Movies & TV / Columns

Stew’s Top 50 Movies Of 2023 (#10 -1)

February 2, 2024 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Keanu Reeves John Wick: Chapter 4 Image Credit: Lionsgate

It’s all led up to this.

We’re finally at the Top Ten Movies of 2023. According to me. Because these are my articles. You’ll have your chance to give me your top ten at the end here. So be patient.

But as a quick recall: I saw 113 movies released in 2023, and I ranked them all and gave the listings of all of my recommended viewings.

For Part 50-41, click HERE!

For Parts 40-31, click HERE!

For Parts 30-21, click HERE!

And finally, for the teens, click HERE!

Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into the top ten!

10. Rye Lane

Funny, sweet, and brilliantly shot. The choices the director and cinematographer chose were top-shelf and really enhanced the story, letting the settings become as important as Yas and Dom. It’s also two of the best performances of the year from the stellar duo of David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah.

The stakes are low, the world around Yas and Dom is as much a character in the film as they are (Hence the title), and everything here is just so grounded. It feels lived in, and both these people feel so charmingly real. There is a bit of forced conflict very late because, you know, movies tend to have to have that, but other than that… I had a great feel-good time with this.

9. Suzume


As usual, for the films I’ve written full length reviews on, you can click those to see my in-depth thoughts, so I’ll just go through this pretty quickly.

Makoto Shinkai has made not only my two favorite anime movies of all time, but two movies that rank very highly in my personal all-time favorites, Your Name and Weathering With You. I’ll be honest and say Suzume is not as good as either of those.

But it is breathtakingly gorgeous, and the film has a ton of heart. Shinkai is just a master of his craft who really deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Miyazaki at this point.

8. Bottoms


This flick is comparable to a few others we’ve seen on the list to this point. It has the raunchy sex comedy chops of stuff like No Hard Feelings and Joy Ride. It’s got the teen action comedy power of Polite Society.

And yet, this one managed to outdo all of those by combining it all together, giving us some powerful leads and supporting players (Marshawn Lynch should not be as good in this as he is), and having some hellaciously witty writing. Oh, and the action set pieces, especially the climax, are nuts!

7. Oppenheimer


Likely to be an Awards Season darling, Oppenheimer was part of the Barbenheimer phenomenon this past year, and we MAY not be done talking about those two movies yet…

The fact that a three hour long, half-black & white biographical picture about a scientist was one of the highest grossing flicks of the year is insane.

But hey, Christopher Nolan is a visionary.

6. Visitors


This feels SO HIGH for this, and yet, I friggin’ LOVED this movie.

There may be some recency bias here since I saw this in the past month and half, but I was totally smitten with this nutso ass effort about supernatural zombies. It’s based on a short the writer/director previously created, and everything he added in to “fill out” the movie is so gonzo, it has to be seen to be believed. It’s less than an hour long, too, because it had to be to retain its gory glory.

5. Barbie


Back to Barbenheimer! This has almost certainly joined Clueless and Forrest Gump as one of my wife’s favorite movies ever, and you know what? It deserves it. Everything here is so bold and audacious and important.

I can’t imagine anyone predicted this would be the highest grossing movie of 2023. It’s crazy to think it was so much better than we even could have predicted. It will be interesting to see how Barbie fares during awards season, now that I think about that.

4. Nimona


I was taken aback by just how much joy and soul there was in this once-abandoned-by-Disney picture that thankfully got saved and distributed by Netflix. Nimona has all the classic trappings of the very best classic Disney efforts except for the music. The characters are lovable and heartfelt. The journey is interesting. The humor is on point.

If you slept on Nimona, I highly suggest seeking it out.

3. John Wick: Chapter 4

You know what I never knew I needed? Live action cartoons. After the JW franchise had settled into making Very Good But Forgettable movies with part 2 and part 3, John Wick 4 came out and just blew the doors off of the action genre, making the movie that all modern action should aspire to be. It is just memorable scene after memorable scene after memorable scene.

Seriously: watch this movie and tell me which is the best. The dance club fight? The Arc De Triomphe scene? The Dragon’s Breath overhead one-shot? The stairway brawl? If you told me any of those was your favorite, I’d have no argument whatsoever.

A decade’s worth of John Wick clones, and what was the best Wickian action movie to come of it? The last John Wick movie itself. It’s not a surprise!

2. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Well that was as good as promised. I cared about literally everything that happened here. Every character felt important and well-used. There are aspects that are a bit over-dramatic (Rocket’s whole backstory is basically there just to make you sob), but those aspects were still so well-written and heartfelt that I did not care.

It’s two and a half hours long, but I was captivated for every minute. DC is in really good hands with James Gunn going forward.

1. Spider Man: Across The Spider-Verse

It’s marveling me how brave this movie is. I thought Into The Spider-Verse was a visual spectacle. This movie is virtually nothing BUT brave artistic choices that are bound to leave some viewers frustrated or annoyed, but the creators went for it anyway. There are swaths of dialogue with characters frantically talking over each other, and you can’t understand a damn thing. Another bold, potentially audience-alienating choice this film made and just pulled off.

It’s funny. It’s beautiful. It takes a hundred chances and nails them all. It spits in the face of safe filmmaking and makes real art. And the whole second half of the movie is GRIPPING. If I have a mild complaint, it would be that as a big fan of Miguel O’Hara, this story does [this iteration of] him DIRTY. But we’ll see where Beyond The Spider-Verse goes with him.

Best Movie of 2023 is decided.


Only two things left at this point!

FIRST: Let me know YOUR top ten movies of 2023 in the comments section? What did I miss out across these recommendations? What did I overrate?

And SECOND: One last time, if you want to see my “Top” Twenty WORST Movies Of 2023, click HERE!

Until next time… take care!