Ranking the 7 best (and 3 worst) movies of 2023

2023 was packed with both huge hits and mega-flops but these rank as the best, and worst, of a wild movie year!
Oppenheimer in theaters July 21, 2023
© Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Oppenheimer in theaters July 21, 2023 © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. /

2023 was an amazing movie year. Sure, there were more than a few major flops around, but there were also some great successes. It was a year marked by the phenomenon of Barbieheimer and audiences turning on comic book films, yet also some lovely films that won over the crowds.

Narrowing down the best and worst is tricky as folks have different tastes, and some may be more enraptured by a certain film than others. But as the year closes down, here's a look at the best and worst of films in 2023, which marked one of the more unusual years in Hollywood history. 


WORCESTER - Director Alexander Payne (left) and actor Paul Giamatti after wrapping a scene for \"The
WORCESTER - Director Alexander Payne (left) and actor Paul Giamatti after wrapping a scene for \"The / Craig S. Semon/Telegram & Gazette /

7. The Holdovers

Almost two decades after Sideways, Alexander Payne and Paul Giamatti reunited for this lovely dramedy. Giamatti might finally earn that overdue Oscar for his turn as a cranky New England college professor forced to look after a student left behind on Christmas break. They find an odd bond in a story that could have been cliche, but Payne's direction and screenplay elevate it into a moving piece. Da'Vine Joy Randolph is also amazing as the cook mixed in and it all comes together into a masterful work. 

Godzilla Minus One. Image courtesy Toho International, Inc. /

6. Godzilla Minus One

After years of American remakes, the original King of All Monsters returned to reclaim his throne. The 33rd Toho Godzilla film is also the best since the 1954 original. It wasn't just the epic visuals of Godzilla rampaging across Tokyo but also the human story of them facing this monster. On that, it reminded you just how terrifying Godzilla could be with his destruction and the ending leaving it open for a sequel. It's no wonder it's become an international hit and shows how the true Godzilla dominates above all imitators. 

Emma Stone
"Poor Things" UK Gala Screening - Arrivals / Karwai Tang/GettyImages

5. Poor Things

Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone are quickly turning into a fine new director/actress combination. Following The Favourite, the pair reunited for this wild female Frankenstein tale with Stone as a woman resurrected to go on a journey of self-discovery. Stone cuts loose for one of her best-ever performances, matched by Lanthimo's over-the-top direction, but rather than being messy, it comes together into an emotional picture. It may be a strange film but it's a wondrous strange and deserves more attention among the year's best. 

Past Lives
PL_20210823_JP_00638.RAF /

4. Past Lives

The best movies are often ones not needing huge flash or big stars. That's proven by Celine Song's masterful directorial debut. The tale of two childhood sweethearts who reconnect years later wears its heart on its sleeve, with Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, and John Magaro delivering performances more real and heartfelt than anyone would expect. It just feels so real to life to the point you'd swear you'd know people like this yourself. The romantic drama of the year is also a searing portrait of humanity that stands tall among bigger mainstream films. 

Barbie movie, Warner Bros. /

3. Barbie

Greta Gerwig pulled off the greatest trick of the year. Everyone expected a fun comedy tying into the classic toy line with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling perfectly cast as Barbie and Ken. What no one expected was a sharp and brilliant satire of modern life, a bold message and a great supporting turn from America Ferrera. The box office success was little surprise, but the fact critics went wild for it was, and it's terrific how Gerwig used this toy line to deliver one of the savviest films of 2023 as well as a monster hit. 

Oppenheimer in theaters July 21, 2023 © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. /

2. Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan has succeeded on more levels than one could count with this movie. First, making a three-hour historical drama into a monster box office hit. Second, winning over critics with his amazing work, backed by a first-rate cast of Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt and more. Third, its sellout Blu-Ray proves folks still buy physical media. It was a movie demanding to be seen on the big screen and a visual spectacle as only Nolan could provide that looks ready to blow up at awards season. 

Killers of the Flower Moon
Killers of the Flower Moon /

1. Killers of the Flower Moon

Anything from Martin Scorsese is going to be an epic event movie. But he turned in one of his all-time best in this fantastic true-life drama. The three-and-a-half-hour running time may have been a bit much for some moviegoers, but it lived up to it with the stunning emotions. The cast was top notch with Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, and Jesse Plemons top-notch, while Lily Gladstone may nab an Oscar for her striking performance. It ranks not just as one of the best of an already revered director but a fine movie and topping lists for the best of the year. 


Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood and Honey. Cr: ITN Studios/Jagged Edge Productions /

3. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey

Who asked for this? Who thought, "Let's take the beloved cuddly bear and his friends and transform them into a slasher film?" Even that could have been slightly forgivable if the movie embraced the campy fun. Instead, the filmmakers treated it like straight horror, which just made it worse and a terrible ending. Incredibly, it was enough of a box office hit to warrant a sequel, but that doesn't take away from how awful it was for moviegoers to experience in 2023. 

The Flash movie /

2. The Flash

How do you screw up a Flash movie? A character with fantastic powers, a great pack of villains, and a compelling backstory, this should have been a no-brainer. Well, it was brainless in the script with a confusing time travel story marked with CGI that made the CW TV show look like the MCU. The much-ballyhooed return of Michael Keaton as Batman didn't live up to the hype and the ultra-confusing ending was too much. Rather than being a bold new start for the DCEU, it was instead its death knell as well as one of the worst comic book movies ever made. 

1. Ghosted

Ghosted on Apple TV+, Ana de Armas. /

The idea was fun: A flip on the usual rom-com action movie with Chris Evans as the wimpy guy dragged into an adventure with superspy Ana de Armas. Too bad it was wasted by an idiotic script, boring action and a surprising lack of chemistry between the two leads. The Apple TV+ original was astounding in how bad it was, with more than one viewer claiming the script looked like it was written by AI, and in a year packed with bad straight-to-streaming action films, this stood from the pack as truly awful.

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