Without a doubt, 2023 has been one of the best movie years in quite some time. From the cultural phenomenon that was Barbenheimer weekend to one of the most visually stunning superhero movies in SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE to critically acclaimed dramas like PAST LIVES and KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, it’s been a golden year for the silver screen.
As we look toward the year to come and all the exciting movies that will soon call AMC Theatres home, we must also look back at the year that was 2023, one in which drama, comedy, action, and thrills were in no short order. Here are our favorite movies that made us laugh, cry, and care along the way.
John Wick: Chapter 4
In March 2023, Chad Stahelski gave the world JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4, the latest — but hopefully not the final — chapter in the beloved franchise starring Keanu Reeves as the titular assassin. Throughout this epic action flick, which clocked in at nearly three hours in length, Wick tries to survive long enough to challenge the Marquis Vincent Bisset de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård) to a duel that will clear his name and his debt to the High Table. One thrilling set piece after another kept our attention during the movie, and the gripping drama left us on the edge of our seats.
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Celine Strong made her feature directorial debut in June 2023 with the release of PAST LIVES, a wonderful romantic drama about two childhood friends who meet up 24 years after last seeing one another and contemplate what could have been if their lives had played out differently. The chemistry between Nora Moon (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo Yoo) is undeniable as children in Korea, teenagers exploring their respective lives on opposite sides of the planet, and finally as adults in New York City. More than just a romance story, PAST LIVES is also a coming-of-age drama that tackles identity, friendship, and finding one’s place in this maddening and confusing world.
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Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Though we have explored Marvel’s multiverse over the years, the spellbinding and outstandingly animated SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE, with its twists, turns and new characters, takes things to the next level with its story that follows Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) as he deals with the internal struggle between being a teenager and superhero while also figuring out where he stands in the grand scheme of things. Electric, exciting, and at times, heartbreaking, this was an animated film for the ages.
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The biggest movie of the year on so many levels, Greta Gerwig’s BARBIE took over the world in July 2023, similar to how the iconic toy on which it was based did decades ago, more than 60 years earlier. Starring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, the movie was about so much more than toys, dreamhouses, and all things pink. Instead, it was an exploration of identity, society, and humanity as a whole. With strong messages, magical performances by a who’s who of Hollywood, and a knack for detail, it’s easy to see why the movie brought moviegoers out week after week after week for months on end.
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Though it didn’t quite reach the heights of its release date buddy, Christopher Nolan’s OPPENHEIMER was a cinematic achievement we’ll surely be talking about for years to come. With an epic scope and scale, Nolan’s chronicling of the building of the atomic bomb and the man who created it, J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), completely revolutionized the biopic model, creating a new world in the process. From Oppenheimer’s early struggles in life, to the Trinity Test, to his treatment by the United States government in the years after helping end World War II, this explosive drama was something to behold, especially in IMAX.
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