2023 Movies in Review

My Letterboxd stats say that I've watched 59 movies this year, of which only around half were released in 2023. I feel like it's been a fairly medicore year in general, but there are still some really bright spots.

Across the Spider-Verse

For the two of you who read my blog this probably won't be a surprise, as I literally started the site so that I could write about Across the Spider-Verse. At this point, it's by far my most watched movie of 2023 (it really helps that the kids also love it!).

I'm still completely blown away by how utterly spectacular it is. They took a phenomenal, landmark (animated) comic book movie, and somehow made it better in every single way. Who would have thought in 2023 that by far the best Marvel movie(s) of the past few years would be made by Sony?

An unadulterated joy.

Past Lives

There aren't many times when something more than lives up to its extraordinary hype, but Past Lives comfortably met that bar and more; I'd been hearing the buzz for it for most of the year, before finally watching it in August.

It's a beautiful movie, almost Sliding Doors like in the way it explores the what ifs and maybes of love and life, and it tells a story that almost anyone could relate to. Without any action, special effects or MacGuffins to lean on, there's a complete focus on the script and performances to carry the day, which they easily do.

It's amazing that this is the work of a first time director, and it should be right up there come awards season.


Beyond the subject matter, I really didn't know what to expect going into watching Oppenheimer, and I admit to not being particularly excited about a three hour biopic. But there's a reason why every Nolan movie is a default must see in my book, and Oppenheimer delivered in spades.

The trademark intermingling of storylines and non-linear timelines really helps to keep things moving at pace, and the loaded cast all deliver great to outstanding performances.

From a technical POV, it was the most beautifully shot movie I saw all year. I watched it twice in IMAX and would happily pay again to see it once more. Whether it's the Trinity Test or close up portrait shots, everything looks just stunning.

Godzilla Minus One

This wasn't on my radar and came completely out of nowhere for me. I've never had any interest in Godzilla and have avoided the various entries that have been released over the last ten years as they frankly look like trash made (exclusively) for teenage boys.

But the reviews were all extremely positive and like Past Lives, it completely lived up to the buzz. It wasn't really a monster movie, but a movie about a man fighting his own demons that happens to have a monster in it.

I particularly enjoyed the echoes of Jaws it had when out on the open sea and the Harryhausen like feel of the titular character.

Honorable Mentions


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