2023 might have been a rough year for film theatrically, but there was still plenty of wonderful storytelling to found. Trouble is, audiences often didn’t bother looking for it, preferring to mostly stay home and skip cineplexes unless something big enough (like Barbie) and/or dependable enough (like Guardians of the Galaxy, or a new Christopher Nolan film) showed up. So here are 10 great films from 2023 that you probably didn’t see, but definitely should watch.
There will be plenty of lists of film recommendations this year, as we approach award season, including from yours truly. But as is often — usually — the case, some of the very best of the year will wind up ignored, overlooked, and forgotten for various reasons, including a consistent heaping helping of racism and sexism in Hollywood and entertainment press.
With two and a half months left in the year, and with award season bringing the release of plenty of additional films sure to rank among the year’s best, my list today is comprised of an array of different sorts of films — dramas, comedies, sorts, fantasy, sci-fi, superheroes, animation in mixed genre, and even true stories. This list demonstrates the diversity across these various story types and genres.
Indie, blockbuster, and everything in between is on this list, and I compiled it to highlight a variety of types of films with a lot of focus on fun and entertainment, alongside some serious and somber storytelling as well.
I haven’t seen as many films this year as I normally do, because of a variety of factors including buying a home and moving to a new city, leaving LA and thus being unable to attend press screenings as often, and generally avoiding indoor settings due to Covid, as well as other things. The point is, I’m sure there are many other great films that fit all of my list requirements, but which I simply haven’t had a chance to see yet.
So here in no particular order is my collection of 10 great films most of you haven’t seen, but which you would probably enjoy and which I’m happy to recommend.
- A Thousand and One — Still all around the best film of the year so far, despite the shameful snubbing it’s getting during award season.
- Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves — A surprisingly good, fun, & accurate portrayal of the fun and camaraderie of playing D&D.
- Chevalier — A thrilling biopic driven by an exceptional lead performance and remarkable historical events in a little-told story of music and revolution.
- Huesera: The Bone Woman — Terrifying and expertly crafted, as well as speaking to heartbreaking truths about womanhood and motherhood.
- The Creator — A thrilling, visually stunning summer popcorn flick that also has a heart and some social relevance.
- Blue Beetle — Sadly, the DCEU curse sank one of the most heartfelt and relatable superhero origin films DC’s ever made.
- Cocaine Bear — Fun, outrageous, and definitely delivers on the promise of its insane yet true premise.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem — The best TMNT movie has great animation, voice acting, and sense of humor.
- The Flash — Despite some dodgy VFX early on and Ezra Miller’s presence, the rest of the film is a delightfully entertaining time.
- How to Blow Up a Pipeline — Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Yes, it’s radical. But the world is on fire, government won’t stop it, and our time is up.
And there you have it, dear readers, my picks for 10 great movies you probably missed this year but should definitely see. I’ll have more movie lists and suggestions for you for Halloween as we get deeper into October, so be sure to check back soon for that.
Meanwhile, if you aren’t seeing Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour film or any other releases this weekend, then take a look at some of the films recommended above instead and make it a weekend of catching up on what you missed. All of these films are available to watch at home on various streaming or VOD services, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them.