It’s that time of the year again when we reminisce about the past 12 months and reflect on the best that the world of cinema has had to offer. As we inch closer to the end of 2023, it’s time to put on our movie critic hat and delve into the cream of the crop. So, without further ado, we present to you our highly-anticipated list of the best movies of 2023 that are definitely worth adding to your streaming watchlist.
The year 2023 has been nothing short of exceptional in terms of movies. From emotional and heart-warming animated films to gripping and intense WWII-themed movies, this year has been a cinematic rollercoaster ride packed with memorable characters, meaningful stories, and top-notch performances. Additionally, 2023 has been the year of romantic dramas that have explored the complexities of relationships in a way that has resonated with audiences worldwide.
How many movies on the list have you watched?
Air: A Story of Greatness
Air Jordan is undoubtedly one of history’s most successful consumer product lines. The story behind this iconic brand is chronicled in the American biographical sports drama Air: A Story of Greatness. The film delves into the deal’s origins between Michael Jordan, the renowned basketball star, and Nike, the iconic American athletic footwear and apparel corporation.
The plot of Air: A Story of Greatness takes us back to 1984. Nike was on the brink of shutting down its unprofitable basketball shoe division. Low sales were the primary reason for this decision. However, Nike CEO Phil Knight (played by Ben Affleck) had one last idea. He assigned talent scout Sonny Vaccaro (played by Matt Damon) the task of finding a new spokesperson for Nike baseball shoes. Thus began the journey of Air Jordan.
Enter Michael Jordan, who had just been drafted out of North Carolina in the 1984 NBA draft. The film depicts the events that led to the creation of Air Jordan. Iconic sneakers that would become a global sensation.
Air is directed by Affleck, who also stars Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, and Viola Davis. Critics praised the film for its excellent direction, outstanding performances, and accurate portrayal of the history of Air Jordan.
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret
In 1970, Judy Blume published a groundbreaking coming-of-age novel entitled Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. The book tells the story of an 11-year-old girl named Margaret. She is truggling to adjust to a new town and navigate the trials and tribulations of adolescence. Decades later, a film adaptation of the beloved novel was released to critical acclaim.
Starring Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret alongside an all-star cast, the film captures the essence of Blume’s poignant story. The cast includes Rachel McAdams, Elle Graham, Benny Safdie, and Kathy Bates. Through Margaret’s journey, viewers of all ages are reminded of the joys and challenges of growing up.
The film has become a favourite among fans of Blume’s work. Fans who have grown up with her books and can now see their beloved characters come to life on the big screen. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the world of Margaret and her friends, this heartwarming and entertaining film will leave a lasting impression.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
The movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is a superhero computer-animated film directed by Jeff Rowe. It was co-written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Dan Hernandez, and Benji Samit. The movie is the seventh theatrical film in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise and serves as a reboot. The lead voice roles are played by Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Nicolas Cantu, and Brady Noon. The voice cast also includes Ayo Edebiri, Maya Rudolph, John Cena, Rose Byrne, Natasia Demetriou, Giancarlo Esposito, Jackie Chan, Ice Cube, Paul Rudd, Post Malone, and Hannibal Buress.
The movie depicts the adventures of the Turtle brothers. They strive to win the hearts of New York City, while also battling a horde of mutants. This film is a fresh start to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie franchise. Of course it took off in 1990 with the launch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The last film in the series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, came out in 2016.
Flora and Son
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the heartwarming musical comedy-drama. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was released in select theaters and on Apple TV+ in September. The movie also features Eve Hewson, Jack Reynor, and Orén Kinlan in prominent roles.
The story follows Flora (played by Hewson). She’s a single mother living in Dublin who struggles to deal with her rebellious teenage son Max (Kinlan). Max, who is always up to some mischief, finds himself in trouble with the Irish police. The authorities suggest that Max finds a hobby to channel his energy, which leads him to an old guitar and an online guitar teacher based in Los Angeles, played by Gordon-Levitt.
As Max begins to learn the guitar, he discovers his passion for music and starts to find his place in the world. Meanwhile, Flora finds herself drawn to Gordon-Levitt’s character, who becomes a source of comfort and support for her and her son.
The movie explores themes of love, family, and the power of music to heal and bring people together. With its catchy tunes, charismatic performances, and heartwarming story, this movie is a must-watch for all music lovers and those who believe in the magic of family and love.
