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Top 13 of 2023: Movies

Image courtesy of Getty Images
Actress and producer Margot Robbie accepts the first ever awarded Golden Globe for Cinematic and Box-Office Achievement for “Barbie.”

Movies function as an escape from reality. They allow us to experience different emotions, live new lives, and explore imaginative worlds. They have a way of bringing us together, making us laugh, cry, and smile with the people we love the most. Whether you’re in bed on Friday night or in front of the big screen in theaters, 2023 had something for everybody.

From horror films to romantic comedies to historical dramas, the past year marks the era of some of history’s most captivating stories.

Here are 13 of 2023’s best. 

13. “Evil Dead Rise”
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

“Evil Dead Rise” is part of a series of movies “Evil Dead” and is a horror/fantasy movie directed by Lee Cronin. The movie’s main plot involves two estranged sisters who encounter flesh-possessing demons during their reunion and follow their battle for survival. This film received positive feedback at the box office, grossed over $146.7 million worldwide, and became the highest-grossing film of the “Evil Dead” series. 

12. “Past Lives”
Image courtesy of A24

Deeply connected lovers separated for 12 years are faced with destiny, love, and choices that will define the rest of their lives. “Past Lives,” directed by Celine Song, is a romantic drama, perfect for anyone looking for an cozy escape on Friday night, featuring Greta Lee and Teo Yoo as the mains. The movie was quite successful, grossing over $11 million internationally and $10 million domestically.

11. “Anyone But You”
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

After Sydney Sweeney gained immense popularity from her role as Cassie in the hit high-school drama “Euphoria,” watching “Anyone But You” was on everybody’s top list. It is safe to say that this movie did not disappoint. This romantic comedy depicted two ex-lovers pretending to be in a relationship at a destination wedding. Loosely based on William Shakespeare’s comedy, “Much Ado About Nothing,” director Will Gluck produced $63 million at the box office. 

10. “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé”
Image courtesy of AMC Theatres

Beyoncé’s concert film, “Reniaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” is exactly what we expect it to be. The pop icon performs her career hits and comments on the journey of doing a worldwide tour. Overall, the film directed by Beyoncé herself made over $44 million at the box office.

9. “Air”
Image courtesy of Amazon Studios (United States) and Warner Bros. Pictures (International)

Matt Damon stars in this sports drama movie following the story of Sonny Vaccaro and Nike pursuing world-famous basketball star, Michael Jordan, to create the revolutionary shoes, Air Jordans. Directed by Ben Affleck, “Air” earned over $90 million in the United States and won the Bandung Film Festival for Imported Film Award and Gotham Independent Film Tribute Award. Matt Damon was also nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Music or Comedy after his performance in this movie. 

8. “Godzilla Minus One” 
Image courtesy of Toho Co., Ltd.

“Godzilla Minus One,” a Japanese epic film, is the latest film of the “Godzilla” franchise. It takes place near the end of World War II, when Godzilla, the notorious prehistoric creature, attacks Japanese military forces. The military officials then embark on a quest for defense mechanisms to protect themselves and the rest of humanity from the enraged beast. The “Kaiju” film has been nominated for the Hochi Film Awards, the Mainichi Film Awards, and the Seattle Film Critics Society Awards. Takashi Yamazaki’s thrilling production grossed over $94 million worldwide, which makes it the most successful Japanese Godzilla film of all time.

7. “John Wick: Chapter 4”
Image courtesy of Lionsgate Films

“John Wick: Chapter 4,” is an American epic and thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Shay Hatten and Michael Finch. This movie is the sequel to “John Wick: Chapter 3,” starring Keanu Reeves with Donnie Yen, Rina Sawayama, and more. It starts with John Wick’s masterplan for revenge against the High Table, and follows his adventures all over the world, fighting the world’s most dangerous assassins. The movie grossed over $440.1 million worldwide and has earned the title of being the highest-grossing film in the franchise. It was praised for its cinematography, choreography, and performances by a great number of film critics.

6. “Ferrari”
Image courtesy of Neon

“Ferrari,” an American biographical sports drama, is based on the 1991 biography of Enzo Ferrari, the Italian founder of the renowned car manufacturer, Ferrari. The film was directed by Michael Mann and written by Troy Kennedy Martin. Adam Driver portrays Enzo Ferrari with Penélope Cruz, Patrick Dempsey, Sarah Gadon, and more as co-stars. In 1957, Enzo Ferrari prepares his racing team for the Mille Miglia, an endurance-based race, and the movie follows his domestic and professional crises during this time. It was selected to compete in the 80th Venice International Film Festival, and the movie has grossed $34 million worldwide. It has claimed the title of being one of the top ten films of 2023. 

5. “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”
Image Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” is the seventh production in the American spy-action film series directed by Christopher McQuarrie. The movie stars Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, and more. The main character, Ethan Hunt, fights the “Entity,” a powerful AI, alongside his team. The film grossed over $567.5 million worldwide but underperformed at the box office due to the “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” phenomenon during its release. It is, however, one of the most expensive films ever made.

4. “Saltburn”
Image courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios/MGM

The black comedy psychological thriller, “Saltburn,” was written, directed, and co-produced by Emerald Fennell. The movie features Jacob Elordi, Barry Keoghan, and Rosamund Pike. It takes place at Oxford University, following the life of a student who becomes obsessed with a popular student at his university. The movie yielded nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress at the 81st Golden Globe Awards. 

3. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
Image Courtesy of Sony Pictures Releasing

“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” features the Marvel Comics character Miles Morales/Spider-Man, and is the sequel to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018).” The film, directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson stars Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Shameik Moore, and Daniel Kaluuya. Miles goes on an adventure with Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman across the multiverse of alternate universes called the Spider-Verse, where they meet the Spider-Society and handle a looming threat. The film grossed $690.5 million and the American Film Institute named it one of the top ten films of 2023. 

2. “Oppenheimer”
Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures

“Oppenheimer,” a biographical thriller film, stars Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, the polymath genius credited with being the “father of the atomic bomb.” The director, Christopher Nolan, based the movie on the 2005 biography and chronicles the career of Oppenheimer. The film stars Emily Blunt as Oppenheimer’s wife, Matt Damon as head of the Manhattan Project Oppenheimer was associated with, as well as Robert Downey Jr. and Florence Pugh. The film grossed over $950 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing World War II-related film as well as the highest-grossing biographical film. It was crowned five Golden Globe Awards and was recognized by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. 

1. “Barbie”
Image courtesy of Warner Bros., Pictures

Last but not least, our number one movie for 2023 goes to “Barbie.” The film based on the plastic doll was written and directed by Greta Gerwig and is the first-ever live-action Barbie film. Margot Robbie plays Barbie with her romantic interest Ken, played by Ryan Gosling. The comedic film follows the two on a journey of self-discovery and transformation through Barbieland and the real world. The film grossed a whopping $1.446 billion worldwide. It became the highest-grossing film of 2023. It received other accolades such as twelve nominations for Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, and international recognition for its soundtrack. 

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