The movie industry has had a compelling year. Despite the Writer’s Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strike going on for almost half of the year, there have been many outstanding films to grace the silver screen that serve to remind the world of the importance of the movie industry and the many people who work to create it. Here is a list of some of the top films of the year:
A synopsis of the 2023 movie industry would be incomplete without the first half of the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie.” Starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera and many other distinguished actors, the movie was highly anticipated for its promise of an unadulterated landscape of pink cartoon details and the story of the beloved doll but was critically lauded for its feminist commentary and inspirational messages.
The flip side of this summer’s blockbuster double feature is Christoper Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” The stunning cinematography and thrilling score help tell the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his collaborative invention of the atomic bomb in the 1940s. Those who are able to sit through the 3-hour film will experience an immersive and riveting story about some of the greatest ethical dilemmas of the 20th century, with the perfect blend of science and human drama.
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”
A recent addition to the list of the year’s successful movies is the prequel to The Hunger Games franchise. The film chronicles the journey of a young Coriolanus Snow from mentoring an underdog tribute in the 10th annual Hunger Games to his rise to diabolical president of the Capitol. The film’s soundtrack, phenomenal performances and well-paced storytelling earn the film its place on this list.
From the mind of Emerald Fennell, “Saltburn” is a disturbing film. Performances from Jacob Elordi and Barry Keoghan lay the groundwork for a riveting story of two college classmates staying at one of their family estates for the summer. No amount of preparation can help viewers anticipate the world of “Saltburn,” and it is a must-watch for fans of dark comedy and psychological thrillers.
“Killers of the Flower Moon”
Based on the 2017 nonfiction book of the same name, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is a western crime crossed with a beautiful drama. The movie follows Mollie Burkhart as she tries to save Osage Nation members from greed-driven murders. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone, the movie is moving and tragic, filled with all of the elements of a true American classic.
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
This sequel to Marvel’s animated masterpiece, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” delivered a compelling follow-up with unique attributes and homages to the vast world of the superhero character. Miles Morales continues his exploration of the multiverse and faces the realities of his life as parts of it are predetermined. The movie leaves audience members dying for the next installment of the series in all of its avant-garde animated glory.
After the 2022 film “Elvis” told the comprehensive story of the famed musician's life, Sofia Coppola decided this was the year to tell the story of his wife, Priscilla. After years of ignorance of the woman’s tragic story and traumatic marriage with the singer, Coppola tells the true story of her struggles with the distant and aggressive man. While the movie is far from feel-good, it is a necessary story that was meant to be shared to shed light on the woman who suffered in Elvis’ shadow.
“Bottoms” is a satirical teen comedy, combining elements of “Fight Club” and “Booksmart” into something unexpected and brutal. The concept of the main characters, two lesbian best friends, hiding their plans to finally lose their virginities behind the facade of a female fight club, is just as outrageous as the film itself, and the wild ride that ensues is encapsulated in only an hour and a half.
The latest project from acclaimed director Wes Anderson has every element of his famed style. “Asteroid City” is odd, visually stunning and features a cast of recognizable names, from Tom Hanks to Maya Hawke to Bryan Cranston. The futuristic ‘50s set hosts a production of the fictional play, Asteroid City, and a web of characters, UFOs and disasters masterfully tell the rest of the postmodernist story.
“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret”
Based on the coming-of-age novel by Judy Blume, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” is a perfect example of how to deliver a text-to-screen adaptation. Performances from seasoned professionals like Kathy Bates and Rachel McAdams, as well as the young talent of Abby Ryder Fortson, create the heart of the film — the relationships that guide us all through the early stages of growing up. The film will induce tears, laughter and a perpetual appreciation for the relationships that form us.