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Films Watched (and Rated) in 2023

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Top 10 Films Watched in 2023

As usual, I’ve provided a synopsis of our Top 10 Films from 2023 — those ranked 8.0 and above — followed by a longer list of films we watched in general, along with the rating we gave them on a scale of 1-10 — 10 being the highest. While in previous years we ranked films 9.0 and above, this year, it wasn’t to be.

There were some films we saw this year we wanted to like more, but in the end, they wound up on the bottom of our list — namely Napoleon, Tár, and The Whale.

Some films were second- or third- viewings for me, such as A Room with a View, Pandora’s Box, and The Army of Shadows (and I re-watched The Gladiator and The Children’s Hour since David had never seen them) and they have remained stellar films despite the decades that have passed. As such, they deserve their place in the Top 10.

But, to be sure, what stands this year was my discovery of Guy Ritchie films in general (I know — it took me awhile!) and Jason Statham in particular. Starting off strong with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (8.0) and transitioning nicely to Snatch (7.0), we indulged in what we knew would be mediocre movies in The Transporter (and, embarrassingly, The Transporter II), but Statham is just one of those actors you can’t take your eyes off of. (And no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to watch Meg: 2 — The Trench 😂. I do have my limits.)

I LOATHED the adaptation of All the Light We Cannot See, which doesn’t even merit inclusion on my watch list! (Please just read the book), but war films are a staple for us every year and often rank very high. All Quiet on the Western Front was a beautiful adaptation of Remarque’s 1929 anti-war novel, and Generation War was the long-form film we started off 2023 with.

Mads Mikkelsen never fails to leave me mesmerized, and he delivered again in Arctic; our watching of Triangle of Sadness was inspired by the fact that we loved the director’s 2014 film Force Majeure, and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was a film I had been meaning to watch for years. But if I had to choose one film this year out of all of our favorites, it would be The Fool (Durak).

1. The Fool (2014)

A 2014 Russian film directed by Yuri Bykov. The story revolves around a young plumber, Dima Nikitin, who discovers a major structural issue in a Soviet-era apartment building. Despite his efforts to report the problem to the authorities, he encounters corruption, indifference, and a network of powerful figures trying to cover up the issue. As the situation escalates, Dima finds himself in a moral dilemma, torn between the corrupt system and the safety of the people living in the building. The film serves as a powerful commentary on systemic corruption and the challenges faced by individuals trying to do the right thing in a flawed society. Unforgettable. 8.0

2. Generation War (2013)

A German miniseries from 2013 that follows five friends through World War II. Divided into three parts, it explores the complexities of loyalty and sacrifice against the backdrop of the war’s changing dynamics. 8.0

3. Arctic (2018)

A 2018 film which follows the story of a man stranded in the Arctic after a plane crash who must decide whether to stay in the relative safety of his makeshift camp or embark on a deadly trek through the unknown for potential rescue. 8.0

4. Triangle of Sadness (2022)

A satirical drama film directed by Ruben Ostlund. The story follows the lives of a billionaire couple and a model as they navigate the complexities of their relationships and the consequences of their extravagant lifestyles. The performances are nothing short of amazing. 8.0

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (2022)

A recent film adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s classic anti-war novel. Set during World War I, the movie follows the harrowing journey of a young German soldier named Paul Bäumer and his comrades as they confront the brutal realities of war.

6. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

In this British crime comedy, a group of friends finds themselves entangled in the London criminal underworld after a high-stakes card game goes wrong. The film follows their attempts to navigate and survive the chaotic consequences.

7. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Based on a true story, this French biographical drama portrays the life of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the former editor of Elle magazine, who, after suffering a stroke, is left with locked-in syndrome. The film explores his experiences, particularly his ability to communicate using only his left eye.

8. Pandora’s Box (1929)

This German silent film is a classic of the Weimar era. It follows the tragic life of Lulu, a beautiful and seductive woman whose relationships lead to ruin and despair. The film is known for its atmospheric expressionism and social commentary.

9. A Room with a View (1985)

This Merchant Ivory production, based on E.M. Forster’s novel, is a romantic drama set in Edwardian England. It follows the journey of a young woman named Lucy Honeychurch, exploring themes of social conventions, love, and self-discovery.

10. Army of Shadows (1969)

A French film directed by one of my favorite directors, Jean-Pierre Melville, Army of Shadows is a wartime thriller about the French Resistance during World War II. The film depicts the challenges faced by a group of resistance fighters as they navigate danger, betrayal, and the moral complexities of their mission.

FULL LIST OF MOVIES WATCHED AND RANKED IN 2023

EO (2022) 7.0
The Pale Blue Eye (2022) 5.0
Lumumba (2000) 7.0
Argentina, 1985 (2022) 7.0
The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982) 7.0
Decision to Leave (2022) 7.0
The Gentlemen (2019) 7.0
Gladiator (2000) 7.0
Caged (1950) 7.0
Il Posto (1961) 7.0
They Were Expendable (1945) 7.0
Gomorrah (2008) 7.0
Hour of the Wolf (1968) 7.0
The Children’s Hour (1961) 7.0
The Whale (2022) 6.0
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019) 6.0
Tár (2022) 6.0
The Transporter (2002) 6.0
Calvary (2014) 6.0
The Innocents (2021) 6.0
Napoleon (2023) 5.0

Don’t forget to check out Favorite Films Watched in 2021, Favorite Films Watched in 2022, and Favorite Films Watched in 2020.

What are some of your favorite films?

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