★★★★ – The Guardian

“An artfully constructed folk horror film about never-ending grief … Mark Jenkin returns with an experimental tale of loss that is grounded by impeccable and time-honored technique.” – IndieWire



What’s it about?

From the producer of The Dig, Firebrand stars Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) as Katherine Parr, the last of King Henry VIII’s six wives, alongside Jude Law (Fantastic Beasts), Erin Doherty (The Crown), and Eddie Marsan (Ridley Road).

Everyone holds their breath – for the queen to slip up, for Henry to take her head like wives before. With the hope for a future free of tyranny at risk, will Katherine submit to the inevitable for the sake of King and country?

When’s it out?

Firebrand is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.


Freud’s Last Session

What’s it about?

Interweaving past, present and fantasy, Freud’s Last Session stars Sir Anthony Hopkins as Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud.

On the eve of the Second World War and the end of his life, the movie sees Freud invite iconic author C.S. Lewis (Downton Abbey star Matthew Goode) for a debate over the existence of God.

When’s it out?

Freud’s Last Session will probably be released in late 2023.


A Haunting in Venice

What’s it about?

Kenneth Branagh returns as Hercule Poirot for a third time, following 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express and 2022’s Death on the Nile.

The amazing ensemble cast this time around features Jamie Dornan (Belfast), Tina Fey (30 Rock), and Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek).

Set in post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, A Haunting in Venice is based on Agatha Christie’s 1969 book Hallowe’en Party.

What did the reviews say?

“An adult-oriented crowd pleaser of the sort that seldom gets made any longer without superheroes being involved, and better than that, is quite entertaining, A Haunting in Venice extends 2023’s streak as the Year That Hollywood Lured Grown-Ups Back To Theaters.” – Variety

“Branagh’s back to basics chiller is his best Poirot yet.” ★★★★ – The Express

Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party novel is available on Amazon.


The History of Sound

What’s it about?

Josh O’Connor from The Durrells and The Crown stars alongside Normal People actor Paul Mescal in this World War I love story.

Adapted from Ben Shattuck’s award-winning short story, The History of Sound revolves around two young men, Lionel (Mescal) and David (O’Connor), who set out to record the lives, voices and music of their American countrymen during the First World War.

When’s it out?

The History of Sound is expected to arrive in late 2023.


The Hood

What’s it about?

Written and directed by the Bourne franchise’s Paul Greengrass, this British historical movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a farmer who becomes a leader in England’s peasant revolt of 1381.

When’s it out?

The Hood will be released in late 2023 or 2024.


An Ideal Wife

What’s it about?

From the director of Emma Thompson’s Good Luck to You Leo Grande, this movie stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Irish children’s author Constance Lloyd, wife of Oscar Wilde.

An Ideal Wife follows the awakening Constance Lloyd experienced when she discovered that Wilde was gay.

When’s it out?

An Ideal Wife will be released in 2023 or 2024.



What’s it about?

The Theory of Everything director James Marsh adapts the bestselling memoir of English concert pianist James Rhodes, played by Andrew Garfield (Breathe).

Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music reveals how music saved the piano prodigy’s life after he was abused during his time at his all-boys junior school.

When’s it out?

Instrumental is expected to be released in 2023 or 2024.

James Rhodes’ book Instrumental: A Memoir of Madness, Medication, and Music is available on Amazon.



What’s it about?

Kate Winslet stars as Lee Miller in this historical movie about the model-turned-photographer’s experiences in World War II.

The cast also includes Jude Law (The Nest), Andrea Riseborough (Brighton Rock), Josh O’Connor (The Crown), and Marion Cotillard (Inception).

When’s it out?

Lee will be released in 2023.


Let Me Count The Ways

What’s it about?

From the makers of Belle, Let Me Count the Ways dramatises the love affair between the Elizabeth Barrett Browning and playwright Robert Browning in the mid-19th century.

The Victorian poet is played by English actress Emilia Clarke, best known as Daenerys in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

When’s it out?

Let Me Count the Ways is set for release in 2023 or 2024.


The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die

What’s it about?

The fifth season of The Last Kingdom is followed by a one-off feature-length movie.

In The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die, Uhtred must ride once more across a fractured kingdom with several of the series’ much-loved returning characters, as they battle alongside, and against, new allies and enemies.

Set in the late 9th century AD, Netflix’s epic historical drama series is based on the Saxon Stories novels by Bernard Cornwell.