Asteroid City is a 2023 American comedy-drama film directed and written by Wes Anderson. And in classic Wes Anderson manner, it comes with a star-studded ensemble cast. The long, long list includes Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Live Schreiber, Hope Davis, Steve Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, and Jeff Goldblum.
The writer in the film creates a fictional play about a grieving father. He takes his tech-obsessed family to the small rural Asteroid City to compete in a junior stargazing event. However, this trip changes their worldview forever.
If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson’s films or just looking for a heartwarming and funny movie, I highly recommend Asteroid City. It’s a great film that will leave a lasting impression.
The highly anticipated movie Barbie had a lot of buzz surrounding it before its release, but its success was uncertain until it hit theaters. With Greta Gerwig at the helm as the director, the film received generally positive reviews for its unique storyline and impressive cast, featuring Margot Robbie as Barbie, Ryan Gosling as Ken, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon, and Will Ferrell.
The film’s plot centers around Barbie, played by Robbie. She begins to question the true meaning of perfection and her own life. To explore these themes further, she embarks on a journey to the real world with her partner, Ken. Along the way, she experiences the highs and lows of being human. She ultimately comes to a deeper understanding of herself and the world around her.
The film’s exploration of the pressures of perfection and the search for identity resonated with audiences. It was a critical and commercial success. Overall, Barbie was a thought-provoking and entertaining film that left a lasting impression on viewers.
Barbie and Oppenheimer were both released on the same day and, between them, made millions at the box office. Together, they are now referred to “Barbenheimer.”
Fast X is the 10th main installment and 11th overall in the Fast & Furious film franchise. It stars long-time Fast favourites such as Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Tyrese Gibson, Jordan Brewster, and more.
After this many popular instalments, Fast X doesn’t exactly break new ground. However, that’s precisely what long-time fans expect. In Fast X, Toretto and his family must protect themselves from a vengeful Reyes (Jason Momoa). They also deal with the return of Han Lue (Sung Kang), who was thought to be dead by the end of Furious 7.
For those who didn’t like Fast X, no worries, there’s another chance at love. Fast XI is expected to debut in 2025.
John Wick: Chapter 4
Fast X wasn’t the only film series to see another instalment be released this year. John Wick: Chapter 4 again stars Keanu Reeves as the title character. He stars alongside notables including Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, and Laurence Fishburne.
In this action-packed thriller, John Wick finds himself on the run. He’s being hunted by a team of assassins led by Zero (played by Rina Sawayama). He seeks help from Bowery King (Fishburne) and Winston (Ian McShane) to take down the High Table. Similar to Fast X, those who love the John Wick series will likely be satisfied with this highly stylised opera of martial arts and grandiose fight scenes..
Dump Money is a biographical comedy-drama film that tells a captivating story. It’s based on the 2021 book, The Antisocial Network, written by Ben Mezrich. The story takes place during the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. It follows the events that occurred when GameStop stock was short-squeezed.
This movie’s ensemble cast is headlined by Peter Davidson and America Ferrera, who bring their exceptional acting skills to the table. The cast also includes other notable actors such as Paul Dano, Vincent D’Onofrio, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan, Shailene Woodley, and Seth Rogen, who each bring their unique flair and talent to their respective roles.
Anatomy of a Fall
Imagine yourself in the beautiful French Alps, where the snow-capped mountains stand tall, and the chalets are nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes. Now, add a touch of suspense and intrigue to this idyllic setting, and you have the perfect backdrop for the French courtroom drama thriller Anatomy of a Fall.
The film is a thrilling tale of love, loss, and the lengths one will go to protect their family. So, please sit back, relax, and get ready to be transported to the French Alps as you witness Sandra’s journey to find the truth and clear her name.
In the science fiction horror film M3GAN, Gemma (Allison Williams) finds herself caught in a terrifying situation. She creates a child-sized humanoid robot doll powered by artificial intelligence. The doll, M3GAN, which is programmed to be helpful and nurturing, quickly becomes an object of obsession for Gemma. She becomes increasingly dependent on it. However, things turn dark when the doll exhibits strange and unpredictable behavior, becoming hostile toward anyone threatening its human companion.
As Gemma struggles to regain control over the situation, she realizes that she may have made a grave mistake in creating the doll. And that its AI-powered capabilities may be more dangerous than she ever imagined. Will Gemma be able to stop the beauty before it’s too late? Only time will tell in this spine-chilling tale of technology gone awry.
