The Big Movie's Favorite Films of 2023

For the final 2023 list, I have saved the best for last, the best of the year that is. Here are my favorite ten films from 2023.

10. Totally Killer (MGM)
I was very surprised by how much I like TOTALLY KILLER. The two things that scared where: 1. It was produced by Blumhouse and 2. We already saw this film in 2015 and it was called THE FINAL GIRLS. Well, Blumhouse pretty much let the filmmakers make the film they wanted to make AND this film is just as good as THE FINAL GIRLS while being different enough from it to allow the film to be its own thing. TOTALLY KILLER gives us characters we care about, an interesting looking killer, and gore. Sure, the knives are CGI (WHY? Have they not heard of FAKE knives? They cost less than that CGI and we wonder why budgets have gotten so big) but there is some practical gore and it looked great. Don't sleep on this one.

9. They Cloned Tyrone (Netflix)
THEY CLONED TYRONE is one of those rare films where the film and the film's trailer are equally good. The trailer expertly sets up exactly how the film would look and feel. This doesn't happen very often and usually not for a smaller film like this one. The film is a true original. It's a neat take on THEY LIVE with a conspiracy being discovered and the recruitment of help to take it down. The 70s look and feel to the film give it an otherworldly feel at times but it never feels wrong or untrue. This is how this world looks and feels and this is how the people who live in the world go about their lives. A very good film that more people need to see.

8. Kids vs Aliens (RLJE)
There are a lot of people who hate this film and I guess I can see why. The film feels unfinished like the filmmakers had their budget pulled before they could shoot the third act but I kind of like that. I thought I knew how the film was going to play out and it didn't do what I thought it would. I like when I film can throw me without being dumb about it. I liked the kids in the film as they looked and sounded like my friends and I did at that age. I am very much looking forward to a sequel. I am so curious where they will take it. 

7. Thanksgiving (Sony)
I have not liked an Eli Roth film ever. I don't think he has made any good films, although he has gotten kind of close a few times. I actually admire his take on an 80s Spielberg horror film with THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS but I don't think he pulled it off completely. So I was going into THANKSGIVING with a lot of trepidation but I came out having enjoyed it immensely. The film feels like it would have come out in a pre-SCREAM 90s. It has good characters, great setpieces, and a lot of gory effects. Its a shame that Roth took 20 years to make a film that would even come close to hitting my top ten but we finally got one. 

6. Godzilla Minus One (Toho)
I attended an early fan event for GODZILLA MINUS ONE as it would be the only time the film would screen on the Dolby Cinema screens at AMC Theaters and it was amazing. I wasn't sure what to expect from this new Godzilla film but I wasn't to be so involved with the characters. I was very joyful that the film wasn't bigger than it needed to be. I was afraid they would make everything dealing with Godzilla more fantastical but they don't. Everything here feels like it is what would happen if a monster attacked a city. I would love to follow this take on Godzilla again. 

5. Sisu (Lionsgate)
: Have you ever seen a man throw a live landmine at someone? Have you ever seen a man light himself on fire just to get away from his enemies? Have you ever seen a man slit another man's throat and use the air in his lungs to breathe underwater? Then you haven't seen SISU.

4. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Paramount)
I needed more faith in 2023's DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES. The trailer made the film look ok but I was dreading the worst. I mean, the last D&D film was 2000's disaster so hopes were low. Color me surprised when I walked out of the theater with a huge smile on my face. This D&D film was tons of fun. What surprised me the most is that the film doesn't talk down to its audience. There are many films that are based on preexisting material that try to stick to that material without making it accessible to anyone other than the diehard fans. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES doesn't do this. They throw in tons of references and characters from the games but it is never at the expense of the novice viewers. The film is also very exciting with some great action scenes while also being really funny without being snarky. This is a fun adventure film - the kind they don't make anymore.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (Marvel)
Marvel hasn't had the best time since closing out the Infinity Saga with ENDGAME in 2019. Sure, NO WAY HOME was a hit but they haven't had a film cross the billion dollar threshold since NO WAY HOME. In fact, Marvel released their first box office bomb with THE MARVELS. I wasn't worried about GUARDIANS as Marvel has always left James Gunn alone. He was the only director Marvel didn't hover around and micromanage. With this freedom, Gunn was able to give us a complete trilogy of characters we love and emotions we didn't know we had. Gunn closes the GUARDIANS trilogy with some of his funniest dialogue, his most exciting action scenes, and the MCU's first f-bomb.

2. Air (MGM)
AIR surprised me. Director Ben Affleck, while having proved he could direct a film with GONE BABY GONE while THE TOWN and ARGO were huge hits, hadn't directed a film since 2016's LIVE BY NIGHT, which everyone seems to hate. AIR was also a story that you would've thought would have focused on Michael Jordan but it doesn't. It focuses on the guys at Nike who convinced Jordan and his mother to come to Nike instead of the other shoe companies. Affleck came back to directing with the right film. He puts Matt Damon in the front and surrounds him with some interesting supporting actors with Chris Tucker and Marlon Wayans giving great performances. The film flows really well with the film never feeling overly long. AIR will become one of those films you stop on when changing channels and have to complete. 

1. John Wick Chapter 4 (Lionsgate)
Rarely does a series get better with every installment. Most series might get two entries right but they always shit the bed after that. Look at the STAR WARS sequel trilogy or the David Gordon Green HALLOWEEN trilogy. JOHN WICK has gotten better with each film. The first film was great and they kept upping the ante with each film. This sequel finds John Wick going up against a high table member who wants to end John Wick once and for all. This high table member hires Donnie fucking Yen to take out John Wick. On top of the best action scenes I have seen in years, we get an amazing Scott Adkins appearance that reminds us of Sammo Hung in the film SPL. JOHN WICK CHAPTER 4 is the best action film I have seen in the 2020's.

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