What did the reviews say?

“There’s a ton of plot packed into this standalone movie derived from the TV series, but the deluge of detail gets steadily more absorbing.” ★★★ – The Guardian

Seven Kings Must Die has under two hours to cover three entire books, making the result understandably overstuffed but also somehow under-filled. It’s a fond farewell to a beloved character that offers closure on the ‘will England be formed?’ question, but doesn’t feel like an essential chapter of this story.” – Den of Geek


Men Up

What’s it about?

From the makers of It’s a Sin, this funny and life-affirming one-off BBC TV movie is inspired by the remarkable true story of one of the world’s first medical trials for the drug that became Viagra in Swansea in the early 1990s.

Men Up stars Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones), Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), Alexandra Roach (Sanditon), Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey), and Katy Wix from Ghosts.

When’s it out?

Men Up will premiere on BBC One and streaming on BBC iPlayer later this year.


Me, You

What’s it about?

Tom Hollander (The Night Manager) and Daisy Jacob (Vanity Fair) lead the cast of this adaptation of Erri De Luca’s novel Me, You (Tu, Mio).

Set in the 1950s in post-war Italy, the story follows 16-year-old London native Marco (Alessandro Gassmann), who is on holiday in Italy with his father Edward, played by Hollander.

When’s it out?

Me, You is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

Erri De Luca’s novel Me, You (Tu, Mio) is available on Amazon.


Midas Man

What’s it about?

Midas Man tells the story of British music entrepreneur Brian Epstein, who shot to fame in his 20s discovering the likes of The Beatles, Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers before dying at the young age of 32.

Alongside Jacob Fortune-Lloyd (Wolf Hall) as Epstein, the film also features Emily Watson (Apple Tree Yard) and Eddie Marsan (Ridley Road) as his parents, plus It’s a Sin star Omari Douglas, and Rosie Day from Outlander.

When’s it out?

Midas Man will be released in 2023.


Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

What’s it about?

Best known for his two Sherlock Holmes movies, as well as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake, Guy Ritchie reunites with The Man From UNCLE star Henry Cavill in this World War II secret operatives movie.

Ritchie is adapting The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: How Churchill’s Secret Warriors Set Europe Ablaze and Gave Birth to Modern Black Ops by historian Damien Lewis.

When’s it out?

Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

Damien Lewis’s book The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is available on Amazon.


The Miracle Club

What’s it about?

Downton Abbey legend Maggie Smith is joined Kathy Bates (Titanic), Laura Linney (The Big C), Agnes O’Casey (Ridley Road). and Stephen Rea (The Shadow Line) in this heartwarming drama set in 1960s Ireland.

The Miracle Club follows three close friends with a dream to visit the French town of Lourdes.

When’s it out?

The Miracle Club arrives in the US this July, followed by a UK release in September.



What’s it about?

Gladiator director Ridley Scott’s latest epic explores Napoleon Bonaparte’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Joséphine.

Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator) leads the cast as Napoleon, with The Crown star Vanessa Kirby playing Empress Joséphine.

When’s it out?

Napoleon will arrive on Apple TV+ in 2023.


Nell Gwynn

What’s it about?

Based on the Olivier-winning play by Jessica Swale, this historical movie dramatises the life of Nell Gwynn, mistress of Charles II, and her part in the theatre of the 17th century.

Nell Gwynn comes from the makers of Darkest HourAtonement, and The Theory of Everything, with French-British actress Emma Mackey (Emily, Eiffel) playing the title character.

When’s it out?

Nell Gwynn is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn book is available on Amazon.


Peaky Blinders movie

What’s it about?

Following the sixth and final season of the hit BBC television series in 2022, Peaky Blinders returns for an epic cinematic goodbye to wrap up the story of a crime family in Birmingham, England in the early 20th century.

All the main surviving cast from the TV show are expected to reprise their roles.

When’s it out?

The Peaky Blinders movie will arrive in cinemas and on Netflix in 2023 or 2024.

Peaky Blinders is available on DVD on Amazon.


Peter Pan & Wendy

What’s it about?

Jude Law stars as Captain Hook in Peter Pan and Wendy.

A reimagining of the classic 1953 animated movie, based on J. M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan, Disney’s new live-action fantasy adventure film introduces Wendy Darling, a young girl afraid to leave her childhood home behind, who meets Peter Pan, a boy who refuses to grow up.

