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End of Year 2023

Below are my top 10 movies of 2023 which I reviewed on the site and really enjoyed.

Honourable Mentions: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Leave The World Behind & The Flash.

P.S. The Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are not included in this top 10, but if I had to pick between Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Guardians wins ALL DAY!

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

It is evident to me that the creators were trying to capture the audience who went to see the Spider-Man: "Spider-Verse" movies, 'Into the Spider-Verse' and 'Across the Spider-Verse' because the animation felt similar in tone, but definitely not in execution. The animation felt juvenile, and the voice acting was great, but the liberties taken made me question some of their choices as I was not a fan of some of them, but the movie was a lot of fun. The movie went to places I did not expect and there was an absolutely fun "killer" montage. I highly recommend this movie, especially if you like The Turtles, I just hope there is a sequel and they go more into the Turtle lore.

9. Extractor 2

When I heard they were going to do a sequel, it threw me. Why? I know Netflix "struck gold" with an action-packed movie based on someone trying to save a child and "extract" them to bring them home safely, but to try and replicate that? Can you even do it twice? I'd like to say they did. In some cases, there were some nonsensical moments, but like John Wick, you need to suspend disbelief, you know, it is not a documentary, it is hi-octane action with a hero who just gets the job done. Brilliant really. That is all.

8. The Creator

On a shoestring budget, this movie looked amazing. It simply made me think, 'Why do these huge expensive blockbuster movies spend so much money on a movie when you can make something as breathtakingly gorgeous as this and make it work'. Sci-fi done for a pack of peanuts and a Guinness. The story was decent. The acting was decent. Everything about this movie was decent and the bond between the two characters was great to see. I wanted more from the movie. More from the characters and while the "villain" was a little moustache twirly, it would have been nice to have just that bit more to help flesh out the side characters. John David Washington isn't just Denzel's son.

7. Killers of the Flower Moon

A long movie, a slow movie, a horrible movie, but at times, a lovely movie. Martin is telling a story of some very bad people and what a race of people was doing to another race of people, just for what they had. It disgusted me. However, there were some funny and real human elements to the movie I loved and it was shot very well. Some great visuals, stunning even, just very dark subject matter. Leonardo DiCaprio was good and Robert DeNiro was even better, but Lily Gladstone was phenomenal and deserves to be mentioned, highlighted and possibly even given something for her performance here. She was simply great. A really good film, but for some, might be very difficult to watch, but is definitely a 'must watch'.

6. Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning

This is a movie which could quite possibly be further up on my list than it really should be. I absolutely love Ethan Hunt and the Mission Impossible franchise (except 2, we don't talk about 2). So when Tom Cruise puts his face on, it is game time! Although I am convinced he will kill himself in an accident gone wrong because he is a ranging lunatic dedicated to the craft, I cannot help but admire his work especially in this franchise, especially as each and every film seems to just get better, and better, and better. With all the talk of AI this year alone, this movie touches on something (mildly) we can all think about. The action, the stunts, the acting and the music. It has everything you can expect from an MI movie and then some.

5. Wonka

I was never going to watch this for several reasons, I did not care for a Willy Wonka prequel, I did not watch the Jonny Depp rendition because, again, I did not care for it and 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' is a film from my childhood I really liked. I really do like Roald Dahl's books the film was good but who asked for a prequel? Definitely not me, but I actually really enjoyed the movie, regardless. I was not aware of the musical element of it, which I enjoyed. I did not think the "magic" element of it sat well with me, but all in all, I was so very surprised at how charming and lovely this film was as well as funny. Timothy is a really good Wonka and the supporting cast was also very good. A well-told story in the spirit of the first movie.

4. Barbie

If the trailer was not enough to sell to you how zany and crazy this movie was going to be, I do not know what to tell you. I loved it. It was a pleasant surprise at how intelligent this movie was with all it's sing-a-longs and bright fluorescent colours and Barbie-ness of it all. A film for little girls and women (or people) who played with Barbie dolls, their imagination, but a story to tell with a message. The humour in this movie was excellent, especially the innuendos and the absurdity of it all. The balance was well-struck and the acting complimented the well-thought-out dialogue and story. There is a reason this movie did gang-busters, it is really that good.

3. Avatar: The Way of Water

Jim, James, Mr. Terminator, Abyss, Titanic or True Lies director, knows what he is doing when it comes to filmmaking. Every movie he directs breaks some kind of record and is known for simply being a great film of its time and in some cases, some can be argued, the best of ALL TIME! Avatar came out in 2009, the sequel in 2023 and although my brain knew I was watching people on a green screen background, how on earth did everything look so real? EVERYTHING you are watching is not real, yet it looks so amazing. The bad guys are back and they are up to their old tricks so it is up to Jake to protect his family and take them down. There were likely some story plot holes of things that did not make any sense, but James captures you and transports you to a world you believe in and want to protect. Phenomenal and rewatchable, although it is long.

2. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Rhian Johnson upset a few people when he did The Last Jedi, came out with Knives Out and simply shocked the world. The sequel shows us who Rhian really is, a great director with a vision and like I said about the first Knives Out movie (and in my 'End of Year for 2019'), "...this film is beyond great. The screenplay, the characters, the murder mystery somewhat turned onto it's head with a twist" and guess what, he did it again. I did not expect the twist at all and with (AGAIN) superb acting from the main cast members and a really good storyline, I cannot wait to see the other Knives Out movies. Brilliant, again.

1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

The first film is a masterpiece in animation, storytelling, voice acting, imagery, EVERYTHING, so to produce a sequel that not only continues the story where we left off, but the characters have aged since the first movie, visibly, the action and the introduction to even more drawing/animation styles, these guys have done it again. How do you create lightning in a bottle, twice and quite possibly three times when this is all said and done. While there is an argument to be made, that this is more Gwen's story, this could possibly be the best-animated trilogy of all time, next to Toy Story which is no longer a trilogy. It's fun, it's brilliant, it's engaging and it has a message.


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