This year has been a remarkable one for movies, delivering a diverse range of compelling stories and captivating performances. While the Oscar season is yet to come, we’ve already been treated to some exceptional films that have brought nuance and freshness to the big screen.
In 2023, audiences have been thrilled by a deep exploration of a beloved superhero’s mythology and a contemporary take on a classic horror monster. We’ve also witnessed the origin tale of an unexpected protagonist—a sneaker—and shed tears over the heartfelt backstory of a space raccoon. Additionally, there’s been a delightful reimagining of the romantic comedy genre and a gripping story of a boxing champion confronting their past demons. And let’s not forget the timeless appeal of Keanu Reeves facing off against endless hordes of villains—an action-packed formula that never fails.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the best movies of 2023 so far, ranking them based on their artistic excellence and emotional resonance:
10. ‘The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster’ In this thought-provoking and timely modernization of the “Frankenstein” story, a teenage “mad scientist” named Vicaria, played by Laya DeLeon Hayes, conducts daring experiments to bring her deceased brother back to life. However, her actions have unintended consequences that impact everyone around her, making this film a must-watch for horror enthusiasts and fans of contemporary storytelling
9. ‘A Thousand and One’ Directed by A.V. Rockwell, this poetic drama explores themes of parenthood and inequality. Teyana Taylor delivers a powerhouse performance as an ex-convict from Harlem in 1990s New York City who kidnaps her son from the foster care system. As their lives unfold amidst a rapidly gentrifying environment, they rely on each other to overcome challenges, all while harboring a secret that could tear them apart.
8. ‘How to Blow Up a Pipeline’ Director Daniel Goldhaber breathes new life into the heist movie genre with this ambitious and imaginative thriller. The story revolves around a group of young environmental activists, portrayed by talented up-and-coming actors like Ariela Barer, Kristine Froseth, Sasha Lane, and Forrest Goodluck. Motivated by their individual grievances against the oil industry, they hatch a daring plan to blow up a West Texas pipeline, forcing them to confront the consequences of their actions.
7. ‘John Wick: Chapter 4’ Keanu Reeves once again dazzles audiences with his exceptional martial arts skills and unwavering determination. In this installment of the popular franchise, the ex-assassin John Wick fights for his freedom against the shadowy High Table, engaging in thrilling battles that culminate in a high-stakes showdown in Paris. With its trademark blend of stylish action and heartfelt storytelling, this film continues to captivate fans.
6. ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ The animated sequel to the critically acclaimed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” takes us on a mind-bending interdimensional adventure. Miles Morales, voiced by Shameik Moore, embarks on a journey that brings him face-to-face with other versions of Spider-Man from different dimensions. With its stunning visuals and a compelling coming-of-age narrative, this film challenges our perceptions of what it means to be a superhero.
5. ‘Creed III’ Michael B. Jordan proves his versatility by making his directorial debut in this latest installment of the “Rocky” universe. Reprising his role as Adonis Creed, Jordan delivers a powerful performance as the complex pugilist facing a formidable opponent from his past, portrayed by Jonathan Majors. This emotionally charged film transcends the boundaries of a traditional boxing movie, focusing on the deep bond between friends and the journey of self-discovery.
4. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ James Gunn concludes his trilogy of cosmic misfits with a film that reminds us why we fell in love with these characters. Chris Pratt returns as Star-Lord, leading a merry band of oddballs on a mission to save their beloved companion, Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper. This Marvel film strikes a balance between humor and emotional depth, tackling themes of animal cruelty and the importance of friendship.
3. ‘The Eight Mountains’ Set against the backdrop of breathtaking Italian scenery, this film tells the captivating story of friendship. Pietro and Bruno, portrayed by Luca Marinelli and Alessandro Borghi, respectively, reunite as adults following the death of Pietro’s father. As they build a house amidst the majestic mountains, their journey becomes a metaphorical exploration of self-discovery and the enduring power of connection.
2. ‘Air’ Director Ben Affleck delivers a nostalgic basketball drama set in 1984, capturing the excitement and passion surrounding NBA rookie Michael Jordan. Matt Damon shines as a determined talent scout who embarks on a mission to secure a shoe deal with Nike for the rising star. However, he must overcome the challenges posed by Jordan’s protective mother, played by Viola Davis. This film beautifully captures the era and the perseverance required to achieve one’s dreams.
1 .’Rye Lane’ At the top of our list is a charming and heartfelt rom-com that subverts expectations. Dom, played by David Jonsson, and Yas, portrayed by Vivian Oparah, meet in a unisex bathroom during an awkward and emotional encounter. Their ensuing adventure through the streets of London takes them on a journey of self-discovery, filled with poignant conversations, unexpected encounters, and a touch of mischief. Raine Allen-Miller’s directorial debut is a must-watch for anyone seeking a fresh and endearing take on the romantic comedy genre.
These films have left a lasting impact on audiences with their artistic merits, thought-provoking narratives, and outstanding performances. As we eagerly await the remaining films of 2023, these cinematic achievements have already proven their worth and left us with a sense of awe and appreciation for the power of storytelling on the silver screen.