The Ultimate Best Movies of 2023 You Shouldn’t Miss

What are the best movies of 2023? 

The start and end of each year is always an exciting time. When the new year starts, we make new year resolutions. When the year ends, we can’t even remember making those resolutions. But what we do care to remember every year is to look for the best of all the stuff we love. Let’s discuss the best movies of 2023 today.

If you are visiting CulturalReads for the first time, we also wrote about the best foreign films of 2022. We will also write about the most anticipated movies of 2024. Watch out for this space. (When the article is ready, you can insert and update it.) 

So, without much ado, let’s discuss the best 2023 movies.

1. Anatomy of the Fall - 7.9/10 (France)

How often does one actress deliver two scintillating performances in the same year? Sandra HĂĽller just did in 2023, delivering two of the best French movies: Anatomy of a Fall and The Zone of Interest.

Anatomy of a Fall, however, takes the cut. The Rolling Stone rightly called Anatomy Of a Fall this year’s most gripping murder mystery. It is one of those movies where you feel pity and anger for the main character. Interestingly, you remain undecided whether to blame the victim or if the victim is even a victim.

During a writer retreat, the struggling writer husband of a successful writer, Sandra HĂĽller, dies mysteriously. Police and local authorities frame Sandra HĂĽller as a murderer. She finds herself proving innocent in court. Meanwhile, Daniel, their son, is the main witness during a rollercoaster court trial.

If you find this French movie in our best movies of 2023 interesting, how about exploring more of the best French movies?

2. Past Lives - 8/10 (South Korea)

Are you looking for a beautiful romantic comedy? Then you should check out Past Lives, a Korean romance drama movie with a spectacular 8 on IMDB.

The movie is about two childhood friends who separated during their childhood years. Nora’s family emigrated from South Korea to America for better economic prospects.

Twenty years later, they reunite unexpectedly for one fateful week as they confront notions of love and destiny. Greta Lee, who plays Nora, delivers one of the year’s best performances.

Like this film revolving around South Korean characters in our best films of 2023? Well, check out these best 10 Korean movies of all time.

3. Aftersun - 7.7/10 (Schotland)

I was alone one weekend, so I went to the cinema to watch “Aftersun”. Aftersun is a movie about a father-daughter relationship during a holiday in an all-inclusive resort in Turkey.

In the beginning, Sophie’s dad, Calum, seems like a perfect dad. But as you keep going, you find out he has problems, like being careless and having a hard time with his thoughts. As the story goes on, it gets more intense because you sense something will happen, but you’re not sure what.

Aftersun is a beautiful film that brings back memories and sentiments. After the movie ended, the audience sat quietly for a few moments. When people walked out, they whispered as if trying to understand what they just watched.

If you are looking for the best movies 2023 streaming options, you can watch Aftersun on Mubi.

4. Joyland 7.6/10 (Pakistan)

Joyland is one of the best foreign films of 2023 that keeps you on edge. When the movie ends, it leaves you in awe and saddened simultaneously. Joyland was a Pakistani film to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, receiving a standing ovation. The film was also shortlisted for the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars.

The movie is set in Lahore and revolves around the Rana family. Rand, an elderly patriarch who heads the family, wants a grandson desperately. However, Haider has his plans and dreams. The situation changes when he finds work at an erotic dance theatre, leading to infatuation with Biba, a transgender dancer.

If you are looking for the best movies 2023 streaming options, you can stream Joyland on Amazon Prime.

5. The Monk and The Gun 7.9/10 (Bhutan)

It’s time for drama and comedy, and The Monk and The Gun has both. It is one of the best movies of 2023, where you see contrasting worlds find themselves in fun situations.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is organizing a mock election as it aspires to become a democracy. In the distant town of Ura, an old lama, a spiritual leader, feels threatened by the change. He orders a monk to arrange weapons to fight the new change. The situation gets interesting when an American weapons collector lands in Bhutan.

He is looking for the antique rifle, which is in the monk’s possession. An American, riffle, and democracy; what are the odds here? It’s one of the best 2023 movies you could watch on a holiday.

6. Triangle of Sadness - 7.3/10 (Sweden)

Every year, independent studios release movies big enough for mainstream cinemas. The success of these movies helps not only studios but also independent theatres. Triangle of Sadness is one of the best movies of 2023 that packs a punch for its budget.

