Whether you wanted a long, serious film like Killers of the Flower Moon or a smart, funny flick like Barbie, 2023 was a great year for movies. Sure, it had some duds, but overall it was one of the most solid movie years in a long, long time.
Here are the best movies of 2023 and where you can watch them at home.
Starring Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed and Jeremy Allen White, Fingernails plays out like an extended Black Mirror episode where couples have their fingernails tested to find out if they’ve found true love. If you’re a fan of movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind this is one you will probably enjoy just as much as we did. You can watch Fingernails on Apple TV+ in Canada.
19. Pain Hustlers
Based on a true story, Pain Hustlers is about a single, broke mom (played by Emily Blunt) who becomes a top pharma sales rep for an opioid company before realizing how bad the drug they’re pushing really is. If you liked The Wolf of Wall Street or The Big Short, Pain Hustlers should be right up your alley. Chris Evans, Catherine O’Hara and Andy Garcia also star. You can watch Pain Hustlers on Netflix Canada.
Thankfully Tetris was not a movie set inside the classic block game, but a movie about how the game itself became one the biggest titles of all-time and how the people involved had to fight the USSR in order to get it out to the world. There was plenty to like about Tetris, including the overlooked performance by Taron Egerton. You can watch Tetris on Apple TV+ in Canada.
17. Asteroid City
After a few recent misses, Wes Anderson finally delivered a perfect Wes Anderson film. Asteroid City is odd, funny and overly stylish, and Anderson has one of his biggest ensemble casts to play with, including the likes of Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Maya Hawke, Rupert Friend, Jeffrey Wright, Steve Carell, Hope Davis, Tilda Swinton and Jason Schwartzman. Asteroid City is available to watch on Prime Video Canada.
Bottoms is not your typical high school sex comedy. About two lesbian high school students who start a fight club in order to have sex before college, the movie is over-the-top hilarious and delivers so much cinematic gold that it will be looked at as a classic in the future. Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri star. You can watch Bottoms on Prime Video Canada.
15. Talk to Me
Yes, we included Talk to Me on our best horror movies of 2023 list, but it also stands as one of the best movies of the year as well. It’s original, quite scary, and is a movie you want to tell everyone about. You can watch Talk to Me on Netflix Canada.
14. Dumb Money
Dumb Money is another movie from 2023 that can be compared to The Big Short. About the recent GameStop stock craze, it’s an excellent film that explains what happened and how it happened better than any article ever did. Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, America Ferrera, Shailene Woodley and Pete Davidson star. Dumb Money is available to watch no on VOD platforms. It streams on Prime Video Canada in January.
13. The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Forget the controversy over the casting of Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario because you won’t even notice it with how beautifully animated and fun The Super Mario Bros. Movie is. This one definitely exceeded our expectations this year, and even with multiple viewings it’s always enjoyable and we never tire of it. You can watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie on Prime Video Canada. You can also get it on 4K Blu-ray.
Directed by Ben Affleck, Air tells the story of how Nike got Michael Jordan to sign a sponsorship deal with them when they had no presence in the basketball shoe market. It gives a great inside look at the business side of sports, and is an enjoyable ride to take with an excellent cast. Affleck also stars in Air, along with Matt Damon, Jason Bateman and Viola Davis. Air is available to watch on Prime Video Canada.
11. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
We’re just as tired of superhero movies as everyone else, but Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is so much more than one that it could help keep the genre alive a little longer. The story works well, the animation is stunning, and you can watch it multiple times and still pick up on new things. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is available to watch on Crave. You can also get it on 4K Blu-ray.
Barbie starts out like The LEGO Movie meets Mannequin, and then paves its own path and becomes something so uniquely great it’s no surprise it made over a billion dollars. We’re rooting for Greta Gerwig to get the Academy Award for Best Director next year for this one. You can watch Barbie on Crave. It’s also available on 4K Blu-ray.
Christopher Nolan knows how to make any subject matter exciting, and Oppenheimer is one of his best movies to date. It’s beautifully shot and includes an excellent performance from Cillian Murphy as the title character. You can watch Oppenheimer in Canada on VOD platforms or 4K Blu-ray.
8. Dream Scenario
About a man who keeps showing up in people’s dreams, Kristoffer Borgli’s Dream Scenario is a mix of Being John Malkovich and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Starring Nicolas Cage, the movie is equally funny as it is bizarre and gives us one of Cage’s best performances in years. Dream Scenario is currently available to rent on VOD platforms.
7. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. was the movie we didn’t know we needed in 2023 but we’re so happy we got. Based on Judy Blume’s popular book, the film is a funny and sweet coming of age story set in the 1970s. Abby Ryder Fortson stars as 11-year-old Margaret and completely wowed us with her performance. Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates and Benny Safdie are all great in their respective roles, too. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. is available to watch on Crave.
6. Killers of the Flower Moon
Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon might be the longest film of the year, but it moves along fast and the length is barely noticeable. This is mostly thanks to the solid cast, which includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone. You can currently watch Killers of the Flower Moon in Canada on VOD platforms. It will be available on Apple TV+ in the near future.
5. Beau Is Afraid
Ari Aster’s Beau Is Afraid is a wild ride that will make you laugh while shocking you at the same time. Joaquin Phoenix plays the title character only the way he can, and his performance is amazing to watch as the movie gets progressively weirder and weirder. You can watch Beau Is Afraid on Paramount+ Canada or for free on Kanopy.
This biopic of the rise and fall of BlackBerry and the Canadian company behind it, is a lot of fun to watch and might make you miss the pre-iPhone days. Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton star as Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, respectively, and both shine in their roles. You can watch the extended 3-part version of BlackBerry on CBC Gem or the original cut of the movie on VOD platforms.
3. The Killer
The Killer is a tense, slow burn from director David Fincher that is hard not to be mesmerized by. Michael Fassbender carries the movie amazingly, and it’s pure joy watching him on screen. The score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross also helps amplify The Killer to masterpiece status. You can watch The Killer on Netflix Canada.
2. The Holdovers
Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers stars Paul Giamatti as a professor at an all boys boarding school in the ’70s. The movie, set over the Christmas break, feels a bit like Harold and Maude meets Wonder Boys and it’s charming to watch unfold. Giamatti is of course wonderful in the movie, but it’s newcomer Dominic Sessa that steals the show. The Holdovers is currently available to rent on VOD platforms.
1. Leave the World Behind
No movie excited or impacted us as much as Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind did this year. It’s haunting, beautiful, interesting, and even the ending made perfect sense to us. This is the movie from 2023 that will be remembered and discussed for years to come, and people will eventually come around to find that it is a masterful cinematic experience. Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke and Mahershala Ali star. You can watch Leave the World Behind on Netflix Canada.
Do you agree or disagree with any of our picks? Tell us what you think the best movies of 2023 are in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
Photo credit: A scene from Leave the World Behind. Courtesy Netflix Canada.