What did the reviews say?

Peter Pan & Wendy is the most beautiful, moving children’s film of the year … David Lowery’s take on JM Barrie’s classic is top-to-bottom wonderful.” ★★★★★The Telegraph

“David Lowery’s second Disney reimagining is artfully constructed and full of interesting ideas. But for a film about the energy and imagination of youth, it often feels trapped in its own head.” ★★★ – Empire


Seize Them!

What’s it about?

Set in Britain in the Dark Ages, Seize Them! stars Aimee Lou Wood (Living) as the egotistical Queen Dagan, who ends up on the run after she’s toppled from the throne by a revolution led by Humble Joan, played by Nicola Coughlan from Bridgerton and Derry Girls.

The historical comedy’s brilliant cast also includes Ghosts star Lolly Adefope, Jessica Hynes (Up the Women), Paul Kaye (After Life), Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), and comedian James Acaster.

When’s it out?

Seize Them! will be released in cinemas later this year.



What’s it about?

Based on 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie, the hit Broadway musical Spamalot is finally heading to big screen (hopefully) after years of production delays.

The upcoming film adaptation has been written by Monty Python member Eric Idle, and will be directed by Casey Nicholaw, who was the original Broadway production’s choreographer.

When’s it out?

Spamalot might arrive in 2023 – we’ll see!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.


A Special Relationship

What’s it about?

Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) plays Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor in this biopic about the Oscar-winning star’s journey from actress to activist.

A Special Relationship comes from the makers of The King’s Speech, with a screenplay by Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy.

The movie is described as “a celebration of how friendships can change people’s lives, and how Elizabeth helped change the world.”

When’s it out?

A Special Relationship will be released in 2023.


The Last Voyage of the Demeter

What’s it about?

Game of Thrones actors Liam Cunningham and Aisling Franciosi star in this new thriller based on a single chilling chapter from Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the terrifying story of the merchant ship Demeter, with strange events befalling the doomed crew as they attempt to survive the ocean voyage, stalked each night by a merciless presence onboard the ship.

When’s it out?

The Last Voyage of the Demeter will be released in cinemas on 11 August.


War Magician

What’s it about?

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) stars as Jasper Maskelyne, a real-life British illusionist who used magic to defeat Erwin Rommel during the Second World War.

War Magician is based on the book by David Fisher, and is directed Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World).

When’s it out?

War Magician is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

David Fisher’s book is available on Amazon.


White Bird: A Wonder Story

What’s it about?

White Bird: A Wonder Story charts the story of a young Jewish girl hidden away by a boy and his family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II.

Based on R.J. Palacio’s graphic novel, the movie stars Gillian Anderson (The Crown) as Vivienne, the woman who along with her family must make unimaginable choices.

When’s it out?

White Bird: A Wonder Story will be released in cinemas this August.

R.J. Palacio’s graphic novel White Bird: A Wonder Story is available on Amazon.


Women in the Castle

What’s it about?

Adapted from Jessica Shattuck’s hit 2017 book, Women in the Castle tells the story of three German women during and after the Second World War.

The trio of main characters – played by Kristin Scott Thomas (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Daisy Ridley (Murder on the Orient Express), and Nina Hoss (My Little Sister) – are widows of conspirators involved in the assassination attempt on Hitler, and each of them must deal with the fallout of her personal life differently.

When’s it out?

Women in the Castle is expected to arrive in cinemas in 2023.

Jessica Shattuck’s novel is available on Amazon.



What’s it about?

Paddington director Paul King helms this family movie based on the character of Willy Wonka, from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Starring alongside Timothée Chalamet (The King) as the titular young inventor are Olivia Colman (The Crown), Jim Carter (Downton Abbey), Sally Hawkins (Paddington), Matt Lucas (Doctor Who), Mathew Baynton (Ghosts), and Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean).

When’s it out?

Wonka will be released in cinemas on 15 December.

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book is available on Amazon.


Young Woman and the Sea

What’s it about?

Based on Glenn Stout’s book, Young Woman and the Sea tells the incredible true story of Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926.

Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) leads the cast as Trudy Ederle, alongside Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), and Stephen Graham (Peaky Blinders).

When’s it out?

Young Woman and the Sea premieres exclusively streaming on Disney+ later this year.

Glenn Stout’s book Young Woman and the Sea is available on Amazon.


Take a look back at our list of 2022’s best British period drama movies here!