Our Best And Worst Reviewed Movies Of 2023


Let’s start things out with a bang. In his 9 out of 10 review of “John Wick: Chapter 4,” Jacob Hall wrote: “The final hour of the film is essentially one large action scene, and one staged with such bravura skill and visual wit that it exposes the vast majority of American action direction as the lazy sham it is.” Earlier in the year, Josh Spiegel declared “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” to be “The First Great Film Of 2023,” and stated: “In a desert littered with intellectual-property revivals, prequels, sequels, and other failed attempts at blockbuster fare, ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’ is an oasis. Though this adaptation of the beloved Judy Blume novel cannot claim to be wholly original, itself a take on one of the most well-known YA novels ever published, it represents a remarkable and welcome balm from the current state of the modern movie.”

Most of us didn’t get a chance to see Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” until it opened in theaters in October, but Lex Briscuso filed a review for us out of Cannes back in May and wrote: “‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ is a fast, fierce, and unapologetic gut punch that centers the horrific abuse suffered by the Osage nation at the hands of those who were entitled to nothing and thought themselves worthy of everything. White supremacy — and the idea that the individuals after the almighty dollar are more worthy than the ones who are rightfully owed it — tends to settle itself firmly within that spectrum, and the only way to fight it is by arming ourselves with the knowledge of how it spreads and poisons as much purity as possible. Thanks to Scorsese’s version of these harrowing and true events in history, we have another brilliant film aching to teach us something meaningful about all the desperate ways we engage with one another, for better or for worse.”

In my review of the criminally underseen “Reality,” I wrote: “‘Reality’ is an immensely never-wracking film that grips you from the get-go and never lets up. Like Reality Winner, we’re all stuck in that dirty, empty room, wondering when we’ll get out, and worrying about what will happen next.” Reviewing the mega-hit “Barbie,” BJ Colangelo stated: “Greta Gerwig did the impossible with ‘Barbie,’ marrying both the confetti-bright sensibilities of the plastic toy that has been a vital friend to many for over half a century and a sharp screenplay that inspires existential ruminations on gender politics and self-love.” And of course, along with “Barbie” came “Oppenheimer,” about which I said: “Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ is nothing short of extraordinary. In what might be his magnum opus, Nolan has meticulously crafted a biopic that feels like a thriller. He’s also managed to find a way to make 3 hours of people sitting in rooms talking at each other downright exciting.”

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