The Best Movies of 2023

The Best Movies of 2023

One of the best things to come out of 2023 was the movies. It was a fantastic year for the movie industry and avid movie watchers, like myself. 2023 featured a wide variety of groundbreaking films including the animated movie, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which is now the 17th highest-grossing film ever, and the ultimate movie rivalry Barbenheimer, the name for polar opposite movies, Barbie and Oppenheimer, both of which released on the same day, which topped charts and broke records. The film industry also faced many setbacks this year due to the Writer’s Guild and SAG-AFTRA Strikes that in the end worked out in everyone’s favor. Though, through all of the trials and tribulations we faced, 2023 managed to produce movies that everyone can enjoy. So, as we approach award season, here is my list of the top 5 movies from 2023. 

This movie had me sobbing and absolutely distraught in the theater.

Please note: this list is almost certainly biased and highly opinionated, don’t hate the player, hate the game. Now on to the list!

No Hard Feelings, starring Jennifer Lawerence and Andrew Barth Feldman, is certainly not your average romantic comedy, but is highly enjoyable and hilarious. After losing her car and on the brink of losing her house, Maddie, in an act of desperation, takes an interesting job off Craigslist. This job entails dating a shy and sheltered 19-year-old boy, Percy, whose parents are worried about sending him to college having never been with a woman. The offputting, yet extremely heartwarming comedic chemistry between the two leads makes for a highly entertaining film. Though, Andrew Barth Feldman’s cover of “Maneater” by Hall and Oates is reason enough to go to Netflix to watch this movie immediately if you have not already.

The story of Willy Wonka is one that’s been told time and time again, whether it’s through the story of a boy and his grandpa or a musical on Broadway, it’s one that never fails to entertain audiences. This is no different in the 2023 movie, Wonka, starring Timothee Chalamet. This adaptation of the story serves as a prequel to the original Wonka story by Ronald Dahl. This musical comedy is a fun, refreshing addition to the Wonka universe that neglects the dark undertones past movies all seem to have. It features whimsical original music sung by each of the characters, most notably by Mr. Chalamet himself, with an ode to the original Willy Wonka movie through the song, “Pure Imagination.” This movie made for an incredibly entertaining theater experience. So if you get the chance to see this movie make sure to “Quiet up and Listen down, scratch that reverse it.”

No list of best movies of 2023 can be made without including Barbie, directed by the brilliant Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. When Stereotypical Barbie starts to feel the harsh realities of being human, she is tasked with leaving perfect Barbieland and going to the real world to find the cause of her issues. In the real world, Barbie and Ken have differing experiences and learn the dark realities of the world. It is undeniably the most popular and talked about movie of the year and for absolute good reason. This movie was definitely polarizing, with some watchers loving its stark take on the complexities of womanhood and others longing for the nostalgic Barbie movies they remember from childhood. Nonetheless, this movie was brilliant, entertaining, and bravely started a conversation that needed to be had.

Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, starring Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth, is a prequel to The Hunger Games based on the books by Suzanne Collins. It takes place 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute and serves as the villain origin story of evil President Snow. A young Coriolanus Snow is selected to be a mentor to District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird. Their story devolves into love, sabotage, and a tyrannical rise to power. This movie had me glued to the screen and invested in the story. Rachel Ziegler steals the show with her powerful acting and heart-wrenching singing ability. Though it has a long runtime of 2 hours and 38 minutes, each minute is brilliantly used and engaging. Even if you’ve never seen a Hunger Games movie or read a Hunger Games book, you can easily enjoy this movie.

Undoubtedly, my favorite movie of the year was The Iron Claw starring Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, and Harris Dickinson. This movie tells the devastating true story of the Von Erich Family, a pro-wrestling family from the 1980s. When four brothers with a seemingly unbreakable bond, are tasked with living up to their domineering father’s legacy and championing the unspoken family “curse”, are struck with several life-altering tragedies, second-eldest brother Kevin Von Erich must relearn the meaning of family without his brothers by his side. This movie had me sobbing and absolutely distraught in the theater. If you need a hint at just how devasting this story really is, the writers had to leave out the fifth, equally tragic Von Erich brother, so audiences could handle the story. This movie features beautiful storytelling and brilliant performances that will entertain and engage fans of wrestling and non-fans of wrestling alike.

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