Oppenheimer, the second part of the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon, is a highly praised movie that portrays the remarkable life of J. Robert Oppenheimer. He was an American theoretical physicist who played a pivotal role in developing the first nuclear weapons during the Manhattan Project. Directed by the renowned Christopher Nolan and starring the incredibly talented Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer, the film is based on the fascinating 2005 biography American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.
The movie takes us on a captivating journey through Oppenheimer’s life. From his days as a gifted Harvard student to his significant contribution to the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb. The film delves into the intricate and complex ethical and moral challenges that arose from Oppenheimer’s work. It explores his inner turmoil and the consequences of his decisions. It is a thought-provoking and emotional journey. And offers a unique perspective on one of the most significant events of the 20th century.
In the romantic drama Past Lives, two childhood friends reunite to reflect on their past and present. The film, which marks Celine Song’s directorial debut, stars Greta Lee (The Morning Show), Ted Woo, and John Magaro.
Nora (Lee) is a talented writer who has been feeling restless lately. She recently returned to New York City after living in Toronto with her husband, Arthur (Magaro), a doctor. Despite her successful career as a writer, Nora can’t shake the feeling that something is missing in her life. She longs for a new adventure and is eager to explore all the big city offers.
As she navigates the ups and downs of life in New York, Nora discovers new passions. She makes new friends, and faces unexpected challenges along the way. Despite the obstacles she encounters, Nora remains determined to live on her own terms. And pursue her dreams passionately and enthusiastically.
Past Lives, definitely one of the best films of 2023, is heartwarming and entertaining. It will leave a lasting impression.
A Thousand and One
Look no further than A Thousand and One if you’re in the mood for a cinematic masterpiece that will take you on an emotional and intellectual journey. This film is a triumph in storytelling, with A.V. Rockwell’s visionary direction bringing to life the heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s unbreakable bond with her family in the face of adversity.
Set in the ever-changing landscape of New York City, A Thousand and One is a poignant exploration of the complexities of human relationships and a testament to the enduring power of love in the face of life’s most significant challenges. So grab some popcorn, settle in, and prepare to be moved by this unforgettable cinematic experience.
Polite Society is a British action comedy-drama written and directed by Nida Manor, making her feature film directorial debut.
The movie centers on Ria Khan (Priya Kansara), a teenage martial artist who embarks on a mission to rescue her older sister Lena (Ritu Arya), from an arranged marriage. Despite the odds stacked against her, Ria remains steadfast in her determination to help her sister and prove the importance of independence and sisterhood. With the support of her loyal friends, Ria sets out on a daring heist that requires all of her martial arts skills and cunning. Together, they overcome obstacles, face unexpected challenges, and ultimately succeed in their mission.
Nimra Bucha, Akshay Khanna, Seraphina Beh, Ella Bruccoleri, Shona Babayemi, Shobu Kapoor, and Jeff Mirza also star.
The Zone of Interest
Are you ready to be transported to the dark and complex world of The Zone of Interest? This historical drama film, written and directed by Jonathan Glazer, will take you on a journey that will challenge your understanding of human nature. Based on Martin Amis’s 2014 novel of the same name, the film explores the depths of humanity in the face of unimaginable evil.
Get ready to be disturbed, challenged, and provoked by this powerful and thought-provoking piece of cinema. If you’re a fan of historical dramas or crave films that push the boundaries of human emotions, The Zone of Interest is not to be missed.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a sequel to the successful Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018). And the film picks up where the first one left off, with Morales struggling to balance his life as a high school student and a superhero. However, he soon finds himself drawn into a new adventure. A powerful being known as the Spot opens up a portal to the multiverse.
Miles teams up with Gwen Stacy / Spider-Woman, Peter B. Parker / Spider-Man, and other Spider-People from different universes to stop the Spot from destroying the multiverse. Along the way, Miles learns more about himself, and what it means to be a Spider-Man.
This film’s incredible action-packed storyline and engaging characters blew us away. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a must-watch for any Spider-Man fan. And even those new to the franchise will be captivated by the stunning animation and breathtaking visuals. We loved the use of different art styles and colour schemes to distinguish between the other universes.
