Favorite Films of 2023


This is a really hard year to make this list. Like, I think this is my most ever 4 out of 4s in a long, long time. I was also delayed because one movie I knew I would love, I couldn’t watch until very early March, and I was willing to wait for it. But regardless, a lot did not make the list, let’s highlight them now!

This list includes:

Sisu, Next Sohee, Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, Superposition, My Animal, One Day All This Will Be Yours, Pianoforte, Asteroid City, Corner Office, The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar, Peter and the Wolf, Io Capitano, To Kill A Tiger, All of Us Strangers, Subtraction, Tetris, Society of the Snow, Concrete Utopia, Upon Entry, The Holdovers, Stamped from the Beginning, Black Ice, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.


15) And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine

Why is it on the list? I love giving shoutouts to lesser known movies that just are amazing and for whatever reason, don’t get noticed, or take forever to get released. Is this movie out yet? I don’t know! But I saw it at SIFF, and it was such a creative and fun documentary about the camera, its impact on the world, and its use for destruction. The trailer itself is such a great trailer, and I hope more people get to see it in the future.

Best moment? Hearing the story for why this movie is titled as it is!

Any Best Awards? Best Documentary of 2023!

14) Anatomy of a Fall

Why is it on the list? Apparently this film wasn’t picked for France’s Best International Film choice, due to some politics and they went The Taste of Things instead. But it was such a wild decision, because it is clear to everyone that Anatomy of a Fall was amazing. It won several Foreign Film awards, above The Zone of Interest, because of its compelling characters and story, but at the Oscars it didn’t have the chance, and was still nominated for Best Picture. Anyways, Sandra Hüller, was in both of those movies anyways, and her character here was just a mysterious force. Did she killer her husband? I don’t know! Maybe!

Best moment? The recordings!

Any Best Awards? Best French film of 2023!

13) I Like Movies

Why is it on the list? Well, I like movies, so it just makes sense. The lead, Isaiah Lehtinen, was captivating as just a not great person, having meltdowns, and yet, having dreams. As someone who has been around movies for so long, I have met people like his character before. I have been his character before. It was entirely relatable, and fit a very specific niche that it was nice to rediscover. And also its called damn I Like Movies, what is not to love??

Best moment? I laughed really hard when the movie Happiness was brought up.

Any Best Awards? Best Canadian Dream film of 2023!

12) Godzilla Minus One

Why is it on the list? I am not a Godzilla fan of any strong regard. I have seen I think, four or five Godzilla movies at this point. I really enjoyed the one with Bryan Cranston, but I have never had a desire to go back and watch the old ones. I don’t think I’d appreciate them. Like most people, I didn’t know that this movie was coming out when it did, but the positive word of mouth blew me away and I went hard to find a theater to see it. It blew me away! To take such a personal story, of survivor’s guilt, post World War II, veterans who wanted to still prove themselves as not failures, and attach it to a Godzilla film? Amazing. And Godzilla was downright terrifying when he came after those boats and planes early on. I love how personal the whole thing felt.

Best moment? Appreciating another countries patriotism.

Any Best Awards? Best Kaiju of 2023.

11) The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

Why is it on the list? William Friedkin is an amazing director, bringing us hits like The French Connection and The Exorcist. And he died last year. A shame! But it happens. And his last directed movie was The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, which was mostly ignored overall and went straight to streaming, so damn it, I am not ignoring it myself. I haven’t seen anything about The Caine Mutiny series of films ever in the past. This is my first, I don’t know if its the same story over and over again. But this one is a very strong court room film, over a Navy incident, with one epilogue scene outside of the court room. And everyone involved just brings it so hard on their acting! Not to mention Lance Reddick, in one of his final roles as well. This is a court room film I can watch again and again, just because of the acting talent at hand.

Best moment? The Epilogue really puts a lot of people, and me, the viewer, in our places.

Any Best Awards? Best courtroom drama of 2023 (sorry Anatomy).

10) Biosphere

Why is it on the list? No, not a sequel to Biodome (if so it would likely be number 1). This film only stars two people: Sterling K. Brown and Mark Duplass. And they are in a sphere to live, eat, and live, alone. Something shitty happened in the world, and life as we know it is gone. But they are both survivors. One, a scientist, one, the president, and childhood best friends. And this is them trying to live, cope, and survive further, knowing that the human race is mostly done for. And hell, it is even their fault. At the same time other things happen that I will not get to.

Best moment? When things advance for all of humanity, I will say.

Any Best Awards? Best small cast of 2023.

9) River

Why is it on the list? This is the second film by this group of people. The last one was Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, and it made my top five film of that year. This film, explores a similar concept. Where every 2~ minutes, they find themselves back where they were two minutes ago. They remember what they did. Their conversations. But they are looped back to the start. And in this hotel of guests and workers, trying to figure out just how to STOP this time loop, of such a short amount of time, is extremely frustrating to figure out. But at the same time, sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses.

Best moment? Wondering just how they could create a film with similar themes as their last one, but in an exciting and new way.

Any Best Awards? Best time loops of 2023.

8) American Fiction

Why is it on the list? The first 90 seconds of American Fiction should have you hooked. A film where the protagonist has to complain about a world accepting only certain black stories, while giving us a story focused on a family in a world losing their mind it seems. Jeffrey Wright gives such a commanding performance and I love seeing him in more leading roles. I also loved Sterling K. Brown‘s story here, and wanted more out of him (hey he is in this top 15 twice!). This is a film, a satire, and its funny as heck. The arc of the characters, dealing with grief, and just moving on in general, just…ahhh. Fiction is weird like that.

Best moment? The various debates between authors, and the finalist, for the Book Award.