The Triangle of Sadness is about the absurdity of the ultra-rich; we see it from the eyes of influencers who win a ticket to a luxury yacht. The movie turns interesting when a sea storm hits the luxury yacht.

If you like this movie, check out The Square.

7. Blue Caftan - 7.6/10 (Morocco)

The Blue Caftan is an Arabic-language comedy-drama film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The theatre release was in February 2023, making it one of our best movies on the 2023 list.

The plot revolves around a woman and her closeted gay husband, who runs a caftan store in the medina of Salé, Morocco. However, when they hire an attractive young man as an apprentice, things turn interesting.

8. The Menu - 7.2/10 (USA)

The Menu is second in our list of best movies of 2023, apart from Triangle of Sadness, which is about the ultra-rich. Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes deliver top-notch performances. If you are looking for the best movies 2023 streaming options, The Menu is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

In “The Menu”, celebrity chef Julian Slowik invites guests to his exclusive island restaurant, Hawthorn. At Hawthorn, he arranges a night of gourmet dining, which turns into a deadly game. As unsettling revelations about each guest emerge, the evening takes a dark turn.

The guests, trapped on the island, must navigate a deadly game orchestrated by Slowik. As he seeks revenge on those he believes contributed to his loss of passion for cooking. In a surprising twist, Margot exposes her identity as an escort with her own agenda.  

9. Cairo Conspiracy - 7/10 (Egypt/Sweden)

If you haven’t watched an edge-of-your-seat thriller for some time, Cairo Conspiracy is the movie to be. It explores the tensions between Egypt’s religious and political elites. The original name of the movie is Boy from Heaven. But the movie released as Cairo Conspiracy in most English-speaking countries.

The movie revolves around Adam, the son of a fisherman, who makes it to the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo. As fate would have it, he finds himself in a dangerous game of politics and power. Will it bode well for him when he becomes a pawn in the conflict between religious and political factions?

While the movie is fictional and not intended to provoke controversy. Controversial themes and perspectives on Egyptian society and politics characterize Saleh’s work. It is one of the best films movie of 2023, that you can stream on Amazon.

Best movies of 2023

Two Bonus Movies I Watched In 2023

I also wanted to share two fantastic movies that I watched for the first time in 2023. 

Although they’re a little older, I find it worthwhile to include them here!

The Hunt - 8.3/10 (Denmark)

Lucas is an elementary school teacher who lives a lonely life. He is struggling over his son’s custody and dealing with an estranged relationship.

One day, his life changes when one of the kids tells a lie that accuses Lucas of sexual abuse. That accusation shatters his life, reputation, and relationship with his son.

Did he sexually abuse the student? How can he prove innocent when no one is ready to listen? Mads Mikkelsen, who plays a teacher, is an absolute gem of an actor who delivers a gut-wrenching performance. The camera close-ups of his face during emotional turmoil and uncertainty tell everything when words fail him. 

If you’re in the mood for a lighter movie, check out the Danish comedy Another Round, which is about a group of friends who decide to spend life always a little drunk.

My Masterpiece - 7.1/10 (Argentina)

My Masterpiece is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. The movie was recommended during my interview with Colombian artist AndrĂ©s RibĂłn.

The movie is about Arturo, an art dealer with a gallery in Buenos Aires, and his relationship with the socially awkward painter Renzo. Despite being famous, Renzo struggles to sell new works as he refuses to change his style.

The apartment owner evicts him for not paying rent. Acting recklessly, he goes to a high-end restaurant and refuses to pay his bill. On leaving, a truck hits him, leading to hospitalization. Somehow, Renzo ends up with Arturo. Now, they must find a way to make art relevant again and devise a crazy plan.

You can watch the trailer above and find out where to stream the movie here.

Best movies of 2023

What Are The Best Movies Of 2023?

In conclusion, The Anatomy of a Fall, Past Lives, The Zone of Interest, and Joyland are some of the best movies of 2023.

It’s always hard to make choices. Once the criteria is set, it becomes easier to compile a list. The movies discussed above are from around the globe. So, terming them the best foreign films 2023 wouldn’t be an exaggeration.

Although you don’t need to take our best movies of 2023 as ultimate. 

Leave a comment if any of your favorites are missing from the list of best 2023 movies!

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