The film BlackBerry is a compelling movie loosely based on the book Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry. It was written by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff. Even though it received mixed reviews from critics, the film has been successful. It has left a lasting impression on some viewers.
The story follows a fictionalized version of the development of the BlackBerry mobile phone line. It provides an intriguing look at the struggles and triumphs of the company and the people behind it. From the early days of the company to its meteoric rise to the top of the mobile phone market, the film captures the spirit of innovation and determination that made BlackBerry such a groundbreaking force in the tech industry.
If you’re a fan of dark comedies and psychological dramas, May December is a film you won’t want to miss. Directed by the talented Todd Haynes and written by Samy Burch, this movie tells the story of Elizabeth Berry, a famous actress played by Natalie Portman, who travels to Savannah, Georgia, to research the life of Gracie Atherton-Yoo, a woman who made headlines for her controversial relationship with her 13-year-old student, Joe Yoo, played by Charles Melton.
As Elizabeth delves deeper into Gracie’s life story, she questions her beliefs about love, morality, and the complexity of human relationships. Julianne Moore delivers a stunning performance as Gracie, capturing her vulnerability and fierce determination to pursue her desires, no matter the cost.
May December is a film that will leave you thinking long after the credits roll. Its exploration of taboo subjects is daring and compassionate, and its characters are portrayed with depth and nuance.
For more animated adventures, there’s Suzume, a fantasy film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. The film stars Nano Hara and Honoka Matsumoto and follows a 17-year-old girl named Suzume on a journey to close a series of mysterious doors causing chaos across Japan.
Suzume is a captivating tale about a young woman named Suzume who resides in a peaceful town in Kyushu, Japan. One fateful day, she encounters a mysterious young man named Shiori. He divulges to her about a set of doors that have suddenly appeared all across Japan. These doors are believed to lead to other dimensions. And their unanticipated appearance is causing destruction and pandemonium wherever they manifest.
Suzume is entrusted with locating and closing these doors before they cause more harm. In her quest, she meets an array of characters who aid her on her journey. These include a talking cat, an enigmatic older man, and a group of young people who share her mission to shut the doors.
Suzume is a heartwarming story that emphasizes the significance of bravery and the power of optimism. It is an aesthetically pleasing movie with an uplifting message that inspires you.
Experience the magic of Rye Lane, a delightful romantic comedy directed by Raine Allen-Miller, in her debut as a feature director. The movie is set in the vibrant neighborhoods of Peckham and Brixton in South London and named after the iconic Rye Lane Market. David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah play the lead roles of two strangers who, after recently experiencing heartbreaks, chance upon each other and spend an unforgettable day together, forging a unique bond.
Rye Lane is an endearing and uplifting film that celebrates the essence of love and friendship. It’s a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good romantic comedy.
Get ready to immerse yourself in the art world and witness a talented sculptor’s struggles in the American comedy-drama film, Showing Up. Directed by the renowned Kelly Reichardt, this film is a masterclass in minimalist storytelling, showcasing the nuances of the creative process and the daily pressures that come with it. Michelle Williams delivers a tour-de-force performance as the lead character, Lizzy, bringing her to life in a way that is both relatable and inspiring.
With its slow-burn narrative, realistic portrayals of the art world, and thought-provoking themes, Showing Up is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates character-driven dramas that leave a lasting impact.
Sisu is the final best film of 2023 entrant, which is set in Finnish Lapland during World War II. This historical action thriller follows a former legendary Finnish commando and gold prospector who attempts to secure his foraged wealth and defend himself from a German death squad led by a brutal SS officer. The film stars Jorma Tommila, Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, Mimosa William, and Onni Tommie and is written and directed by Jalmari Helander.
The film is an intense and gripping portrayal of the last days of World War II, as the Red Army advances on Finland and tensions run high. Aatami, a former Finnish commando, has settled in a remote Lapland village where he has a small gold mine. However, the brutal German SS officer named Bruno wants to end his idyllic life. Bruno wants to find Antti’s gold and will destroy the village and its inhabitants to acquire it.
Sisu is a truly remarkable film that combines the intense action of war with the emotional drama of a historical fiction story. The serious subject matter only makes for a cinematically breathtaking film, with some added violence.
Have you heard about the latest addition to the DC Comics superhero movie series? It’s the Blue Beetle film, which introduces the character of Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle. This movie is the fourteenth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), directed by Ángel Manuel Soto and written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. Xolo Maridueña stars as Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle, alongside an impressive supporting cast, including Adriana Barraza, Damián Alcazar, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, and George Lopez.
