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2023 Movies in Review

The best movies of each month through the eyes of Letterboxd.

2023 has been an amazing year for movies. It truly feels like cinema is back. But the year wasn’t all popcorn and smiles. The SAG-AFTRA strike also happened this year. The purpose of the strike was to improve the salaries and working conditions of actors and other members. The strike lasted 98 days and impacted the TV and film industry greatly, causing many production delays. In the end, the actor’s demands were met and TV and film were back to their scheduled release dates. 

I have managed to share my opinion on many of the films that came out this year in one way or another. So, to avoid repetition, I will instead use Letterboxd to help me create a list of the highest rated films and most popular films for each month to review the year as a whole. As of January 10th, here are the statistics Letterboxd provides. 

  • Letterboxd is a very well organized app where you can track the movies you watch, along with writing reviews, rating them, creating lists, and more! Instead of reviews and scores from critics, you get to see the opinions of regular, everyday movie lovers, making it more relatable and trustworthy.


Highest Rated- Rye Lane (January 23rd)

  • Rye Lane has a rating of 3.9 stars out of 5 on Letterboxd. Unfortunately, it got a little lost with all the movies that came out this year. All in all it is a charming, stylish, and funny romance film, beautifully directed by Raine Allen-Miller and deserves your watch. 

Most Popular- M3GAN (January 6th)

  • M3GAN has 567k watches on Letterboxd, but was a big hit at the box-office. What the movie lacks is everything, but it makes up for that with laughable moments, whether it is trying to be funny or not. Directed by Gerard Johnstone, it is a great time. 


Highest Rated- Call Me Chihiro (February 23rd)

  • February was the flop month of 2023. It took lots of digging on Letterboxd to find a movie rated higher than 3 stars. Directed by Rikiya Imaizumi, Call Me Chihiro only has 13k watches, but has very positive reviews and a rating of 3.7 out of 5. 

Most Popular- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (February 17th)

  • In the eyes of Marvel fans, this movie was a flop. But since February was such a disappointing month for movies, it gained lots of watches with a viewing of 635k. It is the third Ant-Man movie directed by Peyton Reed, and sadly not the last. Even my love for Paul Rudd couldn’t bring me to like this movie. 


Highest Rated and Most Popular- John Wick: Chapter 4 (March 24th)

  • March is when movies finally start to pick up the pace and it begins with John Wick 4. Not only does it have 647k watches, it also has a rating of 3.9. The John Wick movies are all directed by Chad Stahelski, but he really steps it up with this one. 


Highest Rated- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. (April 28th) 

  • Kelly Fremon Craig is back with another movie about girlhood and the challenges that aren’t always spoken about. It’s an extremely relatable and moving film that shares what the beginning of adolescence is like and the struggles of figuring yourself out spiritually and generally. The film has a rating of 3.8 and deserves every bit of that. 

Most Popular- The Super Mario Bros. Movie (April 5th)

  • Although the movie was a big letdown, the views it received do not reflect that at all with one million watches! The story itself is very weak, and the animation is flat and boring, but it wasn’t horrible. Jack Black as Bowser is the best part of the movie as he put his whole heart into his performance. 


Highest Rated and Most Popular- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5th)

  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 takes the cake for the month of May with 1.24 million watches. It is the highest rated Marvel movie on letterboxd with a rating of 4 stars out of 5. I personally think the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie is better but I can see why this one got such high praise.


Highest Rated and Most Popular- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (June 2nd)

  • Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Juston K. Thomson and Kemp Powers, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse quickly takes the spotlight away from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, but very deserving as it is the highest rated movie for the whole year and almost of all time. It has a rating of 4.5 and 1.76 million watches. One of the best animated films ever made. 


Highest Rated- Oppenheimer (July 21st)

  • Funnily enough, the two movies that came out on the same day are the two most successful movies of the year. Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, got itself a rating of 4.3 out of 5, and even more impressive, 1.92 million watches. It has very deservedly won multiple awards and counting. 

Most Popular- Barbie (July 21st)

  • Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, has the most watches of the year with a whopping 2.8 million views. It made 1.446 billion USD which makes Greta Gerwig the first female director to ever reach that amount of money. Along with its twin, it has also won a tremendous amount of awards.  


Highest Rated- Anatomy of a Fall (August 23rd)

  • Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justine Triet, didn’t get a lot of attention due to the fact that it came out so close to Barbenheimer, but it still gained a great score of 4.2. Although I have not seen it yet, I have heard great things about it and look forward to the watch.

Most Popular- Bottoms (August 25th)

  • In my opinion, Bottoms, directed by Emma Seligman, was the best comedy of the year. Others agree with me as it has a rating of 3.9 and 701k watches. It’s often hard for comedies to score highly because the jokes can take away from the plot, but when the jokes are funny enough, it doesn’t matter! Queer or not, you will find this movie hilarious. 


Highest Rated and Most Popular- The Killer (September 3rd)

  • September was also a slow month for movies. Most people I know haven’t seen this movie or even heard of it, but on Letterboxd, 556k have. Directed by David Fincher, it has a rating of 3.4. I wouldn’t call it a “remarkable” movie, but it is certainly entertaining.  


Highest Rated and Most Popular- Killers of the Flower Moon (October 20th)

  • With a 3 hour and 26 minute runtime, Killers of the Flower Moon has a rating of 4.2. Directed by Martin Scoresese, it is utterly gut-wrenching and so beautifully told, which makes the long runtime feel deserved. The Holdovers also has a score of 4.2, but only 379k watches, while Killers of the Flower Moon has 681k.


Highest Rated- The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (November 17th)

  • A prequel to “The Hunger Games” series we have grown so familiar with. Directed by Francis Lawrence, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes lets the audience (people that haven’t read the books) learn more about what made President Snow the way he is. It has gained a score of 3.6 out of 5. 

Most Popular- Saltburn (November 17th)

  • Saltburn, directed by Emerald Fennell, became extremely popular with 1.36 million watches. People were mostly all over it because of Jacob Elordi, but the dark thrilling plot also pulls people in. I have to disagree with the majority here and say that I did not like this movie. I thought it was dull, disappointing, and shallow. :/


Highest Rated- Poor Things (December 8th)

  • Poor Things ends the 2023 cinematic year with a banger. It’s directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, famous for his unique, dystopian- style films. It has a score of 4.3, one of the highest of the year. I would recommend this movie to anyone and everyone.

Most Popular- Wonka (December 15th)

  • A truly magical experience and another great way to end the year. Wonka takes a different direction than the previously made movies and shows Willy Wonka’s life before he opens his factory. This colorful musical gained 531k watches, but more are always flooding in.
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About the Contributor
Jaela Staker
Jaela Staker, Writer
Jaela Staker is a senior at MHS. She is the vice president of Key Club. This is her first year being involved in newspaper and writing for the Auroran Today. When she is not writing for the newspaper she enjoys watching movies, going to concerts, hanging out with her friends and family, and reading.
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