Any Best Awards? Best fictional authors of 2023!

7) Blackberry

Why is it on the list? The realistic camera office environment choices, like it was filming The Office without people staring at the camera, started this movie off on a hectic number, and in many ways, the hectic feels never really ended. It wasn’t as hectic as an Uncut Gems, but it did start us off with nerds with a great idea who couldn’t get finances, and very clearly a crook who had a do whatever it takes attitude. The perfect pairing. Glenn Howerton is of course the stand out of this film, getting to play Jim Balsillie, a famous asshole, and he plays it hard. I am stoked to see finally a movie tackle the weird Balsillie trying to buy an NHL franchise movement of the 2000s. Because this is what I think is the true story now, and no one can take it away from me.

Best moment? “I’m from Waterloo where the Vampires hangout!” will live rent free in my head for years. Also just in general, getting to see that NHL drama in film.

Any Best Awards? Best product placement film of 2023 that didn’t get nominated at the Oscars!

6) Barbie

Why is it on the list? Look, Barbie’s success as a great film was NEVER a surprise. It had Greta fucking Gerwig behind the director’s chair, and after Lady Bird and Little Women, with her own wonderful acting career, we know she is just spitting fire. So yes, I was there weekend one for Barbie’s release, I was with the trailers. And everything is just tip top perfect from this film. The casting, the practical sets, the nice meta storyline, and the wonderful ending.

Best moment? No it’s not the Ken moment I swear. It is the constant references to history, other films, and existential dread.

Any Best Awards? Best satire, best product placement film of 2023 that DID get nominated at the Oscars! And best male power anthem in a film about women power of 2023.

5) Theater Camp

Why is it on the list? Honestly, trying to figure out my top five was hard. At some point in the year, Theater Camp was number 1. And then it wasn’t. And then it was. Same can be said about most of these films! Theater Camp is great because first of all, we don’t get nearly enough Mockumentaries as a genre, and sometimes when we get them, they also can be shit! It is like Christopher Guest is trying to hold up the entirety of the genre on his back, and we need more people to get in line. Thankfully, Theater Camp does just that. A big cast of characters that are fun, a lot of quips, and a zany touching emotional ending that in no way should have worked, but then it does.

Best moment? Joan the Musical finale. I cried.

Any Best Awards? Best fake musical and best mockumentary of 2023!

4) Poor Things

Why is it on the list? Look, the reason this list took forever to make is because I KNEW, I would love Poor Things. Everything screamed this is a movie I would totally want to hang out with and watch many times to really get its weirdness. And there is many a weirdness! The colors, the sets, the costumes, the camera angels. My man, Yorgos, just is a director of pure cinema. He has visions, and he knows how to work. Despite wanting so much for Lily Gladstone to win for Best Actress, I knew Emma Stone absolutely crushed it and deserved this second win. Hell, it should be her third win, but she didn’t win Best Supporting Actress for Birdman, despite my hopes.

Best moment? The progression of abuse stories that Willem Dafoe suffered from his scientist dad.

Any Best Awards? Best absurd film of 2023!

3) The Teacher’s Lounge

Why is it on the list? Movies that make me uncomfortable mean they are doing what they set out to do. Movies that can make me uncomfortable without the use of graphic violence and horror? That is something special. Something to give you that extreme angst and sadness, just from standard, regular events. Or things just spiraling out of control. The Teacher’s Lounge does that, in Germany, with a teacher who is going by the BOOK in terms of empathy, giving students second chances, and just doing everything right, but nothing working as it should. Her colleagues, her principal, her parents, and students, all turning on her. But at the same time, because it isn’t set in America, we know it isn’t going to end with a school shooting, which is also very nice.

Best moment? The on the record newspaper conversation dupe.

Any Best Awards? Best Teacher PTSD, Best Realistic depiction of Teachers, and Best International Film of 2023!

2) Flora and Son

Why is it on the list? NEW JOHN CARNEY ALERT. NEW JOHN CARNEY ALERT. Finally. His fourth movie, an Irish film again, and highlighting new actors I did not know of before. And yes, its another story about regular people discovering music and making a band, shush. When it works, it works. This time we get to see it with a mother son relationship, dealing with divorce, new loves, and going against the legal system that isn’t a fan of repeat offenders. Eve Hewson at the lead is wonderful, and I hope to see this be a breakout moment for her.

Best moment? The together dates through the screen.

Any Best Awards? Best “family” film and musical film of 2023!

1) Oppenheimer

Why is it on the list? Is this a surprise? It is a surprise to me. Now, notably, I did make this list before the Oscars happened. It just took me forever to write. Since the list already is out WAY later than normal anyways, it felt really hard to get pen to the paper, so to speak. But I digress.

I knew Oppenheimer was in my top five. I had it shifting around, but when I sat and stared at my top fifteen for just so long, I knew Oppenheimer just had to be the top. I didn’t think Flora and Son had enough to just really earn it. But Oppenheimer has literally everything in it. Multiple storylines, a shit ton of actors giving great performances. It is a biopic, it tells a compelling story with complex characters. It sounds good, it flies by timewise (in my opinion), it is amazing on the big screen, and still great on the small screen. Cillian Murphy, I am just so proud of him, this thing was a long ways coming for his career, and he finally had such an intense and subtle role at the same time to display his craft. Oppenheimer is a top tier cinema.

Best moment? The boom.

Any Best Awards? Best Biopic, Best Drama, Best Non-Linear Story, and Best Film of 2023!


Thanks for reading! If you disagree with part of this list, let me know. If there is something I missed, let me know.

And as always, I accept hate mail via the post office, email, or tweets.