Top 10 of 2023

Overall 2023 was a disappointing year at the movies, but we did get a couple of handfuls of excellent movies along the way, so it wasn't hard to fill this top 10.


First a few honorable mentions, worth checking out.

Polite Society (2023)
The Princess (2022)
Renfield (2023)
To Catch a Killer (2023)
Door Mouse (2022)

And now, the actual list....


10) A Lot of Nothing (2023)

I wrote a review of this film on this very blog. Read it here.

As a TL:DR, let me just add this: You should watch this film. It's doesn't look like much, but it is. It's a whole lot more than a lot of nothing.

9) Rosaline (2022)

Utterly charming, completely irresistible movie that takes Billy Shakes' Romeo & Juliet for a modern ride, by focusing on the unseen reason for the eponymous hero's romantic woes. Kaitlyn Dever (keep a close eye on this one) stars as "the other girl"- the one who didn't get Romeo. Smart, insightful, goofy, fun and cute. Don't be fortune's fool and sleep on this one.

8) No One Will Save You (2023)

Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle, another Kaitlyn Dever film finds its way to the top list! Didn't I just say you should keep an eye out for her? This film is as brilliant as it is simple. Most of the running time is spent with a girl alone in her house, as an alien invasion advances outside. Oh, and it's almost completely dialogue-free. Daring and highly entertaining.

7) Inbetween Girl (2021)

I completely fell in love with this film. The story about a girl who starts a clandestine affair with "the hot guy" at school, who's already got a girlfriend, while her family-life collapses around her. It's a quiet, unassuming film, but first time director Mei Makino gets everything right. And relative newcomer Emma Galbraith is heartbreaking in the lead. They DO still make brilliant teen movies, it's just a little harder to find them these days.

6) The Moon (2023)

The second manned Korean mission to the Moon threatens to end as disastrously as the first, when a single astronaut is stranded alone in space. What follows lies somewhere between the reality of Gravity and the sheer preposterousness of Armageddon. A dedicated action/science fiction film that isn't afraid to turn the volume way up on the emotional elements too.

5) The Banshees of Inisherin (2022)

The In Bruges team is back! Director Martin McDonagh and actors (and obvious friends) Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson return with an even more grim story, this time detailing the end of a friendship between two men on a quiet island off the coast of Ireland.It would be hilarious, if it didn't cut so deep. This is not an easy film to enjoy. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be seen, though.

4) Limbo (2021)

Two cops must find a serial killer who leaves severed hands in the gutters of a trash-covered Hong Kong slum neighborhood. The stark black and white images look like something out of Frank Miller's Sin City, the core story is reminiscent of the brilliant Se7en, and yet Limbo finds its own vibe with this devastatingly cruel tale that takes place on the dark side of humanity, where light and hope is almost completely absent. Almost.

3) Knock at the Cabin (2023)

Holy shit, perpetually overrated M. Night Shyamalan actually made a brilliant film! After his breakthrough with the over-hyped The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan has struggled to deliver anything remotely as good as everyone claimed that film was. He finally did it with Knock at the Cabin. The film works with a simple concept, but manages to be both thrilling, dramatic, outrageous, sad and deeply disturbing. All the players are good, but Dave Bautista and 10-year old Kristen Cui are the MVPs.

2) Women Talking (2022)

27 years ago my friend said "That Sarah Polley is gonna win an Oscar one day", Neither of us expected that it was going to be for writing! Of course the film is talkative, the title gives that part away, but Polley manages to bring some impressive directorial flourishes to the project that removes any feelings of staginess. She should have been nominated for directing as well.

Women Talking is a fiercely appropriate attack on the patriarchy, by way of a unique situation, abused women in a religious cult, but the themes and message remain universally relevant. This really is the kind of film everyone should watch.

1) The Menu (2022)

One of those "the less you know going in, the better" movies. This is a wild, sublimely unhinged film, layered with social commentary and biting satire, in turns both sad, funny and scary. And it loses nothing on repeated viewings. It's rare these days to be as presently surprised and impressed with a film as I was with this.


Well, what d'ya know, we made it through another year at the movies! Now 2024, it's time to show what you got!