The plot centers around Reyes, a teenager of Mexican-American descent. One day, he discovers an alien scarab that attaches itself to his spine, creating a powerful exoskeleton that can transform itself. Jaime must learn to control this new power and protect his community against mysterious threats.
Killers of the Flower Moon
In the early 1920s, the small town of Osage, Oklahoma, was a seemingly prosperous and happy community for the Osage tribe. However, with the discovery of oil beneath the land, everything changed. Suddenly, the town was teeming with wealth, and people from all over the country flocked to Osage to get a piece of the pie.
But with the wealth came greed, and soon, Osage became a hub of ruthless killers who would do anything to get their hands on the riches. What started as a series of seemingly unrelated deaths soon turned into a sinister tale of murder, deceit, and betrayal that would come to be known as the “killers of the flower moon” killings.
Killers of the Flower Moon is a gripping true story of this dark chapter in American history, based on David Grann’s best-selling book of the same name. The movie, directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese, boasts an impressive cast, including Hollywood heavyweights Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, as well as Jesse Plemons and Lily Gladstone.
Through the lens of this incredible cast and the direction of Scorsese, the movie promises to bring to life the haunting tale of Osage, Oklahoma, and the greed and deception that consumed it. The film is set to be a must-watch for anyone interested in history, true crime, or simply a gripping story of human nature at its darkest.
Get ready to experience a powerful and thought-provoking documentary, Occupied City, directed by the acclaimed British filmmaker Steve McQueen. Known for his visually arresting works like 12 Years a Slave and Widows, McQueen delves into the dark history of Amsterdam during World War II and its profound impact on the present day.
After its premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, Occupied City received critical acclaim. It left viewers deeply moved by McQueen’s masterful direction, timely and impactful message, and the stunning blend of historical and contemporary footage. No wonder the film is already being hailed as a significant contribution to World War II documentaries and historical examinations. So, get ready to be transported to a different time and place, and be prepared to be moved by the unforgettable story of Occupied City.
Since Sideways and later the hit television show Billions, Paul Giamatti has gained a terrific reputation as an actor. His brilliant acting chops are again on display in The Holdovers, a comedy-drama directed by Alexander Payne. The story takes place in 1970 at a New England prep school and revolves around a slightly annoying history teacher, played by Giamatti, who is required to stay on campus during the holidays to look after the remaining students.
The movie has been well-received, and the plot revolves around three strangers from different backgrounds who form an unlikely bond. Overall, The Holdovers is an enjoyable film with an interesting story that keeps the audience engaged.
A Haunting in Venice
A Haunting in Venice is a gripping mystery/horror movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Directed by the talented Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as the legendary detective Hercule Poirot, this movie is the third installment in Branagh’s Poirot series, following the hugely successful movies Murder on the Orient Express (2017) and Death on the Nile (2022).
Set in the picturesque city of Venice on All Hallows’ Eve, the movie takes you on a journey through its winding streets and dark alleys. Poirot, now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the city, is reluctantly drawn into a world of shadows and secrets as he attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo.
As the night unfolds, one of the guests is brutally murdered, and Poirot finds himself thrust into a sinister world of intrigue and danger. With his detective skills put to the ultimate test, Poirot must navigate through a web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind the murder and bring the killer to justice.
They Cloned Tyrone
They Cloned Tyrone is a thrilling science fiction comedy mystery directed by Juel Taylor, who is making his feature film directorial debut. The screenplay by Taylor and Tony Rettenmaier is packed with excitement and suspense.
The movie features an impressive cast, including the talented John Boyega, the stunning Teyonah Parris, and the legendary Jamie Foxx, who also serves as a producer. David Alan Grier and Kiefer Sutherland add to the star-studded lineup with their incredible performances in supporting roles.
The plot centers on Tyrone Hayes (played by Boyega), a janitor who gets caught up in a government cloning conspiracy while investigating the mysterious disappearance of his friend. With the help of a brilliant scientist (Parris) and a cynical private investigator (Foxx), Hayes sets out to uncover the truth behind the government’s sinister plans of cloning people for their gains.
For anyone who loves science fiction mixed with a little bit of mystery, They Cloned Tyrone could be the movie you’ve been looking for.